Bad SEO advice can kill your website. As a small business owner, just trying to complete with top companies is an expensive ordeal. Losing what you have worked hard for because dollar-hungry search engine optimization agencies lie to you is heartbreaking. Knowing the difference between good and poor advice is the key to thriving financially online.
Worst of the Worst Advice
With each passing year, there are some unbelievable claims made by companies that prey on business owners who do not know the difference between good and bad marketing practices.
Some examples of the worst SEO advice to avoid include:
1. Rank for Any Keyword in 30 Days or Less
Any company that promises to rank a homepage or any page on a website in a pre-determined amount of time is not telling the full truth. There are ways to secure short-term ranking goals although what matters to most business owners is the long-term benefits of a campaign.
Popular search engines are notorious for rewarding a seemingly overnight ranking only to take that rank away after a fresh round of algorithmic updates.
2. Spend Marketing Funds Solely on SEO
Using all available cash to drum up new business is never a smart idea. It can be impressive at first if you spend some money on SEO and then get some results.
What companies do not prepare a hard-working business owner for is the letdown that usually happens shortly after rankings are awarded. Links can get wiped out, pages can be de-indexed and what revenue was coming in can quickly be gone.
Spreading out the budget on things that work is the best policy. A few targeted strategies will provide the slow but promising build of revenue and traffic to a website.
3. Rank High for Your Company Name
It would be so easy if new customers already knew you existed. The reason that marketing is needed is to reach a new group of people who might spend money on products or services. Ranking quickly for a business name is not hard.
Unscrupulous agencies that guarantee rankings usually go for the easiest keywords that happen to include the name of a new or existing business. Ranking the right way means building authority over a period of time between six months to one year.
4. Keyword Stuffing Will Not Hurt Your Website
The days of putting in a high density of keywords mixed with low quality content are over. Putting in placeholder text that has little to now value is a recipe for disaster.
It is no longer valuable to use a keyword more than a couple of times in a piece of posted content on the Internet. New crawling metrics strip out related data and only value new and interesting information not already included in current search results.
5. Spin Quality Content to Generate New Content
It sounds too easy. You just take someone else’s content that is being valued and spin it using third-party software to create a new article or blog post. Unfortunately, this is a favored method by overseas companies that offer services to USA businesses.
The fastest way to get websites de-indexed is to rely on artificial strategies. Good, hand-written content will always outlive even the tightest spun content.
6. Copy Popular Content Online
Will the same thing that works for competitors work for me? No.
It used to be a common tactic for search engine optimization firms to copy content that appears higher in search engines for a specific niche. The words and phrases were then placed right on the website of a client in hopes to rank for the same content.
The only thing that is being valued and will continue to be is original words and text. Copying will get you in trouble.
7. Use Private Blog Networks
When the link farms and directory portals were killed in 2012, a new way of beating the system emerged. With the skyrocketing of the WordPress platform, a new breed of publishing took place.
Different websites were created by SEO agencies and links were built to the sites. A client website would have links from those private blog networks used as inbound links to boost rankings temporarily.
The problem with this approach is that it is still unsafe. Once the network goes down, all of the links are lost and the rankings start to shift in search engines. The best link building approach in 2016 and beyond is through high authority social channels.
8. Register Keyword-Rich Domain Names
Putting a high traffic volume keyword into a website domain name used to pay off big time. Instead of companies ranking for their brand, they were ranking for a generic keyword set.
A better strategy is to use an actual name, brand or industry terms when registering a domain name for a new company. This will prevent exact-match domain name penalties that still affect established sites online.
9. Write Content Around Keywords
It is true that consumers use keywords to aid them in finding topic related information on the web. The process goes down hill when it is manipulated.
When adding content to your website, a hired agency usually decides to create blog posts that are based on keywords that will provide the most visits.
After the year 2014, few people have experienced results with this approach. It is OK to use single or groups of words in the title and text of a website page, but to do so at a very minimal rate. Write for humans and the pages will be respected.
Keeping away from agencies that make promises listed above will save your company and your cash budget.
The Facts: SEO Started Dying in 2002
Nearly all of the ways in which agencies manipulated search engine results stopped in the fall of 2002. Google admitted for the first time that its “Boston” algorithm update had been released. The targeting of low quality links was the main element of the secret chance to the search metrics.
The truth is that the seed to kill off unfair procedures that artificially help boost website rankings was planted in the early 2000s.
