Out with the old and in with the new. With 2019 in full swing, you’ve probably done one of two things: charged into the new year and are intent on keeping your resolutions or you’ve already fallen back into your old habits.
Whatever your resolutions, staying the course and not making the same mistake more than once is important. And if you happen to be in marketing, this adage definitely goes double for you. SEO implementation, like another marketing tactic, continues to evolve. Sometimes, it seems like overnight the rules can change and what worked yesterday just isn’t cutting it today. In the case of SEO, Google helps that by changing their algorithm on a regular basis, which immediately changes the work of the SEO marketer.
With that said, let’s take a look at five SEO tactics to stop in 2019:
1. Keyword Stuffing
Just like hidden links or intrusive advertising, keyword stuffing will also reward you nothing but penalties. Copy that has the same term over and over is not only annoying but totally useless. They only thing users see is someone trying too hard to rank with a specific keyword.
Keyword stuffing takes away from the natural flow of a post and replaces it with double talk. Previously, keyword density was determined by the number of times a word or phrase appeared in the copy.
Now, the only way to rank high is to utilize long-tail keywords, which are variations of your chosen keyword and strategically place them throughout the copy. Creating high-quality content should always take top priority. Great content organically increases traffic to your site and builds authority.
2. Duplicate Anchor Text
Anchor text is supposed to help both users and search engines understand what the web page is about. Unfortunately, far too many people use the exact same wording as their primary keywords, and this can cause the same type of penalty as keyword stuffing. Since anchor text is the highlighted visible text in link form, you have wiggle room to get creative. It’s important to emphasize your target keywords in a way that’s not redundant.
3. Subpar User Experience
In 2019, there’s no way around creating optimal user experiences. Google, Bing and every other search engines work against websites that don’t create a great user experience. Websites need to be well-designed, easily navigable and organized. Make it a point to research what your audience wants and needs and make their time on your site as engaging as possible. Just like you, your audience wants information at their fingertips.
4. Intrusive Advertising
Advertisements are an excellent way to make a little side money from your website. However, you need to be sure they aren’t doing more harm than good. Interstitial ad placement, particularly for mobile devices, can take up the entire screen and doesn’t always allow users to opt out. Not only does this shed a negative light your company, but it also works against search engines’ strategy of page optimization for their audience.
While it’s perfectly okay to venture into advertising, make sure you keep things low key. Ad placement should not interfere with the user’s ability to navigate other pages on your website. You may find that affiliate marketing produces better results when compared to interstitial ads.
5. Unnatural Links
Linking building for increased traffic is a no-brainer, however, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Yes, it’s a fundamental part of SEO, but if you’re randomly placing on the website in an attempt to increase traffic, you may pay the price.
As fundamental as link building is, using plugins and software that have links embedded within them is manipulative. In addition, hidden links, or backlinks in hidden text, which isn’t visible to the user is also underhanded. Search engines see them as backlinks even if they aren’t accessible to the user. Sure, everyone wants to rank on the first page, but to win over your target audience and Google, make your link-building efforts are legit as possible.
So there you have it. The top five SEO tactics to stop that can critically wound, if not kill your marketing efforts in 2019. Building credibility is what sells; all it takes is a little creativity.