SEO is a powerful thing, and with great power comes great responsibility. One of the most complicated things about SEO is that nothing ever stays the same. Methods that worked well just a year ago could now fall flat, and techniques that once were useless are now pivotal elements in a successful SEO strategy. Google changes its search algorithm frequently, so it’s pretty easy to become confused and lost in the mess. As a result, many SEO marketers waste their time and energy on outdated or useless tactics. Here are some commonly used SEO tactics that can actually harm your search rankings.
Keywords can be the bread and butter of any effective SEO plan, but there can be too much of a good thing. Using a few keywords will help improve your search rankings, but soon, you’ll reach a plateau, and then a sharp drop. Keywords should be written into your content with plenty of context, not just listed out and slapped at the end of a page. Focus on creating content developed for the reader, not for a search engine.
Any single-click SEO plug-in isn’t your best bet. Many people believe activating a module like Yoast is all it takes to make your site SEO-ready. While activating these plugins will offer some easy benefits, it’s just the start of getting your SEO up to par. Your SEO strategy is something that has to be consistently monitored and tweaked in order to actually be effective. There simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to SEO. Your strategy is something that needs to be developed over time to see what works and what doesn’t. Simply installing a plug-in on your site won’t cut it.
Using Duplicate Content
It’s incredibly important that your website’s content is original and unique to your business. Publishing duplicate content on your site will negatively impact your Google ranking. If a search engine has already crawled and indexed the same content you have on your web page, the search engine will not index your page, since it has no new content. This will cause web pages with duplicate content to not rank in Google searches. If it’s essential that you have duplicate content on your site based on the nature of your industry or business, it’s best to check these images off as “noindex and nofollow” on the backend of your website if you don’t want it to negatively impact your search ranking.
Excessive Outbound Linking
While linking to relevant web pages and receiving links to your website is a good thing for SEO, excessive or incorrectly done outbound linking can negatively impact your SEO. Excessive linking is typically useless and can also harm your page rankings on Google. You will also have to deal with keeping these links updated so they don’t show up as broken to your site’s users and to Google.
And broken images and links do more than just annoy your site’s users. When Google crawls your site’s web pages and finds that it contains broken links, your SEO can be negatively impacted. While you can’t really control when another site you’ve linked to in the past has moved their content around or deleted it, you can periodically go through and check any outbound links you’ve set up on your site. Removing or updating broken links and images will not only improve the user experience on your site, but it will keep your SEO from being affected as well.
Hosting a Site with Low Bandwidth
When it comes to SEO strategy, you’ll also have to keep in mind the type of hosting your website has. Your page loading time is an extremely important element to your SEO success. No matter how much your website is set up for SEO success, if users have to wait for more than a few seconds for your website to load, they’ll likely leave. This will drop your web traffic and harm your Google ranking. It’s important to have good hosting for your website. A quick and efficient web experience is key in retaining users and having them be willing to visit your website repeatedly, driving up your search rankings in the process.
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