As Google constantly update its algorithms and SEO tactics, reviewing your SEO habits should be a priority for every business and digital marketer. Because it’s all too easy to become stuck in the same routine, mindlessly implementing the same strategy over and over.
Well, it’s time for a change. It’s time to sit back and take a long hard look at your SEO habits.
In this post, I will explain the Good and Bad SEO Habits for implementing your SEO strategies
The Good and Bad SEO Habits
Good Habit: Make sure your Keywords are updated. Revisit your keyword research and update the data on which you initially based your decisions. People change, habits change, technology changes. The chance that what people are searching for has changed too is also pretty high.
More importantly, when deciding which keywords to allocate to which pages, remember the game has changed. There’s no longer a need to create separate pages for each keyword variation. There’s a little thing called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) and it does most of the hard work for you! Generate more LSI keywords at LSI Graph .
Bad Habit : Focusing on Keyword Rankings as the Main Measurement of Success. In a world of personalization, location tracking, web history, and now voice search, keyword rankings don’t always give us a true picture of how we are doing.
People use a wide variety of queries to search for products and answers.
Focus instead on topics and the context of a page, rather than specific keywords. The search engines are smarter than ever; as long as you’re providing value, you can trust Google to figure out the rest without having to shove five variations of the same keyword onto a page.
Good Habit: Always redo your On-site Audit because it will never reach its full potential as thing inevitably break and new issues occur.
There are too many factors to cover here but just to mention a few of the fundamentals. A good place to start is with the website speed, especially in an age where heavily image-led sites are popular. Ensure you have done everything in your power to send that Google Page Insights score as high as possible.
If you are launching a new website, don’t forget to implement a checklist of SEO checks before going live (such as removing robots no index!).
Be sure to fix broken links, address duplicate content issues, optimize your images and update your metadata. Since the maximum length for meta descriptions increased even further at the end of last year, it’s probably about time you rewrote them. Make sure you have implemented schema markup on your site too.
Good Habit: To submit Sitemap to Google Search Console at least once a week.
Bad Habit: Not Fixing (or Identifying) Harmful Technical Problems. After doing countless technical SEO audits, I can confidently tell you that most websites have some type of issue that hurts their search performance. Adding content and attracting links is great. But if your website has underlying technical issues, rankings could still be negatively impacted.
The most common technical problems include:
Improper redirects (i.e. redirect chains, 302s instead of 301s, non-use of redirects, etc.). Slow page load time. Mobile errors. Duplicate content. Unintentionally blocked pages.
Good Habit: It’s time to start prioritizing mobile over the desktop, revisit the design and overall user experience of your site. It is a good idea to carry out a separate mobile SEO audit of your site.
Factor in the rise of voice search and how this will impact on keyword formats. Pay close attention to mobile-specific crawl errors via Google Search Console. Ensure your site passes Google’s mobile-friendly test and that mobile load speeds are up to scratch.
Bad Habit: Creating One Page for Each Keyword Variation. With semantic search, we are well past the days when we optimized one page for one keyword. The focus is now on the overall topic for each page, which can help support themes within a website.
There is still remnants of the one keyword, one-page approach, though, and it often shows up with local pages. The additional issue that often comes up with these types of pages is that they provide little value for users.
You need to have content that is valuable to your visitors.
Adding Marginal Content to websites simply for the purpose of ‘improving SEO’ only. However, having just any content isn’t good enough, the content has to be considered high quality and optimized, otherwise, searches won’t find you.
Another bad habit is Forgetting to Optimize Images
We need to take every opportunity to show up in search results, including optimizing for image search. When adding images to your website, don’t forget about the image filename and alt attribute.
Instead of an image filename of XYZ123.jpg, consider including a keyword that is descriptive of the image, such as best SEO plugin.jpg.
As far as the alt attribute, it should not be keyword stuffed, but should be descriptive of the image. If the image is in line with the topic of the page, which it should be, then it would be natural to have a keyword in the description.
Good Habit: Take a step back from your content strategy, review what is and isn’t working, and gain some fresh perspective. You should be focused on writing content that provides so much value that people want to share it. Think about what makes someone shares a piece of content and implement that thinking into your posts.
Be sure to also review and update any old content. Outdated information can be harmful to organic rankings, so take the time to do add new content. Is there any content that’s been lingering close to the top of the SERPs for some time but hasn’t quite made the final jump to the top spot? Look at the content which is beating you and figure how to make yours even better than theirs.
Don’t forget that it’s not all about the written word. Integrate more visual content into your strategy too, such as infographics and videos. Video in particular is great for keeping people on a page for longer. Given that time spent on page is considered a ranking factor, it’s an opportunity not to be missed!
Good Habit: It can be easy to become too focused on only one type of link-building, such as guest posting. Yet there are a whole variety of link-building techniques waiting to be deployed.
Start by ditching any unhealthy linking habits. Use a tool like SEMRush to identify any potentially harmful links and disavow them. Begin the new year with a clean slate and focus on building high-value links.
Perhaps it’s time to start thinking beyond link-building and concentrate on relationship building. Work on building a solid partnership with some top publications in your industry. If you’re providing exceptional content for them, then it’s a win-win situation for both of you.
Bad Habit : Aggressive Link Building. Before we talk about poor link building habits, it’s important to mention that links still matter today. Links are a public endorsement and reflect that a website has valuable information. Google gives a lot of weight to links as a ranking signal.
Where the problems occur, though, is when links are gathered in a hast way such as through link schemes, poor link directories, purchasing links, and other spammy tactics.
These aggressive link building techniques should be abandoned and the focus should be on a link strategy that is more marketing and user-focused.
Bad Habit: Linking excessively between your websites with the intent to boost your backlink profile has the potential to hurt you more than it does to help you. It’s an outdated SEO technique.
Some other Bad SEO Habits
Trying to ‘Trick’ Google Versus Playing by the Rules
“Good” SEO means you are in the business of earning rankings, not exploiting the search engines.
While it’s important to know what Google rewards and focus on those areas, by no means should those areas be exploited.
For example, after AMP rolled out, some websites started creating teaser pages using AMP technology. These pages would show just a snippet of the content and then direct users to click through to the original page. Google eventually enacted an AMP policy that went after these sites.
Changing article dates to show content freshness is another trick that could come back to bite you.
Practicing SEO as if Nothing Ever Changes
The fact that you are reading this article likely means you are someone who keeps up with changes in SEO.
Failing to stay up-to-date on best practices, algorithm changes, and webmaster guidelines is detrimental to your SEO success.
A habit that you should spend time weekly (even daily) reading up on the latest in SEO so that you know what is going on.
Good luck on your Search Engine Optimization.