While the basics of SEO remain the same, the strategy itself has evolved considerably since it was introduced to the world of marketing. This is primarily because search engines have become more sophisticated and intuitive. Upgrades like RankBrain, Panda, Penguin, etc, have changed the SEO landscape considerably.
Unfortunately, Google’s changes mean your old SEO strategies won’t bring in the results you need. If your SEO hasn’t been providing the results you need, it is time to reconsider your approach. This article includes seven reasons why you should rethink your SEO approach :
1. You Focused on Keyword Density
Before the AI RankBrain was launched, people relied solely on keywords to get the results they needed.There was no intuitive, intent-based search available to them. That has changed with the introduction of AI, Machine Learning, and Intent-Based keywords.
If your content marketing strategy is still focused on keyword density, it is time to adopt a different route. Keyword stuffing or odd keyword placement can both have an impact on content quality. That affects user experience, which is the last thing you want in content marketing.
Instead of focusing on keyword density, focus on keyword research. Look at intent-based keywords or long-tail keywords. Be sure to use these phrases sparingly and ensure they fit in well with the content. Your approach to keywords must adapt to the change in user behavior.
People now speak to search engines through AI assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa instead of typing out search terms. By changing your approach towards keywords in content, you can get more visibility and have a better reputation.
2. Keywords in Title Tags
Most SEO-based articles and guides still recommend adding keywords to title tags. While this can help when done sparingly, it isn’t exactly necessary. You will benefit more if you have an attractive title and a great meta description. These two will encourage users to click on your website links.
Recent research indicates that some pages rank high on keywords that aren’t even mentioned in the title or content. This shows RankBrain works well to find relevant content without the assistance of keywords.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include keywords in your title tags, especially if they fit in well and make the title more compelling. However, there’s no need to include a keyword if you have a better option available without it.
3. Old-Fashioned Paid Backlinks
People are still buying backlinks from platforms like Fiverr and becoming a part of link farms. This strategy leads to nothing but trouble because of Google’s Penguin algorithm. This algorithm is specifically designed to target spam links in content.
Until Penguin’s 4.0 version was released, Google penalized spam links with negative marks. Now it only ignores them and just penalizes links with exact match anchor words.But this doesn’t mean you can go back to adding spam links to content.
Many website owners have been 20 to 30 place drops in their ranking because of spammy links. Buying backlinks might help boost your ranking for a short period of time, but it is no longer a valid long-term strategy.
Penguin is now real-time and is part of Google’s core search algorithm. This means if you link spam, you’ll see a drop in your rankings sooner. It also means corrections will impact your rankings quickly as well.
4. Automated Content
Creating content requires effort, time, research, and dedication. Some people have found a way around it through automated content. These software applications generate copied and spun content. While this is an easier and quicker way to develop content, it will attract Google’s attention.
Content on the first page of SERP is always well-researched and in long-form. Google will penalize any spam content that doesn’t provide the valuable user experience. There’s very little chance of this form of articles and posts appearing on the first page.
The best way to create content is to research and write it personally. You can also hire professional content creators for the job for the best results. Avoid spammy, short-form content entirely.
5. Thin Content
Google requires a minimum of 300 words per page to rank a website. But that doesn’t mean you can get away from 300-500 word articles full of keywords. Such content won’t rank high and might even attract penalties from the search engine.
Google will let you know if your website contains a lot of “low-quality” or “shallow pieces” that don’t provide much value to the users.
It is important to create long-form content of at least 2,000 words. Most first page SERP results have an average of 3,000 words in their content.
All of this indicates that Google values long-form content with accurate informative over short-form content that doesn’t provide much value.
If you want to succeed in SEO now, you need to alter your content marketing strategy significantly.
6. Guest Blogging Get Links
Guest blogging is a great way to establish a good reputation in your industry. You can find a trusted website with a solid audience base to publish your content. This process helps establish credibility and brings your company more visibility. That is if you do it correctly.
Many marketers and business owners abuse this strategy to link spam. Google has issued stern warnings against this and will take action against misuse of guest blogging.
As long as you ensure your guest blog posts contribute towards user experience and provides accurate information, you don’t have anything to worry about. But if you post vague or “thin” content on other websites that aren’t even a part of your industry, you’ll face consequences.
7. Not Optimizing For Mobile
Did you know that around 80% of internet users use smartphones and around 27% use only smartphones? When you consider this statistic it is apparent that a website needs to be optimized for mobile users.
Despite this, many people don’t optimize their websites for mobile use and consider it a poor investment. Unfortunately, this can have an impact on your rankings. Google considers mobile-friendliness a ranking factor.
It is important to rethink and reevaluate your SEO approach regularly to ensure you can keep up with the industry. Search engines evolve at a rapid rate and marketing strategies must evolve with them.
Smith Andrew is a Jr. Content writer working with Ranking By SEO. In his corporate life he write many blogs and articles on SEO, Link building, SMO and many more.