Online marketers are aware of how harmful Black Hat tactics are for SEO and would never try to practice it. Everyone implementing SEO makes sure that they follow White Hat practices or at least Gray Hat. But, the most concerning aspect is that all White Hat SEO strategies are not as good as one would presume, and some strategies can adversely affect SEO performance in the long run. Many SEO strategies are quite easy to implement, which makes it very attractive, but these are quite flattering and never as good as it appears to be.
Choosing an easy way out can make marketers complacent, and it affects the performance of the SEO campaign. Here are some easy to implement SEO strategies that marketers should avoid.
One size fits all strategy
According to Magnetize Me, an SEO company, many SEO agencies replicate the strategy for all clients without considering the specific needs. This one-size-fits-all approach consists of going through the first round of page optimizations and then moving on to the next step of blogging and arranging for links by paying for it. It is like doing the essential things because it is easy to implement, but this does not mean that it is the best always. This type of strategy might be effective in the short term, and when there is no competition, but in the long run, the website will experience a growth-plateau.
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The way out from the stagnation that happens due to adapting stereo-typed task-based strategies is to find unique ways of delivering value to the audience you target. Look at the strategy adopted by your competitor and investigate their top-ranking content to understand their approach toward content strategy. List down all the strategies of the competitor and identify the gap in content that provides opportunities for you to make use of it. Create content based on the findings to serve your audience at every stage of the buying funnel.
The exercise is time-consuming but fruitful. It also demonstrates how much you care for your stakeholders.
Pointing at algorithm updates as the cause for poor performance
Sometimes performance may indeed dip suddenly if there is an algorithm update, but it is a mistake to blame it always because there can be other reasons for it. Since algorithm updates happen more often nowadays, it is easy to point fingers at it as the cause for a drop in ranking and organic traffic. But blaming it blindly does more harm than good because the real reasons remain unexplored, and the problem persists.
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Performance and ranking can suffer for many reasons – seasonality, significant content changes, competitor changes, new technical issues affecting the website, and manual actions. Rather than finding an easy way out by pointing to algorithm updates for all performance-related problems, it is sensible to dig deeper to find out the real cause that can help the campaign to get back on track quickly.
A sudden drop in traffic often recovers on its own, and only if you do not see improvement after some time that you must start investigating without any prejudice towards algorithm updates.
Same content for all locations
Many companies that have multi-location operations create large websites that have separate pages for each location. Creating different content for each page is a tedious job, and an easy way is to use the same content copy for all pages that many companies try to follow. This tactic does not pay as it helps in no way to improve ranking. For better local ranking performance, it is always advisable to create a unique copy for each location page that enhances the relevance of content and conveys value to the audience.
Driving the strategies with automated auditing tools
Using automated tools for driving strategy is never the right thing to do. There is a trend of many SEO professionals using automated audit tools when conducting initial SEO audits and then depend on it blindly to guide their global SEO strategy. This is, again, a one-size-fits-all approach that does not work at all.
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To create effective SEO strategies, you must keep asking questions that can guide you through the process. But these questions must not be limited to the fundamental queries like who the audience is and what information they require to act, what are the bottlenecks faced by the search bots when crawling the website and is facility-optimization achieved through internal linking? However, many tools do not do anything more than asking these questions only.
Choosing the right auditing tool is vital so that it helps to take a holistic approach and tackles questions that are beyond the basics. Visualization tools are useful for analyzing the site structure. Besides ensuring that the technical structure is sound, look for content gap opportunities. Having a technically clean site gives the advantage of search engines, having it easy to discover, crawl, and render the web pages.
We know that buying links is prohibited, but still, some marketers cannot resist the temptation of paying for links to some companies that provide assured links in return. There are ways to evade Google‘s surveillance and get the links, but its usefulness will always be under doubt due to the quality of links. You might indeed get a fair number of links in this manner, but for better ranking, link quality rules over the quantity.
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Instead of treading the easy way, it is worthwhile to invest in building relationships with websites that have high Domain Authority like well-known publications to obtain links. It could attract other people to your website and enrich your link inventory. Guest posting and engaging in other PR activities will help to reach out to the right sites that provide quality links and strengthen your link building campaign.
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Being scared to ask questions is a huge drawback in tackling specific problems or developing strategies that can be a big hindrance to access knowledge, which you must overcome to drive the SEO campaign in the right direction.