SEO Tips: Mistakes to Avoid

By: Pete Malcolm

Recommendations for search engine optimization change all the time. But there are a few rules that have stood the test of time, including the SEO tips presented here. If you are currently making any of the mistakes discussed here, a few simple changes will help raise your page in search engine results pages.

Do not overlook the search engine guidelines. It is amazing how many people ignore the guidelines put out there, for free, by the folks at the major search engines. These guides tell you what to do or not do for your page to be ranked by their engine. Don't ignore this free advice!

Do not disguise keywords or links on your page. Hiding keywords or links on your page in the same color as your background significantly increases the chance that your site with be removed from search engine listings. Do not do this. Clean SEO will produce the results you are looking for so there is no reason to try sneaky stuff like this.

Do not exchange links with sites that have no similarity to your own. In a related vein, do not use link farms. Incoming links originating from sites with content related to yours will improve your ranking in search results. Incoming links from web sites with unrelated content will not. Moreover, linking with link farms may result in your site being banned by search engines. Take care to only link with sites that follow the rules.

Don't forget to update content often. Search engine spiders return to your site whenever you post new content. This improves your visibility. Taking the time to create a content plan for your site will help you keep track of what kind of content you need and when you need it.

Do not leave keywords out of your URLs. Each page should have a URL that includes at least one keyword relevant to the page contents in order to get the attention of the spiders. Likewise, don't forget to make title tags work for you. Title tags appear as page titles in search engine results, so every page should have a unique title keyed to page contents.

Don't forget about conducting keyword research. The terms you would search to find a particular item or kind of information may not be in line with what the people you are trying to reach would search. Employ some of the (often free) keyword research tools that are out there to find out what people are really searching to find content like yours.

Avoid linking to "click here." When you would like to point site visitors to another related page on your site, anchor your link to a descriptive keyword. This will tell the engines what the page you are recommending is about. For example, if you suggest people "click here for great info about cast iron pans, " link to "cast iron pans" rather than "click here."

Do not forget that SEO is an ongoing task, not one you can do once and forget. Each time you update content you should include SEO. Equally important, do not forget that amazing SEO will not ultimately provide the results you want if your site does not have enough strong content to keep the attention of visitors.

Don't expect SEO to change things overnight. Realistically, SEO can take some time to show results. Be patient and don't give up. Clean SEO will produce the results you need. Learn what you can and stick with it. It will pay off!