SEO constantly changes, which is both a gift and a curse. It’s a gift to marketers who take the time to make sure their content and web presence is always optimized for the latest updates. It especially helps the companies who simply try their best to provide their audience with relevant, timely content, since that’s what search behemoths such as Google are striving to reward.
For companies that are slow to adapt, however, it’s a major problem. Not only can outdated SEO strategies fail to drive traffic, they can actually drive your rankings down. It’s therefore critical to understand what tactics are working and which ones out.
We’re here to help you figure out exactly what isn’t working. Here are five outdated SEO strategies that if you’re currently using, you should have dropped them yesterday:
1. Obsessing With Top Ranks
Back in the day, SEO experts guaranteed top ranks for pertinent phrases. In 2018, this is a major folly. There’s so much competition that it might not be possible to rank number one, no matter how hard you work at it. More importantly, it’s just not the best use of your time or money. The number one result isn’t always featured, or the most popular. Tactics such as long-tail targeting are able to drive results much quicker and more effectively.
2. Focusing Solely on Keywords
A better way of putting this might be “using keywords in lieu of something that’s going to actually drive traffic”. Consider your headlines and meta descriptions. If you’re stuffing them with keywords it might help your ranking but they’re probably not going to be optimized to actually encourage people to click. This defeats the purpose entirely. You need to strike a fine balance between using your keywords in important places and creating enticing, useful content.
3. Aiming For a Quantity of Links
It’s true that links help boost your page rank a great deal, but quantity is no longer nearly as important as quality is. In fact, being linked back to by paid link directories is heavily penalized by Google. Your best bet is finding relevant, well-respected blogs and websites and offering to write a guest post in exchange for a link. In 2018, paying for links is simply not worth the money or the risk.
4. Using Keyword-Rich Domains
This was a magical solution to SEO several years ago. If you’re a mechanic in Boston, Massachusetts, for example, you previously would have considered using a URL including the string ‘automechanicboston’. Like many of the other outdated SEO hacks, however, Google nerfed this as well. It might actually be harder to get a URL like that ranked well since they often get flagged as spam websites and branded as untrustworthy. It’s better to just go with your standard URL and build valuable content around your
5. Having Subdomains
Just like keyword-rich domains are no longer viable, using subdomains to boost your efforts is also an outdated practice. Splitting your efforts across multiple domains, even if one is a mobile domain, hurts your results. It’s better to simply design a website that’s responsive on all devices and focus your efforts on one single domain.