Avoid These Common SEO Mistakes

Running a successful SEO campaign can be a daunting task, or at least it can seem that way.

The problem is that you can’t see immediate results for your efforts. On top of that, if you are making several changes at once, you may not know which methods are working and which ones are less effective.

However, if you are able to avoid some of the more common SEO mistakes, you will increase your odds of success.

1. Don’t spam. It’s easy to automate your back link building and to add generic comments to blogs and other sites that allow the free sharing of links. However, the higher quality your links, the higher you will rank in the search engines.

2. Target the right keywords. you can think of keywords as coming in two major varieties: the ones that do a good job of describing your site, and those that people are actually searching for.

While making lists of keywords for an SEO campaign, our natural inclination is to use the former. However, because you are trying to rank higher for a reason (to get people to see your site) you need to target the phrases people are searching for.

You can use various keyword tools to get an estimate of search counts. Getting this simple step wrong can jeopardize an otherwise great campaign.

3. Maintain. No matter what any so-called expert or sales page may tell you, there is no such thing as “set and forget” SEO. Search engine optimization is an ongoing process. And, don’t forget, as you climb higher in the rankings, the more of a target you become for those aiming for the top spot.

4. Do not use JavaScript menus. Search engine crawlers are not able to read JavaScript, so you will be losing any potential benefits of cross linking pages. If you must use JavaScript menus, make a site map to get the full benefit back.

5. Remember related keywords. Using your main keywords isn’t enough. You also need to use words that are related to your targeted keywords. Why? Because search engines understand why people use their services. They are looking for relevance. By using related keywords you help the search engine know what your site is about.

6. Forget Flash. The problem with a Flash-only website is that there is nothing for the search engines to see. If you would still like to use Flash, be sure to include an HTML version of your site so the crawlers can get the necessary data from your site.

7. Images are not enough. Some people like to use graphic text for their headlines, or in other places. This may be aesthetically pleasing, but it’s as good as being blank to the search engines.

One way around this is to use ALT-text (think of it as an unseen label for text that crawlers can see) that contains the same words as your headline.

Bonus tip: use keyword rich ALT-text for all of the images on your website.

Being aware of these few things will help to keep you from being unintentionally penalized for your SEO efforts by the search engines.

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