Bad SEO Practices: How Can They Ruin Your Business?

search engine optimisation

With the rise of digital marketing, businesses worldwide have become increasingly dependent on the internet to reach their customers. As such, having a well-structured web design and a strong online presence is essential for any business to succeed in the digital age. 

However, having a strong online presence is not enough – businesses must also focus on optimising the website for search engines to ensure that potential customers can find them easily. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes in.

SEO is a set of techniques used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results. It involves optimising the website’s content, structure, and code to make it more visible to search engines. When done properly, SEO can significantly improve a website’s chances of appearing at the top of search engine results.

Unfortunately, bad SEO can have the opposite effect and ruin an online business. Here are some of the ways bad SEO can ruin an online business:

1. Poor User Experience

A website with poor SEO will be difficult to navigate, resulting in a poor user experience. This can lead to a high bounce rate, meaning visitors will leave the website quickly and won’t be likely to return. This can significantly reduce the chance of a website being successful.

2. Penalties

Search engines have strict guidelines for websites; if a website does not meet these guidelines, it can be penalised by being removed from search engine results. This can have a devastating effect on an online business, as it can lead to a dramatic decrease in website traffic.

3. Loss of Revenue

Bad SEO can lead to a significant loss of revenue for an online business. With fewer people visiting the website, fewer people will be converting into customers, and the business will be unable to achieve its goals.

4. Poor Brand Reputation

Bad SEO can also lead to your website getting labelled as “spam” or “low quality” by search engines. This can damage your brand’s reputation, as many potential customers may not trust a website labelled as such.

5. Slow Loading Times

If a website takes too long to load, it can lead to users leaving the page and searching for an alternative source. This can lead to a decrease in website traffic, which affects the website’s ranking in search engine results. 

6. Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO technique where a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or content to gain an unfair advantage in the search engine rankings. It is an unethical practice and should be avoided at all costs as it can have a negative impact on the online business. Search engines are now better at detecting keyword stuffing, and a website that engages in this practice can be penalised by the search engines.


Poor SEO practices can have a detrimental effect on a business’s online presence and can ultimately lead to the failure of the business. Poor SEO can cause a website to be difficult to find in search engines, leading to a decrease in organic traffic. Additionally, poorly written and unoptimised content can cause visitors to quickly click away from the website and leave a negative impression. Therefore, it is important to utilise best practices and stay up to date with changing SEO trends to ensure that a business’s online presence remains strong.

Need help with SEO in Glasgow? Digital Marketing Scotland got you covered. We help small business owners achieve their business goals by providing the right SEO services. Get in touch with us today!

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Connect with us today to schedule your free consultation. Let Digital Marketing Scotland guide you to digital marketing success, leveraging our expertise to enhance your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.

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Wendy Harris
Creating a website is way more than making it pretty. My business is centred around conversations yet the language is hugely different when it comes to digital web design. DMS, particularly Sammie, was able to guide me through the process of combining two historic websites and combining them so the narrative is (the feedback is resounding) 'crystal clear'. Not only that but my website looks amazing and navigates well for any user. One lady told me she got so distracted she went down lots of rabbit holes she wasn't expecting. When you get attention like that, it's priceless. If you're reading this and have been unsure what to do with your website, get in touch with Sammie. You won't regret it. Above and beyond is definitely better than smoke and mirrors.
James McCormack
Neil and the team were fantastic from first introduction through to planning and building our new website. we were that impressed we have new tasked digital marketing scotland with our site management, SEO and have asked them to run our next online marketing campaign. Thanks a lot guys!!! very, very impressed James Ayrshire Trade Frames
Natalie's Decor & Design
We have been working with Colin and the team at Digital Marketing Scotland on a branding project for my business. Their knowledge and expertise is out of this world! I would not have been able to do what we are doing without them. Highly recommend Colin and the team for all your marketing needs!
Michelle Yamamoto
Colin is a true pro with a wealth of knowledge to share with his clients. In addition to SEO consulting, he also gave great advice on marketing my company as a business consultant would and I am so grateful for that. Highly recommended.
Alison Banks
Colin was really responsive and helpful and we are looking forward to working with him in the future to help us grow our business.
Elspeth Goldie
A website upgrade was completed very professionally! Our input was the starting point and along side the expertise of the team we were able to create the perfect finish. Samantha's videos really helped to explain how to view the changes and add comments. First class service - would highly recommend!
Gavin Brown
We approached Digital Marketing Scotland to assist us with a rebrand project. We had a reasonably good idea of what we needed and briefed Neil accordingly. What impressed me about their work was that it didn’t result in endless meetings and design tweaks. He immediately understood what we needed and delivered a compelling identity for our sister company that is strong enough to stand independently and consistent with our overall brand identity. We will use Digital Marketing Scotland again without question.
Jennifer Drummond
Colin delivered SEO training to myself and colleagues in June 2023. He pitched the training perfectly for the room who had a mix of knowledge and experience, and gave us some really practical tips to improve our performance. Would definitely recommend Colin and Digital Marketing Scotland and would be happy to commission for training again.
Stuart Murray
We've worked with Colin a few times now re our online furniture business, Retrovintage. Colin has provided consultancy and link building services. He's approachable, available, communicative and supportive and we've seen real concrete results from our link building project, in terms of considerably improved Google rankings and website visitors.
Langside Bed & Breakfast
Digital Marketing Scotland built us a new website as our previous one wasn't working as well as it should. Samantha and Colin were amazing to deal with and very patient all the way throughout the build. They helped us set up hosting and also set up a business email for us too. They have always been on hand to carry out changes and updates to the site. Highly recommend them to anyone looking to build or redevelop their website.