Search engine optimization can be an interesting game to play, but if you break the rules and make mistakes, you can end up losing more than your site's ranking. We will now discuss some of the more commonly made mistakes that it's important to avoid.
Many website owners don't realize that it's an SEO mistake to have pages with many images and little content. Images do enhance a site but in the long run you'll realize that they don't do much for your search engine optimization efforts.
What the search engines value is original content, so make sure you have enough of this on your site. Having images in the right places is great, as long as they aren't the dominant element on your site. Images won't help you with the search engines, and having too many of them will also make your site slower for visitors, something else you don't want. Using your primary keywords in the ALT tags of any images you feel are worth using is one way to improve their SEO value. This gives the search engines a way to see your image, or at least the tag that accompanies it. The best way to deal with this is to try and replace most of the images with something that's worthy to read and also has your keywords in it. Search engines love written content, which is why you should keep it in mind all the time.
One costly SEO mistake you never want to make is plagiarism, or taking content that doesn't belong to you. You can easily harm your site's rankings and even face legal consequences if you take material from someone and use it as your own. You are always better off keeping your content unique, as this is what the search engines prefer. Unique, helpful content is what the search engines want to make available to those who search. The search engines have a process that eliminates content that is not original, known as the duplicate content filter. What this is searching for, however, is duplicate content on a single site. If you've legitimately taken an article from somewhere and given them the credit, there should be no problem. By keeping your practices above board, you will see better results.
It is a mistake to leave your images without ALT tags, don't make it. Include ALT tags on all of the images on your site as the search engines think this is important. The basic reason for using these tags are so that your readers can see what an image is about while it is still loading. But your search engine rankings will be helped. When you put keywords in the ALT tags, be sure that they are readable by search engines and human readers. Search engine optimization, then, is really about creating a quality site all around and not making the sort of mistakes we've been pointing out.