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Call me anything but late for breakfast

This is a joke I use from time to time, and it usually gets a smile or two.  Unfortunately it applies to a number of websites I see every day - I'm not sure what to call them, I just hope their owners are getting breakfast!

I said in a post a while back that, in the old days - back when I first began writing websites, pretty much anything would pass for a good website.  We didn't have the technology either to design or be found.  It was the age of the online brochure.  But visitors demand more than just a brochure now.  They need action, movement, help, usefulness.

Sadly, many site owners just don't get it.  The good news for them, is their sites are so badly optimized that most searchers aren't going to ever find them!  What a waste of effort and money.  Whilst hosting is cheap now, having a site designed is usually a costly business.  Not being found is a waste of this money and effort.

Here are some easily fixable mistakes, ones that cost you big time in rankings.

Poor title tags. How often do I see "Home - Mozilla Firefox/Internet Explorer".  This is one of the most common SEO mistakes on the web, and a super easy fix.  Your keyphrase should be in there - a must do!

No H1 tag, or badly worded. The H1 tag is also vitally important.  Again, your keyphrase must be in your H1.  But more is NOT better with an H1.  Don't think 4 H1 tags is 4 times better than 1.  This will just confuse the search engines.

No alt tags. EVERY image should have alt tags that include keyphrases.  This is a commonly overlooked SEO chance.

Poor internal linking. Internal links help with your SEO.  I'm not just talking about menus (though they are good too unless you're using Flash) but links within the body, and using keyphrases.

Old content. Search engines love fresh content (and so do visitors).  Start a blog, post fresh content.

Lack of keyphrases. There are many opinions on keyphase density, but I usually try to aim for about 4-5%.  Search engines need to know what the page is about.

These are just a few easy fixes that can be done, which can significantly boost your ranking.  But remember that, if you don't appear on, at worst, page 2, you won't get seen.  Obviously page 1, #1 is best, but I know I've been found on page 2, but I don't rely on it.  Page 1 is the goal.  If your site isn't doing those few basic things above well, then it isn't going to happen.

You owe yourself, and your business, to get this done right.  If you aren't comfortable doing it yourself, get someone who can.

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