7 SEO Tactics that Hurt a Flooring Installers Google Rankings
Most people aren’t going to find home improvement professionals in the Yellow Pages anymore. They’re more likely to jump into a quick google search and compare the websites of the top results before hiring someone to install new flooring. Practicing good search engine optimization (SEO) on your website isn’t enough to get noticed, you also have to avoid bad SEO that will push you down in the rankings.
Read on to learn more about 7 SEO tactics that hurt your google rankings and how to avoid bad SEO strategies in your digital marketing.
1. Keyword Stuffing
It’s essential to stay up-to-date on the SEO best practices. Tactics that used to work no longer do and some are penalized by Google. Keyword stuffing is an SEO tactic in which SEO professionals and website owners used to spam their pages with target keywords to push their pages to the top of the search. Keyword stuffing just isn’t worth it.
You might improve your ranking for a short while, but Google will penalize your website if they identify keyword stuffing on your page(s). Plus, reading a website page stuffed with keywords is off-putting for website visitors; the text on the page feels unnatural and spammy. As a result, visitors will click away from your website and you will lose potential customers.
The best practice is to write natural blog content that offers value to your readers. You can always publish more high-quality content, use keywords naturally, and make use of related keywords that Google takes into account.
2. Hidden Text
Hiding text is another bad SEO tactic that isn’t worth your time. In this once popular workaround, text is hidden by formatting it to be the same color as the background color on the page. This kept website visitors from seeing the spammy keyword stuffing on the page, but signaled to Google that the page contained a high density of target keywords.
Don’t use hidden text as an SEO tactic, because Google will penalize you and it will hurt your rankings. It’s easy to tell that your text is formatted to the same color as the background color on your page by looking at your code. Instead of hiding text, publish more high-quality and natural content.
Cloaking is a bad SEO tactic in which one version of a website is presented to website visitors and a different version (such as an HTML page) is presented to the search engine bots. Cloaking could result in Google banning and/or de-indexing your website. In other words, the consequences aren’t worth it.
Don’t try to game the system; focus your efforts on good SEO tactics and publishing engaging content for your prospective customers. If you need more high-quality content, consider creating educational pages about:
- Types of flooring (hardwood, tile, vinyl, etc.)
- Flooring installation guide
- How to use your flooring sample
- Flooring by room (bedroom, bathroom, living room, office, kitchen, etc.)
The ideas are endless, and you don’t have to resort to black hat tactics that will backfire.
4. Too Many Ads Above the Fold
Stuffing your page above the fold with advertisements is frowned upon by Google and will hurt your ranking. “Above the fold” refers to the top of your website and what users can see before scrolling down.
Put it this way, how do you feel when you load a website and it is full of ads before you even scroll down the page? It’s spammy, it doesn’t make a good first impression, and it feels like you’re being oversold to. Just like you wouldn’t overwhelm a customer by being overly salesy in-person, don’t overwhelm website visitors with too many advertisements on your website before they even scroll down the page.
5. Ignoring Page Speed
Have you ever been biting your nails while waiting for a webpage to load? Eventually, most of us give up, move onto another site, and convert elsewhere. Google now includes Page Speed in its evaluation of your website; refer to Google’s PageSpeed Insights to learn more. Get your website moving faster, and you’ll see more conversions and a better ranking on Google.
Here are some tips to improve your Page Speed:
- Reduce HTTP calls
- Enable browser caching
- Enable compression to reduce file sizes
- Optimize your code and remove code that isn’t used
- Reduce redirects
Continually monitor your Page Speed to maintain a reasonable load time.
6. Paid Links
It used to be that buying a bunch of links would boost your ranking in the search. However, now if you buy a bunch of links at once, Google will take note, especially if the links all share the same anchor text. Ever since Google’s Penguin algorithm update, the relevance and quality of links matters more than the number of links. Therefore, it’s best to have links from other sites that are authoritative, high-quality, and relevant. Even a handful of high-quality links is much more helpful than a ton of mediocre or low-quality links. In addition, if Google sees a bunch of suspicious links to your website, you could be penalized.
7. Optimized anchors
When looking at a link on a page, anchor text is the text that is being hyperlinked. It used to be a good practice to only use target keywords as anchor text. However, that is no longer the case. In fact, using only target keywords as anchor text may lead to Google penalizing you.
Anchor text is still important in your SEO practices. Use relevant words, and consider the mix of types of anchor text you are using:
- Exact match – The anchor text matches the target keyword of the page
- Branded – Anchor text that is the brand name of your company
- Naked URL – Anchor text that matches the actual URL.
Keep Your SEO Approach Authentic and Organic
As you can see, it’s important to keep up on Google’s updates since practices that were once commonplace are now considered bad SEO that will hurt your Google rankings. New best practices are emerging constantly. Use authentic and organic SEO tactics like long form blog content with lots of links, images, and genuinely helpful copy, and, ultimately, you will improve both your conversions and your ranking.