Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has evolved over time. Keeping up with the changes has proven difficult for many.

Here are three common website mistakes many businesses overlook when it comes to understanding why their website may not be producing the desired results.

1). Keyword Meta Tags. The keyword meta tag code on webpages has gone by the wayside. The primary reason for this is because like many other thinly veiled attempts to keep a webpage at the top of the search engine results page, people have intentionally stuffed this meta tag with keywords thinking those keywords would yield better results when it comes to search engine indexing.

2). Header and Description Tags. These are two commonly misused tags on websites that people tend to give little consideration to although they both play a strong role in SEO. The title tag has been and most likely will continue to be one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings.

Unless your company name is a well-known brand, you should use this section for keyword phrases instead. The other common mistake we’ve seen on many websites is that the title tag is exactly the same from page to page within the site itself. This creates internal competition for search engine ranking. For example, if your site has separate pages for different topics or products, having the title tag include keywords for the individual topic or products will produce higher ranking for that individual page.

The second and equally as important tag on your website is the description tag. This is also considered to be high-value real estate when it comes to search engine ranking. The words used in the description are meant to be displayed when your site or page shows up on the search results page that should entice the person performing the search to click through the results and onto the specific page presented. The search engine indexers read the description tags and the keywords contained within it and use those keywords to help rank the page. This is where a little creative writing can be helpful so the description is well read to the human looking at the text as well as the non-human search engine robot reading the keywords.

3). Social Media and Back Links. Possibly the most commonly mis-understood element in SEO being that the concept is relatively new and shifts the focus to offsite SEO vs. onsite SEO where it has been for some time.

Here’s the “Cliff’s Notes” explanation. It’s all about permission. If you elect to “Like”, “Follow”, “Pin”, “Connect”, “Digg”, “Hug”, “Check-in” or any of the other social network keywords currently buzzing around the Internet, you are granting permission for the company who owns the social networking sites to communicate with you. When they provide information about a product, service, announcement or anything else relevant to their business via a link to you through the social networking sites you are participating in, and you click on that link the search engine indexers view that as highly relevant, extremely contextual and the more it occurs, the more they believe you should be ranked higher.