Navigating the minefield of SEO can be really difficult, especially if you’re not already a savvy digital marketer. Rules, algorithms, content, tags… there’s so much going on, it can be difficult to know where to start! Luckily, in recent years a huge number of online resources have sprung up to help would be digital marketers take control of their business’ online future. By following a seemingly simple set of rules, you can cut your marketing cost by 100% and send your growth skyrocketing! But, sadly, we all know it’s not that easy. With so many ‘easy to follow’ guides out there, many businesses are finding themselves unwittingly falling into the trap of employing bad SEO practice. Through good intentions, websites can suffer hugely and potentially be penalised by search engines, a fact that has the potential to do real damage to a business. It’s always a good investment to learn more about how to successfully promote and grow your business online. If you’re giving it a go, we applaud you! Not only that, we want to help as best we can, so we have compiled a list of SEO bad practices to avoid like the plague when optimising your website. While not an exhaustive list, our tips will help you ensure your website has the best chance of getting in front of the people you want to reach. But if you’re looking for something a little more comprehensive, why not speak to Koncept? As SEO experts, we can help you to maximise your online reach, so get in touch today!
It should be obvious, but stealing content is an absolute no-no. It’s understandable when you’re under pressure to fill your website that it might be tempting to pinch a little bit of text here and there from around the web, or perhaps to double up on some text on two different pages of your own. After all, content is king, right? Wrong. Search engines are smart. They analyse your website using bots called ‘crawlers’ and they will sniff out when you’ve stolen or repeated content and penalise your website in the rankings as a result. Not to mention the damage to your reputation if it gets out that you’re stealing someone else’s work to bulk up your website, or make yourself look better. The bottom line is this: keep it original or don’t use it. It might take time for you to build the perfect website, but it’s worth the effort!
WORD COUNT DECEPTION
Did you ever write an essay in school that had a word limit, and to fool your teacher into thinking you wrote more you’d add a ton of letters and gibberish at the end of your last sentence and make the text white, thus upping the word count and making you feel like you should have been a part of Ocean’s 11? Maybe all of us weren’t so lazy, but believe it or not, this is a tactic that has been known to be used to try and trick search engines into thinking a website has more unique and relevant content than it actually does. It’s called ‘cloaking’ and back in the day, it was used by developers to cram as many keywords into a page as possible. It’s now penalised by search engines, so just in case you had any ideas, this is another bad practice to toss in the bin!
In 2019, consumer patience is at an all-time low. It used to be true to say that a slow or unresponsive website would hurt your web traffic. Nowadays it can all but decimate it. If your website takes forever to load, or it isn’t optimised for mobile, you might as well throw all your other SEO efforts out because nobody is going to be there long enough to appreciate them. Responsive web design is crucial in 2019, you cannot afford to sleep on making sure that your website fulfils the basic criteria for web users in modern times.
Probably the most famous SEO bad practice to avoid, keyword stuffing involves inserting as many keywords into your website content as possible to make it seem more relevant for more search times. Old practices included having entire pages on websites filled with one or two keywords or repeating words in content, making it much less interesting or easy to read. The emphasis was less on the user experience and more on how to work the system to get to the top of the search engine. Unsurprisingly, this practice is now heavily penalised, and the bots have gotten more and more sophisticated in their ability to discern how relevant a keyword is within a piece of content. When writing content, research keywords that are relevant to your website and pepper them within your content in a natural way. This will help your website to rank higher and keep your content readable for the end user.