Search engine optimization has been the buzz and the focal point of all businesses, large and small, looking to connect with clients, introduce new products and services, or simply increase visibility and following within a particular niche or industry. Before Google’s first iteration was registered in 1997, where it quickly rose to prominence as the search engine that could provide the cleanest, most useful results for anyone who was seeking to harvest and index data from the rapidly evolving worldwide web. Their initial methodology to rank results relied on an algorithm that differed wildly from previous search engines like WebCrawler, Ask Jeeves, Excite, and Yahoo. The first changes to how to get your website seen had begun…but some companies are STILL using those original methods, to absolutely no avail.
As the years passed, Google’s search algorithms evolved, were perfected, and were kept confidential, but certain iterations were successfully deconstructed by the emerging industrial machine offering search optimization. Other companies boast that their techniques are “tried and true” to improve ranking when trying to acquire your business, but that should be an indicator to stay away. Cutting edge and constantly refined search techniques are how GoingClear can bring your business to the next level. Here are a few SEO tactics that are so outdated, any mention of their use should have you running in the other direction. Some of them even cause your ranking to decrease in quality, often significantly.
Outdated Search is for Outdated Products and Services
The first indicator of a problem is stuffing meta tags and descriptor keywords. It’s the oldest tactic in the book, and as such was seized upon early by spammy sites seeking to trick people into visiting their landing page. Proper search indexing ignores these entirely, though having a few tight, targeted words can still offer some benefit. Check the meta tags in the source code of your current website to see if you’ve been victimized by a less-than-stellar SEO methodology (or even an internal employee who isn’t up on the changes that have happened in the last decade!)
Lazy naming of images is another trap that is easy to fall into, and there is no excuse for it once a site is up and running. Yes, everyone’s phone uses automatic naming conventions when saving a picture, which usually involves a long series of numbers to indicate date and software version, but PG092121_0933.jpg is not going to help a robot or a human determine what a picture indicates, or how it fits in. Keep in mind that ALT text should be part of every IMG tag on a site; there are still many people who turn off graphics when browsing to save time and data usage. The ALT text is then the only front-facing indicator of what a picture shows.
Spammy links, in general, might seem like a good idea if you know that certain content marketing has a high success rate. There are still firms and interests that participate in reciprocal link schemes, but they are not worth it in the long run. GoingClear will invest time and resources in developing targeted outreach and quality content marketing. The goal is to convert clicks into repeat visitors and clients, not trick others into “gotcha” clicks.
SEO Mistakes That Happen Due to Inexperience
A digital presence audit from GoingClear frequently identifies opportunities for improvements that will drive results. Ticking the “noindex” box on WordPress is a classic rookie mistake that happens frequently. Many of our new clients call and complain that they have registered their business and launched their site, but still are not showing up on Google. The noindex box can also be a descriptor checkbox that says “discourage search engines from indexing your site”. Ticking it then forgetting to untick it will prevent the major search engines from indexing. Note that some robots will ignore this setting, but the ones that matter do not.
Failing to install an SEO plugin is not the worst thing that a webmaster can do, but it will definitely slow down updates, and it is far from optimal, especially if you’re publishing a significant amount of content to increase traffic.
An XML sitemap, which can be created and submitted through an SEO plugin, should also always be a part of your SEO optimization strategy. Again, companies that have failed to evolve with the improvements that are constantly being made to the top search algorithms may not realize the importance of this simple task. If Google cannot crawl your site, it cannot be indexed properly.
Internal link strategy has emerged as one of the top trust-building factors that affect “priority” quality engines assigned to a site. If you use spammy, unqualified links, however, it is worse than using no internal linking at all. Ensure that your strategy maintains properly descriptive anchor text and no broken links to increase the rating assigned to your company website.
Finally, following the Google Webmaster Guidelines might seem like an elementary task, but it is vital for every site that wants to maintain a high search ranking on Google and alternate search engines. The instructions are laid out quite plainly – it is a waste not to follow them.
The final area that requires the highest level of quality control is the one that can truly benefit from a Boston SEO company like the team at GoingClear. Technical issues like slow website speed can be improved almost immediately after a single consulting session. Switching hosting providers can usually correct this quickly.
Permalink structure is crucial, and GoingClear has experts on board who can tweak your site for a rapidly visible increase in search ranking. If you’ve added subdomains to push content such as a blog this can weaken your main site and diminish the effect that the blog was originally intended to address, since trust and ranking need to be built separately for the second domain.
Modernize Your SEO Strategy Today!
GoingClear can help with strategy and planning, keyword research, content marketing and promotion, and turning clicks into clients. Our award-winning web design projects are available for your perusal. Contact our Boston SEO company when you’re ready to take the next step in your digital growth!