How to Suck at SEO

SPROUT Content Contributor

Written by SPROUT Content Contributor on Thu, Jan 10, 2013

SPROUT Content is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in performance content for businesses in "unglamorous industries."

failIn the past year, I have done a ton of research on SEO and have even interviewed HubSpot’s Mark Kilens about his brilliant new approach on Customer Experience Optimization. It takes a lot of work to properly optimize your content and keep your content fresh and focused. It can be completely overwhelming at times, but fear not, I am here to help. Help you absolutely bomb, that is. Follow these extremely simple steps to fail at SEO miserably.

  • Focus purely on page ranks in Google and other search engines.

  • Be sure to repeat your keyword at least 20 times in any given content page. Especially blogs.

  • Include as many keywords as possible in your <title> tag

  • Don’t worry about your target audience. Write content for search engines, not people.

  • Who needs a target audience? Use the broadest keywords you can think of, like “pastries” instead of “gourmet chocolate chip scones.”

  • Spice up that page about car insurance with keywords about beach vacations and island getaways to lure anybody to your site.

  • Don’t even think about creating a mobile version of your site. Smartphones and tablets are just a phase anyway.

  • Never update the content on your website. It just confuses people.

  • Talk about any old random thing in your blog posts and don’t have a focused editorial plan or keyword strategy.

  • Use keywords that aren’t linked to business goals.

  • When writing a blog, make sure you have as many links as you can possibly fit into each paragraph. Your readers LOVE that underlined blue text.

  • Pay online directories to spam links to your website and blog.

  • Never check your analytics. If you can’t help yourself, ignore everything the report says.

Chances are that you have fallen victim to one of these “SEO tricks” before and that is okay. In such a quickly evolving industry, it’s easy to get caught up in quick fixes and “expert” advice. Recent updates to Google’s algorithm change the focus from inbound links and stuffed keywords to force companies to develop to long-term, content strategies that emphasize quality content that engages your target audience instead of pleasing search engine bots.

Have you committed one of these SEO crimes? How did you overcome it?


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