3 July 2012
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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) mistakes you should avoid as a business owner

Websites used to be something that was a commodity. Some businesses had one, while others didn’t, and that was considered OK. In our fast-paced world, however, you must have a website if you even want to be considered to be in the running for business in your area. Unfortunately, website owners try too hard to be seen online and this can create some problems for them. If too many “tactics” are used, the search engines will limit the potential for visibility on their sites. If you are a website owner, you may want to take some of the following into consideration.

 

Watch How Many Keywords You Use

Keyword searchinh Keyword stuffing, or basically the overuse of keywords, used to be the way many website owners got their sites to the top of search engines’ lists. Though it made for websites not providing much useful information, only high rankings, website owners got away with the practice. Those days are over and now search engines expect better quality content on your website. If you plan to put information on your website, you need to be sure it’s full of useful information and not just “fluff” in order for it to be seen high on the search engines’ lists. The search engines are constantly changing what they view as quality information so that website owners are no longer able to break their “code” and put up whatever makes the search engine happy. If you want to rank high, you must use real information. The use of keywords is still beneficial and it’s still acceptable. However, if those keywords are placed in ever paragraph, and in places where they don’t make sense given the rest of the information provided around them, you can guarantee you’ll have a problem getting high rankings. Even if you start out well, as soon as the search engine catches on, you’ll see your ranking suffer. The best way to provide content that search engines like is to be sure it’s relevant to the rest of the information on your site and relevant to the actual page it’s on. Also, if you add pictures or video, the search engines take note. They are aware of how often people forward videos or blog posts on to friends so they will appreciate your having that as an option on your website. Not only do you need to provide quality content, you need to do it often. A stagnant website, one that offers no new information, will not be listed highly on search engine rankings. Add pages or posts ofen to keep your website fresh.

 

Link Building- Keep it Natural

 Website owners often see advertisements offering link building services to help boost their rankings. This means that you purchase “links” back to other websites and Natural Link buildingthose links supposedly make it look like there are a lot of people linking to your site because they like the information you provide.

  • Link Requests – This is where you simply ask another website owner to link back to your website. These are really hit or miss and depend on how well you can convince the website owner that your link on their website is beneficial to both them and their visitors.
  • Link Buying – This is the big no-no, yet it is still happening. Instead of politely requesting a link from a website owner, you approach them with a deal instead. Some consider it as advertising in the form of a link instead of a banner, but Google considers it a good reason to penalize a website.
  • Directories – There are a ton of directories out there – general directories, local directories, and niche based directories. Some will allow you to create a listing for free while others will charge a fee. The latter doesn’t constitute “bad link buying” even though you are paying for the link.
  • Content Links – There are a lot of ways to build links via content, from creating articles on article marketing networks to guest blogging with a link in your author bio.
  • Social Links – I’m not just talking about links in your social profiles (although we will get to those). This refers to all of the ways getting social online (blog comments, forum posting, answering questions, and using social media) can lead to links.

Unfortunately, what is not taken into consideration, is that those links often times have no relevance to your website. Search engines know those tactics. If they links on your website that don’t have anything to do with the information you provide, they will catch on quickly and your website rankings could suffer devastating results.

 

Be Sure You Have a Marketing Plan

Local Marketing planA marketing plan is a comprehensive blueprint which outlines an organization’s overall marketing efforts. A marketing process can be realized by the marketing mix, which is outlined in step 4. The last step in the process is the marketing controlling. The marketing plan can function from two points: strategy and tactics (P. Kotler, K.L. Keller). In most organizations, “strategic planning” is an annual process, typically covering just the year ahead. Occasionally, a few organizations may look at a practical plan which stretches three or more years ahead. Website owners sometimes get so excited to start their website, that they don’t take the time to plan it out first. Whatever the website will provide- information, products, etc- it should continue to be updated and changed, as needed. You must have some sort of strategic marketing plan (or campaign), if you want to be noticed online. The means you need to keep quality content on your website and keep adding new content all the time to keep your brand, information, or products looking to be the top in their category. By continuously adding valid content, over time, you will look as if you are the “authority” in your market.

 

Odds and Ends- Other Things to Keep in Mind……

 

Social Media

 

Make sure your website has the built-in ability to forward your information via social media. Don’t be hesitant to utilize the technology that’s provided. If you aren’t affiliated with social media, you may not be found by a number of high social media utilizers. Don’t limit yourself.

 

Be Unique

When providing content for your site, make sure it’s original. If you try to use information provided elsewhere, your “voice” on the web won’t be unique. Remember, you want to set the stage as being the authority in your field.

 

Local Searches

If you own a business with a physical location, research ways to keep your website at the top of the list when searches are done in your geographical area. Often times, website owners try to focus on world-wide exposure when they miss out on opportunities to be seen locally. Don’t make this mistake.

 

Take your time when building your website. Have fun with it, but most importantly, research and plan. This way the time that you spend working on it will be time well spent.

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