We’re sure you’ve seen a spam website before. Ads all over the place, weird designs and text that just doesn’t make sense, sometimes looking like they came straight out of 1998. Yeah, we’ve seen it all. But, those are just the obvious indicators that a site isn’t as reputable as you would think. In fact, there are quite a few underlying issues that could be happening on your own site that make it seem like spam.
Shocking, right? So, how do you know if your site is falling victim to these black-hat practices? And, what can you do instead to make both Google and your visitors like what they see (not to mention engage and convert)?
Below, we’re featuring 3 key areas you need to check to ensure that your website isn’t coming off in a bad light, and some tips on how you can fix it.
Tweet: Is your #website coming off as spam? The answer might surprise you:
If you know SEO basics then you know that keywords, titles, metas, etc. are vital in helping Google better understand your content. Beyond that, this is what helps (one of many things, really) the GoogleBot crawl and index your site appropriately. Because of this, many site owners feel they need to “keyword stuff” or put words and phrases they feel are important all over the page and multiple times within titles and headings. You may think this is helpful, but it’s the exact opposite.
Putting in multiple keywords makes things confusing for both Google and your audience. Think of this from a user experience standpoint, what sounds better:
“Waterproofing, Foundation, Concrete | Repair Services Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska”
“Your Leading Experts in Foundation Waterproofing and Repair | MidWest”
This is a strange example, but you get the point – the first one has keyword after keyword and you don’t know what the page is really focusing on. Whereas the second combines key phrases together and creates a more generic but clearer picture of what is to come. This is exactly how your audience is looking at your search engine results. “What is easy to understand and explains exactly what I’m looking for?”
Tip: Instead of stuffing everything in one place, think of your pages as “topic holders”. What are you trying to say? Even if you list multiple services, what is the main topic they all have in common? Then, center keyword use around these topics. The “topic” will act as you “focus keyword” and will be featured within your header, title, and meta. Then, the smaller, more specific keywords can be sporadically used within the copy to connect it all together.
We’ve talked about content quite a few times, and you may have heard that content is king. Well, guess what, it’s still true. Although our idea and use of content has slowly evolved over time with new technology, the fact remains that what you put out into the world needs to be of top-notch quality.
So, you might be asking, “Why does it have to be good? Don’t you just need content?” Or, “How does Google know my content isn’t good quality?”. Well, let’s dive into these.
No, you should never just make content for the sake of content. If you aren’t able to provide insightful and useful information to your audience, then don’t do it. Now, this could range from anything, from blogs to printables and everything in between. And, it may make sense for you to send out a checklist of everything you need to pack before traveling abroad, but doesn’t make sense to create a video of you packing. This all depends on industry, audience, and demographics. The important thing is to create content because you know that you have something valuable to offer and can stand out from the crowd. Don’t just add to the internet noise.
Next, yes, Google can tell. But how? Through your readers. Google takes into account more than just what is on your page. In order to provide the best answers, Google also looks at how your audience interacts on your site. How much traffic do you get? Are people leaving your site early? Are they traveling to other pages or dropping off right away? If your content isn’t good quality, your visitors are bound to react accordingly and then Google will catch on.
Tip: Don’t make content for content’s sake. Create a buyer’s journey that focuses on what you can create and how it matches up to the buyer as they move through the funnel. What interests them at that time and what will get them to convert? By taking this into consideration, you can expand on what you define as “content” and ensure that what you put out is bringing people back in.
Also known as backlinks, these are links that come from other sites to your own. Think of this as referral traffic, they are bringing other people to your site. Great right? In fact, Google loves to see these as it means that other’s trust your site enough to link it on your own and point their own audience towards somewhere else.
The bad part – this can backfire if those linking sites are low-quality. Especially if you have lots of them.
However, if you’ve only practiced best SEO practices in the past, you are most likely in the clear. Most spam sites won’t link to well created sources, only other spam sites.
Tip: If, for whatever reason, you do feel like you may have a few bad backlinks on your hands, use Google Disavow Tool to ensure that they are ignored and will not influence your site’s authority. Oh, and did we mention not to buy links? Yeah, don’t do that.
Even the most well intended sites can come off as spam if you simply aren’t sure about what you are doing. Instead of dog-peddling your way through the unknown, see how Wave Interactive’s optimization department can help your site perform at it’s very best.