As an SEO agency that wants to maintain its ranking (and its customers), we strive to respect Google’s rules (when they are not in conflict with good SEO) to stay in its good graces. Since SEO is a constantly evolving discipline, we need to stay on top of the latest updates and new practices that emerge.
In this article, we bring you the top 7 practices that some SEO agencies recommend to their clients that can have disastrous consequences.
Using an “in-house” or closed CMS
A CMS is a Content Management System. In practical terms, the purpose of a CMS is to give you autonomy when updating your website (creating/editing pages, blog articles, adding/editing images, etc.). The most popular CMS is WordPress but there are many, which are not all equal in terms of SEO.
If you are looking for an SEO agency to help you with your SEO strategy, they may praise the merits of their “in-house” platform. They will probably tell you that it is more secure than WordPress, better designed for SEO and blah, blah, blah. It is worth recalling that 35% of websites worldwide use WordPress. Google also announced its partnership with WordPress in 2018 to help the platform improve its SEO performance.
As an SEO agency that specializes in WordPress, we can assure you that WordPress sites often stand out better than their competitors in Wix, Joomla, Shopify, Prestashop, Magento etc.
Over-optimization of your content
SEO involves creating relevant content for your visitors and optimizing it for search engines. One of the practices is to insert the word you want to position yourself on into your content. However, it is very important not to repeat the keyword too often on the page to avoid making your content “spammy” and risk being penalized by Google.
The SEO agency that supports you should therefore ensure that the written content is clean for both your readers and Google because Google doesn’t really appreciate when keywords are overused in a text. When you reread your text, ask yourself if the use of the targeted keyword looks natural in your sentences. Use synonyms as much as possible to avoid repetition.
Copying content or duplicated content
Who has never been tempted to copy a competitor’s content, especially if it is located in another country or region, thinking, “we are too far away to truly be competitors”. Keep in mind that duplicate content is penalized by Google. Therefore, no SEO agency should advise you to copy the content from another website because Google knows which site published the content first.
You should also know that most of a website’s duplicated content often comes from the same website! Some website managers may unintentionally copy an existing page from their site and create duplicate content. The most common case is when you change your URLs (by switching your site to https for example) and forget to redirect from your old URL to your new URL. Your SEO agency should therefore make sure that you do not create duplicate content that harms your SEO.
The multiplication of links
Another SEO practice is the creation of links (internal and external). An internal link is a link that leads to another page or article on your site. An external link is a link that leads to an external site. Do not hesitate to link to internal or external content if the content you are linking to is relevant. However, avoid adding too many links because the “SEO juice” will be watered down by the number of links you create.
When you create an internal link, allow it to open in the same tab, but when you create an external link, make sure it opens in a new tab so you don’t permanently lose your visitor.
Hiding content is the process of embedding keywords on your page without them being visible. For example, you can decide to repeat your keyword 50 times on your page with white text on a white background. Your users will not see it but Google will see it. This practice was used a long time ago by SEO experts and also a major luxury car brand that was banned from Google for a long time.
In other words, this bad SEO practice is well known to Google and no SEO agency should lead you in this direction.
Excessive use of images
Images improve the user experience by providing more context to the reader (if relevant). On the other hand, they will tend to make the page more cumbersome and impact the loading time of the page. The use of images is therefore recommended (and positive for your SEO) but should be done in moderation.
Your SEO agency should also consider the weight of your image, its compatibility with mobile media and the optimization of its Alt tag if you really want to take advantage of inserting images in your texts.
Creating excessive backlinks
As explained earlier in this article, creating backlinks is about generating a link to an external site or obtaining a link from an external site. If the site in question is good quality (in Google’s eyes), linking to it or receiving a link from it (it’s much more effective for your SEO to receive one) is a good practice.
On the other hand, we do not recommend that you hire an SEO agency only to generate backlinks for yourself and even less to get a bunch of links over a short period of time. Remember that “natural referencing” includes the word “natural” and that generating too many backlinks over a short period of time is not natural. You will of course (potentially) see an improvement in your rankings but if Google realizes that you are trying to manipulate its results, the penalty can cost you all the time and money you have invested.
In our opinion, a good SEO agency should therefore explain how to set up an effective backlink strategy that is as natural as possible.
We hope you enjoyed our article about the 7 deadly sins that your SEO agency must prevent you from committing. Keep in mind that a good SEO strategy is like a sports or nutrition program, even if you have good intentions, you shouldn’t just do anything. Many SEO agencies or SEO experts use certain questionable practices and it is (kind of) your responsibility to inquire before you entrust your SEO to someone else.
You are more than welcome to contact us if you would like us to discuss how My Little Big Web can help you improve your SEO.