If you are new to SEO, a simple Google search will get you countless of tutorials and beginner guides on how optimization usually works. You will see different kinds of optimization techniques, including some guides for off page SEO.
While those guides do a good job in outlining the essentials, they often forget to include the bad practices to avoid when doing off page optimization techniques. Here are some of the common errors you should avoid:
1. Writing for search engines
People have been focusing on churning out content optimized for high-volume keywords. Avoid doing this because you compromise readability and engagement of your content with readers.
Therefore, write relevant content for people visiting your site. Understand that Google is changing its algorithm constantly to provide quality content for users.
If you're a small business or a new website, focus first on keywords that have a significant search volume but are not directly competing with the big guns of your industry. Do not stuff your content with keywords, add it where it fits. More importantly, you don't need to create a lot of content; sometimes less is even better to make sure they provide value to your audience.
2. Guest post spamming
Guest blogging has been one of the most effective SEO techniques to get backlinks. But in back in 2014 Matt Cutts announcement regarding guest blogging as a link building tactic cared a lot of people, and rightfully so.
Spammy SEO's have become a problem, and for this reason, Google is monitoring guest blogging. What you should do is to make sure that your website's theme aligns with the site you're guest posting on.
3. Quality of backlinks
A lot of people think that just because backlinks are important for off-page optimization means getting more backlinks for your site. This idea's not exactly accurate because there are factors that you need to consider when you’re link building. This can ruin your link building efforts:
- Site is penalized in the past
- Site has low domain authority
A lot of SEO agencies can give you a huge amount of backlinks in one or two weeks, but they always ignore the factors listed above. There is always a better way to practice link building, and you should learn about that.
Not sharing content on social media
While the amount of social shares does not directly affect the ranking of your pages on search results, it does provide indirect benefits to your off page optimization strategy.
There is a belief that the higher the social shares of your pages, the higher your perceived authority is. To put it simply – would you link back to a page with thousands of likes, +1s, and tweets or a page with less than a hundred? Assuming that both pages have the same content, chances are that the former will generate more backlinks than the latter.
By developing a social media marketing plan that allows you to disseminate your content on different social media channels at the best times possible, you can increase your perceived authority and help you generate more backlinks to your site.
Too much focus on search rankings
Ranking at the top of search results for your target keyword is the main goal of doing SEO in the first. However, you need to also need to step back and look at the bigger picture. SEO is just one of the many tactics that you can do to promote your business online.
By focusing on SEO too much, you disregard other opportunities where you can reach out to your audience. Also, the cost of running an aggressive SEO campaign is high. Considering that SEO is a very unstable channel where a simple algorithm update can change the search engine landscape, you can easily see your site rank from the top to the bottom of results.
Wrapping it up
SEO is a great and cost-effective way to bridge the gap between your business and target market. Just make sure that you are not committing the mistakes mentioned above so you avoid issues not only with your search rankings, but also your audience.