Five signs of old school SEO strategies

SEO is vital to any organisation looking to make the most of the ever growing digital world. Jason Walberg shares his top tips with BQ on ensuring your website is making the most of what the web has to offer.

There are a number of companies around today that perform SEO-related job functions for different websites and businesses. In some cases, they have to make changes to the SEO tactics that were once used by their present clients. This is due to the fact that old-style SEO practices do not conform to modern-day SEO practices, and those old-style practices can lead to websites being penalized by Google.

Just in case you think that your website may be violating modern-day SEO practices, take note of the following 5 signs that would indicate you are using old-style SEO strategies:

 

Stuffing of Keywords

Thousands of websites are guilty of this practice. However, be advised that keyword stuffing days are no longer around. It is imperative that keywords on your website look natural and organic as these are two factors that search engines use to determine how relevant your website is. As such, keyword stuffing should not be visible in the elements on your pages or in your metadata. Websites that practice stuffing of keywords will lose their search engine ranking as well as the strong position they may have had against their competitors. In order to prevent this from happening, take a second look at the content on your website, but this time do so from an unbiased position. Delete keywords that are not necessary and ensure that the content is not hard to read. More importantly, make sure that the content is relevant to the main keyword.

 

Poor Post Content

The quality of your post content is very important in accordance with modern-day SEO best practices. This means that if you are posting duplicate content, search engines and your readers will begin wondering where you got your content from. In order to avoid posting duplicate content, check it with online tools that are able to spot duplication from external websites. One such tool that you can use is Copyscape as it will check to ensure that your pages have content that is unique. Content that is on the edge of being an exact duplicate of another page indicates that you are still relying on old-style SEO strategies, so you need to check to ensure that your pages have unique content. Ask yourself this question: Do my pages have a specific purpose, or is the content on them valuable in any way? If you are unable to answer that question, your readers may also not get any value from them either.

 

Not-So-Good Experience for Your Users

It is becoming increasingly important to engage your users in an attentive manner seeing that it is now being used as a rank indicator by search engines. Other metrics that are used to calculate website rank include the bounce rate, number of page views per visit, and the time spent on the site by readers. In order to keep your readers attention for as long as possible, and to ensure that your SERP does not suffer, your site needs to be easily navigable. When that is not the case, users of your site will leave much quicker than you expect, inherently affecting your rankings. Here is what you can do to see if you can easily navigate your site: visit your home page and check to see if you can naturally move from that page to another page. Not having a clear path to traverse means that you will have to do a little revamping to improve the experience that your users have when they visit your site. A couple ways in which you can quickly improve their experience would be by:

  • Creating action calls that are clean
  • Ensuring that your page has a clean layout

 

Missing or Unclear Company Branding

A branded website fares better in gaining organic traffic from search engines when users search for that particular company.When a brand is properly developed, more often than not it appears at the top of the search results for that brand name. If that does not happen, it is possible that your brand is not properly niched or there is a lack of sufficient content on your website. What you can then do is visit your website and see if you are able to determine what your brand is all about. Take about 20 seconds or less to make that determination. You can even ask another individual to look at your site for the same amount of time to see if they can figure out what your company is offering. After doing that and you or the other person is unable to determine what your brand is all about, you will have to go back to the drawing board to create more brand-relative content.

 

Lack of a Web Blog

Far from simply being a feature of many websites today, a blog has now become one of the best ways to let others know about what your brand has to offer. This generally leads to other sites providing natural links to your website, brand exposure, and more importantly an increase in user traffic. A blog is also one of the best places to show your industry authority and have a rapport with like-minded individuals. Websites that do not have a blog are losing out on valuable SERP and inevitably their competition will have a greater advantage, pushing ahead of them. For such websites to survive, they must create a blog. For those that already have one but are not adding content regularly, they need to start doing so again, using modern acceptable SEO strategies.

 

The Next Thing You Need To Do

The preceding 5 signs are what you need to check your websites for so as to determine whether or not you are using old-style SEO strategies. You can also take a look at your competition’s websites to see what SEO strategies they are using to stay ahead of the game and compare their own with yours. Also do a search for your brand to see where it shows up in search results in comparison to your competition. If your competition has a higher ranking than your brand, you need to ponder on these questions:

  • Why are they ranked higher than my brand?
  • What are they offering that I am not?
  • Is it possible that people who search for my brand would like what they see?
  • How can I improve my search rankings?

 

Once you sit and ponder on these questions, make attempts to improve your SEO strategies based on the answers that you come up with. Some of the changes you may need to make may be simply a short-term strategy like revising your website or a longer-term strategy like continuously adding content more frequently. In the end, you will see improvements in search engine rankings for your brand.