SEO is a tactic that can boost online presence for your business. While there are many best practices, tips, and tutorials on how to get SEO right, there are also many, many things to stay away from. Not only will carrying out the following activities get you lackluster results, but they will also harm your SEO efforts and even hurt your brand. Here are a few of the most common red flag SEO strategies that can get you into trouble if you’re not careful.
Simply put, hidden text is text within your website or website content that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Many sites use hidden text strategies such as white text on a white background, collapsable text, or text behind an image to trick Google into placing them higher within search engine rankings. However, using hidden text to deceive Google is heavily frowned upon and can result in a hefty penalty.
Instead of caving to the deceptive strategy of hidden text, try using other descriptions on your website images or strategically placing text within videos on your website. These strategies help get more content on your site that will help your search engine rankings in a way that is fair and safe.
Many people when they first create their website and attempt to implement an SEO strategy fall victim to some form of keyword stuffing. It is common for people to think that the more times a keyword appears on their website, the better and that the location of those keywords doesn’t make a difference. As a result, the site gets flagged because it is a graveyard of repetitive content packed with keywords.
Instead of filling your website up with keywords in nonsensical places, create quality content around your keywords that provides your readers with useful information.
Remember how you had to avoid plagiarism in high school and college when writing papers? The same rules apply to the internet. Google frowns at websites that take others’ content and regurgitate it as their own. When Google realizes you have content that is not original to your page, it will likely penalize you by placing you further down in the ranks.
There are a lot of great ideas on the internet for blog topics and website content. Instead of stealing them and using them as your own, use them for inspiration. Then, develop your voice and add your knowledge to make the topic relevant to your audience. This strategy will help you to avoid copying your competitors and keep you from getting into trouble.
It’s true that search engines like websites that offer a plethora of content for their site visitors. Many websites fall victim to the mistake of duplicate content because it is a simple way to fill up multiple pages of their site with content. They use automatic systems to spin their words, so they say the same thing in a different way over and over again. Google and other search engines, however, can quickly identify this tactic and do not favor websites that use it.
If you have trouble coming up with fresh ideas for new content on your website, try working on a content calendar. A content calendar can help you plan blogs or other pieces of content in a strategic way, so you are never scrambling for words at the last minute. Furthermore, content calendars help you to avoid creating the same piece of content multiple times.
Everyone has fallen victim to clickbait at least once in their life. After all, it’s hard to resist a catchy title and an opportunity for “must know” information. As alluring as clickbait can be, you don’t want your site to be the host of it. Clickbait has the potential to draw visitors to your site but hurts your SEO, because Google views it as deceptive.
Go ahead and write an article with a catchy title for your site, but be sure the information within the article ties back to the title itself. Furthermore, always use credible images with your articles that are not deceptive or stolen content. These factors improve website content and reduce the possibility of red flags.
To avoid making big SEO mistakes like those mentioned in this article, invest in an SEO audit for your website. An SEO Audit from the professionals at Seventh Scout points out any big SEO mistakes you are making and helps to remedy them right away so you can avoid a place on the search engine “naughty list.” Contact us today for your consultation.