SEO tips and Search Engine Optimization tips from Embryo Design just may help your website rankings and exposure. Here are some practical SEO tips.

 

There are so many SEO tips out there, it boggles the mind. Proper SEO is more an art than a science. There is no “one size fits all” approach. There are many on-page fundamentals however that all websites should adhere to. Such as; using proper HTML tags, proper TITLE tags, proper H1 tag (used once per page), bold your keywords, add keyword links, etc.

 

Sometimes it’s useful to know what not to do. Below are some of the most common SEO mistakes people make.

 

1. Serving broken pages with a 404 or 200 response codes

Did you move your content recently? Deleted a page? Or, didn’t finish a page you started? Make sure you redirect your old pages to the new ones. Use a 301 redirect whenever possible. The search engines, especially Google, does not like finding 404 or 200 response codes. They want to know you’re being responsible to your viewers by redirecting them to the proper page. If you no longer have a specific page to redirect to, then redirect to your home page.

 

2. Your links look unnatural

You’re asking for trouble if you aquire links from sites that are unrelated to yours. It makes sense. If your mom had a blog, would she have links to a penis enlargement site? Probably not. If she does…well, let’s not get into that. Also, don’t aquire too many links too fast. If you had 10 links last week and have 10,000 links this week, something looks askew to Google. Are you using the exact same keyword phrase for back links? You shouldn’t. Try to write unique links and phrases so it looks more natural. Think before you link.

 

3. Your page titles suck

Make sure you write your page titles, (that’s the TITLE tag), using rich keywords and try to use no more than 70 characters. Write titles that are search engine friendly and make sure they are appealing to humans. Avoid using exclamation points and other marketing fluff. The title is what typically appears as the link text in Google. Write it so you would want to click on it. See the image below. You don’t want your site to look like this in the SERPs.

bad page titles

Don’t forget about writing a good description for your META DESCRIPTION tag. This is usually what appears below the link text. Use keyword rich phrases that are also human friendly.

 

4. Your site ranks for [insert pills, porn, or casino term here] and shouldn’t

Many times this means your site has been hacked. If you see this happening with your website, contact your developer and/or web host. They will help you fix the problem. See the image below where the University of Georgia and the University of California at Santa Barbara were ranking for the keyword term Search Results. I don’t think they wanted this to happen.

Search Results

 

5. Your site is built completely in Flash

Yes, Flash does some pretty cool stuff like cool animations and funky navigation systems. But is NOT good to build an entire site completely in Flash, as the search engines will likely not pick up much, if any of it in their index. Mobile users are usually completely out of luck, as even non-iOS devices haven’t had great success in making Flash truly mobile worthy. Photographers seem to be continuous offenders of this rule and someone needs to stop them from doing it.

 

6. Your site doesn’t rank in the top 100 for at least a few main keywords

Focus on a few keyword phrases on each page and try to make them similar but not exact. If you’re in a niche business, this shouldn’t be too difficult. If you’re competing against large multi-million dollar companies on highly competitive keyword phrases, be prepared to spend quality time on this. And, have patience. If you’re a new website, you’ll need at least 6 months, and possibly a year, before you start to see results. It makes sense. If you think you should be side-by-side with companies that are spending thousands of dollars or more on content, marketing, and SEO…you’re being arrogant.

 

So, have patience and spend quality time to find a nice mix of keyword phrases that can bring you a reasonable amount of traffic without competing too much with the highly competitive terms. Until you build up your customer base and reputation that is. You can use Google AdWords tools to help with your choices. Having your entire site outside the top 100 means you’re not trying hard enough or you’ve been penalized.

 

7. You get traffic, but no one buys

Make sure your targeted keywords are properly thought out. There are way too many sites that attract a lot of traffic but not a lot of customers. There are many reasons this can happen such as; poorly targeted keywords, poor call to action, you’re giving everything away, poor site design, poor site navigation, and the list goes on and on. Do some target market research to find out what search terms people use when looking to buy. Then, test to find out what converts the best and focus more on that. Use Google Analytics to measure your conversion rates by setting up goals. Do not try to rank for terms that have “free” in them. And, for crying out loud, do not stuff your pages with keywords. This is spamming and Google will slap you.

 

Some tips for better conversions are: encourage as many reviews as you can and post them, prominently post your phone number and contact information, build trust factor by using membership/association logos, install McAfee Site Secure, make Add to Cart buttons visible and easy to get to, streamline your site navigation, limit number of clicks to make a purchase, etc.

 

I hope these SEO tips help you better understand the art of SEO.