Your SEO is Showing: 5 Ways Bad SEO Tactics May be Turning Away Actual Visitors

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful internet marketing tool — that’s why it’s the cornerstone of our online strategies.

Effective SEO means your business appears in Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines when people look for your service or industry. For our SEO clients, we use on-site and off-site tactics to make your website appealing to those all-important search engines.

Skillful SEO should make your website attractive to the search engine robots, without making it a pain-in-the-behind for readers. You’ve probably been annoyed by sites like this yourself: ones so jam-packed with out-of-place keywords that you can barely read it. Those keyword-stuffing SEO tricks don’t fool the search engines and just frustrate your potential customers — they’re just bad business.

Think about it like this: The Google algorithm will never be a customer — real people will, so they need to like what they see. After all, the most effective SEO marketing goes hand-in-hand with the language and structure that make real people want to shop or call.

Unfortunately, some SEO companies go way overboard in using these tactics to try to climb the rankings quickly. Not only do those spam techniques fall flat in 2018, they irritate your actual human customers. Here are 5 of the worst SEO tactics that turn away actual visitors.

Bad SEO Tactics Hurt Good Websites

If you’re an internet user, you’ve probably seen (and been annoyed) by these SEO missteps.  Let’s dig in.

keyword stuffing in seo content

The signature move of bad SEO, some sites use the keyword so much that it feels like it’s every other word. People read and are convinced by authentic and down-to-earth writing, sprinkled with relevant keywords. Bad SEO writing sounds like a pushy salesman hyped-up on Red Bull! In addition to annoying your readers, excessive keyword stuffing can actually get your site marked as spam by the same search engines you’re trying to impress.

 

Graphic of Google Map and storefront

Just like with keyword overload, getting this SEO technique wrong turns a good thing into a bad one. Including specific locations on your site is a helpful way to show readers and search engines your service areas. Including locations in your page copy and titles is a natural way to do that. Including locations in every sentence, though, is a good way to frustrate new and long-term customers alike.

A sign this tactic is turning off your readers is that you have a crazy-high bounce rate and a low amount of time on your pages

 

Digital layout of website pages

All of the pages on your website should serve a purpose, from your homepage to your About Us page.

Another notoriously bad SEO tactic involves building a database of thousands of 100% identical pages with different titles, supposedly meant to create a massive online reach. In practice, though, search engines ignore these worthless pages — and your users get confused when searching your sitemap and finding literally thousands of pages to choose from.

 

Website content over speech bubble

It’s not about using more words, it’s about using the right words. While having too few words can cause Google to overlook your site, having too many words will make your visitors bounce right off. Don’t trust any SEO company that tells you that you need thousands of words per page in order to rank well.

Think about it like this: Your site should explain your services and present your value proposition — NOT read like War and Peace! While the right keywords and good writing will never go out of style, people also like to learn from pictures, icons, graphics, videos, and more.

 

Anchor text overload

Interlinking between pages on your website helps direct your visitors to more information they can use and is a tried-and-true SEO technique. Bad SEO often takes this good thing to the extreme, making it a very annoying thing.

Having a link in nearly every sentence makes your sentences hard to read. Even worse, excessive internal links can make your site hard to scroll on mobile as your readers’ thumbs will accidentally be hitting links as they’re trying to read. That’s why we call it a link minefield — one wrong move and you’re on a random page.

 

SEO Marketing Done Right

Worried your SEO content sounds like a hyper-link minefield or that Red Bull-loving salesman? Here’s the good news: Websites aren’t chiseled into stone tablets — you can update your site and SEO at any time.

The first step to overhauling your site is to find a skilled SEO company that utilizes the best practices for long-term online success — rather than an overnight sensation. WebTek is an award-winning internet marketing agency in Lancaster County, with a specialty in SEO.

If you’d like to start a conversation about outfitting your site with SEO, that both people and search engines will love, contact us today!

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