SEO has become a critical marketing tool for businesses of all sizes, and if implemented correctly you will see strong, positive results in the long term. However, there are a number of techniques you really must avoid to see any improvements.

Four SEO practices to avoid at all costs
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All-Around Poor Content

There is no longer any doubt that good quality content drives your site up the rankings. It is amazing that in 2015 so many websites still feature duplicate content and pages stuffed with keywords. Each change in the Google algorithm punishes this kind of work a little bit more, and it’s only a matter of time until you start being severely penalised. However, copying content from another site is even worse, and businesses have seen their ranking completely obliterated because of this. If you really struggle to create interesting and engaging content, don’t be afraid to outsource the work. It makes such a difference that it will be well worth it in the end.

Getting the Wrong Kind of Backlinks

SEO used to be all about quantity over quality in almost every way. One such way was getting as many backlinks to your site as possible. However, despite a worryingly high number of agencies still offering this “service”, it is an extremely risky tactic. Any value from backlinking is all down to the quality of the site that link is on. If your site is present on a site that gets penalised by Google (which happens every day) or the DA score is below 20, your site will suffer too. In addition, if too many of these links appear at once, you may be similarly punished.

Doorway Pages

April was a busy month for Google, and most talk centred around the “mobilegeddon” – meaning sites optimised for mobile devices were going to be favoured in the future. Amongst all that was a fairly cryptic announcement from Google setting out their plans to crack down on doorway pages. You may have noticed on several sites, usually tucked away in the footer or dressed up as an innocuous link, pages and pages of content purely for the search engine to see. An example would be pages named “plumbers Birmingham”, “plumbers Midlands” or “plumbers West Midlands”, all leading to similar content and pushing readers back to the main site. These pages are all essentially the same and give nothing of value to the visitor. Google’s crackdown on this has only just begun and we have yet to see the severity of it, but this certainly isn’t a tactic to be used in the near future.

Choosing the Wrong SEO Agency

Sadly, this is still a huge problem. All genuine Bristol SEO agencies agree that it is a long-term investment and you won’t get to number one overnight. So many agencies still make ridiculous promises as if SEO is an exact science, which is far from the truth. If you hear them guaranteeing anything or if they mention “secret tactics”, you should run a million miles in the other direction. Be very wary of entering into overly long contracts too, and also check if they mention any of the practices in this article. You should also ensure that they have strong references and contact them to get more feedback on the company before committing to anything. Do not be put off by this though, as a well-coordinated SEO campaign will work wonders for your business over time. There are still many reputable firms out there; you just have to be careful when choosing.

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