In the world of SEO marketing, best practices are constantly evolving. That can make it tough for brands to keep up. As a result, many brands still rely on old school SEO practices that are no longer effective. Below, the SEO experts at Qiigo have collected five outdated SEO marketing practices that are still commonly used, along with what brands should be doing instead.
Thin & Duplicated Content
The Old Way: In the 2000s, it was easy for sites to rank well using thin or duplicated content. If you ran a multi-location brand, you could easily duplicate content from site to site, making it simple to create a unified voice for your brand. But starting in 2011, with Google Panda, sites and pages with duplicated content started to be penalized or kept out of search results.
The Better Way: In modern SEO marketing, a page will only rank well if Google and other search engines believe it provides “unique value.” Using cookie-cutter or boilerplate content can prevent your pages from ranking well, killing SEO value. The solution is to craft unique, useful content for any page that you want to perform well in rankings, such as the home page and core service pages of each individual location.
Abusing Internal Links Anchor Text
The Old Way: When Google first launched, one of the ways that it matched search results to keyword queries was by analyzing anchor text in links. If the anchor text for a link matched up exactly with a keyword, Google assumed that the page and the keyword were a good match. In response, SEO marketing professionals abused anchor text in their internal links to boost rankings.
The Better Way: While anchor text is still important, Google has become much more sophisticated in its ability to match pages to keywords. At the same time, Google has clamped down on link practices that it considers shady, including overuse of exact-match keywords in a site’s internal links. These days, links should include natural anchor text, using keywords only when they’re useful, and you should avoid creating links that only have SEO value.
Overusing Keywords in SERP Snippets
The Old Way: Including keywords in important places, like a page’s meta title and meta description, has always been a key part of SEO. Until recently, this meant that pages performed better in search results when their SERP snippets were jam-packed with relevant keywords.
The Better Way: Google now relies more and more on click behavior to determine rankings. These days, keyword-packed SERP snippets tend to attract fewer clicks, and therefore perform worse than a more carefully crafted SERP snippet. It’s now better to include one or two keywords in your meta title and meta description, then craft a SERP snippet around those keywords to attract clicks from users.
Overreliance on AdWords Data
The Old Way: In the old days of SEO marketing, the most reliable data on keywords came from Google AdWords. At the time, Google AdWords metrics like CPC, Competition, and Difficulty were a useful measure of how valuable and effective certain keywords could be to your SEO marketing strategy.
The Better Way: In the past few years, Google has reduced the quality, accuracy, and reliability of its AdWords metrics. At the same time, a range of specialized tools and programs has made it possible for SEO experts to better track and analyze keyword data. Using these tools or partnering with a trusted SEO agency will ensure your brand has access to accurate data.
The Old Way: Links back to your site are the most important factor in SEO marketing. In past years, practically any link would give your site a boost, no matter where it came from. That meant you could gain SEO value by posting links cheaply in low-quality places, such as online business directories, comments sections, paid link networks, or forums.
The Better Way: These days, links from low-quality websites are a waste of time at best and bad news for your rankings at worst. Google and other search engines will either ignore low-quality links or penalize your site for black-hat link-building. Nowadays, a smart link-building strategy depends on brand equity and high-quality content, both of which will naturally earn links to your domain. For brands looking to fast-track their link-building game plan, sponsored posts on respected sites can be an effective strategy.
Is your brand stuck in the past when it comes to SEO marketing? Hitch a ride into the future with Qiigo. Call (888) 673-1212 today and find out how our team can get your brand on the cutting edge of SEO marketing for national brands.