SEO is competitive. SEO is fierce. SEO is downright war.

If you operate a service-oriented business in a saturated market (say chiropractors, dentists, lawyers, and even web designers) SEO may be the best marketing strategy you have to stand out. This is precisely while companies will employ every possible strategy for SEO to attain the coveted first page ranking.

However, there are a few common mistakes I’ve seen in regards to SEO- both from a marketing perspective and a google-might-blacklist you perspective:

Long-Winded Content

Lawyer and dentist website are notorious for have long-winded, overstuffed descriptions of their service on their home page. For instance we are a law firm that does, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I in the cities of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc. Their goal is to include every possibly keyword for their business, but have they really thought about their human audience? Let’s say you have the #1 spot on the first page but because your site is so bloated with content people don’t actually stick around. If people don’t stick around, then they probably never contact your business, right?!?! Let that sink in.

Text as Images

For some reason, MANY “web design companies” are still using this big SEO no-no considering there are a host of free Google web fonts and Adobe Typekit now readily available. You might ask “Why does it matter?” and my answer is because Search Engine bots can’t read text on images, only web based fonts. For those who are wondering how you can tell, simply try to hover over the text and highlight it. If you can copy/paste then you’re good, if not then you may need to rework.

Hidden Texts

People have gotten really sneaky about hiding keywords in their website. They might change the font to match the background of the site….naked to the human eye, but not to search engine spiders. It’s not a matter of if you’ll get caught, but when. So don’t do it, Google will blacklist you- which means they pull you from their search index.

Mirror Websites

I’ve literally had to talk clients OUT of doing this. It’s when you duplicate your exact same site (for the exact same business), but change a few keywords here and there to obtain ranking for alternative search terms. Many search engines, in fact, forbid this and will remove you from their index.

Alternatively, here are some simple ways you can safely and ethically increase your SEO rankings.

Changing Tags

Within your website you can change the title and description tag to match the keywords you would want. We use a great plugin for WordPress called SEO by Yoast which easily lets you change content on a per page basis. Below is our very own hayWire example. (contact us for help with what keywords you should use)


Submit/Verify Your Website

We always recommend submitting your website to major search engines such as Google, Bing/Yahoo, so they can quickly index your new site. In addition, make sure to have a presence on Google+/Business, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Social Media sites of course. Make sure that you exist outside of your own website.

Manage and Update Your Site

Google really likes fresh content, updating what you currently have, but also having new content in terms of blog posts, news articles, etc. Make an effort to update your website at least once a month if not more.

While this post barely scrapes of the surface of SEO, we are more than happy to help you expand on each thought. Call us (402) 885-4946.

In the meantime, check out this new tool we’re digging that will show you where your site ranks for keywords:

(Don’t use your own browser unless you want to clear out your search history each time because it’s biased through your browsing history)

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