Common SEO problems and misunderstandings
Increase the quality of your website by avoiding the most common SEO mistakes.
There are a few mistakes in an SEO of a website that you should avoid. These simple-to-follow guidelines are essential for the way your pages rank in search results.
Targetting the wrong keywords
You should carefully choose the keywords which you want to compete for. For example, if you are making a website for your local football team, you should not aim to be first for the "sport" keyword. The "sport" keyword is simply too general and there are already many old and well optimized websites that will always be ahead of you in the search results. You should find your own niche (keywords you rank for) and optimize your website for it.
Duplicate Meta tags
This is a common mistake among web designers. Meta tags should be unique and meaningful for each separate page. For your meta description, for example, you should use complete sentences as if you are describing your page to a friend. The page title, meta description and keywords should be different for each page. If they are the same, search engines consider them as duplicate content and rank you lower in their search result pages.
Missing Title tag
You should set a title for each one of your pages. It should be meaningful and relative to the actual content of your site. Avoid using titles longer than 60 characters. Search engines will simply ignore the symbols after the 60th character.
Website is entirely created with Flash without an HTML alternative
Although websites created with Flash can be very pretty and attractive, search engines cannot crawl them. Since they cannot index your content, you will not rank for the keywords you would like to. Therefore, you should create an HTML alternative of your Flash website and provide your visitors with the option to choose one of them. By doing this you will increase the usability of your website and improve the way search engines index it.
Missing "alt" tags in the code for your images
Unfortunately, search engines cannot scan what is shown on an image. They cannot distinguish a photo of a flower from a photo of a truck. The only way they receive information about an image is through its file name, its title and "alt" tag. Make sure you enter relevant title and alt tags for each one of the images on your website. You should give them meaningful names; avoid using image1.jpg, image2.jpg, etc. By doing this, search engines will receive the information they need for your images. In addition, they will be included in the search results when someone searches for a photo in Google for example.
Failing to create a content hierarchy
Many web designers underestimate the power of well-structured website. Search engines rank higher websites with well organized content. You should use heading tags (h1, h2, h3) to organize your text. This will improve the readability of your content and the way search engines index it.
Offering links on your website for money
Many people create websites only to optimize them and later sell links on their pages. Lately search engines and especially Google started to penalize such pages. Even Google Japan was penalized for buying links from bloggers. You should exchange links only with websites that are really related to the topic of your website. Avoid using any "spam" techniques to improve the ranking of your pages.