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Most Common Search Engine Optimization Mistakes

By GlobalFusion
Posted Sunday, July 25, 2004

Understanding exactly what search engines do and what search engine optimization is seems to elude many new website owners when first starting out. The fact is that when you’re not familiar enough with the industry to determine SEO fact from SEO fiction can only mean trouble for your website. Could you be making those same mistakes with your site?

Here’s a consolidated list of things you most definitely do not want to be doing if you want a high ranking in the search engines. Let’s look at the most common search engine optimization mistakes:

Mistake: Overloading of Keywords

Trying to optimize a home page for all possible keywords is not a good thing. If you attempt to squeeze in all the keywords on the home page thinking it’s going to improve your ranking is not true. It will appear that you are ‘spamming’ the search engines and it will make your rankings even worse since those search engines will single you out. ‘Less’ can mean a lot more when it comes to search engine optimization in that respect.

Mistake: Untargeted Keywords and Phrases

Choice of keywords in the META keyword tags are very important and it’s crucial that you use keywords related to your line of work or your business product(s). Targeting such generic words is a waste of time. What you need to do is optimize your site for search terms and phrases that are highly targeted to your precise business. There are numerous software programs or services that can help you to find what people are actually typing into the search engines to find goods and services familiar to yours and concentrate on ranking well for those terms. The more qualified your site visitors are, the more likely you are to convert those visitors into ‘paying’ customers.

Mistake: Non Utilization of the Title Tag

Most search engines index the content of the title tags and consider it to be one of the most important factors in their relevancy algorithm. What you place in your title can make or break your ranking for particular search terms for various engines. When you don’t include your most important search phrases within your title tag, you are overlooking a vital opportunity in your quest for higher search rankings. In other words, give your best information or rather ‘characters’ at the start of your tag, since search engines give more ‘weight’ to content at the very beginning of the tags. If you really want to include your company name in your title, put it at the very end of your tag.

Mistake: Duplication of the Header Area

Here’s another mistake that many ‘newbies’ do when it comes to designing their websites. Seeing the same title on every page within that website which means the Meta tags are identical on every page, only the visible content is different. Each page should be optimized for different keywords whether it’s major or minor and can be an entry point to your site from any search engine. Never repeat the titles or Meta descriptions in your website. Treat each page of your website if it were the most important and optimize it thoroughly. Don’t leave the head area without any optimization means. You’ll regret it and the search engines will not direct traffic to your website.

Mistake: No Body Text, Too Much Splash and Flash

A very common mistake. Many websites think the more flashier they are with limited text will get them the traffic they need. What you may not know is that without some text, or lack thereof, will not get your site optimized since most search engines can’t index images. If you want a web site to rank well in the search engines, you need to give them what they want to see, visible content that is optimized just as well as the invisible content. Most importantly, if you have no content on your main page and only graphics does not say much about your intelligence and looks very unprofessional. The bottom line is simple; a site with no visible content becomes effectively invisible to a search engine and has almost no chance of appearing in the rankings for logical searches.

These are the most common search engine mistakes, of course, in no particular order. If any of this sound familiar to you, don’t worry about it since you’re not alone. Many website owners will find themselves in at least one or more of these situations. The important thing is that when you do recognize an error within your optimization process, get the correct solution, understand why the changes are needed, then you are better equipped with the correct information and have the capability to reverse the damage.

About The Author
Adam Roper is the founder of GlobalFusion - a Multimedia & Web Development firm based in Sydney, Australia that designs everything from websites to DVDs and Multimedia Kiosks. If you have questions about creating HTML Email Templates or want someone else to do the design work for you, visit our website at: ( or shoot us at:


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