Top SEO Strategies You Shouldn’t Use in 2022

Just having a website for your business doesn’t cut it anymore today, and even though it may be beneficial for highly loyal customers, it doesn’t provide new clients. The global market and the online world are enormous, which means that competition is everywhere.

That’s why hiring an SEO agency such as SmartClick is more than necessary in 2022, especially if you want to attract more and more people to your site, which by default means the services and products you offer. 

Therefore, here we will see the top SEO strategies one has to avoid in 2022 in order to be successful. Let’s begin. 

Not Having A Mobile-Friendly Site

It is fair to say that this is probably the worst mistake you can make when it comes to SEO and the success of your website. The reason being is that most users today don’t read or search for products on a laptop; instead, most of them use their smartphones. Therefore, even though the various SEO tools are extremely important, it’s also valuable to have a site that it’s even better when visited on a mobile phone. 

Because people use their phones so much, Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites. If you don’t optimize for mobile properly, this will hurt your search engine rankings, which means that gaining more visitors is almost impossible. 

Keyword Stuffing Can Be A Huge Problem

Things have changed over the years, and even though in the past it used to be great to repeat keywords as much as possible, today this is not the case anymore. In the past, you even had the chance to repeat the same keyword many times, and Google would still recognize it, and you would maybe rank high. Now, you have to be careful. 

Google algorithms have improved in a significant manner and are a lot more intelligent, having a semantic search. In its essence, this means that keyword stuffing won’t provide you with any improvement, but an even bigger problem is that it can harm your SEO. The goal has to be to provide users with valuable info and results in order to satisfy their needs, and keyword stuffing is not the way to do it anymore. That’s why you have to keep your keyword usage to a minimum, and you can use some synonyms to address something of similar meaning. 

Broken Links Have to Be Fixed

You probably have noticed that in your blog posts with several links, there is a higher chance that you may end up with a broken link. This issue can happen if the site you link to doesn’t exist anymore or more often if they have changed its URL. 

Therefore, you have to review your blog posts and articles and update the broken links, if there are any. If you leave them be, your site visitors will realize that you have poor maintenance, which is not good at all, and even a bigger issue is that if you have many broken links, your site may drop down in the rankings. You can use a tool or even change them manually in order to make sure everything is corrected. 

Wrongly Used H Tags

Yet another crucial aspect of SEO is using H tags properly in order to increase readability and represent sections the right way. It is almost impossible for Google to recognize your content without using H1 tags for headings, H2 for subs, and H3 for smaller sections. 

Furthermore, it’s not just about Google; it’s also about your readers having a clear view of the content, having a great structure, and showing why this content is beneficial. That is why H tags are vital and are not an optional feature; they are a must if you want to prosper in today’s SEO world. Also, people like it when the text has headings that describe what the paragraph is about when it’s not long, and it’s precise. 

Having A Slow Site Means No Visitors Anymore

Having a slow site is extremely harmful to SEO today since users want to get the information they need fast, and they want everything now. 

When someone clicks on your site and has to wait for several seconds to load, they will for sure leave the site immediately. That’s why Google also sees this as important, and speed is one of the crucial factors when it comes to rankings. If your site is slow, the search engine crawlers will take a lot more time in order to scan it, and you will not rank high, and people will also avoid your site. 

There are several ways to make your site faster, and as mentioned above, that’s why hiring a high-quality SEO agency is necessary. 

Plagiarism Is Not Allowed  

Plagiarized content will seriously hurt your SEO because search engines will detect it quickly. The sites that still make this mistake suffer severe consequences, and it’s much better to invest in creating high-quality content. 

Of course, it is wise to take inspiration from your competitor’s content, but you have to improve it, and you have to make it original, plagiarism-free. You can use tools like Quetext in order to check if there is plagiarism, which is a must in today’s online world; otherwise, you won’t have any benefits from that content. 

So, please don’t waste any more time and hire a local SEO agency like ours that knows how to practically implement aspects that will make your site better and avoid mistakes such as those mentioned above. 

Google Ads & SEO Are A Deadly Duo

google ads and seo are a dealy combo

If you are wanting to improve your SEO rankings but aren’t sold on Google Ads, I want you to rethink that. The are a couple of reasons why, which I’ll explain in a bit. Read on to find out what those are.

I’ve already talked about how long it can take to increase SEO rankings. Depending on a few factors, it’s going to take an SEO company time and patience to do the job properly so that a website sticks highly on the first page. There will be money spent and it will take some time to see some organic traffic visit the website.

For many business and website owners, that’s a tough pill to swallow. That’s why I’ve always said SEO is a long term investment as you won’t have to keep paying for SEO services and subsequent organic traffic after the rankings stick. But this is also the reason why people aren’t sold on Google Ads and having to continuously pay for traffic.

Let me introduce you to a deadliest tag team in online marketing.

Google Ads and SEO

I would like to propose an idea, and that is to invest in both Google Ads and SEO at the same time. This will increase the monthly budget but it’s worth it. Here’s why.

