Go open another tab and do a web search for “SEO tips.” I’ll wait.
You saw a bunch of posts that claimed to give you that absolute, tippy-top best tips. Am I right?
Or maybe quick fix lists that just know that you’re heading down the wrong path with SEO and– with the advice in their post– you can still double back and execute your SEO campaign safely. It feels to me like they can get a little dramatic sometimes. Look closely and you may see the top 10 ways that keywords will save your life.
You can’t blame SEO consultants for putting out their lists. There’s a demand for that kind of content and, for the most part, a lot of them mean you well. And, when we’re done here, go ahead and search through those links and see if you can find something that you didn’t know before. But be careful not to buy into the promises of a promotional post.
Let’s face the facts, you can do all the right things in SEO, but it’s no guarantee of success. There are a lot of different elements that you might not yet have a hand on and all of the right stuff just might not be good enough. But you know what else? Doing the wrong things can utterly ruin a good campaign. So instead of adding to the list of vainglorious promise posts like, “The Top 7 Ways That Meta Tags Will Pay Off Your Mortgage,” I offer you these four mistakes you can sidestep.
1. Being a Link Miser
It’s very possible that someone reading this would never even dream of linking to anything that wasn’t on their site. I can totally hear their objections:
- “My site need all of the indexing advantage it can get!”
- “Why would I want to help a competitor get their pages indexed?”
- “If I link to a site that isn’t mine and someone follows the link, that person will never, ever, come back to my site.”
I can’t abide by any of those excuses. The reality of the matter goes like this:
1. Google WANTS you to spread good content, no matter whose it is. So when you play along with Google’s master plan of helping people find valuable stuff on the web, the very last thing that they want to do is discourage you or punish you for it.
2. Visitors will think you’ve got your finger on the pulse. The new opportunity isn’t just to be producing content, it’s aggregating content. When you’re an aggregator, you become the first place that people look in your space to find out the neat things that are going on. You might lead people to your competition today, but they’ll come back to you again tomorrow for more.
3. You build good relationships with other content producers. Is it a bad thing to be on someone’s good side? Absolutely not! You can open doors to joint ventures, guest posts, and lots of other forms of coopetition.
If you’re ready to break the ice with out-going links, feel free to start by linking to this post. Your discernment and ability to identify good advice will impress your colleagues, gain the approval of your superiors or clients, and probably make you more attractive to the opposite sex.
2. KEYWORD OVERLOAD
Now, I recognize that back in the day, jamming a page with every possible and relevant keyword was the play. I’m not even saying it wasn’t. But the resulting search results were terrible. Pages that had no business being viewed by human eyes made it to the front page because web crawlers were calling the shots. Over time, search engines started to realize their mistake and cracked down on keyword abusers, and the internet writ large gave a collective sigh of relief.
More important than the history is the value.
You court the web crawlers not for their own sake, but to bring in organic visitors. If you can’t talk to the visitors, get them to stay, hang out, and want to move into the next phase of your relationship, then what’s the point? Too many keywords will overwhelm and confuse most visitors. Be kind to your visitors!
3. Leaning On Meta Tags
It’s so much better to use snippets of your content. At least then people get a window into your site. But also, if you use meta tags, you could be legitimately helping your competition. You heard right: using keywords telegraphs your positioning intentions so that the other guy can get the leg up on you.
Which leads me to this: if you’re going to ignore this specific point, please contact us to let us know. I mean, if someone’s clients are going to get an advantage on you, ours should be the first.
4. Quantity > Quality
But remember what your grandmother used to say: “If you don’t have anything valuable to post, don’t post at all.” If all that you’re putting out there is drivel, then web crawlers and visitors are both smart enough to treat you like spam. Don’t be shy about updates, but at least have a point to it.
Speaking of quality, what do you think of this post? Is it a big help, or just another list? Leave your comments below and let us know if these helped you out!
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