Busting the most common myths and misconceptions about SEO once and for all.
- Despite being debunked time after time, there are still a multitude of myths and misconceptions surrounding SEO practices.
- Although most of the time myths are harmless, in the realm of SEO they can wreak havoc on your business, making you lose time, resources and money.
- SEO is not only about keyword targeting, there are several other factors that are incredibly important in helping your website rank better in the search engine.
Bulls get angry when they see the colour red. Carrots help you see in the dark. Goldfish only have three-second memories. You’ll get cramps if you go swimming right after you eat Right?
When we spend our entire lives believing and entertaining myths and misconceptions, it can be hard to separate what is true and what is false. The common myths and misconceptions listed above are just a few examples of what we have learned to believe over the years.
A myth is defined as a widely held but false belief or idea, and although most of the time myths are harmless, in the world of SEO, these myths can lead to an incredible waste of valuable resources, limited time and money for your business.
Here are 10 most common misconceptions about SEO that haven’t seemed to disappear, despite the fact that they’ve been repeatedly debunked over the years:
1“Keyword research is unnecessary.”
Everyone talks to search engines differently. Are you sure you know how your customers talk to Google when they’re looking for a product or services that you provide?
When you choose to utilize an SEO strategy for your business, keyword research is often swept under the rug, neglected, and thought of as something that is unnecessary and unimportant. The reason why many people think that keyword research is unnecessary is because they assume that since they own the business, they must know their users the best.
Thus, it has led to a false belief that you can just rely on logic and assumptions about what relevant keywords you should be targeting for your website. However, the reality is that you need real concrete data to know whether or not that keyword is going to be a good one, or even a possible one for your website to rank for. Research is incredibly important in ensuring you choose the most relevant and effective keywords to drive traffic and create conversions to your website.
One of the many potential consequences of not conducting the proper keyword research is that you choose the wrong keywords. Say goodbye to experiencing any high search volume because choosing the wrong keywords to target is the easiest way to kill your website.
Targeting the wrong keywords means you are either targeting keywords that have little to no people searching for it, which means any content related to those keywords are highly unlikely to be seen. Or, you are targeting high competition keywords, which in this case, means there are too many competitors for that keyword already and your website is again unlikely to be seen.
2“The more keywords you use, the better your website will rank.”
The more the merrier, right? Wrong. When you are conducting SEO for your website it can be tempting to take shortcuts and sneaky “black hat” tactics to increase your search rankings. However, these shortcuts will not only not help you, but they will in fact negatively affect your rankings.
Many people fall under the false impression that if you want to increase your organic rankings, you need to use as many keywords as possible throughout the content of your website. This is so that Google can see that your website is ‘relevant’ to the search queries.
However, integrating too many keywords that are unnecessarily repeating or out of context into your website may lead to keyword stuffing. Which is where your website will face harmful consequences such as Google potentially penalising your website as keyword stuffing breaks Google’s guidelines.
Other than breaking guidelines, keyword stuffing creates a horrible experience for your users. Your website should always aim to serve value to your readers and when you stuff keywords into your page, you cannot fulfill this purpose for your users, which in turn, will lead to higher bounce rates indefinitely. Instead of trying to cheat and beat Google’s algorithm, focus on trying to create a great user experience for your website.
3 “Content doesn’t matter if you’re targeting the right keywords.”
There is a common misconception that SEO is literally just keyword targeting, and therefore, if you manage to target the ‘right’ ones, you don’t actually have to worry about the actual content you are cultivating. Many people believe that if you have the right keywords, you can simply sprinkle them throughout your mediocre or low-quality content in order to improve rankings.
However, you won’t be able to rank well in search engines if your content is not up to standard. For example, if your users aren’t finding the right content they’re looking for, it’ll increase your bounce rate which will hurt your SEO ranking even if you have the “right” keywords.
In other words, you won’t be able to harness the full potential and benefits that come with SEO if you do not provide both relevant and useful content on your website, as well as proper keyword targeting. SEO and content go hand in hand and cannot work as effectively alone. Learn more about why your business needs both UX and SEO here.
A few elements you should consider when creating content is from Google themselves: make sure your information is useful and informative, more valuable and useful than other sites, credible, high-quality and lastly engaging.
4“Title tags and meta descriptions aren’t that important.”
You never get a second chance at a first impression. How you present your website is how your users will choose to view you and your business, so what are your showcasing?
In the world of SEO, there’s a lot of emphasis placed on keyword targeting to the point where title tags and meta descriptions are often forgotten about since they seem like such ‘basic’ components. However, these two pieces of information are crucial for SEO as these are the first two components of information that your audience will see about your website.
