5 SEO Practices Any Rockstar SEO Agency (Or You) Should Avoid
Search engine optimisation is somewhat of a complicated discipline. It’s not just that you need to understand the complex nuances of myriad SEO services, you also face the challenges of keeping up with an ever-shifting digital landscape.
So if we professionals find it a complex environment, spare a little thought for the clients. SEO isn’t something you can pick up in an afternoon.
We’re all working hard to deliver the best possible results for our partners. Let’s face it though, there can sometimes be different routes to the same destination. We want to pull back the curtain and help pick out the road best travelled, with 5 SEO practices that any rockstar SEO agency should ideally to avoid.
1. Promising instant results
Get big time first page ranking in just two weeks, the sales pitch claims. It’s tempting, I know! Who wouldn’t want that kind of ambition and expertise!? Well just about anyone who knows anything about SEO.
SEO should be an immediate priority for your digital presence, but ultimately the pay-off on that investment doesn’t come in a day. It’s virtually impossible to take your flagging website and catapult it forward to number one spot overnight.
Search engine rankings are built on reputation and relevance. That means ensuring you’re providing relevant answers to search queries while maintaining a digital reputation to flag you as a trusted provider of that answer. Anyone in business knows that building up a positive reputation takes time, and that’s equally true in the digital sphere. Don’t promise your client instant results, just work hard to make sure what you deliver is exceptional.
2. Buying backlinks or blog postings
Backlinks are a precious commodity in the world of SEO. Links from external sites pointing to your own website are a digital endorsement of the quality of your online presence. They are not, however, a commodity which should be bought or sold.
Google gets very angry at people trying to throw money at the challenge of backlinks. In the dark days of SEO this practice was prolific, with unethical SEO agencies buying link after link from spam sites to push up the rankings. Nowadays search engines are a whole lot smarter about working this out. That means they actively and aggressively punish anyone who they catch undertaking these frowned upon practices.
Links are hugely important, and should be built up organically through positive outreach, media coverage, and through downright fantastic content on a website. That’s why an agency like Content Nation works to deliver something fabulous and unique, rather than attempts to buy it in bulk.
3. Overlooking analytics integration
Analyticals tools are vital to best-practice SEO. In their most common form this means integrating the powerful data suite of Google Analytics into your website. Google Analytics isn’t the only option out there on the market, but it’s far and away the most popular, and potentially the most powerful.
A comprehensive delivery of SEO from a good SEO agency means embedding an analytics suite that will help track and monitor everything from backlinks to daily visitors. These kind of metrics are some of the true measurements of success when it comes to showing the positive results an SEO agency has delivered.
Of course not every client might be fully versed in understanding their own analytics. It’s up to you to work on the conversation about monitoring versus education, and delivering the solution that best fits your client’s needs.
4. Forgetting to explain what you’re doing!
Sure, SEO is a complicated beast, but it’s hardly quantum physics. On a basic it level it should be possible for you to actually explain the outline of the techniques and decisions you’re making to improve your client’s SEO. This can be things like improving on-page content, trimming down excess HTML, improving load times, optimising images, building positive backlinks, utilising appropriate page titles and a whole range of other positive moves.
Ultimately, working with any client is about nurturing a positive relationship built on mutual respect and understanding. Part of that duty is being able to communicate what you’re actually doing on your client’s behalf. If you’re not entirely sure your client is up to speed, just open up the conversation and explore the project with them.
5. Cramming in keywords at the cost of good copy
Great writing isn’t just a bonus, it’s an integral part of best-practice SEO. Sure, I’m more than a little biased on this one, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Search engines are increasingly proficient at understanding what constitutes good, natural copy of the kind that makes it easier, and more pleasurable, for an audience to read.
It used to be that keyword density was the chillingly functional gold standard by which SEO copy was judged. That was the practice of ensuring an essential keyword or phrase that users searched for was frequently repeated on a page. Thanks primarily to the joys of Google’s 2013 update, codename Hummingbird, such days are long gone.
Keywords are still an important part of SEO, and of understanding searcher intent, but the days of cramming them into pages every two sentences like some sort of yellow brick road leading to great rankings are dead. Don’t get misled by misplaced ideas of keyword density, or the magical power of a single keyword. Create great copy, and let it flourish.