SEO Tricks and their Terrible Misuses
Here is a question- “Does SEO marketing work?”
And here is the answer- “Yes.”
The problems with SEO marketing strategies which have stirred a rumbling of disgruntled doubters in recent months are, so to say, not a problem with the umbrella, or with the rain, but that so many of us in this metaphorical mistake are holding the parasol sideways. Like with anything, if you use it wrong, it doesn’t seem to perform as advertised. Whether it’s an issue of content backing up the favorable position, the structure of one’s website, the social media influence or a dozen other factors, dissecting SEO is like picking apart the water in an ocean. But here are the infamous problems SEO marketers have come across, and how they tend in the end to turn sour.
Lost in Digital Space
The Internet may be a nebulous, ethereal wealth of near infinite data and possibilities, but chances are that your business definitely has a concrete, and very physical address. The problem with marketing on the Internet is one print ads never needed to think about. Wherever your business is, you’ll advertise everywhere it is not if you aren’t careful. If your business is digitally based and doesn’t need local attention, great! But remember that your website is only in English. Are you physically based in Japan? Great! But don’t forget that not too many South Americans are going to travel all the way there to give you their patronage just because you came up first on Google. The keywords you use are valid all over the world when they only pertain to the basics, so get specific.
And don’t forget that the larger your digital footprint is, the more important it is to anchor that footprint somewhere in the real world. But this also makes it easier to establish yourself as a local business. Specificity can mean the difference between being lost in the shuffle to shining through. Once you remember the markets you’re specifically trying to impress, remember our next point…
Keywords Kill… Your Optimization Rate!
It’s true, some keywords get all the love. But unless your Apple or Microsoft, you’re probably not going to win the battle for first page with “Computer.” Just as a New York clothing company won’t win with just “Manhattan”, it won’t be able to keep up with every one else who uses “clothing”, or even “Manhattan clothing”. These words are too big, and the price you have to be willing to pay might be too. But specific can mean small, and while optimization is meant to get exposure, some companies are blinded in the pursuit of the first page showcase, and forget it also means you need to capitalize on your exposure. These marketers have, over time, developed a few aggravating tricks to force this shallow success.
For example, reading this very article, you can see how we won’t easily drive up its own SEO placement by overly hanging on keywords past their reasonable use due to the variety of this author’s versatile vocabulary. We could have included “keyword” and “SEO” into every sentence if we wanted to, but that wouldn’t make for a very readable blog. Yet another, more shameful tactic some sites hide or even blatantly flaunt is the stuffing of their pages with keyword copy to drive up the ranking for a particular phrase. If you’ve ever read an article that was so low quality you wondered how it came up in your search so quickly, try counting the number of times the words you searched for appeared on the page, and how many of those times start to seem redundant. While this technically will work, it does bring us to the true misuse of SEO…
The Façade Effect
Backlinking external pages within the promoted site is a great way to enlarge exposure and steal away with a little runoff from other popular websites’ SEO pull. Like any aspect of SEO, this is but a single factor, but it works identically to keyword optimization. Any Bing or Google search for specific sites will usually yield the most immediately relevant content. But along with them, pages upon pages of results appear, including a favored few who linked to the relevant article or company site within their own article. In fact, we do it in this very blog. Done right, it not only works, it will make sense within the context of the writing. But for all the practical use this can provide to tenacious bloggers and informative writers in digital space it can also lead to the old misstep of the first SEO marketers, which would result in what we’ll call “The Façade Effect”. In a deluge of keywords, inbound links, low quality content, etc., the obsession with high-on-the-page placement can wind up pulling a great conversion rate, but a low ROI. The moment a user clicks through the successful SEO campaign threshold and realizes the result itself is essentially empty and useless content, a façade of data strategies with no stick on the other side, the investment turns sour. Like a varnish on rot, this kind of content is immediately recognizable to the modern user- which is exactly the issue. Proper SEO campaigns are designed with a sense of belonging in their high spot. Best executed, the user should feel that it is only right that the first result is in the coveted placement. It’s just another example of the age old adage- Content is king.
Know any other heinous SEO sins? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @Connatix.