By Arun Agrawal
Search Engine Positioning is the art of optimizing your web site so that it gets into a high position on the search engine results page whenever someone searches for keywords that relate to your products and services.
However, some people make basic mistakes while designing their web site and as a result, never make it to the top. Even if they work hard on it! Or may be waste a lot of money on useless tools and services.
Do you make these mistakes too?
1. Designing a Frames-based web site
This one is the biggest loser of them all. Frames may make the job of maintaining a very big and complicated web site easy but search engine absolutely hate them. Most of the search engines cannot find out their way easily through them and end up indexing only the home page.
Now imagine this. One of your internal pages has been reported by the search engines and the user has clicked on it. What a mess! The page looks orphan without the outer frame and the navigation.
Lose your frames right away. You will start getting positive improvements the moment you redesign your site without frames.
2. Having an all-Flash or graphic-only home page
This is another classic mistake. Many designers design web site home pages like brochures. A beautiful cover which has to be opened to read. But on the Internet every click takes away some prospects. Did they click your ENTER button or the Back button?
You see, search engines need content to index. If you don't have content on the home page but only a Flash movie or a big animated graphic, how will the search engine know what you deal in. And why will it give you a high enough ranking?
3. Not having a good title
What's your title, Sir?
A good title is an absolute must for getting a good search engine position and the most vital thing -- the click-through. With the title, you are always walking a tightrope. You need a title with your most important keyword near the beginning but it should still appeal to the human reading the results.
Don't, don't stuff it with the keywords. How does this look to you --
Search engine position, search engine positioning, search engine ranking
If you saw this in the search engine results, will you click on this or you will prefer-
Top 10 Search engine positioning mistakes!
4. Hosting your site with a FREE host
It takes away all your credibility. You want to do business from your web site. Right? And you can't even afford a decent web hosting package. How do you expect your prospect to trust you?
Most of the search engines do not spider web sites hosted on the free hosts. Even if they do, they rank them quite low. How many geocities web sites have you seen in the top 10?
Also, will you be comfortable buying your merchandise from someone who can't even afford a small shop? And web site hosting is much cheaper!
Do you want your visitor to look at your message or look at the pop-up that your free web host popped over your site?
Go get a good web hosting package right away.
You must have at least one text-based link to all the pages that you want to link to. And the anchor text (the visible text on the site) should contain your important keywords, not "Click here".
6. Stuffing lots of keywords in the keywords tag
Do you have a keywords tag that lists all the words related to your product in a big long series? This is a certain recipe to invite negative points.
While many search engines have already started to ignore keywords tag precisely because of this misuse, you should have the keywords tag for the search engines that still use them. It also serves as a reminder of the keywords that you are optimizing for.
However, put only the 2-3 most important keywords in there. Here's a quick test - don't put any term in the keywords tag if it does not appear at least once on the body copy.
7. Not having any outgoing links
Do you know why the Internet is called the Web? Because the web sites link to each other. If you are only having incoming links but don't have any outbound links, it is not appreciated by the search engines as it violates the web-like structure of the Web.
Because some people try to conserve PageRank (a proprietary index used by Google to measure link popularity), they avoid having any outbound links. This is one big myth. You can get very good points if you have some outbound links with keyword-rich anchor text and preferably keyword-rich target URL also.
Of course, you should not turn your web page into a link-farm. There should be a few good links amidst some good content.
8. Insisting on session variables and cookies to show information
Session variables are used extensively by ecommerce-enabled sites. This is to trace the path used by the visitor. Shopping cart and various other applications also benefit by using session variables. However it should be possible to visit the various information related and sales pages without needing to have session variables.
Since you can't put cookies on the search engine spiders, they can't index your pages properly if the navigation requires cookies and session variables.
9. Regularly submitting your site to the search engines
"We will submit your site to the top 250,000 search engines every month for only $29.95." Who has not seen these ads or received Spam with similar messages?
And which are those 250,000 search engines? There are only about 8-10 top search engines worth bothering about. And a handful of directories.
With most of the search engines, you only need to submit once to get spidered and then they will keep your listing fresh by crawling your site at regular intervals. All you need to do is to keep adding fresh content to your site and the search engines will absolutely love you. In fact, Google prefers to locate you through a link and not through the URL submission page.
For some sites like DMOZ, if you resubmit while you are waiting to be indexed, you entry is pushed to the end of the queue. So you can resubmit regularly and never get indexed :(
10. Optimizing for more than 2 or 3 search terms
It is virtually impossible to optimize a page for more than 2-3 keywords without diluting everything. Don't try to work on more than 3 phrases on one page. Split.
Get similar phrases together and work on those in this page. Take 2 or 3 out of the other phrases and develop a new page with entirely new copy. Remember, you cannot just copy the same page and squeeze these new phrases in there. It will look very funny to the visitor.
Arun Agrawal is an Internet Marketing specialist. He offers Guaranteed Top 10 Ranking Services at http://www.SEOtop10.com