Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important component of your inbound marketing strategy. Good SEO practices help prospects find you, generating traffic to your website and capturing potential sources of revenue. Unfortunately, there are a few SEO tactics still out there that are tricks and actually hurt your chances of getting higher on search engine page rankings. If someone encourages you to try something that sounds like one of the 3 tricks below, take a careful look because it could be a signal to run the other way. You might have heard the terms white hat and black hat SEO. These practices fall under the latter label and can kill your SEO efforts.
1. Shady Link Building
Search rankings for a business go up when other pages link back to pages on the business’s website. Some businesses try building links in a variety of shady ways. Participation in link wheels, swapping or buying links, reciprocal linking (link trading), and paying for blog comments are all practices that need to go. A big issue is that these create unnatural backlinks that Google, in its sophisticated algorithm, spots and then penalizes companies for by pushing them to the bottom of search engine results pages. But the bigger issue here is, who wants weird comments on their blog when they could garner legitimate backlinks by creating good content that people want to share? Instead of trying to build links inorganically, focus on fostering genuine networks and relationships to get your quality information to more people.
2. Non-Newsworthy Press Releases
Aside from announcing information and providing brand exposure, press releases have commonly been used to boost SEO by building backlinks. This is accomplished by putting links to a business website in the press release. This practice regrettably spawned the practice of creating non-newsworthy or lackluster press releases that included links to company websites, but lacked substantive information or content. Google looked negatively upon this practice as it updated its algorithm with Panda and Penguin. Avoid the downfalls of lackluster press releases by refocusing on the original purpose of the press release: to provide the public and the media with pertinent information about your business. To get positive SEO results, create newsworthy press releases that media outlets, industry professionals, and respected sites would gladly share to create the kind of backlinks that are great for your marketing efforts.
3. Directory Submissions
There are sites that aggregate random websites that have no real relationship to each other and they need to go. While submitting your site to directories related to your industry or DMOZ is helpful, submission to these sites is not. It actually derails SEO efforts, not to mention that sites are penalized for paying for directory listings. The best bet is to focus on getting content published on sites that have an audience relevant to your business. Building a network and targeting sites with readers that are a good fit for your company is a worthwhile strategy. All articles should feature relevant, high quality content to attract prospects.
Throw out those old black hat SEO tricks and focus on creating a great user experience and providing valuable content in the language your customers use to search for you. (No unnecessary keyword padding! Write for human eyes.) This will boost SEO in the long term and cultivate a positive image for your brand. Having a steady blog, including social sharing buttons, posting current news and information, and creating infographics are just a few white hat techniques that will give your SEO a lasting boost.
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.