I get a lot of people here in Harford County, Maryland that want to know what to do as far as optimizing their websites or what is referred to as SEO.  When it comes to search engine optimization for a website owner, I think it might be better for businesses to understand what not to do first before hiring a web design firm.  There is a lot of bad advice out there and I want to “nip it in the bud.”  Yesterday I published a list of the 7 things a company could do to improve their rankings on this site (Havre de Grace Design).  Today I will add to it with the 7-things not to do.  Read on…

Before you hire an SEO company make sure they DO NOT:

  1. Duplicate content for SEO or duplicate pages with different keywords.  Each page should stand on its own and be user oriented.
  2. Hide keywords such as using a white font on a white background. This is known as keyword stuffing and it is bad news for you when you get caught and you will get caught.
  3. Redirect users with a masked URL. This is a big NO NO and will signal search engines that something isn’t right.
  4. Try to trick people into coming to your site by using keywords that are not applicable.
  5. Build a link farm, get those in coming links the hard way.
  6. Avoid sites that offer to “Submit your URL to 100 search engines for $50”, this is a scam.
  7. Use super long pages that repeat the same information over and over.  Make sure your content is user friendly.

SEO is not magic and the algorithms that search companies use are constantly changing for the better. That means you need to provide useful content to anyone that visits your page.  Remember some of those visitors are customers and they need to know what is in it for them before they choose your business.

Keep in mind. If you’re implementing something solely for the purpose of SEO it will probably bite you in the ass. If you implement something because it improves the site for your users, it will help you in the long run.


Be sure to also read my article on do-it-yourself SEO.

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