SEO or Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important factors that your website can rely on. When you are creating or maintaining your website you need to make sure that you are following all of the best practices recommended by Google and other search engines.
With ever-changing best practices, it is important to stay up to date on what works and what doesn’t. When optimizing your website, it is important to use caution as some previously used techniques now have the ability to get you severely penalized.
Here are a few outdated SEO techniques that could potentially hurt your search engine rankings:
1.Thin, short form or useless content
With the release of the most recent Google updates, longer, higher quality content reigns supreme. While some quality short blogs or pages (think 300 words or less), can still rank if they provide value to the visitor, statistically speaking, longer content will rank more often and more easily than shorter ones will.
Now, this doesn’t mean fluffed up pieces will rank easier. If you have said all you need to say on a topic in 800 words, don’t bluster and add extra words to reach a certain total.
Think about the last article you read when you thought, “That said nothing,” or “Wait, that doesn’t answer my question.” Google recognizes pages that do just that and penalize them appropriately.
The key idea you want to think of with optimization is relevant. If the searcher finds an answer in your blog, Google will take notice and rank your website appropriately. Answer a searchers question and your content will rank better.
There are some pages that do better as short form content, but as a rule, longer and relevant is better.
2. Bad backlinks
Although link building is one of the easiest things you can do to help increase ranking on a search engine, this only applies to links that are relevant to the content on your site.
Links from irrelevant, low-quality or spammy websites or directories will cause your rankings to drop. Paid links can even get your entire website de-indexed.
To better understand your inbound links, gather the data on back links from your link profile on SEMRush, Google Search Console or a specialty site such as Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer. This will allow you to see backlinks that look spammy or unnatural.
Google Search Console allows you to disavow links to your site that could be detrimental to your site health. SEMRush has a health indicator of your links and you can put them in a file to export to Google Search Console to disavow.
Google has said previously that it recognizes some of the spammy links that could be affecting your site health.
Although having inbound links is somewhat important, successful SEO is a combination of several balanced components.
3. Over Optimization of Target Keywords (a.k.a. Keyword Stuffing)
Stuffing your target keyword in as many places as you can seem like a great idea. You want to be on the first page at the top for this special keyword. This used to be how search engines worked, with a minimum number of appearances of the keyword on a page. However, there has been a gigantic shift in the search landscape.
Nowadays, search engines penalize sites for keyword stuffing. As mentioned above, search engines display relevant information based on the search query.
While you still should have keywords on a page, you should write with synonyms and similar phrases to ensure that it answers the specific search, rather than just ranking for a keyword.
When doing on-site keyword optimization use one keyword per page, blog post or topic. This will send the message to the search engines this is the site they should be displaying for that specific keyword.
If you write remarkable content for the reader, search engines will be happy. Try to understand who you are creating content for and search engines will invariably reward your site.
BONUS: Titles and Title Tags
While you may not think about it, titles can be the first thing that draws someone to your blog, page or website. Mistakes can be made with titles and title tags which will hurt your SEO, including:
- Too short. While you know that titles shouldn’t be more than 70 characters, avoid making them shorter than 30 characters. It doesn’t help Google or searchers to understand what is on your page.
- Not descriptive. Like when a title is short, a generic title can hinder searches, wasting everyone’s time.
- Including irrelevant information. If you have your phone number in your title and several keywords shoved into the title, this absolutely does your SEO no good and it also doesn’t help your users.
- Too long. Google will only display a certain number of characters, cutting off the remainder of your thoughtfully crafted title. If you bury the point of your topic in a long title, your users will lose interest and it will reflect in your rankings.
ADTACK Your SEO
SEO is an ever-changing landscape and it is crucial to stay up to date on the latest algorithm changes and best practices. It is important for helping your site be found by strangers as well as hopefully converting these strangers into leads and then into customers.
If you are concerned about using bad, outdated or black hat practices or want more information on how SEO can help increase the exposure of your website, contact ADTACK via our convenient online form below, or you can call us at (702) 270-8772 today.