SEO tactics that aren’t working anymore
Google is always working, it may seem, at cross purposes to anything we’re attempting to do to get better rankings for our pages. If you’ve been doing this (trying to rank pages) for any amount of time, you’ll have acquired a bag of tricks that you’ve used for this purpose. Over time, some of these have become ineffective. What worked last year doesn’t now, or worse, it actually hurts you. So it’s time for us to review some of the SEO tactics that worked over the past few years that you should no longer be using.
SEO tactics to throw in the trash for 2014
Overuse of keywords
In the past you were able to pound your pages with numerous instances of your primary keywords, and they would rank well for those. Not anymore. The best practice now is to include your primary keyword in the title, and perhaps a few other places on the page, but let’s be very clear that Google is asking you to write for your readers first. The relevance of your content in far more important than the number of times your main keyword is found on the page.
Today the pages that rank on the first pages of Google are similar in that they sport longer, more in-depth content. The times when we could get by with slapping up 250-300 words of dubious quality are no longer, as far as your main blog and site pages are involved. There’s a place for micro-content; such as on sites like Tumblr, Facebook as well as other primarily social sites.
This one expired a while ago. From the time that Panda came down the pike, article directories have struggled. To publish your content there at this time and expect much in the way of traffic or links is an exercise in futility.
Keyword anchor text
Google’s algorithm is now smarter, and now understands that if every link into your site has “Your main keyword” as the clickable anchor text, something is afoot. Strive for a more natural link footprint, using keywords, your site URL, as well as some random phrases that make sense, such as “click here” and longer, post specific terms.
The absence of social media
Not so long ago, if you were totally put off by the thought of dealing with social media on your site, you didn’t need to. Now, you may as well start selling shoes. (Offline) Be sure to make your posts and pages socially sharable and start your own social sites if you haven’t by now.
Inbound run of site links
Getting or buying, run of site inbound links, is a sure-fire way to get yourself penalized. Wish to make it worse? Have them all use the same keyword!
Are you ready to have help with your SEO campaigns? Contact us. We would love to help you stand out!
Best Backlink Practices for 2014
These days every other person you encounter will tell you that link building as a means to enhance your search ranking is dead.
Not so fast, as stated by Google’s own Liege of link building Matt Cutts states: “Links are still the best way that we’ve found to discover (how relevant or important somebody is) and maybe, over time, social or authorship or other types of markup will give us a lot more information about that.”
Since it’s now clear that the good old days days of link building are over, they do still matter, and we’ve put together some of the best practices for link building in 2014.
Internal linking on your site – Internal linking means the links you have on your own pages that (hopefully) lad to more relevant content on your site. Google views this as a help to your visitors, and as long as you don’t overuse the linkage with tons of excess keyword links, such as extra menus and tag clouds and the like, you’ll have some love too. Link from textual content to other textual content, and use anchor text that seems logical.
Google+ shares – It might not be Facebook yet, but Google+ can get your pages indexed almost instantly, and this definitely benefits you in your search rankings.
Guest blogging – Having your posts featured on popular blogs has long been a way to garner links, but have you tried being the blog that accepts the guest posts? This can also help collect links, in addition to helping you build authority and content.
Curate popular content on your own site – Now and then we find a post or piece of content that has gone viral in our market and is of interest to your readers as well. Curate this onto your own blog, giving attribution obviously, and encourage your readers to share it with their social circles, thus sending them to your pages!
Relevance and diversity – Back in the day you could simply obtain a ton of links form almost anywhere and the site with more won. No so any longer! Google rewards relevance now, so relevant links and diverse anchor text are the keys these days!
Tips to Avoid Over-Optimizing Your Pages in WordPress
One of the recent updates Google blessed us with over the last couple of years included what became known as the over-optimization penalty. This one is aimed at Webmasters who attempt to stuff their pages with keywords in the hopes of raising them in the search engine results.
This played out with folks being told to create their pages with a keyword density of between 2.5 and 5 percent for their primary keyword. The problem was, at least for many of us using WordPress and similar blogging platforms as our content management system, we now know that:
WordPress isn’t so “out-of-the-box SEO ready” as we thought!
