Although SEO has been proven to be one of the best ways for businesses to create long-term rankings and valuable leads, there are many businesses, and even professional SEO companies, that fail to recognize some significant SEO mistakes. These are mistakes that, if not fixed immediately, can spell trouble for your SEO campaign and potentially work against the benefits of many of your other, more successful SEO efforts.
Black Hat SEO Tactics
Fudging the rules a bit—whether you’re trying to stick to a diet, win a board game, or optimize your site for rankings—is never really as good of an idea as it seems at the time. Bending the unspoken rules of SEO, also known as “black hat” SEO, is not illegal, but it is ill-advised and more importantly, can create negative backlash for your business with search engine algorithm’s becoming more equipped to recognize these techniques and more likely to lower your business’ rankings because of them.
Some black hat SEO No-Nos include:
• Keyword stuffing. Although keywords are important for SEO, keyword stuffing, or including as many keywords as possible to increase your keyword density, is an underhanded tactic and one that can decrease your content’s quality, another important ranking factor.
• Invisible Text. Using white text on a white background to incorporate keywords that can’t be seen by consumers but that may be crawled by search engines is a shady move and one that search sites like Google are now adapting their algorithms to handle.
• Unnecessary Linking. Creating useless links or tons of irrelevant inbound links solely to boost a page’s rankings is not only in poor taste, but it’s unhelpful for clients, turning them off and leading to lowered conversion.
Optimizing for the Wrong Keywords
Finding a balance between content that is keyword rich and content that is high-quality is becoming more and more important, and that’s why targeting the right keywords and using them correctly is essential. Not every keyterm that relates to your services is necessary, or helpful, for your SEO campaign and can be a waste of time and money. If you’re a local business, target local traffic with specific keywords. Likewise, using more targeted keywords or strings of words, may not get you the most traffic but could provide you with the most valuable leads.
Letting Content Quality Slide
Focusing on meta-tags instead of onpage SEO, forcing keywords where they don’t belong, and allowing stale content to go unaltered are huge mistakes in SEO. In the age where content is king, focus on writing quality, unique, and useful content and that will ultimately serve you better than other shady and unsuccessful content tactics.
Failing to Manage Your Site with Ongoing SEO Maintenance
Unlike PPC, which offers instantaneous results for quick actions and short-term, SEO offers long-term results. However, these long-term rankings and continued lead generation are only possible with time and continued effort, maintenance, and successful campaign management.