There’s always talk around SEO and what the best or worst tactics are. “X is dead,” “Y is the best ever!”, “If you do this, you’re done for!” The trick is knowing how to navigate through the ever-changing terrain of the Internet.
This list will provide you with all the bad practices that you SHOULD NOT follow and if you ever hear anybody say one of these things in an attempt to implement them, be weary.
Only Need To Do SEO Once
Remember that one time you cleaned your house and it somehow got dirty again after a few days went by? Funny how that works, huh?
SEO is the same way. You can’t just do it once and be done. SEO takes continuous care and work to reach the results you desire. There is always work to be done.
This a perfect segway into the next SEO myth:
Being At The Top Lasts Forever
You are now ranking #1 for your desired keyword. Do you stop? Do you let others continue to close in on your #1 rank? The answer is NO (remember our house cleaning example?). You keep going! Business is a dog-eat-dog world and if your not protecting your territory someone will definitely be looking to infringe upon your real estate at the top of the SERP.
Again, SEO is an on-going process. Don’t get complacent!
Content Is Content, Let’s Get It Pushed Out!
While you do want to produce a steady flow of content so that the search engines recognize your contribution to the interwebs, it is important that you are not just pushing out content for the sake of pushing out content. The content your business publishes is a reflection of your business. Do you want to be seen as a thought-leader or as, “that guy that just posts stuff?”
You will be rewarded for publishing truly great articles because people will really gravitate to good content. If you are just another stick in the mud how are people supposed to see your business’ true value?
DO NOT KEYWORD STUFF.
This practice was long ago abandoned. Nowadays the search engines are a lot smarter and 1) recognize when you do this but also 2) they penalize you for doing it!
Search engines now look for relevancy so it is actually in your favor to mention other keywords that are also relevant to your content. I would shy away from using a certain keyword more than 3 times in the exact same way.
All Keywords Should Be Exact Matches
This goes along with the keyword stuffing. Your keywords do not have to be repeated verbatim in your headlines or content. It is more beneficial to use natural language. The search engines are smart enough to pick up on what you are trying to throw down.
Think of it this way: If you use your keyword in the exact same way every time that would be considered keyword stuffing.
Thanks to Cable World, we know that putting “shm-” in front of a word makes it seem less important.
This is not the case for optimizing images! Search engines cannot read images, so it is important to optimize the parts that they can read. This includes the alt text and a relevant file name (MyKeyword.jpg vs. 18574.jpg). See the difference?
It might seem like a hassle but take the time to optimize your images. It’s worth it! According to Yoast, “an image that is surrounded by related text, ranks better for the keywords it is optimized for.”
More Inbound Links = Higher SERP Ranking
Wrong. More inbound links does not equal a higher SERP ranking. If you have 50 sites like www.spammycontent.org, that contain a lot of spammy content, pointing to your site do you think that would help or hurt your SERP position?
Hint: It’ll hurt it.
However, having more inbound links pointing to your site that are actually useful and relevant to your industry will help raise your SERP position. So make sure the backlinks you are getting are worth it!
Optimizing For Mobile Can Wait
We all know the stats: 80% of internet users own a smartphone, when users engage with digital media, 51% of the time it is through mobile technology, etc.
All those stats can be boiled down to one sentence: If your site isn’t optimized for mobile you are doing something wrong.
White Hat Only!
Sometimes you have to break from the mold. Be different. Try something new. I’m not condoning black hat SEO tactics, but there is a middle ground.
By only using white hat SEO tactics you miss out on huge grey hat opportunities that could lead to a lot of traffic with very low risk of penalization from Google and other search engines.
Fortune favors the bold.
Social Media doesn’t affect SEO
Two words: Content Distribution.
While its true Google doesn’t use metrics such as shares or retweets in their algorithms, this doesn’t mean social media cannot help your SEO efforts.
Think about the action of sharing or retweeting. It’s someone in your audience saying, “Wow, this is really neat. I want others to see this too.”
Sounds like free advertising to me. And not only is it free, it can be great for brand awareness too.
Good UX Isn’t Required
Have you ever heard a successful businessperson say, “We like to frustrate our customers. They love it!”
The answer is probably “No, never” and if it isn’t, whoever said that found themself one hell-of-a niche market. Most customers like a pain-free user experience.
User experience is key to all online businesses. If a page doesn’t load fast enough, users will leave. If a page doesn’t work the way it’s intended to work (e.g. broken links) users will leave. If the navigation is too difficult to use—you guessed it—users will leave.
Remember your website is supposed to cater to your visitors. If it fails to do so, you might want to rethink your website strategy/design.
Local SEO Isn’t As Important
As the Internet becomes evermore prevalent, the importance of local SEO grows with it.
In July 2014, Google released the Pigeon algorithm specifically to enhance local search. The aim of this algorithm was to provide a more useful and relevant experience for searchers seeking local results.
If you need more proof than Google releasing an algorithm aimed specifically at local search then type in “pizza” into your search engine right now, chances are a map with the nearest pizza place to you shows up.
All Google, All The Time
I’ve alluded to this throughout the blog post, but it’s been subtle so you might not have noticed it.
GOOGLE IS NOT THE ONLY SEARCH ENGINE!!
While Google is the 800-pound gorilla in the room, it would be wise to direct some of your efforts to the likes of Bing and Yahoo.
Once again, be weary if you hear someone trying to implement one of these SEO myths. Not only would they be not helping your SEO efforts, there is also a good chance they will actually hurt the work you’ve done so far!
Feel free to take a look at Knowmad’s SEO process and how clients have benefited from our work.
Matt is an observer. His keen attention to detail and knack for noticing the little differences set him apart. Coupled with his ability to think laterally, this skill creates an opportunity for him to think of innovative and unique ideas designed to help clients meet their goals. At Knowmad, Matt focuses on SEO and PPC services.