By avoiding the following common SEO pitfalls you could improve your search engine rankings for higher search engine visibility.
1. Inadequate inbound links
Inbound links are one of the top two most important aspects of your SEO activity (properly optimised page titles being the other). Google measures the number of quality inbound links you have to gauge how useful your site is – if lots of people link to your site, then you must have some pretty valuable content.
Low-ranking websites nearly always have a lack of inbound links but beware; Google measures quality as well as quantity. Don’t be tempted to buy links from other websites. Concentrate on generating fresh, useful content and the links will come. An excellent way to do this is using article marketing – submitting articles to article repository sites.
2. Unnecessary splash pages
A splash page sits in front of your home page, is usually graphics heavy, animated and content light – the ‘skip intro’ button immediately tells you it’s not that important. If you have one of these on your website get rid of it immediately.
Splash pages typically appear before the true home page and so sit at the very top of your site’s hierarchy. The higher pages sit in your site structure, the more links and traffic they tend to get. By replacing your splash page with valuable, useful content you’ll not only improve your SEO potential but your site visitors will thank you too!
3. Heavy on the Flash content
The biggest problem with Flash is that search engines don’t index it properly. Using Flash to enhance your website visitors’ experience is fine but if you’re serious about improving your search engine rankings then don’t create your whole site in it.
There are some Flash SEO tricks to get around this but beware, the search engines could penalize you for cheating if you don’t do it properly.
4. Creative navigation
By using graphical navigation you’re missing an important opportunity to integrate your keywords into the very structure of your website.
5. Duplicate content
Avoid having the same or very similar content on different pages within your site or even on a different domain name altogether. It’s a hotly debated topic whether duplicate content results in your site being penalized but you run the risk of Google thinking you’re trying to cheat the system and they never look favourably on that! If your site does get penalized that usually signals the end of your domain name’s usefulness and you’ll need to start from scratch.
Whilst you’re at it, make sure each of your website’s pages has a unique page title and meta tags – too many duplicates in this area can also harm your rankings. This is because the Googlebot can’t determine which the authority page is and so you risk diluting any PageRank it awards amongst all the pages it finds.
6. Lack of focus
Your site has a better chance of ranking well if it has a tight focus either topically or geographically. If you’re trying to be the next Amazon then you’ve got a long, hard slog ahead of you and you’re unlikely to succeed in the natural search rankings any time soon. Having said that, it is possible to rank well for very specific terms but only if you tightly optimise each individual product page.
These are just six of the most common mistakes made on websites. To find out whether your website measures up then try my free website optimisation report system and see how well optimised your web pages are for conversions, natural search engine rankings and performance.