While the SEO campaign is working away in the background and your search rankings are improving, driving traffic to your website will help the SEO company and it will also help the business owner.

Here’s how it helps the SEO company:

Show Me The Data!

This will give the SEO company very sound data on what keywords are generating the most amount of engagement on the website. Whether that’s simply average time spent on website or goal conversions, the data will help the SEO company make any tweaks to the keywords being targeted.

Here’s how it helps the business owner:

Offsetting Costs

The business owner will be able to generate leads from the Google Ads campaign. Then hopefully close some sales to offset the cost of both the Google Ads spend and the SEO services. This will cost more than just running an SEO company but it’s money well spent for both parties.

It’s hard for many business owners to shell out money on SEO as it’s a process that might not see much in the way of results, traffic and leads. But as I explained above, it can a great option to also invest in a Google Ads campaign.

Fill out our discovery form if you are interested in this approach or using either of our SEO or Google Ads management services.

How To Run A Local SEO Audit

Local-SEO-Audit

Running an SEO audit is a standard procedure for any website, and it’s a great way to get better insight on your website as a whole, the individual pages, and your overall traffic. But you can only get these insights and performance enhancements if your audit is done properly. While there are many articles out there on how to perform the “best” local SEO audit, trying to include all of the suggestions leads to disorganized and hard-to-interpret audit results. These kind of results aren’t what you need to improve your website ranking and performance.

Your best option when running a local SEO audit is to keep is simple. Stick to the basics first, and get fancy later. It’s the basics that will give you meaningful action items and actual tangible ways to improve your website. Below I’ve listed out the 10 sections that I suggest always including in a local SEO audit (give or take a few, depending on the business):

ICON_LocalSEO

Overall Comments

This should be about a half page of any commentary that is not an action item. Write any comments that you have, and include a section of “quick wins” (eg. a list of 5 small changes that can be made to have a relatively large impact).

Reviews

List out the top 5-10 review sites that will matter to the business (this may vary depending on location, business size, business focus, etc.). Be sure to also include suggestions on where and how to get more reviews in a prioritized order.

Google My Business

In this section, give any and all recommendations on the business’ Google My Business page(s). You should include things such as suggestions for features that you think should be used, and identify duplicate Google My Business pages. Our article on how to rank a Google My Business page is a good start as well.

Citations

This is where you should include any comments on the citation audit (this audit will most likely be separate from the main write-up). Getting business listings/citations is important for ranking in the Google My Business results. You’ll want to make sure the business information is correct in all citations.

Anti-Spam

Find and take note of specific competitors who are spamming the local map in this section. Be sure to explain what they are doing and how their spam can be monitored and reported.

Link Opportunities

It’s a good idea to do some research into specific link opportunities that you can include in your audit. These opportunities will be different for each business, so try to keep them realistic in your audit!

Website (Technical)

This is where you should write any suggestions on technical aspects of the website such as internal linking, title tags, overall structure, page speed, and other aspects. This section goes hand in hand with the next three sections below.

Homepage

The homepage is where a lot of things happen, so that’s why it should get its own section of the audit. There are usually plenty of ways to tweak a homepage, and all of those suggestions should be included here.

All Other Pages

If you have recommendations on any other existing pages besides the homepage, write them in this section. These could be pages such as “Services”, “About”, or “Contact Us”. Also take a look at items such as whether or not the website has blog posts that may work better as pages.

New Pages

There are always more pages that can be added! This section is where you should recommend any specific ideas you have for new pages.

Including these sections in your local SEO audit will give you a solid audit with actionable items to make your website better. While there are plenty of other sections to add, I always recommend sticking with the basics in order to see results.

I’m happy to help you run your local SEO audit and get your website the views it deserves. Learn more about my local SEO consulting fees.

Negative SEO Campaigns Are Still A Thing, Sadly

how-to-remove-bad-backlinks

A couple of years ago I wrote about a clients website who was under attack from a negative SEO campaign and how you can clean up and remove spammy backlinks pointing to your website. First, let me sum up a negative SEO campaign as fast as I can so you can protect yourself against them.

A negative SEO campaign is someone creating a bunch of low quality and spammy backlinks pointing to your website so you get flagged or penalized by Google.

These campaigns are easy to catch if you are using any backlink checking software like Ahrefs.

You will easily be able to see a multitude of massive links in a short period of time. Kind of like I did just now when looking at my Ahrefs dashboard. This is what the dashboard looks like.

ahrefs-dashboard

Wow! 1.6K new backlinks. I can certainly say that we are currently not doing any lnikbuilding for the website so 1.6 backlinks sticks out. The nice thing about Aherfs is you can see each and everyone one of those links. Here’s what that looks like.

ahrefs-backlink-checker

Those Backlinks Look Spammy!

You can see in the top left hand corner I have new backlinks selected and that shows backlinks posting to our website that Aherfs has crawled in the last 7 days. What looks wrong with those backlinks?!

