8 SEO Strategies You Should Forget About in 2017
To say that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has changed dramatically is an understatement. The strategies that worked two, three or five years ago may no longer work today.
Last year we saw Google change their algorithm to promote authoritative websites. We also saw the inclusion of snippets on search engine result pages and the introduction of featured ADS on top of organic search results.
With the new changes, Marketers and Content Creators are confused as to which strategies still work.
In this blog post, we will debunk 8 SEO strategies you may have heard of or employed yourself. This is to save you time in doing things that don’t contribute to SEO in 2017.
Myth 1: You must index your site on Google
Have you ever heard that you need to submit your site to Google to rank in search results?
While this does index a new website, it’s not important for ranking. “Even if you do submit your site to Google, a submission does not guarantee anything. Crawlers will find your site and index it in due time, so don’t worry about this idea of needing to ’tell’ Google about your site.”, says Matt Cutts from Google.
Myth 2: Building links is gold
In the past, link-building was the ultimate SEO strategy. Today, link-building has resulted in many websites getting flagged.
Not all backlinks are created equal. Google penalises you when bad sites link to yours. It’s more about the quality of links than the quantity. Therefore, make sure you check which websites are linking to you. Big brother is ALWAYS watching.
Myth 3: Having an unsecured site doesn’t affect SEO
If your site is not secure (http instead of https), it is affecting your SEO. In 2014 Google announced that it had started penalising such websites, and then from January 2017, Google Chrome had started flagging these websites as unsafe. This is a part of their plan to keep the online world safe. So, if you haven’t encrypted your website, do so immediately.
Myth 4: Meta descriptions are paramount for search ranking
A meta description is the preview snippet you see when you search a term on Google. In 2009, Google announced that meta descriptions have no bearing on SEO.
But does this mean that you should abandon it altogether? Well, not really.
Your meta description is the first thing that people see in search results, so you want to make it compelling enough for people to click it. Other than that, meta does not help your search ranking.
Myth 5: The key to SEO is keyword optimisation
In the past, search engine algorithms weren’t as sophisticated as they are today. These days search engines can read your content much better, and therefore, even if you have not included a keyword in your content, when Google crawls your content it can understand it.
To use keyword optimisation effectively, focus on writing for your audience. This means if your blog title is about how to succeed in sales, you must truly include helpful content that will allow any salesperson to succeed.
The bottom line is to make your content look good for readers, not search engines.
Myth 6: Keywords need to be repeated throughout content
Many marketers think they can just pack a keyword verbatim into a piece of content to rank on search engines. This is called keyword-stuffing. This act is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and they’ve started penalising websites that do this.
You want to add keywords where it makes sense in the piece of content you are creating. Don’t be bogged down into adding keywords in your headline just for SEO. You will go much further if you choose a headline that is readable, understandable and true to the content you have written.
Myth 7: A homepage needs to have plenty of content
Most websites either have too much content or too little content. This affects SEO. You want to have just enough content so that users can navigate your site.
Think of your website like a pyramid and your home page like the base of the pyramid. It should contain just enough information to lead people to your other pages. It should include information such as who you are, what you do, your value proposition and call to action.
We spoke in an earlier blog about how using whitespace and becoming a minimalist can actually bump up your website. Read that blog here.
Myth 8: The IT department can handle SEO
There seems to be a misconception that since SEO involves analytics and keywords, it can simply be handed off to an IT department. SEO is much more than just keywords and analytics. Although your IT department is an integral part of your SEO strategy, there are many more stakeholders that you must involve.
One of those stakeholders must be an SEO specialist or lead generation expert. A specialist can help you to employ the right SEO strategies and rank your website as an authoritative one. Contact us to learn more.