If you have an online business, you know the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Or you’ve at least heard of it and want to get to work on it to help your business.
But the topic of SEO is not necessarily straightforward, and in fact there are a lot of non-truths about SEO that you need to know about. Some of those myths may seem far-fetched but others can seem true, and if believed, can actually hinder your hard work to improve your search results and rankings.
Let’s make sure your efforts aren’t misguided, by looking in the biggest SEO myths you need to stop believing.
Myth 1: SEO can’t really happen
There are those who will say that SEO is a fraud, a scam. The real fraud lies in those who promise SEO to clients and don’t deliver.
But one (or more) dishonest SEO “consultants” don’t make all SEO experts bad guys. There are those who either don’t know what they’re doing or in fact do the wrong things and diminish your website traffic. But that doesn’t make SEO a scam.
There are real results to be gained in increased website traffic, improved user experience, and higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERP). Those results come from hard work and continuous effort, not quick and easy wins with minimal effort.
Myth 2: SEO Is a One-and-Done Effort
Somewhat related to #1, some of those bad guys would lead you to believe that a SEO campaign is easily done and then you can move on to something else. If you didn’t get results, maybe they were right about the SEO scam! If you did achieve results, your work is complete.
But you need to do continuous maintenance with a focus on improvement, or your website will fall behind. Content gets outdated, search engine algorithms change, links become ineffective, and you may miss the opportunity to get even better results in SERPs.
It takes work, but you need to always be looking to optimise the content on your site, keeping it up-to-date, providing accurate information to your site visitors so that you remain relevant, and continually enhancing user experience.
Once is never enough.
Myth 3: More Is Better When It Comes To Links
Link building is an important component of SEO but sheer quantity is not better than quality. It’s like buying a pair of shoes. Would you rather have 10 pairs of cheap shoes that hurt your feet, or two pairs of quality shoes that feel good and last for years?
Link building is like that. Search engines raise a red flag to low-quality links, which in turn can negatively impact your SEO rankings. You don’t want to build many useless links simply to raise rankings quickly. In the end, you’ll be penalised.
It’s better to focus on creating relationships with high-quality and trustworthy sites for your link building, and to focus on backlinks rather than just single links. You need to find reputable sites with content that aligns with your target audience. Be wary of planting links on unrelated websites, which is actually spamming, not backlinking.
The same is true with commenting on a blog or a link to a website in an article. If you’re adding value, it’s no problem. It becomes a problem if the comments only link to your website without adding any value.
Myth 4: All You Need is Content
It’s definitely important to have high-quality content that’s useful to your users. It also needs to be well researched and relevant. But content alone is not going to drive you up in SERP.
Good content works in conjunction with your SEO efforts. That includes a high-quality user experience, relevant landing pages, good web design, and quality backlinks. Without those other members of the SEO team, your content may not be found by search engines. With a good team around the content, it will show up in results.
Myth 5: All You Need Is Google
It’s true, Google is the dominant search engine. But despite what you’ve been told, if you’ve optimised for Google, you aren’t done.
In fact, some of the other engines are increasing in usage. Bing is one of those, and it works a bit different than Google. For instance, it compiles rankings based on user engagement, click-through rates, social, and page authority. Unlike Google, Bing does not value backlinks.
So if you want to optimise for web traffic, you need to optimise for at least three search engines. Google, Bing and Yahoo would be a good start.
Myth 6: You Don’t Need To Worry About Social
It’s true that Google doesn’t use metrics like Twitter followers or Facebook shares in its search rankings. But that doesn’t mean social media doesn’t impact SEO.
Here are a few examples of ways social can impact your SEO:
• A post on social media creates a backlink that will drive traffic to your site, and if you’ve paid attention to your landing page and user experience, for instance, they could return and create more traffic and hopefully conversions.
• Social media pages are indexed, so they can appear in SERPs.
• Social media activity makes your content visible to your target audience, which should increase your engagement metrics. • More people viewing your content can lead to more links and more sharing of content, which creates a successful cycle that can result in conversions.
Therefore, be sure you have optimised social media accounts. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and items like location and contact information are correct. Build a plan to include regular updates to social media using quality content like blog posts and other updates. Final Thoughts The goal of SEO is to increase your results in online searches, so that you can drive users to your website and convert them to paying customers. A well-thought-out SEO plan can accomplish that for you, and part of that plan includes effort, continuous monitoring and continuous improvement.
But along that path, you will encounter “experts” who will feed you SEO myths. We’ve covered the top ones here, so you’re now armed with the right information and the ability to determine an effective SEO strategy for your business.
About the author: Callum is the head of marketing at Warble Media. They are a boutique website design and digital marketing agency based in Dubbo, NSW, Australia.
Contact us at Grizzly to learn how we can help you with your website.