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SEO: Mistakes to Avoid When Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines

When it comes to your business' web site, you want to make sure you stand out from the rest. One of the best ways to generate traffic for your services is to optimize your page for search engines. However, many so-called SEO practitioners make mistakes that can cost your business valuable traffic, which means less sales revenue. Here are some search engine optimization mistakes you should avoid:
Don't build a Flash-based website
With the advent of HTML 5, the days of Flash websites are nearing an end. Most web design firms realize this, but there are some out there who may develop a Flash website. Due to the technologies involved, it's impossible to properly optimize a Flash-only web presence.
Don't duplicate content
One of the biggest SEO cardinal sins is to copy content. This is a definite mistake that can get you, and the site from which you lifted the material, kicked off Google's index. It's better for you or a hired professional to write all original content.
Don't keyword stuff
Keyword stuffing is the practice of repeating the same keyword phrases in the meta content and in the page copy. It can result in severe search engine penalization, including the loss of rankings. Write your keyword phrase naturally, as everything should be written first for humans then for search engines.
Don't hide all content in images
This practice has gone largely by the wayside, but it's still performed by some. You should never make your copy and navigation images, as search engines won't be able to read it, thereby hindering your SEO efforts.
Don't automate
There are many software programs out there that will automate directory submissions, forum posts, blog posts, etc. to generate backlinks. You should never use these as you'll end up with the same titles and descriptions posted everywhere, and this will make the search engines frown on your sites.
Don't focus on the wrong keywords
You're a baker in Upper Darby, Pa., but business has been a little slow. So, you decide to invest in a quality website and SEO services. You might be asked what keywords you want to rank high on. You say, "Baker."
If only it worked like that. It takes good search engine marketing to rank high on any keyword, let alone high-competition ones. Maybe you'll want to focus on long-tail keywords, like "baker upper darby." This will generate traffic, while setting you up to compete in time with the big boys.

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