The WORST SEO advice I heard this year (and what you should do instead)

The most common complaint I receive from audit clients and bloggers is the inability to “know which SEO advice to follow.” 

Unlike search engines which can rank, re-rank, or penalize information or practices that are unethical or unscrupulous in nature, the same can’t be achieved by the average blogger weeding through multiple courses, gurus or podcasts.

Unfortunately, 2022 has taken things to a whole new level.

The amount of emails and instant messages I received from bloggers asking, “Is this true?” or “I was told to do this, what do you think?” cannot be quantified other than to say, “It was a lot.”

Executing a correct and competent SEO strategy has never been more challenging, especially in light of the explosion of new websites launched during the pandemic.

As such, understanding what advice is worthwhile and which is complete and utter garbage has never been more important.

To that end, I present some of the worst pieces of SEO advice I was asked about in 2022, with the hope that the answers will help you decide what not to do.

Worst SEO advice #1: “I should never remove content from my website.”

The benefits of removing old content from an existing site have been known and practiced for years.

Think of your site as a garden. All the content generating traffic, links, and regular social signals are your flowers. Everything that is not? Those are your weeds. Just like in a real garden, you can kill your flowers if you don’t pull those weeds.

Leaving expired, low-quality or thin content on your site can result in a myriad of bad SEO outcomes, including:

  • Diluting your overall crawl budget.
  • Reducing overall site authority.
  • Creating page and keyword cannibalization issues.
  • Reducing on-page UX and time-on-site metrics.
  • Lowering sitewide revenue per thousand impressions (RPM) for ad income.

It’s also been well-documented by Google’s John Mueller that low-quality content on one part of a site can negatively impact the search rankings of the entire site.

Bottom line

If you can update and improve existing content, do that! 

But if not, delete it, and move on. Think quality with your site content, not quantity.

Worst SEO advice #2: “All I need is to write longer content to rank higher.”

It has been stated repeatedly that word count is not a ranking factor with Google. And yet, daily, I run into clients who have been directed to write a longer resource as their main method to “recapture” a lost ranking or improve existing visibility.

When asked about word count, Mueller said, “just blindly adding content to a page will not make it (rank) better.”

What does help a resource is adding content that is useful to the audience.

For example, nobody wants to read a 2,000-plus-word treatise on artichoke hearts. As such, understanding what your audience is seeking and what is considered “useful” can still be confusing to the average site owner.

Bottom line

A content update or rewrite has to have

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What percentage of your budget should go toward Seo?

Small business investment in advertising these days is soaring, specifically in digital marketing.

In truth, for the initially time in a ten years, marketing advancement topped 10% from February 2021 to February 2022. In accordance to the most recent CMO Survey report, promoting paying grew by 11.8% when compared to the previous 12 months. And it’s projected to improve even a lot quicker in excess of the future yr, to 13.6%.

The digital advertising channel specifically accounts for the bulk of that advertising and marketing commit, at 57.1%. In accordance to that exact report, digital promoting spend is envisioned to increase by a whopping 16.2% over the up coming year.

But how a great deal of electronic internet marketing paying out goes toward lookup engine optimization?

In 2019, U.S. businesses invested $73.38 billion on Search engine marketing out of a overall of $776.30 billion for all digital advertising – approximately 9.5%, according to an earlier report by Borrell Associates.

These who do Seo in-dwelling (at least with neighborhood corporations) report larger charges and lower returns versus choosing a marketing consultant and agency, which yields decreased costs and better returns, in accordance to the report. 

According to the report:

“Those who use third events rate the 3rd party’s performance higher than their internal ability. Search engine optimisation and website design/improvement specifically skew in direction of 3rd parties currently being extra effective.”

That mentioned, Web optimization is an expense in your business’s upcoming earnings. Imagine about it:

  • What drives a organization is product sales.
  • What drives product sales is qualified prospects.
  • Electronic potential customers come in through a internet site.
  • Individuals come across a web site by means of impressions in the search results.

Web optimization allows businesses to have the prime of the sales funnel: impressions of your web site in the look for effects. And, some sectors find natural lookup drives 2x more profits than other channels.

So what decides your Search engine optimisation funds? I’ll contact on that next.

Aspects that ascertain your Web optimization budget

What proportion of your budget ought to go towards Search engine optimization?

It is not black and white, but the subsequent components need to identify how much you make investments:

  • Your earnings
  • Your competitiveness

1. Your income

I suggest that the greater of $8,000 for every month or 5% to 10% of your small business profits go toward Search engine marketing. In a really aggressive area, you ought to lean towards the higher close. This is what you will see for firms that are severe about competing.

Spending at least $8,000 a thirty day period normally permits for a fantastic setting up point with sufficient professional assets. At the large conclude, we have shoppers at 6 situations that each and every month.

