When you’re in charge of SEO it’s not something you want to take huge risks on. Sure, calculated risks make sense, but by adhering to old strategies or trying to push the boundaries too fast you’ll end up risking or ruining your rankings in the process.
There are a lot of mistakes being made, even by bigger brands when it comes to their SEO process. Whether, you’re managing your own SEO, or running a campaign for another company it’s important that you avoid any of these mistakes as they’ll set back your efforts.
Sometimes, even doing too much of a good thing can lead to penalties. That’s why tracking and testing should be two of the most important words in your toolkit.
In this post we’re going to explore five of the most important things you’ll want to avoid if you ultimate want your SEO strategy to succeed.
Over-optimization can come in several forms. However, the most common are anchor text optimization and keyword stuffing of content. Anchor text used to be able to be used in order to increase your rankings for a certain keyword. This used to work for a long time, but nowadays it’s as good as dead.
If you used to want to rank for the term ‘best coffee shop’, you would have a ton of links pointing to your website with that exact phrase. However, in recent Google updates they’ve flagged this process and it’s deemed unnatural link building.
When it comes to linking just think if someone were to naturally link to your website, what anchor text would they use? They would probably use a combination of words that wouldn’t be a keyword repeated time and time again, your brand name or your URL.
The other form of over-optimization to be weary of is over-optimizing your content with keyword, otherwise known as keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing has been a no-go practice for a few years, but it seems some people are churning out keyword ridden copy. This mostly goes for long-tail keywords as they’re much more noticeable than short-tail.
Instead of keyword stuffing consider either writing longer content, or using your keyword less times throughout your copy, this will help to lower the keyword density. You can also use related keywords to still include the keyword you’re optimizing for without it being overwhelming, or setting off a penalty.
2. Spammy Guest Blogging
Guest blogging has been an integral part of content strategies and SEO campaigns for the past few years. Recently, there has been a lot of talk since Matt Cutts published a blog post calling for the end of guest blogging.
However, within all the uproar what he was really calling for was an end of spammy guest blogging. If your guest posting strategy for solely was being done to build backlinks, then you may want to switch up your strategy.
Guest posting can still be beneficial for SEO purposes, but only if you’re posting high quality content that is in alignment with your business, and the audience you’re posting for.
3. Focusing On Quantity Over Quality
In the case of backlinks today quantity definitely does not beat quality. You may think that purchasing thousands of backlinks may send your site soaring in the rankings, but it doesn’t quite work like that anymore. Usually, when you purchase backlinks from spammy sources those sources will already raise a red flag in the eyes of Google.
Link building is still extremely important to growing your rankings. However, the authority and relevancy of your links matters more than ever.
4. Using Low-quality Content
Low-quality content can come in many forms. You used to be able to get away with using spun content, or just overall shoddy content for your articles and blog posts. However, some of the latest Google algorithm updates have made it so spun content is essentially treated the same way as spam content.
The reason spam content doesn’t work is because it can’t be read by humans. It’s engineered to be read by the search engines, and that’s all. Human readability is taken out of the equation.
Other types of content that will hurt your rankings include sourcing your content from low-quality writers. The content you’ll usually receive from these sources will usually be written by writers that speak English poorly, and it will show in the content.
5. Only Focusing On One Element
Another big mistake we see across some SEO strategies is only focusing on one element of the SEO process. SEO is a multi faceted game that requires efforts across the content marketing, social media, look building, and onsite SEO.
If you simply focus on a single SEO factor your rankings may take a hit. One of the keys to succeeding with SEO is having a diverse link profile, as well as strong onsite factors. If all of these wheels aren’t turning at once your rankings aren’t going to be as strong as they could be.
It may seem like it’s a lot of work to keep all of these factors going strong, but it will be well worth it.
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