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How to avoid doing bad SEO - 6 bad practices
It is 2018 and some SEO specialists out there still apply old and unbeneficial techniques, worst yet there are plenty outdated pieces of content out there urging newcomers in the SEO world to implement lousy SEO practices.
This is why, at least on my personal blog, I always come back and update SEO articles because I hate knowing people research for a specific SEO problem and finding old solutions.
Either way here are the most common and dangerous SEO bad practices you should avoid at all costs in 2018:
1. Having a page for every single variation of keywords
This is quite an old practices, and I believe at one point it used to work, more like 14 years ago. Trying to rank for every single variation of keywords for a particular topic.
For example, having different pages for every variation of a targeted keyword: blue shirts, blue shirt, blue shirts for men, etc.
In reality, you should have a single page targeting an entire subject and a range of keywords, not just one keyword. The number of keywords a page needs should only be limited by relevancy. If a keyword is relevant to the subject you are talking about and it fixes the user's intent and needs, then use it.
2. Creating the wrong type of content
You might tend to believe that when it comes to SEO having any type of content published on a regular basis may help regardless of the quality.
The answer is: no. Having and publishing content just because you think search engines care about the frequency you post new content is just stupid.
If you have something worth saying from an SEO point of view, say it and publish it. If you think your content can help people fix their problems or answer their questions, again, post it.
But if you are just creating useless, low-quality content nobody finds useful, just because of you "activity" matters, don't. You are better off without low-quality content.
3. Ignoring on-page SEO problems
On-Page SEO can get very technical. This is why you should reach out to an experienced SEO specialist every one in a while to fix all your on-page SEO problems.
Especially the ones from Search Console. Here are just a few problems I usually find on every Search Console I take over from a new client:
4. Too many backlinks all of sudden
- Bad redirects
- Pages loading slowly because technical reasons
- 404 Errors, both for mobile and desktop versions
- Mobile version problems
- Duplicate title tags, meta descriptions, and overall content
- Pages that aren't indexed because of some technical problems or too many pages are getting indexed because the "canonical" tag isn't used on certain filters
- Sitemap problems
- Robots.txt problems
- Improper use of headings
Backlinks are still relevant to SEO, but when you get highly aggressive and create too many backlinks at once, you might be sending the wrong message to Google and the other search engines. You can get penalized, lose ranks or even worse, sandboxed.
5. Not taking advantage of the "alt" tag as well as overall image optimization
Depending on your niche, you can drive a lot of organic traffic if you have unique, high-quality images on your site. Proper use of filenames, alt tags and everything in between to improve your traffic from Google Image search should be exploited.
6. Don't focus on ranks, focus on organic traffic
I've seen this over and over. Clients and SEO specialists getting obsessed by ranks and keyword positions.
I believe this is the wrong way you should approach SEO. Why? Because an even mediocre website can have a good number of keyword positions, that doesn't mean it also gets good traffic and actually creates a profit.
So focus on organic traffic and how users interact with your website. Rank obsession is outdated and totally useless in 2018.