What Not to Wear: SEO Edition

NoHave you ever seen that show “What Not to Wear,” where fashion experts, Stacy and Clinton, observe walking fashion disasters in action, and seem to want to beat their heads against something hard and blunt?

That is how many social media and web experts feel when they observe walking SEO disasters in actions. Not that it’s necessarily their fault… With so many self-proclaimed experts out there giving self-proclaimed expert advice, it can be difficult to suss out the beneficial from the detrimental. The problem is that some of these tips will not only NOT INCREASE your rankings, but they can actually cause your SEO rankings to DECREASE, faster than a stone tied to an anvil tied to a retired space probe.

While it is vitally important to know what you SHOULD do to increase your organic rankings, it is equally as important to know what NOT to do, so you can avoid those common pitfalls that leave other small business web managers scratching their heads and wondering why in the heck all of their hard work has actually made everything worse…

What Not to Do SEO Tip #1: Pay for or Allow Illegitimate Comments

Algorithms have the ability to differentiate paid spam comments to legitimate customer comments. If a company tries to sell comments, and those comments link back to a website that is flagged as spam, your rankings will suffer. Same thing applies to your website if you approve or do not delete “fake” spammy comments. You may think that having a spam comments that tell you how to make $10,000/week to work from home is better than having no comments, but you would be incorrect.

One easy way to make sure you do not fall victim to spam comments ranking killer is by turning on your website’s “approve comments” option.

What Not to Do SEO Tip #2: Keyword-Stuffing

Choosing keywords that are both prevalent and relevant to the content on your website is a great way to increase your ranking, but going overboard, intentionally or not, is a huge no-no. Remember the old adage, “too many cooks spoil the broth” when integrating these words into your pages. With algorithms being as advanced as they are today, if you overdo it (and especially if you have a page with the same word or words repeated over-and-over again), you will get dinged.

While there is no exact keyword density defined by search engines, be sure to keep your keyword usage natural yet lush.

  • If the keyword isn’t on the page – it isn’t going to rank well (or at all) for that keyword.
  • If the keyword isn’t in the title of the page, it is going to be tougher to rank for that keyword.
  • If the keyword isn’t in the URL, the task becomes more difficult.

What Not to Do SEO Tip #3: Posting Plagiarized Irrelevant Content

Did you copy your content from another author? Maybe you purchased your most recent Blog post from an author who has sold this same post to lots of other customers? If so, beware because Google will find out, and when they do, you will be punished. Maybe this has been mentioned before, but just so you are aware, algorithms are increasingly sophisticated. Shortcuts just don’t cut it any more.

Additionally, if your website sells designer dog carriers but you are choosing keywords relating to nuclear engineering, Google will not look favorably upon your site. Think of it in terms of credibility and relatability. If your content might leave your customers scratching your head and wondering what that post had to do with the price of apples in China, Google is going to wonder the same thing. Remember: Those who make Google scratch its head make Google reduce their SEO ranking, as well.

A good tip is to think about what is trending right now in your target market. If your customers are workout fanatics, read up on the latest trend and write a blog post about your thoughts. When it comes to content, just remember this simple formula:

Relevance + Originality + Consistency = Happy Google

Happy Google = Higher SEO Ranking

What Not to Do SEO Tip #4: Backlinks of Ill-Repute

One of the best ways for your website to climb the SEO charts is by having TRUSTED websites reference your page and posts. If other legit websites consider your content to be credible, then Google algorithms do, as well.

There is, however, a dark side to backlinking. If unrelated, spammy or disreputable sites begin backlinking to your page, algorithms sniff that out and flag your site as fishy. Here is the scary part, this nefarious linking can occur without you even knowing about it.

Commonly a website owner will pay for backlinking, thinking it will help them; however, that usually ends up backfiring. The sites that are backlinking are generally have no related content, and it is fishy if linking goes from zero to a thousand in a matter of weeks. However, spammy websites may backlink to your site, unbeknownst to you, and for no other reason but to hurt your credibility.

The internet can be a large sea of uncertainty and doubt for the small business owner trying to navigate his or her own SEO boat, not knowing whether the light of this unknown lighthouse is guiding you to safe harbor or doom. If you have any questions or need credible guidance, do not hesitate to reach out to a trusted Petronella employee. Give us a call or send us an email and we will be more than happy to lend you a hand.

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