Fast forward to the current year. After multiple rounds of business shattering updates, there are still SEO companies begging for and retaining business. Even though there are some elements that still work, the vast majority of strategies have had the last nail driven into the proverbial coffin.
There are highly used search options by web users and some that are lesser known. The reality is that all of these companies play an essential role in the indexing of original content that consumers find using basic search keywords.
Evaluating Ranking Strategies
The typical scam works like this: a company that you have never heard of before contacts you by e-mail or phone. The owner, usually way too upbeat, explains how he or she has hundreds of clients that are receiving top-notch results.
Without even analyzing your business, the firm knows exactly what must be implemented to help you survive and beat your competitors. For the low, if you act now, fee of (insert amount here) all of your ranking problems will be solved.
Does that approach sound familiar?
Let’s be honest. No single person has all of the skills needed to help skyrocket a new or existing website into the top-tier of search results. It takes a team of people who are all experts at ‘one’ job to make it happen. There is no such thing as a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ in the marketing industry.
There are strategies that work nicely and some that have faded out over the past several years. Unless you are keeping up with the data, you can be out of the loop pretty quickly about what needs to happen.
The evaluation of rankings can be broken down into several segments. You do not have to be an expert to understand how these fit together into the 21st century marketing picture.
What is Working Right Now
1. Quality, Original Content
The one thing that consumers rely upon when asking questions by way of a search engine is content. What gets displayed when keywords and phrases are input by a person is not always textual. YouTube videos are now recommended too.
What is quality content?
Defining what is considered above-average is simple. Words on a page, videos or audio that informs, excites and educates a person seeking information about a specific topic is the definition of quality content.
This is not a free pass though to publish a lot of low quality words and sentences that could potentially be indexed and showcased on the Internet.
It is proven that publishing blog posts, reports in PDF format, Tweets, Facebook posts and some types of videos is considered valuable for marketing purposes. Being consistent with these activities, and making sure everything is above-average is important.
2. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
All major companies (Bing, AOL, Yahoo and Google) have advertising programs. The pay-per-click or PPC systems put into place allow companies to bid on keywords. The highest bidder gets the best placement in the ‘advertisement’ section of search results.
This type of marketing does work well. If original content provides the foundation for all inbound marketing, it is PPC that grows revenues and site visits faster.
The issue that most company owners have with paying for each click is the upfront cost involved. Yes, it is true that some competitive keywords and phrases can be as high as $100 for every click. It is also true that there are hundreds of keywords for almost every industry that are much cheaper to utilize.
In reality, specialists who know how to reduce the cost for each click should always be used. Trimming down the budget is very possible when an experienced person manages PPC campaigns.
3. Long-Term Link Building
Good links take time to build. It is the bad ones that can kill momentum. In years past, link farms were popular. A person could pay a small fee and have thousands of links built in a short period of time.
Does link building actually work? Yes, it does. You have to be smart though. You cannot build just any links and point them towards a website. Relevancy is an integral component the types of links that really matter.
A link profile that includes links from trusted sites is always preferred. There is such a thing as poor quality links. These types are usually the cheapest and produce the worst results.
The slow but professional methods in place to grow a link portfolio do produce results.
4. Social Media Marketing
Names such as Facebook, Twitter and Reddit are household names. Part of the reason why is because each site has millions of visitors on a daily basis. It is not just teens and college students who frequent these portals to communicate, share and discover information.
Even if your business is already on one of these sites, it does not mean you are getting results. There are solutions that do produce results that can be measured and duplicated and there are ones that cannot.
Advertising campaigns, well-organized posts and re-marketing are all strategies that help kick start any exiting or new social media marketing campaign for a small business.
5. Local Marketing for Businesses
Customers who prefer to support their local retailers and service providers increase each year. A decade ago big-box retailers were a threat to smaller companies that did not have the budget to compete to attract a fresh source of buyers.
In this century, things have changed a lot.
Mobile devices and the ways that people stay in touch have fueled local business marketing. The sharing of information can now make something go viral in one part of the country or on a national level.
Having a system in place that will provide measurable results will grow any size company that chooses to find new consumers central to a specific area.
Real Results That Stick
Optimizing pages and link profiles can work when done correctly. Hiring a firm based merely on hope that results will be achieved is never a sound business decision.
Activated Marketing produces results that stick for new and existing clients. To speak with one of our team members, contact us by phone or on this page.