Digital Marketing News: SEO Strategies You Need to Ditch

Every week we’re collecting a host of links, videos, and assorted analysis on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. We invite you to skim, share, analyze, argue, and refute – just so long as you don’t get embarrassed at the water cooler again. Here are the latest digital marketing news and trends for the week of December 7, 2018.

Moz Releases State of Local SEO Report

Moz recently released its annual report on the state of Local SEO. Moz positions the report as a “window into the industry” that can help you “earn the buy-in you need to effectively reach consumers.” Here are a few takeaways.

Clients need more education on local search: Local SEO experts are not effectively communicating to clients the practical benefits of a local SEO strategy. The gap in understanding is increasing as the landscape grows more complex, and strategists should focus on closing the gap as soon as possible.

Proximity is most important, but doesn’t always deliver best experience: Thirty-two percent of respondents say proximity to searcher is the top local ranking factor, but Google’s emphasis on proximity might be detrimental to the user experience – populating results with low-quality businesses simply because they are nearest to the searcher.

SEO works!: The industry has always had skeptics, but according to the report, “the more resources companies have devoted to SEO, the more positively they reported the effects of a recent major Google algorithm update.”

Mobile-Device Momentum Increasing for Shoppers

A new survey from market research company GfK reveals that 45 percent of shoppers agree that their mobile device is becoming their most important shopping tool. It’s important to note that survey respondents are most often using their mobile devices for product research and not necessarily completing purchases.

The most common mobile shopping activity reported was comparing prices (36%), gathering product information (30%), and checking product reviews (30%). This means that brands must incorporate a strategy that reaches consumers at these important moments to ensure they are present, trustworthy, and helpful for consumers looking to make a purchase on their device or in-store.

Outdated or Ineffective SEO Strategies in 2019

Digital marketing strategies are always changing, and what might’ve seemed foundational or innovative a few months ago could be irrelevant, or worse, damaging, to your brand today. Sam Hollingsworth of Search Engine Journal shared his thoughts on 12 such SEO tactics that should be ditched in the coming new year. Here are a few of Hollingsworth’s insights.

Keyword Abuse: Keyword targeting is a foundational SEO tactic, but shoddy execution of that tactic is a growing problem. Content marketers and SEO strategists too often target keywords with messaging that doesn’t support the target. Not only is it unlikely that you will rank for your target, but your potential customers are likely to bounce and even downgrade your brand if they find your content irrelevant or if they feel they were duped into reading.

Buying Links: As Hollingsworth says, “If it seems shady, you probably shouldn’t do it.” That’s where buying links sits, and the once-routine strategy is easily sniffed out by Google, who is able to identify low-quality sites looking to make a quick dollar.

Pages for All Keyword Variations: Recent Google algorithm updates have recognized that variations of the same word are related, and results should reflect that. Targeting keyword variations with multiple pages leads to self-cannibalization as well as delivering a nightmarish experience for the user. Websites should be optimized for users, not search engines.

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