Posted by randfish

It’s tough to declare it, but many of us still practice outdated SEO tactics in the sentiment that they still have a great deal of positive affect. In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand gently determines us straight and offers up a series of replacing activities that will go much farther toward moving the needle. Share your own tips and favorites in specific comments!

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a brand-new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to go back in time to the prehistoric epoch and talking here a bunch of “dinosaur” tactics, things that SEOs still do, many of us still do, and we probably shouldn’t.

We need to supplant and retire a lot of these tactics. So I’ve “ve got five” tactics, but there’s a lot more, and in fact I’d adored to hear from some of you on some of yours.

Dino Tactic# 1: AdWords/ Keyword Planner-based keyword research

But the first one we’ll begin with is something we’ve talked about a few times here — AdWords and Keyword Planner-based keyword research. So you know there’s a cluster of problems with the metrics in there, but I still read a lot of folks starting their keyword research there and then expanding into other tools.

Replace it with clickstream data-driven tools with Difficulty and CTR%

My suggestion would be start with a broader set if you maybe can. If you have its own budget, replace this with something that is driven by clickstream data, like Ahrefs or SEMrush or Keyword Explorer. Even Google Search Suggest and related huntings plus Google Trends tend to be better at capturing more of this.

Why it doesn’t work

I think is just because AdWords obscures so many keywords that they don’t believe it to be commercially relevant. It’s too inaccurate, specially the volume data. If you’re actually creating an AdWords campaign, the volume data get slightly more in terms of its granularity, but we acquired it is still highly incorrect as compared as to when you actually pass that campaign.

It’s too imprecise, and it lacks a bunch of critical metrics, including impediment and click-through rate percentage, which you’ve got to know in order to prioritize keywords effectively.

Dino Tactic# 2: Subdomains and separate lands for SERP domination

Next up, subdomains and separate arenas for SERP domination. So classically, if you wanted to own the first page of Google search results for a branded query or an unbranded query, perhaps you simply want to try and wholly dominate, it used to be the case that one of ways and means to do this was to add in a cluster of subdomains to your website or register some separate lands so that you’d be able to control that top 10.

Why it doesn’t work

What has happened recently, though, is that Google has started giving priority to multiple subpages in a single SERP from a single land. You can see this for example with Yelp on virtually any restaurant-related pursuits, or with LinkedIn on a lot of business topic and job-related searches.

You can see it with Quora on a cluster of question mode pursuits, where they’ll “re coming” for all of them, or Stack Overflow, where they come up for a lot of engineering and development-related questions.

Replace it with barnacle SEO and subfolder hosted content

So one of the better ways to do this nowadays is with barnacle SEO and subfolder hosted content, meaning you don’t have to put your content on a separate subdomain in order to grade multiple times in the same SERP.

Barnacle SEO also super handy because Google is passing a lot of benefit to some of these websites that host content you can create or generate and profiles you can create and make. That’s a really good way to go. This is mostly only because of this alter from the subdomains being the way to get into SERPs multiple times to individual pages lies in the fact that route.

Dino Tactic# 3: Prioritizing number 1 rankings over other traffic-driving SEO techniques

Third, prioritizing number 1 rankings over other traffic-driving SEO techniques. “Its probably” one of the most common “dinosaur” tactics I check, where a lot of folks who are familiar with the SEO world from maybe having applied consultants or bureaux or brought it in-house 10, 15, 20 years ago are still obsessed with that number one organic ranking over everything else.

Replace it with SERP feature SEO( specially featured snippets) and long-tail targeting

In fact, that’s often a pretty poor ROI investment compared to things like SERP features, especially the featured snippet, which is getting more and more popular. It’s used in voice hunting. It oftentimes doesn’t need to come from the number one ranking result in the SERP. It can come number three, amount four, or number seven.

It can even be the result that brings back the featured snippet at the very top. Its click-through rate is often higher than number one, intending SERP aspects a big way to pas. This is not the only one, too. Image SEO, doing neighbourhood SEO when the local jam-pack seems, doing news SEO, potentially having a Twitter profile that are able rank in those results when Google depicts tweets.

