SEO is as much about what you should do as what you shouldn't. In fact, common SEO mistakes could actually get your site penalized by  search and others will just waste your time. Its important to be aware of some basic  "Don'ts" when you’re plotting out your SEO strategy.

Avoid these five  common mistakes of  SEO to save yourself from penalization or wasted time.

Using Flash

In an attempt to be 'snazzy', some online stores use Flash elements. While a little is ok, don’t get too trigger-happy. Search engines don't crawl Flash elements well which can lead to indexing problems for your store and its product pages.


Focusing On Product Pages

While turning over stock quickly is great for business, it can damage long-term SEO efforts. So instead of cusing on your SEO efforts on product pages, focus on category pages that retain their URLs even as your stock changes.


Ignoring Page Titles & Meta Data

Your shopping cart software should give you the ability to edit your page titles and meta data which are crucial to SEO. Descriptions, titles and other data should be comprehensive and unique—otherwise, the search engines won’t take your site seriously.


Copycatting  Content

Much has been said about duplicating content - some say Google will ban you, others that they will rank you higher. Well, neither is true. Duplicating content won’t get you penalized but it won’t help, either.

Duplicate pages won’t go recognized as separate entries for your SEO rankings. Only unique content will do that, so if you’re using duplicate content, make sure you do so sparsely if you’re focusing on SEO value.


Using Hidden Text

In the beginning of SEO strategy, a lot of pages used hidden text to artificially increase search engine relevance. Unfortunately, this practice was quickly phased out as search engine spam filters became more sophisticated. You may get penalized for hidden text—but at the very least, it’ll be a lot of wasted time.

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