There can sometimes be an internal tug of war that business owners and online marketers struggle with: do you produce content that’s best for search engines, or appeal more strongly to your ideal customers (knowing that you have to attract them through search engines anyway)?
That’s a dilemma that difficult to solve, but a little bit of creativity will lead to the kind of compromise that’s healthy for your business. On the other hand, there are a number of tactics people employ– especially when they first become involved in search engine optimization–that don’t work at all because search engines and customers both hate them.
Five Search Engine Tactics To Stay Away From
1. Poorly thought out domain names are, not surprisingly, the result of poor execution. It’s getting harder than ever to find available URLs, but cramming five keywords into a nonsensical “.com” name doesn’t do you any favors.
2. Confusing site structures. When search engine spiders crawl your site, they want to see a clear path and easy navigation structure. If researchers can’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they will almost always click elsewhere.
3. Spammy articles and pages. Google, Yahoo, and Bing have all caught on to the trick of articles and pages “written” by computer software and will ignore them completely. It goes without saying that these aren’t exactly appealing to potential buyers, either.
4. Too much flash and animation. While the major search engines have improved their ability to read flash and animation pages, it’s still not an ideal layout choice for businesses that want to achieve a higher search engine ranking. Searchers, for their part, tend to look for a site that loads quickly and ranks high in usability, rather than one that looks like a motion picture trailer.
5. Links that don’t make sense. With Google’s “Panda” update, you could actually be penalized in the search engine rankings for having the wrong kinds of links in and out of your site. Random linking is also a sign to customers that you don’t pay attention to the quality or content on your pages. Everything about you content needs to make sense and be relevant.
Don’t let your desire for a better search engine ranking overwhelm your common sense. Not only are these tactics a sign that you aren’t serious about growing your business online, they’re likely to be penalized by search engines and will annoy your ideal customer base.