This is a guest article by Deborah Dera You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.
The world of SEO, or search engine optimization, can be incredibly overwhelming – especially if you are new to blogging and web development. The truth is that many new webmasters are making serious mistakes that are hurting their site’s SEO value more than they’re helping. Here are a few to watch out for as you develop your first site.
Choosing an Unrelated URL
Not long ago I did work for a client who decided that he was going to purchase existing websites with strong rankings and then optimize them for his keywords. His goal was to keep the site’s rankings while changing the total focus. End result? He had a website URL that included the name of a hotel but was trying to optimize the content so that he could sell a home improvement product. One morning he woke up to find that Google had blacklisted his site! Your URL needs to be somewhat related to the content you are posting and, if you can, should include one of your main keywords.
Failing to do Keyword Research
You may be an expert when it comes to selling widgets but building a website based on what you think is popular is going to prove disastrous. You simply must do keyword research before you attempt to build a blog or website. Trust me when I say Google knows what people are looking for better than you do. Google will tell you exactly what keywords and keyword phrases you should be using to optimize your website. Ignoring Google’s advice will not help you to increase your Google rankings.
Ignoring Onsite SEO
Your website needs to be SEO-friendly. You need to have titles on every page included on your site, include great descriptions, and avoid keyword stuffing when you create your content. You also need to have a sitemap so that the search engine bots can easily identify what pages of your site have been updated and what pages need to be indexed. Interlink your pages, using relevant keywords, and make sure all of your graphics have alt descriptions that include keyword phrases as well. The behind-the-scenes aspects of your site may not matter to your visitors, but they matter to Google.
Building Sites in Flash
Here’s the problem with flash. Not everyone who visits your website will have the tools necessary to view it but everyone can view an HTML based site. If you simply must use flash or some other image-based system, make sure you have an HTML version of your website as well. Search engine spiders (and your visitors) will have an easier time seeing your content.
Skimpy Content Creation
The people who visit your website want to see content, not a few lines here or there written only to include keywords and phrases. Give your visitors (and Google) something to read and make sure it is unique. The better your content the more frequently they’ll visit – and Google will notice that traffic.
Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply stay away from the easiest mistakes to avoid and you’ll see your rankings improving little by little – guaranteed.