While title tags and meta descriptions will not get your pages to rank higher on Google, they are crucial for enticing clicks from users once you do start to rank on the first page. To ensure that you’re taking full advantage of title tags and meta descriptions, make sure that your title tags are not more than 60 characters and your descriptions are within the appropriate character limit of 155 characters. Also, include targeted keywords and make sure they are relevant and concise.
5“Rankings are everything.”
Higher rankings seem to be the epitome of what success in SEO looks like. However, many people mistake search engine rankings as being absolutely everything. And although rankings play a significant role in driving more users to your website, this traffic means nothing if these users aren’t converting on your website.
To ensure that users are staying on your website, you need to provide valuable, pleasurable and useful content to make sure your users have a pleasant experience, and will thus engage with your content. Remember, well-optimised websites get more traffic which means more leads and sales which is why design and development of your website is crucial.
This can be done through a multitude of different factors: having a safe, secure and accessible website, improving your site’s speed, and having better mobile friendliness to just name a few.
6“Pagespeed will make or break my website.”
One of the most common misconceptions about page speed is that it is a much bigger ranking factor than it actually is Although it can have a big impact, it isn’t everything. Page speed can be a good way for your website to rank better as users will have a more pleasant experience on them, however, when in competition with content relevancy and quality, the page speed alone will not save your website.
Page speed is of course an important ranking factor as it takes some of the frustration away for users when they are on your website, however, Google prefers to show users the most relevant content, not necessarily the fastest one.
7“Links don’t really matter.”
Links and link building is at the core of how Google decides whether or not to rank your page and greatly affects your website’s authority. By having quality links throughout your website, it sends a signal to Google that your website is not only providing high quality content and information, but that this information is worth of citation, thus, your website appears more trustworthy and professional.
It is also useful to have other websites linking to your website and there are a number of link building strategies used to get them to do so. Firstly, you can try to create unique and high quality content that people will naturally want to reference and use. Secondly, get your products and services reviewed and mentioned by well known people in the industry in order to raise your credibility.
8“SEO doesn’t work so don’t bother.”
Now this myth is simply the furthest from the truth. When done correctly, SEO is an incredible way to bring your business more search visibility, increasing traffic and thus increasing your conversions. But as we’ll explain, SEO is not a one and done deal and it can take a while to “settle in” as it is more of a marathon run than a sprint.
In the case of SEO, slow and steady really does win the race as you don’t want to have any suspicious spikes in traffic that would ultimately harm your business. Despite slower results, SEO can definitely have a massive impact on the success of your business in the long run.
Particularly, because the long-term ROI potential of SEO is unmatched, it can be a great way to help you reduce your cost-per-acquisition. This is because, while you always need to spend more to earn more in running ads, your SEO earnings will increase without requiring you to invest more.
You may be wondering why it takes a while to see the results of SEO. In the past, it was easier and faster to gain traffic to websites, however, now there is more competition and SEO has definitely evolved. You do not only need to consider what keywords you should target, but you need to also conduct a full thorough site audit, create content that delights, get quality backlinks and more. To really get to grips on what SEO involves, check out our Ultimate Guide to SEO here.
9“SEO is a one and done deal.”
One of the most common misconceptions about SEO is that it is a one and done deal. Meaning, once you optimise your site once, your website is set to go forever. This misconception about SEO can be exceptionally harmful and damaging to your business because optimising your site once is far from what it takes.
SEO is never a one and done deal. It takes consistent time and effort to produce the most optimal results. The most successful and sustainable SEO campaigns are continuous and not static as the internet is constantly changing and evolving. Google changes its algorithm countless times a year, and hundreds of thousands of new websites are launched every single day – which means you always need to be diligent and stay on top of your game.
Although you may see initial results from conducting SEO for your website, long-term results that drive valuable traffic to your website that’ll help you maintain your rankings will not follow just like that. To get the most of our SEO, you need to do it consistently.
10“You can do SEO yourself.”
Despite the rumours, you cannot successfully do SEO yourself – unless you have unlimited hours and resources at your disposal. SEO is a full-time job and if you try to manage SEO all by yourself in conjunction with all of your other responsibilities then there will be inefficiencies and inevitable mistakes that will make their way through the cracks.
This is why you should consider hiring an SEO in-house or turn to an SEO agency so that you can focus on your core business operations.
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At Morphosis Digital Consultancy, we put people at the heart of any digital product strategy. We are able to develop strategic plans for digital products for a wide range of industries.
After 15+ years, we’ve perfected our digital consulting services and are committed to helping you launch new digital products, convert more customers and deliver a better experience for your users. Get in touch with our SEO experts for a free consultation session on how you can scale your website traffic today.