Your competitor has a Top 5 ranking for an important keyword phrase, but your company doesn’t crack the top 100 search results. Why? Each of the search engines uses similar, yet different algorithms comprised of changing variables that determine how a Web page ranks for keywords and phrases. There are numerous inputs into these algorithms, but some of the more important include Title tag, link popularity, inclusion of keywords in page text, and for a few, directory inclusion.
The following is Intevation’s list of 13 of the most common search engine optimization mistakes that companies make. (NOTE: To view the tags and code on a Web page, simply go to “View” and then “Source” on your Web browser.)
Perhaps the most common error we see is the use of the same META “Description” and “Keyword” tags on each page. While most search engines do not use the “Keyword” tag, the “Description” tag can help your page ranking and is used by many search engines in the results that are displayed.
The “Title” tag is perhaps the most important element of each page of your site. Yet it is an after thought to most Web designers and Webmasters. Look at the title of most “About Us” pages and you’ll usually see something like “About Company X.” Very few people search using a phrase such as “about company X.” Instead, use a relevant message from the page for the Title tag, such as “Integrated Web services for professional services firms,” and optimize for an important and popular search phrase.