WordPress injects a huge number of keywords into your content that you probably aren’t aware of. Once you count up all the instances where your primary keyword shows up, from the titles, H1, H2 and H3 tags, post tags, archives, recent posts widgets and breadcrumbs just to name a few, you can easily have over 30 mentions of your primary keyword on the page before you’ve written it one time in your main content. Not to mention the links to your page that are anchored with that keyword. Google looks at the whole enchilada when determining where to rank your pages.
So what can you do to avoid this?
Here are a few tips to avoid instant over-optimization in WordPress.
- Don’t ever use tags again! – Tags and especially tag clouds inflate your keyword density beyond belief. Get rid of the habit!
- Remove the author link from your template – That little link simply generates another duplicate version of your post, inviting trouble.
- Sweep up the breadcrumbs! – Breadcrumb navigation is yet another useless addition of keywords injected into the mix for no apparent reason.
- Don’t duplicate your navigation – Often times we’ll have a top nav menu along with the same thing replicated on the sidebar. You don’t need both, unless you’re fond of over-optimization penalties!
- Kill the recent posts widget – Another demonstration of your template contributing to your ranking demise!
For more great tips on how to avoid over-optimizing your WordPress content go see this awesome post!
If the expression marketing orchestration hasn’t come in front of your eyes yet, itâ€™s bound to very soon. Marketing orchestration, as defined by Forrester Research is “an approach to marketing that focuses not on delivering standalone campaigns but instead on optimizing a set of related cross-channel interactions, that when added together make up an individualized customer experience.”
What this means is that we can use all of these different channels we are now marketing with, and have them act in concert with one another, delivering a unique experience to the customer. There are hints of this now, as what Google is attempting to do with its suite of web tools and services, but this is just the beginning of what promises to be a flood of options in relation to orchestrating your marketing.
Some reasons why marketing orchestration is a good idea!
Some of the reasons why marketing orchestration is a great idea may be obvious to you. Others; not as much.
One major benefit is the prospect of a much larger pool of potential customers. With all of your current various marketing channels working with one another, the power and likelihood of social sharing is amplified across channels. What this means is youâ€™ll have the ability to reach new leads easier and faster than before.
Another benefit is helping your brand build authority, loyalty and remain top of mind with customers in your market. Whenever you make an appearance in helpful ways in the channels your customers frequent, you are much more likely to be shared and recommended than you might have otherwise.
Starting with marketing orchestration
Here are some ways to begin utilizing marketing orchestration.
- Link your content via your social media channels. Look for ways to cross promote your videos via your emails for instance.
- Always encourage people to share your content. Incentivize if needed. Many of these same people have substantial channels of their own youâ€™d love to be introduced to.
- Include social sharing capabilities on all of your web properties which are being used. Make them part of templates you use.
- Donâ€™t try to fit everyone in to the same narrow box. Develop a more personalized customer experience for each of them by meeting them where they are, and employing their preferred mode of communication.
Jump on the marketing orchestration bandwagon today, and begin making your marketing plan less of a siloed experience, and more of an individualized formula for success!
Social media is an excellent way to reach a lot of people with your messages that you may not have established a relationship with.
A great technique to accomplish this in a fraction of the time it might normally take is to integrate your social media channels within your email marketing campaigns. This enables you to cast your net to a much larger audience, and build your email lists easily and with some regularity. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways we can make this happen.
Tips for energizing your email marketing with social sharing!
- Announce your emails via your social media – Make it a routine part of your email routine to let your social media channels know that you have a new email coming along. Post a short message on your social media channels saying “Look out for our newsletter landing later today, and tell us what you think!” Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ all shorten your entry to the first 300 characters or so, with a link to read more after that. So be sure to put your most important text near the beginning, together with a call to action.
- Enable and exhort your subscribers to share your content – To make this easy you’ll want to set up your email marketing template to prominently display social sharing buttons on your emails, and while you’re at it make sure to add a link that encourages your readers to connect with you on your own social media channels. This easy tweak enables your readers to share your best content to their own social networks, and potentially show your wares to a vast new audience who don’t know you!
- What kind of content is most likely to get shared? – Tips, lists, videos, and intriguing infographics or images top the list for most shared content. Be sure not to be overly promotional to this audience, since they’re new and don’t yet trust you. Giving your subscribers the tools and fantastic content to share will ensure that your email messages get a life far beyond the borders of your subscriber lists!