Having been in business of optimizing web sites for high search engine rankings for over five years now, I have come across a number of "optimized" sites that use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that are just plain WRONG. Most of these sites were optimized by persons just starting out; SEO beginners not yet familiar enough with industry to determine SEO fact from SEO fiction. But whatís scary is that some of sites Iíve seen using incorrect methods have been optimised by so called search engine optimization "experts" who really should know better.
Some common themes develop amongst incorrectly optimized sites. Could YOU be making same errors with your site? To find out, letís look at five most common search engine optimization mistakes:
1) Non Utilization of Title Tag
How many times have you looked at a web site where browser title reads "Welcome to [company name]ís web site" or simply "[Company Name]"? Nothing wrong with that, I hear you say? Well if you want to achieve high search engine rankings, thereís PLENTY wrong with it.
You see, while it may not be common knowledge amongst web designers, most search engines index content of title tags and consider it to be one of most important factors in their relevancy algorithm. What you place in your title can make or break your ranking for particular search terms on various engines. If you donít include your most important search phrases within your title tag, you are overlooking a vital opportunity in your quest for higher search rankings.
Having said this, you should try and keep your title tag to a maximum of 200 characters, as that is average limit most search engines will truncate to. If you really insist on including your company name in your title and youíre willing to sacrifice good keyword real estate to do so, put it at very end of tag, because search engines give more relevancy "weight" to content at start of your tag.
2) Use of Untargeted Keywords and Phrases
Another common mistake made by webmasters and SEO learners is their choice of keywords placed in META keyword tag. Sure it might seem logical to target word "printers" if you run a printer repair business in Ohio, but think about it - even if you succeeded in ranking well for such a competitive term (you wonít), how many of people visiting your site as a result of this search would leave as soon as they saw your home page? Thatís right, most of them. All people who wanted to buy printers, all people looking for businesses outside Ohio, all people not looking specifically for printer repairers.
Does it become clear now that targeting such a generic word is a waste of time? What you need to do instead is optimise your site for search terms and phrases that are highly targeted to your precise business. Use a tool such as Wordtracker.com (keyword location software) to find what people are actually typing in to search engines to find goods and services similar to yours and concentrate on ranking well for those terms. The more qualified your site visitors are, more likely you are to convert those visitors into paying customers.
3) A Lack of Optimized Body Text
This one is very common. How often do you visit a home page that is made up entirely of graphics? You know ones - they consist of an enormous Flash file or maybe a large logo or a montage of images, but thing they have in common is a distinct lack of text. Think they look professional? Think again. No matter what you read or hear, if a site has no text on home page, it hasnít been correctly optimized and has little chance of ranking well in search engines. Now thatís unprofessional in my opinion.
Beginner SEOís often make mistake of creating an optimized title tag and META tags and believing their work is done. WRONG. If you want a web site to rank well in search engines, you need to give them what they want to see - visible content that is optimized just as well as invisible content. That means adding keyword-filled body text to any page you want ranking high. Why? Because most search engines canít index images. Some engines donít even index META tags anymore. So a site with no visible content becomes effectively invisible to a search engine and has almost no chance of appearing in rankings for logical searches.