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Just Say No to These Outdated SEO Tactics
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Digital Marketing

Say No to These Outdated SEO Tactics

By Mike Ramsey

Digital marketing and SEO are ever-changing. Strategies that were extremely effective just a few years ago are nowadays less influential, if not completely ineffective. Your time and resources are precious. So, in an attempt to help your firm more wisely invest both, here are SEO tactics that, while once effective, do not carry the same weight today.

1. Citation Consistency Emphasis and Priority

Citations are online business listings that most often contain your law firm’s name, address and phone number. Around the year 2014, the quantity, quality and data consistency of citations was an important part of ranking in local searches in Google, as well as other search engines. However, almost every year since, the weight that Google places on citations has decreased substantially.

While having a healthy number of citations with consistent business information is good and can be beneficial, it simply isn’t as important as it used to be. That said, there is a handful of top-tier citations that are important and more influential than others. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Google My Business
  2. Yelp
  3. Bing Places
  4. Apple Maps
  5. Facebook

Industry experts recommend filling out these listings as completely and accurately as possible.

Hundreds of citation websites have popped up over the years. Having your website’s listing on those sites could provide some value — but likely not enough value to make it a high priority. These lower-quality citation sites are generally easy to spot. Look for really poorly designed websites and URLs that are something like “localbizsitedirectory.biz” or “listurwebsitehere.com.”

2. Keyword Density, or Stuffing

During earlier phases of Google’s algorithm, preferential treatment was given to content that had the search term in it multiple times. For example, if someone wanted their website to rank for “Lindsay Lohan” their content would look something like the following:

“Linsday Lohan went to jail. Lindsay Lohan didn’t like jail because Lindsay Lohan isn’t the type of person that would like jail. Lindsay Lohan, Lindsay Lohan, Lindsay Lohan.”

For years now, Google has filtered out — either by removing or assigning a lower rank to — sites that purposefully and unnaturally stuff keywords into their content. Be assured that Google will continue to find ways to identify and reward higher-quality content.

That being said, when writing content to perform in Google searches, the desired keywords and variations should still be included. Instead of keyword stuffing, focus more on creating content that is helpful to readers. Include keywords and phrases, but do so sparingly and naturally.

3. Blogging for the Sake of Blogging

The SEO catchphrase “content is king” was heard at every SEO conference from 2012 to 2015. Blogging was a monthly, weekly or even daily SEO tactic with the aim of constantly giving Google crawlable content and be an actively expanding internet entity. While content is still valuable and necessary in SEO, experts today tend to agree that there needs to be a larger emphasis on creating higher-quality content rather than sheer quantity.

At Nifty, the approach is to only create blogs or landing pages if there is a specific search query to target that could lead to a meaningful site visit.

4. Duplicate Content

This SEO tactic proved very effective prior to 2011. The idea was to create one good piece of content. The next step was to take that content and simply swap out the main targeted keyword the content is targeting. For example, you would create a page to target Atlanta car accident lawyer. Then you’d simply reuse the only slightly modified content to target different keywords like Smyrna car accident lawyer, Conyers car accident lawyer, Carrollton car accident lawyer and so on.

Today this tactic could be detrimental to a website’s success in Google searches.

Google’s goal is to provide the best information and experience for the user. A site containing nearly identical content on multiple pages is not helpful or a great experience for a user. To help provide a better user experience and combat the spammy tactic, Google updated its algorithm in 2011 to filter out low-quality content. As a result, duplicate and thin content either showed lower in Google search results or not at all.

Keep Up to Invest Wisely

Many of these tactics at one point were extremely effective. However, SEO trends, tactics and strategies change constantly. It’s important to stay current on them so you don’t waste time and resources on antiquated methods.

More Digital Marketing and SEO Tips from Attorney at Work

“Eight Questions a Legal Marketer Needs to Ask About SEO Strategy” by Walter McCorkle

“Look Beyond SEO for True Engagement” by Susan Kostal

“The State of Legal Search Marketing ” by Mike Ramsey

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Mike Ramsey Mike Ramsey

Mike Ramsey is President of Nifty Ventures and founder of Nifty Marketing and Nifty Law. The Nifty Law team brings digital marketing, website design, SEO and content marketing to firms nationwide. He is the author of “Winning at Local Search” and a partner at LocalU, which provides conferences in the realm of local search marketing. A speaker at marketing events such as Avvo Lawyernomics, Mozcon and Pubcon, Mike has been featured on Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and SEOmoz. Follow him on Twitter @mikeramsey.

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