I stumbled upon Marie’s blog at Code It Pretty several months ago. Marie is now one of my favorite bloggers for general blog information and design. I was ecstatic to get a guest post from her for Blog Tip Friday! Here is today’s post on Ineffective SEO Tactics.
SEO is a gigantic topic, and it can get confusing even if you’ve been blogging for a long time. So, it may come as a relief to hear that this post is not going to be about the SEO things you have to do — it’s about the SEO things you can stop doing! Cross these three out-of-date or ineffective SEO tactics off your to-do list and save yourself some valuable blogging time.
Blog or Forum Commenting “for SEO”
There’s a common misconception among bloggers that commenting on blog posts or in forums is good for SEO. In fact it does almost nothing for your search engine ranking — seach engines don’t use links in blog and forum comments.
That doesn’t mean that commenting won’t help you grow your audience, though. If you’re making thoughtful, useful, or entertaining comments in a blog or forum, people will notice you and you’ll start to gain readers and friends in the blogging world. But don’t waste time (your own or other bloggers’) by commenting just for the link.
In the early days of the web, meta tags and meta keywords were useful; they actually did help search engines figure out what websites were about. Now, search has evolved and meta tags are no longer important to search engines. If you’ve been adding a big list of keywords to your posts, you can stop now!
Adding a meta description to your blog and your blog posts can be useful for your readers, but makes no difference to your search engine relevance. When you write a meta description, keep it natural — don’t stuff it with keywords.
Excessive Tagging and Labeling
Most blogging platforms let you add tags or labels to your posts. Many bloggers think that those tags and labels are for SEO, but they’re not; they’re actually navigation tools to help your readers find their way through your website.
Use tags sparingly; most posts won’t need more than 3 or 4 tags. Think about tags and labels from the perspective of your reader — if you click on a label, you’re expecting to see more posts on the same topic. If you don’t plan to blog on the same topic very often, don’t give it a label. On the flip side, if you blog about the same topic a lot, make sure all the posts have the same label so your readers can find all of the related posts.
What to Do Instead
The single most important thing you can do to optimize your blog for search engines is write good, engaging content. The old SEO “tricks” don’t do anything anymore, but good content often finds its way quickly to the top!