If you’re still doing things the old way, you might need to upgrade your SEO. All marketers spend a lot of time and resources these days online. But when you’re putting in that time, you want to be sure that your efforts are seen. In the past, an important approach was to dedicate resources to SEO. You might hire a full-time SEO specialist or outsource Search Engine Optimization to a professional firm. But these days, our methods are changing. SEO still has a role to play in how we plan our website promotions, but the way to go about it is dramatically different than it was 10 or even 2 years ago. Whether or not you have a full-time digital marketer on your team today, you want to be sure you’re keeping up with the latest trends and algorithms that will make the work you’re doing worthwhile and allow you to continue satisfying your clients while benefiting your own company. Make sure you’re not wasting valuable time and money on out-of-date practices, like: 1 Keyword Stuffing. With old search algorithms, you could get better rankings by stuffing keywords into your copy—both on one webpage and throughout the entire site, as well as burying those keywords in your metadata, unseen by your visitors. Typically, there was a balanced ratio of content and keywords you could achieve that was acceptable to search engine scans and wouldn’t disqualify your page; but today, scans are sophisticated enough to find valid pages and look for valid text combinations without the need to force replications of keywords or keyphrases onto your pages. In fact, this might actually cause your page to get flagged or simply ranked lower than more appropriate and organic matches. 2 Prioritizing Keywords. Similarly, you don’t want to create content based on keywords alone. If you start with your keywords and work backwards, you’re going to end up with misleading or even useless content that doesn’t truly explain what your business does. Original, informative content is essential in marketing today, so it’s definitely more important that you focus on putting forth the best possible copy that most accurately describes your business, products, or services, rather than trying to describe those things with wording that doesn’t entirely fit the bill. Even if you happen to land more traffic on your page this way, people will leave fast when they realize your site isn’t precisely what they were looking for—or if they can’t figure out what it actually is. (Plus, it’s unlikely you’ll get a ton of traffic from this tactic anyway, as discussed above.) 3 Exact-Match Keywords. There are plenty of tools available to help you select keywords that match your page’s purpose. You can easily choose between a better or worse option. But the one thing that you don’t want to do is choose keywords that a machine suggests just because it’s what people type into a search bar. A good example of this is choosing between “what is time,” which might be what people actually type more frequently, or “what time is it,” which is more natural-sounding. In truth, many search engine scans are looking for human-sounding language and pages that readers can trust. If a page sounds like it was written by a robot, it might actually get bypassed—even if it’s technically a more perfect match for their exact search. If you’re looking for today’s best practices for SEO, just s-e-e the pros at Mad 4 Marketing.