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The 11 Deadly Sins of Search Engine Optimization

It’s essential to clear up some misunderstandings and myths about search engine marketing and optimization, as there’s a lot of misinformation so far on the web. The listed underneath gives an account of some of the key issues, which either work for search engine optimization and marketing to a website or do not work.

1. Non-Search Friendly Content

I review sites such as this weekly; they have very little indexable content for search engines. Many times, search engines will bypass sites with huge amounts of graphics, flash, etc. Search engines determine relevant content by the verbiage on one page or another; a well-optimized website will have a minimum of 200 words worth of keyword-rich content.

Although experts disagree on exactly how many words are needed, the range is around 200. This paragraph is about 200 words, to give you a feel for the length. It is also important that the keywords in your content match the titles of your pages. One such website, which can carry the name “Acme Foods, Inc. Wholesale Food Products”, would be one dealing in peanut butter and being a subsidiary of GE Foods. The key phrase with a higher likelihood of being searched for is “peanut butter”.

Because of the above, conclusively, it can be said that naming the page “Peanut Butter, ACME Foods” will be a more intelligent choice, and the page content should be in with the same keyword strategy.

2. Not enough link popularity.

All attempts are made by Search Engines to select the results that are represented in the search. They do so, for example, by tracking the quantity and the quality of a website’s inbound hyperlinks. In search engine listings, a website that receives numerous inbound hyperlinks from established other sites also ranks at the heights. That is an important criterion that people who are trying to publicize their websites sometimes do not get. It is fruitless and, in some instances, even harmful to use organizations that will connect your website with thousands of other websites.

Nowadays, most search engines consider such services as link farming, or simply spam, and often penalize or ban websites that employ them from their search results. Proper, relevant link exchanges for a website can be gold mines allowing it to shoot up the rankings for search engines. A classic example is the page ranking algorithm that Google employs. If a site with a page rank of 8 links to a site with a page rank of 1, the page rank of the first site will increase to 4!

One of the most challenging and time-consuming factors to optimize for search engine ranking is link popularity. It makes much sense that the vast majority of search engines value this statistic for ranking websites.

3. Lack of Proper Keyword Research and Updates

So you own a website. What pages on your website receive the most interest? What keywords people are using when they search to find your website? Chances are you don’t know. So to continue the peanut butter analogy you have a peanut butter that has a website that sells peanuts. Sure, if you are certain that the keyword term “peanut butter” is a smart thing to be aiming at, it stands to reason that you would spend a little bit of money on sponsored search advertising.

Usually, one of two things happens, or sometimes both: either the term “peanut butter” got so popular that thirty million other websites also try to target it. Two, one can barely expect to have someone search for “peanut butter” twice in their lifetime as it is probably one of the least searched subjects on the search engines. Keyword research can help both of these problems. For argument’s sake, let’s assume decent keyword research shows that a large part of the population is looking for information on “organic peanut butter”.

By a stroke of luck, our peanut butter company manufactures a whole line of natural, organic peanut butter. We’ve identified a market niche. the perfect number of people seeking the specific products we want to offer. It is the perfect match. What’s left to be done to capitalize on our findings? Our strategy would be to optimize our websites for our target keyword, edit the title to include the term “organic peanut butter,” and remove any ineffective paid search advertising, instead focusing on our “organic peanut butter” market.

The bottom line in all this is that, like the internet, which is dynamic, and constantly changing, effective search engine marketing depends on continuous studying and updating. What works well in our online marketing strategies today may not work as well tomorrow, so we must be prepared to recognize their relative strengths and weaknesses and be willing to renew, learn, and adapt at any time.

4. Build First, Optimize Later

I have seen this mistake done over a hundred times. By that time, even expert Web developers overlook how their decisions, specifically in design, will impact Search engine optimization. Thousands of dollars invested in a gorgeously “designed” website are for naught if no one ever sees it. Bring in a search engine optimization consultant at the beginning of the design process; Even if paid search marketing is a significant factor in your website marketing strategy.

Design flaws in the site can be identified by consulting with an experienced optimization professional. It may be apparent then what the points of information flow are where people tune out or begin to become goggle-eyed with confusion; it is best to remedy these problems from the start.

5. Reliance on Paid Search Advertising Is Overly Heavy

Big Fortune 500 companies and small businesses have both been guilty of this error. Most of the companies, great or small, are simply not doing it correctly.

The argument here is that it is not a must to focus on the optimization strategies for searches, for search advertising can be bought. The first impression may make some sense: after all, why bother optimizing your website for search engines when you can just buy specific keyword phrases that people are searching for? Big budgets in online advertising have their cost, whereby usually a lot is staked to draw people to a firm’s website. It is true, however, that for incorrectly optimized websites, that cost would be halved for the same number of visitors.

Organizing as many smaller companies are finding all that is asked in the initial paragraph above to be a bit much when they go up against larger enterprises for online business. While organic search engine optimization provides a bump that dramatically increases the potential for any given website to succeed, sponsored search is without question an extremely powerful way to revolve in on a target audience. Without an existing sponsored search program in place, customers must have easy access to the website that is being promoted except where customers are trying to access information from this website.

