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Top 5 Search Engine Optimization Mistakes

1. Over-using graphics instead of text. 
 
Most search engines are not programmed to read graphics but instead look for text. Therefore, if you are too graphics-rich, you may be bypassed by the search engines. Especially try to stay away from large flash files as search engines do not like flash / graphics files.
 
2. Lack of Creativity in Keywords and Phrases.
 
If you are a small business selling digital cameras in Wayne, Nebraska you will include the word "digital cameras" as a keyword. However, that will lump you with Best Buy and all of the other major electronics stores and manufacturers who will still come up ahead of you in search results. Therefore, you need to be creative and think of words and/or phrases that might get you to come up more readily for your target customers. Perhaps "Wayne Digital Cameras" since local shoppers will seek local businesses. Keep thinking and be creative.
 
3.  Non Utilization of the Title Tag 
 
How many times have you looked at a web site where the browser title reads  Welcome to [company name] s web site  or simply  [Company Name] ? Nothing wrong with that, you say? Well if you want to achieve high search engine rankings, there s PLENTY wrong with it.  
 
While it may not be common knowledge amongst web designers, most search engines index the content of title tags and consider it to be one of the most important factors in their relevancy algorithm. What you place in your title can make or break your ranking for particular search terms on the various engines. If you don t include your most important search phrases within your title tag, you are overlooking a vital opportunity in your quest for higher search rankings. 
 
Having said this, you should try and keep your title tag to a maximum of 200 characters, as that is the average limit most search engines will truncate to. If you really insist on including your company name in your title and you re willing to sacrifice good keyword real estate to do so, put it at the very end of the tag, because search engines give more relevancy  weight  to content at the start of your tag.
 
4.  Poorly Designed Web sites
 
Ineffective site design includes lack of clear navigation, poorly designed frames, and large, load-intensive graphics. Search engine spiders can actually be blocked from crawling sites that are not well-designed, so it's a major part of search engine optimization.
 
5. Using Automatic Submission Tools
 
In order to save time, many people use an automatic submission software or service to submit their sites to the major search engines. It is true that submitting your site manually to the search engines takes a lot of time and that an automatic submission tool can help you save a lot of time. However, the search engines don't like automatic submission tools and may ignore your pages if you use them. In my opinion, the major search engines are simply too important for you not to spend the time to submit your site manually to them. 


About the Author
 
Carmen is the VP Client Relations of Ms. SEO Inc., a Calgary based Search Engine Optimization & Internet Marketing Company. Ms. Seo Inc. works with their sister company Ms. Hype Inc., a Calgary Web Design Company, and their parent company Cre8 Hype Solutions Inc., a Calgary based Internet Marketing Company, to offer their clients a powerful online presence. 

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