There is so much hype about search engine optimisation that everyone seems to know a little about how it works. The problem here is that the “little” is usually outdated information that someone found on a website from years gone by. I’ve got so bored with the “I read this” or “this other company said this” that I’ve decided to put together a list of DO’s & DON’Ts when it comes to SEO.

Now I do agree that SEO is a black art. There are no definitive wrongs or rights, but there are definitely techniques that help and there are of course the ones that don’t!!

So here goes and please feel free to add to this list by commenting below!:

DO

  • Spend Time Researching Keyphrases
    A lot of people ignore this most fundemental stage of SEO. I cannot stress how important it is to develop strong keyphrases relating to your business. But it’s more than just selecting the most obvious keyphrases, you need to be more strategic and specific when choosing your phrases. A sex shop in Athlone is never going to be top of the search engines for the word “sex”.
  • Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
    Not only will this make a users experience of visiting your website more enjoyable, it will also work wonders for search engine spiders. If a user can access every page on your website within a clicks reach, so can the search engines!
  • Create Interesting Content (A lot of it!)
    I know most people “browse” text to find what they are looking for, but you can’t assume that everyone does. Make sure your message is clear and concise and keyword rich. And the golden nugget is…… search engines love content!
  • Build Strong Links from Other Websites
    Everyone seems to know now that links from other websites is one of the key elements to search engine optimisation. However, you cannot simply approach this with a semi-automatic weapon approach. You must build strong links from quality websites or else you are just wasting your time!
  • Submit Your Website to DMOZ
    It hasn’t been updating a lot lately and even if it does, it’s usually months down the line. But it’s definitely worth the effort. Make sure you choose a category that has a good Google PR rating to maximise its worth.
  • Utilise Your Title Tag
    It’s still probably one of the most important HTML techniques you can utilise…. make sure you do it! AND PLEASE use a different title for every page!
  • Hire a Good SEO Company
    Always check an SEO companies credentials before hiring them. Get references from their clients and see how well they did for them!


DON’T

  • Leave Optimisation Until After The Site Has Gone Live
    A lot of people make this mistake. They go to a fancy web designer, get a nice design and only think of optimising the site after the web site is complete….. BAD IDEA! Your strategy for online marketing should be part of the design phase!
  • Bother With…..
    a) Companies who promise you a number 1 place on Google
    b) Companies who offer to submit your website to thousands of website directories for €50.
    c) Companies who offer to build thousands of links to your website for €50
  • Target Hugely Competitive Keyphrases
    As per a point above – it’s pointless… be specific with your keywords to start building traffic.
  • Spam
    This is a very broad statement, but generally this is what you should not do:
    a) Include lots of keywords at the footer of your website in the same or similar colour font colour to your background colour.
    b) Create doorway pages or pages just for search engines
    c) many more….
  • Use More Than One Domain Name
    You should avoid at all costs the same site using more than one domain name. Different addresses are different websites to the search engines. When it figures out that the website is actually the same one, it will penalise you for duplicate content. Use only one domain and for the others use a 301 redirect!
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