You can have the best website in your industry, but what good is it if people don’t know about it? When it comes to driving traffic to your site, SEO is crucial. Whether you’re starting a site from the ground up or want to improve your existing site, make sure it’s optimized for search engines and not breaking any rules. Here’s a list of SEO bad practices that could be holding your site back:
– Is the primary navigation of my site Flash- or Java-driven? If it is, consider using HTML wherever possible.
– Do I have content on my homepage? If all you have is a splash or otherwise very little text, make some changes – your home page is the most important page for search engine spiders so there needs to be high-quality content there.
– Are my page titles and section headings graphics (example: pull-down boxes for navigation)? Change them to text. This is an easy way to give spiders more text to work with.
2. Not optimizing your URLs. SEO bad practice number two is forgetting about your URL.When focusing on the content of your site, it’s easy to overlook URLs. After all, producing high-quality content takes up a lot of time and effort. Nevertheless, URLs also have a significant influence on your site’s PageRank. Here are some red flags to look out for:
– Session Ids: This is frowned upon by search engine spiders because they don’t accept cookies. As a result, chances are that spiders will just skip over these pages. And on the off chance the pages are indexed, PageRank will be diluted because there are multiple copies of these pages each vying for PageRank.
– Symbols: Make your URLs as spider-friendly as possible by limiting the amount of ampersands, question marks and equal signs. Avoid complex query strings and just keep things simple.
– Multiple Domains: If you spread your site across multiple domains (www.mysite.com, ww2.mysite.com, ww3.mysite.com, etc.), you’re diluting your PageRank. Sometimes, this is unavoidable due to load balancing issues, but avoid it when possible.
3. Not thinking like a reader. Producing high-quality content for your site’s visitors is one of the most effective ways to boost your PageRank. Search engine spiders thrive on unique, useful content so the more the better. Unfortunately, a lot of online marketers fall into the following traps. Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and avoid these SEO bad practices:
– Keyword Stuffing: While keywords are essential for good SEO, there are cases where you can have too much of a good thing. If you stuff a page with the same keywords over and over again – in the HTML, in the copy or even the comments section – spiders will notice and so will your readers. Don’t go overboard or you risk getting penalized and boring your readers to death.
– Duplicate Content: If you have the same, exact copy across multiple pages, you’re risking PageRank. Google penalizes sites that copy content among all their pages, so make strive for unique content. This doesn’t mean you have to redo each page entirely – tweaking it slightly may be sufficient.
– Irrelevant Keywords: Targeting the wrong keywords is a sure-fire way to stunt your site’s growth. Make sure you’re using relevant keywords with a low amount of competition to boost your PageRank. Avoid using high-traffic keywords that hold no value for your site. Sure, you might eventually rank for “Justin Bieber Memorabilia,” but what good is that for your landscaping company? None at all.
4. Deliberately tricking the system. So far, we’ve listed SEO bad practices that are usually the result of not knowing any better;with all the different SEO tactics, it’s hard to keep track. But there are some sites that try to purposely bend the rules. These sites get penalized and potentially banned. If you want to get your site indexed, avoid these deceptive SEO practices.
– Expired Domains: You might think that swooping in on a high-PageRank domain upon its expiration will wield great results. Well, think again. Google’s algorithm has stopped SEO vultures in their tracks. An expired domain’s PageRank now resets at 0, so this strategy is pointless.
– Using Competitors’ Names in Meta Tags: You’re setting yourself up for a potential lawsuit if you follow this practice. Unless you have their permission, you’ll be penalized not only by search engines, but by your competitor’s legal team as well.
– Using Small Text: Writing keywords in tiny text might go unnoticed by your readers, but you can be sure that search engines are onto this trick. The same goes for hidden text that’s the same color as your page’s background. Don’t waste your time.
5. Poor link building. The last SEO bad practice we want to cover are poor link building techniques. Link building has progressed a lot in the last couple of years, and so has the way that search engines treat it. Link farms, link directories, purchased links, reciprocal links… these are considered extinct by legitimate SEO’ers. The quality of the link and its diversification has much more of a weight then the quantity. In Google’s post-Panda era, highly templated content and links are problematic. Two vital terms to keep in mind when developing content and links are Relevance and Organic/Natural. Need some good locations for your link building? Feel free to contact our team for assistance in your campaign.
Thanks and we hope this post was helpful for you.