Outdated SEO: A Resource Drain Without Returns

April 19th, 2013 by Megan Totka

Apr13Keeping up with SEO tactics isn’t always easy, which is why the general rule of thumb is to build a good site and network, and wait to be found. Even still, many people are attempting quick shortcuts that have long since been proven less than useful, or even damaging. If the sole reason for doing something—submitting a press release, for example—is to drive SEO, there’s a good chance it will backfire.

SEO mistakes fall into a few distinct categories: fishing for links, diluting personality, and failing to strategize.

Link Cheats

Creating a network relies on links to and from other reputable sources. Search engines analyze these links and count them as endorsements, so the more connected you are to other sites, the better you’ll be viewed by the all-powerful algorithms that control search results. The extension of this idea has led to link exchanges, article submissions, and pointless press releases—all of which are outlays of time and energy that don’t recoup their investment at all.

Instead of trying to find back ways into getting links, you’ll see the best results by actually building the connections that earn links. Link to resources your clientele and readers will find useful, and you’ll soon find others linking to you. Writing guests posts for industry bloggers will enhance their sites and earn you credibility at the same time. There are excellent tips on building links and networks out there: start with this post to understand how it works.

Individuality Flubs

Okay, you think, I need to write more content and be more connected. That’s an admirable goal, but there are a few pitfalls along the way that won’t help your SEO rankings. The tendency can be to write the same description, review, or promo in just slightly different wording—it’s quick, easy, and fills the spaces that search engines analyze.

But your content can’t just exist for its own sake—in order to work for you it must be relevant, interesting, and well written. Make sure you have a quality writer who knows how to build an audience and engage readers in discourse. And be careful not to automate too much of your social interaction. Clients can tell when they’re receiving a rote reply. Instead, highlight your businesses personality through both your content and social networking, to stand out to both customers and search engines.

Strategy Omissions

When you’re trying to “do all the right things” for SEO, you can miss the forest for the trees. SEO won’t get you anywhere unless you have an achievable goal, with a strategy that can be measured and reevaluated. Discovering your rankings does you no good unless you adapt your marketing plan and correlate your analytics to your aims.

There are plenty of good SEO tactics and SEO basics a site owner should know, but they all boil down to putting the effort into a well-designed, interactive, quality experience for both the users and the search engines. Don’t be trapped by outdated methods of bumping you to the top of the list; instead, focus on genuine content that reflects your brand and your goals.

 

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.