4 Overhyped SEO Trends You Should Scrap

search engine optimization

Search engine optimization is a loaded term, made up of a plethora of different actions you can take to help your website rank higher in organic search. With all the elements that play into those rankings, there are some that just aren’t as important as others.

Here is a list of a few of those not-so-dire SEO trends.

#1: Voice Search

Before diving into this one, it’s important to differentiate between voice search and voice assistance. In fact, this is so often confused that you’ve likely read an article that is talking about the rise of ‘voice search’ when they are actually describing voice assistance. For example, voice assistance occurs when we ask our dear friends, Siri, Google, or Alexa about the weather or what time the game starts. Voice search, on the other hand, includes our inquiries about closest BBQ restaurant or nearest oil change place.

So, the question is: why is voice search on this list? Well, it’s often oversold as “the search of the future,” being predicted as the primary method of our interaction with businesses.

And while we’re talking about voice search, let’s add in voice optimization. This strategy entails optimizing your site to answer frequently asked questions, but there’s not as much financial opportunity here as you thought.

Reality check: we are still just in the beginning stages of voice search. Voice search is still being researched, developed, and tested, and it’s important to remember that voice search users have decreased in 2019 as compared to 2017 and 2018—so it may not be the best idea to spend your valuable time in voice search just yet.

All that said, there are some things you can do to make it work as best it can for you in the meantime. Voice search can be best used for local businesses, such as barbers, restaurants, and other similar businesses. For your local business, hone in on your citations and educate yourself about which sources home assistants are utilizing for local data. From there, you can focus on the generation of reviews.

#2: Local Landing Page Duplicates

What used to work in the past—especially in digital—won’t work forever. When it comes to certain types of local businesses, it may be important to rank locally and nationally. To solve this problem, many people have created virtual locations. Simple fix? Not so much! What used to be just “iffy” is now just downright risky. You can quickly be reported and penalized for this kind of thing, and that’s the opposite of what you should be looking to do.

To counteract this practice, many sites are simply building landing pages stuffed with relevant keywords for the cities that they want to rank in.

These are on the list of SEO scraps, because these types of landing pages tend to increase duplicate content, and they don’t add to user experience. Google, the number one site for search, frowns upon this because it’s not original, which makes it less trustworthy.

There is value in having pillar pages for specific locations, but there is a better way to practice this without creating duplicate content. Start by focusing on the user’s experience. To do this well, consider the following:

  • Add testimonials from first-party businesses that are local to the area you are targeting
  • Create your page with the metro in mind over specific cities
  • Include local business districts from specific areas within your page’s copy
  • Speak to pain points for businesses in a given area
  • Set up your Google My Business for that area as a service area business (this won’t likely rank as well as a physical location, but it will definitely work in your favor)
  • Focus on acquiring more reviews for a given area, and make sure they mention the city you’re talking about in their review.
  • Optimize your meta data for any images that are on the page

#3: Local Citations

You might have seen a recent push by citation management companies to have more location directories. Well, that may not be the best idea. Think: “quality over quantity.” And many studies on this have shown that where you have listings is much more important than how many listings you have.

We suggest that you concentrate on the 20-30 best directories, and then focus on the ones specific to your industry. We have found that this is especially true for companies that have authority, such as those in the healthcare field.

#4: Tracking Your Ranks

You don’t have to track every single keyword related to your industry to optimize your search engine results. Each keyword has different intent behind it, so if you track too many, they may not give you an accurate reading of how you’re doing.

The trick to it is to work smarter, not harder. Focus on fewer, more accurate keywords. It’s much more feasible to manage 30-40 keywords than 100-150. Again, quality over quantity.

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