It’ inevitable… you hire a design firm to build you a great website and you expect the site to perform well. The only problem is, your web designer omitted some meta tags, used too many images, or added some bogus HTML coding to your website.
Let’s go through a few of the more common SEO blunders that designers & newbie SEO’s are responsible for:
- Displaying text as images – Ok, so you thought it would look good to add shadow & flair to each of your page’s headlines or category names. What you didn’t think of is how that might affect the site’s SEO strategies… If you’re converting good keyword phrases and primary page compenents into graphics, then you’re losing the keyword value.
- Not having enough text/content – Designers like to keep a site clean and pretty a lot of times… this often comes at the expense of content/text. Unfortunately, it’s the text/content that get the search engine rankings, not the clean and pretty”. Make sure each page of your site has sufficient content on it.
- Using the same Titles & Meta tags on every page – Ok, so everyone’s probably done this at least once… you’re lazy, you build a site template w/ a standard Title, Meta description and meta keywords and then you build out the rest of the site w/ the same information. This is a sure fire way to make sure your pages land in Google’s Supplemental Index (let’s just say it’s not the main Google results you’re use to seeing). Good SEO’s know that a unique Titles & Meta tags on each page are crucial to achieving success on a search engine optimization program. Just as bad as using the same information on each page is omitting Meta tags altogether and/or having broken tags on your pages… clean it up folks.
- Branding the company name in the Title tag – This goes along the same lines as the last one… If your site is built right and you have an “About Us” page, you’re going to show up well for your company name almost by default (unless it’s a popular phrase). Put your keywords in the Title, not your company’s name.
- Linking words like “Click here” and “Browse Products” – Your site is your best friend when it comes to search engines… make sure you feed it better keywords than “click here”, etc. Use keywords in your links and build consistant navigation for your users (and the search engine spiders).
- Use keywords in your filenames – This isn’t super critical to acquiring high search engine rankings, but it’s a factor nonetheless. Make sure you use keywords in your filenames and your site directory structure if possible. Avoid using more than one hyphen or underscore in the filename, however, as this could be easily detected as “spammy”.
- Customize product descriptions – Store owners and designers are both at fault here… they get a data feed from a product provider and they just publish that info on their site. The problem is, 1,000 other people w/ the same data feed did the exact same thing (it’s called duplicate content). How are you going to get rankings if you’re competing against all those people? You can’t! Customize your content and product descriptions or you’ll go nowhere.
- Comment spam – Ok, so this should be common knowledge by now, but we still see sites every day that have stuffed keywords into comment tags…. shame on you.
- Any others blunders you’ve seen??? Comment and let us know.
Some of these items were taken from SEO-News.com’s “Seven Often-Missed SEO Opportunities“, by Donald Nelson.