Kill SEO in 6 Easy Steps
Yes, marketers, this is a tongue-in-cheek article. No brand really wants to kill SEO. But they do, and here are the six steps marketers take to kill their SEO.
Digital marketing specialist Qamar Zaman and SEO consultant Amanda G. Watlington, PhD, provide advice about what marketers are doing wrong and how they can fix it.
Yesterday, Zaman tallied the myths marketers still believe about SEO and told Target Marketing:
Marketers Think ‘The More Links, the Better’
Just like keyword-packing is no longer cool, simply stuffing a site full of links isn’t, either.
Zaman says: “Google trains their algorithm to hunt down and penalize sites that rely on large amounts of spammy backlinks for their authority — but quantity is not quality, and internet bots can tell the difference.”
Brands Believe Google Doesn’t Understand Synonyms
Google understands synonyms, Zaman says. He adds: “Many SEOs oversaturate your blog posts with exact keyword matches, but Google is getting smarter at recognizing synonyms every day. Make sure your website copy offers true value to your audience, or you'll lose your Google ranking and your customer's interest.”
Marketers Tout ‘All That Matters Is Traffic’
So did that traffic stay? Or bounce? Sure, SEO can get your site found. But to stay ranked, your site has to provide relevant content to visitors who then want to stay, Zaman says.
He tells Target Marketing:
“Traffic is important, but the overall customer journey through your site is critical for conversion.”
Target Marketing blogger Watlington tackled the topic for all search engines in her March 20 post, “3 Quick Ways to Sabotage SEO Efforts.” Here are her SEO no-nos:
Marketers Changing Their Brand Names
Rebranding is a great idea. But maybe changing the brand name is not, says Watlington. Marketers build up SEO with one name and, as she writes:
“If your site is a commerce one, there is more to lose. Google gives brand names preference in the search results, so you will be found for the new name on the door; however, this does not account for the broader loss of name recognition in the marketplace.”
Brands Changing Their Product Offerings
Watlington isn’t talking about seasonal product offerings when she says changing product offerings can ruin SEO.
“You cannot go easily from selling gardening supplies to quilting fabrics without an appropriate segue. Before extinguishing a product offering, try adding the new offering and devise ways to inform your audience that you are shifting. This lets your content, links and traffic ramp up organically without injuring the site’s overall reputation.”
Brands Altering Their Target Audiences
Marketers build up SEO with one audience, which comes to it in search of a particular kind of content. Switching audiences is about more than keywords, hyperlinked text and legacy pages once the former two are altered. It’s about the SEO showing up for one audience when the newer desired audience is another. Stay relevant, she says.
“When there is a mismatch of site content and keyword emphasis to target audience, search traffic declines. If there is an ambivalence as to who your target customer is, this will be apparent as well in diminished, sub-optimal results.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section.
Related story: 3 Quick Ways to Sabotage SEO Efforts