Boss Lady

Bad SEO mistakes you can’t keep making

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In 2020, there is no excuse for bad SEO. Search engine optimization isn’t a passing fad or a marketing technique for reserved for mega-corporations. If anything, SEO has proven itself to be one of the most important digital marketing tactics of the 21st century, and without a doubt, any entrepreneur can learn the fundamentals of SEO through online blogs and hire an affordable SEO agency to improve their search ranking.

It doesn’t matter how tech-savvy a business leader is, how big their marketing budget or how constrained their time — there is no excuse for the following SEO mistakes.

Link quantity over quality

Backlinks have always been one of Google’s primary ranking factors, so building links is one of the most important activities in SEO. However, that doesn’t mean that trying to get as many links as possible is the best SEO strategy. In the early days of search engines, more links did correlate with higher ranking, but these days, Google and other search providers are more discerning in the types of links they reward. In fact, building too many links — especially low-quality links — too quickly is a major red flag to search engines, who might penalize a website for such behaviors with lower rankings for the foreseeable future.

Instead, business leaders should prioritize building a high-quality backlink profile with links from authoritative and relevant websites. Of course, this takes much more time and effort, often requiring higher investment in producing superior content and developing relationships with respected publishers over a longer period of time. Instead of trying to navigate this link-building process on their own, business leaders will find it easier to acquire professional SEO services because established SEO agencies maintain a network of authoritative publishers willing to place client links.

Spammy guest blogs

Guest blogging is the practice is placing content on a different website to build backlinks. In truth, guest blogging is an essential component of SEO because it is a reliable and beneficial way to develop relationships with other websites, access new audiences of consumers and gain valuable backlinks. The problem lies with how many businesses go about creating and posting guest blogs.

Too many business leaders rely on shady content creators sourced from countries like India and China to produce guest blogs with links. While this might cut costs, it also seriously cuts content quality. Many non-native English writers cannot produce natural-sounding English blogs; worse, many low-budget creators recycle content found on other websites, either copying passages whole-cloth or rewriting content in a lower-quality style. The result is backlinks stuck in spammy guest blogs, which search engines can easily identify and eliminate as ranking factors.

Again, contracting SEO services can help solve this problem. SEO firms tend to have relationships with high-quality content creators, who can produce new and interesting content that online audiences need and want.

Keyword misses

Because keywords are such an easy element to incorporate in both on-page and off-page SEO, many business leaders misinterpret their importance as ranking factors. When search engines were young, keywords were one of only a few tools search algorithms used to rank results, but these days, Google, Bing and the like are much better at understanding content context without keywords. Thus, it is easy these days to make grave keyword mistakes that seriously hinder the ability to rank high in search results.

Keyword stuffing is an obvious issue that business leaders should strive to avoid. In 2020 and beyond, content should have, at most, two mentions of target keywords, and those mentions should be spread far apart on the page. Gone are the days when content needed to include four or more keyword phrases; doing so today looks spammy and will put off search engines as well as consumer audiences.

A less obvious keyword-related issue is missing search intent. Google and other search engines use machine learning tools to better comprehend what a user is actually looking for from certain queries, and businesses need to factor this kind of intent into the content they produce. Research into search intent is useful for guiding SEO content creation — and is best conducted by SEO professionals.

SEO has grown and evolved into a complex, technical digital marketing strategy that is essential for businesses looking to build an audience through online traffic. However, making assumptions about how SEO works will only lead to major SEO mistakes. The sooner business leaders outsource to qualified SEO experts, the sooner they will see noteworthy SEO success.

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