Do You Have Outdated SEO Practices?
Google frequently updates its algorithm to refocus the Internet’s attention on quality content. Updates like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird shifted the obsession from building links and keywords to delighting users. This means you may have some outdated SEO practices that are now obsolete. Bring your SEO strategy up to speed by avoiding these 7 outdated practices.
Outdated Practice #1 – Prioritizing Link Building Over Content
Websites used to rank higher by having as many links as possible, but link building is not a numbers game anymore. While Searchmetrics still considers link building to be in the top 5 most important ranking factors, updates like Penguin 2.0 started rewarding links according to content quality and relevance rather than quantity. Over time, investing in rich content through webpages, blog posts, lead generation offers, and guest posts will bring more links organically.
Outdated Practice #2 – Ignoring HTTPS
Perhaps you’ve noticed some URL’s starting with “http://” while others include an extra “s” (https://). This slight difference means the connection is encrypted so hackers can’t intercept any data. Up until August of 2014, the only ones benefitting from using “https://” were customers giving over sensitive information. However, once Google announced it would start using HTTPS as a signal in SEO ranking, Secure Sockets Layer (the technology behind that extra “s”) became something you should pay attention to. As more and more news headlines involve hackers stealing private information, your users are will appreciate that SSL encryption and Google is ready to reward you for that.
Outdated Practice #3 – Being to Focused on Ranking
Ranking is not the supreme end goal it used to be. It is a misconception that being in the top 3 may result in more click throughs. While more people may see your listing, an increase in rich text and snippets has resulted in better CTR’s for listings below the top 3. What you should pay attention to instead is creating a great keyword strategy with enticing meta descriptions that will attract people to your site. Think about what would entice you to click through. Your goal should be to inform the reader, not the search engine.
Outdated Practice #4 – Having Too Much Content on the Homepage
Your homepage is the gateway to your business. An outdated homepage with an overwhelming amount of copy isn’t helpful for your SEO strategy as it makes for a frustrating user experience. On the other hand, having far too little information can be underwhelming and confusing. Your homepage should inform visitors about your value proposition, who you are, what you do, and where you’re located (if location is relevant). After sharing this information effectively, your homepage should usher your visitors into what you’d like them to do next.
Outdated Practice #5 – Going Crazy with the Number of Pages
It is inevitable that those who focus on increasing the amount of pages will see a decline in the quality of their content. “After the leak of Google’s Quality Rating Guide,” Phil Laboon of Eyeflow Internet Marketing said, “it became crystal clear that modern SEO is all about adding quality rather than quantity.” Not all of the pages you publish to your site get indexed and many that do don’t remain indexed over time unless they prove necessary. Google’s Panda algorithm updates demonstrated a heightened ability to finding bad content and doing something about it. Your website could actually face a Google penalty for this, so aim for relevance in everything you produce and publish online.
Outdated Practice #6 – Making User Experience an Afterthought
User experience and website engagement are metrics into which Google has invested heavily. In an attempt to delight their users, Google doesn’t want to endorse your pages unless you’re also investing in user experience. Start focusing on page load time, bounce rates, page views per visit and how far a person scrolls down the page to gauge your web presence and Google will notice. After making necessary improvements to user experience, BroadbandNow saw a 9% decrease in their bounce rate while search traffic increased 110% and time spent on their site jumped 30% as well. Are numbers like this something you’d be interested in? Then create quality content that is easily digestible.
Outdated Practice #7 – Ignoring Image Data
Sites used to get away with uploading images without providing alt text and image file names to boost page relevance. If you’re still uploading images with titles like “IMG348454.jpg,” you’re overlooking an easy opportunity to boost SEO performance. Since Google cannot see images, it rewards alt text, descriptive titles, captions, and the use of those same image keywords in the text around the image.
As you re-evaluate your SEO strategy, make sure you avoid these 7 outdated seo practices. You may find they’ve held your site back from being the gateway to your company you initially envisioned.