6. Refusing to Make Converting Easy

Several weeks ago, my wife decided to buy some Australian-made baby apparel that is not available in the US. I decided to search online for the brand she is looking for because I will be her tech-savvy dad. I visit a search engine and type in the company’s name. I receive a list of which presumably possess what I desire a couple of seconds later. I click on the first website on the list. I have the website of a California-based apparel importer. After much searching, I eventually found an infant apparel link on the page devoted to children’s clothing.

There are links to lots of clothing categories, none of which have any obvious link to babies. There are several images of clothing on the baby clothing page, but not of the brand I’m trying to find. I try to see if there is a way to search specifically for clothing by brand name. There isn’t. I see if this distributor has a list of brand names somewhere on the website. Nope, it doesn’t. I see if there is a phone number I can call toll-free.

Nope, there isn’t. By now, my head is spinning with internet optimization, so to top things off, I go back to the section on kids’ clothing. I decide I want to purchase a bright green jacket, and I click on a link on a website. What happens is I get a new page that makes me fill in loads of information about myself. So, I go through, fill in all the information, and click submit. I get brought back to that bright green jacket page, and it seems I can now make my purchase.

I click the “check out” link. The page is out of reach now. I know it’s because of bad programming. I know what’s coming. “Error 404 page not found”. Have you ever, under similar circumstances, experienced this?

Well, I’m sure you’ve labored to buy something online. This is an example of a website that’s doing great with search results but hasn’t had the time to develop one friendlier. I had to pretty much go through the entire website just in my pursuit to find what I was looking for. The information followed through in a no-surprising manner. There was no online help. All in all, it was all a sham of a website. If the above-mentioned website ever did manage to create any form of sales, I would be amazed to hear about it.

During the entire online process, there were quite a few moments that made me give up easily. In technical language, it is known as abandonment. It is a very important part of the process that leads to the conversion of a website visitor into an online buyer, or the conversion process. This issue should never be taken lightly, in fact, it is the deciding factor at the peak of everything between the success and failure of a website.

A site, on the other hand, no matter how many millions of marketing are invested in it and no matter how many millions of people visit it, will not succeed if it cannot establish what its users want and will not be able to project the questions that the user will ask.

7. Images Applied To Text Links.

Web designers usually use graphics toe web designers use graphics to display a link on a website. There are several reasons why this practice was adopted. Unfortunately, the major web browsers render online pages differently, which poses a challenge for web designers. Designers could easily pair different elements visually, but trying to create cross-browser text links was a different story as fonts render on different computers or browsers inconsistently.

The disadvantage of this work-around is that the search engines cannot know if a graphic link is to a specific website or the latest download of Britney Spears in MP3 format. The search engines need to find words in boring, old-standard text to know what that link is about. Include a plain text set of links for the page located if a Web page needs to use graphics for navigation; preferably these would be located at the bottom or top of the page.


The 11 Deadly Sins of Search Engine Optimization - Digital Dose


8. Frames

Web sites developed in frames are problematic for search engines to index. Stripped websites are a technique in which one website page is displayed using multiple HTML documents. When designing sites using frames, search engines are often at a loss to know what is happening since the first HTML file that a frame points to is what will usually be indexed; un-indexed pages will never get onto a search engine’s listing or results.

Most “power users” – people who are imperious Internet users and who surf a lot, researching and buying – avoid sites with frames, especially with sites that require them to scroll to read the content in several different frames. Simply said, frames suck.

9. Splash Pages.

Pages that have a white “Enter” sign and usually with a large image or flash animation. The index page is the one that search engines view first. On these types of pages, the only readable material is usually a “skip intro” link. In addition to lacking links and indexable material, splash pages often have a “redirect” to the main website. Redirects irritate search engines; they like the real thing. If you’re not serious about being found by search engines, stay away from splash pages.

10. Submitting 10,000 Submissions To The Search Engines

Sometimes, I find it hard, not to mention, disgusting, that services like these can still be operational—or more importantly, that subscribers keep on subscribing. The fact is, a few, like around 5-6% of search engines, generate an estimated 90% of all search engine traffic; the remaining 10% emanates from users entering the URL of a particular site in their browser’s address bar directly. Don’t shoot time or money on these Mega-Search submittal services because the type of viewers these companies get you are so nominal that it is inconsequential.

11. Not defining action points well enough

Another common mistake is the chance of being pin-pointed about a website’s purpose. What are the most important functions of a website? Who is going to have the homepage’s primary audience? What, preferably should be their actions or browsing behaviors when using the website? Unless these questions are answered before the actual design of a website, the finished product will suffer from a poor user experience. The expressions “calls to action” and “action points” have been imported from the traditional world of marketing.

They refer to a desired action that is often supported by persuasive sales copy. Calls to action on the web can be in various forms, although the very concepts are still as in traditional marketing. They normally appear as links or as part of a cart. A website’s type of action point is determined by its nature. What you shouldn’t forget is that visitors will hardly understand what they are doing on your website without them.

Take an infomercial — it’s aired for thirty minutes on television, and only the commentator is mute; does he even open the cardboard box he’s holding, or the viewer can only imagine what could be in it? The commercial doesn’t offer viewers any contact information or any explainers regarding the contents. Isn’t that just pointless? Well, that’s what it is like a website without identified calls to action is nothing but a pointless activity.

3 thoughts on “The 11 Deadly Sins of Search Engine Optimization”

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