Naturally, business owners want the best for their businesses, and as a result, they’re doing a ton of research to determine the best strategies and tactics to propel them forward. They’re reading books, listening to podcasts, and installing plugins or using tools that help them appear higher in search engine results pages. However, the key to researching is understanding what tips to follow and which to avoid. In the race to beat your competition, it’s not uncommon to start to cut corners or using popular strategies that aren’t exactly by-the-book. Here are four marketing trends that you definitely shouldn’t be following:
As a startup, chances are you’re trying to run a lean operation. Because of this, you might do your best to try and accomplish everything in-house. However, the chances of you being a jack-of-all-trades in business is slim to none. Teaching yourself website design or SEO can take weeks and upwards of months, and even then, some mistakes could slip under the radar. After all, you aren’t a professional. If your SEO isn’t improving your position in search engine ranking, or you’re suddenly experiencing Magento issues you don’t know how to fix, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to outsource some talent. Agencies and freelancers that are professionals in the areas where you need help can save you plenty of manual, laborious hours, and get things done right the first time.
To land on the coveted front page of Google, many businesses have taken their “keyword” strategies too far. Although it’s very important to use your keywords throughout your copywriting and blog posts, you should do so carefully. Use a keyword density tool checker to make sure your target words don’t hover outside of the 2.5% to 5% range. Anything above that would start to feel unnatural.
Additionally, keyword stuffing is something Google keeps a watchful eye on—if you’re caught trying to stuff your articles, you might be penalized by the search engine, knocking your website off of the search engines indefinitely. Google is highly user-focused, and doesn’t appreciate you trying to trick them, or trick users. At an SXSW conference in 2017, Google’s Matt Cutts warned webmasters about the dangers of keyword stuffing:
“We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO—versus those making great content and a great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”
Depending on Auto-Blogging
Auto-blogging and syndication is when your blog automatically pulls content via RSS feeds. Although it was a popular strategy when the feature first rolled out, Google has since begun to penalize websites that are solely built on auto-blogging, or rely on it too much. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with auto-blogging in curated moderation. Mostly, you should be writing original content. Furthermore, relying too heavily on auto-blogging strips you of your brand voice. There’s no clear way to shine through with your own personality and uniqueness.
Article spinning software takes an existing article and automatically “spins” it to spit out a similar-looking article. It achieves this by replacing the article’s words and phrases with synonyms and similar phrases. The primary goal when people use article spinning software is that it hopes to trick search engines into believing a particular article isn’t duplicate content, and saves the blogger time from having to manually rewrite and paraphrase a previously published article.
However, article spinning is one of the many shady SEO tactics that people should stay away from. First and foremost, it often provides zero value to the reader. Therefore, your bounce rates will be high and retention rates will be low. Spun articles don’t make logical sense to a human reader. Take a look at the previous two sentences, when put through an article spinner:
“Consequently, your skip rates will be high and standards for dependability will be low. Spun articles don’t sound good to a human peruser.”
As you can tell, this doesn’t sound natural at all, and it becomes clear that your business isn’t committed to putting out quality work.