Search engine optimization is a means of better using the power of the Internet. It brings your business up higher on the listings of the key search engines. To succeed at such optimization you need to avoid several of the following common mistakes.
- Not taking the time to submit manually. Using automatic search engine submission tools or going through some service that offers to send your site to 1,000 search engines is usually a big mistake. Being listed on the major search engines (and there are about a dozen used by 90 percent of Web visitors) is very important, and you should handle it manually. If done correctly, it's worth taking the time.
- Trying too hard to incorporate keywords. Packing keywords into meta tags no longer works very well, and invisible text or cloaking pages can get you banned from search engines forever. Incorporate the keywords into your text. Search engines are now looking to optimize based on what people see and read.
- Overusing keywords. Search engines have caught on to the scheme to overuse keywords. If your company sells shoes and you include the word shoes or pumps nine times in three sentences they will catch on. Yes, you do want to use keywords a few times throughout the text, but it's a mistake to overdo it.
- Lack of creativity in keywords and phrases. If you are a small business selling toys in Boise, Idaho you will include the word "toys" as a keyword. However, that will lump you with Toys R Us and all of the other major toy stores and manufacturers who will still come up ahead of you in search results. Therefore, you need to be creative and think of words and/or phrases that might get you to come up more readily for your target customers. Perhaps "Boise Toys" since local shoppers will seek local businesses. Keep thinking and be creative.
- Overusing graphics instead of text. Most search engines are not programmed to read graphics but instead look for text. Therefore, if you are too graphics-rich, you may be bypassed by the search engines.
- Not following submission procedures. Each search engine will have their own guidelines. Although they are similar, you need to pay attention. If you submit your site but are not accepted, you can submit again.
- Tailoring pages for search engines. You can try to create different pages for different search engines, but you will usually end up wasting valuable time and resources, plus you will have too many Web pages. Also, you could get banned from a search engine.
- Neglecting your title tag. A common mistake is overlooking the importance of the title tag. More significant than the name of your business is what your business is all about. Since search engines give more credence to what is at the start of the title tags, put your prominent information at the beginning.
- Neglecting a site map. If you want to know your way around a place, you'll use a map. The same holds true for some of the most significant search engines.
Believing too-good-to-be-true offers. Anyplace that guarantees you thousands of hits, numerous customers, or anything of that nature is likely a scam. There are scammers that will put you onto adware, pop-ups, or other services that redirect traffic to places where visitors do not want to go. Avoid these places.
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