SEO Mistakes

The team at Interwebshop have seen and heard it all over the years. Many of our successes came from trial and error, but those experiences have now become our collective knowledge. At our weekly "pin the tail on the donkey game", we were recalling some of the errors that our customers have made with their search engine indexing programs. After releasing our frustrations, We discovered that we had quite a comprehensive list of common SEO mistakes and have chosen to share them with our site visitors.



The Interwebshop Top Ten List Of The Most Common Search Engine Optimization Mistakes

Common mistake number 1 Handling your own search engine optimization program.
So you think you can do it yourself, you searched the web and read everything you could find on search engine indexing.  No one is going to tell you every thing you need to know. Professionals spend whole careers learning how to rank high on the search engines. Do you really think that they are going to give away their hard earned intellectual property in a forum, or a $100.00 book. Be careful, there is more misinformation out there than actual good information. Search Engine Optimization is not something that you can learn in a few easy lessons. The rules change daily. Its a full time research job just to keep up. So get a professional, but beware of promises and guarantees of top ten placement. No one can guarantee a top ten placement. NO ONE!!
Common mistake number 2: You decided that you want to be indexed on the search engines after you built your website .
Websites need to be designed from the very beginning for search engine indexing. There are site design and hosting rules that need to be followed when designing a site, many contrary to the way you want your sites layout and design to be. I've taken on clients where I not only had to totally redesign the website, but had to move it to a new hosting service just so it could be spidered.
Common mistake number 3: You want to be found on the search engines for a single search term, like doctor or health.
The websites that return for these search terms are either very very old, or they paid the search engine for the placement. (and yes, if you went to a search engine and paid them 20 million dollars, they would take your money and make you number one, see number 4)
These search terms are to vague and wouldn't return the results the searcher wanted. People have learned to be more specific in there search queries by using keyword phrases. Optimize your site for keyword phrases, in the case of the doctor example, try "Hartford naturopathic doctor" or "free Connecticut health care".
Common mistake number 4: Search engines provide a level playing field where those of us with no advertising and marketing budgets can compete head to head with the big companies.
This is completely false. Large companies have specialists on staff or outsource their search engine optimization. They pay huge sums of money as part of their ongoing marketing programs. They can afford all of the hardware, software and programming tricks that can be implemented to get high placement. Large companies also pay for placement, above and under the table. (see number 3).
Common mistake number 5: You plan on using a website submission service to get your site indexed.
Getting your site indexed is FREE, yes free, and you don't have to do anything for it to happen except have one link from another website going to your site. That's it. It may actually hurt your future ranking if you submit your site to search engines. Look, it takes time, search engines can move very slow, so just be patient.
Common mistake number 6: You heard that you need lots of inbound links to your website to rank high.
Maybe yes, maybe no, but I have a site that scores in the top ten for my targeted keyword phrases with only ten in bound links. Using link farms, web rings and free for all sites will hurt your ranking and get you banned. If all of a sudden you go from 10 in bound links to 1000 in a short period of time they will know that your manipulating your links. On top of this the quality of the inbound links are important. These links must be contentually (yeah, I just made up a word) relevant to your site.
Common mistake number 7: You put all your information and descriptions on your main page.
Scrolling verbose text is a big turn off for your site visitors and doesn't necessarily help your rankings. Site visitors tend to skim and scan websites for information. If they don't see what they are looking for in a matter of seconds they will leave your site. Marketing professionals know just how much information to put on your page and how to write the copy that will get your visitors attention. Let your visitor drill down through your site for details. They will if the copy is compelling enough. Here, I'll give you a tip, spiders are trained to drill down through a site. Do with this what you may.....
Common mistake number 8: You put all the important keyword text on graphics and/or  you made your site in Flash
Search engine spiders cannot read the text on a graphic. If your keywords are contained in a graphic, you've wasted your keywords. Use text for the keywords, use graphics to accentuate the page. (oops, almost gave you one). The text also needs to appear in a certain format and order, as well as too much text or to little text will affect your rankings. good, I hope your totally confused by now). As for flash, flash is a movie, there is no text for the spider in a flash site (although there are things that can be done to work around this).
Common mistake number 9: The content of the site is not focused and contradicts the theme of the site..
So you made a website called Joe's Bookstore to sell your favorite books, then later on you add a line of miracle soap. then t-shirts, and a while later you add vitamins. Now the content and theme doesn't match the original concept of your site, which was selling Joes favorite books. You've not only confused the search engines, but you've also confused your customers as it becomes harder and harder to organize the products on your site. Maintain your theme, don't try to do everything from one website.
Common mistake number 10: You've made a dynamically generated website.
Congratulations on your programming skills. This is not really a mistake, it just makes things more difficult. The search engines say they can index dynamically generated sites and they try. Regardless of what they say, a spider still needs a static page that exists at all times. The dynamically generated page doesn't exist until its called for from the database, so the spiders can't crawl it. Although a dynamically generated website has advantages when dealing with a large amount of information, You've really compromised your indexing. I know how to work around this, but I don't have to share everything I know, do I............