Search engine optimization is a hot-button topic that generates a lot of noise. Everywhere you look online, businesses and individuals are sharing their favorite SEO tactics and why you should use them yourself. Unfortunately, some of the information is noise that should be ignored.
Over the past year or so, SEO has grown in leaps and bounds. Google no longer wants you to crack their algorithm, but instead, focus on creating quality content for your audience. So, how do you ignore the noise while doing what’s best for your website’s ranking? You can start by stopping these tactics in your strategy today.
SEO Tactics You Need to Stop Using Now
SEO isn’t a “one size fits all” and “evergreen” process. In fact, SEO moves quickly; you should update your on-page and off-page optimization efforts on an ongoing basis to reflect those changes. Many of us today are still practicing SEO tactics that no longer make sense, hurting when we think we’re helping.
Using Inaccurate Keyword Research Tools
Rand Fishkin, formerly of Moz, recently discussed the importance of using clickstream data tools instead of just turning to Keyword Planner. Why?
“AdWords hides so many keywords that they don’t think are commercially relevant. It’s too inaccurate, especially the volume data. If you’re actually creating an AdWords campaign, the volume data gets slightly better in terms of its granularity, but we found it is still highly inaccurate as compared as to when you actually run that campaign.”
For years, Keyword Planner was THE tool to use. Now, its inaccuracy is hurting websites by the droves. You are better off using tools such as SEMrush or Keyword Explorer that provide difficulty and clickthrough rate percentages.
Not Focusing on Prime Google Hotspots
Sure, that coveted number one spot on Google is a nice place to be. However, the featured snippet is a better focus. And that featured spot often doesn’t come from the number one ranking website. In fact, it can come from number five if it’s the most relevant to the search query. The featured snippet used for voice search purposes, as well. With 50% of all searches being voice searches by 2020, it’s a safe bet that this spot is the place to be.
Overlooking Local SEO
If you’re not taking advantage of local SEO, you’re missing a huge piece of the SEO pie. Local SEO is used to optimize your website for local audiences and search results. You should tailor your content to local audiences, driving your reach and your brand’s impact using location keywords. Although this seems old hat, businesses are still forgetting this important step when thinking about SEO as a whole.
Half-Effort Doesn’t Work in SEO
One of the most important factors to grasp when implementing SEO is this: you must be all-in. SEO takes time and effort on your part to make it work. Less-than-perfect and outdated SEO tactics will harm your rank, making all your efforts null and void.
To see results, you’ll need to commit fully to SEO, staying involved, updating frequently and always looking for trends in the industry.