SEO Tactics To Avoid Using Today
Website optimization, or SEO, is a beast in perpetual motion. Constantly evolving year after year, if not day after day. Are there certain SEO tactics to avoid using? SEO tactics that used to work at once upon a time are now either obsolete, or if used, could get your rankings to drop, or even worse, get you penalized by Google.
How do you ensure your website is properly optimized for search and protected against any search algorithm updates and penalties?
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You also need to pay close attention to certain SEO tactics to avoid. Stop using the outdated and antiquated SEO tactics that some SEO “experts” may still be using. The knowledgeable and always helpful, Neil Patel, recently shared some old school SEO tactics that he views as obsolete.
I found that article very useful and wanted to offer some tips on new SEO tactics that can help you increase position in the SERPs and destroy your competition when it comes to search rankings.
Time To Ditch These Dated SEO Tactics
Timeworn Tactic #1:
SEO is just links, code, and content
You’re right! At least that’s what SEO was up until about 5 years ago. All you needed at that time was a website that had a ton of links, awesome on-page optimization, and “light” content and you’d be ranking quite well.
Welcome to your new reality. Social media sharing, engagement, and following. Today, in order for your website to rank well, you need super on-page optimization, useful, quality content, and a large social media following that regularly shares your content.
Social Signals are the real deal and they do impact search rankings. Both Google and Bing use data from social sites in order to determine how they will rank your website. To familiarize yourself with social signals, read Your Guide to Social Signals For SEO.
Link building is still important, just not as much as it used to be. Other factors matter more so today. If you want to improve your search rankings, continue to build links but put more attention on your social profiles and your social media marketing.
If you’re looking for some help building your social marketing strategy, I’d be happy to discuss your challenges and offer an action plan to overcome every one of them. Email me today.
Timeworn Tactic #2:
More links = Higher Rankings
As just mentioned, link building is an essential SEO tactic and always has been. It’s just not as important as it once was. It’s possible for many new websites, with only a few backlinks, to outrank older websites that have higher authority.
The reason for this is that the new site’s backlinks are more relevant that the older site. Thanks to Google’s Penguin Algorithm Update, websites with links that hold more relevance than a competing site’s backlinks, can rank higher due to their quality score.
Neil shows a great example of this in his post.
Timeworn Tactic #3:
SEO is all about creating keyword-rich content
Don’t let anyone tell you that keywords aren’t important in SEO today. Maybe keyword “density” isn’t much of a ranking factor as it once was, that doesn’t mean that keywords are irrelevant.
Say hello to semantic search and the advent of latent semantic indexing (LSI).
“Latent semantic indexing (LSI) is an indexing and retrieval method that uses a mathematical technique called singular value decomposition to identify patterns in the relationships between the terms and concepts contained in an unstructured collection of text. LSI is based on the principle that words that are used in the same contexts tend to have similar meanings.”
Amazing how Google search can now understand context! WTF?
So now, instead of paying attention to your keyword density ration and stuffing your primary and secondary keywords all over your webpage, SEOs and website copy writers can now focus on creating useful content for the reader, not the search engine.
Google wants you to write for your readers. Offer them useful information to love their problems. If you do this, Google assures us that they will naturally figure out what the user is searching for and send them to the best possible website – yours, if it’s properly optimized and full of useful content.
Timeworn Tactic #4:
More Pages = More Traffic
This is only still true if all your many webpages have quality content that is optimized for your readers. If this isn’t the case, and instead, your website contains lots of “optimized fluff” and little relevant and useful content, you will take a hit in rankings.
The Google Panda algorithm targets website with low quality, “thin” content. These types of sites will get hit at every Panda algorithm update and their rankings will drop.
Neil sites an example of this with Wise Geek. “They once dominated the rankings due to their large quantity of content, but they got hit hard by Google’s Panda update due to low quality content.”
Today your focus needs to be creating high quality content that helps your customers solve the problems they’re looking for solutions for.
Timeworn Tactic #5:
Your need a lot of text to rank well
I’m little here and there with this one. Does quality content have to be long? Quicksprout has an article with research showing that you need to write 2000 words on each web page if you really want to out rank your competition.
If you look at a website like UpWorthy, they have essentially proven this theory wrong. This company is one of the fastest growing companies on the web and has beaten out huge sites like The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed when it comes to their growth rate.
The issue? They have video, but very little content on each page. It seems that 2000 words of text isn’t the only formula to SEO success. According to SEMrush, video content is helping UpWorthy attract well over 750,000 visitors from organic search.
These days, using a wide variety of content, not just 2000+ words of text, is key to rankings. Using different types of content like video, gifs, Instagram video, Vines, Slideshare decks, and quizzes will hall you reach your goals of outranking your competition.
Timeworn Tactic #6:
Higher rankings = More Traffic
I liked saving this one for last. In the SEO world and in the business world, everyone seems to believe that higher website rankings will bring your website more search traffic. What do you think?
Obviously many more people will see your listing if it’s on the top of the first page versus top of the second page, but does that mean they will click on your listing and visit your site?
Maybe. Maybe not. What if the keyword strategy you’re using is flawed? Have you ever tested to see how much search volume your targeted set of short and long-tail keywords are getting each month?
Also, while not a ranking factor, I’ve always believed that your meta description certainly is a “relevancy factor” for each user. Do you have the right primary, secondary, or related keywords in your meta description?
Remember that it’s your meta description that is shown under the link/page title in the search results, and the terms that users are seating for will get bolded in the results – if they are in your meta description tag.
Life is a little easier for an SEO doing keyword research these days. To ensure you are using appropriate keywords with decent search volume, use the Keyword Planner Tool from Google. This free tool will help you find and choose the right keywords to target.
It’s time to stop wasting your valuable time using antiquated SEO tactics in your website optimization strategy. As mentioned above, using some of these dated practices can actually end up hurting your website rankings rather than helping them.
Time to start refocusing your SEO and website optimization strategy by eliminating old school SEO tactics, and implementing the NEW school SEO methodologies outline above and in other articles here.
Research, diligence and a bit of luck will help you increase search traffic in 1-2 months, if you follow the steps above.
If you need help navigating the murky waters of SEO and website optimization, we’re happy to offer your company a complimentary website marketing and SEO audit. Contact us today to get started.
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