By | Categories Blog | Featured | July 7, 2021

Living in the past is unhealthy – both for you and your website’s SEO. Search Engine Optimization tactics, just like other trends in the digital world, have seen significant changes over the last few years that have primarily redefined conventional SEO practices.

While some of the traditional strategies continue to be relevant in the current climate, several SEO tactics are now outdated and should be discarded.

The fact that SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media itself speaks of the importance of the right SEO strategies for better results. A vital digital marketing tactic, effective SEO requires businesses to tailor their website to what their audience needs.

The impact of SEO work becomes amplified due to Google’s dynamic algorithm, which demands quality and content over age-old SEO tactics. Let’s take a look at some of the most outdated, obsolete SEO strategies that you need to get rid of today!

Keyword Stuffing 

Our Content Management Systems have been reminding us to use more and more keywords – paragraphs, headings, subheadings, introductions, conclusions, images – everywhere! While keyword density used to be a standard benchmark for search engines to rank a page higher in terms of value and relevance for the particular search, the trend no longer holds much value today.

The reason behind this shift is the growing inclination of businesses to rely extraordinarily on keywords, almost leading to the abuse of this SEO strategy. From unnecessary repetition to out-of-context mentions, the attempt to overload content with keywords invariably led to poor quality content across such websites. For instance:

“Our food delivery service is the fastest in Portland. We offer quick food delivery services across all neighborhoods of Portland. If you plan to call a Portland food delivery service today, please contact our food delivery company at portlandfooddelivery.com”

Despite being laden with the obvious keywords, such content would do no good for your business – it could even land you up with a ranking penalty.

 

What Could You Do Instead?

Instead of focusing on keyword density and frequency, search engines now stress more on the relevance and intent of keyword use. Therefore, it is best to act more responsibly when it comes to keyword optimization in your content. Focus more on content quality and use keywords naturally where they fit into the context. Search engines want you to write content for audiences, not their algorithms.

 

Longer Domain Names to Include Keywords

What seemed like the smartest thing to do a few years back is problematic today – getting longer domain names just for the sake of fitting “keywords” into them. For instance, do not get a domain like fooddeliveryservice-portland.com just to fit in the location and specialty keywords.

Such kind of action is also unrewarding for the long term. What if you decide to expand your business to multiple regions in the future? What if you change your niche or add more services? The only two options before you in such a case would be either to get stuck with an irrelevant domain or buy a new one and lose out on the already established and circulated first one.

 

What Could You Do Instead?

After Google updated its algorithm, the importance of such domains has fallen considerably. While it may still be considered fruitful to include high-value keywords in your URL, nothing beats a consistent yet unique brand strategy.

Therefore, when it comes to a domain name for your website, try making it as meaningful and relevant for your brand as possible. Opt for a concise brand name. The more deciding factor is the quality of your services and content – not the keywords in your URL.

 

Duplicate Pages to Rank for More Keywords

Another obsolete SEO strategy that marketers often fall prey to is creating multiple similar pages to rank for more keywords, sometimes entirely duplicated, sometimes with a few tweaks and twists in language.

Sadly, this strategy no longer works. Google’s ever-changing algorithm has brought to the table penalties for content duplication. Therefore, if you are just thinking of populating your website with identical pages just for keyword rankings, it will not lead to anything fruitful.

 

What Could You Do Instead?

If you are inclined to create similar pages for different services on your website, for instance, and want to play safe with a set of keywords, at least make sure that your content is unique for each of these pages. Make each bit of content valuable and relevant for the audience or region you are targeting. If your content has quality and value, this could outscore other problems.

Besides, you can optimize your pages in other ways for keyword rankings. Consider adding keywords to the site’s footer, including locations, services, links, or other helpful information.

 

Buying Links 

Backlinks are undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of SEO; however, digital marketers tend to behave very immaturely by purchasing links from “link farms” just for additional links. Many also go to the extent of submitting their site to suspicious site directories for “link exchanges.”

A few years back, this trend surpassed tolerable limits, and it was then that Google’s updated algorithm ‘Penguin’ brought in penalties for such illicit practices. Today, sites that buy spammy links or get involved in unusual “link exchanges” can get banned from search engines.

 

What Could You Do Instead?

Backlinking itself is not illegal. You can use links of social media accounts, communities, and associations that you are a member of or resourceful links on your site. Besides being relevant to your content, such backlinks also make sense to search engines and make the process hassle-free.

 

Duplicate ALT Tags and Captions for Images 

Indeed, ALT tags are not readily visible on websites, but that does not mean that they should be treated like hidden caveats for stuffing keywords that seem to work. ALT tags and image captions are equally relevant for your SEO game if you treat them as information-rich resources that add context and relevance to your content online.

Copy-pasting the same ALT tags and captions is as good as not adding one at all. Despite these being essential elements of your website’s SEO, Google does not support duplication of ALT tags and captions and could penalize your content in terms of rankings.

 

What Could You Do Instead?

Try spending some time working out unique captions and ALT tags for your image while still making relevant, in-context choices. Make sure that the captions are chosen based on utility and value and not mere numbers. Using the proper tags can lead to better rankings for long-tail keywords for you. Besides, it is unnecessary to add tags to all images in your content – just a few images with unique tags could do the trick.

 

Exact Match Search Queries 

Creating websites, domains, and content with multiple repetitions of specific search queries in mind could have worked a few years back, but not anymore. This is because the new algorithm of search engines focuses on value and meaning, not on numbers.

 

What Could You Do Instead?

Content that targets niche audience pools and their queries will produce results; however, it is time to do things differently. Try focusing on addressing top trends in queries without dwelling on exact matches. Make your content resourceful, engaging and provide the solutions your audience is seeking – the rest will follow.

 

Guest Blogging 

It might seem enticing to publish a few quality posts on more prominent media publications like HubSpot, hoping for an overnight success story. Sadly, this trend is officially out of trend.

 

The issue is that these media channels continue growing in size, content, and diversity with time. The more they grow, the more writers they host, and the more similar posts their platform caters to. This considerably reduces your chances of standing out among the crowd of similar content that is live on their platform.

 

What Could You Do Instead?

Guest blogging could work only in cases where your content has gone viral. In such cases, it plays an integral role in drawing traffic, subscribers, and social proof. However, instead of sending out your content only to more prominent publications with a bigger audience in mind, you could opt for a more balanced approach.

Target specific blog pages, despite them having smaller audiences. Publishing your content on such blogs might also draw targeted traffic to your page and establish stronger relationships with these budding publications right from the start. Also, make sure you choose the publications or blogs wisely – relevant to both your audiences and adding value to your services.

 

Turn the Tables for Your SEO Game

Ranking high in search engine results demands more than just age-old SEO tactics based on numbers. It is time to act smart and use the power of SEO right. With the dynamic field evolving constantly, it is important to stay upbeat with the latest trends and kick out those that no longer work.

Apart from focusing on quality, learn to market your content well and leverage social media, artificial intelligence, and data analytics to balance quality and numbers. Dwell on trends like voice search, mobile responsiveness, meaningful featured snippets, and predictive search technology.

At the same time, use the latest strategies such as improved User Experience (UX), long-form content (such as this blog), bucket brigades to guide readers through the copy, and optimizing content with videos. Lastly, dive into the technical basics of website and page speed, image optimization, and meta tags for hitting the jackpots.

Get in touch with us for a more guided and technically sound approach to higher search rankings with SEO strategies that work!