Top 5 Search Engine Optimization Mistakes You Don't Want to Make
Today the vast majority of businesses and companies, whether large, small or somewhere in between, are interested in driving traffic to their websites, traffic that generates sales which equals profit.
But, how can a martial arts school ensure their website will be found by the most apt customers, and especially with the continually growing number of sites making their Internet debut each and every day?
This is where the ever important matter of search engine optimization (SEO) can play an integral role in any company's marketing plan. SEO is an ideal means of making sure potential customers, clients, or contacts can locate a website of interest doing a keyword search with a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo!.
If you are not sure how to incorporate the very best SEO methods into your marketing efforts and cannot hire an expert to do the job for you, you will definitely want to learn what techniques to avoid. At the very least you should know the absolute "don'ts" in the world of search engines allowing you to keep your site in good standing with the most often used search engines.
Did you know Google and many others will down grade a website's ranking in their results if questionable and less than honest SEO techniques are used?
Fortunately, it is not that difficult to avoid these forbidden tactics along with the ensuing penalties from the search engines. Continue reading to learn the top five search engine optimization mistakes you definitely do not want to make:
1. Using Unoriginal Content
Google and other search engines simply do not tolerate using duplicate content. Search engines look for two forms of such including websites that simply plagiarize content from other sites and websites that have page after page of advertisements, most usually affiliate ads. Of course you may want some ads on your pages whether they are affiliates linking to large sites like Amazon or eBay or a few touting your own business, but see to it that you always have more original, informative content than advertisements.
See the fourth tip below for more on duplicate and plagiarized content and search engines.
2. Overstuffing Keywords
Naturally you will want to hone in on the keywords your potential customers and clients will use to search for a service or business such as yours and then include them in your website's copy. The key when it comes to using keywords is moderation. The practice of "keyword stuffing," as it is widely known, is sure to cause a penalty from the search engines as soon as it is detected, and it will be detected.
It is best to use keywords early on in the site's copy and in places like the headlines, but don't overdo it and whatever you do, do not attempt to "hide" a paragraph full of keywords at the bottom of the page.
See the final "don't" of this list for more on the covert practice of hiding links on a website.
3. Having Text Link Ads
Yet another practice taboo in the eyes of the search engines is using paid text links. Regardless if you were the one who paid for the links to other sites or allow the others to publish their own paid links to your site bringing in revenue, Google doesn't tolerate either.
Paid text links interfere with Google's algorithms used for ranking websites as they give a false or inflated number of links ranked. Because of this, the search engine will penalize any websites who either publish or pay for paid text links. Obviously, the easiest way to avoid this particular penalty is to avoid using paid links altogether.
4. Using Duplicate Content on Multiple Pages
Multiple web pages with duplicate content, meaning everything on each page is virtually the same except for a few changed words here or there, is an unacceptable practice for search engine optimization. Many are actually unaware of the down side to doing this seemingly simple act while others do it on purpose with the intent of increasing their site's results rankings.
A website full of either duplicate or plagiarized content sends up a waving red flag to the search engines and will likely result in the site's ranking being downgraded. In the case of plagiarism, Google locates the site that published the content first then "awards" rank credits to them while downgrading the latter offender.
In short, always use unique content for each and every page of your website.
5. Hiding Links
There is no way to dupe a search engine by hiding links on your martial arts website. "Hidden" keyword links are usually found at the bottom of a web page in the same color as the background making them "invisible". Yahoo! and other search engines frown upon this stealthy way of overloading a site with keywords in an attempt to increase rank and will more than likely hand out a penalty.
As is the case with many other situations, if you are in doubt it is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to keeping your website in good standing with the search engine giants. Once penalized by Google, for example, for using questionable SEO techniques, it is quite difficult to clear your name, so to speak, even if you are completely innocent.