SEO should be at the top of your business’ online strategy. You need it to build a firm customer base, boost organic traffic and climb the search engine ladder. But for an SEO strategy to work, you need to learn what NOT to do.
Follow these 10 SEO Rules to avoid being smite by the big guy…who in this case, happens to be Google.
1. Don’t Use Duplicated Content
In the digital sphere, stealing content is a crime against Google. To avoid penalisation, evade duplicated content at all costs. Ensure that your site uses original, relevant and useful content. Don’t bombard your web pages with pointless jargon.
Develop high quality content strategies and update your content regularly. An on-site blog can help with this. Google will punish sites that don’t abide by this rule, so take heed and listen.
2. Don’t Cram Keywords
Yes, your website needs relevant keywords to attract customers. However, this doesn’t mean it’s okay to stuff your content with them. In the past, cramming keywords into the content of your E-Commerce site may have helped your sites performance. But times have changed and you need to keep the number of on-site keywords to a minimum.
Only use relevant keywords that will help search engines see the value of your site. Avoid cramming keywords as this will be seen as an attempt to fool Google’s algorithms.
3. Don’t Use Black-Hat SEO
The battle between Good and Evil has been going on for centuries. On the internet, this battle is alive in the form of White Hat and Black Hat SEO strategies.
Avoid the dark side and try to use white hat SEO tactics to improve your website’s performance. This will help to make your website more valuable and relevant to users. Your site will be more likely to perform better as a result.
4. Don’t Include Too Many Ads
A good user experience means giving customers what they want. If your website is crowded with ads, this can be extremely irritating to your site’s visitors. Loose and “scrawny” content alongside all these ads is even worse.
Make sure that your site keeps ads to a minimum. Google will pick up on low quality content, which does not bode well for its online performance.
5. Don’t Install Hidden Text
Many sneaky business owners have tried to hide SEO text from the Google bot. These tactics include putting white text on a white background with the aim to show different text to site visitors and Google. However, this method of improving organic traffic will not work as well as you might think.
Algorithms can detect cloaked and hidden text. This results in the immediate drop of your site down search results listings.
6. Don’t Use the Same Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
Avoid using the same title tags for each page of your website. Focus on the specific details, services or content included in specific web pages.
If you use the same title tags throughout your site, this can prove to be damaging towards your SEO efforts. The same goes with meta descriptions. Make them unique and persuasive to encourage viewers to click on your link.
7. Don’t Choose Link Quantity Over Quality
Too many websites are focusing on how many links they have rather than the quality of these links.
A single link from a high performing blog for instance, can do wonders for your site. Whereas having many links from low quality directory links won’t do you any favours. Google sees high quality links as a reliable measure of website quality.
8. Don’t Create Microsites
Once upon a time (before the Panda algorithm came along), the creation of microsites were used to boost rankings and traffic. The sites usually contained thin content and where used to link back to the main site.
However, Google’s Panda algorithm update has swept these mini sites off the face of the internet, making them completely redundant.
9. Don’t Use Link Farms
One of the best SEO tactics is to have links coming to and from your website. You’re more likely to get noticed if your content includes links. These should be from outside sources such as quality blogs or social media pages etc.
However, this only works if it happens organically. Never use link farms or link-swapping methods which will trigger a red flag, resulting in the possibility of finding yourself on Google’s black-list
10. Don’t Spam Customers or Google Maps
Spamming will send you so far down the ranks that it would take God himself to pull you back up into the first page of search results. Just don’t it. Also, don’t bother creating a false listing on Google Maps either.
Many businesses have done this AND paid the ultimate price for it. This is seen as an attempt to fool Google, which (as you probably gather from the other 9 rules) will result in the harsh punishment of your website.