Companies are so interested in ranking in search results that they hire SEO consultants without a full understanding of the strategy. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, and hiring the wrong SEO consultant could lead to Google penalizing you instead of rewarding you. Matt Cutts himself mentioned that Google initiates over 400,000 manual actions each month (our guess is this number is actually much larger.
The good news is, with careful work and the right team in your corner, you can recover from poor SEO tactics and earn Google’s good favor. One of the first steps is to evaluate where you’re at currently with your SEO to avoid Google’s penalties so that you can get back to a place of a sound strategy to improve your search rankings.
1. Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is a practice where webmasters, copywriters or SEO consultants use keywords too liberally. Generally, this is due to an outdated understanding of SEO and how it works.
Keywords should occur naturally and modern techniques use keyword clusters of related keywords on a page to avoid using the same one repeatedly. Even if you’re using keyword clusters, too many keywords on a page could lead to Google penalties.
2. Spammy or Slow Website Hosting
This is a factor few people consider when improving SEO. But it’s crucial. A slow website host means slow website load times.
If you’re getting low scores due to sluggish load speeds, your hosting server might be the problem. This is not an area of your marketing budget where you want to skimp. Avoid free website hosts and look for high-quality options that will help make your website quick and responsive.
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3. Little Content or Content with Little Value
Websites that don’t have much content or content that isn’t valuable to website visitors will not rank as well. Each page should have unique content without any blocks of repeated text unless that repeated content is in the footer.
Copywriting is an art and one you likely need to pay for to get the best SEO results. As you write your content, think less about sales and more about solving problems for your customers.
4. Spammy Backlinks
There’s no fast solution for getting backlinks to your website. Consultants that promise fast results with hundreds or even thousands of backlinks will get those links through spammy means.
Backlinks require careful research, outreach, and quality content development for guest articles. Once you have spammy backlinks, it’s challenging to remove them from some of these websites so be very careful who you hire to work on your website and SEO strategy.
Cloaking can take place with images or content on a page. This method makes it so that search engines see one thing, while website visitors see something different. And don’t think that search engines won’t discover this move.
Avoid cloaking images, content or links. And while you’re at it, don’t create sneaky redirects that take users to a page they aren’t expecting. Some webmasters create mobile-only redirects that go to spammy domains instead of to the pages they promise within search results. This is a terrible practice and one that will harm your SEO immensely.
Several other problems could be leading to SEO problems. For a full assessment, schedule a free consultation with New Light Digital. We’ll provide recommendations to get you on the road to improved search results.