With the world of Search Engine Optimisation being extremely wide, there can be uncertainties on what may or may not be best practice. What we do know is what does work and what can get your site penalised.
Bad habits can be established by not adapting to the latest best practice, or by trying to do a “catch all”, which SEO certainly isn’t, it requires a lot evolving work. Below is a list of 7 poor SEO habits to leave in 2019.
The days of keyword stuffing and ghosting/phantom text are far gone, those black hat techniques now end up penalising your website as opposed to ranking it highly as it did years ago. Writing good content is discussed in such high volume nowadays because it really is that important. For 2020 focus on creating copy that matches the intent of the users – For example, if you’re attempting to rank for “teeth whitening treatment” then develop the copy around that term. Think what information are they looking for.
Do not then go creating multiple pages about teeth whitening with copied content – more pages does not mean higher rankings. Make that one page highly relevant and intent matching.
Link building is highly important, it is an indicator of relevancy and authority to search engines – Both of which are ranking factors. It is however, not a master key for entering those top rankings. Focus less on spammy email link building campaigns and more on securing high quality links and the wider scope of on-page optimisation.
In the early days of SEO the way to secure top rankings was to flood your pages with keywords. It would be lists on lists of closely related terms the page was attempting to rank for stuffed in the footer, or the text set to white to “hide” within the page.
Nowadays the factors Google looks out for are good user experience, low bounce rate, dwell-time (The amount of time a users spends on a webpage before clicking back to search results). These are far more important to Google as it signals the page is relevant to the user’s search.
It can be overwhelming knowing there’s over 200 ranking factors Google scores your website against; however, many of these are minute compared to the heavier weighted factors. It’s important to ensure the basics are covered such as keywords in meta-title/description, good use of h1 & h2 tags, naturally distributed key-phrases, and supportive use of images (include alt tags!).
Admittedly the warnings you receive when running a website can get a bit much, especially as the site gets larger. All the tools you’re using and plug-ins perhaps running will be altering you to all their own notifications. One tool to keep an eye on is Google Search Console, despite having it’s fair share of “minor” alerts, it will indicate you of major issues that can be detrimental to the website.
Google Search Console provides usability and indexing issues, two huge factors that effect ranking. If the usability is poor, it can be fixed over a period of time but users will still be able to find the website. On the other hand, if the site is not being indexed for any reason it means your potential customers cannot find you in the search results. No results equals no organic traffic!
This can seem like a tedious task having to compress every single image you upload to your website. You may be thinking that the extra few megabytes won’t hurt, right? Wrong… slow websites are the main cause of high bounce rate, don’t get marked down by Google for easily avoidable mistakes! Use a tool such as TinyPNG to optimise your images before uploading to your website.
Google update their search engine algorithm…a lot… with these updates come game changing methods and best practice. By being in the dark is seriously effecting your website’s performance, what may have worked a few months ago could now be harming your website! Stay up to date by reading the latest posts on seroundtable.com or Moz.com.
If you feel your website is suffering from bad habits and outdated SEO then feel free to contact us for a site audit. We’ll be more than happy to help, alternatively book a quick chat with one of our Marketing Consultants.