Bad SEO content practices you should avoid!

by | Oct 11, 2018

Bad SEO content is everywhere, its are a bit like the smell of burnt toast in the morning. No matter what you do, how many windows you throw open or how many cans of air freshener you spray.

You can’t get rid of the smell.

By constantly doing the same old hat SEO practices, you’re constantly burning the toast daily, with the risk that at some point, you could burn your kitchen down.

In the case of content SEO, all this constant acrid smoke around your business website will eventually lead to a decline in rankings!

We’re all probably aware of bad SEO practices such as keyword stuffing, duplicate content and cloaking or invisible text on websites.

It still happens, people still do them, and they will continue to hurt their site.

Having a well ranking website is not just about the positive SEO efforts you do.

You also need to consider the old content that could be affecting your website that were done in the past and still prevalent on your site today.

Blogs are a great part of any website they are also pinnacle to any inbound content marketing strategy you may have. So you need to get their SEO right.

Here are four of the most common bad SEO content issues your website may be suffering from and how to get rid of them for good.

Producing weak content on your website is bad for SEO

This mainly concerns blog content, but also applies to all the pages on your website.

Content and blogs which are relevant, interesting and engaging, if done right, are a great way to improve your SEO.

On the flip side, too many businesses write weak, banal content that is unlikely to boost visitor numbers or enhance website SEO in any way. They offer no depth, are of minimal interest to visitors and bring little value.

However, there can be exceptions to these rules. If you’re in a niche industry with few competitors, minimal content can work.

According to BuzzSumo, who have conducted research in to over 100 million articles, the highest shared of these tended be more than 3000 words in length.

BuzzSumo Graph Depicting Blog Content Length Compared To How Many Share It

Not only that but websites that include larger word counts or long-form content tend to rank higher. Backlinko has studied over 1 million blog posts and the following illustration shows the relationship between blog length and the ranking position on Google.

Solution:

Look back at older blog posts you have on your website, rewrite the short ones to include as much detail as possible. Be comprehensive in their approach and make sure you do your research.

Once you’re happy, go ahead and republish the blogs.

This also applies to new blogs that you write, keep them detailed, so that they fully answer a user’s question, it’s what Google and other search engines use to prioritise the usefulness of a webpage.

Focusing on one keyword per page without associated or linked keywords is also bad SEO

Many years ago, at the dawn of the internet, a website only really needed to have a single focused keyword to appease Google to appear in its rankings.

It was as simple as 1 + 1 = 2.

If you had a web page that you wanted to get ranked, if that keyword appeared a few times, chances where it would.

This brought about the tactics of keyword stuffing and cloaking. Constantly repeating the keyword, a lot, would make Google think “well it’s mentioned a few times, it must be relevant to the search”.

There has also been the technique in the past (which did work for a while), where you could place text on a website in a similar colour to the background. A visitor wouldn’t see it, but search engines did. Web pages had more stuffing than a Christmas turkey!

Things have moved on considerably since then. Google is no longer so easily pleased! In fact, if you are still doing this, you need to stop, stop right now.

Search engines are much smarter

Now most search engines like Google look at the topic of a page, called semantic search. No longer just at an isolated keyword.

What this means in a nutshell is, Google now looks at the whole of a piece of text and uses other resources, not just a specific keyword to understand it. It looks at what a searcher’s intent is and suggests more relevant results.

As you can see, I’ve searched for “How to boil an ogg”. Google knows that my intention is really “how to boil an egg” and offers the results. This is down to the fact that it’s natural language, it knows that the words ‘boil’ and ‘egg’ are used together in a lot of searches and sentences, hence its correct assumption.

Again, I searched for “Black Panter movie”, Google again correctly gives me a wealth of information of what I was looking for.

So why is this important to avoid bad SEO in content?

What this means is that you can no longer rely on content for your website pages or blogs that are focused on a singular keyword. You can’t fool Google by thinking you’ve included one-word multiple times so that answers a searcher’s request.

Solution:

You need to create content that is comprehensive, talks in a natural voice and uses language and words that are common place.

Talk about the subject or topic and try not to keep using the same word too many times or Google can penalise you for unnatural use of that word.

Or in other words it believes you’re using the same word too much compared to the content length or you’re keyword stuffing.

For instance, if you’re talking about the topic of SEO, Google will search for other words that are commonly used in conjunction with ‘SEO’ such as the words ‘ranking’, ‘website’ or ‘traffic’.

So you have a blog on your website that is 1000 words long and you mention ‘SEO’ a 100 times, chances are that has been done to try and fool Google, it will pick up on it.

This is called ‘keyword density’ – how many times a word is mentioned compared to the text length.

Now there is no 100% cast iron right amount a word should appear in results, but industry experts say in the region of 1-3% is a good target to aim for.

Once you publish a blog or article it’s suggested you check it with a keyword density tool.

Also, when producing content, internal and outbound links are important to help with website SEO. If you have similar articles that talk about similar topic, link them.

Go over your old content, if it sounds like a ‘stuck record’ look to rewrite it in a natural way and don’t keep repeating the same keyword.

Posting content on a random basis is bad SEO

This really isn’t recommend. For content to work as part of your overall website SEO strategy, you need to regularly work at it.

Posting on a regular basis, provides Google with;

  • Fresh, new content to understand
  • More pages on your website to get indexed, increasing the amount of opportunities you’ll have at ranking
  • Confidence in your authority as a content creation source
  • More content helps to keep people keep coming back to your website

HubSpot recently conducted a study which found that companies that created and posted new content 16+ times per month had the most traffic and leads generated over those that did it less often.

Solution:

Now you can’t go back in time here. What you should be doing is setting a comfortable amount of great content that you can blog each month. Post on a regular basis and in time it will have a positive effect on your results.

Don’t favour quantity over quality

Sometimes, less is more. We previously said that posting content on a regular basis is key to getting great results, but always keep the following in mind.

Only publish blog posts and content that is of value to the reader. This comes back to the other previous point talking about weak and short content.

Don’t get into the mindset of thinking that ‘it will do’. You need to marry up quantity and quality. Four badly written blog posts do not equate to one great awesome piece that people will love and Google will look fondly on.

In fact, bad content can increase your website bounce rate which in turn will hurt you website ranking. Well thought out and long-term content will help attract new website visitors and improve visitor traffic to your site.

This is a good signal to Google that you produce content that visitors love, it will strengthen how search engines sees you and reward you in time.

Solution:

Go through the old content on your website. If there’s a lot of content that needs improving then it’s something you’re going to have to work on. Your efforts will be rewarded in time.

Conclusion:

Using blogs and content in your inbound marketing strategy is a great way to steadily build your audience, your influence and ultimately your website SEO and ranking. Do it right and it will pay off, try and avoid some of the bad practices mentioned above and keep working at it. Regularly monitor your website traffic and user figures to see what’s working and what’s not.

You may also be interested in our content marketing tips 

2 Comments

  1. Sarah Hunt

    The best thing would be to ensure your writer is passionate about the business – or, at least, passionate about researching and becoming interested in what your company does. I tend to find that content written by the business owner or knowledgable people within the business works quite well – it’s quick and easy for them to do as they simply regurgitate prior knowledge, and their natural interest in the subject makes it an exciting read. It also gives your article kudos – if it’s written by someone from halfway across the world, it won’t get half as much interest as being written by the person who designed your product, or who has experience of selling it first hand.

    Reply
    • Damien Buxton

      Great points Sarah, thanks for the comments!

      Reply

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