Your competitor has a Top 5 ranking for an important keyword phrase, but your company doesn’t crack the top 100 search results. Why? Each of the search engines uses similar, yet different algorithms comprised of changing variables that determine how a Web page ranks for keywords and phrases. There are numerous inputs into these algorithms, but some of the more important include Title tag, link popularity, inclusion of keywords in page text, and for a few, directory inclusion
The following is a list of 7 of the most common search engine optimization mistakes that companies make.
1. Not using keywords effectively:
This is one of the most critical areas of site design. Choose the right keywords and potential customers will find your site. Use the wrong ones and your site will little, if any, traffic.
2. Repeating the same keyword:
When you use the same keywords over and over again (called keyword stacking) the search engines many downgrade (or skip) the page or site.
3. Lack of META Tags:
Not including any META tags won’t really hurt you too much on search engines such as Google, but will reduce your ranking on many other engines. As mentioned above, inclusion of the description tag is fairly important- while the keyword is of little importance.
4. No title tags
There is more to the title tag than naming a page. We can use “title=” in our images and link markup. This adds a layer that search engines can crawl. The more text you can feed the spiders the happier they are. I actually started ranking #1 for some image queries after adding this tag.
5. Lack of ALT tags
The ALT tag is used to describe the contents of an image on your Web page – and is what you see if the graphics are switched off in the browser or the image doesn’t load/or loads slowly. Search engine crawlers read the tag as text and so when used correctly with appropriate keywords (related to the image of course), this tag could improve your ranking a few places or pages.
6. Lack of text links on home page:
Make sure you include a number of text links (that takes visitors to various pages within your site) on your home page. Why? Most of the search engines will crawl on your home page first, and then look for text links further into the site.
7. Thinking search engine optimization is too difficult and complex
In reality, the basics of search engine optimization are relatively simple and easy to learn. Unfortunately, many Web designers simply feel intimidated and overwhelmed by SEO. The sheer quantity of often-contradictory advice makes optimization seem like an insurmountable task for beginners.
The biggest SEO mistake you can make is to ignore the effects of optimization. Instead, focus your attention on learning the basics of search engine optimization, such as how to select keywords and how to write effective page titles. By taking just a few simple steps, you can dramatically improve the search ranking of your website.