As Google’s algorithms become increasingly complex, new digital marketing strategies become necessary. There are a wealth of strategies that go into creating a successful online presence, and the techniques of yesterday are not always applicable today. Continuing to rely on outdated Internet marketing strategies can diminish your revenue, kill your search engine rankings, and even lead to more serious penalties, so now is the time to separate the wheat from the chaff. Here are 10 Internet marketing strategies that may be doing you more harm than good.
10. Email Spam
Gradually building an in-house email list that consists of people who legitimately want to receive email from your organization remains a highly effective marketing strategy. Buying or renting an email database, however, is not. In fact, these days email spam is such a problem that unwilling recipients may intentionally avoid or disparage your brand out of spite. In 2016, quality is the name of the game, and that includes your leads.
9. Keyword Stuffing
In the past, it was possible to increase search engine rankings simply by cramming a keyword numerous times into a body of text. Those days are long gone. Excessive keyword stuffing may compromise your search engine rankings and even contribute to penalties if Google thinks you’re engaging in webspam. Play it safe and create clear and concise content that flows naturally.
8. Overly Optimized Internal Links
On the same page, Google’s Penguin algorithm can also detect when there are multiple links on your page pointing to another page using the same anchor text. High-quality link building remains an effective SEO strategy, but trying to over-optimize your own website may only bring you down. Your internal links should be organized and useful. Think a well-planned city grid, not a labyrinth. You want your traffic to be able to navigate seamlessly and intuitively.
7. Low-Quality Links
These days, it’s not enough to just think about your own website; you also need to consider the company that you keep. If you have unsavory websites linking to yours, you may end up being penalized. Some red flags to look for when link building include low-authority websites, websites with a bad reputation, irrelevant websites, and anything that even vaguely resembles a link scheme.
6. Reciprocating Links
Link exchanges were once one of the most common ways for webmasters to team up for a common benefit. While there is certainly nothing wrong with two related websites linking to one another, too many reciprocating links can appear unnatural to Google’s algorithms. A better strategy is to contact relevant, high-quality websites directly, and request that they consider linking to your website.
5. Article Marketing/Content Farms
Legitimate link-building tends to be a time-consuming and challenging process, and if something looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is. The days of relying on content mills to churn out barely legible articles as a link-building strategy are long gone. Populate your website with well-written, relevant content that will withstand the test of time and the scrutiny of your readers, as well as Google’s ever-changing algorithms. That brings us to the next point:
4. Deceptive Content
Today’s consumers are smarter and more aware of their options than ever. The average web user is certainly able to see through half-truths, fake testimonials, misleading jargon, and other corporate strategies. Today’s modern successful companies recognize that transparency and directness are the way to gain recurring customers and clients. Be up front in all aspects of your business, and don’t dig yourself into holes that are going to be difficult to escape down the line.
3. Pointless Press Releases
We have all heard the story of the boy who cried wolf. Unless you have some real, genuinely exciting news to share, you should be issuing a press release. If you really want to shine some light on your organization, do something newsworthy. People can tell if you are making a mountain out of a molehill, so make sure that your next grand announcement is in fact grand. Press releases are a great way to build brand awareness, but your PR strategy should be based on something concrete – not just the fact that you exist.
2. Black-Hat SEO
According to Joel Gross, CEO at Coalition Technologies, it is absolutely crucial that you steer clear of black-hat SEO practices in all forms. Your SEO strategies should be rooted in quality, and if something seems like a scheme, then avoid it. Even if you notice your numbers climbing now, it is almost guaranteed that your website is only going to suffer later. In today’s online climate, there are no quick fixes or workarounds.
1. Forgetting the Golden Rule
What is the golden rule of online marketing? Content is king. Yes, your site needs content, and lots of it, but your focus should not be on word counts or keyword density. Your focus should be on the end user. Don’t get so hung up on populating your website with copy that you forget to provide an outstanding user experience. Words on their own are just noise, and they are no longer sufficient to secure rankings, make sales, and close deals. You need to get your audience excited, and you need to do it better than the competition.
So what are you waiting for?
Carolyn Clarke is a mother of two who also works as a freelance writer from her home in Seattle, Washington. She enjoys writing about the latest fitness trends and technology, as well as gardening and home cooking.