SEO Myths: Five Strategies That Don’t Work
There’s always a lot of nuance and finesse that goes into doing any job right. And SEO is no different. Sure, you can start by downloading a quick tutorial or watching a few videos.
But, you’re bound to run into questions, problems, and unexpected situations that only experimentation and experience can help you get through.
Of course, it’s impossible to write an article addressing all the potential pitfalls out there. But, we can help you stay on the right path by pointing out some warning signs that you’re heading in the wrong direction.
In this article, we outline five SEO strategies that will not work. Some of these are outdated. Or, they’re ideas that make sense at first but won’t work in the long run.
This way, we hope you won’t waste time on something that’s guaranteed to fail. And, if you still need help getting traffic to your website and converting those visitors into leads, call or email us here at Mingl Marketing.
Five SEO Strategies That Don’t Work
Here’s what not to do when you’re planning an SEO strategy for your website:
- Stuff Keywords
- Publish Thin Content
- Get Backlinks Through Social Media And Forums
- Duplicate Content
- Rely Only On SEO
Don’t: Stuff Keywords
Keywords are a quality over quantity game. If you use the same phrase or word too many times on one page, it sounds too awkward for readers and makes the search engine think you’re trying to cheat.
Sure, back in the early days of the internet, people would repeat the keyword over and over, no matter clunky it sounded. Sometimes, they’d even paste it over and over again at the bottom of the page. You wouldn’t see it because they’d make the font color the same as the background.
But, those tactics, and even subtler stuffing techniques, are long expired. Today, the search engines are too smart to fall for it. And, readers get turned off when they think you’re trying to talk to a computer, not to them.
Do: Use Keywords Strategically
Use your keyword in a few headers and then in the first paragraph of each section. Make sure it always sounds organic. Don’t force it!
Then, use synonyms further in each section, so you don’t overload the page. A bonus: changing up your language makes any writing more interesting for the reader.
Don’t: Publish Thin Content
The days of blasting out 350-word blogs every week and calling it a day is over. Google sees you, and it’s not impressed.
There’s some debate on the specifics, but generally speaking: Content is still king Publishing regular blogs or updates tells search engines that your site is active and up-to-date. But you can’t just post anything and expect it to work.
Today’s search engine algorithms use a slew of indicators to rate your content: If people link to your site and that page in particular; how long readers stay on the page; if they go to another page on your site or leave altogether.
Those tiny articles that exist only to keep your site updated won’t satisfy those indicators and will ultimately hurt your rankings.
Do: Write Longer, Authoritative Content
Focus on educating people, not churning out Content. This way, you’ll naturally produce high-quality articles based on what you know about your industry.
The rule of thumb is that articles should be around 1,000 words. Or, at least 500. Ultimately, the quality of the writing is more important than the exact word count.
That authoritative cache will attract readers, and you’re likely to pass 500 words before you know it. It takes some work, but good Content has a positive, long-lasting impact.
Don’t: Get Backlinks Through Social Media And Forums
Backlinks are other sites that link back to yours, and they’re a critical ranking factor for Google. If your content is well-written and authoritative, you’ll earn some organically. But, to really move the needle, you need to go out and get more.
So, it stands to reason that every time you post a new article on your Facebook or Twitter, you earn a backlink. The same goes for dropping a link in a forum or maybe Reddit, right?
Nope. It doesn’t work that way because those generate “No-Follow” links. Here’s what that means:
Any site has the option to tag a link as “No-Follow.” That means they don’t endorse the link, and it doesn’t count toward your ranking.
Forums and social media do this partly to avoid spammy posts. And because they can’t check the millions of posts and links they host to weed out ones they wouldn’t want to endorse.
How do you know if you got a “No-Follow” link? Go to the page that has the link. Right-click and choose “View Page Source.” This shows you the code that makes up the page and all the words that appear on it.
In that Content, find the text for the link. In the code that surrounds it, look for the phrase rel=“nofollow”. If you see that, then you know the link doesn’t help your SEO.
Do: Reach Out For Quality Backlinks
Getting backlinks is a niche in and of itself and involves much more than we can cover here. But the crux of it is finding high-quality sites related to your industry that aren’t competitors and getting them to link back. You usually do it through link trading or guest blogs.
Don’t: Duplicate Content
Sometimes, a batch of similar pages is the best SEO play. But, making them too similar creates duplicate content. In the long run, that defeats the purpose.
If you’re a locally-based business serving multiple locations, you can create sales and service pages for each keyword. Then, add a page for every town where you do business.
It’s an excellent way to build your local SEO, but it also increases your work exponentially. If you’re targeting five keywords, you need to make five pages. If you serve six towns, you need five keyword pages for each city — 30 in all.
The quickest solution is cloning or recreating each page and changing only the name of the town. But, those pages will get flagged as “duplicate.” Google will see that they’re pretty much identical and think you’re trying to game the system.
Do: Write Each Page Manually
Yes, it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it not to get dinged for duplicate content: Write and rewrite every page individually. Use different phrases, change up the order of the items in any lists, and so on.
One more tip: It reads better if you write entire sections from scratch instead of re-wording it sentence by sentence.
Don’t: Rely Only On SEO
After all that work … there’s still more to do! SEO will get people to your site, but it’s up to you to keep and convert them.
If people don’t find what they need, or they get the information they wanted without seeing any offers, they’ll leave your site just as quickly as they came.
Do: Use More Digital Marketing Tools
Make the most of your efforts by setting up funnels, CTAs, retargeting, and other digital marketing tools. Most of these are automated, so once you set them in place, they’ll keep working for you 24/7 to bring you high-quality leads while you focus on your work.
SEO And Digital Marketing That Help You Reach Your Goals
SEO and digital marketing are powerful ways to bring qualified leads to you. But, not everyone has the time to balance running their own business while also mastering these tools.
If your marketing takes too much time away from your passion, or you’ve gone as far as you scan on your own, then Mingl Marketing is here to take you the rest of the way.
Reach out to find out how we can help your business grow! We’ll take care of keeping the leads coming in. You take care of keeping them happy.