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Top 6 SEO Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Someone recently asked me what SEO mistakes I see most often and it seemed like a good topic for a blog post.  Believe it or not, most of the mistakes are fairly basic and are easy to correct.  Search engine optimization can get complex when you start talking about large websites with dynamic search and multiple pages, however for the average website SEO is pretty straight forward.

Without further ado, I’ll jump right in.

Top 6 SEO Mistakes:

  1. Hiding important content from the search engines in an attempt to make a website “pretty,” or in other words using technology like flash to host a product catalog or using images instead of text for menus and services.
  2. Too many images and not enough content – As attractive as images are, the search engines read words and they can’t “see” or “read” words that are an image.  The important pages on your website need to contain enough content that both people and search engines can understand what the page is about and a picture isn’t worth a thousand words.
  3. Focusing on “link-building” rather than relationship building and online marketing – Links are important, but it’s part of a bigger picture and strategies around social media and content marketing need to be included in the mix.  If you build relationships, links will come.
  4. Forgetting about page titles and meta-descriptions – Page titles and meta descriptions are probably the most overlooked SEO opportunity.  People frequently under-utilize the number of characters in the title and they often include the company or brand name in every page title on the site, this is a waste of characters and has no SEO value for most businesses.  Meta descriptions are usually just plain missing.
  5. Ignoring Webmaster tools –  Google and Bing Webmaster tools both contain a wealth of information that can help you understand the health of your site under the covers.  They also have great tools and resources that can be used for keyword research and on-site optimization.
  6. Irrelevant or unrelated content – blogs that are full of interesting stories, creative recipe ideas, or humorous anecdotes that have nothing to do with the products or services that are sold on the website.

When you boil it all down, SEO is very simple:

  1. Make sure your website is well structured and easy to navigate – if people have a hard time navigating it, so will Google.
  2. Create and distribute relevant content – it doesn’t matter if your content doesn’t appeal to the whole world, it only has to provide value to your target audience.
  3. Network and build relationships – acquire “votes” for your website through genuine relationships and creativity.
  4. Execute an integrated strategy – don’t forget about the dance between search and social, your business needs both.
  5. Make sure the search engines can find your content – use the right keywords in your titles, tags and content.
  6. Use all of the tools you have at your disposal – don’t forget about Webmaster tools.

Which tip is your favorite?

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