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SEO Tactics That Can Get You in Trouble

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best way to distance your brand from other brands (particularly in the same industry) while building top of mind awareness. And, it’s your quickest way to get found online in a Google or Bing search. Why wouldn’t you want your customer to find you first (over your competitors)?

Increasing traffic to your website creates additional sales which means more revenue. The additional exposure to your brand also elevates your business to the top of SERPS (search engine results pages) but, and here’s the important stuff, there are several things you need to avoid when optimizing your website for SEO.

Google Algorithm

Google uses certain algorithms to crawl websites and determine which sites should be in the top ranking. But most companies don’t realize these algorithms can change daily. So, what worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today. And, Google can give you a penalty (such as a Google Sandbox penalty) if you don’t follow their exhaustive algorithm changes. What does that mean for you? Well, you literally sit in the sandbox while the others get to play. You definitely don’t want this!

Keyword Stuffing

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make. Keyword stuffing is exactly like it sounds, cluttering your pages (blogs, articles, photos, etc) with keywords that don’t seem natural. Or, the classic mistake of overusing the same keywords on each and every page (or photo) again and again. More is not always better. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, less is more? and that certainly applies to writing content for your website.

Broken Links

I’m sure you’ve seen this before, an article (or some information) on a website that you’re excited to click on and read, and it goes nowhere. Or, you get a 404 error message. That’s super annoying and super unprofessional. This is another great way to get punished by Google’s algorithms and actually lose page or site ranking and find yourself dropping from Google quickly. There are tons of free site scanners online to check for broken links or pages on your site.

GTmetrix.com is a great way to analyze your website, speed and performance. It’s also a great way to avoid broken links and several of the other items discussed in this blog.

Missing Sitemap:

A sitemap is a file that lists various URLs (on your website) that go into making up your site. These maps essentially allow Google and other search engines to crawl your website more efficiently. Therefore, it’s very important that you have one. They tell Google which pages are important, how often to crawl your site, etc. You can even create a free sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools. However, I always stress that a custom sitemap will get you improved results a lot quicker than using free tools or software. After all, you get what you pay for.

One other tip I always suggest, make sure you write your own content. This applies to articles and blogs and any pages on your website. If you are using content found elsewhere on the internet, you will get penalized for this as well. In fact, duplicate content is the quickest way to lose page ranking on any and all search engines. So, consider your website a fresh palette to paint on, and start writing for your brand today!

By following (or better yet, not following) the SEO tactics mentioned, you can stay away from making mistakes that negatively impact your page ranking. You want Google to reward you with great search results and increase your visibility online. And, all of this is easy, especially if you work with a great SEO provider dedicated to getting your business, company or brand the online presence you need. But most folks do not have the budget to hire an SEO firm. Which means, you need to do this stuff yourself.

So, if you’re going to do it yourself, make sure you do it right. Avoid the SEO tactics in this blog and you’re already off to a better start than you were before.