Don’t treat your website like a haunted house with visitors running at first sight, turning it into a graveyard. Stop search engine spiders from morphing into unwanted creepy crawlers. Watch out for these common SEO nightmares:
Brain dead content
Don’t turn your visitors into zombies. Produce interesting, quality content.
Don’t use complex URLs that are butchered together with IDs and numbers. Unless you’re using an ecommerce site, keep ’em clean and simple.
Black hat techniques
Don’t be a witch and practice the dark arts. There may be quick wins in using questionable activities but SEO is a long term strategy and search engines clock on – fast.
Don’t serve ghostly alternate versions of your site to search engines and another version to your visitors.
Don’t let your robots.txt give you a fright. Make sure your rules are in good shape and not blocking half of your content.
Don’t display the same infernal content on different pages; search engines do not like sibling rivalries. Content with an evil twin can cause duplicate content issues, bloats your site and does not make for a good user experience.
Don’t give your site an early grave by ripping content from other websites and displaying it as your own. Rewrite the content in a more interesting, unique way if you have to.
Don’t let unholy URLs that are not intended for display get the better of you. If they display the same content as on another page then use a 301 redirect and/or a canonical pointing to the originating page – or block them altogether and serve a 404 page.
Don’t waste electricity and bloat your pages with nonsensical inline code. Use clean semantic markup instead – search engines will love you for it.
Don’t let sections of your content go wandering aimlessly. Give them meaning. Make sure you use heading tags, such as H1, H2 and H3 tags, etc.
Don’t let your visitors get a mega bite from wolfing down large downloads. Page speed & file size is important. Bite the silver bullet and keep file sizes on frequently accessed pages to a minimum.
Don’t let gloomy descriptions get your visitors down, make ’em short, sweet and compelling. If you use the Keywords meta tag and it is filled to the brim, give that a clean up too – or remove it altogether.
Curse of the dummy
Don’t get wrapped up in producing content for search engines. Create fresh, unique and interesting content for your visitors, and then optimise that content for search engines. Importantly, get social. Find your niche and build relationships online.
Do you have any SEO nightmares to share? Let us know…
If you know of any more ghoulish techniques or stories that have have kept you up at night, let us know below or tweet us.