How I Almost Committed SEO Suicide

That’s right.  SEO suicide, right here on the Clerical Advantage website. I’ve been preaching for ages about the wonders of building your business website with WordPress and the added benefits and flexibility of combining that with the Headway Theme.  I’ve ranted about the great SEO value of using both and I did something that could have nixed all of that SEO goodness without even knowing it.

Embarrassing?  You betcha!

Luckily I got some expert advice from the one and only Michael Martine (aka Remarkablogger) and now not only is my site no longer suicidal, I can share with you what I did wrong so that you don’t make the same mistake.

Here’s the low down.

I’m an odd mix of tech geek and creative free spirit.  This means that I like to play around with graphics and design when it comes to my website.  Some people think it’s awesome; others don’t care for my ‘cutesy’ look.  Hey, it’s my party and… well, you know what I mean.  And while I do let that free spirit creativity loose on my websites, the tech geek side of me is much more businesslike and understands the importance of SEO.  So when I got the opportunity to ask the man I consider the SEO rock star about my home page here at Clerical Advantage, I jumped at the chance.

This is what he said:

Ugh! That’s the last thing you want one of your rock star idols to tell you right?  Well for me it was the absolute best thing he could have said. And this is why:

I had created graphics for everything on my home page, but there was no text.  Well, to be more specific, I had worked all of the text into the graphics, there was no real text on the page.  Big no-no.

So what’s a creative free spirit to do?

She listens to the expert and reworks those images into background images for text leafs*. She plays around with the font settings for her headers a little bit because with Headway she can, and she ends up with something that the tech geek side of her can be happy with too.

My home page still looks pretty much the same, but SEO wise it’s been given a new lease on life.  Not to mention that now I can link to more internal areas of the website in that text.  It’s one of those things like a V8… you whack yourself in the head and wonder why you didn’t think of it in the first place.

And now you know how close I came to committing SEO suicide and how to make sure you don’t do the same thing.

Pssst…. You may be wondering just how I managed to get access to Michael Martine to ask my question?  I took part in the Headway theme Twitter chat Wednesday night and he was the ‘guest’ answering questions about SEO.  Twitter is good for more than just tweeting your latest post, so take advantage of chats about the things you want to know more about, you might just get some great advice from one of your rock star idols.

Psst…psst… a leaf is one of the design building blocks you get to play with when you use the Headway Theme for WordPress.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.


  1. remarkablogger on April 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Was glad to help. 🙂 You still need more text content on your home page. Think about what main keywords you want to rank for and get those in it. Craft a relevant message to “your people” and include the keywords and keyword-rich anchor text in it linking to appropriate pages on your site.

  2. TMarieHilton on April 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    @remarkablogger Thanks so much! I promise more text is coming to the home page in the not so distant future. I’ve got to make room in the fire for one more iron! 😉 Thanks again for helping, sometimes I let that creative side run a little too wild.

  3. lisherry on May 5, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Thank you so much for posting this! It’s great that you were not only able to learn a valuable lesson but that you’re happy to share your mistakes with us so we too can learn from them. There’s a lot that goes into a successful website that isn’t obvious to those with little experience, and if you’re just starting out and have no budget to let a professional look after it for you, these lessons are vital. They really can make all the difference! Thanks once again 🙂

  4. TMarieHilton on May 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I’m so glad you found this post helpful. I’m a firm believer in learning from our failures, but I also believe that we can teach with out failures as well. If sharing my embarrassing moment helps a few people from making the same mistake that’s a huge win in my book. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in the conversation here! @lisherry