Whether you have outsourced your SEO campaign or are performing it in-house, here is a quick list on how to lose ROI and create diminishing returns for your business. Why 13? Well, because that's your lucky number!

  1. Make and upload site changes using old un-optimized backup files rather than the more recent optimized page files. And forget to tell your SEO you have done so.
  2. Upload a malformed robots.txt file that tells the search engines that all your pages are disallowed from being spidered and indexed.
  3. Require visitors to login personal information before viewing your site.
  4. Require visitors to tell you where they came from before viewing your site. This is especially effective if there are both right and wrong answers.
  5. Redevelop your back-end system yearly that causes well ranking URLs to change.
  6. Change all the URLs of your site to make them more "keyword friendly". This works wonders with well established sites with many pages that are ranking well.
  7. Don't 301 redirect your old pages to the new ones.
  8. Use your really important keywords really often so your really important visitors are really able to see whats really important on the page and the search engines really know what your really important page is about. Don't be shy because this is really important. Really.
  9. Make sure your contact forms gather as much information as possible. You never know when you might need their date of birth, annual household income, names and ages of their children, their home, business and cell phone numbers, my space page and instant messenger name(s).
  10. Make sure that your check out process has a lot of extra steps involved, and don't let your visitors know where they are in the process. Just keep them clicking from one form to the next. Here is a my suggested checkout path: cart > product verification > login option > purchase confirmation > select shipping method > new total with shipping and tax > name and address > shipping address > credit card information > total order verification > submit.
  11. Spend your resources going after the broad high-traffic phrases. Don't worry about sales, traffic is what counts.
  12. Use a lot of flash animations, bright contrasting colors and excessively large images.
  13. Place Google ads right on your product pages. Those few cents you get for each click really add up and you don't have to worry about shipping anything.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
November 16, 2006

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > 13 Ways to Lose ROI on Your SEO Campaign