When it comes to SEO I am still learning, so this post is for me as much as it is for you. I recently read an article regarding common SEO mistakes and wanted to share them with you. The first point brought up in the article is the importance of title tags and using unique title tags for each page on your site. For those of you who use WordPress like me, there is a plug-in you can use that makes mass editing tags for posts and pages easier.
The second mistake the article brings up is using bad urls. Long urls are not clicked on as often as short ones according to the article. We recently posted an article on branding your urls but even if you don’t go to that extent you can use the Bit.ly service to shorten them. If you use WordPress when you are publishing a new post check under your title where it says “permalink”. It will show your default option if you have not changed it and the default option is really not the best one to use. Next to it you should see an option to change permalinks, go to that page and choose something that will make your permalink more attractive.
The third pointer in this article is specifically aimed at small business owners to avoid developing sites that fall in to the flash navigation trend. Apparently, besides the fact that it is annoying, it is hard for search engines to find them.
Keywords is an obvious factor for SEO that even a beginner is aware of but what this article points out is that you should not be guessing what your keywords are, you should be using tools to help you find the best ones. They suggest Wordtracker, Wordstream and SEO book. If you are not using Google Analytics, that is one huge mistake I will be the one to point out. Google Analytics is useful for a wide variety of reasons but it will also show you which keywords are working for you to get visitors to your site.
The article also points out a very helpful pointer for small business owners which is localizing your content. Read the helpful tips they have for sites you need to make sure you have profiles set up on in the article and be sure to read their other article 4 Things Small Business Owners Must do in 2011 or Die.
One of the last mistakes the article points out is one I am guilt of a LOT. They suggest using optimized anchor text when linking instead of words like “here” to insert links in to. I am guilty of the “here” link and will try to keep this one in mind for future posts but be sure to point it out me if I slip!