Monday, 3 June 2013

Your Website and SEO - What To Avoid?

The most frequently asked questions we get from our clients are what to avoid, to add and to hold back? Everything from designing the website, to the coding to the actual content needs to be done right - or it will hurt your SEO progress. The right question to ask would be "What can hurt the SEO of my website?"

Here are a few things you can avoid:

  • Poor Choice of Keywords:
Keywords are one of the most important aspects of SEO, and choosing them shouldn't be a hard task. Google has even made it easy for us with tools like Google Trends and AdWords, that suggest popular and rising keywords. Remember that you keywords have to have a direct connection with your content and what you are trying to promote / sell.

  • Poor URL & File Names
I've seen so many websites that are not grabbing on to this SEO opportunity and instead, naming pages and files like this: - which doesn't give clients any clues as to what exactly the page is about.

On the other hand, this one is fairly obvious, and contains relevant keywords:

Name your files something descriptive and Google will give you a little boost.

  • Inflexible Tech
The ideal is the ability to make type and go updates / changes to the website. When there are changes you should be able to add it quickly and efficiently without having to re-arrange the entire structure of your website.

  • Auto-Play
Auto-Play for videos/sounds - it's annoying, and will only attract the wrong kind of attention. Visitors don't want to scramble to shut down your audio/video because it's interrupting whatever they were playing when they entered your page. 

  • Duplicating Content
Many websites think they can become one-step-ahead of SEO by putting the same content on various pages and only changing some areas but keeping the keywords the same, this opens your website up to a search engine penalty and will hinder you chances at ranking.

  • Sacrificing Design for Content
While this may benefit your ranking, clients like to see an attractive website and are more likely to surf a website longer that is appealing to look at. 

  • Keyword Stuffing
Keywords may be important for SEO, but many make the mistake of using too many. This is probably one of the most common SEO mistakes. Not only is it unethical, but will definitely hurt you chances at ranking. Instead of using hidden or duplicate text, focus on creating useful pages that have your keywords implemented in them as part of the content. Trying to manipulate a search engine like Google is a big no-no.

While many of these seem basic, they can make a big difference in the over-all ranking and success of your website. When designing a new website, take a slow approach and make sure that it is user-friendly while being search-engine-optimized. Keeping all of this in mind can give you the maximum satisfaction from your website. Be smart. Be patient and outsource your content wisely.

2013-ITWWW-Odette Nieuwoudt

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