SEO is often perceived as a mysterious and complicated process that one a few really understand. While the SEO process is in fact a complex one, it's not so complicated once you get to know it. Let's start with busting some SEO myths and misconceptions! Keep reading.
The art of Search Engine Optimization is difficult and often extremely opaque. Not only are there no real “rules” set in stone, but the information out there is often difficult to directly apply to your website, or downright full of errors. It’s important to be able to tell the myths from the best practices, and this article will show you how to do that!
Top 10 SEO Myths & Misconceptions You Should Believe in
#1 – It’s All About Rankings
While rankings on search engines like Google are incredibly important to the overall picture of your website’s optimization, there are other things to consider when attempting to optimize your site and ultimately make your brand exceptionally visible for many relevant phrases. This practice is known as Long Tail SEO and acts as a holistic strategy for the overall success of your brand! Since SEO tends to take some time, covering all the bases possible and ensuring that you are tackling your content strategy at every conceivable angle will pay dividends down the road. Be patient and make sure your plan is effective in every instance!
#2 – Paying for Google Ads Will Improve Ranking
Google does many things but they do not intentionally cheat their own search features and this holds true even if you pay them for a different service. While Google ads are effective ways to reach new clients in their own right, they will not directly translate to a better overall SEO ranking for your site. That being said, combining best SEO practices with the power of Google ads is a very effective way to build your brand that will most certainly pay off in the long run. Still, the very act of buying ads on Google is not itself enough to raise your search rankings.
[caption id="attachment_43376" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Sure paid ads are a great way to display your products at the top position in search results. However, cyou need to remember that banner blindness is real and many customers will just skip the paid content to check organic results they perceive as more credible.[/caption]
#3 – The More Backlinks, The Better!
This myth is not only incorrect, but it is exactly backward. By loading your page down with too many backlinks, or by buying backlinks, Google might very well leave your site with a penalty. Instead, it’s important to focus on the fundamentals: quality content, precise backlinks, and perfectly tailored keywords pertaining directly to your area of focus. It’s more important to build these core concepts first because they are the easiest, the most enduring, and the most certain to create the results you want.
Similar to the above point, more does not mean better. Just because you load your webpage with dozens of keywords doesn’t mean that Google will necessarily rate you higher, let alone penalize your website for creating spam content. While there are no precise numbers as to how many keywords you should place in your content of varying length, the user-friendliness of your site is utterly important. Readability is core to this concept. Keyword stuffing is definitely something to avoid.
[caption id="attachment_14049" align="aligncenter" width="420"] Would you read such text if you were your reader?[/caption]
#5 – SEO is Expensive
Of course, SEO can be expensive sometimes, but it mostly depends on your website, what you’ve already accomplished with it, and what goals you have in mind for the overall product. While certainly hiring someone for SEO for a massive project might be costly, it could also simply be the inserting of keywords into a few pages, or a few links in the store. These small tasks could take hours or even minutes to accomplish by yourself. In addition, many SEO agencies help with certain aspects of SEO, enabling you to handle the rest in any way you see fit. SEO encompasses many ideas and not all of them will cost you.
#6 – SEO Brings Long-Term Benefit, So I Just Need One Good Implementation!
Not so fast – even if you enact all the best practices immediately, it still takes time and continued effort in order to succeed. From creating great content to continually optimizing the user experience, the work on any website is never truly done because the landscape of the day is always shifting. Just think: has Apple changed its style and practices since its debut? Of course, it has, and similar to your content and website, you need to be constantly aware of the best practices, the best tools, and all the proper procedures involved in great SEO.
#7 – Alt Texts on Images Don’t Matter
In fact, alt text matters quite a bit! One of the ways in which Google, and other search engines, utilize images is by crawling them for any identifying information, such as the keywords used in the alt text. These short, 100 character descriptions inside images display when you hover over them, giving your users more information about the image. These allow Google to better track your images in their image search as well as contribute to the overall SEO practices of your website.
#8 – Content Needs to be Long
If your content is doing what it’s supposed to be doing, which is being the best content available for the target demographic, it will be as long as it needs to be and nothing more. Most content doesn’t need to be that long in order to get its point across. This article is around a thousand words and uses this specific word count to best get its message across. If you’re working on a story for an audience, it might be longer. If you’re publishing a cake recipe, it will most certainly be shorter. Engagement goes a long way with SEO and tailoring your content to your audience is a very wise decision. While longer texts are easier for keyword use (more words, more keywords!) it isn’t always smart to create content this way. Brevity is the soul of wit!
#9 – SEO Agencies Aren’t Necessary. Anyone Can Do SEO!
While it is true that many SEO concepts can be handled by the website owner themselves in order to save money, they will lose something just as important: time. SEO is a continual, ongoing process that takes many hours of work weekly in order to successfully accomplish. From creating original, informative content, maximizing keyword usage around the entire website, and even looking at other articles you can use as source material for hyperlinks, it all adds up. By enlisting the help of an SEO agency, you can bypass most of the busy work and get started on more important tasks. Many SEO agencies have a large database of proven data to draw upon for best results as well, ensuring your eventual success.
Many people worry that some agencies are scams in disguise. It is true that there are malicious actors out there, so it is always essential to choose a transparent agency that provides results while directly addressing your precise needs. Do your research and make sure the company you pick is right for you!
#10 – SEO Can’t Be Measured
Monitoring is one of the most important keys to the ultimate success of SEO practices, so this myth is truly off-base. There are numerous metrics to use to track the progress of your SEO policies and all of them need to be taken to heart in order to see any positive growth for your webpage. Some of these metrics include:
Organic Traffic: This is a measure of the traffic that has come to your website from searches.
Keyword Ranking: A higher keyword ranking means a greater increase in your site’s traffic and better its better online visibility.
Search Visibility: How often does your site appear in organic search results?
Bounce Rate: A ‘bounce’ is when someone visits your site only to immediately leave it. The lower the rate, the better!
When taken as a whole, there are very accurate predictors of site performance within SEO guidelines. All you need to do is follow them!
SEO Myths Need To Be Dispelled
The only way to truly improve your website’s performance is to understand the factual information behind proper SEO practices and how to correctly implement them into your online presence. By doing so and by ignoring all the fake information out there, you will gradually see your site’s metrics improve steadily over time, eventually giving you the search placement you deserve. Avoiding misinformation while putting great content into the world is the only way forward!
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