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Are Outdated SEO Techniques Holding Your Business Back?

It can be hard to let go of the past, but when it comes to SEO strategies, you should embrace the notion of out with the old and in with the new. Tried and true techniques that used to work may not be as effective as some more modern methods. Search engines are always changing and evolving, and marketing strategies need to keep up. Make sure you are not being held back by outdated SEO techniques.

Keywords and Clicks

For a while, the notion when creating online content was to fit in as many keywords as possible. Search engines, however, are more sophisticated these days. Keywords are still relevant, but how they are used in much more critical.

Content needs to be compelling enough to get clicks because search engines count how many a link receives. As connections get clicks, they move up in the ranking. Links that are chock full of keywords but do not get clicks step down in the ranking. Content that forgoes a few keywords to emphasize relevancy and readability will earn clicks and prove to be stronger for SEO.

Anchor Text and Internal Links

Anchor text and internal links used to be a great way to establish a hierarchy on a site and build the ranking. Many search engines, including Google, have had a change of heart and discontinued this practice. Websites are now even penalized if Google thinks anchor text and internal links are overdone or inappropriate.

Tread carefully and consider the use of anchor text and internal links. The anchor text should state the destination of the link. For instance, the anchor text ‘contact us’ should lead to your contact page. In this example, if ‘contact us’ leads anyplace else it is a bad idea.

If the internal link and anchor text are useful and helpful for a person visiting your site, then go for it. If, however, the only reason you would consider including anchor text and an internal link is to appease search engines, scrap it.

Using Clickbait

When executed well, clickbait can be effective. The proper technique means you need to have strong, focused content to back up your link. Using an attention-grabbing headline that does not follow through with actual substance can hurt your brand image. When your content lets people down, they are likely to remember. Once you earn this negative association, users may hesitate to click your links in the future. Fewer clicks can cause your ranking to plummet.

Giving Each Keyword Variant a Page

This now outdated practice was to dedicate an entire page to a single keyword. Even similar keywords would have their pages that featured highly targeted text. This strategy used to work.

The best course of action now is to group keywords logically. Instead of creating many pages that each target similar keywords, just go to one page that targets all of them. Placement of variations of the same keyword can build effective SEO. For instance, make sure to include keyword variants in the title, headings, content and the meta description.

Microsites Targeting the Same Keywords

Microsites are websites that are a single page or very few pages. Not that long ago, the normal practice was to have several sites that were mostly the same, but each one would be slightly differently targeted. Each site would have domain names full of keywords. This is no longer a good idea because all of your sites are competing with each other.

A more efficient approach is to create one site. Even if you have to go with a less targeted domain name, one site will perform better than multiple microsites. Focusing all your energy and efforts on one website makes it possible to build a reliable site that ranks well.

Prioritizing Keyword Match in Your Domain Name

Featuring partial keywords in your domain name can offer some slight value. This will, in fact, cause search engines to point to your site when a user searches for that keyword. The issue is that keyword based domain names do not always sound like legit businesses. This may cause users to hesitate before clicking on your link.

A better plan is to feature your business name as your domain name. If that is not available, consider something that still includes your company name and is descriptive, but still sounds like a legit business.

Buying Links

If something sounds too good to be true, it will probably hurt your SEO. Directories, particularly the ones with aggressive sales pitches, are often bad news. Search engines are wise to businesses that claim to increase your page’s ranking for a fee. Associating your website with a directory can cause significant damage in the form of penalties.

Keep Your SEO Strategies Relevant

As search engines refine their processes of what is and is not acceptable, your SEO strategies need to keep up. Methods that worked as recently as a few years ago may be damaging to your site now. Evolve your policy to ensure your site ranks well with search engines and provides useful information to your visitors.

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