Seven Sure-Fire SEO Killers
So you have your website and you’re trying to sell your product or service. That’s great. Now you desire to get some great page ranking. That’s even better! But the problem sets in when you realize you essentially have to remake your entire site because you did some things that are completely detrimental to your search engine optimization health. What are those things?
1. Text in graphics
What happens here is most times someone falls in love with a super neat font, or perhaps you don’t know much about creating a decent layout, so you just decide you want to put some information in a picture and call it a day. I totally get it’ it’s really easy, hassle-free and gets the job done, but what many fail to realize is this is absolutely killing your search engine optimization.
The problem here is not just that it’s a horrible idea, but the way search engines work and the way you are choosing to display information just does not work together. See, search engines pretty much scan your website text to see what it is your website is about. Unfortunately, search engines cannot scan pictures and figure out what it is you are talking about. This technique is fine, of course, if you’re not saying much but if you get in the habit of creating pictures with paragraphs of text on them (or even important headers), this is a bad idea.
2. Unfriendly file names
Every website needs to have some pictures. People love to visit a site and have something to visualize. However, when using pictures, you have to save your file names so that they make sense. Far too often, you may have a graphic or a picture file name that just looks like a bunch of mumbo jumbo or isn’t really descriptive at all (i.e., “picture1.jpg”).
What you must understand is that friendly file names can actually help your SEO if you give it a fairly descriptive name. Of course you don’t want to overdo it (many say 45-60 characters is more than enough), but if it’s a picture of your product, the file name should reflect that.
3. Unfriendly URL’s
The previously mentioned principle remains the same for this concept. Sometimes people rarely take the time to actually name their inside pages. I’ve literally seen people with urls that are ‘www.mywebsite.com/insidepage2.html’ or ‘www.mywebsite.com/ab-co-XY1.php’. That’s not really helping you. Again, you want to make your url as simply descriptive as you can--nothing too long but concise and makes sense. If this your ‘About’ page, then name it that.
Also keep in mind, if you are using a content management system or blogging platform you want to make sure you have your friendly URLs turned on so they don’t look like a bunch of cryptic code.
4. Ignoring image “alt” tags
The reason you don’t have to be overly descriptive in your image file name is because you can do that by using the ‘alt’ tag. This tag pretty gives you an opportunity to describe what’s in the picture and what it’s supposed to do. Keep in mind many of our current search engines have the ability to search specifically for images. Friendly file names and good alt descriptions can make it realtively easy for your product or service picture to show up in an image search. Try to take advantage of this by utilizing this task.
It also helps with your regular SEO, because the search engine typically takes some of that into consideration when coming up with the relevancy of your website to a search query.
5. Splash pages
Honestly, in 2012, if it isn’t absolutely necessary, just avoid them. I know sometimes they are cool and sometimes it’s really nice to have something introduce your website, but if it isn’t absolutely necessary in the scheme of things, just let it go. The reason is because search engines take into account what is said on your very first page (index) when scanning your site. Most splash pages are just videos or pictures of some sort. If there’s absolutely nothing of use on it, then your site won’t rank very well.
6. Meta keywords
When creating and coding your site there is sometimes a little ‘meta’ tag that people like to put a bunch of keywords in to to try to give your page a better chance of getting a higher ranking. To be quite frank, this tag pretty much is useless now. Many search engines don’t use it as heavily weighted to determine the relevancy of your website to a query. Many years ago this may have been a factor but as of now, it isn’t really worth it.
7. Overdoing keyword density
You may have heard that you need to sprinkle your keywords all over your website or you need to make sure that at some point you refer back to your keywords some way or another. It’s definitely a good thing to keep in mind -- of course you want all your content to be as relevant as possible. But search engines are starting to take into account your keyword usage and density when determining how good your website is to a query. If you sprinkle your keywords around too much, there’s a chance a search engine can determine that you are spam site and are therefore irrelevant to any query.
This is one of those techniques that you have to be careful with because it is necessary but you cannot overdo it. The best bet is just to use a bit of common sense and try not to pile the keywords on.