Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the best way to see organic traffic increase on your Google Analytics. Unfortunately, myths have been following SEO year to year.
Here are 15 myths to put to bed.
1. Don’t worry about SEO
“SEO isn’t that important. My site is fine, so there’s no point in paying someone to help me.” SEO that is done well will always be more beneficial to you than doing nothing! If your website was an employee would you invest in them and then not expect them to work for you or bring you value?
2. Content is king
“Content is ALL I need! If I have content, everything else will follow!” This isn’t true though! Content is important, but so are your links! You need both! (Good links. Not links you purchased from fourth rate websites to direct people to you.)
3. Speed isn’t important
“The speed at which a page loads isn’t as important as many other factors.” Be careful. A page doesn’t need to load in two seconds, but anything longer than five is likely to lower the amount of traffic you can get. People who cut their load time in half may see an equal rise in traffic.
4. Links are bad/dead
“Might as well remove all your links. They don’t matter that much anyway.” Your links are not bad (Probably). The day of the link has not passed. If links do not come from being purchased or other nefarious methods, your links are good for you! As I mentioned before, links and content together are important. Reciprocal linking the sake of it is foolish though, so don’t do that.
5. More links are better than more content
“If I get a lot of links to link to me, or link a lot to other people, that traffic is more valuable than anything else.” No, no, no. Content and links are equally crucial. They matter just as much to each other as they do to your traffic. Quality content, quality links.
6. Submit your site to Google
This myth is only a myth because it isn’t something you have to do. Every site has the option to submit itself to be Google indexed. However, if you optimise for SEO, this isn’t required. Google will index you on their own. You can expedite this process by using Webmaster Tools to submit sitemaps and crawl new pages.
If you want to find out what pages Google ‘found’ and is listing for your website, or any other website for that matter – just use the search “site:www.yourdomain.com” and you’ll be shown the results and how they are listed.
7. It’s a big company does it, it must be good
“Mt biggest competitor did it, so I should do it as well.” This is not true. There are times where copying a bigger company’s moves is good for you. SEO is not always going to be one of those things. Every site is different. What works for one does not always work for the other. Do not take the chance that what benefits a larger company will be harmful to you own. Trust professionals to guide you through the process.
8. There is a duplicate content penalty
There is no duplicate content penalty. This is not a real thing, at least, not in the way most people mean when they say that. People mistake duplicate content for a penalty because of how Google handles it. Really, the duplicates are just being filtered in the search results. You can see this for yourself by adding “&filter=0” to the end of the URL and removing the filtering. Always do your best to create unique content, don’t launch fifty sites with the exact same content and sitemap and don’t plagiarise – just make sure that your site is better than your best competitor. Don’t stress about this too much.
9. Social media saves your rank
“My social media will do the same thing as successful SEO.”
If you have successful social media, it will get you exposure. However, that doesn’t naturally translate to raising your rank. Social media means you’ll be seen and goes hand-in-hand with SEO. It doesn’t necessarily mean people will link to you. That’s what SEO does.
10. Buy Google ads for improved organic ratings
Simply put: No. Buying ads does not ever help your organic traffic. Ever.
11. Googles Uses AI All the Time
Googles only AI use is actually for RankBrain. That’s it…for now.
12. Meta descriptions are crucial for SEO
Meta descriptions, the little snapshot explanation that shows up under a link in a google search is not a ranking factor. This was true once, but it isn’t anymore. In fact, your meta description hasn’t affected your SEO since 2009. You should write a good meta description, simply for users to be drawn in, but don’t worry. It will not keep you from showing up at all.
13. Keyword Optimisation is the Most Important Part of SEO
Let me say it now: The internet has moved past a keyword only internet search. Keywords used to rule the internet, they really did. Now though, users are more likely to search for answers to questions and phrases, they search for longer tail phrases rather than to type in a few keywords and see what comes up. Feel free to use synonyms, and a thesaurus, because don’t worry: The same keyword does not need to be repeated to help you rank.
14. More Pages Will Help Me Rank Better
“More pages means I’m more likely to show up in Google searches!” This isn’t true. Quantity and quality always go hand in hand. Sites that match the searches and only contain a few pages are just as likely to show up as sites that answer the question searched for and contain lots of pages. Make sure your content is quality, is relevant, and never produce for quantity’s sake alone.
15. SEO services are the snake-oil of the modern internet
“Why would I use SEO. It doesn’t really work, you just think that it does.” The only time that people feel like SEO hasn’t worked is when they’ve taken a chance on a new/inexperienced/unproven SEO company.
Don’t take chances that you’re unsure of. It’s been proven that SEO really does work. You just need to be careful. Use an SEO agency that can prove by the numbers how useful they are. Consider their plans. Make sure they have an understandable, verifiable business base. SEO works, and you shouldn’t let this myth ruin your chance to improve in 2018.