And, of course, long-tail targeting, necessitating starting after other keywords that are not as competitive, whatever it is you don’t need to compete against as many tribes in order to get that number 1 grading smudge, and often, in aggregate, long posterior can be more than ranking number one for that “money” keyword, that primary keyword that you’re running after.

Why it doesn’t work

Why is this happening? Well, it’s because SERP aspects are biasing the click-through rate such that number one merely isn’t worth what it used to be, and the long tail is often just higher ROI per hour squander.

Dino Tactic# 4: Moving up rankings with connect building alone

Fourth, moving up the rankings on connection constructing alone. Again, I visualize a lot of people do this, where they’re ranking number 5, amount 10, number 20, and they suppose, “Okay, I’m ranking in the first couple of pages of Google. My next step is link build my way to the top.”

Why it no longer works on its own

Granted, historically, back in the fossil epoch, dinosaur era of being 2011, this totally run. This was “the” path to get higher rankings. Formerly you were sort of for its further consideration defined, relates would get you most of the path up to the crest. But today , not the case.

Replace it with searcher task accomplishment, UX optimization, content upgrades, and label growth

Instead I’m going to suggest you retire that and supersede it with searcher task accomplishment, which we’ve assured a cluster of people invest in optimization there and springboard their area, even with worse connects , not as high DA, all of that kind of stuff. UX optimization, get the subscribers experience down and nailing the format of the contents so that it better serves searchers.

Content upgrades, improving the actual content on the page, and label rise, associating your brand more with the topic or the keyword. Why is this happening? Well, because links alone it feels like today are just not sufficient. They’re still a powerful higher-ranking ingredient. We can’t dismiss them solely certainly.

But if you want to unseat higher ranked pages, these types of investments are often more straightforward to make and more fruitful.

Dino Tactic# 5: Haunting about keyword placement in certain labels/ areas

All right, number five. Last-place but not least, preoccupying about keyword placement in certain tags and certain areas. For instance, spending inordinate quantities of time and vitality making sure that the H1 and H2, the headline label, can contain keywords, made to ensure that the URL contains the keywords in exactly the format that wishes to with the hyphens, recurring text one particular number of periods in the contents, made to ensure that headlines and titles are structured in certain ways.

Why it( kind of) doesn’t work

It’s not that this doesn’t study. Certainly there’s a bare minimum. We’ve got to have our keyword used in the title. We emphatically crave it in the headline. If that’s not in an H1 tag, I think we can live with that. I think that’s absolutely fine. Instead I would urge you to move some of that same obsession that you had with perfecting those tags, get the last 0.01% of value out of those into pertained keywords and related topics, made to ensure that the body content its utilization and explains the subjects, specific topics, the words and words that Google knows searchers associate with a given topic.

My favorite lesson of this is if you’re trying to rank for “New York neighborhoods” and you have a page that doesn’t include the word Brooklyn or Manhattan or Bronx or Queens or Staten Island, your chances of grading are much, much worse, and you can get all the links and the perfect keyword targeting in your H1, all of that material, but if you are not using those vicinity terms that Google clearly can associate with the topic, with the searcher’s inquiry, you’re probably not going to rank.

Replace it with preoccupying over related keywords and topics

This is true no matter what you’re trying to rank for. I don’t care if it’s blue-blooded shoes or men’s watches or B2B SaaS products. Google cares much more of determining whether the contents solves the searcher’s inquiry. Related topics, related keywords are often correlated with large-hearted higher-rankings betterments when we see folks undertake them.

I was talking to an SEO a few weeks ago who did this. They only audited across their locate, obtained the 5 to 10 terms that they felt they were missing from the contents, added those into the content intelligently, adding them to the content in such a way that they were actually descriptive and helpful, and then they appreciated rankings shoot up with nothing else , no other operate. Actually, really impressive material.

So take some of these dino tactics, try retiring them and supplanting them with some of these modern ones, and see if your results don’t come out better too. Search presented to your thoughts on other dino tactics in the comments. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top 10 hottest parts of SEO news, gratuities, and rad relates uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of material you don’t had a chance to hunt down but want to read!

Read more: