4 Outdated SEO Practices You Shouldn’t Be Using Anymore

Online marketing is constantly evolving and has really become about creating a great user experience and one thing is for sure, best practices and metrics are not the same as they were a few years ago. Some things should not be used anymore, not just because they cease to be as effective, but also because Google is now penalizing websites who use do use these old practices (Google is no dummy). Here are 4 heavy-hitters that could cost your website rankings:

High Keyword Density

There is no longer a need to practice “keyword stuffing” and this is certainly not an effective tactic anymore. Spammy content with keyword overkill will actually get your website penalized now which will decrease page rankings and possibly even get your page removed. Instead, you should be creating valuable content that incorporates keywords appropriately. You can even use long-tail keywords and synonyms as Google is able to recognize them.

High Word Count

User experience, such as how they interact with your website, is becoming more and more important as search engines become more intelligent with their algorithms. There is no exact number for optimal word count on a web page but if you want your content to rank well, then you should be creating content to fulfill a specific purpose and get your point across. Don’t worry so much about word count but rather make sure you are writing natural copy that appeases the eyes of your reader (no keyword stuffing). Quality over quantity.

Creating a Separate Web Page for Each Keyword

Having a separate page targeting a different keyword, even when they are highly similar, is now a huge Google no-no with their updates such as Hummingbird and RankBrain. Instead, you should be writing content that targets a keyword and mentions variations of that keyword throughout the content. Utilize metadata, headlines, content, etc for each page.

Using Article Spinning and Article Submissions Sites

So you would write an article, use an article spinner to in turn create tens (maybe even hundreds) of variations of that article and then you would push these article out to article directories and spam blogs that would link back to your website. Sounds good, right? Wrong. That may sound like a nice, easy link building tactic but it will severely cost your website page rankings. Sending your website to link directories and article mass production and submission would have increased your SEO ranking a few years ago because they are ways of backlinking to your website. Now, websites that use certain link networks face penalties, so it best not to do so. Instead, avoid low-quality directory submission sites and try to find a niche specific directory if you want to go that route. So it’s time to leave these old practices in the dust and get your websites SEO up-to-date! Contact Brighthaus today to find out how we can help improve your website and increase your business.

4 Alternatives to Using an Intrusive Interstitial

Google is continuously trying to prove their commitment to the mobile-first marketplace. They have been making both major and minor changes to their algorithms to better suit the behaviors and preferences of the user and one thing is for sure, users don’t like intrusive pop-ups. Brighthaus previously wrote an article about Google Cracking Down on Pop-Ups on websites that use intrusive interstitials on their mobile sites and what counts as “intrusive”. So if your site currently uses, or you were thinking about using, what is deemed an “intrusive” pop-up, what can you do instead so that your webpage doesn’t get demoted? Here are a few alternatives you can use: Switch to an exit-intent interstitial Google has made a few exceptions to their penalty list for mobile pop-ups and use of an exit-intent interstitial is one. These pop-ups appear when it appears that a user may be getting ready to leave a website. Gleam has an article where you can learn more in-depth about Why Exit Intent Pop-ups are Awesome. Use a small banner  Develop a smaller banner that does not take up as much space and can be easily dismissed by a user. This type of banner should only take up to about 10-15% of the screen like the ones here on wonderlandorganics.com: Website screenshot: https://www.wonderland-organics.com/ Use an enticing CTA near the top of your content Instead of using a pop-up at all, use a call-to-action that is placed near the top of your content to help a user complete a desired action. Here is an example of one of these CTAs on shoppigment.com that reads “Need a last minute gift? Give an e-gift card”. Website screenshot: https://www.shoppigment.com/ Use an app banner This mobile-friendly alternative will drive users to install your app and it is super easy to implement. Website screenshot: https://weather.com/ By using these alternatives to intrusive interstitials, you can possibly increase users time-on-page, pageviews per visit, and lower your bounce rates. With Google constantly working to improve search experiences for users, it is important to pay attention to changes they are making for evaluating websites and make sure your website is not affected. Contact Brighthaus today to learn more about how you can improve your websites visibility and ranking!

The Medium Move: Editorial Content vs. Ad Revenue

I was pretty startled to hear that publication company Medium.com laid off more than a third of its company due to what the CEO calls “a broken ad model.” Ev Williams, Medium’s CEO says “ad-driven media on the internet” is to blame for the company’s shortcomings. He believes that misinformation and the pressure to pump out weak content leads to a system that just doesn’t serve the people. Thus, compromising depth, originality, and quality.

It’s evident through these statements that Medium prides itself on being a publication that creates unique, high-quality content. Content that serves the user rather than an outlet for ads. Now you can see why this is a problem for Medium: by not being a site that the general public flocks to in masses, you inherently adopt a short ceiling for advertising growth. Which leads to loss in revenue, and firing employees.

Williams later added via NPR radio that he wants to move away from ad-supported content by employing an alternative model: one in which user would pay for the amount of content they read. While the idea was just thrown out there, no sources have confirmed this is the route they will be a taking. A less extraneous model, such as the subscription-based profit model could be popular amongst Medium.com and similar publications whose content tends to skew towards the likes of a loftier audience.

But how will businesses who rely on clickbait, fake news, or mediocre content adapt? While the subscription-based model might be out of the questions for publications who rely on such tactics, such as BuzzFeed.com, the hopeful future of programmatic ads still sits and the forefront of many marketers ambitions.

It’s not just Medium who feels this way. NY Times echoes similar feels on the subject, saying that valuable content served to their target audience is much more valuable than a viral piece.

One size does not fit all, and the subscription-based model definitely isn’t applicable to every type of publication. Viral cheap quality content can be great, and informative and quality content is, too! If an alternative model can be crafted to fit the needs of publication who don’t strive for mass consumption, then so be it. As advertisers and content creators, we must be mindful in that the ideas and strategies we implement effect the entire digital landscape.

Now tell me, is Medium.com’s move genius? Or just misplaced hope?