The goal of every SEO marketing campaign is to get on Google’s good side. It’s nearly impossible to maintain a strong visibility online without the support of Google. Back in the day, Michigan businesses could rely on the phone book to get consistent traffic, but that is not a viable option any longer. In this guide, we will show you 10 ways to instantly get on Google’s bad side so you know what steps to avoid.
1 – Plagiarized Content
Plagiarized content is a big no-no for SEO marketing in Michigan. Google rewards unique content. If all of your webpages and blog posts are stolen from other sources, you’re not going to rank well. You also need to worry about plagiarism within your own website. If your webpages all contain the same sentences, just rearranged, you aren’t providing any extra value to the internet. Google will notice this and will dock you accordingly.
2 – Hard-To-Read Content
Readers like to skim through pages quickly and easily. Your content should be formatted to let them do that. Every page we create for SEO marketing has some sort of headings and subheadings in it. This lets people get to the exact place they want to be in the page without having to read a wall of text. You can also improve post readability with bullet points, short sentences, and concise information. Say more with less, and you’ll be good to go.
3 – Ill-Fitting Content
If someone searches for “SEO marketing in Michigan,” they want a page that has something to do with SEO. The content on your page needs to match the title, meta description, and any other text that summarizes the information. Long ago, people would write webpages about just about anything, inserting a targeted keyphrase here and there. The pages would rank well because of the appearance of those phrases, even if the actual article was completely off topic.
Google has gotten very good at detecting when page content doesn’t meet the needs of the target audience, and they will decrease the ranking of anyone who tries to sneak their way to the top.
4 – No Mobile Compatibility (Static Content)
Google will not rank your website if it is not mobile compatible. Read that again. Google WILL NOT rank your website if it is not mobile compatible. If you have an old web design that does not conform to mobile phones and tablets, kiss your ranking goodbye. This is one of the first changes we will recommend during your SEO marketing consultation. You need a dynamic web design that will appeal to your audience, their devices, and Google all at once.
5 – Slow Load Times
If your pages take a long time to load, you’re going to turn away readers and search engines. People will get tired of waiting for your website and will quickly move on to another resource. This will show Google that your site does not sufficiently answer the question someone searched for, which means your site is not worth promoting.
6 – Poorly-Written Content
Have you noticed a trend yet? Google expects you to have good, valuable content that resonates with readers. If your SEO marketing pages are full of typos, misspelled words, and sporadic grammar, you won’t rank as well as your cleanly written competitors. You won’t be blocked because of one out-of-place comma, but consistent mistakes could cause a downfall. Take a moment to re-read your content before it goes live on your website.
7 – Provocative Photos
Try to keep the photos on your site as family-friendly as possible. This is difficult for certain industries, like plastic surgeons or tattoo artists. If you have a high volume of provocative photos on your website, it could be labeled pornographic. This is difficult to come back from because you have to prove to Google that you are a valid business. Try to find G-rated alternatives for photos on your website and reserve the questionable ones for pamphlets and in-office displays.
8 – No New Content
Google wants to see that your website is consistently being updated with new information. That’s why blogs are so great, because they give you a chance to add new pages to your website monthly. Your SEO marketing campaign must adapt to Google’s algorithm, which changes several times a year. If you rely on old content to maintain your ranking, you will slowly slip off the grid. Focus on coming out with new content that adds value to your website, and you will have a better chance at staying on top.
9 – No New Keywords
Do you target the same set of keywords for every webpage? That’s almost as bad as plagiarizing the content altogether. There is nothing wrong with establishing an SEO silo with five to ten pages of similar content, but then you need to move on to something else. This will help you reach out to a new audience, which will ultimately generate leads.
10 – A Lack Of Focus
With every SEO marketing campaign, you need to have a focus. This is usually in the form of a keyword or target area. Without focus, Google has no way to categorize your website or individual webpage. In other words, Google has no idea what you’re trying to say with your content. Try not to throw every keyword imaginable in your content. Rather, write it with one keyword in mind, and include variations of that word where possible. These are the efforts that will keep you on Google’s good side well into the future.
Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.