This is a guest post from Ben Austin.
When you’re browsing around the web to find SEO information you’ll no doubt come across a number of different articles and posts with a similar theme – ‘top tips’ for getting your SEO right, ‘five changes’ you can make to your on page SEO right now, and ‘best SEO strategies’ of 2012. All of these things can potentially help your site to get more traffic and to get higher in the SERPs as long as you’re reading the right advice, and there’s certainly a big demand for these kinds of articles.
But the problem is, doing all the right things isn’t enough to guarantee success because doing some of the wrong things can be enough to ruin your chances of success. You need to know which good things you should do, but also which bad things you should avoid. Here we’ll look at those bad things so that you know what you need to avoid.
Using Keywords… Lots of Keywords!
Stuffing your articles with keywords was once the main strategy for achieving web success and that’s why half of what Google conjured up would be nearly illegible. Then Google started getting tough with keyword stuffing and those sites disappeared. Even before that though it’s never been a great strategy to completely alienate your visitors with articles no one can bear to read. If you’re a keyword stuffer, then here’s my advice: download your entire site, use a search and replace tool that accesses a whole folder, and then replace those keywords with a range of different words.
Not Linking Out
Linking out to other websites freely is something that many bloggers don’t feel comfortable doing, and this is because many of us fear we’ll lose our ‘PR Juice’ as a result of pointing Google away from our site rather than letting the spiders index more of our internal pages. This is nonsense in reality though – of course Google wouldn’t discourage you from providing your visitors with good content elsewhere or from helping them index more of the web, and actually linking out is a great way to provide value to your visitors, to develop relationships with other bloggers, and even to be discovered by website owners wondering where all this new traffic is coming from…
Thinking Meta Tags Are Crucial
A lot of blogs on SEO still recommend putting keywords and descriptions of your websites into your meta tags as a way to tell Google what your page is about and control your snippets. In fact, Google no longer even looks at meta tags so you’re wasting your time stuffing them; snippets work better when they’re showing relevant chunks of text from your site. Finally, using meta tags can in fact be detrimental to your site because they show the competition which keywords and phrases you’re targeting.
Quantity is Everything
Quantity is great and a site that is regularly updated with new content is always going to do better than one that looks like a ghost town – but if you don’t couple that quantity with quality then it’s just going to end up looking like spam to both Google and your visitors. Before you post, make sure you have something to say.
Ben is the managing director of SEO Positive Limited, an innovative search engine optimization company based in UK.