We all know that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices are a vital component for getting found in search engines and for driving web traffic. However, many lame tactics that worked a few years ago are no longer effective today and will hurt your website’s ranking. Things like keyword stuffing and thin content can turn off visitors and get your site banned by Google. In this age when most businesses, going through digital transformation and exploring new opportunities to run completely online, there is no better time to tighten the SEO bolts on your website to take full advantage of organic traffic to get customers, and save big on money that you have spent on web ads. Below would give you an idea of what bad SEO practices are and why you should steer away from such outdated methods.
The Importance of the User Experience
One of the most important factors for consideration these days is user experience (UX). What is the user experience? It is the experience a visitor has while browsing your website. You may not have considered this factor when it comes to your website, but you will agree that when you visit a site that is well-organized, user-friendly, and offers easy navigation flow, makes your browsing experience much more enjoyable and increases click-through rates to other pages. This sends a signal to search engines that users stay longer on your website; so it must be good.
Comparing a Good User Experience to a Bad One
Now, with that in mind, consider the last time you clicked a link and visited a site with very little useful content, pages that contained poor grammar, every other word was a keyword, and the whole site’s content is more about sales pitch with no value propositions. ” That is a turn-off, even if you intend to make a purchase at some point. Whether you run a review website, e-commerce store, or drive traffic to affiliate sites, your focus should be on what best serves the people you are trying to market to. You can do this by putting yourself in the shoes of your customer and looking at things the way they do.
Nobody likes a hard sell. As consumers ourselves, we like to see our options, compare prices, and learn about the benefits of a particular product or service before buying. We want information and proof of results before pulling out the credit card and making a purchase. When it comes to SEO, outdated practices like the ones listed here do not support the user experience and can repel customers instead of attracting them. Here are a few outdated SEO practices and why you should avoid them like a plaque.
Obsolete SEO practices you should stop using today
1. Creating Content Solely for Search Engines:
Back in the days, some experts believed that keyword density had to be high to rank well in search engines. So content was written to maximize certain keywords in an article and often read poorly because it was not written for human readers. It offered no valuable information, didn’t leave the reader wanting to know more, and was often misspelled and created just for the sake of having content. An article under 500 words is considered thin content and doesn’t offer much value, but it is necessary. The most important factor for content is that it informs and entertains the reader, possibly urging them to click a link to find out more. An article should be just long enough to explain a topic, understand it or offer solutions to a problem to be useful.
2. Keyword Repetition:
At one time, keyword density was very important, or so we thought. All those Internet gurus were telling us to repeat keywords as often as possible so that the search engines knew what the content was about. The problem was that it made the content awkward and hard to read. Keyword density is not that important these days, with content written more for human beings. As long as your text includes words related to your main topic and some additional words to support your main idea, the search engine spiders can figure out what your content is about and rank it accordingly.
There is no basis for the belief that repeating your keywords 3 – 10 times will rank your content any higher than its natural placement. Your ranking will naturally improve over time depending on how many views the content gets, especially if it is being shared on social media. The ideal format to follow is (1.) main keyword, (2.) secondary keyword, and (3.) related keywords sprinkled naturally and logically throughout the content.
3. Targeting Too Many Keywords:
Ideally, keywords should be what the user would type into the search bar to find your content. With the advancements of technology, we have access to many good keyword tools to help us find keywords that get searched often. However, you should stick to a maximum of 3 – 5 keywords to avoid stuffing too many into your content, making it hard to read. The keywords should be relevant to your main idea and support your content. Trying to target multiple keywords or using several key phrases containing the same words is very frustrating and does not yield good results, especially when the sentence doesn’t make sense or transition well.
Instead, try using a good SEO application that can help you analyze the keyword density and suggest related keywords to help you focus on your content. Focus more on the quality of your content, using good writing and a call to action to get the reader to take the next step. If you provide good content, you won’t get penalized, build trust, and you’ll get more visitors.
4. Spammy Links:
Another factor in search engine ranking is how many other sites are linking to yours. Links are important, but more important than the number of links you have, is the quality of those links. Link spam is when you get links from many sources just to have links. These often come from practices such as guest blogging on unknown or unrelated websites and submitting articles to article directories. These two things on their own are not necessarily bad, but if the content is solely focused on your targeted keywords, they will not be good links.
Guest Blogging Done Right
The best way to get links to your site is to get links from authoritative sites related to your site’s topic. These are not always the easiest to get, but they carry the most weight with search engines. Reach out to authority sites in your niche and ask about guest blogging opportunities. Network with others to provide informative, relevant content that offers value. Authoritative sites are those from major publishers like WSJ, NYT, Forbes and similar websites or blog websites by authorities in their field or related niches. Links from authority sites lend credibility to your sites, new or old, with informative content. and link back that drives new traffic to your website.
5. Article Spinning:
This SEO practice was quite popular a few years ago and some people still use it today. If you’re not familiar with the term, article spinning is using one article to create multiple versions and posting them on article directory sites across the web. How this is accomplished is the sentences are rearranged and restructured to pass the Google plagiarism checks for duplicate content. The result is often pages that read poorly and sentences that don’t make any sense. These articles are all over the web and contribute to Internet “garbage.” The best way, of course, is to write quality content and submit to popular sites and blogs in your niche, linking back to pages on your website that are related and helpful.
These SEO practices are old, outdated, and just plain don’t work in today’s world. So what should you be doing instead to place well and ensure that your content gets read?
Write Quality Content
The biggest factor in SEO is the quality of content. Write for people first and search engines last. Write high-quality content, making sure to include keywords as part of the main topic where they naturally occur. Create content to share an idea, solve a problem, or tell a story, and it will naturally rank well. Also, be sure to include optimized images, infographics, or charts to explain your talking points captivating. Your content should answer all the questions that your visitors may be asking when they arrive on your site. Remember, the user experience is very important, so make sure your site is easy to navigate and include contact information. Here are a few suggestions to improve the user experience.
Create a Social Media Presence
Share your posts on social media and invite readers to comment or ask a question. Engagement is a powerful motivator and writing informative content is one way to get lots of sharing and more exposure. Join groups in your niche and contribute thoughtful posts or comments. Do not try to sell it here. Your intent should be to build a brand based on the quality of your posts. If you set yourself up as an expert in your niche and post content on subjects readers are interested in, you’ll have more success than a dozen spammy posts.
Update Your Old Content For Freshness
Updating your old content tells Google that you have something new on your website, which gives it SEO boost. Add some new content or phrases to an old post with the date you updated it. Google likes updated content and will respond by giving you more traffic. The benefits of updating old content provide new SEO value.
Stay On Top of Your Data
Analyze your data to see where you need to improve. Good search engine applications and metric tools can help you keep track of many aspects of your business and show you how you’re doing. You can automate some processes, so you can see everything all in one place, making it easier to manage.
Whether you make posts to your blog or social media sites, be consistent . Schedule your content and contribute posts to all of your sites at least once or twice per month should be good but you can do weekly? Great! . Being active on social media and building a following will get you more visitors, and sales when your followers are ready to buy. People are more likely to buy from someone they feel a connection to or have a relationship with.
Following good SEO practices helps bring more visitors to your website and optimizes your site for the best user experience (UX) to turn visitors into buyers. Don’t forget to optimize your website for mobile browsers as well. More people are shopping using their smartphones and tablets, so this is equally important.