Many Entrepreneurs build websites and platforms and online exposure is an essential part of their journey right from the start. They all know that Black Hat SEO is risky and can result in destroying a website’s reputation and standing. However, there are a number of tactics and methods that aren’t quite Black Hat, but really are questionable, at best. And there are other methods that are just time wasters, and you could spend your time more constructively on other strategies.
1. Fake Reviews
Don’t do this. It may be tempting, particularly if your website and business don’t have a lot of reviews online, but just don’t. If you have negative reviews that are dragging down your reputation, resolve those problems with customers. If you simply want more positive reviews, deliver great customer service and encourage your customers to leave online reviews on appropriate websites. However, it’s not worth destroying your credibility in order to show good reviews. Google has recently warned business owners to avoid fake reviews.
2. Participating in as Many Social Media Platforms as Possible
This is something that sounds good on paper, but rarely works in practice. First, some social media networks aren’t suitable for your business. For example, there’s no point in having an Instagram account for a plumber’s business. Second, you’ll be spreading your resources and time too thin. Pick the most appropriate form of social media for your business, and stick with that one to develop it. Social media is now one of the most important aspects related to the internet presence of a business, and you might be tempted to try out each and every platform. Don’t do it. You’ll be stretching your resources too thin, and there’s no way you’ll be able to keep up with all of the platforms. Choose the best platform for your business and become an expert at it, and use that platform to engage your customers.
3. Your website is not Mobile-Friendly
One of the biggest mistakes you could possibly make is not making your website friendly to mobile devices. Most internet traffic now results from tablets and mobile phones, not desktops. If mobile users can’t view your site easily, they won’t stick around to try to navigate through it. They’ll go elsewhere. According to recent Google updates, the new Google Algorithm gives an additional ranking boost to mobile-friendly websites.
4. Overspending on Paid Search Results
Used correctly, PPC (Pay Per Click) can be a useful SEO tool. However, organic search results are more likely to be clicked on. Because you’re paying per click on your website link, it can get very expensive, very quickly. PPC works well in the very short term, but long-term results are best achieved through SEO, and SEO is much more affordable than PPC.
5. Forum Marketing
This refers to answering questions about your business/products/services on various forums. The intention behind this is good, as it allows you to share information and make a good impression on potential customers, it’s very time-consuming. According to Algorithm Seo Sydney, the SEO benefit of this is so small that it’s really a waste of your time and resources. You can better spend your time on other SEO methods.
6. Not Having a Content Strategy
It’s that same phrase again. Content is king. Content is a great way to draw people to your website, but only if you use it correctly. Define a goal for using content, and keep that objective in mind when you create content. Content should be relevant to your website visitors, it should be interesting to read, it should be free from mistakes, and, most importantly of all, it should be unique. Never, ever plagiarize from other websites or writers.
7. Keyword Stuffing
Using keywords strategically is fine. Putting a keyword in every possible location where you can fit it is not fine. Keyword stuffing means that you fill your content and meta tags with keywords. Officially, this is a Black Hat strategy, and it can result in your website being penalized or even banned temporarily or permanently by Google.
8. Untargeted Bulk Emails
Email is a great way to promote your website and content, but make sure you’re targeting the right readers, and make sure they’ve actually given you permission to email them. If they haven’t subscribed to a mailing list or otherwise given you permission to use their emails, they’re just going to be annoyed and less likely to visit your website in the future. If you do collect their emails with permission, quick surveys to collect customer data can be helpful for emails targeting specific groups.
To summarize, these practices are not quite on the level of Black Hat SEO and definitely are not the best practices to use with your new website. The goal is long-term success with increasing your website traffic and revenues, not just getting a short-term bump.
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