do not's of seo: sej recap

The 7 Do Not’s of SEO in 2019 and Beyond (Search Engine Journal Webinar Recap)

SEO to content is like paleo chocolate frosting to a paleo chocolate cake.

(Ever had one of those? They’re decadent, AND good for you. 🤤)

It seriously is that important–and impactful–in content marketing.

SEO-focused content marketing has powered our own organic marketing at Express Writers for years.

Without good SEO practices, your content will miss out on the possibilities of earning traffic and leads through organic user searches.

The opposite, bad SEO, will make readers and Google look a little like Steve Carrell in this scene in the 2014 movie, Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:

Not good.

That’s why, this April, I presented a webinar for Search Engine Journal on the top seven bad SEO tactics to abandon forever – ones that are dragging down your search rankings, confusing users (see above photo), and leaving your content in the dust.

We had an amazing turnout for this webinar. Over 300 people tuned in live!

Here are the slides from my webinar, and here’s the YouTube replay.

For those who missed it, or those who want the highlights, keep reading – I’m recapping the major points, here, too. ✔

Before we get into the bad SEO tactics and practices people are still using, we need to answer one question…

Get your own content marketing all geared up for the ROI you've been waiting for with the help of good SEO. Watch @JuliaEMcCoy's @sejournal webinar about the 7 Do Not's of #SEO in 2019 Click To Tweet

sej webinar recap julia mccoy

Why Does SEO and Google Matter?

Two reasons:

1. Most Internet Users Rely on Google

About half of the world’s population uses the internet. That’s no joke. Of those internet-users, about 60% begin their browsing with a Google search.

Over 3.5 billion Google searches happen in a day. Plus, Google dominates the market. Almost 60% of all web traffic begins with a Google search, according to the data from SparkToro and Jumpshot.

do not's of seo: forgetting Google

Image: Backlinko

2. Google is All About the User

Most web traffic comes from Google, and Google is all about that end-user. From their Search Engine Evaluator Guidelines to their Webmaster Central Blog, the user experience takes center stage. When your SEO and website experience tick off human users, you tick off Google, simultaneously.

Therefore, good SEO practices are all about keeping users and Google happy. The better you do, the more highly you will be ranked in search (and loved by users!).

With that out of the way, let’s get into the bad SEO tactics that will make your two most important audience members (humans and Google) confused, annoyed, and fed-up.

SEO-focused content marketing has powered our own organic marketing at Express Writers for years. Know why SEO matters with @JuliaEMcCoy's @sejournal webinar about the 7 Do Not's of #SEO in 2019 Click To Tweet

7 Just-Plain-BAD SEO Tactics You Shouldn’t Be Using Anymore

1. Using Your Target Keyword the Wrong Way

An outdated SEO practice we need to do away with is targeting one keyword per page – especially similar or semantically related keywords.

Instead, it’s better to target both focus keywords and secondary, related keywords in the same piece of content. This will align your SEO strategy with modern semantic search, which is what Google is focusing on moving into the future.

Semantic search looks at a page’s overarching topic vs. individual keywords to determine whether it’s relevant to a user’s search query.

do not's of seo: bad keyword usage

On the right side of this diagram, each keyword is targeted individually. A better SEO practice is to target related terms like these within the same piece (left).

Using a focus keyword + variations, related terms, and synonyms all within the same high-quality content piece signals to Google AND users that the page is topically relevant to the search query.

2. Developing Thin Content That Doesn’t Go the Distance

Short, thin content pieces are not SEO-worthy. If you want a page to rank, you need longer, in-depth content.

How do we know? Look at the data: From BuzzSumo’s analysis of over 100 million articles, long-form content (over 3,000 words) was most-shared. A Backlinko study came to the same conclusion – long-form content = higher search rankings.

To write longer content, focus on answering the user’s question(s) thoroughly and deep-dive into your topic.

3. Posting Content Whenever You Feel Like It

You can’t post content erratically if you want to rank higher in search. Many studies have shown that consistently publishing high-quality content leads to more ranking opportunities.

