#10: Top 10 SEO tactics that will no longer work
The SEO business has changed a lot recently with Google and Bing changing adapting to new technologies and a deeper understanding on human language. As times move so must your website, what worked 2 or 3 years ago could be causing you some serious damage today.
Here is our top 10 list of when you need to change now.
- Keywords Need to be an Exact Match - Many years ago on page SEO was about matching your content to the keywords you wanted to rank for and exactly matching you keywords in your content would give you a huge advantage. The big search engines have a great understanding of language now and this tactic will do you some serious harm as content written this way does not read correctly, something the search engines pick up on and mark it against you.
- Meta Descriptions Impact Search Rankings - After tactic from the last 2 or 3 years was ensuring your keyword featured in your meta description. This is no longer the case. A meta description is your short pitch to get people to click on your search listing. Think of them as a subject line in an email. Google don’t even use your meta description if they think a passage of text from your website will answer the searchers question better them your meta data.
- Google Authorship Increases Search Visibility - This use to be the case a while back when Google would show the authors image next to the search listing however this was removed making your listing look just the same as everyone else. Google will still show your Name on the listing in light grey.
- More Links is Better Than More Content - Something that has never really been true. Yes 10 years ago you could game search engines by building hundreds of thousands of links but the sites that did this are now nowhere to be found. Content is and always has been king. The more content on your site the more chances of ranking across a wide range of keywords. Don’t get me wrong link building is still important and is far from dead but building links to the same page and the same content is simply not effective.
- Keyword Optimisation is the Key to SEO - This goes back to the better understanding of language I mentioned earlier. Optimising for a specific keyword is not the smart move. Google don’t just search for the keyword a user typed in they search for what they think the user meant to search for. This is done through Google’s huge memory of what people have searched for in the 17 years and how they processed to adjust the search to narrow down the results. While we still do keyword reason and ask a customer to pick keywords we do not target these keywords alone instead we use them along with the “Keyword Group” from Adwords planner to ensure we cover the full range of searches Google may return.
- The H1 is the Most Important On-Page Element - While a H1 tag or headline still carries some weight with the search engines the effects are much less now then a couple of years ago. Again this comes down to the greatly improved understanding of language search engines have developed. Google may return a page that answers a users query within a subsection or subheading further down the page. Google understands a single page may cover more then 1 related subject.
- Local SEO Doesn’t Matter - This couldn’t be further from the truth. Local SEO matters more then ever. Google knows people search for stuff local to them. If I search for “seafood restaurant” I want something in Hull where I am not something from London to the States. Google personalises searches for each user based on a number of thing including their location.
- SEO is All About Ranking #1 - As with all marketing been number 1 on Google is starting to carry less weight then number 2. Why? Imagine the company that advertised in the last World Cup or the Super Bowl people are aware more then ever these are the big boys and don’t always have the best deals. Users and customers are getting smart to marketing and are looking for the best deals but there is a limit to how far they will look with less then 1% of searchers going to page 2 of the results.
- Microsites You Own Will Help Your SEO - Again the greater understanding of language Google has developed allow them to identify sites you own and part of your network. These sites linking back to your site are not discounted in the link value they pass. It is now the case that all sites you own are still only 1 vote for your main website.
- SEO and Content Marketing Don’t Mix - This is completely wrong. If there is anything you should of learn from this list so far it is that content is king. Content Marketing is the perfect match for SEO and when done correctly they can yield amazing results.
This is the easiest conclusion ever. Always think outside the box. Use common sense. Test > Analyse > Repeat