How to Avoid Failing In Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is of growing importance to more small business owners and entrepreneurs as time goes by. More people are learning just how effective it can be for a small business and the difference that good SEO makes in website traffic. Some business owners would prefer to attempt the SEO themselves and others consider engaging a firm that specializes in website SEO a reasonable investment. Whichever method, you choose, you can follow these tips to help avoid failing or hindering your SEO efforts.

  • Do not target a broad keyword instead be specific. Choosing keywords is a difficult process, but the more specific the term is, to what you provide or sell the better, your results will be. If you target just a single term like books, then you probably will not rank highly, but if you target a term like "books about cats" "soft cover books online" "classic children's bookstore" or anything that applies to your product, then your site stands a much better chance at ranking well. In addition, you will receive more targeted visitors who are interested in what you have to offer.
  • Do not let your domain addresses display duplicate content. This is more difficult to explain but to a search engine, the address yourdomain.com and www.yourdomain.com are two different addresses. If both addresses resolve at one page, the search engine declares it duplicate content. Compose a landing page for each, and ensure that each differs.
  • Do not delay your SEO efforts. Ideally, search engine optimization takes place at the site development stage onward. Waiting too long can hinder your efforts.
  • Avoid spam emails for SEO services. If they resort to spam mail (unsolicited emails) then their SEO efforts may be just as suspect and ineffective. Buying quality links is penalized and in fact is impossible and submitting to multiple search engines (many with nothing to do with your site) is often useless.
  • Do not pick a company to implement your SEO blindly. SEO experts can help or hinder a company in gaining traffic and rankings. Choose a company to do this for you carefully based on reputation, knowledge and communication.
  • SEO tactics have long-term consequences, good or bad, and remaining in ignorance of the tactics a company will be using to promote your site can be a fatal error. A company that uses spam or black hat (underhanded) tactics can get your site banned or penalized in the search engines. You must know what they will be doing and understand the potential consequences of certain tactics.
  • Do not bother with hand submitting your urls to search engines. The internet is a web and interlinked, and though hand submission of urls to search engines worked well a few years ago, now links are the way to SEO rankings. Once you are linked with a site that has been indexed, you will be indexed.
  • Do not make it hard for the spiders to crawl your site. That means unfriendly urls, strange navigation, do not follow links to site pages, or incorrect robot. Txt files. Make your site simple for the spiders as well as for the user to navigate.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing. For example, back to the bookstore, this not only applies to using the word "book" 97 times in a page containing 500 words, but also using the target term in all of the tags and links. Related words are becoming very popular. Using the term books is important but when speaking about books you may also use other terms.
  • Avoid duplicate content in Meta tags as well as in page content because search engines will penalize for it. The same page description and the exact same keywords in every page on a site may cause the SEO efforts to fail or at least not live up to expectations because search engines will see it as duplicate content.
  • Avoid the old style black hat techniques such as spamming keywords in invisible text (black text on a black page or white text on a white background. The search engines will see it and they will label it as spam.
  • Do not optimize your site only for search engines. What is good for the surfer or visitor is also good for the search engine and you need to make navigation simple for both, deliver unique content to both and not just focus on the search engine.
  • Avoid daily checks on website rankings. The time spent checking page rankings and SERPS could better be utilized in improving the sites. Limit your time spent on checking page ranks and focus instead on improving links and usability.
  • Avoid Google page rank obsession as well. Page rankings such as the Google tool which shows a site's page rank is information that is months old and actually doesn't affect a site's performance as much these days as it once did.
  • Do not settle for just any inbound link. Link trades are the beginning of good SEO but should not be any site and indeed should not dominate the inbound link profile. Link trades are just the beginning of good SEO for a website not the sole tool.
  • Do not make your inbound link anchor text unnatural. When you request anchor text in a link trade it should look natural because that is something that search engines are emphasizing. In other words, 100 inbound links that all say "the best bookstore on the web" may not help your SEO efforts as much as 100 inbound links that each says something a little different.
  • Avoid spamming your link in forums, blog comments and guest books. Some incoming links from these sources might be natural but too many is considered spamming.
  • Avoid keyword density obsession. Keyword density is important however if a keyword is used in a natural fashion within text and that appears in Meta tags and keywords, and page description as well as the page title, it will usually do well.

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