For one example, a HubSpot benchmark study found that companies that posted over 16x/month earned the most traffic and leads.

do not's of seo: posting inconsistently

That doesn’t mean you need to start blogging like a madman (or madperson), though. If you push out tons of posts but your quality sucks, you still won’t get anywhere. That leads us to bad SEO tactic #4…

4. Focusing on Quantity Vs. Quality

Pushing out blog posts just to get them on the web is never a good idea for SEO. Quality matters more than quantity for rankings and readership.

If you can’t feasibly publish fantastic blog posts on a consistent basis (say, 2-3x/week), cut back. One amazing post per week or month is better than 3 mediocre or crappy ones.

Tip: Check out the top 5 search results for your focus keyword in Google. Try to create a post that’s better than anything in that top 5.

5. Publishing Duplicate Content

According to SEMrush, a study of over 100,000 articles showed the most common SEO error is something we can all easily avoid: duplicate content. Nearly 66% of the articles in the study suffered from this problem.

It happens when multiple pages appear very similar or match 100%. Usually, this is unintentional, but some people do plagiarize content. Either way, you will be penalized.

Luckily, this mistake is easy to avoid. Do it by running all of your content through Copyscape before publishing. Rewrite any pages that have a percentage match.

6. Using Shady Tactics like Link Buying

If you really want to get on the wrong side of Google, link schemes and link buying are the way to do it.

Google specifically states in their quality guidelines that “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”

do not's of seo: link buying

If you violate those guidelines, bet on getting de-ranked faster than you can say “blackhat SEO”.

Instead of trying to sneak your way onto the SERPs, make every piece of content you publish link-worthy. Then, amplify that content using every resource in your power (social media, email marketing, networking, and connections).

Make every piece of content you publish link-worthy. @JuliaEMcCoy #SEO Click To Tweet

7. Not Paying Attention to Customer Reviews (or Posting Fake Reviews)

70% of online consumers read reviews of a product or company before buying. If you’re forgetting or ignoring the customer review portion of SEO – why?!

Some marketers go in the opposite direction and resort to posting fake reviews to boost their reputation. (Did you know The Washington Post discovered 61% of electronics reviews on Amazon are fake? Yikes.) It’s not like this works, though. Review platforms are becoming more advanced at sniffing out and deleting fake reviews.

Fake reviews aren’t necessary if you know how to earn glowing ones from customers. A few tips:

  • Ask happy customers to review you on the platform that contributes most to building your reputation (social media, Google review, Yelp review, etc.).
  • Seek customer reviews when they’re super happy with your business. Say you exceeded their expectations or delivered a quality product early – those are prime moments to ask.
  • Offer free samples to influencers and ask them for an honest review in return. This works especially well if you have a feature-worthy product.

Online reviews are a big part of building your reputation and authority. Seek them out from happy customers instead of resorting to fakery.

Turn to the Light: Good SEO Practices Are Worth It

Outdated, blackhat, or downright lazy SEO practices will make human users and Google shun your site like it has the plague.

GIF: Tenor

What you really want is a site and content that shine like a beacon, beckoning and welcoming users with the warm glow of usefulness, quality, depth, and insight.

Look at what we’ve achieved at Express Writers, for example. 99% of our leads and revenue have come to us through our SEO content.

That’s what good SEO helps you achieve. Avoid the bad stuff and focus on the good for best results. Come back into the light!

express writers cta

72 replies
  1. Mansoor Ahmed
    Mansoor Ahmed says:

    This is good informative Blog. I Have Read Your Post. It Is Very Informative And Useful Thanks For Posting And Sharing With Us And Your Writing Style Is Very Nice.

