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Common SEO Traps & How to Avoid Them

Amanda Grier & Emily Rusk, Digital Marketing Specialists

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is key for ranking high on search engines and driving organic traffic to your website. Incorporating SEO strategies can make a huge difference for your brand’s online presence, but if you take shortcuts, Google will notice and your ranking will drop. Avoid these SEO traps to make sure your website doesn’t get docked:

Bad Link Building

Link building is a popular SEO strategy that can be effective if done correctly. Yet, some easy link building techniques can actually get your site penalized by Google. To improve your site’s SEO, you may need to break some link building bad habits and start focusing on the quality of your backlinks.

  • Submitting to Every Directory: It might be tempting to submit your site to directories that aren’t directly related to your site so you can build quick and easy backlinks. Once you submit to one unrelated directory, this bad habit can be difficult to stop. It’s best to only submit to directories with a high domain authority that fit your brand.

  • Link Farms: Created for the sole purpose of hosting website links to improve search rankings, link farms can be an easy but ineffective way to build backlinks. By using Moz’s Link Explorer, you can check any site’s domain authority and spam score. Most link farms will have a very low domain authority and high spam score.

  • Paying For Links: Sometimes it makes sense to build backlinks through paid sponsor posts. When done well, these backlinks may be valuable and worth the price. But, if you build quality content, then your backlinks should come naturally, without a financial investment.

Keyword Stuffing

Another SEO trap to avoid is keyword stuffing. This is the process of overloading a webpage with an SEO keyword to make it rank as high as possible in search results. A while ago, this strategy worked. Websites could rank higher by cramming a keyword into meta descriptions, copy and titles or even stooping so low as to hide keywords in the background of a webpage by changing the font color so you couldn’t see them. Take a look at this example of keyword stuffing: 

Are you looking for comfortable sweatshirts? If you’re looking for comfortable sweatshirts, our website has a huge selection of comfortable sweatshirts. Shop our full stock of comfortable sweatshirts today. 

Not surprisingly, this is annoying for users and creates a poor user experience. In recent years, Google has caught on to this strategy and has started docking offending sites. Make sure you’re incorporating good keyword optimization techniques into your SEO strategy by using keywords where they make sense, using variations of your keywords and making sure the user experience is your priority. 

Not Optimizing for Mobile First

Google’s mobile-first index is going to be an important factor for search rankings in 2019. Not optimizing for mobile can hurt your Google Rankings and lead to a poor user experience. When managing website content and design, make sure you’re thinking about mobile—including your website’s menu, pop-ups, text sizes, navigation and speed. Check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure you are optimizing for mobile first.

There are many SEO strategies that can help your Google rankings. By focusing on natural backlinks with quality content, avoiding keyword stuffing with targeted keywords and optimizing for mobile first, you can help increase organic search rankings. 

Need help with your SEO strategy? Contact the Trone Brand Energy team to learn more.

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