Five Mistakes That Can Kill Your SEO

Considering that about half the people on the Internet find you through some kind of search engine query, it’s vitally important that you show up everywhere you should. Such are the intricacies of search engine optimization.

Improving your SEO is an on-going task, but here are five mistakes you can make to really kill your SEO strategy.

1. Use images for headings

Some people think regular old text is too boring for headings, so they use pictures instead. A major no-no. Search engines like header tags (< h1 >, < h2 >, etc.), so use these instead of graphics. You can always change the style of them through CSS if you don’t like the way they appear.

2. Leave image tags blank

This mistake is incredibly common, but it’s also incredibly easy to fix. Whenever you have an image display on a page, make sure you fill in the so-called “alt tag.” It’s a handy place to stash keywords (search engines figure anything you illustrate is important, so they pay attention), and it helps with overall accessibility.

3. Bad spelling

Search engines are skeptical of crummy spelling. Get a dictionary.

4. Flash only

Flash is, well, flashy, but it’s not incredibly usable. It’s hard for people to navigate, and also hard for search engines to catalog. Provide an HTML alternative so make everybody happy. As an added bonus, anybody using a hand-held device (like an iPhone) will have an easier time reading your site.

5. Ugly URLs

URLs with a string of nonsensical text does nothing for your site. They’re confusing, you can never type them into an address bar and search engines hate them. Instead, make sure you’re using real English in the address. Check out this article’s address for an example.

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