    Reply
  2. Alison
    Alison says:

    Thanks for the great info, Julia! With all the keywords out there, I can’t believe people are still relying on just one keyword per page. Way to leave money on the table.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Why thank you! We appreciate you taking the time to read through it! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      We are always learning more and more! Thank you for stopping by to read! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  3. Tom Olsen
    Tom Olsen says:

    Great article. The biggest “do not” in 2019 in my opinion, is people thinking that there are constants in SEO. No, you do not need 1,300 words on a page. No, there is no such thing as a universal keyword density. Google is treating niches and even keywords differently these days, so what you should do is analyze the Top10 in your niche.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Very valid point, Tom! Thank you for sharing your insight! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  4. WDH
    WDH says:

    It’s a very nice post you published about blogging. Thanks for sharing details about Blog Post It’s really a useful information as I read it.

    Reply
  5. Parc Clematis
    Parc Clematis says:

    Any questionnaire do you have to ask my SEO agency before giving them my business website? Please advise!!

    Reply
  6. Perio Center
    Perio Center says:

    Best place to visit and got so much informative content from here really thankful to author for such an amazing content.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      We plan on sharing as we keep on learning more! After all, knowledge is power and Sharing IS caring! 😉 – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  7. Jill Eloisa
    Jill Eloisa says:

    It’s nice to read a wonderful work like this, keep posting!! Everyone will surely appreciate and love all your next works.
    Thank you , Godbless and more power!!

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      As long as people want to know more, we will keep supplying it! Knowledge is power! 😉 – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  8. Kumar Gaurav Singh
    Kumar Gaurav Singh says:

    Right, if we use write target keywords for all kind of phrase or for image alt tags only??

    Reply
  9. Siddhant gautam
    Siddhant gautam says:

    very good knowledge are provide i like it very much it was very helpful for me thank you so much !

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Glad we could help! Thank you for stopping by! 🙂 – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  10. Sazzad Hossazin
    Sazzad Hossazin says:

    Many things you can do to make SEO very much. I got a lot of ideas in my article. I will follow the information on your article.

    Thanks Julia article and video

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Thank you for reading, Sazzad! Good luck with your endeavors! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  11. Jameer Abdul Kadar
    Jameer Abdul Kadar says:

    The the great post and I really use of it to make my website an awesome one. It’s a huge post to gather a lot of information.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      Thank you for reading, Jameer! We are SO happy to hear you found such value in this article! 🙂 – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  12. Marchus Shane
    Marchus Shane says:

    SEO is not just a one-time learning process that you learn and then get an appropriate output. SEO is about researching day by day of the algorithm (page ranking algorithm, Page analysis Algorithm, and Content Analysis and more and more ). Yes, this is a very good article about the harm of doing SEO with a little knowledge

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      You are very right, Marchus! We are forever students here at Express Writers! The more you research, the more you know! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  13. WDH
    WDH says:

    It was a great post very nice information to share in this post . Thank you sir, I learning from your blog, and I am getting much results. Very thank you Very Nice Blog…Thanks for sharing this information with us.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      We are so glad you found such value in this post! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  14. Nouman khan
    Nouman khan says:

    very nice and informative article really I loved it, please keep sharing posts like this because i a m really satisfied of it.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      We plan on sharing as long as viewers like you continue your desires to learn more! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  15. Freaky Pushp
    Freaky Pushp says:

    Thanks for this knowledgeable article, I really enjoyed the blog because this is very interesting. You gave us lots of information, along with examples that are very helpful for me. Thank you so much for sharing. Keep sharing more information and enlightened us with your knowledge.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      We’ll keep sharing as long as readers keep wanting to learn more! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
  16. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Thank You so much for your valuable information, I get so much information from your blog and enjoyed reading this.

    Reply
  17. Fotograf Nunta
    Fotograf Nunta says:

    SEO is not just a one-time learning process that you learn and then get an appropriate output. SEO is about researching day by day of the algorithm (page ranking algorithm, Page analysis Algorithm, and Content Analysis and more and more ). Yes, this is a very good article about the harm of doing SEO with a little knowledge.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      You make some very valid points! Thank you for sharing! – Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply

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