We all should know by now the top common black hat tactics to avoid. Most SEO professionals like to think of themselves as white hat, or at least gray hat.
However, did you know that there are several white hat strategies that can seriously hurt your long-term SEO performance?
The reason most of these white hat strategies can hurt you is that they’re often “too easy to be good for you.”
When we become complacent in the easy way out, our organic search performance can start to suffer.
For the TL;DR SEOs out there, here are my quick links to help you jump to the section you want to read.
The top six easy SEO strategies you must avoid:
- Assembly line SEO strategy.
- Blaming performance drops on algorithm updates (without evidence).
- Copying location page copy.
- Using automated auditing tools to drive strategy.
- Paying for links.
- Being too scared to ask questions.
1. Assembly Line SEO Strategy
I define “assembly line SEO” as when a person or agency uses the same exact tactics for every client.
Many of the larger SEO agencies use this strategy for their SMB division because it’s efficient to manage.
Typically, after the site goes through its first round of on-page optimizations, the routine tactics include blogging and paying for links.
However, just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s always the best.
This type of strategy may be fruitful for a short period of time, but unless there’s zero competition, the website is bound to experience a growth plateau.
What to Do Instead
Instead of getting stuck in this routine “task-based” strategy, focus on finding out unique ways to deliver value to your website’s audience.
Investigate what your competitor’s top-ranking content is, and how they’re approaching their content strategy. Make a list of all of your competitor’s strategies and look for content gap opportunities.
Take these opportunities and make sure your content is built to serve your audience at each stage of their purchase funnel.
The continual research and content production may be more time-consuming, but it will inevitably be more fruitful. Another added bonus is that this will show your stakeholders that you truly care about their performance.
2. Blaming Performance Drops on Algorithm Updates (Without Evidence)
Performance drops can happen as suddenly and frequently as algorithm updates, depending on the website.
These days, algorithm updates happen so frequently that it could be easy to point fingers at Google and say they caused your rankings and organic traffic to drop.
Sometimes, it’s true!
However, more often than not, performance drops can occur for different reasons.
Some common reasons for organic performance drops include:
- Newly discovered technical issues on the site.
- Significant content changes.
- Competitor changes.
- Manual actions.
Keeping those possibilities in mind, it’s important that we don’t take the easy way out and blame an algorithm update.
If you your website just recently took a hit, don’t panic!
Somethings things just happen, and your traffic will return on its own.
What you don’t want to do is start making significant changes to your site. This may lead to even more complications with your organic performance.
What to Do Instead
There are several SEO recovery guides out there that you can reference for more in-depth steps on how to bounce back from organic performance drops.
Here are some quick tips on how to investigate whether your site was truly hit by an algorithm. – Read more