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Red Flags That Can Kill Your SEO Efforts

02.06.2013
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For any website to be successful, it needs to be visible on search engines. This is because internet users rely on search engines to get information or search for vendors. One of the most efficient ways of increasing online visibility is by using SEO (search engine optimization). As a website owner, there is no question that you are interested in getting the best SEO campaigns in order to stay ahead of your competitors. It is precisely for this reason that you might consider hiring professional service providers. They will take care of your sites structure and content. In addition to this, they will also make any necessary changes that are needed in order to make it easy for search engine robots to crawl through your site.

Where SEO Starts

There is so much involved in SEO such as keyword search, management of campaigns that are web based, content development, and technical recommendation provision. Asking someone to carry out an SEO campaign on your behalf is a major decision and while a majority of companies pour their best into the campaigns, others don’t. While SEO can boost your websites ranking, it can also bring it down and especially, when things are not done in the appropriate manner. Consequently, you need to understand what an effective SEO campaign offers and some of the red flags you need to be on the watch out for. This way, you can smell trouble long before it affects the ranking or even perception of your website.

Content - Red Flags

To a large extent, the quality of content on your website is what determines whether you get high rankings. This combined with the manner in which you use keywords plays an influential role. You need to provide consistent high quality and stimulating content for the readers. Having spun or low quality content is a recipe for disaster and it can push you into obscurity. As far as content and SEO efforts go, the following are deal breakers.

  • Subjects that don’t match titles: If you have writers, make sure they are disciplined and they do not have the tendency of letting their minds wander. The body of your content should always deliver on the promise made in the title. If this is not the case, visitors will stop going to your site because the content they get is not relevant to what they were looking for.
  • Plagiarized content: Nothing has the ability of bringing your website down quite like plagiarized content. You should always check the content posted on your website to confirm that it is original. There are tools that help you accomplish this such as www.copyscape.com. Posting content that has been copied from other sites can make your site take a major hit.
  • Overly repeated topic: If your topics touch on subjects that have been discussed over and over again, you should not expect to see any changes with your rankings. This is for the simple reason search engines will not recognize such topics as new and in addition, you will not be adding anything new. You have to go through your site and ensure your topics are engaging, unique and original. You should build on authority and this can only be achieved by posting original topics that have not been discussed before.
  • Posting content that is not scannable: Majority of the readers who visit websites don’t have the time to read through your content. For this reason, you need to post content that can be scanned with one glance and project the message you intend to send. They tend to jump between the intro sentences and headings. If you don’t have content that has bulleted lists, headings or bolded intros, it is highly likely your readers will not have visual signposts by which they can navigate and this makes it easy for them to flee your site.
  • Spelling and grammar errors: Occasional misplaced commas and types are normal, especially in blogs. However, when your website has content that has glaring grammar and spelling errors, you need to do something quick to fix the problem. You should not post content on your website that looks like it was spit out using translation software. Content that appears to be rewritten or spun is also a deal breaker.

If you intend to use content, make sure that it is highly resourced and intensive. You should not cut any corners with content if you intend to get your website highly visible to search engines.

SEO Services - Red Flags

As mentioned earlier, more often than not, you might end up using the professional services of SEO experts. While there are hundreds of experts to choose from, they don’t deliver services that are of the same standard. To ensure you get the best possible services, you should be on the lookout for the following red flags.

·  Optimization of meta tags: When it comes to tag optimization, there is only so much that can be done in order to acquire effective SEO results. When you get a service provider that is bent on use of meta tags optimization alone, you need to reconsider your options and look for other reliable alternatives.

·  Guaranteed # 1 ranking: When it comes to SEO, it is not easy to predict whether your website will rank among the top list. When you get a company that promises to get you a number 1 ranking, you need to exercise caution since this is not something that can be predicted. While SEO has some principles that deliver results, there is no guarantee that they always work. Therefore, you need to be suspicious of companies that are overconfident about their ability.

·  Understaffed: SEO is a diverse field and it is almost impossible for one individual to spend their time familiarizing with all the aspects. SEO offers link building, PPC, social media, analytics, and content services as well. Furthermore, if you are working with a service provider that has one expert only, you need to be guarded as it could turn out to be a major deal breaker for you.

In a Nut Shell

The SEO industry is always changing and you need to stay on top of the latest developments. It is precisely for this reason that you need to hire respectable SEO experts, or if you’re willing to do it yourself, research and analyze which techniques from reliable sources that will boost your visibility on various search engines. This will ensure that all the techniques used on your website will deliver the desired effective results. By keeping your eyes open for these common red flags, you can save yourself the trouble of having to deal with a flopped campaign.

This article was written by the Imaginovation team.  They are a Raleigh web design and software development company who uses .NET, PHP, HTML5, JavaScript, and jQuery technologies.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Michael Georgiou.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)