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SEO Mistakes To Avoid

May 22, 2008
The world of SEO can be fraught with danger if you do not have a clear idea of what you are doing. There are certain tactics to avoid as they will most likely harm your rankings rather than improve them. Here is a short list of SEO methods and mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.

Many sites use a splash page as an entry point to a website, this is predominantly a page that has a beautiful picture and graphics but only has the text 'enter here'. This is an SEO disaster, while the image may be aesthetically pleasing; it holds no currency with search engines. Most search engine spiders are looking for text, when they reach your splash page and find only two words, unsurprisingly they are not impressed. Your homepage is the most important page in your site and as such should be the most visible to search engines.

Some developers are keen to include text and pictures as images on web pages. Once again this is a mistake that should be avoided. While it may produce a stunning visual effect, it will be invisible to search engine spiders, creating no benefits for SEO. It is text in the proper sense that is a worthy inclusion, while creating a page that fuses text and pictures together may be visually appealing, it will not improve your rankings, subsequently your SEO efforts will be wasted.

The importance of tags has been debated furiously recently, while some SEO specialists may argue that they are not important, this is certainly not the case. Search engines still place great importance upon the tags as a way to categorise and list the content on a web page. If you leave a tag out completely or only put in mediocre information, you are missing out on a prime SEO opportunity, as a result, you should always put effort into the writing of your tags. The same can be said for the description tag as this once again give relevance to a web page and makes it more 'readable' for search engines.

While you may recognise the importance of tags in your SEO efforts, some may in fact be making a great SEO mistake in writing them. There are still a number of operators and developers out there that will write the same tags and descriptions for all of their pages. Creating unique tags is a golden SEO rule that will improve your rankings. Some developers even like to put their own branding into their tags. Naturally it is understandable that company directors will want their company name as the first tag, this is a common mistake. More important is to place a highly searched key term as your first tag to ensure your site's visibility is secured.

The best way to improve your rankings is to produce quality and informative content on your web site. There are many who neglect this when undergoing SEO focussing on the off page elements instead. By creating quality, unique content you are ensuring that your site is worth reading, for both human users and search engine spiders. If you can become an authority in terms of the information on your site, high rankings will follow in time.

One of the worst mistakes is to attempt to hoodwink the search engines, this is often referred to as 'black hat' SEO. Methods such as creating hidden text, also known as 'cloaking' should definitely be avoided as these methods will harm your rankings in the long term. They may even lead to your site being kicked out of the search engine listings, leaving you with no traffic at all.

While these mistakes are common in the world of SEO, this article has only scratched the surface of what can be a minefield. This is the reason why SEO specialists should be employed to carry out your optimisation as uneducated attempts may result in worse rankings than before, and even de-listing from search engines.
About the Author
Internet marketing expert Thomas Pretty looks into common SEO mistakes made by amateurs.
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