Most businesses and organizations have websites in the hopes that those same sites will bring more business and/or raise awareness about them. However, as search engine optimization (SEO) has changed so much in the last year, many people are still relying on outdated ideas to improve their websites’ effectiveness that instead, they are losing out on more traffic from search engines.
Outdated idea 1. Using just the right keywords will improve a site’s visibility.
Spending countless hours and dollars on researching the right keywords to use on your website to get the best traffic from search engines doesn’t cut it anymore. Stuffing these keywords all over your page—in titles, headings, captions, links, body text—can actually hurt more than it helps. While it worked in the past, a more balanced approach of using a variety of keywords in text that makes sense to your target audience will actually perform better in search results.
Outdated idea 2. Getting more inbound links to your website improves your ranking.
For a few years, it was all the rage to get other websites to link back to your own website as a way to show search engines that your site was worth ranking highly. (We’ll save the discussion of high ranking being a myth for another day.) Some people took this practice so seriously that they made fake websites just to link back to their own. They also bought links in countless directories and spammed blogs. Now, all these low quality links hurt your website in search results rather than helps. Look what happened to J.C. Penney. Instead of thinking about how many links you can get, think instead of creating high quality content on your website that other legitimate websites can’t help but link to!
Outdated idea 3. Relying on your website to bring in the business.
You can no longer trust your website to do the work for you. While at one time, you could trust that a good web designer could make your site friendly to search engines and that would propel your site into all sorts of search results, that is no longer the case. Don’t get me wrong; it is still very important that your site is as search engine friendly as possible. However, it’s only one piece of the pie. Websites that perform well in web searches are not only well made, but they have a variety of captivating content (such as text, images, and video), other people talk about the site and link to it, and the site is tied to an active and busy social media presence (like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and more). Working with a good marketer with expertise in online marketing will help you tie all this together.
Outdated idea 4. Using automated software will improve search engine visibility.
Perhaps at one time using free or paid software to optimize a website’s text or titles might have shown small improvements, but they were only small improvements at best. Search engine submission services, too, are a waste of time and money. If you’re serious about improving search engine visibility, use the services of a marketer who will build a relationship with you rather than one-size-fits-all software or a one-time SEO job.
As it is the new year, now is a good time to update your thinking on how you want your website to work for you. If you still have these thoughts in your head, resolve now to get rid of them! Look for more information this year on keeping your website working hard for you!