Common SEO Mistakes and How to Fix Them

SEO can drive you crazy. Sometimes it seems you’re doing everything right and still not getting results.

It may be helpful to know that there are a handful of common SEO mistakes that might be standing in your way. Here are some of the biggest:

  1. Text contained in graphics. Bots can’t “read” graphic images. When a bot comes across an image, the only thing it sees is the image tag. This is why image tags are so important to SEO. You could try to link the image to a long description in another file, but in general, it’s always best to use real text when possible.
  2. Graphic menu buttons or menus built in JavaScript or Flash. Just like #1, if your menu buttons are all graphic images, most bots won’t be able to read the text on the buttons and may not follow the links. They’ll find your home page, but they may miss the rest of your site! An alternative would be to include redundant text links elsewhere on your page or to provide a text-based site map.
  3. Lack of semantic, accessible markup. If your website uses tables or frames, the bots may not be able to make sense of what they’re finding. Standards-based markup gives meaning and hierarchy to your page layout, allowing bots to find your content among all your other code and, in some ways, to understand the importance of the content on your pages.

All of these basic issues need to be addressed if you’re trying to optimize your site, and they’ll probably involve a discussion or two with your web developer.

If you’ve done all of these correctly and you’re still not getting the results you had hoped for, it’s most likely a simple matter of competition in your space. In that regard, the internet is no different than other media.

Rather than spending additional time and money on SEO, you may see a better return from targeted marketing, which can generate higher quality traffic, rather than sheer volume.

So what about those SEO firms and their big promises? Read on to find out if it’s possible to guarantee search engine rankings.

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