Search engine optimization isn’t easy, especially if you are just getting started. Even if you are a seasoned SEO pro, there is still plenty of room for error and missteps. This isn’t to say that you aren’t perfect and perpetually mistake free, but if you know common SEO mistakes, it is easier to avoid them.
There are lots of ways that people slip up when doing SEO. Using free hosted blog sites, using bad keywords and keyword stuffing are just three ways that people goof with search engine optimization, as there are many more mistakes to be made. The following three common SEO mistakes are just three more things to watch for as you do SEO.
The Wrong URL
Not wrong as in incorrect, but wrong as in just plain wrong.
You don’t need to cram keywords in your URL, but you want the URL you choose to reflect what your site is about. If an actual human user is searching Google for Yoga sites, even if your yoga site is at the top of the page, he or she won’t click on it if the site is www.quickoilchangetipsforoldforeigncars.com. Maybe that domain gets a lot of traffic, but it probably is from poor saps who want to change the oil in their 1970 Mercedes and click away from it immediately.
Again, you don’t need a keyword in your URL (even though they do help), but keep it topical. If you have a yoga site, something yoga-related in the URL could lead to more quality clicks and more folks hanging around your site and linking to it.
If you have a crazy, unrelated URL the search engine’s spiders will probably still find you. The visitors you want for your site will probably pick a competitors site, however, regardless of how high your site is in the search results.
All Flash and no HTML
Flash is kinda on its way out, so this is the time to really think twice about all that Flash on your website. While Flash can look super cool, it doesn’t look like much of anything to the search engine crawlers, meaning you are probably wasting any keywords and SEO work you may have done with text elements within the Flash. The spider can’t read flash content.
The spiders aren’t the only ones that can’t read your content; many of your users can’t either. If someone doesn’t have Flash on their system or is accessing your page from one of many mobile devices, it just doesn’t work. HTML works, however, so Flash pages should have an HTML version.
You might want to consider ditching Flash altogether however. HTML 5 may be much more useful, and will allow you to have only one version of your site.
Letting the Ball Drop
This is more of problem for seasoned professionals and not struggling newbies. One important part of SEO is consistency and maintenance. A lot of your hard work will go right out the window if you do a little SEO work and then let it go as you move on to something else.
Your site needs to be permanently optimized, and unfortunately the best way to do that is to stay focused on your site. If your competition changes up their keywords or if the search engines alter your algorithms, it is time for you to do a bit of updating.
Remember that new content helps search engine rankings. Having a blog associated with your site (if your site isn’t already a blog, that is) can be helpful for this, as a short post a day, every few days or even every few weeks can keep your site toward the top of search rankings.
Slacking off with your site can hurt your SEO efforts a lot. It is possibly more damaging than most of the other common mistakes you could make.