If you want to rank, you’ve got to do SEO. That’s a given.
A well-thought-out search engine optimization strategy is the foundation of increasing organic visibility in the SERPs. However, there are quite a lot of SEO practices that can actually cause more harm than good.
In this quick guide, we take a look at some SEO habits that you should avoid like the plague. If you give into them, there’s a good chance they’ll infect the rest of your work and cause rankings to fall.
1. Keyword Stuffing
Everyone thought that this habit would disappear, but we still continue to see it on many webpages.
Search engine algorithms are smarter than they were years ago, and in fact, they get more intelligent year after year. Simply overstuffing your article with keywords isn’t going to help you make the cut.
Don’t know how many times to use the keyword? Then, check out how the top 5 websites are doing.
2. Getting Sucked Into Bad Linkbuilding
Links are referrals, just like a popularity contest.
If more people are linking to a page to your site, then naturally, you’ll be ranked higher, right?
There are a lot of people who get sucked into lousy link building schemes because they think that the quantity of links is more important than quality. After every link building campaign, ensure that you track keyword positions to know the influence of links on the keyword groups you target.
Remember, major search engines like Google look at the quality of your links. You have a better chance of ranking higher with two links from reputable sites than a thousand from shady sites.
3. Forgetting About the Customer
Google values customer experience.
And, this means that they rank websites that offer a better user experience than others.
If you’re looking at fixing something on your website, think about how a user navigates on your site. At times, you’ll find that needs more work than your SEO.
4. Similar Content
A lot of people used to do this, but the problem is it is still prevalent today.
There are still a lot of people who think that a slight modification of the keyword is enough reason to create a new page, but it could be more harmful than you think. Think about specific keywords around your search intent, how many of them could you group into one page?
If you’re faced with this decision, it’s better to group similar keywords (and subjects) into single pages. It helps your users find the information that you need, and it tells the search engine that the page is highly relevant to the topic.
You don’t want to confuse the search engine crawlers on which page they should be ranking for a subject. Also, your content team is going to have an easier time if you implement this approach.
5. Trying to Fix Every Single Problem onYour Site
You won’t be able to fix everything on your site right away. You might be able to iron it out with enough time and resources, but some people spread themselves too thin by attempting to fix it all.
Go after what’s necessary to get a good ranking, once you’ve established the foundation, then go and start fixing the finer details.
6. Sacrificing CRO for SEO
Conversion rate optimization is just as important as SEO.
In fact, these two work hand-in-hand to get conversions for site owners. If you have to choose to let go of a significant feature of your site that converts visitors to customers over a small SEO change, then pick CRO.
If you’re mulling over your website budget, make sure you have enough room to plan out how to convert people. Don’t get sucked into SEO so much.
7. Forgetting to Think Mobile
More than half of all searches are being done on smart devices, and if you’re hyper-focused on creating a responsive site on desktop and fail to take into account people on their phones, you’re bound to fail.
Take into account the little things that you do for your website such as the size of the text and how the blocks of writing look like on a smartphone. There is a significant chance that a lot of people will first land on your website via their mobile phones instead of their computers.
8. Bad Content
The algorithms are getting better at analyzing the content that you have on your website. Parameters like topical relevance and authority are being put into the spotlight, and there is no reason for you to stuff your pages with content for the sake of content.
Publishing great content on your site will help boost your rankings in the long run. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
9. Failing at Internal Linking
We all love links, but are you paying attention to your internal link building strategy?
Believe it or not, your site linking strategy is as important as the external links coming into your website. These links guarantee better navigation on the end of your visitor, and it can help show search engines how pages are related to one another, thus improving rankings in the long run.
It’s recommended to use a visual sitemap tool to understand the internal link flow.
10. Forgetting about Technical SEO
Some consultants specialize only in technical SEO, the reason being, it’s one of the most vital things to your site.
As your site gets more substantial and ages over time, there is a tendency for small things to go wrong. Take, for example, a common technical SEO problem like the need for redirection. If it’s not taken care of, it can restrict the smooth your user’s navigation because there is a tendency for the user to just leave your site if they don’t find what they are looking for. You need to address issues like this because it allows you to build a better UI for your end-users.
There is no substitute for good SEO practices. They help keep your site health in check, and they have the propensity to help you score better in the SERPs.
Good SEO requires patience and some effort to put all the pieces of the puzzle. The more efficiently you can optimize the website, the greater the chance of it being loved by Google.
Remember, better visibility lands you more leads and higher revenue.
Houston Golden is the Founder & CEO of BAMF, where he led the company from $0 to $3M+ in revenue in its first two years and has built a proven process for turning clients into LinkedIn Influencers through viral content that has generated over 300M+ organic views. He enjoys yoga, running and surfing, along with playing his ukulele and dreaming of new business ideas and being a father is his favourite.