The world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has changed dramatically during the past few years. What works today may not work tomorrow and many old school strategies that once brought in massive traffic, no longer make the cut.

Just like how Microsoft has been improving its system with the latest release of Windows, SEO has been endlessly upgrading and evolving since its inception. While many understand and practice SEO, not everyone realises that using old school practices may be hurting or in fact, have already hurt your business. It's time to evaluate what you know about SEO and change the way you optimise your website.

Old School SEO

Forget the saying "there's no school like the old school". When it comes to the modern Internet and search engine optimisation, we have to keep updating ourselves and keep on moving forward. For those who are unsure, we have listed some examples of the old school SEO methods that could be already hurting your online presence.

Irrelevant keywords

Countless websites are guilty of this old practice, also known as 'keyword stuffing.' People overload their website pages with keywords, eager to influence their website's ranking in search results regardless of whether those keywords actually make sense or appear naturally in the paragraph. It's been reported that Google now penalises websites that utilise this practice.

Poor link building and directory submissions

The goal of this old school practice was to exploit Googles ranking algorithm by creating as many links back to your website as possible to fake the page's popularity. Directory submissions, in particular, is a process where you submit links pointing to your website on website directories under categories according to the industry. These processes could be done manually but more commonly, people utilised online and automated services that submitted to hundreds of sites for a nominal fee.

Link directory submissions can still potentially be useful for search engine optimisationIF, and only if, it is done correctly. Google now validates the quality of the websites that link to you and poor quality links actually have the potential to serve as a detriment to your website SEO.

Bad website design or bad company branding

Your website can say a lot about you and your company. A poorly designed website with bad navigation only turns people away from visiting your site and this is obviously bad for your business. Even the company logo plays a vital role and a substandard logo could be difficult to read or simply unattractive.

In response to the growing market of tablet and mobile phone users, one of Google's most controversial search algorithm updates meant that websites that are not optimised for mobile devices would be penalised in the search results. This made it more important than ever to get a beautiful AND functional website.

Insufficient or no blog posts

In the old school days, there was no need for blog page on a company website nor were companies willing to set aside time to write a blog for their website weekly, let alone every other day. Businesses were more interested in a one-way interaction, simply displaying their products and getting the sales in fast.

Google now places a lot of emphasis on fresh new content. Websites that are updated regularly are more valued than a website that has remained static over the past 5 years. Quality, engaging content is now required to improve your website's visibility.

New School SEO

The new school SEO techniques place more emphasis on a wealth of factors but most of all; rich and of quality. Websites require content that makes people want to read on and be a part of. The old school methods of SEO to increase the visibility of your website for particular keywords in search engines are not entirely extinct but have certainly taken on new forms. They have been improved and have evolved to enhance the end user experience, to generate content that is more relevant and interesting to them. We have listed some methods of the new school SEO that you may already be familiar with.

Responsive website design

While it can be difficult to accept after pouring time and effort into producing a new website, the truth is that websites have a limited lifespan. Web standards and technical allowances have grown immensely in recent years if you haven't had a redesign in the last 3-5 years it could be high time to do it now. Setting aside the fact that your website looks visually behind the times, recent changes to Googles search algorithms have created an absolute imperative to now own a mobile optimised website. Responsive website design allows you to optimise the website for all screen sizes large and small; desktops, tablets and mobile devices.

The next time you want to build a site or undertake a company rebrand, do your homework and hire an experienced design professional. Shop around for someone for someone who fits the brief and when you do finally find one, trust in them! They are the professionals and they can only unleash their full potential if you let them.

Quality content

Greater emphasis is now placed on quality, new and interesting content. Therefore, it's a great time to have a company blog for your website. Blogs and blogging are the key to any website content strategy, giving users a reason to come back and visit. Times have definitely changed as information is readily available at the click of a button (or touch screen!), but customers pay attention to the quality and effort that a company puts into building a website or writing a blog post.

Not only does quality content improve your visage to your (future) clients, but Google too will reward your efforts with an improvement in their quality scores of your website. You will developer a broader set of trackable keywords (particularly useful for long tail keywords) and position yourself as a foremost expert in your field.

Creative media for your website

Many websites now include richer forms of creative media such as videos and infographics. In this competitive world, it has become increasingly difficult to engage your multi-tasking audience. They cannot be bothered reading and exploring your entire website (especially if they are poorly designed), so they need something unique and engaging to draw their attention.

Photo: Duncan Hull, Flickr

Photo: Duncan Hull, Flickr

Companies nowadays are looking into adding a short video of their company and some even include infographics with their blogposts. Information graphics or better known as infographics are graphic visual representation of information, data or reports intended to deliver information as quickly and clearly as possible. They do a great job at presenting information that is typically dry, in a much more exciting way.

Conclusion

Old school SEO tactics have far evolved into enhanced marketing methods that can help your business and gain more traffic online. While old school SEO will forever remain a part of the industry's past, the new school techniques will triumph and give you the best opportunity to increase your exposure in search engines.

But it does not stop here! Search engine optimisation will surely continue to evolve and it won't be too long before we write a new post about the latest strategies and techniques. Keep a look out on our blog for updates and ways to improve your company's SEO.