When you’ve worked in SEO as long as we have, you’re sure to come across a lot of questionable, outdated, or just downright bad advice about search engine optimization. Here are some of the worst things we’ve heard and seen, and what you should do instead.
Many people believe that SEO is just about getting the keyword on the page as much as they can. At best, this can mean text that reads really unnaturally, and at worst, it can mean hiding keywords in the code, or in white or really small text so it can’t be seen by visitors, only computers. Search engines aren’t just looking for who has the most keywords. They’re looking for who has the best content overall.
Best practice: Use your keywords naturally throughout the text of the page, instead of worrying about stuffing them in as often as you can.
Using P.O Boxes to Create Multiple GMB Listings
Many people believe that the more listings you have on Google Maps, the more successful you will be. Some people even go to the length of renting P.O. boxes in various cities and creating a GMB listing for each address. However, it’s against Google’s policy to use a P.O box or similar for your business address, and doing so will get your listing suspended. In fact, having multiple listings without a legitimate reason to do will usually result in them being suspended.
Best Practice: Create only one business listing per location. Spend time optimizing this listing, instead of creating others.
Everyone knows that links are king in SEO. That’s why there are so many link-building services out there. If you pay them, they’ll put your website link on a hundred sites. The problem with this is twofold. First, sites that are full of paid links are not very good quality, so Google doesn’t give their links any weight. Second, too many unnatural links can actually penalize your site, having the opposite effect you want.
Best Practice: Create good content and do good work to earn links, instead of paying for them from spammy sites.
Not Doing Keyword Research
Too many people just create a site and content and expect Google to start bringing in customers. They don’t research what keywords their customers are using or have any sort of plan. Keyword research is so important to make sure that your content is reaching the right audience. Tracking keywords allows you to know where you need to improve and what is working well. Without knowing your keywords, you cannot create an effective SEO plan.
Best practice: Before you create content, do some keyword research. Track the keywords you’ve researched to see how your content is performing.
Doing SEO on Your Own
Okay, so this one isn’t always bad, but we have seen a lot of business owners who have been managing their own SEO, but find that they just don’t have the knowledge or time to get good results. It’s always a good idea to outsource your SEO to professionals who make sure to only follow best practices and get you great results.