4 SEO Bad Habits to Break Before 2019
October 12, 2018
Search engine optimization is what helps you rank 1st or 2nd instead of 3rd from the bottom of the page when a consumer searches for your website. It works by following the intricate algorithm system developed and implemented by Google. This algorithm is always changing, but one thing remains: high-quality content is key.
Of course, it isn’t just the good things you do that get you into the top 10 on a Google ranking. It’s also about avoiding the bad things, the negative things that penalize you and put you on Google’s naughty list. Here are 4 SEO bad habits you should break before the new year if you want to continue ranking well on search engines.
1. Writing Blogs Way Under 1000 words
500- and 600-word blogs used to be the most common length of content you’d see floating around in any information piece. This is because it’s a good amount to get the news out without adding any filler, and it’s not so long that you spend all day trying to put it together, but it’s not so short that it winds up looking like spam. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t see things in quite this light. It sees anything way under 1000 words and wonders if the content is irrelevant, spammy, filler articles, rather than something well-researched, relevant, and genuine.
BuzzSumo, a company which provides content analyzing and marketing services analyzed more than 100-million pieces of content online and found that of these the content which was shared the most was in the range of 3,000 words or more. That might seem like a lot of writing, but this is because these pieces usually include sub headings and various sub topics within topics, which break down the title into uncomplicated little mini articles inside.
For example, if a consumer searches for “how to braid hair” and finds a 4,000 word article on braiding, it might include subtitles like, “braiding basics”, “French braids”, “fishtail braids”, “pull through braids”, and more. The customer will read this article because it appears well thought out, researched, and written. She or he will be more likely to share the article, because there are so many subcategories of braiding, which could be interesting to others.
2. Sticking to One Keyword Like it’s the Law
When SEO first became popular, the one thing to do was using one keyword and not stray from it in any shape or form. Unfortunately, this often made the use of the keyword appear very forced and unnatural. For example, if your keyword or key phrase were, “how to make cake”, it could prove difficult to stuff this into a variety of subjects throughout your blog or page content.
Now, fortunately, the best way to implement keywords is as genuinely and naturally as possible. This means you can still use, “how to make cake”, but you might also use, “how to make cake pops”, “how to make cake icing”, or “how to make cake filling”. A good tip for discovering some of these keyword variances is by typing your keyword into Google. Scroll to the bottom of your search answers and there should be a section called, “searches related to…” with available popular options.
3. Forgetting What’s Been Posted
It’s easy to forget what you’ve posted about already if you’re going on for year two in your blog content and you post 6-8 times a month, but you’ve got to be careful. One of the biggest SEO bad habits is slacking on content and quality control. Duplicate blogs might just seem lazy to you, but it can look downright sneaky to a Google bot. In fact, it might appear as though the content has been copied and recycled; a form of spam.
To keep track of what you’re writing about, run a quick search on your newest keyword and see if any of your past blogs popup when you type it in. If nothing appears, you’re probably safe to use it, if you get a few hits, skim the content to be sure you’re not too close. It’s okay to post twice about the same subject as long as the articles are vastly different, coming at it from different angles perhaps, using new images to back it up, and using original content every time.
4. Posting Content Infrequently
Quality is more important than quantity every time in SEO, but it’s still important to be diligent in your blog posts. Companies who only post 2-4 times a month have proven less popular than those who post upwards of 10 blog entries per month. The more high-quality content a business publishes, the more it appears to Google that the website is being taken seriously and that the content is well thought out, relevant and necessary
Consistently posting shows Google that you’re an active business and so you deserve to be at the top of your field in the query results. It also shows customers that you care about them and the product or service you offer. The more posts you make, the more you open the door for customer interaction as well, which are another gold star in the good books of Google.
So, what can you do differently to beat these bad habits and stay at the top of your search engine optimization game? Focus on your content, use high quality work, don’t post duplicates, write long posts rather than short posts, post frequently, and remember to loosen up with your keyword strategies so they fit in naturally.