The Worst SEO Advice I’ve Ever Heard: And How to Counter It
Executing your SEO strategy the right way can help you outrank your competitors, but you might be wondering:
How do I make sure I’m doing it right?
When I first started in the industry as a newbie, I was open to advice from different sources. However, most of the advice I received was not real guidance.
Today, I will cover some of the worst SEO advice I’ve come across to guide you through what not to do.
Bad Advice: Choose a Strategy, Technical-Based or Content-Based
It’s true, content is really the king. We’ve heard it from Rand Fishkin and Matt Cutts, but it’s not just about creating content. You might create a masterpiece, but if no one finds it, it might as well not exist.
To clarify, the term “technical” refers to the elements of SEO done on the backend of the website, like header tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text. “Content” revolves around keywords and quality content like blog posts.
This terrible piece of advice basically says that you only have time for one element, and paints these two strategies as opposing figures, two ideas that could never work together.
This could not be further from the truth. You need both of these to survive, and thrive, in today’s search engine results – just like this monkey needs both legs to survive crossing the bridge!
Better Advice: Create a Balanced Strategy
The best strategy is a comprehensive one. Your website should be publishing educational, quality content on a consistent basis, but you should also have enough expertise to ensure all of the technical aspects of SEO are accurate.
Bad Advice: Do Some Guest Blogging or Comment in Random Blogs
This was a random piece of advice I received during my first month in the industry: “If you want your content to be shared through the internet, just post it everywhere!”. While guest posting can be a great way to get back links, if done cheaply and wrongly, it can damage your rankings. Blogs not related to your site could be considered spam by Google.
Better Advice: Do This Only If It Is Relevant to Your Business
You can look to get posted on high quality websites related to your niche, not for the purpose of a getting a link, but for more exposure and recognition.
Bad Advice: Add All Your Keywords to Your Image Tags
I once was told: Make sure you add all the possible keyword combinations for your image, even if they’re not related. This will help your rankings”. This is equivalent to keyword stuffing, but for images – don’t do it!
When your website is being crawled, search engine’s can not see the images on websites. To determine whether or not it is relevant to the page, it reads the alt text or file name.
If you don’t include alt text on your images, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for your website to be visible everywhere possible. However, overstuffing will have the same effect on images as it would on any other element – search engines will penalize you in SERP rankings.
Better Advice: Keep It Short and Sweet
Alt-text should be clear, descriptive, concise and not stuffed with keywords. Alt-text is also what’s used by screen reader software to describe images to people with visual impairments.
In fact the one rule I always use when it comes to alt-text is write as if you’re describing it to a person with a visual impairment. For the image above, for example, I would write ‘frog kneeling with bouquet of flowers’.
Bad Advice: Stop Building Links, Penalization Is Around the Corner!
With so many warnings on link building methods, it can seem like the translation of that is:
“Don’t Build Links”. However, link building done right is an important ranking factor for SEO. Google rewards natural links because when someone links to your content it means it is relevant, which is Google’s ultimate goal for the user.
Better Advice: Focus on Relevant Link Building
Instead, you should focus on building high-quality links from authoritative, relevant sites in your industry. Not only will this help your site rank better, but you’ll also likely bring in more qualified visitors from these high-quality sites.
What’s The Worst Advice You’ve Ever Heard?
By now you should know that SEO is not about knowing the latest “shortcuts”, but about having a well defined long term strategy that takes into account the most important factors.
What do you think about the advice shared today? Have you followed any of the bad ones by mistake? Leave us a comment!
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