SEO

Dinosaur SEO Tactics that Do Not Belong In Any SEO Strategy Today!

Do you know about the meteor that hit the Earth millions of years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs and yet people still talk about them. The same can be said about certain ancient SEO tactics and strategies. They’ve been around for ages; seem to be too entrenched to ever change and simply don’t work anymore because of the ever-evolving Google Algorithm.

To continue the metaphor, this blog post is essentially a meteor that will wipe away dinosaur SEO tactics that are holding your website back from achieving digital greatness!

Here’s what you need to be wary of:

Only Focusing On Number One Rankings

This is the Tyrannosaurus Rex of SEO— it’s the oldest and the baddest— it will eat your site alive if you don’t avoid it. Being number one on SERPs is undeniably important; but it’s not the only strategy there is.

You’ll probably find hundreds of SEO ‘experts’ who talk about the number one organic search ranking as the only thing you should focus on. Let’s be real. There are almost 2 billion (!) websites out there today. The chances of being first on every keyword that’s relevant to your business are very slim. Is all hope lost then? Should you just get a GoDaddy refund and give up on your dreams? Not a chance! There are ways to smartly gain visibility.

Let’s get down to brass tacks; you’ll probably never get a ROI on the amount of money you spent getting to the top of a SERP. What should you do instead? Focus on other SERP features; for example, the featured snippet.

The featured snippet is used very often with voice search; and unlike traditional searches, voice search can even choose from the 10th number on the SERP list. What’s more, click-through rates on voice searches are astronomically high.

What are some other things you can focus on? How about Image SEO so you get ranked on Google Images? Or focusing on long-tail keywords that are both voice friendly (we tend to search with longer phrases when using our voice) and don’t have as much competition. In a similar vein, make those long-tail keywords as local and specific as possible.

Keyword Research Based On AdWords/Keyword Planner

Google AdWords data used to be the holy grail of SEO and keyword research. Even today, while websites have diversified, it always seems to be the first point of entry. Many SEO optimization sites still harp on ad nauseam about its accuracy.

The truth? The numbers and queries it presents don’t fully reflect everything that’s happening in the backend of Google Search.

AdWords and Keyword Planner have a problem. They sometimes group certain keywords on a whim, even if it does make ‘sense’ to their algorithm. ‘Search Engine Optimization’ and ‘SEO’ are collapsed into the same category, and show the same monthly search and advisable bid price numbers.

This is exacerbated when, as a business, you optimize for both, not knowing they have been collapsed into each other, and expect double the click-through rates because the graphs shown don’t unbundle the two terms, even though they have different traffic.

Keyword Planner also collapses keywords that ‘stem’ from each other. Words like ‘grab’ ‘grabs’ ‘grabbing,’ etc. all show the same amount of traffic, when it is quite evident that this should be impossible.

What’s more, the average monthly searches shown are too broad, they don’t even align with Google’s own Trends tool, and it hides keywords it believes don’t have strong commercial intent.

All of this sounds like a major pickle. What are you to do then, instead?

Clickstream to the rescue! What is clickstream you ask? At its most basic level, it’s all the web pages a user visits, and the entire ‘stream’ of clicks they generate as they do that. So what’s the hype about? Traditionally, clickstream data was only available if you owned a domain. With recent algorithmic advances, though, we can now accurately construct this information, thus having a much more detailed picture of how people conduct their searches, what keywords they search, etc.

Tools like SEMrush, Keyword Explorer, and Ahrefs are a godsend for this. They show you accurate difficulty and CTR percentages, proper keyword traffic, and don’t bundle ‘similar’ keywords.

Being Obsessive About Keyword Placement

Too many people make the mistake of worrying too much about H1s and H2s, keyword placement in those tags and areas, making sure keywords follow the exact syntax that AdWords told you, etc. As with the last section, there is no doubt that these things are still important to an extent. It’s just that this obsession is better suited to a million other things that will actually yield results.

So while, yes, you need to have the keyword used in the title, it’s more important to focus on things that Google actually considers significant. As of now, this is giving search engine users the most personalized and accurate results. This means focusing on related keywords as well as the main keywords.

For example, your business could be selling garage doors in Houston and isn’t listing despite you getting everything about the title, H1, and H2 right to a tee. If you instead start optimizing for areas around Houston like Cinco Ranch, Greatwood, and Sugar Land, your ranking will shoot up far beyond what ‘accurate’ keyword placement can do.

Separate Domains/Subdomains

Some brands aren’t content with just having the first SERP rank. They want all 10! If you’re looking to completely destroy your competition, historically, you would put in a whole lot of subdomains to your site or buy separate ones so that you can have a listing for each.

However, Google now lists a bunch of queries (branded or unbranded) from the same domain together. Think to when you search for a generic question, and you get 10 Quora questions bundled as one result. This makes it much harder to have 10 listings.

What do you do if you’re an overachiever, then? As Captain Haddock would say, “blistering barnacles!” No, we don’t mean you should go fishing. In fact, we’re talking about barnacle SEO.

Just like a barnacle attaches itself on a ship, it’s useful sometimes when you’re a smaller site to attach yourself to another, bigger site.

Let’s go all in with the dinosaur metaphor.

Imagine you own and operate a dinosaur museum and just can’t seem to rank on SERPs. The fact of the matter is there are too many young kids searching for dinosaurs for your museum to ever make it. What do you do then? How about contributing dinosaur pictures to Wikipedia pages? Or answering questions with your official account on Quora? Wherever you see a gap in a larger website, fill it with content that’s branded as yours.

Another way to do this is focus SEO resources on hosted blog platforms and hosted subfolders. Blog platforms like Medium and Tumblr have networks that your site may not have otherwise, and optimizing your content on them will potentially give you more listings.

A hosted subfolder is a good idea if you already have a lot of domain authority. You can put your blog in a hosted subfolder, giving it the leverage of your existing domain, while also helping its ranking through relevant quality content.

Search Berg is one of the leading small business SEO service providers in the United States. We recently completed our 15,000th SEO project and have a bevy of happy customers who are ranking higher than they ever imagined. We have a highly experienced team of SEO experts who always stay up to date with the latest SEO trends.

Get in touch with us and we’ll help transform your website and brand’s presence online.

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Aaron Tylor

Aaron Tylor

Aaron Tylor is a Senior Account Manager at SearchBerg with 7 years of practical hands-on experience in the SEO industry. He regularly contributes to the SearchBerg Blog and on other SEO platforms. His goal is to get published on Moz and Search Engine Land.