The success of any online business depends on how diligently the business owner or marketer works on search engine optimisation or SEO. Recent data from Outbrain suggests that search is the primary driver of traffic to content websites, and brings you 3 times more traffic than social media. As such, using proper SEO techniques can be advantageous to your online business.
That said, SEO is a constantly evolving discipline. There are new search engine algorithm updates, new best practices, and new trends every few months as search engines adapt their assessment of whether or not a page is relevant. The fact that the rules of SEO keep changing can be terrifying for marketers, since there is no sure way to maintain a top spot in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Still, you can avoid getting penalised on obvious bad SEO strategies, like:
1. Keyword stuffing
This is the practice of shoving a large number of keywords into your web content and meta tags in order to artificially increase the page’s ranking in search results and boost traffic to the site. Back in the early years of search engines, it was easy to manipulate the ranking of a web page on Google’s SERPs by stuffing keywords.
Websites could rank on a wide range of keywords by simply inserting them into a page, even if those keywords were unrelated to the site. In most cases, the keywords were concealed from visitors so they could only be detected by search engines. But some could be clearly visible and obnoxious to the user. Natural, this created terrible user experience, as no one wanted to read the same phrase hundreds of times without any meaningful content.
Today, keyword stuffing, which is also referred to as spamdexing, is considered an unethical SEO technique. It is also ineffective, because Google no longer relies on meta tags to rank websites. It is also considered as an attack technique to drive traffic to malicious or fraudulent websites. So, Google removes such websites from its index so they cannot be found in SERPS at all.
2. Feeding the search engine robots first
This happens when you build a website whose sole purpose is to get indexed by search engines in order to get a higher ranking in SERPS. And then you can create some content for the user, though this is not your primary goal. Even if you fool the search engines, you will have a high bounce rate because you are not providing any value to your visitors. A high bounce rate shows that your site is not as relevant to the user, as well as your industry, causing your ranking to plummet.
3. Failing to optimise page content
Old SEO pros know the importance of optimising the URL, SEO title, focus keyword, and meta description for good ranking. But as Google continues to reward pages that emphasise the relevancy of on-site page content, it is important that you create a synergistic relationship between valuable content and you SEO keyword strategy.
The common solution to these SEO habits is to create meaningful content for your web pages that impacts people, and then optimising it for SEO.