Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must in today’s cyber landscape. But today’s landscape also demands updated, effective SEO strategies that keep up with the times. The vast number of Google search algorithm updates over the years alone illustrates that times definitely change. You may be stuck with outdated SEO practices that no longer work or are even racking up penalties for your website. Three of those outdated tactics include using meta keyword tags, engaging in meaningless link building and ignoring social signals.
Meta Keyword Tags
Meta tags can be an excellent way for you to provide information about your site to search engines, or at least some of them can. Meta tags for page descriptions, for instance, can be handy tools for search engines to use to get a better idea of the page content.
Meta keyword tags, on the other hand, can be a colossal waste of time.
That’s because search engines don’t even bother to look at them. A meta keyword tag is a tag in the header of the page that lists all the keywords contained in that page. While they used to be important way back when, times have changed, search engines have updated, and playing around with meta keyword tags now do nothing more than add extra time and hassle to your already packed schedule. They have no bearing on your search engine rank. Google, Yahoo, and Bing act as if they don’t even exist.
Link building is a double-edged sword. Build quality links the right way and link building can be a terrific strategy for effective SEO. Build shoddy links the wrong way, or too many links in general, and your website can actually get penalized by the search engines.
Too many links are a major red flag for search engine algorithms, and they can damage your rank and reputation.
The wrong way to build links typically involves quick-fix tactics. Providing random, outgoing links just to associate yourself with a popular site is one of them. Another is to submit meaningless articles or press releases to various platforms, just so you can link the piece back to your website.
The right way to build links is a slow and steady process. It can start by creating a steady stream of valuable, enticing content that other people actually want to link to. You can also foster relationships with popular bloggers and other online heroes, perhaps offering to write a guest blog or article that provides meaningful information to their readers and exposure for your site.
Ignoring Social Signals
Old-school SEO strategies didn’t pay a lot of attention to social signals, mainly because there weren’t many. With the steady growth of social media, social signals have become a prime strategy for SEO. Social signals refer to the feedback from consumers on social media sites, such as number of likes, shares, pins, votes and other social applause. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media sites end up filtering out to various search engines, and real feedback from real people is an important component.
The value of social signals can only be realized if you actually receive them. If you haven’t already, set up accounts on the major social media sites and keep those accounts active. If your business or in-house marketing department isn’t equipped to run social media on a near-daily basis, consider finding a digital marketing firm who can help.
So, what’s the takeaway? Post meaningful, valuable information that can bring in positive feedback.
Effective SEO can only come from keeping current with strategies that work in the here and now, not those that used to work a decade back. You’ll be on the road to doing so if get rid of your outdated tactics and embrace the fresh and new. Those new strategies include eliminating meta keyword tags, steering clear of shoddy link building techniques, and understanding how valuable social signals can be.