The world of digital marketing is constantly changing, especially when it comes to search engine optimization or SEO. SEO is one of those cornerstone practices for digital marketers that make the difference between a good online presence and a great one.
Because SEO changes what seems like almost daily, the most effective SEO practices are always changing and evolving. These changes mean that SEO practices are continuously becoming outdated as we learn more about the internet and search engines change their search algorithms.
In order to make sure that your website stays on top and current with SEO, there are a few SEO practices that you should permanently retire if you are still practicing them. To help you out, here are 4 of the top outdated SEO practices that you need to stop doing now.
Focusing on Keywords and Not Clicks
This may sound totally counterproductive to SEO, but you have to stop focusing on keyword density instead of clicks. Having all the keywords on your webpage or in your articles may seem like the best way to get a higher ranking on search engines, but if they aren’t drawing clicks, the keywords don’t matter.
Having the right raw keywords is still important for SEO, but it’s not more important than getting the click. If you want to rank higher, your webpage and articles need to have the proper balance between keywords and clickability.
Take the time to write and create engaging and interesting content that will draw the click and work the keywords in as you do that. It is important to note that we are not condoning clickbait titles and descriptions, but you should take a hard look at what is drawing the clicks and how to apply that strategy to all your pages and articles.
Too Much Anchor Text on Internal Links
It use to be that heavy anchor text on internal links would improve your SEO value. This is no longer the case. Search engines are now taking into account pages and articles that are inappropriately using anchor text to manipulate their SEO ranking.
Make sure that you are using anchor text appropriately. If the internal link is in the header, footer, site navigation, or sidebar, add appropriate anchor text. If you are using it simply to manipulate search engines and it has no other value, get rid of it to ensure that you penalized by search engines for bad anchor text use.
Creating Pages for Every Keyword Variation
Creating new pages for each variation of a keyword is still a very widely used tactic with SEO specialists and digital marketers. This use to be a highly effective tactic to ensure that search engines would rank your page for a keyword regardless of which keyword variation a person searching used.
Google has since gotten savvier about this tactic. It is now suggested that keyword variations are sprinkled into a single page in an appropriate manner instead of having multiple pages for each keyword variation. This signals to search engines that your content is designed to be helpful and useful instead of just to manipulate SEO rankings.
Paying for Links
When companies started to realize the SEO value in link building, companies started to appear that offered to sell links in large directories to help boost SEO value. This worked for a while. Search engines tracked these links as link building activities that signaled that the website being linked to was an authority and this boosted their SEO value.
Google and other search engines have since realized that companies were paying for these links to just boost SEO value and started pushing websites that were using them by downgrading their SEO rank. They recognized that these directories were not a credible source and wanted to discourage the link building manipulation.
As a general rule of thumb, it is advisable for companies to not pay for any links unless it is part of a legitimate partnership. For example, paying a blogger to write about a service of yours that they use and then have them link to your site is okay and helps boost your SEO value, but paying a random site directory to list your link is bad.