I had a good chuckle when I saw this screen. Over the last two weeks we’ve launched a website for Viva Orthodontics and started web development on another. When we do this we add a backlink to our website in the footer. But that would only equate to 50 or so backlinks as footer links are on each page.

Could someone seriously be going through with a negative SEO campaign on our website? I surely hope not.

The scary thing with these campaigns is that any can launch them on any website. And sadly the majority of website owners who don’t have an SEO company working with them will not notice this until it’s too late and their rankings have tanked or worse, are penalized.

You don’t want any of this to happen so what do you do?

How To Remove & Clean Up Bad Backlinks?

This is an easy two step process.

1 – I’ve already mentioned it but the first step is to signup for a backlink checker tool like Aherfs. Once you sign up, you can go into your dashboard and select referring domains. In the case of this example, I want to remove the new backlinks pointing to my website from the past week so I am selecting the new referring domains.

how-to-find-bad-backlinks

There is a little “Export” icon on the middle right of the screen. I click on that and all these domains get exported into an .csv file.

Once I have this information I can then go onto step 2.

2 – The next step is to submit a disavow file within your Google Search Console. You of course need to have Search Console setup to do this. Using the .csv file I download from Ahrefs, I add the domains into a text file which looks like this. Feel free to download that. Just be sure to change the date on the top line of you disavow file. Also, be sure to rename it.

Now you might want to wait until the bad backlinks and negative SEO campaign has slowed down. Or else you will be submitting this file too many times. In our websites example, I am going to wait a month and see if anymore spammy backlinks are created. That way I can add them onto the disavow file and submit them when the campaign comes to an end.

There you have it! It’s pretty easy to remove bad backlinks pointing to your website. It could save you thousands of dollars. Especially if your main traffic source is Google and SEO.

 

How Long For Better Local SEO Rankings?

how-long-for-better-seo-rankings

No matter what you hear or read, local SEO is alive and well. It’s the reason you’re here reading this blog post. You obviously want to know how long local SEO and better search rankings will take.

You might be wondering how long is it going to take to see page 1 and top 5 search rankings. This is a common question I get asked during almost all of my calls and emails from potential clients. It’s understandable as you want to know when you can start seeing more traffic, leads and clients come your way.

The problem with trying to answer this question is that it’s too difficult to correctly predict. There are too many search rankings factors to do this.

With that said, I always give a potential client a rough estimate of when they can expect to see page 1 results. Once our SEO work begins and a few months go by, I can see how the search rankings are improving and give a better idea of when page 1 and top 5 results will occur by.

But first, I need to look at a few factors.

Search Ranking Factors At Play

There are so many search rankings factors, but when determining how long a potential clients website will need to rank on page 1 and the top 5, I look at:

  • what search terms you want to rank for
  • is your website well optimized for those search terms
  • how many websites/webpages rank ahead of you for those search terms (direct competitors and directories)
  • how many business listings does your business have and are they consistent
  • how many and what type of backlinks does your website have
  • how long has your website been around
  • what type of content is on your website
  • does your website have great local SEO content
  • have you changed business addresses or domains in the past

There are 200+ search ranking factors, but these are the ones I look at when determining how long it will take to rank a website.

Trial Period

With every potential client, I always suggest a three month trial period of our services to show them what kind of results they can expect to see after 6 and 9 months. If after three months we don’t see much improvement, it’s not a good sign. If that’s the case, which it rarely is, I offer a partial refund for the three months.

It’s risk reversal. We have to perform and generate better search rankings in those first three months. If we haven’t, then I don’t feel comfortable receiving money for not doing our job.

New Websites Vs Existing Websites

With this three month trial period, you might be wondering if that is enough time to improve the search rankings to page 1 and the top 5. Rarely will this happen, unless you are already ranking somewhere on page 2 and have an existing website.

Existing websites are, for the most part, going to take less time to rank. Why? Because an existing website has been indexed by the search engines, has business listings and backlinks created along with quality SEO content on the site. It’s built up existing credibility with the search engines which is going to take a lot less time to rank than a new website.

A new website doesn’t have the credibility and thus, is going to take a longer time to get to the top of the list. In all cases, SEO is a long term investment. Once you rank higher, you stay there as long as you update your website.

SEO As An Investment

With traditional advertising or even pay per click (ppc), you always are paying money. That’s not the case with SEO. Depending on what industry you are in, once better search rankings are achieved, you only need a few new clients to pay the SEO services off. Even better if you offer a service where the lifetime value of a client is high.

With all potential clients though I do suggest running a ppc campaign in coordination with an SEO campaign. Yes, it will cost more but with a ppc campaign, you will get targeted traffic to the site right away. Then as the search rankings improve and they get more organic traffic, we can reduce the spending on the ppc campaign.

Running a ppc campaign will also tell us if the website is good at converting so you can generate new leads and clients. If not, then we will have to make some conversion adjustments.

I hope I’ve been able to provide a detailed enough answer to the question of how long will it take for my website to rank higher with local SEO. If I haven’t, please contact me today and I’ll be happy to answer any further questions you may have.