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5 SEO Mistakes that Kill Your Website

Posted on August 22, 2009

If you’re the owner of a small business, you might be tempted to implement an SEO strategy by yourself. After all, it can get costly hiring an expert to do your SEO, and there are several things you can do if you take your time to learn SEO properly. Of course, you also open yourself to making many crucial SEO mistakes.

What follows is a list of 5 common SEO mistakes that will undo all of your hard word. Avoid these at all costs.

1. Targeting Broad Keywords- Let’s suppose you operate a small business that sells doors in Houston. As nice as it would be to rank for the phrase “doors,” the truth is you have absolutely no shot at doing that. Trying to do so is a waste of your time. Instead, you should try to rank for phrases like “hurricane proof doors” or “door installation in Houston.” The more specific your keywords, the more targeted your traffic will be.

2. Keyword Stuffing- As a copywriter, this is my biggest pet peeve. People get so caught up in making sure their keywords are peppered throughout the content that they completely ignore how it reads. Your readers shouldn’t be able to tell that your content has keywords in it. It should read like any other copy. What’s the point of ranking well if your content is unreadable?

3. Design not Crawler-Friendly- In order to give yourself the best chance of ranking well, your design needs to be crawler-friendly. Even though the search spiders have gotten better at crawling flash sites, you should stick with an easy-to-crawl CSS layout. This helps the spiders go through your site in a logical manner to ensure they rank your site properly for the relevant keywords.

4. Disorganized Content- Stop trying to do too much on your webpage. Disorganized content not only hampers your site’s usability, but it also prevents you from targeting additional keywords. Divide your content logically among several pages. This keeps each page short, focused, and targeted on specific keywords. It gives you the best chance of reducing your bounce rate and improving you rankings for multiple key phrases.

5. Ignoring the User- This is probably the most common SEO mistake I see. In a way, it goes back to point #2. If you’re new to SEO, it can be easy to get caught up in tailoring your site to the search engine’s specifications. The problem comes when you place a higher priority on pleasing the search engines than your human users. You should never sacrifice usability for the sake of accommodating the search engines. Instead, you can have the best of both worlds—SEO friendly and user-friendly. Keep your site easy to navigate for both the search spiders and your users. This way, you can convert those high search engine rankings into increased sales for your small business.

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