(Search Engine Optimization) is a specialty. There are firms dedicated to doing that and that alone. Really good SEO can be expensive but before you hire someone, a firm or attempt to go at it yourself, there are some basic things you should know.
The list of all the things you should consider when working on your SEO is very long and will be covered in another post. Here, we will get you started by telling you what to avoid at all costs.
₪ Waiting Too Long – SEO should begin at the birth of your website. It should be included in the creation process.
₪ Targeting Competitive Keywords – Some markets can be very competitive and have so many companies fighting for top spot that, in all honesty, it can be just about impossible to attain top rank for certain keywords. One such market that comes to mind is real estate. Targeting keywords such as houses, condos, real estate can almost be a waste of your time. We’re not saying not to incorporate those in your SEO but you have to think outside the box and work harder at gaining top rank for other keywords that are less competitive.
₪ Ignoring Long tail Keywords – As mentioned above, spending time and money on popular competitive keywords where you may not get favorable results, may not be the best way to go about it. Researching which long tail keywords fit your business and have a fair amount of results may bring you more actual traffic and sales. Concentrating on a few that can bring you 250 hits a month will be better than targeting keywords that bring in 2000 hits that you won’t end up getting at all because you most likely won’t be able to rank at the top for those.
₪ Writing Poor Content – Many SEO gurus and even Google will blatantly tell you that content matters. And does it ever! But spewing out massive amounts of content of poor quality is the wrong way to go. Google and most other search engines can recognize copied content as well as poor quality content and will penalize you for it. Good content should be original, informative and give the user a good experience. It is better to have a little less content of great quality, it’ll serve you much better.
₪ Publishing Poor Articles – To some of my clients, especially those in very competitive fields, I often recommend they write and publish articles and post them on relevant resource sites. However, those articles have to really offer the reader a great value, great information etc. They also need to be published in article or resource sites that have a good reputation with search engines. Many content farms have recently been significantly penalized and dropped in ranking because of the huge amount of poor quality articles they offered the user.
₪ Pushy or Spammy Blog Comments – Commenting on blogs, facebook and the like can be a great way to open up communication with a multitude of potential customers. But commenting for the sake of commenting without offering value or even information that is pertinent to the original post will most surely backfire on you, sooner or later. The credibility of the site or person posting where you add your comment will have an impact on you as well.
₪ Reciprocal Links – Many years ago, trading links with other sites was a very popular way to up your SEO. But like many such practices, it was abused and can now negatively impact your site more than it can help. It is still good practice to link to other good resources, related services or companies or to suggest other businesses you feel your users may also like but being selective and limiting the amount of links is a good idea.
₪ Bad Link Neighborhoods – This one is related to the previous and the same advice applies to sites linking to you; make sure they are respected sites and don’t participate in link farm systems. Having many sites link to your site is always good but not if the sites have a bad reputation, poor content or are a bit risky (adult content sites for example). Choose the sites that link back to you carefully.
₪ Not Optimizing your Website – One of the most overlooked part of SEO is image optimization, alt tags and keyword tags. Unnecessarily large (heavy) images will slow down your site’s load time and Google for one, will penalize you in ranking for it. Alt tags attached to every single image on your site need to be intelligently chosen and same goes for keyword tags for posts and pages.
₪ Thinking that SEO Produces Instant Results – The actual effect of your SEO work takes time, and that’s a fact! Even SEO experts will tell you it can take weeks or even months to really see the full effect of an SEO campaign. SEO is not a one time thing either, it’s a constant work in progress and never really ends. If your business is important to you and you invest time and effort into it each day, it makes perfect sense that you should also put time and effort into it’s online presence. After all, a lot of business today is generated from the web.