One of the most common questions I’m asked is how to get a web site to the top of Google or any other search engine. While there is no simple answer without spending a bunch of money, the following list should help you avoid some of the common mistakes made.
1. Using Wrong Keywords – Keywords are extremely important. You should figure out what keyword phrases mean the most to your website or offering, and to the people who are searching for your site. Try to focus on a small group of the most important keywords that customers may actually be searching for, and not every keyword combination under the sun.
2. No Smart or Solid Navigation Structure – Most optimal URL’s contain relevant keywords with minimal slashes and dynamic characters. Keep the pages and names true to the content, and the engines will appreciate it.
3. Incorrect Title Tags – Thinking that one title tag will work throughout your site won’t work. Each page should have a unique title tag to explain what the page is about. These titles show up in the Search Engine Results and help persuade visitors.
4. Splash Pages – Splash pages can sometimes leave your home page empty without much focus. If you insist on keeping a splash page, be sure to add relevant content and some form of navigation to keep search engines spidering through your site.
5. Balancing Code and Graphics – Your site should consist of a healthy balance between code (HTML) and graphics. This is key both to search engine visibility and conversions.
6. Lack of Keywords in Content – Once you focus on your keywords, modify your content and put the keywords wherever it makes sense. It is even better to make them bold or highlight them.
7. Images for Headings – Many people think that an image looks better than text for headings and menus. Yes, an image can make your site look more distinctive but in terms of SEO images for headings and menus are a big mistake because h2, h2, etc. tags and menu links are important SEO items. If you are afraid that your h1 h2, etc. tags look horrible, try modifying them in a stylesheet.
9. Not using Sitemaps – Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site. Almost all the major search engines support sitemaps.
10. Not Keeping Content Fresh – If you want to be successful, you need to permanently optimize your site, keep an eye on the competition and – changes in the ranking algorithms of search engines