The ever-changing nature of Search Engine Optimisation can be difficult to keep on top of, with Google algorithm changes, advancements in technology and user behaviour all working to ensure that SEO practices are changing on an almost constant basis. There are several SEO practices that were once considered standard but are now outdated and in some cases, detrimental to your optimisation efforts.
Only optimising for Google
Google is still – by a considerable margin – the biggest and most popular search engine, however, it’s unwise to discount traffic brought in from other search engines, namely, Yahoo and Bing. Statistics vary from country to country, city to city, but what we’re now seeing on a general scale is that Google users are declining whilst Bing and Yahoo user numbers are rising, so it makes sense to concentrate at least some of your optimisation efforts on these platforms. There’s also the Yahoo-Bing Network – the companies variant on Google Adwords – which can offer less competitive, and therefore cheaper, search advertising.
Keyword focussed optimisation
Let me start by stating that including relevant keywords within your meta tags and page content is important. However, the spammy keyword “techniques” of the past don’t cut it anymore.
So, whilst in the past, it was commonplace to cram every conceivable variant of a keyword into the meta tags (especially the page title), this keyword cramming is no longer a useful practice, nor is creating a single page for every variation of the keyword. Instead, focus on well-written, unique, long-form content with a scattering of highly relevant keywords that fit and flow naturally throughout the copy.
Desktop First, Mobile Second
Recent figures suggest that 70% of all web traffic now comes via mobile. Knowing this, it is now almost redundant to concentrate optimisation efforts on desktop versions of sites. Google is also giving mobile-optimised sites the complete priority in both paid for and organic search, and it may soon be the case that as long as your mobile site is meeting and surpassing Google requirements, your desktop site might not bear relevance at all.
Only using written content
We mentioned above the importance of well-written copy, and this is true. The need for written content isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, however, text content alone is no longer enough, and to stand apart from your competitors you must start considering use off imagery, infographics and, crucially, video.
Link-building with directories and paid-for links
It’s fairly common knowledge by now that paid-for links are a no-no, and will likely result in a Google penalty, which can have devastating effects on site traffic.
Unfortunately, though, there are still practices such as generic SEO link directories, reciprocal link pages, blog article link blasts and link-building networks all being used, and quite simply, Google doesn’t like it. These could all result in Google penalising your site, which it can be hugely difficult to recover from.
Cinch Ideas offer a range of digital marketing services, including Search Engine Optimisation. Contact us to chat about how we can help your business perform online.