7 Stupid SEO Mistakes That Can Kill Your Search CampaignsKelly Cutler
April 12, 2011 — 1,728 views
7 Stupid SEO Mistakes That Can Kill Your Search Campaigns, ComScore's "State of the Internet" report confirmed that there were over 212 million Americans using the Internet to seek out informational content. You are doing your organization and your bottom line a huge disservice if consumers cannot find your brand online. The science of search marketing is not simple. However, there are several simple SEO mistakes that should never happen, no matter what your level of expertise. Below are 7 SEO mistakes that can kill your search campaigns, and your brand's reputation.
1. Title Tag Tragedies - One of the worst things you can do for onsite SEO is to ignore your title tags. Take the time to show your title tags some TLC. Every page on your Web site should have a unique title tag. They should be specific to the page content, engaging, and inspire people to click through or, even better, link to you. 2. Chasing After Intangible Keywords - Before you start spitting out web copy, research and become very familiar with your keyword universe (list of targeted terms you are optimizing). Don't chase after "buzz words" that have no chance of converting. You are wasting precious website real estate and misleading visitors. Some tools you can use for keyword research are Wordtracker or Google Insights for Search. However, your strongest source of data is your own analytics reports.
3. Clumsy URL Structuring - Keep your URLs comprehensive and consistent. Use all lower case when spelling our URLs and make sure to use a (-) dash not an underscore (_).
4. Internal Linking Errors - External linking is essential to SEO. However, internal linking is just as important. When optimizing for internal linking from a blog post, service page, or Contact Us form, make sure you are using active anchor text. Things like "click here" or "read more" no longer make the cut. Be creative and strong in your calls to action, and encourage people to click through your site. Internal linking absolutely effects a visitors average time on site.
5. Don't Require Visitors to Use a GPS in Order to Navigate Your Site - Flash navigations are the kiss of death for strong onsite SEO. Navigation should be text and HTML based. Also the navigation tabs should live on the top of the page.
6. Keyword Density is Cliché - It is still important to include keywords in your website copy. However, there is no magic percentage when it comes to keyword density. It was previously recommended that each page has a 3-6% keyword density; it is now recommended that you just produce great content which includes keyword terms. Most importantly, keywords should appear in the page title, description meta tag, and alt tags as well.
7. Bonus: Don't Obsess Over Google Page Rank - What you see in the toolbar is several months old, and doesn't affect rankings like it used to. Page Rank is not, even remotely, the most important factor when it comes to SEO.
Kelly Cutler is the CEO of Marcel Media, an award-winning, interactive marketing firm that specializes in search engine marketing and social media.