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How not to do SEO – A guide for business owners who do not need the internet to promote their business!

Here is a summary of your situation today – your website is not ranked that well on any of the search engines’ and you are not too bothered about it.  You know that you should do something about it, but you think hiring a specialist SEO company like WSIIMS will cost a fortune and it is more than likely just a waste of money. 

Anyway, a chap you know from the local pub reckons he knows all there is to know about it, and you end up getting all the information you need for the cost of a couple of drinks! By default, and unknowingly, you are probably taking out a subscription to the all time SEO best-seller…”How not to do search engine optimisation“.

Many people set up a website for their business without any consideration of how they will attract visitors from the search engines. If this is you, then you are most likely following one or more of these “BAD Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tips”.

Please note that if you follow these tips, your website, which should be one of your primary sales & marketing tools, will not only be virtually invisible on the search engines, but even when you start to put things right you will be starting from a negative position in terms of how the search engines will regard you.

No matter what ‘your mate from the pub’ tells you, DO NOT let you website suffer from the following own goals! 

Site has no Focus:

To achieve this own goal you should try and have as many different and diverse topics as you can possibly find included on your website. For example you could want combine a ladies fashion website, a poetry company and a gardening business all on the same website. This is guaranteed to fool the search engines, they will never be able to guess what the objective and core topic your website is about.


This is an easy own goal to achieve, just pick your own keywords and keyword phrases – mixing a foreign language with your own language can also help – don’t bother doing any keyword research at all and ideally use the same keywords on all your website pages.  For your main product page you could try using just one primary keyword, preferably the one that all your competitors are using.  Better still one that has a very poor conversion rate.  So let’s say your company is based in London and sells specialist stained glass products, mostly to churches in the Diocese of Westminster – in fact 85% of your business is done with Westminster Abbey.  How about using the keyword ‘windows’?  – that should do it.

Page naming:

A bit trickier to score this own goal, however if you name your web pages with numbers and characters like ‘page=id=542?=tabid’ etc. instead of actual keywords and throw in a couple of underscores and hyphens that should do the trick.  Better still, use a website solution that creates dynamic pages – these do all the hard work of creating the hieroglyphics for you.

Graphics only home page:

As good as scoring a penalty in your own goal this one –  Since the home page is generally  the most important page on your website, AS IT WILL ALWAYS BE THE PAGE MOST PEOPLE LAND ON WHEN THEY VISIT YOUR WEBSITE, always put LOADS OF PICTURES ON THIS PAGE. Better still have a ‘slash page’ using super flash graphics that last at least 5 or 6 minutes and then miraculously form the word “Click Here to Enter Site”.

The Search engines cannot read images but at least you will know that the site looks really nice.

Duplicate content:

Easy, peasy this oneyou just have to copy content directly from other websites that rank highly in the search engines to trigger the search engine duplicate content penalties. Copying other people’s content is a risky business but you can get away with it – nobody bothers about copyright anymore do they?

META tags:

Use keywords and terms like “about” “welcome”, “we” and “home” in the title tag, and always  use the same META keywords and META descriptions on all the pages so that they are the same across most of your pages.  This way the search engines are bound to pick up what your page (or at least one of them) is about. Also, make sure you use every keyword you can think of about your business, its products and even things you are thinking about selling in the future.  If you cram your pages with dozens of keywords in your META tags instead of just the ones relevant to that particular page the search engines will have to put you in their results for all of them won’t they?

Web Analytics:

This is for nerds and people without a life. Don’t bother to apply any tracking software to help you analyse how people find your website, which pages they visit, how long they spend on each page and which of the many keywords you have they actually used to find you.  Don’t bother making changes to your website pages based on factual results either – always rely on your ‘gut instincts’ – it got you this far, didn’t it?

 The above is very much written ‘tongue in cheek’ but we really have met business owners holding at least some of these views in the past – even quite recently.

If you are guilty of following  these “BAD SEO tips”,  please send us a note of who you are as we will target other companies in your industry because you are making life so much easier for us to help your competitors  succeed online with their business.

 If you are ready to start taking the internet seriously call WSIIMS  on 01293 822755 for a free, no obligation chat to see how we can help you. 

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Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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