Executing a successful SEO campaign that outranks your competitors can be challenging. There are many lies, half-truths, and frequent advice that appear correct, that will actually harm your SEO campaign. Numerous misapprehensions regarding SEO are spreading around the internet, making it difficult to differentiate between helpful and damaging advice. Below, we discuss the most common SEO theories on the internet, revealing what to implement, and what to avoid.
Bad Advice: Select a Content-Based Approach or Technical-Based Approach
Content is indeed still king. Yet, it’s not just about producing fresh regular content. You might make a work of art in a fresh piece of content – but if no-one can find it on the internet, then it is of no benefit to your campaign or business.
To explain, the term “technical” refers to the components of SEO done on the backend
of the website, similar to meta titles, meta descriptions, header tags, and picture alt text. Whereas “content” refers to the actual written components on the front end of your website – it ties together the quality of the content and keywords, such as blog entries or specifically structured service pages.
This horrible piece of advice essentially says that you need to focus and select one approach for your SEO campaign. It paints these two approaches as contradicting or opposite measures that don’t work together for overall campaign success.
This couldn’t possibly be more off-base. You need both approaches for a successful SEO campaign – both will help build your campaign and cause it to flourish in the search engine results.
Good Advice: Form a well-balanced strategy
The best SEO strategy is a comprehensive one. Your website must be publishing quality and educational content consistently, yet you should also have enough expertise to guarantee all the technical features of SEO are precise.
This means that with the proper technical SEO in place, your authoritative content will be able to be discovered in the search engines and therefore bring users to your website.
Bad Advice: Keyword Density Overload
Ever heard that the more occurrences of your targeted keyword or keyword density will
help increase your SEO rankings? This is known as “keyword stuffing” and is one of the worst pieces of advice which can hinder your SEO campaign. Keyword stuffing is when a website page or blog post is filled with numerous mentions of the targeted keyword within the copy, in hopes of ranking higher for that term in search engines.
This can also lead to unfriendly copy for the readers that doesn’t naturally flow; by adding mentions of the same keyword repetitively.
An example of keyword stuffing or keyword density overload when trying to rank for “best computer” might be:
“If you’re looking for the best computer, look no further than our range of computers. Our business offers the best computer that you could want for office or clinic. With the best computers offering 12-inch screens and a fast RAM – then look no further we have the best computer for you! For more questions about what make our computers the best, call us today!
While keyword density might seem like a good idea it could harm the rankings of your website and be viewed as spam by Google.
Good Advice: Prioritise Search & User Intent, Rather than Keyword Density
The better content strategy is to focus on search and user intent rather than keyword density. It is important to remember that your page content is written to add value and offer relevance to users and their search query. Users want to see content that is clear, concise and easy to read – that also best matches their search query. People don’t want to read content that is clearly written for search engines that contains a variation of keyword stuffing in every second sentence.
When creating the page content read the content out load, put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Since the Hummingbird update, Google is focused on prioritising search and user intent rather than keyword stuffing. This means it is also emphasising the shift towards natural writing text, rather than forced keyword stuffing.
It understands the user’s search intent to showcase pages in the search engine results that best match that intel, rather than focusing on exact match keywords. It looks at the quality of the page with how the user will interact with the site, and if the content adds value.
Bad Advice: Add All Keywords to Your Image Alt Tags
Another piece of advice people are often given similar to keyword stuffing, is the overoptimisation of your image alt tags. People often mention to add all variations of your keywords across all the alt titles and tags for your images as it will help your rankings.
When Google crawls your website, it is unable to read the visual representation of images. Instead, it reads and indexes the alt title and tag of the image to deem its relevance to the page.
If you do include alt titles and tags on the images, you are passing up an opportunity to add more value to your SEO campaign and online visibility. However, keyword stuffing will have an impact on pictures as it would within the actual written page content. Alt text and title tags with too many keywords may result in penalisations in the search engine rankings.
Good Advice: Create Clear, Descriptive and Concise Image Alt Text and Title Tags
Alt-text and title tags should be descriptive, concise, clear, and not loaded down with targeted keywords. The image alt-text and title tags are what Google renders and indexes when it crawls your website.
The best advice in regard to alt text and title tags is to craft them as though you are describing it to a person with a visual loss – clear, concise and descriptive!
Bad Advice: Don’t Build Links
With so many mentions of back linking strategies as part of an effective SEO campaign or link building warnings, it can be hard to know whether you should build backlinks or not.
In all cases, link building done right is an important ranking factor for SEO. Google rewards authoritative and relevant backlinks. If a backlink is created for a business that is of a high quality, Google looks favourably upon these links and you can be rewarded with higher keyword rankings.
Good Advice: Focus on Relevant Link Building
Rather than focusing on the quantity of backlinks, you should focus your efforts on the quality of backlinks. You should concentrate on building high-quality links from relevant and authoritative niche-related websites in your industry. Not only will this help your website rank higher, but it will build the online profile of your business and may even mean that you will receive website users from these high-quality websites.