SEO experts tend to focus too much on every detail that may affect the ranking. However, not all that relates to search engine optimization is worth their time and attention.
In this article, we will look at trends that many optimizers consider to be overvalued or misused.
Before writing this text, I turned to the SEO community on Twitter so that its members help me compile a list of things that should not be obsessed. At the end of the article I have cited several points that are still important, although there are other opinions.
1. Voice search
First, we must understand that there is a fundamental difference between voice search and voice help. Most studies that claim growth in voice search provide examples that relate to voice assistants.
Voice assistance : “What time is it?”, “What is the weather?”, “Set a reminder.”
Voice search : “Find the cafes that are open now”, “Find the best hairdresser in the area”.
Why is voice search overrated?
Voice search is often viewed as the future of search technology. Some experts believe that over time it will become the main way users interact with the business.
When SEO experts talk about voice search optimization, they mostly mean answers to frequently asked questions.
Although there is nothing wrong with this, think what advantages will it provide for your site? How does your optimization strategy help generate additional revenue for a resource?
The reality is that we are still at an early stage in the development of voice search. Now we are still looking for different ways to use it and are studying the practical application of voice in business.
It is also worth noting that in 2019, voice search became less popular compared to the previous two years.
How to make voice search viable
Currently, voice search is a viable option for local businesses, especially catering and some e-commerce services. It is interesting to see how people make purchases through voice search.
If you run a local company, focus on your business references and find out which sources use voice assistants to provide business information. When you have this list ready, focus on getting feedback from these sites.
If you do not belong to local business, but believe in voice search, you can generate additional income for your company, creating skills for voice assistants.
2. Duplicate Local Landing Pages
I admit that I was actively engaged in this at the beginning of my work in SEO. But what we have done before is not always necessary.
There are many types of business – for example, legal services – when a company has only one office, but it should appear in search results in different cities throughout the country. So you need to create multiple virtual branches, right? Not!
Although I like the idea of a virtual office, these pages are not as effective as they used to be, and using this tactic is fraught with more risks.
Why duplication of local pages is overvalued
These pages do not take into account user experience and, as a rule, increase the amount of total / duplicate content on the site.
What can be done differently
This tactic should not be completely discounted. So, you can have separate pages for the target regions. The so-called “pillar pages”.
To improve these pages, focus on user friendliness. Possible steps:
- Add testimonials from companies in your target region;
- Cite common problems in companies in this region;
- Specify specific business areas from this region in the text of the page;
- Optimize metadata for the images on these pages;
- Create pages that are tied to metro stations, and not to the city;
- Specify the service area in Google My Business. Although these pages may not rank as well as companies with a physical address, following the rest of the tips will help you climb to the top 3.
- Get more feedback from companies in this region, but make sure they mention the city you want.
3. Mentions – quantity instead of quality
Many large companies that provide reference management services actively promote the importance of business presence in the most accessible number of local directories.
Why is this a false path?
Many studies, including a recent report from Moz, show the importance of the company’s presence in a specific list of directories. At the same time, quantity is not always equal to quality.
How to win in this area
Focus on 20-30 mentions at the top level, and then go to the industry lists. This is especially important for those companies that need credibility – for example, for representatives of the health sector.
4. Intrusive Position Tracking in Ranking
You do not need to keep track of every keyword found during your research.
Why keyword tracking is overpriced
Many position tracking tools brag about monitoring an unlimited number of keywords. In fact, for each of these words there may be several search intentions, and they may not give a real idea of the site’s effectiveness.
How to better track keywords
Focus on fewer keywords. In most cases, no more than 30 phrases need to be tracked (although this figure may vary from client to client). Managing 30 keys is much easier than 100+.
Before you start tracking, manually test each of these words and see what results are shown on them. Do they match your expectations?
5. Guest Posting
Guest posting can still have some weight if you use this technique on high quality sites.
SEO experts usually go the wrong way when they focus their efforts on guest posting networks. These resources usually have the same IP, thanks to which search engines can easily detect reference spam.
How to make guest posting work
Avoid any kind of networking. Instead, focus on developing an effective guest posting strategy aimed at creating interesting publications in your industry.
Bonus Trends that are still important
Survey participants on Twitter also mentioned several trends that are still important – in our opinion.
- Algorithm Names
The names assigned to the Google algorithms updates help keep track of these updates and not be confused by them. Short, easily remembered nicknames facilitate this task.
- Key pages ( pillar pages)
I understand why this concept is popular and why many experts consider it as spam tactics.
However, creating a comprehensive landing page that covers the specific topic as much as possible improves the user experience and internal link structure.