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How To Avoid Common Search Engine Optimization Mistakes

Unless you're a very strange person, you put your website up for the world to see.

You want visitors for fun and profit! Why aren’t you getting them? There are lots of answers.

The lack of an audience is not one of them.

Do you like ray guns? Dinosaur jokes? If the Web has demonstrated one thing, it’s that there’s pretty much no topic that doesn’t have its share of devotees.

Let's talk about the mistakes to avoid, step by step.

Steps Optimize your coding if your site uses outdated HTML or generally wacky code.

Examples include using the bold tag instead of the strong tag, visible HTML tabling, frames and anything else that makes the site look bad, you won't get as many visitors.

Comply with the most recent universal HTML standards.

Use your titles.

Search engines display your titles as links back to your site.

If the title says “Index,” that doesn’t tell anyone a thing.

Why should they click through? Search engines also give titles a great deal of weight when judging keyword relevance.

Don’t stuff your titles with keywords but don’t avoid using them, either.

Use social media to promote your site.

If your site doesn’t have any social media tools or connections, it’s automatically at a disadvantage.

Get a blog, at least.

Add buttons that let your visitors report interesting content to social aggregators like Technorati and Digg.

Include interesting, well-written content.

You can have the most technically search-optimized site in the world, but if real people don’t want to read any of it, it will never improve by much.

Search engines want sites that people want to visit.

Ethical SEO is as much about increasing this “organic” appeal as good coding.

You would think this step would be obvious, but unfortunately, the casual nature of web browsing (You can do it in your underwear!) lulls people into being a bit careless when they put content up.

Hire someone if you don't have skills.

If you're considering hiring an full-blown SEO firm, see how their other clients rank and have responded to the company's services.

Tips As far as coding goes, half the problem comes from search bots failing to properly index your site, since they’re guided by your coding.

The other half comes from the fact that bad coding makes your site ugly and slow to load, so people won’t want to stick around.

Page performance matters as much as getting a Googlebot to show up.

Warnings Don't ever use "Black Hat" SEO.

Invisible links and keywords! Keyword stuffing! Auto-generated doorway pages! They all suck; Google likes to kick offenders several hundred positions back, if not ban them entirely.

Nowadays, major search engines have very smart bots, capable of identifying human-generated content and appropriate keyword density.

Don’t annoy them.

Don't copy your content.

Search engines prefer original content.

If bots see virtually identical blocks of text they credit whatever page they think was the original and downgrade the rest.

The black hat technique known as “scraping” steals other site’s content, but it never works like the original.

You don’t have to be a scraper to make this mistake though.

If you bought most of your content from a prefab source or through an affiliate scheme you’ll suffer the same problems.

This isn’t just for text, either.

Copied design elements aren’t rated as highly either.

Avoid all-Flash content.

Bots can’t read Flash.

Maybe they’ll be able to some day, but for now Flash is programming code (as opposed to simple markup) that doesn’t display its content (what you see) in any bot-readable fashion.

For SEO purposes, using Flash on a page is like tossing it in the trash.

Include bot-readable page elements, even if they don't draw a visitor's attention — but don't use hidden text either.

Related wikiHows How to Get the Best Results with Internet Search Engines How to Use Google Advanced Search How to Add a Custom Search Engine to Firefox's Search Bar (Windows Version) Sources and Citations http://www.

Gill-media.

Com/InternetMarketingBlog/7-reasons-why-nobodys-visiting-your-site/ — original source, adapted with permission.

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