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SEO - Search Engine Optimisation Those of you who subscribed to our e-business advice column last year, will already be familiar with our 7 Deadly Web Content Sins. I thought we’d extend that concept with a look at the key search engine optimisation sins committed by web site owners and webmasters.

1: Lack of Planning

Did you know that Search Engine Optimisation should come before you build your web site? You’ve probably heard about ‘Keywords’, ‘Description’ and ‘Title’. These can all be edited after a site has gone live (not ideal), but what about the file structure and hosting? Did you know that even your file and folder names should include search engine keywords, or that your choice of hosting, is part of your SEO strategy?  What about content writing? This should happen before your web site is built and content is key for search engine optimisation.

2: Using the same ‘Description’ ‘Title’ and ‘Keywords’ on each page.

These elements of a web page, should be unique, and completely relevant to the corresponding page.

3: Too much content of differing subjects

Keeping content to a subject focused 250 words limit, on search engine landing pages is key.  If you don’t you could be missing a golden search marketing opportunity.

4: Multi-Lingual content on the same page

Multi-Lingual web sites should have separate web pages for each language. ‘Keywords’, ‘Description’ and ‘Title’ should also be in that one chosen language.
This is also best-practice content strategy, as humans get just as confused as search engines.

5: Lack of Search Engine Site Map

Search Engines thrive on Site Maps. These specially programmed files, help search engines such as Google, crawl and index your site effectively. Even the smallest web site can benefit from a Search Engine Site Map.

6: Spamming the Search Engine

There are number of ways that businesses spam search engines.  Over-use of search engine ‘keywords’ and ‘Keyphrases’ in a page, as well as having excessive numbers of web sites all with the same web content, can get you banned from a search engine.  The key is to get the right balance, which takes expertise, practice and planning.

7: Third-Party Links without Search Engine Optimisation.

Employing links from third-party sites to yours, that are not search engine optimised, will be ineffective.  Whether this is from social networking sites, forums, blogs or an affiliate web site, its important to leverage your 'keywords' and 'key phrases' as links back to relevant landing pages on your web site.

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Author: Deborah Collier, 25th February 2009

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