Just a few years ago, the big online buzz was SEO. The importance of SEO hasn’t gone away; it’s just that along with SEO, there are also other things to talk about. One of the most important issues is that of online business reputation management.
The reality is, just about everything you do online can have an impact on your reputation. Improper SEO strategies are included in the list of things that can damage your reputation.
Not to worry; this article will cover some of the common and not-so-common SEO no-nos made that can have a damaging affect on a business reputation, as well as some SEO mistakes that are simply a waste of time and effort.
There are lots of ways you can go wrong with SEO. Planning your strategy is the key to starting out right. This includes taking the time investigate your competitors and do thorough keyword research.
You should also analyze your website statistics. This baseline data will give you something to compare to as time goes on. Keep in mind that SEO strategies can take time to be effective – don’t expect overnight results.
Don’t start SEO until you have a real strategy.
Don’t forget to get baseline data.
Don’t expect immediate results.
Many online marketers mistakenly believe that if adding the keyword once or twice to an article is a good thing, then adding it multiple times will be that much better. Unfortunately the search engines don’t always agree with that way of thinking.
The best rule of thumb is to simply write content in a way that is easy for the reader to read and enjoy. In most cases, if the content pleases the reader it will also please the search engines.
Don’t overuse keywords.
It’s easy to make mistakes with titles. For instance, without realizing it, you can simply end up with the same post title on multiple pages at your site. This results in the pages competing against each other – each of them are trying to rank for the same title keywords.
You should also know that page titles over 65 characters in length are too long. Google doesn’t read anything over that length.
Never use the same title more than once.
Don’t make page titles over 65 characters (including spaces) in length.
Let’s Talk About Linking
Links should be built in a natural fashion; Google and other search engines do not expect to see the sudden appearance of hundreds of new links overnight.
Internal links are very worthwhile in an SEO strategy. The best part about these links is the fact that you have complete control over the process. Choose the keywords in the target pages as the anchor text. Keep in mind that you only need one link from a page to another one.
Decide how you will write your site links. For example, you will need to decide if you will use www.mywebsiteisgreat.com, or mywebsiteisgreat.com. Google sees these as different pages.
Don’t use black hat techniques to build links.
Don’t overlook the value of internal links.
Don’t include more than one method of writing your site links.
Are You Hiding Something?
Sometimes marketers try to hide things from readers or even from search engines. This can be links, redirects, or even keywords. Whatever it is, if you are trying to hide it, it shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Don’t try to hide things – search engines and readers should see the same things.
SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be simplified by creating content that is geared toward the reader. Awesome online content is content that is interesting to look and that’s easy to read. Of course, the quality of the content is very important.
Original and unique content is highly valued by viewers and search engines alike. Excessive use of keywords is never okay. A page containing nothing but an image is not a good idea either.
Your website should be focused on site visitors. That is, it should be easy to navigate. Visitors should be able to find whatever it is they are looking for. Beyond that, the content should be designed in an easy-to-read platform that looks nice.
If you have other tips about ways to ensure you will avoid SEO no-nos, please share them here.
Debbie Allen is a blogger, online marketer, and freelance writer. Besides writing about SEO strategies, Debbie also writes about online reputation management and other small business topics.