Also, take into account how substantially money you are putting towards compensated advertising. For case in point, a national brand that runs PPC campaigns to attract new buyers must commit about 25% as a great deal additionally on organic Search

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How Can We Improve Rankings For Older Content? Ask An SEO

How can you help existing webpages get new traction and move up in search rankings?

That’s the question posed by Faith in this edition of Ask An SEO. She wrote:

“I have a few keywords ranking on the fourth or fifth page of Google.

It’s been a year ranking at this position. What should I do to improve the rankings now?”

Adam Riemer from Adam Riemer Marketing shares his response with Miranda Miller, Writer & Editor, in this edition of Ask An SEO.

Evaluating internal pages that may be competing against your candidates for optimization is an important first step, he says.

Improving Page Speed and Core Web Vitals may also give you new opportunities to improve rankings.

Adam shares a step-by-step process for finding opportunities to improve existing content with local schema, improving a user’s on-page experience, getting links from relevant media sources, and more.

You can watch the full video here and find the full transcript below.

Ask An SEO: Improving Rankings With Adam Riemer [Full Transcript]

Miranda Miller: Hello, and welcome to Ask An SEO. … This week, we have with us Adam Riemer from Adam Riemer Marketing,

The question that people have for you this week comes from Faith.

Faith has a few keywords ranking on the fourth or fifth page of Google. They’ve been stable there for about a year, and she would like to know: What can she do to improve those rankings now?

Adam Riemer: Okay. That’s a good question and comes up way too often. I have to deal with that with a lot of clients. Well, not deal with it, but I get to solve that problem for a lot of clients.

Improving Rankings For Existing Content, Step By Step

Adam Riemer: And basically, the very first thing I do is, I’ll take a tool, whether it’s Authority Labs or Semrush; I think Ahrefs does this too.

And I’ll look to see: Do we have competing pages in those positions?

And is there one with an indent after it, maybe? And from there, I’ll be like, Okay, well… do both of these pages need to exist?

If there is nothing competing and it’s just one page there, I start to look at the page experience, and I say, Okay, why is this not the best experience for the user or for the search query?

And then we start to address, and you can look at, Do we properly explain the concept?

Is the article as good as it could be?

Is it formatted correctly? Could it use some bulking up?

Sometimes, one thing I’ve had to do a lot recently… there’s a case study on my website right now recently, I have to delete most of the copy because people just wrote copy to hit a minimum word count by actually reducing it, and just sharing the actual information.

We’ve been able to pop our clients up to the top positions from there.

Another option

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How to do a competitive analysis for local SEO

When it comes to local SEO, there’s a lot of noise.

From the latest industry buzz talk to the nuances of a specific website, a strategy to-do list can quickly become flooded with tasks that don’t consider the big picture.

However, none of these tasks matter if you ignore competitors. 

A competitive analysis for local SEO can uncover: 

  • Who is ranking at the top.
  • Why they achieved this ranking.
  • Where they’ve chosen to target their strategy.
  • What level of effort they’ve put into ranking.
  • When you might be able to outrank them.

If you understand the effort and approach used by those who rank well locally, then you can thrive in even the most competitive search environments. 

Determining your local competitors

Competitors in local SEO require a different approach than competitors in national markets.

In a national SEO campaign, competitors are usually targeting hundreds or thousands of keywords. At the local level, most competitors typically target something in the range of 20-100 keywords. 

Local SEO typically has fewer keywords because it is defined by its physical community. 

Local SEO is designed to support a network of small businesses, franchises and physical goods and services. Unlike national SEO, there is no SaaS or cloud-based architecture or leading national ecommerce website.

Local dealers, practitioners and businesses offer a service or item that customers will receive in their community. Products and services from these businesses are limited to the parameters of their local population. If a local business offers garage door repair, demand is limited to the number of people who need garage door repair in that community. 

Because local SEO is limited to a physical community, discovering competitors is straightforward. Identify 5-10 core keywords and see who ranks first.

However, competitive analysis for local SEO quickly becomes complicated when there is more than one location for the business. Each location poses unique challenges. 

Although local competitive analysis considers a smaller portion of keywords, the complexities of local search impact these keywords. 

3 steps to conducting a competitive analysis for local SEO

A competitive analysis for local SEO considers keyword search visibility in the context of three local ranking factors: 

  • Compare proximity.
  • Assess Google Business Profile (GBP) optimization.
  • Analyze on-page content.

1. Compare proximity

Are you located farther from the city center than your top competitors? Does this information about your location even matter? After all, it’s not like you can move locations for the sake of SEO. 

Understanding your location within the context of your competitor’s location is important because proximity might answer why they rank #1. 

In the image below, a search for “kansas city defense attorney,” a highly desirable keyword for defense attorneys in Kansas City, the #1 ranking is held by a law firm that is located .2 miles from the city center of Kansas City. The #2 ranking business is located 3.1 miles from the city center. 

A quick search for your top keyword can indicate whether proximity will impact your campaign. Review the distance between verified location

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The Best SEO Conferences In 2022-2023 (Virtual And In-Person)

As an industry in a constant state of flux – thanks to changing algorithms, user needs, and competitor content – search engine optimization is a field that demands professionals to stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices. 

