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3 “Old” SEO Techniques That Are Worth Your Time

I’ve got a few things I want to share with you today.

A life lesson, a television anecdote and some tried and true SEO techniques.

The life lesson is this: new is not always better.

There will be many times when it is. After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery. And with imitation, comes iteration and improvement.

At its most basic level, Brian Dean’s lauded Skyscraper Technique is anything but news and it can (and has been) applied to everything in the human experience. Hell it’s basically analogous to intentional evolution!

Barney, the lovable but flawed character from How I Met Your Mother spends one entire episode trying to prove one of his “rules”. The rule that “new is always better.”

New is always better

But we all know he’s wrong!

His friends repeatedly bring situations to his attention where new is definitely not better…

  • 5 year scotch vs. 30 year scotch
  • New Star Wars movies vs. old Star Wars movies
  • Guns N’ Roses “Chinese Democracy” vs. “Paradise City”

Barney may be stubborn and stick to his guns throughout the episode, but we need to make sure we don’t make the same mistake.

There’s just no denying it, sometimes, old techniques are still the most effective.

Now, let’s dive in and look at a few SEO techniques that have held their worth over the years.

1. Keyword Research

Definitely not news. Definitely not something we need to go into at length here, since we have in a number of other articles on the matter.

But since day one, keyword research has been one of the foundational building blocks of SEO.

Without knowing what keywords to target, anyone looking to increase their rankings in the SERPs would find their efforts quite fruitless.

To do so would be like going to the grocery store to get ingredients for a fancy dinner you’re preparing without having any clue what specific ingredients are called for…

There’s a good reason everyone is always talking about keyword research.

Don’t just take it from me, Neil Patel may have said it best:

Targeting keywords will lead to long-term and, possibly, short-term organic search traffic for your website. – Neil Patel

Or how about Brian Dean:

“I’m not exaggerating when I say that without keywords, there’s no such thing as SEO.” – Brian Dean

I’m sure you’re noticing the pattern here. Every effective SEO expert and internet marketer knows that keyword research is an essential building block of SEO, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

2. Knowing Your Audience

To be fair, this isn’t entirely fair.

Knowing your audience hasn’t always meant exactly the same thing throughout the years, but it’s a necessary piece of any worthwhile SEO campaign for a number of reasons.

In fact, since ancient mystical times, the best salesmen have always been those that empathize with the needs of their audiences.

They knew a secret that the average salesman either forgot, ignored or never learned.

Are you ready?

Don’t sell what you want to sell. Sell what your customer wants to buy.

It’s so simple and yet astoundingly effective. Staying focused on this mantra keeps the business owner in line with the original purpose of their business: to provide a meaningful and helpful service or product to make people’s lives easier.

know your audience


You simply can’t do this without knowing who your audience is.

Take your time and drill down to find out who they are and what challenges they face.

When it comes to building an SEO strategy, knowing your audience is critical as well. By learning about their problems, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve and create unique and useful content that they’re actively searching for.

If you’re able to get in front of them first, you’ll find your blog getting a lot more traffic and your social profiles getting increased engagement. All of this matters to your end game: rankings!

3. Improvement/Iteration > Invention

Too often we feel pressured to create something entirely new, when it would be a better use of our time to simply improve what already exists and works really well.

If you’re able to improve upon a tried and true formula, trust me, there’s a market for it. It’s a low-risk way to get ahead of your competition and really generate some momentum.

It’s no different when it comes to SEO. Instead of always feeling the need to create new, unique and unusual content (this is good in moderation of course), be sure to focus on taking what’s out there and doing it better.

And we’ve come full circle, back to the Skyscraper technique we spoke of earlier.

It’s true, that without innovators, progress wouldn’t be made. But for every innovator, there are 10’s, 100’s or thousands of people that are able to piggyback, expand, improve, and prosper.

Since time immemorial this technique has proven itself one of the most essential and effective ways to improve SEO rankings, sales, you name it.

Do You Use “Old” SEO Techniques?

The above are just a few of the techniques we employ here at RankPay. There are even more “old” techniques that still pull their own weight as cruise into 2016, we’ve barely scratched the surface here!

So what’s your story? Do you use a different “old school” technique that you’d like to share? Be sure to share it in the comments below, let’s learn from each other.

If you’re curious and want to learn more about how we help small businesses, we’d be flattered if you headed over to our SEO services page to get the scoop.

Marketing jack-of-all-trades, ascendant wordsmith, and self-proclaimed World’s Best Dog Dad. I write about SEO, social media and content marketing.