Major search engines like Google have evolved considerably over the past few years. Nevertheless, many website owners haven’t kept up, continuing to employ old-fashioned SEO methods, unaware that they don’t work. The result is that their traffic, search engine rankings and conversion rates suffer, even as those owners struggle to understand why. Since more than fifty percent of the traffic on the internet starts with a search on Google, it’s important to take the search engine’s rules into account when you design and maintain a website.
What follows is a list of SEO ideas that you should stop using if you’re serious about ranking well on Google.
Using Keywords in a Forced Way
In the past, if you wanted a website to rank well, you would think of several phrases related to your main keyword, and create separate pieces of content, each one based on one of those phrases. This no longer works today.
Google uses semantic search, which means that it looks at the topic of a piece of content, rather than the number of times that a keyword appears. Rather than create many different pieces of content, each one with a related keyword phrase, it’s a better idea to create one, in-depth piece containing all the important keyword phrases that you need.
Publishing Thin Content
Research indicates that Google values long-form content over thin, anemic content that is not comprehensive. Long-form content tends to appear at the top of searches, it is shared a great deal, and it gets plenty of backlinks. To rank well on Google, your website should feature posts that each contain 2,000 words or more. Short content doesn’t rank very well.
Not Publishing Content Often Enough
Studies have indicated that marketers who blog an average of once every two days achieve the best results ranking on Google. Posting regularly helps them build valuable websites. Erratic posting doesn’t offer good results.
Focusing on Quantity Over Quality
While you should post regularly to help your website rank well, you need to also focus on quality. Google can tell quality content apart from the poorly written content. Pages that help searchers get answers to their questions and that come with a high level of trust and expertise, rank well. When you plan content for your website, you need to create something that improves upon the best content already out on existing websites.
Paying for Backlinks
When owners of other websites put links to your content on their pages, it shows that they consider your content worthwhile. Google uses the presence of such links as a sign of quality. While you could consider paying other website owners to link to your website, it’s a practice that Google forbids. When you create quality, original content to put on your website, the backlinks usually come on their own.
Neglecting to Pay Attention to Customer Reviews
It’s important to find ways to get customers to write genuine reviews. Nearly three out of four consumers today look for user reviews prior to dealing with a company or buying a product. While it can be challenging to get real reviews, it’s important to not resort to paying people to write fake ones. Getting plenty of genuine reviews is a good way to rank well on Google.
Search engine optimization today requires that you put in a genuine effort to create quality content. Google uses multiple ways to find out when you cut corners. When you invest in quality, you’ll find that your site automatically ranks well in searches.
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