This has exposed us to a whole new level of client data and SEO practices being used by other agencies.
What we are increasingly seeing are the same old problems across all new clients websites, most disturbingly including those businesses who have previously had other “SEO agencies” managing their websites and implementing dreadful practices that are actually hurting rather than helping their rankings.
Today we want to share with you four of the most common bad practices we find when analysing new clients sites and urge you all to stop doing this right now!
1. Keyword stuffing
There still appears to be this notion that the more times you add a keyword to a page the better chance you have of ranking.
I can promise you that there is no part of the Google algorithm that is counting the number of times a keyword is mentioned on a page and promoting those pages that use it the most.
The same is true of “keyword density”, this myth that Google favours pages that have the ‘keyword’ used as X% of the content on the page!
By writing content in this way you are creating crappy pages that no-one wants to read and largely makes no sense.
Yes, we advise that you use the keyword in your page at least once but don’t force it in there. If you are having to force it then you need to review your content plan to find a better piece of content to target that keyword.
2. Using exact match anchor text on all internal links
This is an incredibly frustrating practice that seems to be creeping into agencies at the moment.
We recently analysed a new client site and found that their previous agency had created 39 internal links in previous posts with the exact anchor text they were looking to rank the page for.
What’s worse is that the links were thrown into non-related/relevant posts in a very unnatural way.
This belief that all internal links to your pages have to use your exact anchor text needs to end now!
You would not do this with your external links because it does not look natural, that same rule applies to your internal links.
Don’t stop internal linking, it is a very valuable way of improving your rankings, just make sure you do it in a natural way where your links are relevant to the content on the page and don’t be afraid to vary your anchor texts.
3. Buying sitewide links on other sites footers
Hey, the 90’s called and they want their link-building strategy back!
Once seen as a great way to drive a large number of backlinks to a website it now stands out as a purely spammy looking way of getting a link back to your site! And Google knows it too.
Link blocks in the footer are not a natural place to find a link to an external website (in 95% of cases). There are a couple of exceptions to the rule but on the whole this is a poor/lazy tactic to employ.
The most valuable links are those that are used naturally in content and in context.
The link blocks in footers usually will mean that your link is surrounded by a bunch of other links to unrelated websites and that should send warning signals in itself.
As a general rule, if it looks and feels like a spammy and easy way to get a large number of backlinks, then it is spam and Google will think that too.
4. Thin Content
Thin content is best identified as low quality pages that add little to no value to the reader. Examples of thin content include duplicate pages, automatically generated content or doorway pages.
The best way to measure the quality of your content is through user satisfaction. If visitors quickly bounce from your page, it likely doesn’t provide the value they were looking for.
It is one of the most used but also most important principles to remember when looking to optimise a website: ‘Content is King’.
Across many of the clients we have work with in recent months we have found that the content they have on their website is simply not strong enough to be considered for ranking on the first page of Google in this day and age.
Gone are the days where you can simply post up a 300-400 word piece of content and expect it to rank at the top of the search engines.
In a recent client audit we found they have over 800 pages on their site that had less than 250 words of content on them. As part of our content work we were able to combine large numbers of these pages to create higher quality content pages that have a chance of ranking and removed close to 500 pages from their website.
The Result: Over a 370% in organic traffic within 4 weeks of pushing the changes live.
When adding content to your website make sure it is adding value to your readers and that you provide detailed and informative posts.
If you do this then you will find that your post will naturally drift closer to the 1000 words per page/post that we find is much more successful in search rankings and provides more value to visitors.
We hope you find this post useful and it will help you to analyse your own websites and change the way you approach your SEO.
If you want some more advice with your SEO strategy then reach out an work with us today and we can move your organic rankings together.