Outdated Content Marketing Practices You Should Avoid!

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For the past five years we the online marketing industry was overwhelmed with several practices that claims and purposes to boost online ranking. Some common previous practices include using link networks, guest blogging, keyword stuffing and a whole lot more.

These techniques did bring some results in the past few years. However, with today’s technological trend and Google aiming to provide relevant and high quality search results to users most of these methods are rendered obsolete and does not bring any bearing to your content marketing.

If you are using old methods in marketing your contents in the web, it is time to reevaluate and change your techniques now. Here are the top three content marketing things that you should avoid now!

  1. Stop Writing Poor Content

Relevance, this is the first thing that you should consider before publishing a write-up on your website. Ask yourself if the content you are going to publish is related to your product or business and most especially if it provides substantial information to the readers. Avoid writing contents for the sake of just updating your website. While it is necessary to post something on your page to let your followers know that you are still active, it is somehow more important that updates from you are informational.

  1. Avoid Improper Keyword Stuffing

Back in the days when Google doesn’t care much about the contents of your website, putting poorly structured keywords anywhere in your article sentence or paragraph is acceptable and would still drive you hundreds of traffic. Cramming more keywords and phrases on your articles does not only sound redundant some of them are also grammatically wrong and does not provide any information or relevance at all to the whole article.

Be a marketer or blogger who knows how to insert proper phrases and keywords on your entire article. This will help you convey a sense of professionalism on your website and by doing these you would retain and attract more visitors through the relevance of your contents.

  1. Stop Improper Usage of Link Networks

Investing hundreds of dollars by signing up on link networks to provide you with backlinks is not a good idea today. Back in the day, a link network would be a great help in boosting your network traffic but it does not apply in today’s marketing scene. You are now required to have backlinks from reliable and relevant websites. It means your contents which feature a beauty product cannot have excessive backlinks from a website that markets plumbing, or window cleaning services.

Backlinks are still a great help when it comes to boosting your SEO ranking. However, you need to build them over time and should not rely on link networks that promise irrelevant links to your website.

These are just some of the most important points that you need to avoid and consider if you wish your content marketing to be still relevant in today’s age. Always be aware of the newest changes and latest marketing trends to make sure that you are always up-to-date and thus ensures higher SEO scores for your sites.

Transparency is key to building SEO Client trust

Following Google’s recent Rankbrain announcement concerning its use of artificial intelligence to better understand search queries in order to improve the relevancy of results, I can’t help but think there maybe another round of “Search Engine Optimisation is dead” content produced and people running to the hills.

My view is that there is nothing to fear and such developments will be continual and hopefully the end goal is even better search results for the user.

However, to rank pages in SERPS according to Google relies on hundred of ranking factors. Those SEO’s working on sites regularly still appreciate that fact, although on page factors such as well organised, clear sign posting and engaging, optimised content is key, an important ranking factor to achieve visibility on page 1 is still Google’s link algorithm – see video below from their own spokesperson Matt Cutts;

 

 

How do we know this? The mere fact that Google had to bring out its Penguin algorithm which is still evolving and it’s constant battle to shut down private blog networks, tells you all you need to know, not to mention the fact a lot of SEO’s still resort to this tactic. The simple truth is that unless backlinks are obtained either ethically or not, it is difficult to rank pages for high competition keywords.

 What is your risk tolerance level?

Now we know backlinks from external sites are necessary, but there are debates currently raging with regard to whether the term white, black or grey hats is meaningful when it comes to SEO practice given we all know what is required eg building links. Even so called “Whitehat link earning” if executed incorrectly can cause issues with Google Penguin algorithm if for example too many links are built accidentally using the same keyword anchor text.

I share the view that the White, grey, black hat descriptions are all a bit redundant these days and the reality is that all SEOs still have to build links to sites, the only difference being the level of risk eg are ethical or unethical practices used? What SEOs in my view need to get much better at is explaining the real status quo and also risks attached depending on the methods deployed. This I believe applies to all those who describe themselves as totally Whitehat for the reasons I have stated. There is no shame or anything to hide here, instead the need to be totally transparent. It is fair to say that there are some excellent content marketing/social media techniques that can be used in order to generate links naturally, however, it is a requirement that the content has to be absolutely fantastic in order to capture readers interest thus enabling social sharing and link earning.

In my experience it is true that some clients are risk takers which may come as a surprise as the clammer to get listed on page 1 at any cost is just too much for some whilst other clients are risk-averse and are in it for the long term.

To conclude, marketing consultants or agencies trying to rank clients in my view needs to explain the Search Engine landscape and what is required to complete the job.

If this article interests you or you would like more information, please comment below or contact me directly.

