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Watch Your Step with Your SEO Tactics

Search engine optimization is perhaps one of the most wildly changing elements of Internet marketing today. Just take a look back at what used to be prescribed as “the” way to rank well in a search result even as recently as a couple of years ago and compare that to today. Keywords are one fabulous example. We used to be told to use them as much as possible even to the disservice of readability. Now, we are told to use them with care, ensuring we do not actually overuse them and make copy cludgy to read.

While you may be able to easily identify some of the things you were once told to do and now are told not to do for SEO purposes, there are some others you may not necessarily think of. Following are four things that we still see folks doing today that they should not—at least not in their original form. Take a look…

Footer Links

If your business has subsidiaries or sister companies, do you put links to all of them in your website footer? While maybe a good strategy at one time, it is no longer so, especially if the URLs are not branded. You risk appearing spammy to search engines with this approach.

Review these additional sites and decide on which pages of your site each one may most logically apply and then put them there. If one or two truly can apply site wide, those can be included in your footer but no more than that.

Anchor Text

Ah, the days when keywords ruled were so easy. You knew what to do—use those keywords anywhere and everywhere, including as your anchor text. In addition to a potential Penguin penalty, you risk undermining or underpromoting your brand. Your URL structure should focus on your core domain and brand name. If a keyword makes sense in a particular anchor text, make sure it is embedded within these other elements, although a keyword may not even be needed at all.

Multiple Sites

No matter what your product or service, the concept of snatching up as many related domains as possible sounds fabulous—and it can be. The danger comes in when you build out individual sites for each of these. Not only do you run the risk of being dinged for duplicate content but you open yourself up to a serious doorway penalty from Google.

It’s fine to build up your domain base but maintain only one website. For all other URLs, utilize the 301 redirect to your primary domain.

Tracking Codes

Tracking codes on your site are not only helpful but essential. You need to be able to gather metrics to help you measure and refine your web strategy. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing here. Putting too many codes in your site slows down page loading which can annoy visitors and be a negative factor in your search rankings as well.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things you may be doing that you should stop doing or amend but it can give you a place to start. Perhaps the most important takeaway here is that SEO is never really done, in part because what constitutes good SEO continually evolves. Staying abreast of these changes should be a key priority for your business.