In a previous blog post, we explained the basics of SEO. It touched upon white hat vs. black hat techniques. The list below includes not only mistakes but black hat techniques as well that every business owner and/or website developer should stay away from.
1. Keyword Stuffing
This involves loading a webpage with as many keywords as possible with the hopes of ranking on search engines like Google and Bing. For instance, a business wants to show up for “plumber” so they put the word plumber in every single sentence on the page even if it doesn’t make sense. These keywords serve no purpose to the user, and you risk your website being banned or penalized by search engines.
2. Paying For Backlinks
A backlink is a link on a website that leads out to another website. For instance, if another blogger uses your website in their blog post, that’s 1 backlink for you. Generally, the more backlinks a website has, the better their SEO. However, people who want to cheat the system will pay for backlinks. These are often advertised as follows: “For only $5, I will build 10,000 high PR backlinks!” Sound too good to be true? That’s because in almost every case, it is. What they’ll do is get an automated program to build it for them. They’ll place a link to your website on low quality sites, search engines will see this spike in backlinks, and may even ban your website.
3. Low Quality, Duplicate Content
Gone are the days of creating pointless content with little effort. Both people and search engines want real, genuine and useful content. But, people will still try to find a way around this for the sake of SEO. So they’ll copy and paste content from another website or pay someone to write it for them. If they don’t know the writer, they may be providing you copied content from another website. Or, if they’re not an industry expert, they may be providing false information. Either way, low quality content no longer plays well with search engines. Even worse, if you have the same exact content on every page of your website, it’ll be even more difficult to get good SEO results.
4. Blogging Elsewhere
If you have a blog for your business, place it on your website. Don’t use a separate blogging tool like Blogger or Livejournal. If you place it on Blogger or Livejournal, your main domain gets 0 credit. Blogging is a great way to create new content for your website, and if you put it on your main business website, it creates more SEO weight. Also, remember to blog consistently with interesting content to keep your readers coming back for more!
5. Ignoring Mobile Users
Last year, mid-2015, Google rolled out parts of their search engine algorithm to account for websites that were built to be mobile-friendly. In their actual search results, they even noted down which websites were mobile-friendly for users. This easily affects conversion rates for your website. Unfortunately, mobile design is still often overlooked. Make sure to read up on responsive design and mobile design to see what it can do for your business.
6. Expecting To Be #1 Right Away
SEO doesn’t happen overnight.Unlike PPPC (pay-per-click), you can’t throw money at it, press a button, and then see your website pop up the very next day until your budget runs out. SEO involves carefully crafted strategies done the right way over a span of time. Generally, you’ll start seeing results in about 3-6 months. Then, you’ll need to continue your SEO efforts time and time again. It’s not something you can do once and walk away from. And, the benefits of seeing your business rank on the first pages of Google, or any search engine, are nearly priceless.