The past few years have been a rollercoaster ride for digital marketers. With Google’s notorious algorithm updates, staying on top of the SEO game was a major challenge to all, even for consistently high-ranking websites. This volatility has kept marketers on their toes, always changing their tactics to adapt to the latest guidelines and best practices of optimisation.

Along with those changes, many SEO tactics have lost their effectiveness. So if you are still using some or all of them, it’s high time to cross them out of your digital marketing plan.

Collecting links to boost rankings

Link juice used to be a huge factor for ranking high on search results. In fact, it used to be the 3rd most determining factor for rankings in 2014.

So everyone went on and hoarded links for the sake of having backlinks, without even analysing the relevancy and quality of those domains. For a while, some websites got away with this spammy tactic. It wasn’t until Penguin 2.0 was released in May 2013 that it became clear Google will no longer tolerate irrelevant backlinks.

‘Less is more’ is the new mantra webmasters and marketers should adopt. Fewer yet higher-quality backlinks are the best way to build a good link profile. Getting them is easier than you might think. There are simple link building tricks you can try to get the best quality backlinks for your website.

Filling your website with a lot of text

There is no SEO rule that says the best content are textual. Sometimes, a message can be said more clearly with an image or a video.

Search engines have already evolved to a point where they do not only pick up relevancy and quality based on what’s written on a website. Don’t forget that there are hundreds of other signals that affect your ranking factor, not just textual content.

Valuable content can be made in a variety of forms, from videos to podcasts, infographics and even online quizzes. Do a little experiment to find out what type of content your audience loves, and then give them that.

Religiously tracking your rankings

Stressing about your rankings does not help your website in any way. In fact, the notion that higher rankings mean more search traffic is a big fat lie. Sitting on top of the SERPs does not mean that people actually click on your website.

There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. You are targeting the wrong keywords
  2. The keyword you are targeting does not get much search volume
  3. Your title tags and meta description are not appealing

Fortunately, these issues can easily be resolved. You can use Google Adwords or the Keyword Planner tool to inform your keyword strategy. Also, be imaginative when crafting your meta descriptions – think about the questions and concerns people who are searching your keyword have in mind.

Obsessing over keywords

It’s 2015 and the era of keyword-stuffed content is already a thing of the past. As far as keyword-rich content is concerned, keywords need not be repeated verbatim all throughout a copy or forced into generic headlines.

Google’s algorithm now inclines toward semantics search, which is designed to produce the most relevant results to a query based on the search content, location and intent. While keywords are still important, they no longer have to be an exact match – only relevant.

The SEO landscape is ever changing. It’s not something you try to change, but something you cope with. If you are still using these obsolete strategies, stop wasting your time and focus your energy on tactics that will effectively boost your traffic.