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3 SEO Sins to Avoid at All Costs

Every business owner knows the importance of a good website that clearly defines what their business is, who they serve, and the value their company provides. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of optimizing your page’s content for Google’s algorithm, helping it show up higher on the search engine’s results page. Next week we will cover five tips any web page manager can put into place to facilitate this. For now, we want to detail three mistakes many new website owners use that drastically hurt their placements.

1. Hidden Text

This is exactly what it sounds like. Some developers will put keywords related to their industry in white text or 0-point font size that is invisible to the reader, so that Google’s algorithm knows their pages contain keywords searchers are looking for. For example, if a company’s webpage is related to Louisville florists, the operator of the website may put “flowers and florists in Louisville” in white text on the page, so Google knows their website contains products related to that. Unfortunately, Google’s algorithm will eventually catch on to this and will penalize the webpage, potentially even banning it from Google’s search engine. 

2. Keyword Stuffing

Obviously you want your website to contain words that your audience will search for. But excessive usage of these words, or “keyword stuffing,” is a practice that will have adverse effects for your page. Google’s algorithm can quickly catch on to the fact that you are overusing keywords and will penalize your website. Take this screenshot below as an example of keyword stuffing. 

It’s good to have “Fire Safety Risk Assessment in Scotland” as a headline on the page, but it is clearly excessive in the body text, and will only hurt their website’s reputation. 

3. Buying Backlinks

Backlinks are when another website links to your page. For example, a webpage focused on local tourism may include links to a city’s attractions. Credible backlinks are great for a page’s ranking. However, buying backlinks is against Google’s Webmaster guidelines, meaning your page will be penalized if Google suspects you are paying a third-party link builder, or a “link farm” to link to your site. 

Now that you have an idea of what NOT to do to boost your webpage’s ranking on Google, stay tuned as we will cover five practices any business owner can utilize to drive more traffic to their site.