Search Engine Optimization Mistakes

This article describes some common pitfalls that most sites could vanquish really easily to achieve better SEO, I have personally made these mistakes, luckily I found my own solutions which I'll share with you.

Frames

Frames are used as a method of viewing pages that have scrollable areas. The frame is commonly known to use one singular URL but in fact it uses multiple URL's. There is a major pitfall with any site that still uses frames, aside from being aesthetically confusing and ridiciously outdated the frames themselves are all but ignored by all major search engines. Frames hinder the spiders ability to index the content of the page.

Frames solution

The preferred method is to use CSS to make sections scrollable. You can simply add a height to a division and then declare the divisions overflow property to the value of scroll:

div#ScrollBox{height:200px; Overflow: Scroll;}

JavaScript Navigation

JavaScript is a client side scripting language used to improve websites functionality, this can include validating forms; creating cookies, browser detection, and can even produce entire web applications. The problem with JavaScript is that Spiders cannot read it; this means that the sections created that are sometimes heavily into JavaScript will not be indexed.

An advantage of JavaScript is that it can be used to easily preload images for navigation, but for SEO purposes this should be avoided, stick with text / CSS navigation instead of using JavaScript navigation because as well as the spider problem, anchor text links form a valuable part of a sites page indexing.

JavaScript solution

Use an external page to store your JavaScript, this can be stored in a .js file on the server and will also result in lighter page weight:

<script language="JavaScript" src="http://yourdomain.com/jscript.js"></script&gt;

Flash Navigation

Flash is a tool for creating animated and interactive content for your site, you can even make a full flash site. For most cases this is where the problem begins, again the navigation on the site is a vital indexing method that all spiders gather, if the navigation is purely flash then the spiders will ignore the links and valuable indexing points have been lost.

Flash solution

Use text links instead of flash, if it is vital that flash be used for the navigation then make sure that you have text links as well, so that the links are indexed. CSS has some pretty flashy rollover affects for you to take advantage of. Check out the fantastic Listmatic for some great CSS navigation affects.

Hidden Text

Hidden text is a method of integrating text the same color as the background color of a page and inserting masses of keywords and descriptions that the spider will use to give your site a higher ranking. Using hidden or invisible text was a big hit back in the day, but now our search engines are just too smart for these methods, and more often than not if caught the site is penalized from the search engine.

Hidden text solution

Use correct markup methods to interact with indexing spiders. Use heading tags properly, for example you should only have one h1 tag per page and maybe three or four h2 tags at the most. Dont forget to use tags such as emphasize, bold and strong these tags add valuable weight to support a documents page indexing.

No title tags

Title tags are tags within the head section of the (X)HTML document that provide valuable information for the spiders about each individual page. The title tag should be descriptive and contain your main keywords for that page.

Title tag solution

Be very descriptive in your title tags, but make sure the language is readable. The pages keywords should be in the title tag and I have also noticed that the words that come first seem to hold more weight when it comes to indexing, so make sure your keywords are first in your title tag followed by less specific words.

Not using META tags

Whilst it does seem true that the humble meta tags are an outdated method for spiders to index your pages they still exhibit a fundamental scope of your page. The description meta is used as the introduction paragraph to your site on many search engines rankings.

Meta tag solution

I still use them!, not in alot of detail but I always make sure I use the basics; keywords and descriptions.

March 30, 2006 at 9:07 pm 2 comments


Categories

  • Blogroll

  • Favourite Sites

  • Feeds