And while you could spend hours scouring the internet for useful articles, forum discussions, and the like, there’s a better way to gain new knowledge and grow your network simultaneously: SEO conferences. 

In just a few hours or days, you can gain a wealth of new information from peers and industry leaders, including information on what’s working and what isn’t and various search engine ranking success strategies.

They allow you to share strategies, brainstorm solutions, and build relationships with current and future SEO leaders.

Of course, in the aftermath of a global pandemic that put the kibosh on in-person events for over a year, many of the top events in SEO went virtual.

Thankfully, as things have started to return to some sense of normalcy, the physical events have often returned.

But don’t worry if you’re still not comfortable going to crowded events with a bunch of strangers; there are plenty of online conferences, summits, and workshops too. 

Here’s a look at some of the best online and in-person SEO conferences for the rest of 2022 and heading into 2023. 

Coming Up In 2022

There have already been several excellent SEO and digital marketing events held this year, but if you missed them, don’t fret. There are still plenty of good ones on the docket. 

You may not even have to travel; with concerns over COVID-19 still high, many events have added virtual components to their in-person events, so you can get all the benefits of attending – without risking your health. 

Inbound 2022

Date: September 6-9, 2022

Format: In-person or online

Location: Boston, MA 

Speakers: Barack Obama, TJ Adeshola, Brian Halligan, and others

Cost: In-person – $1,199; Virtual – free  

About: This annual event is powered by HubSpot, bringing together global thought leaders for a hybrid conference discussing marketing, sales, and customer success operations.

It covers a wide range of topics, including an SEO meetup hosted by Dale Bertrand and strategies for uncovering data-driven insights.

Ad Age Next: Social & Influencer Marketing

Date: September 13, 2022

Format: TBD 

Location: TBD 

Speakers: TBD

Cost: TBD

About: Ad Age’s Next event will focus on the growing importance of influencer marketing in an age of ubiquitous social media.

Creators, brands, and agencies will be on hand to discuss how they are approaching this new economy.

Content Marketing World

Date: September 13-16, 2022

Format: In-person or online

Location: Cleveland, OH 

Speakers: Kim Olson, Alison Jarris, Justin Ethington

Cost: In-person starting from $1,499; Virtual from $699

About: Over four days, attendees will learn strategies for building winning SEO teams, systems, and processes.

With more than 100 sessions, workshops, and industry forums, you can choose the topics and sessions that are relevant to you. Thousands of marketers and representatives from numerous global brands will

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An SEO guide to audience research and content analysis

How your customers find you can vary significantly. It may be based on their interests, needs or pain points.

Some people may already know exactly what they need and search for that on Google. Others may be just starting the research process. Others may already know what they need and compare to identify the best source to purchase from.

In this stage of your SEO research and planning, you’ll want to identify:

  • Target personas
  • Buying stages
  • Potential keywords 

Your goal will be to map your target personas, buying stages and keywords for each persona and buying stage.  

Persona research 

You can start by using customer service data or information from your Google Analytics demographic details. With this information, you can start creating target personas.  

Below is an example of possible target personas for a real estate company.

Once you have your personas and ideas of who they are, what they need, and what they are looking for, you’ll want to map out the possible steps they’ll take in their buying journey.

Buyer’s journey

Finally, you can add the possible keywords they’ll search for and map them to the journey.

Map keywords to persona to the buyer’s journey

The goal of this phase is to identify all of the possible ways you can be found and to make sure you have content optimized on your website targeting these buying phases and keywords.

You’ll start by identifying primary, root phrases. As you progress, you can go deeper into long-tail terms or semantically related keywords.

This will allow you to identify gaps and opportunities that were missed during your initial baseline and competitive research. Some of these keywords won’t be uncovered unless you truly understand your audience and their needs and pain points.

This stage will complete your research phase and give you all the information to create your content strategy and focus your on-page SEO priorities.   

Evaluate your existing content

With your comprehensive keyword research, the next step is to look at the existing content of your site and see if it’s optimized properly.

  • Does your website have pages that are not getting any traffic from Google, pages that are near-duplicates or multiple pages targeting the same keyword?
  • Do you have content pieces to match the keyword list you created in the previous stage?

Before creating a content calendar or editorial strategy, it’s ideal to audit your existing content. By reviewing your existing pages, you can decide which pages need to be removed, consolidated or optimized.

Some of the elements you can look for include:

  • Page traffic
  • Primary keyword
  • Number of keywords ranking
  • Word count
  • Internal linking

To perform a content audit, you’ll need to export all of your pages from your CMS or use an SEO audit tool, such as Screaming Frog or Semrush Site Audit, to get a list of your site’s existing pages.

Consolidate all of this data into a content audit spreadsheet. Your spreadsheet could look something like this:

Assess your site’s content

Once you have collected all

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