Saturday, January 7, 2017

SEO Practices That Need to Stop in 2017

Author Bio : Ronald Dod is a partner and CEO of Visiture, LLC. After founding Grey Umbrella Marketing, an internet marketing agency which focuses on Search Engine Optimization for eCommerce businesses, he merged with Visiture to create a full service search marketing offering for eCommerce businesses. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the search marketing landscape and use data to make more effective decisions to drive new traffic and conversions. He holds a Masters in the Science of Marketing from Florida State University and is certified in Google Adwords & Analytics.

The SEO landscape is constantly changing. What was once a tried-and-true method for boosting your ranking in the SERPS could be obsolete in an instant after a new trend or algorithm update.  Thus, marketers need to be on top of new industry trends and get rid of old SEO tactics that no longer apply. Here are just a few of the SEO practices that digital marketers need to stop using in 2017:

Choosing Quality over Quantity for Link Building
The practice of link building has received a significant amount of attention over the years as Google’s Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird algorithm updates changed the role that links play in SEO. 
Back in the day, one of the quickest ways to improve your search visibility was to use spammy links that could manipulate the search engines. Fortunately, Google recognized how this was negatively affecting the user’s experience and began penalizing low-quality link building tactics. 

Now, SEOs need to be smart about their link building campaigns and put in more effort to build good links. This means focusing more on the quality of links rather than the quantity. By recognizing the difference between a good and bad link, SEOs can help improve their site’s authority.

Relying on Automated SEO for Everything
Automated SEO tools come out all the time, and many of them can be extremely useful for business owners who are crunched for time (in other words, every business owner). 

For example, keyword analysis tools such as SEMrush can take a lot of frustration out of keyword research by making it easier to see what your competitors are doing. Additionally, Buzzsumo is a great automation tool that helps marketers identify what content is doing well around the web.

However, automation cannot fully replace the human element needed in SEO. Automation tools are often limited in that they can’t identify the nuances of each online store and tailor their SEO to each one. Because of these limitations, many online merchants choose to partner with digital marketing agencies that are able to customize their SEO practices to meet the needs of their specific business for better results.

Getting by on Mediocre Content
Some digital marketers have taken the “content is king” mantra and believe that this means pumping out content regularly counts as an SEO strategy. There is such an oversaturation of content in the market today that this is no longer enough to bring in web traffic to an online store.

Instead, SEOs will need to create fresh and high quality content that engages consumers, and which is easily shareable across social media platforms. If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place, now is the time to get serious about it, because competition for unique content is only going to get bigger as time goes on.

Stuffing Content with Keywords
There used to be a time when the common SEO tactic was to stuff specific keywords into your content, even if this made readers frustrated at seeing the same word repeated 15 times in a single paragraph. Search engines caught on to this tactic and began using tighter filters to weed out sites that prevented SEOs from taking this shortcut.

With search engines now being able to decipher user intent, there may not be as much emphasis on keywords now than in the past. However, this doesn’t mean that they are no longer essential to your SEO campaign. Digital marketers still need to perform keyword research to find out what their target audience is searching for and build content around these words, phrases, and topics. 

Adding More Pages for SEO
Many eCommerce owners are under the impression that the more pages their online store has, the more traffic they will get to their site. This is not the case. In fact, creating pages with thin or duplicate content can hurt your eCommerce site in many ways. 

One of the ways in which duplicate content hurts your eCommerce store is that it doesn’t add any value to users. While it may not be guaranteed to result in an actual penalty, it isn’t going to impress searchers, and certainly won’t help you rank higher.

Low-quality web pages are much the same. Your website will only have higher bounce rates as searchers become frustrated at the lack of useful content on your thin pages. Thus, eCommerce owners need to have diverse information for every page that provides value to their target audience.

Featuring Low-Quality Guest Posts on Your Site
We’ve all heard of the importance of publishing high quality content regularly to keep users engaged, but keeping up with your blog posts can be difficult. One of the ways to give yourself a break every once in a while is to allow another blogger to guest post on your site. This can be extremely beneficial to both parties, when executed properly, because good content results in higher traffic. On the other hand, guest posting can also significantly hurt your website if you do it wrong.  

For example, featuring too many guest posts on your site is a quick way to lose many of your followers, seeing as how they are following YOU and not random guest posters. Additionally, many website owners end up featuring low-quality and spammy guest posts on their site that hurt their reputation. While it may be tempting to let other bloggers do the heavy lifting for you, this strategy will end up losing you traffic.

For the best guest posting practices, it is recommended you only feature guest posts from trusted bloggers who have established reputations. This will reduce the risk of low-quality bloggers that offer irrelevant content to your readers.

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