Tips for SEO: Six Dinner Party Mistakes To Avoid

Lauren S April 23, 2010 Category Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


Sometimes a high-ranking site is as simple as not making the same mistakes as your competitors.  Here are some great tips for SEO marketing your website.

1. Showing Up Late

Being tardy to the party is never in fashion, and now, if your website is late to the game, you’ll be penalized. According to the Google Webmaster kit, page load times affect search rankings. It’s all about having the optimal experience for your sites user, and watching a spinning dial is not the best use of anyone’s time. Analytics will give you average page load time data, and Google recommends a few programs, like YSlow, that have tips for improving site performance.

2. No Lead-in

When mingling at a dinner party, you’ll probably encounter a few guests you haven’t met and there’s an awkward pause. A quick introduction (this is John, he works in online marketing, and went to college with Daisy) is appropriate and often necessary to break the ice. Similarly, the meta-data on your site should act as your calling card, it should be clear, concise, and tell people exactly who don’t already know you who you are and why they should click your link. Leave it blank, and they won’t really understand why you’re at the table. Over-clutter it with too much information, and they’ve already tuned out and into the person to their right.

3. Overdressing

Though the desire might be to add a lot of flashy elements to your wardrobe or website, you don’t always want to be in head-to-toe haute couture. Most sites can accomplish their website goals within an html framework which is, most importantly, readable by search engines, but often choose “fancier” directons that involve a lot of flash or javascript. If you’re industry calls for a visually charged user experience (such as design) use those elements as accessories and limit Flash or Javascript to within frames, not whole site.

4. Dull Conversation

Here’s something we can all understand – being stuck listening to a boring blabbermouth who rambles on and on about the same thing. You’re pretty sure he just keeps repeating the same catchphrase but you’ve already tuned him out, so you aren’t sure. Here’s where a lot of SEO companies go wrong as well. Repeating the key phrase every line, or using it in places that do not make sense, will ultimately damage your brand integrity and will not encourage positive linking.  A good strategist  will be able to write for the user, not Search Engines, and will find opportunities to optimize without sacrificing experience or credibility.

5. Talking With Your Mouth Full

This is pretty simple. Clean page code and html tags are essential for clarity. The search engines can’t figure out what you have to say in between the chewed bits of broccoli.

5. Forgetting to Follow Up

A thank you to the host, or an email to any new connections you’ve made, ensures you’re likely to see more invites in your future. Likewise, new content creation and off-site tactics are essential for successful SEO strategy. Search engines look for sites with continuously updating content, as well as repeat users. If someone has visited your site once, give them a reason to come back – through a regularly updating blog or promotional specials. Similarly, offsite articles and social media profiles can offer new ways for potential clients to discover, or rediscover, your brands.  No ongoing effort pretty much ensures that your dinner party evening was a one-time engagement.

Looking for more tips for SEO and how to get your site ranked? You can read our archived posts for ideas, or visit our case studies section of our website.

Lauren Salazar is a Social Media & SEO Strategist at Path Interactive, a NYC-based Search Engine & Social Media marketing firm.

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