Google is constantly changing and updating its ranking algorithms, meaning SEO strategies are always changing to ensure the best possible ranking for websites. As Google makes changes, SEO tactics that were once tried and true become obsolete. The New Year is the time to make changes, so it’s a great time to update your SEO strategy and abandon any tactics that are no longer in the best interest of your website. We’ve compiled a list of the top five SEO tactics that you should leave behind in the New Year.
1. Exact Keyword Matches
For many years, keywords were the focus of any SEO strategy. Keywords are still important, but focusing on exact keyword matches is no longer the best way to rank for your target keywords. Keyword stuffing is dead. This means that including your keyword as many times as possible won’t help your ranking for that keyword. Additionally, making sure that you include an exact match to Google users’ search terms is no longer the best way to improve your rank. With its new updates, Google attempts to understand the meaning behind users’ searches and the meaning of web pages. Through this understanding, Google attempts to match searches with web pages that best match in meaning rather than exact wording.
Instead of making sure each variation of a possible keyword is present on your website, focus on the topics that matter to your visitors. One of the best ways to achieve this is to organize your content into pillar pages and topic clusters. With this organization model, each page on your site will focus on a general educational topic related to your business and industry. Within each pillar page will be topic clusters, beginning with a general topic and then increasing in specificity with related topics. For more information on creating successful pillar pages, click here. Instead of focusing on exact keyword matches, focus on including every topic a potential customer might be interested in and Google will do the rest.
2. Building Too Many Pages
Another old SEO tactic is creating a different page for every keyword variation to maximize your search results. However, having separate pages covering specific topics is no longer the best strategy to rank for your target keywords. When you organize your content through pillar pages, you will have fewer pages on your site, but your pages will be more informative. When you have detailed, organized pages on your site, Google is better able to understand the topics your site covers to match relevant searches to your site. Instead of focusing on creating as many pages as possible to cover every possible keyword, focus on creating detailed, educational pages that cover a wide range of topics your potential customers will care about.
3. Prioritizing Quantity of Content Over Quality
One of the most important things to remember for your SEO strategy is that quality content matters more than anything else. There was a time where a strong SEO strategy involved pumping out mass amounts of content that matched every possible keyword and topic. However, what’s most important now is to create quality content. Your content should be valuable to your readers, answering their questions and educating them about your business and industry. It’s not enough to create content for the sake of having content. Instead, focus on creating content that people want to read. Both your blog posts and pages on your website should be informative, well written, and aimed at providing value for readers rather than appeasing a search engine. Google is getting smarter, so it’s no longer enough to simply create content just for Google’s sake.
4. Short-Form Blogging
The idea of short-form blogging goes along with the idea of focusing on quantity of content. Creating many different short-form blogs was once a way to cover a wide variety of topics to appease search engines. However, a strong SEO strategy now involves longer, more detailed blogs because they are higher quality and provide more value for readers. Short form blogs tend to breeze over topics, focusing on creating a page for a keyword rather than being a valuable resource. For this reason, you should abandon any short-form blogging in the New Year in favor of fewer blog posts that are long and detailed.
5. Exact Match Domains
When SEO strategies were first developing, many people would try to include details in their domain to improve their search rankings. However, nowadays Google does not take your domain into account. Instead, your domain is purely a form of branding that should include your business title. If your website domain still includes keywords rather than simple branding, it’s time to make a change. Not only will the keyword inclusion fail to improve your rankings, but it can also cause your site to seem like spam, which can ultimately harm your Google rank. In the New Year, think of your domain as a branding tool, rather than an SEO tool.
ImageWorks, LLC | CT Search Engine Optimization
While professional SEO services can offer many opportunities to your business, you should never depend on SEO alone for the growth of your business. The companies that thrive on the online world have a comprehensive approach and utilize both online and offline marketing strategies. SEO can be a big piece; however, it is only one slice of the marketing pie.
By integrating all of today's Web tools such as SEO, social media, pay per click, and blogs, ImageWorks, LLC can turn your site into a lead generation tool.