Not all search engine optimization campaigns are created equal. It’s entirely possible for SEO efforts to actually work against a site’s position on the search engine results pages.
The thing is, since SEO is complicated, ever-changing, and can take time to work, a lot of growing businesses trust in their SEO efforts too blindly.
Do you think your SEO campaign could be hurting your site traffic? If so, the faster you can turn it around, the better.
Read on for several ways you can spot a bad SEO campaign. It covers SEO basics that will help you understand if your optimization efforts are working for or against you.
How To Spot a Bad SEO Campaign
You don’t have to be an expert to spot bad SEO. You just have to arm yourself with the following information.
It Has Got To Be Relevant
Search engines succeed by providing the most helpful information to their users. Your SEO campaign aims to tell search engines everything about your business so that your site pops up for relevant searches.
If your SEO campaign is too broad, you could be losing traffic by the second.
Let’s say you’re a house painting company in Maine. You might think ranking for the keyword “painter” would be very helpful to your business.
However, it wouldn’t help you very much to rank for portrait artists in Alaska.
Make sure your SEO efforts are specific and focused on matching with searchers that are looking for what you actually sell.
You can figure out if you’re getting a lot of irrelevant traffic by analyzing your bounce rate.
Your bounce rate shows how many visitors leave your site after visiting only one page. This can clue you into an excess of site visitors looking for something you don’t offer.
A high bounce rate can also indicate if your site is too slow or otherwise off-putting. Speaking of…
Watch Your Page Load Speed
Page load speed is an important ranking factor for any site. Most internet users have a very short attention span and will hop off your site if it takes more than a second or two to load.
It’s not just the user experience that matters (although that is extremely important). Search engines also crawl your site pages for information, but only for an allotted time. If your pages are slow loading, search engines won’t know as much about what’s on your site.
Losing customers due to page load speed is totally preventable. Make sure you take notice if your site is becoming sluggish by using crawling software.
Keep It Ethical
Trying to cut the line by doing something unethical never ends well.
Search engines don’t like you trying to trick or cheat them, and they’ll penalize you if they catch you.
They see right through plagiarized content, falsified content (i.e. nonsensical repetition of a keyword), and black hat SEO techniques.
Basically, bad SEO would be doing anything in your SEO efforts that doesn’t involve producing quality, true, and relevant information. Google and other search engines will quickly catch on if your SEO efforts are against the rules.
Watch Your Audits
You should be auditing your site regularly to make sure that you’re not being targeted by the black hat SEO efforts of a competitor.
A negative SEO attack, such as one done by link spamming, can be detrimental to your ranking.
By regularly monitoring your link profile, you can see if there is any unusual or suspicious activity such as a huge spike in backlinks. It could be an attempt meant to devalue your domain or confuse search engines, plummeting your ranking.
The sooner you catch a negative SEO attack, the easier it will be to restore your site’s reputation.
Monitor Your Reviews
You’re probably aware that reviews play a role in your search engine rankings in addition to your overall reputation.
Be sure to monitor your reviews, especially on listings like Google My Business. If there is a sudden tsunami of negative reviews, you could be the victim of a targeted attack.
The good news is that Google My Business and similar directory listings offer you the ability to flag fake reviews. Report them right away to increase your chances of recovering your rightful reputation.
Verify Your SEO Advice
There are near endless sources on the internet claiming to have the best advice for your next SEO campaign. Even many popular articles have conflicting information. It’s easy to see that there’s no way they could all be right.
In fact, a 2016 study found that 59 percent of links shared on social media have never actually been clicked. So 6 out of 10 of your friends are “endorsing” information they haven’t read, much less verified.
So how do you spot what’s actually good information about SEO?
It’s about two things: accuracy and age. Accuracy can be hard to spot if you’re not an expert, but you can look for the age of the information easily.
Even if we assume that every single SEO article had accurate information at the time of publishing (which isn’t the case), the information could be out of date because of an update to search engine algorithms.
Always check when the article was published and assume most SEO information that is several years old is probably out of date. The SEO tricks of 2010 won’t work the same way today!
It is crucial that whoever runs your SEO regularly checks in with trustworthy sources of information about updates to search engine algorithms and SEO trends.
Need Better SEO?
Now that you have a better understanding of some SEO factors that can work for and against you, you’re probably excited to put good SEO to the test.
A key part of every successful SEO campaign is building quality backlinks.
Building backlinks is essentially advertising your site on other websites with significant domain authority. This makes your site look great in the eyes of search engines.
Backlinks.com has been doing quality business for over 10 years. Sign up today to start getting the links you need to actually improve your rankings on the search engine results pages!