Digital Marketing

SEO tactics that no longer work

By Mark Ainsworth

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has been around for as long as search engines themselves, and even predates Google, around which most SEO now revolves. Because it has been around for such a long time, it has naturally had to adapt and evolve as search engines themselves do. This means that there are some very popular and well-known tactics that have ceased to work effectively, although this is not widely understood by business owners.

Things such as a determination to rank on page one of search engine results, non-genuine link building and looking for certain rankings on specific keywords can actually be detrimental to your business’s SEO these days, as search engine algorithms have changed to favour users, rather than websites.

Ranking on page one with your keywords is all well and good if you are able to get a return on that keyword, but if you are appearing on that page of results with searches which do not match what your page provides, you are looking at higher bounce rates and lower returns on your click rate. Eventually this can lead to your page dropping off of Google rankings altogether.

Businesses need to keep up with Google algorithms

Google changes its search algorithm regularly to make search results more authentic and useful for its users. This means that business owners must stay on top of this in order to ensure that their site keeps ranking high, but is still relevant to their customer base. It is critical that you stay on top of algorithm updates, such as Google Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and so on, in order to keep your website flourishing.

 

Bad SEO tactics

 

Not keeping to a schedule

Google favours websites which post consistently, and post important, relevant, high quality content. A survey by HubSpot looked at blogging frequency data from more than 13,500 marketers and agencies, and found that those who blogged upwards of 16 times per month consistently earned the most website traffic and leads.

Regular content on a schedule gives search engines something dependable that proves that your site is up to date and interesting, as well as helping to build your email list and in turn helping you to garner new leads.

Overusing anchor text on internal links

Whilst this used to be a popular practice which impacted well on Google rankings, the newer algorithms have been primed to spot this and penalise the site for spam. Use anchor text that is well-written, flows well and fits into the content, rather than putting it randomly all over the page. Not only does Google punish sites for overuse of anchor text, it also looks bad to the user and may cause them to navigate away from the page.

Buying links

Again, the practice of paying for other sites to link to your page used to be a popular one. But Google has wised up to this now. Buying links is now expressly forbidden by Google and is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Any page caught buying or selling links risks serious repercussions.

Keyword match domain names

This technique doesn’t only put you at risk of being penalised by search engines. The practice is actually so overdone that users themselves have wised up to it, and will avoid sites that appear to have done this.

A subdomain is a domain name which links to your main site. If you own totebags.com you could also use uniquetotebags.net, blog.totebags.com, sparklytotes.co to link back to your site, in an effort to pull up more hits from different internet searches. The problem with these is that these site addresses do not look as genuine as your original site, and can force users to look at another site which seems more authentic.

These domain names are also widely distrusted by the press and can make it harder to get press mentions or submit guest content.

Linkbait

Although many business owners are savvy to this now, it is surprising how many will still attempt this in an effort to get more clicks on their site. Linkbait refers to content on your site which you know will get a lot of hits, but is poorly written, irrelevant and doesn’t offer any value to your visitors.

Again, if you are running totebags.com, you could post something on your blog about ‘Famous celebrities who carry tote bags’. With all of those celebrity names in there the blog is bound to get a few hits, but it is unlikely that your visitors will find anything else of use on your page.

You could turn this around by creating a blog about ‘Bargain versions of these celebrity totes’, focusing on the totes that you sell, so that visitors interested in this subject will find a reason to hang around on your page after they have read your article.

 

Tips for updating your SEO for 2019

 

Content is king!

This is one SEO tactic that will never go out of fashion. Good quality, relevant SEO draws people to your page and makes it more likely that they will come back. Set a schedule and make sure that you post several times a week, avoiding repeating content and posting blogs which help Google to better understand your website.

Cross-promote

Use your social networks and other areas of the internet to promote your brand and website, getting internet users interested in you and talking about your business. Search engines pay close attention to brands which are getting a lot of attention, and this counts for social networks as well.

Optimise your site for mobile

Mobile optimisation is the hot new thing in SEO. With recent studies showing a massive upsurge in how many people are using their mobile phones to access the internet, it is absolutely critical that every area of your site is easy to access and navigate from a smartphone.

Implement SSL Security

Secure websites are infinitely preferable to both search engines and your users, with Google admitting that it tends to rank secure sites over unsecured ones.

The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate comprises small data files fed or installed over a web server to ensure protection against various internet threats. For websites that are taking sensitive information such as personal and bank details, it is critical to apply this measure, for your visitors’ peace of mind.

Parting words

It use to be quite easy getting a top spot on various search engines, using techniques that were designed to trick them into thinking that a site was more popular than it actually was. Google, and the other search engines, have wised up to this and now the only real way to get a premier position is to post quality content regularly.

If you do not have time to do this then why not get in touch with the team at Maxweb. From blogging on your behalf to website creation and everything in between you can trust us to take care of the essentials that will eventually lead you to be able to get into the top rankings. You can reach us on 0151 652 4777 or email info@maxwebsolutions.co.uk to find out more.

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