Why straying away from best-practice SEO can damage your site traffi

Digital360 on 16 August 2017

Organic search traffic takes time and expertise to build, but all your hard work can be undone much faster than you’d think. How, exactly? The answer lies in ‘black hat’ SEO.

Building your organic traffic is essential to seeing those conversions roll in. So if you’re going it alone, ensure that you only stick to best-practice techniques. If you’re working with a cheap SEO agency – or are just learning the ropes yourself – watch out for these three traffic-shrinking black hat tactics.

1. Poor link-building practices

High quality links are said to be one of the top Google ranking factors. A healthy backlog of credible, industry-related links is one of the best ways to boost your online credibility, your rankings, and, of course, your traffic. Best-practice SEO prioritises quality over quantity – but black hat SEO does just the opposite.

An aggressive black hat SEO strategy will leave you with a tonne of ‘spammy’ links – a fast way to immediately damage what traffic that you have.

Link buying is an outdated black hat strategy, which involves buying unrelated, low-quality links to build your site backlog in an attempt to manipulate Google’s rankings. Google flags these link-buying sites as spam, and drops them off the page rankings entirely.

Link spamming, or comment spamming, is another black hat traffic-slashing tactic. This involves commenting on other blog posts with links back to your own site, no matter whether that page is industry-related or not.

2. Low-quality content

Original, high-quality, and relevant content is one of the best ways to ensure steady traffic back to your site. A best-practice SEO agency will focus on creating just that for your business.

However, when it comes to black hat SEO, quality page copy is no longer a priority. One of the most damaging black hat techniques involves something called ‘content scraping’, or duplicating content. Cheap SEO companies will often plagiarise already-high ranking content from other websites. While the aim is to mimic the high ranking of these sites, the result often is instead being completely dropped off the ranks.

Low-quality copy will also often be overloaded with keywords. This black hat technique is called ‘keyword stuffing’. Keyword stuffing involves plugging content with high-ranking keywords, no matter how difficult this makes your site to read. Keyword-stuffed content will immediately lower your credibility, and is a sure-fire way to see your traffic disappear.

3. Not being mobile-optimised

These days, having a mobile-optimised site is more important than ever. Best-practice SEO companies make mobile optimisation a priority. It ensures that your site looks great no matter the user’s device, and keeps your search rankings high.

Avoiding mobile optimisation will significantly lower user experience, which will certainly be damaging to your organic traffic. On a mobile device, desktop-only optimised sites often won’t display properly – images will be oversized, and may even obscure your copy. If users can’t physically navigate your site via mobile, it means missing out on those crucial mobile conversions.

Pop-ups – which can be annoying on desktop – can be impossible to navigate on mobile devices. Intrusive pop-ups, in particular, are a huge turn-off for users.

Boost your organic traffic with a best-practice SEO agency

If you’re working with an SEO agency, the last thing you want is to be worrying about is whether or not they’re using black hat tactics.

While partnering up with a credible SEO agency might mean setting aside a little more of your budget, it allows you to be rest-assured that your SEO strategy – and your business – is in the right hands.

Chat with one of our digital marketing specialists about our SEO services and your business.