As an experienced SEO tech, I can confidently say that following emerging SEO trends can really lead your rankings down the gutter!
And I’m not kidding – because I’ve been there (and done that!). This is because the great majority of these fads are bogus. They are good for content writers to muse about in their blogs. But on the technical front, they’re often totally hogwash. When I was an amateur search marketer, I took on the task of improving SERP rankings of the Spectrum Packages project website. This was a few years back. I identified over 50 popular SEO trends to tweak the site with. And when the results came out, I actually contemplated leaving the field altogether.
The Consequences of Following SEO Trends Blindly
Because, if you haven’t already guessed it, my site didn’t rank well at all.
In fact, it seemed as if Google (the search engine I was targeting) didn’t even bother indexing the site! And it wasn’t after I had one of my SEO mentors’ conduct a thorough site audit that I figured out the problem.
It turned out that I had resorted to a lot of keyword stuffing, which Google identifies as a red flag. Because of this, the site had been penalized.
Before I signed up for the project, I had read many online articles on the adequate usage of keywords. Being a very important and well-known ranking factor, a number of these blogs recommended exploiting this point. Only they didn’t provide any warnings about ‘how much is too much’. Nor did they give any indication of how Google deals with websites attempting to spam their SERP interface.
Taking SEO Recommendations with a Grain of Salt
There was also an issue with the website loading speed. The heavy graphical content made it nearly impossible for site visitors to load it quickly. And the actual time that it took to download its homepage (I am embarrassed to admit today) took a whopping 35 seconds! In many ways, this can be consideredSEO suicide. Especially when compared with Google’s recommendation of site loading-times to be under the 3 seconds mark.
Again, the reason why I thought that stacking up the site with all sorts of multimedia content was a good idea was because I had been told as such. And by no less than twelve different SEO articles published on Medium!
My initial experience with following SEO trends blindly gave way to a firm determination. I became resolved to always take any emerging trends advice with a grain of salt.
When Money from the Budget Gets Wasted
SEOs normally have a hard time bargaining for more budget money from company marketing heads. This is because they are expected to generate results organically, which is a mistaken belief. Because in order to carry out their ranking work efficiently, they need to make use of a number of software tools. And the large proportion of these tends to require paid subscriptions.
But SEOs can be wasteful. And this is especially true for the times when they try to ride on the wave of a popular trend.
When businesses are busy in sticking with one trend after another, they lose their unique footing. Because everyone else in their niche is mostly doing the same thing. And instead of actually shaping the market proactively in their favor, they are simply reacting to it. Something which can also be thought of in the context of ‘following the herd’.
When a business (because of its misguided SEO strategy) gets stuck in this loop, it suffers. This becomes most evident in the case of falling profits, and customers migrating to other brands. Particularly the ones that offer something different.
SEO is a Long-Term Investment
So as a business manager, you shouldn’t expect your hired SEOs to work any instant magic. It is usual for newly optimized and launched sites to take anywhere between 3 to 6 months to show up in SERPs. And once they do, SEO techs need to remain on their toes to see that rankings don’t drop. At the very least, not from their initial search engine placements.
One of the most effective ways of running a digital marketing campaign is to make use of both organic and paid promotion routes. In my own work with a current Spectrum Double Play website assignment, I made it a point to start with paid adverts first. This helped me to get the brand noticed in about two weeks’ time. Later on, I diverted my entire allocated marketing budget to SEO optimization. And with everything said and done, the project website is presently ranking on the first Google results page. At the number 3 position, no less!
Published by Mohsin Ahsan