8 Common SEO Mistakes That Will Harm Your Search Engine Rankings
It’s important to know that these days your customers aren’t just surfing the web anymore…they’re searching the web.
Search engines enable your customers to search for your business’s products or services online by typing in keywords and relying on the search engines to find the best/relevant matches. So as a business owner, you definitely want your website to be easily found by your potential customers. But what if your site isn’t even being indexed?
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8. Hosting Issues – Your server might be too slow!
Some experts have estimated that there are as many as 4 billion live sites out there, so search engines don’t have that much time to spend trying to index all of them. So if your website’s host server has a small Internet connection, the search engines will often time out – so your site might not get indexed at all. To avoid this, limit the size of your home page to less than 60kb or you can simply switch hosting companies to someone who is more reliable.
7. Hosting Issues – You could be using a free Web space provider
If you host your business’ website with a free hosting provider, you might want to change this. Some search engines will only list a certain number of pages from a single domain, so if you’re sharing that domain with thousands of other people, there is no guarantee that your site will get indexed. And, there are even some search engines that will disregard free-hosted pages altogether because of the number of spam sites they receive from these domains. Also, as a business owner, your business’ URL should instil confidence and trust in your potential customers. Make sure it’s easy to type and remember – and, typically, free domains are not. For instance, www.genericsites_forbusiness.com/canada/yourbookstore/home.html does not look professional, regardless of whether it’s been indexed by the search engines or not. It’s worth paying for hosting to get a URL that positively reflects your business and is seen by search engines. Coming soon: The next 2 common mistakes that will result in low search engine rankings.
6. You might have special characters in your URL
Choose your URL carefully, especially for your business’ website! If your URL has special characters in it like: &, $, =, or %, many search engines will have difficulty indexing your pages. In fact, in some cases, many search engines will ignore pages with these characters altogether. So basically, it’s best to avoid including these characters in your URL altogether just to be on the safe side. If the search engines skip your URL completely, they’ll never get the chance to index the relevant and keyword-rich content of your site!
5. Ineffective Optimizing – You could have text hidden in the background
Some people have tried to trick search engines by hiding keyword-rich text on a page by making the font colour and background colour the same. This way, the site’s visitors wouldn’t be able to view the text, but theoretically, search engine spiders would still recognize the keywords resulting in a high page ranking. However, most search engines have learned to catch this trick and they will penalize your site for trying to spam the search engine. So to ensure that your site isn’t blacklisted or penalized with low index rankings, the solution is simple: don’t try to trick/cheat the search engines! Ensure your business’ website is keyword rich, but do it the right way! Nobody likes to be cheated and neither do search engines! Next week we’ll cover two more ineffective optimizing mistakes people make on their websites…
4. Ineffective Optimizing – Overused Keywords
Overusing keywords on your website can be just as bad as not using any keywords at all! In an effort to avoid being spammed, many search engines take measures to carefully filter out sites that overuse the same keywords or phrases repeatedly, either in their Meta tags or in the body of the text. However, there’s no magic number differentiating between what is considered to be ‘keyword rich’ and what is considered ‘keyword spam.’ Generally, a safe way to judge is to simply read your text aloud and determine if the copy sounds fake or natural. If the keywords sound forced into your copy, then it’s a good idea to edit some out. Make your text sound human!
3. Ineffective Optimizing – Using the Wrong Keywords
At times the problem with your keywords isn’t how often you’ve used them; it’s specifically which keywords you’re using in your Meta tags and in your body. In order to optimize your site, be sure to include keywords that your customers are likely to use on a daily basis. When choosing your keywords, don’t necessarily choose the words that you would use to describe your company – focus on your potential customers and what they would likely type in to find your website. Example: John’s Book Shop. Instead of using John’s Book Shop as a keyword, use an online book shop etc. Come back next week for the next two common mistakes made on websites with low search rankings.
2. Poor Link Popularity
Ultimately, you want your site to be popular. And one of the main factors that search engines use to determine the quality of a website is its link popularity. In other words, how many sites link back to your website? If many other credible sites link back to your website, it boosts your site’s credibility and testifies to the quality of your site, thereby boosting your rankings in search engine listings. However, including unrelated links on your site and to your site won’t necessarily help boost your ranking. Your links must be related to your business and the content on your site! For example, if you run a flower shop, a link to a gardening centre would be acceptable, but a link to a dry cleaner would not. Luckily there are reciprocal linking programs to get your website involved in, which will improve your link popularity. But always ensure that you’re trading links with websites that are appropriate!
1. Content Problems – Using frames can hinder search engines from seeing the text on your site
Using frames in your website design can hurt your search engine rankings because many search engines have problems reading the text from within frames. If you designed your site solely with frames, the only text search engines can read is the title and the Meta tags. And, clearly, that’s not nearly enough text to guarantee that your site gets indexed. The simplest solution to this is to just avoid using frames altogether; instead, design your site using layers. However, if your site is already built with tables, it’s a good idea to add detailed descriptions of your site in the <no frames> section of the HTML code that the search engines can read. This might not guarantee that your site gets indexed, but it will help. Visit our site for more tips on how to make your business’ website visually appealing, optimized for conversion, and content-rich.
Learn more about the different Internet technologies and website platforms you can use to build your business’s online credibility.
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