Have you come across bad SEO techniques?
I have, and they make my blood boil especially when I notice them on sites of perfectly respectable businesses whose owners have been mis-advised by SEO 'experts' to adopt bad practices. Hence this article in the "How Do I?" social media marketing series on How Do I Avoid Bad SEO Techniques.
These are two examples I've come across recently:
Keyword stuffing: website pages where the content is so densely packed with words, and variations on those words, that it's impossible for a human [i.e., potential customer] to make head or tail of the information. Website content needs to read naturally. It needs to meet the needs of the humans visiting your site, otherwise they won't stay!
Creating unrelated web pages for a linking scheme: although it's important for the content on your website to be so valuable that it attracts links from other related sites, you don't want to get and give links lightly, particularly to unrelated sites. If your business is furniture or flooring, having pages on your site that discuss cars and link to car dealers makes no sense. Read The Dirty Little Secrets of Search for a high profile example.
As with most online business activities, SEO or search engine optimization is work. You need to spend time thinking about and prioritizing keywords that have meaning for your business. You need to create website pages that focus on and develop content around one or two keywords. And you need to do so with your potential customer in mind.
Results don't happen overnight. Rather they take place over time after consistent, thoughtful effort on your website, with the words you use and the content you create online. Beware, then, of anyone promising you quick, cheap fixes, and guaranteed position one results for your keywords.
Beware of emails from people promising you links and wanting to exchange links with you. Most won't identify themselves, rarely explain who they represent, and don't even come close to relevance.
You'll find this article helpful: All SEO Service Providers Are Not Created Equal.
Beware, too, of those who call themselves 'experts'. Educate yourself so you understand what's involved in SEO and what's important for your business. That's what inspired me to write SEO Primer: Nurturing Your Online Digital Visibility.
5 Steps to Take Before Hiring an SEO Company suggests, in addition to educating yourself about SEO, defining measurable goals.
You might also enjoy this article by Hubspot [with download offer] on how to avoid bad SEO techniques: 10 Signs Your SEO Firm Isn’t Worth the Money [Free Ebook] - which include:
- Making Promises That Are Too Good to Be True
- Using “Black Hat” SEO Techniques
- Targeting the Wrong Keywords
- Employing Shoddy Linking Schemes
- Promising to List Your Site in Hundreds of Online Directories
- Redesigning Your Site or Creating New Pages Without 301 Redirects
- Focusing on Metadata Instead of On-Page SEO
- Creating Bad Content
- Driving Irrelevant Traffic
- Offering a One-Time Fix With No Ongoing Maintenance
I bet you've witnessed bad SEO techniques! What are the worst examples you've encountered and how would you avoid them? Let me know in the comments.