Organic search engine optimization (SEO) boasts success rates up to 5.6 times higher than paid advertisements. Unfortunately, cracking the code to the most recent and effective search engine optimization can be difficult. Google and top search engines' algorithms change rapidly. In response, SEO, SEO services, and web design change rapidly, too.

That means that green or inexperienced companies risk using strategies that are outdated, inefficient, and sometimes even perceived as unprofessional or sloppy. Avoid search engine optimization faux pas by spring cleaning your Internet marketing strategy. Keep in mind these essential SEO spring cleaning tips.

1. Rethink Short Keywords, Clunky Phrases, and Awkward Content

With voice search gaining traction and popularity by the day--in fact, estimates put voice searches as high as 30-50% of all searches by the end of 2020--marketers are adjusting SEO and content accordingly. While it was common for consumers to type in short phrases on laptop and desktop computers just a few short months ago, more and more are searching for products and services on mobile devices and/or using voice-assisted search.

To remain competitive, tailor keywords and content to these new demands. It is a great time to delete outdated content, especially if it is packed with geo-specific keywords and short, unnatural word combinations. Write new content using longer, more organic keywords. Opt for a more conversational tone, and make sure content is high quality and genuinely useful.

2. Reinvigorate Ghost Accounts

Dead, or nearly dead, accounts on social media look bad. If you are in the nasty habit of updating social media very infrequently, it is time to change. Social media ranks better when it engages customers and gets a lot of shares. If you do not update regularly, your customers have nothing to share, engage with, or talk about. Make sure social media accounts are optimized, using the same exact handle, phrases, or names, and keep the tone of social media accounts and content shared on social media accounts in-line with your overall brand.

3. Be On The Lookout For Outdated Information

Failing to update critical information looks careless. If you relocate, make sure to indicate that on your website. Delete the old address and/or phone number of your company if applicable. Avoid having multiple addresses when one--or more--of them are out of date. Similarly, look for links that are now dead or displaying 404 errors. Again, this looks sloppy and can form an impression you don't want to make.

4. Trash Duplicate Content

Bill Gates famously wrote, "Content Is King." His essay and its underlying messages have continued to hold true decades later. Even so, if you are spring cleaning your search engine optimization, it is best to think of it like this: the right content is king. Duplicate content and thin or insubstantial content can substantially hurt your search rankings.

"Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar," Google explains. "Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin." How can duplicate content be so similar without being dishonest or deceptive? Remember that even printer-compatible versions of web pages and forums that create different descriptions and pages for viewing across multiple devices can be flagged as duplicate content.

5. Check Page Speed

A full 73% of Internet users regularly interact with pages with load times that they describe as cumbersome or simply too long. If load times are especially high, consumers are likely to abandon pages altogether. Check the speed and load times of your pages. If pages have elements that no longer load or take much longer to load than others, get rid of them. Simple and sleek designs often look best and create the best impressions among potential customers.

Is your outdated SEO hurting your company? Talk to local SEO services or web design experts about creating web pages that are useful, convert to sales, and keep up with the ever-changing nature of SEO.