We know that you’re creating content for the benefit of your users, right? You want them to get the answers they need quickly and efficiently, and if your content happens to be strategically written to boost your search rankings, so be it. Balancing writing for user experience and SEO is a fine line every site owner is walking, but luckily Google has caught on to the importance of both of these elements lining up. These days, content should be created with user experience in mind, so why are some sites still holding onto ancient SEO writing tactics that just don’t work anymore? Let me explain why you shouldn’t use these out-of-style-tactics.
We’ve all cringed at web pages that vomit keywords and phrases, and we’ve all hit the back button on our browser as quickly as possible. These practices come from the days of SEO yore, when times were simpler and search engines just weren’t as smart as they are today (and only looked for keyword density). It was possible back then to stuff your pages with a phrase and land a top ranking, and though some people claim it can get you to the top of the SERP today, the risk just isn’t worth the return. If Google catches you stuffing keywords, they can demote your page or even remove it entirely, and even if they don’t catch you taking the easy way out, how many users do you expect to stay on a page that doesn’t offer any relevant, helpful information? Take a look at your bounce rate for the answer to that one.
Writing Bad Content
There are so many ways you can write bad SEO content, and though stuffing keywords definitely falls under that umbrella, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A good SEO plan requires that you regularly produce quality content that your users will find helpful. That means purpose. We can no longer rely on just publishing content for the sake of putting something new on our site, now we have to produce something worth reading, and more than that, we have to produce something worth reading by humans. If you’re writing awkward pages stuffed with keywords for bots to find, then you’re not writing for users…and Google will notice.
Though URLs are a minor ranking factor overall, including keywords within your URLs does have some influence. What we really care about when creating our URLs is helpfulness: good URLs help users understand where they are and what they’re reading, and helps search engines understand what this page is all about. So, don’t keep people in the dark—use URLs to keep everyone informed.
The world of digital marketing can change in seconds, and what was popular yesterday can be out in less than week. So, we SEOs have to stay on top of the changing times. This is only the beginning of some popular, out-of-style tactics I still see today. There are a lot of other offenses I couldn’t cover in a single blog post, but that’s okay because I’m actually doing an entire webinar this week on this very topic. So if you’d like to know more, register for my webinar here: The NEW Rules of SEO.