We’ve talked quite a bit about SEO marketing strategies that will get your travel website found and bring more customers to your travel business. But the ever-changing world of SEO requires that you be on top of SEO marketing that don’t work and to learn about marketing techniques that might actually hurt you. What are the SEO strategies that don’t work anymore?
Google rewards you when you newsjack your way to improved SEO or place hyper-local content on your website so your readers will have an improved experience when visiting your city. It’s not so thrilled, however, when you spam keywords into content or create text that’s solely based on keyword ranking instead of readability. But, you probably knew that.
To see the greatest return on your SEO marketing efforts, you need to make sure you’re not living in the past with SEO strategies that don’t work. It’s imperative for your customer’s satisfaction, and your bottom line, to avoid using techniques that are outdated and considered no-no’s now.
Your customers are computer savvy and they know when you’re giving them content simply to rank. They also have limited time to spend searching for the information they want, which means you need to follow the “Content is King” strategy with the primary goal of educating them on your brand and not giving them pages of useless chatter.
The following are 5 SEO strategies that don’t work anymore, so become familiar with these poor practices and stay away from them.
Running Duplicate Content
In the old days of SEO, simply having loads of content stuffed with keywords would help you end up on page 1 in Google search. Today, duplicate content means you receive a big penalty. Search engines are smart and they can tell when you’re rewording content to appear on multiple pages of your travel website. To be successful at SEO, each page of your site must contain content that’s completely unique so the bots pick you up and your readers can believe in your authenticity.
A Page for Every Keyword
In a different incarnation of SEO, a travel company might have been able to include separate pages on its website dedicated to “Las Vegas Hotels,” “Las Vegas Hotel Deals,” “Best Las Vegas Hotels,” “List of Las Vegas Hotels,” and any other variation of this keyword. Not now. For a while, the goal of this SEO tactic was to use precision Keyword Science to target each variation individually, and to give each keyword it its own 500 words or more of content to hammer it in. Try this today and Google will show you how unhappy it is with you. Instead, focus on one good page of content that incorporates all of your top keywords, and put some of them in your title tags and meta descriptions.
Emphasizing Keywords Over Clicks
Speaking of title tags and meta descriptions, it’s time to do away with versions like: “NYC Tours | Tours of New York | Things to do in New York City” and “Looking for NYC Tours? Tours of New York include many top Things to do in New York City”. Opt for something that’s clickable instead. Or, in other words, go for title tags and meta descriptions that offer the reader valuable information and that encourage them to click to find out more, such as “Foodie Tours of New York | NY Things to Do that involve stuffing your face”. You get the idea.
Heavy Anchor Text on Internal Links
A few years ago, it would have been a good move to create any kind of anchor text linking to internal pages on your website. Now, anchor text has to be useful and it has to make sense considering the entire body of content around it. Anchor text linking that Google deems manipulative or frivolous will result in a penalty in your search rankings.
Content for the Sake of Content
This no-no tactic goes along with the bad idea of creating duplicate content. Content that’s weak is not serving your reader, so it’s better to have a 500-word blog post that offers a few great local events happening near you than to write a 1,000-word post filled with vague descriptions of sandy beaches and blue skies. Your customers can read that type of content anywhere.
When in doubt, it’s always best to think about the reader when planning your SEO strategy and to employ tactics that position you as a valued partner in creating their perfect travel experience.