5 Common SEO Untruths and Blunders

  1. All you need is Meta Tags

Some web developers and designers believe that placing keywords in the Meta Tags is sufficient on page optimisation; this is definitely far from the truth.

The Meta Title is very important as this tells a browser what to display in the browsers title bar and therefore tells the search engines the subject of the page.

The Meta Description is also important but not for search engines, this is an important call to action for your visitors, the Meta Description will display in the search results and should contain information to make users click on your website over your competitors.  If your Meta Description contains the keywords the user has searched for, these will be emboldened by the search engines making them stand out for the user.

The Meta Keywords is not considered by Search Engines due to misuse in the early days by website owners stuffing it with keywords.

There are more Meta Tags that aren’t very important and seldom used by Search Engines and search engines will not index and display your website in the search results without unique and engaging content on the page that is relevant to the keywords in the title.

  1. My Web Developer is an SEO expert

Some (not all!) web developers do not understand search engine optimisation and find it difficult to work with search marketers as they feel that search marketers want to alter the look of a website by changing the fundamental design.  The truth is that if any amendments are required to a website in terms of adding more written content, introducing H1 tags or coding issues etc, these amendments are required only to ensure that the search engines see the website as relevant to the keywords being marketed.

We work with some fantastic web developers that embrace the changes required and learn a lot about SEO throughout the process.  The developers that refuse to believe why the changes are required take the recommendations as a criticism of their work, this is not the case and any recommendations made are for the purpose of the website working well with the search engines.

My advice would be to research what you can about search engine optimisation so you know the best questions to ask.

  1. 3. Not knowing your keywords

Most websites are created with search engine optimisation as an afterthought, leaving developers with no knowledge of the keywords relevant to the website.  The worst case scenario is a website being built with absolutely no thought to keywords.  At best, the keywords are guessed on each page but not researched.

Ensure that you research your keywords, there are free tools to use, a great one being the Google keyword tool.  You will find that there are lots of variations of the keywords that you have guessed and your guesses could be wrong.

  1. There are no specific pages optimised for the primary keywords

Are there any pages of your website optimised for your most important keywords? Think about the most important keywords that you want your website to rank for.  Is your website relevant to these keywords and is there content within the website that relates to what you want to be found for?

Subpages should be optimised for one or two keywords each but the keywords must relate to each other and the content on the page must be interesting and relevant to the user for these keywords.

  1. There is very little on your pages

Content has always been crucial for SEO but with the latest Panda update it is now more important than ever.  Empty pages or pages that contain images alone leave no content for the Search Engines to index.  Google has even intimated that your website is now only as good as its weakest page which has prompted website owners to have professionally scripted content created or to ensure that “weak” pages cannot be indexed by search engines.

Good quality content on the homepage and subpages of your website is vital to the overall long term success of a search marketing campaign.  For website owners with little time or who are struggling to be creative I would advise asking employees to contribute or to employ the services of a professional copywriter.