Blogging Tips Series – Search Engine Mistakes to Avoid
8 Search Engine Mistakes to Avoid
If you have a website or blog then you already know the importance of traffic. If you cannot generate targeted visitors to your site, you are unlikely to make any sales.
Usually the owner or designer of the website or blog is usually the person designated to drive traffic to the site. The chief ingredient in generating traffic is the search engine. Using search engines to generate targeted traffic is the least expensive method known.
Unfortunately, many website owners do not understand the importance of search engine visibility, which leads to traffic. They place more importance on producing a “pretty” website. Now that’s not a bad thing, but it is really secondary to search engine placement. Hopefully, the following list of common mistakes, will help you generate more targeted traffic to your site.
1. Not using keywords effectively.
This is probably one of the most critical area of site design. Choose the right keywords and potential customers will find your site. Use the wrong ones and your site will see little, if any, traffic. I sit down once a week and do a key word search I pick keywords that are popular, and some that are not. I can then base my content around these key words, which is great because I usually get some new ideas from this key word research.
2. Repeating the same keywords.
When you use the same keywords over and over again (called keyword stacking) the search engines may downgrade (or skip) the page or site. I try to use different key words for each of my posts, that are relevant to the topic and my blogging niche.
3. Using pages from other websites.
How many times have you heard or read that “this is the Internet and it’s ok” to steal icons and text from websites to use on your site. Don’t do it, its plagiarism. Its one thing to learn from others who have been there and another to outright copy their work. Most search engines can detect page duplication, and some will even prevent you from being listed on their search engines. Which ultimately is going to hurt traffic to your website or blog in the long run.
Write your own posts or articles that are relevant to your niche. If you are referencing someone else’s work make sure that you provide link backs or references to the original owners work.
4. Unrelated keywords
Many unethical website owners try to gain search engine visibility by using keywords that have nothing at all to do with their website. They place unrelated keywords in a page inside a meta tag for a page. The keyword doesn’t have anything to do with the page topic. However, since the keyword is popular, they think this will boost their visibility. The search engines see this as spam and may cause the page to be removed from the search engine listing.
Again this is where key word research comes in, I spend about 2 hours per week doing my keyword research. This may sound like a lot for such a small task but it really is worth it. I feel another blog post coming on! I will do a separate post on keyword research soon.
5. Keyword stuffing.
Somewhat like keyword stacking listed above, this means to assign multiple keywords to the description of a graphic or layer that appears on your website by using the “alt=” HTML parameter. If the search engines find that this text does not really describe the graphic or layer it will be considered spam, and your page will potentially be removed from the search engine.
6. Relying on hidden text.
You might be inclined to think that if you cannot see it, it doesn’t hurt. Wrong…. Do not try to hide your keywords or keyword phrases by making them invisible. For example, some unethical designers might set the keywords to the same colour as the background of the web page; thereby, making it invisible. This is just plain sneaky, but the search engine bots will be able to find it, and your page will be removed from the search engine listing.
Another variation of hidden text that some people try to use is to make the keywords tiny. The search engine bot will pick this up too. Seriously it really doesn’t take much to do some proper key word research. If you really want organic traffic to your website then a few hours of keyword research a week is really going to benefit you.
7. Assuming all search engines are the same.
Many people assume that each search engine plays by the same rules. This is not so. Each has their own rule base and is subject to change anytime they so desire. Make it a point to learn what each major search engine requires for high visibility. You can find a lot of helpful information by simply searching ‘good SEO for [name of search engine].
8. Forgetting to check for missing web page elements.
Make sure to check every page in your website for completeness, like missing links, graphics, etc. There are sites on the web that will do this for free. Missing web page element checker
These are just a few of the search engine methods and techniques that you should avoid. Ultimately they do more harm than good for your website or blog, and you may get banned from being listed on the search engines all together.
Invest a little time to learn the proper techniques for increasing search engine visibility and your net traffic will increase. Ahh, another blog post on that coming up!