SEO is a constantly changing environment and unless you are keeping up to date it is easy to get stuck in the processes of the past. As a result, common misconceptions begin to form over the do’s and don’ts of optimizing your website. In this post, we’ll explore some of the biggest and most concerning misconceptions we see in SEO today.
Gone are the days where you could simply stuff your website with keywords and links to boost your ranking within search (HUGE misconception to date). If you’ve been following our blog regularly, you’ll know we talk about SEO, a lot. You also probably know the benefits SEO, if practiced properly, can have for your business. It is important to not get caught up in old practices, which can potentially harm the work you’ve put into your site.
Take a look through the 8 biggest misconceptions in SEO right now. We hope none ring a bell with you! 🙂
1. SEO is all about keywords and links
Look don’t get me wrong, keywords and links are important, but if these are all you’re relying on to boost your rankings, you will be very disappointed with the results. Search is changing constantly and there are more factors than just keywords and links.
If you spend your time proportionally making sure other elements such as website architecture and social reputation are in good order, coupled with solid keywords and links you will find the results you are looking for. Check out The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors from Search Engine Land below to see the numerous factors needed besides keywords and links.
2. Quantity is better than quality
The notion you need to be producing as many posts as possible for your website’s blog is false. As search engine algorithms get smarter, they are recognizing and rewarding high-quality content, above frequency. The smarter plan is to prepare and execute your blog posts, taking the time required to make sure the content in one blog post is much better than multiple rushed out posts.
3. Rankings are everything
So you have managed to get yourself a great ranking from your SEO practices. Great, but you still may not be seeing the benefits. Your ranking still needs to be coupled with other factors such as audience relevance and website traffic to get a sense of ROI.
Consider looking beyond rankings and measure these four metrics of your SEO practices.
- Growth of organic search traffic
- Growth of organic search traffic per keyword
- Growth of conversions from organic search traffic
- Growth of conversions from organic search traffic per keyword
4. Content marketing has replaced SEO
As I mentioned previously, search engines are now recognizing and rewarding quality content over some old SEO practices, so many people get the impression search optimization is dying off. SEO and content marketing have a full 360° relationship. Quality content is needed to engage consumers, but SEO is still needed to bring consumers to the content. Think of a new business who is producing great content. It’s a step in the right direction, but without optimization nobody may seeing it if their website isn’t being found.
5. SEO is a “one and done” process
No successful person in the history of mankind stopped what they were doing once they ascended to the top of their field and thought to themselves, “this is good enough.” In comparison, once you get the SEO results you want, it takes an active and consistent effort to maintain your place in the search engine results.
Always think long term when it comes to SEO. Consider setting up monthly reviews to take a look at how your SEO strategy is performing and make any changes, as necessary.
6. Google is the only search engine
When it comes to SEO people tend to think of only Google. You might be surprised to hear 400,000,000 and 300,000,000 unique monthly visitors use Bing and Yahoo respectively (Oct. 2016). If your focus is solely on Google you’re leaving a lot of potential traffic on the table.
Aside from traditional search engines, marketers today need to take into consideration social engines can be their own engines. For example, a lot of times I will search a company from Twitter or Facebook for their social account. It can be an annoying process if multiple profiles pop up and it takes a couple of searches to find the account I’m looking for. This serves as a reminder content needs to be optimized for various forms of search.
7. SEO takes a professional
Raise your hand if you stared blankly and didn’t quite register the words “search engine optimization” the first time you heard them. I did when I was starting out, so I’m sure a few of you found yourselves in a similar situation.
The good news is there are plenty of really great online resources to help you learn the ins and outs of SEO best practices, understanding Google algorithm updates and tips on how to setup your web presence properly. The Internet wants you to get the most out of your web presence, so don’t let it scare you.
8. On-page SEO is not important
Simply put, on-page SEO is the base where you start from. I don’t want to live in a house with a weak foundation and search engines don’t like sites who have neglected theirs. For example, a website optimized for mobile search, which is secure, quick and has relevant meta tags is more likely to have greater visibility.
The ideal web page should be hyper-specific to a certain subject (keyword). This involves making sure, where possible, the subject is in the title tag, the URL, the H1 Heading, image alt text, if appropriate, and noting the subject multiple times within your content (without going overboard). The content should be unique and the page should provide the links to other relevant content.
A key concept when it comes to SEO is moderation. If it feels like you’re trying to cheat or game the system, then you probably are. There are long-standing SEO best practices you can follow, many of which are based on common sense, as the search engines reward well-structured, highly relevant content people are most likely to want to read, like and share. Keep these principles in mind when you’re “doing SEO” and you will be well on your way to improved rankings, which will lead to more targeted traffic and conversions.
Thanks for reading, let us know if you have any questions or comments below!