Saturday, April 18, 2009

Avoid Some SEO Mistakes For High Ranking

When it all comes down to it, SEO isn't really that difficult. In fact, it ultimately all boils down to one thing: great content. If you intentionally write great content, paying attention to details and the words you use, you're not going to have a problem doing SEO. But here are 8 mistakes you may be making, aside from publishing poor content, that will hurt your business.

1. Don't Use Common Keywords.

It's unbelievably difficult to get high search engine rankings if you're optimizing for the same keywords everyone else is optimizing for. If nothing else, common keywords are typically already dominated by and, so find less common words to use.

2. Using Your Company Name in Every Title Tag.

Your title tag is your primary on-site optimization element, so take advantage of it by using keyword phrases for which you hope to rank on search engines.

3. Don't Use Images for Headings.

Remember that search engines don't read images, they read text. Sure, your heading looks prettier when your web designer uses images, but search engines won't see them. And headings are a great way to optimize on site. Instead of using images to create the font you want for your heading, use a font that works on the web that still provides the "look" you're going for.

4. Don't Use Dynamic URLs.

Always make sure that your URLS are legible by people, because search engines read text like humans read text. So avoid URLs that use strings of random letters and numbers. If you currently use a content management system that uses strings of numbers and letters in the URL, get another one that gives you control over your URLs. But make sure you're using keywords in your URLs as search engines rank your website based on how relevant the URL is to the content on your site.

5. Don't Use Image Buttons.

Chances are that you aren't, but if you are, start using text for your links rather than images.

6. Making SEO an Afterthought.

If you seriously consider your SEO before you design your website, your SEO will guide design, content, navigation, and all other aspects of your website. Not only that, but if you use a web designer who isn't also well-verse in SEO, you'll find yourself forking out big bucks later on to have that designer make changes to your site every time you want to publish new content optimized around your keywords. This doesn't mean that your whole business has to be centered on a few keywords, but if you you're losing out on potential customers if you don't make SEO part of your website planning from the very beginning.

7. Deciding That You're Finished.

One of the most common misconceptions about SEO is that there's some sort of stopping point. Too many business owners are quick to say that they're "done" with SEO. In fact, SEO is an ongoing process. There are always new keywords to rank for. There are always ways to improve your rankings for the keywords you're already using.

8. Don't Use Flash.

Search engines don't see Flash. There's no way to rank in search engines if you're website is built with Flash. You might as well not bother using a website at all.

Remember that SEO is an all-encompassing process. It should guide the way you design your website, and it should guide the content you publish on your website. You should continue doing SEO for as along as your company exists. Otherwise, you will fall behind in search engine rankings and watch potential customers do business with your competitors. Don't think of it as a simply one part of your internet marketing plan; think of it as the foundation of your internet marketing plan. And if all else fails, hire an SEO professional to help you out. Just make sure he doesn't recommend that you use Flash!