5 Practical On Page SEO Optimisation Tips For Webmasters

Much is written about SEO especially when another algorithm update is communicated by Matt Cutts or another Google spokesperson and big movements occur in the SERPs, however, the truth is to try and pay attention to the small but very important clues in their webmaster guidelines which if examined closely reveal quite a lot. What I am about to highlight is those non technical guidelines that webmasters and site owners can control themselves and of course is my interpretation and therefore subject to debate, however, it will hopefully help demystify what Google wants to Business owners, marketers, copywrites and web masters alike.
1. Pay “Close” Attention to Google’s Guidelines regards Thin or Duplicate Content

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Read the highlighted text very closely. I can confirm from working on a client’s ecommerce site that when product pages with thin or duplicate content were removed from Google’s index using the “follow no index” meta tag the site’s category pages which contained useful unique content started to rank. There is always a great temptation to create identical landing pages which rank for lots of terms, however, be warned as this should be avoided.

The same goes for low quality blog posts as highlighted in the guidelines. How many times has it been said that continuously publishing content – even low quality content help a site rank in Google for its main keywords. This is simply not true, however, don’t take my word for this check out the highly regarded Blog Tyrant’s post on this very topic – http://www.blogtyrant.com/why-i-dont-post-regularly-and-why-you-shouldnt-either/

 

2. Specific On Page Content Optimisation tips: 3 Simple Steps

Step 1: Review the Competition: In terms of length of content this can variously enormously depending on what you are doing, however, the more the better even if you are uploading a new product on an ecommerce site. One tip is to simply view those sites ranking at the top of Google to assess their content both in terms of length and also breadth. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all you need to do is copy. What you want to ensure is that your content is unique written and is better.

Step 2: Interest the Reader and give them somewhere to go: Where possible, try to internally and externally link to relevant resources that make sense and don’t be afraid to include media such as video and imagery to break up the content. Break up content with sub headings or chunk up. Not only will this encourage users to stay longer on the page, it may also keep within the site longer.

Step 3: Avoid keyword stuffing: For the simple reason that this could cause over optimisation issues with Google, instead include associated words otherwise known as LSI keywords. In other words if you are writing about a topic eg Oil and Gas Reserves in the North Sea, there is high probability that you would mention the main Oil Producers such as BP or the type of Oil eg Crude or the countries affected eg Britain, Scotland and Norway, perhaps key oil location servicing the North Sea eg Aberdeen or Bergen. All of these are words or phrases that Google may be looking for to see if the content stacks up and is relevant.

A simple tip to identify associated words is to type the main keyword into Google Search, scroll down the bottom of the search results to see searches related eg for the Phrase “Oil and Gas in the North Sea”, these are some suggested searches, note the bolded words!

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3. How to Optimise those Images

Embed youtube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=701&v=h2Zaj0CAUoU

Images tend to be either forgotten or there is not enough time in the day to correct optimise images, however, follow these golden rules you won’t go far wrong;

1. Rename the file name of the image to incorporate the keyword and describe the image naturally

2. Include the keyword in the description in the Image Alt text

3. Optimise, optimise the image file size to make it the smallest possible file size

 

4. Improve Page Download Speed For Your Visitors

image optimisation guidelines image

As the screenshot above shows from the Webmaster Tools Guidelines, page speed is vitally important and influences rankings because of the reasons given above, therefore, what can a website owner realistically do as they don’t control server hosting or website code? The biggest area is simply image optimisation. Most webmasters or content editors do not spend nearly enough time reducing the file size of an image to its optimum file size. The following tools can help diagnose whether you have an issue eg http://www.webpagetest.org/, https://gtmetrix.com/and https://developers.google.com/speed/, however, big images identified using these tools can be dealt with tools like this http://home.arcor.de/shld/thejpegreducer/ which will reduce the size of jpegs.

 

5. Why Regular Checking for Broken 404 Pages Matters

The larger the website is the chances are your website will have broken pages still indexed in Google. For ecommerce sites, this is a real issue because of the number of old products that may have been deleted. In other industries such as sales or recruitment where staff turnover can be high, ex members of staff profile pages are often deleted and not 301 redirected. Although there is no clear evidence that broken pages that do not carry external links or social sharing affect rankings, they are referred to in Google’s Design and Content Guidelines eg “Check for broken links and correct HTML” meaning this matters. There are many tools out there to check for broken pages including websites where you can simply enter the URL eg http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/ . It’s not a bad idea to check Webmaster Tools to see what Google states as the tool will also tell the live page that is linking to the broken page meaning you can fix the link on this too.

Now it’s your turn to Implement

Hopefully the above tips make sense and they should be easy to put into practice without too much difficulty. To reiterate I have tried to make them non technical allowing anyone with HTML experience to implement.