Top 10 SEO Myths Debunked
SEO rules and best practices are constantly changing.
This is natural as search engines like Google need to keep marketers and content creators on their toes and avoid people ‘gaming’ the system.
But over the years we continue to hear certain myths about SEO that need to be debunked.
The following 10 myths are some of the biggest we come across. Don’t buy into them.
Myth #1: SEO is dead
This is one myth we want to put to bed before anything else.
No, search engine optimisation is not dead. Anyone trying to tell you otherwise is probably just trying to sell you their ‘solution’ instead. For example, PPC ad management.
SEO best practices are constantly changing. That means to continue to see success you need to stay up to date with changes to make the most of your efforts.
But SEO is still the best way to bring a steady stream of traffic to your website for the amount of money invested.
Myth #2: Keyword stuffing will lead to success
It’s a common misconception that because keywords are good, then the more the better.
Makes sense, right?
This is a big no-no.
Rookie search engine optimisers will often stuff content so full of keywords to the point where it doesn’t read naturally anymore.
Google can tell when you’re ‘keyword stuffing’. And they don’t look favourably on it.
Keywords should be added naturally to your content so it reads well for humans first.
Myth #3: Any backlink is a good link
Believing this myth has the potential to get your website in trouble.
‘Black hat’ search engine optimisers will promise you hundreds of new links almost overnight that will increase your visibility and shoot you to the top of search rankings.
But as we explain in our Link Building Guide here, it’s not just the quantity of backlinks that matter, but their quality too.
Links from websites with a high degree of ‘expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness’ are more valued by Google.
Myth #4: You should only focus on high DA website links
This is another common misconception about links. In order to avoid low-quality links as we mentioned above, some people make the mistake of only going after high-quality links.
For example, if you’re a small business in a small town, you may want to link to other local businesses in your area.
Chances are these small businesses aren’t going to have high domain authority.
A natural link profile will include links from all corners of the internet. The key to remember is user experience. Make sure your links are relevant and helpful for the end-user.
Myth #5: Having an SSL certificate isn’t important
This is a big one. Some people are still stuck in the days before Secure Socket Layers (SSL) certificates were common practice.
But this is a massive red flag to both Google and your website users.
SSLs protect sensitive information from being stolen as it transfers across the web.
This provides trust to your customers that their data will be safe, and allows Google to recognise that you’re a trustworthy site to send traffic to.
Myth #6: Guest blogging is dead
There was an uproar a few years back when Matt Cutts, an ex-Google engineer declared that guest blogging was officially dead.
Since then, this has been misinterpreted by many to mean you should stay away from it all together…but that’s not quite true.
Matt was referring to how spammy guest blogging was getting back in 2014.
Guest blogging has always been one of the foundational ways to build links. But many bloggers were abusing it by churning out content stuffed with links.
Writing content for someone else’s site is similar to writing content for your own. Remember to keep it high-quality. Write in niches that are relevant to you and your website. And write with optimal user experience in mind.
Myth #7: Pop-ups hurt your search rankings
We get it. Popups banners can be annoying.
But the reason they’re so widely used is that they work.
But many SEO professionals worry that having intrusive popups on your website can actually hurt your search rankings.
The key to using popups that don’t hurt your SEO is to make them less intrusive.
Search Engine Journal warns you should avoid popups that completely block navigation, are hard to dismiss, or activate instantly when someone reaches your page.
Instead, consider using banner ads, slide-ins, or inline popups that take up less than 15% of the screen. And consider not using popups on mobile devices at all.
Myth #8: Paid ads is all you need to focus on
It’s true that PPC ads can bring in traffic to your site quickly.
But this by no way means you can dismiss SEO as unimportant.
Hubspot reports that nearly 80% of users ignore paid ads in search results.
People generally prefer to click on organic search results. That means if you solely focus on PPC ads and ignore SEO you’re potentially missing out on 80% of your customer’s attention.
Search engine optimisation can take a little longer to see results than PPC ads, but it’s vital to your long-term success online.
Myth #9: High ranking websites convert more
It may seem natural that the higher you appear in search rankings, the more your website will convert readers into customers.
But isn’t quite accurate. Sure, higher search results may indeed bring more traffic to your site, but that doesn’t mean it will actually affect your conversion rate.
This is why Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a vital tool in the online marketer’s toolbox.
If you’re pouring labour or money into search engine optimisation (or running paid ads for that matter) you’ll want to invest some time into CRO to compound your efforts.
Myth #10: SEO is too hard
Search engine optimisation can seem like a challenge sometimes.
There’s a lot to learn, and the field is constantly changing so you need to be able to adapt to those changes if you want to see continued results.
But the benefits far outweigh the time and effort of an optimally designed SEO strategy.
Take a look at all of your competitors in the top spots on Google’s Search Results Page. The fact is they all fought their way to get there.
If you have website content that you want to get in front of readers, SEO is still the best way to do it, according to Hubspot:
“Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%”
Just ensure you start with clear goals for your SEO strategy and take consistent steps to improve over time. Your results will show in time.
Alternatively, if you want to save yourself the time and potential headache of figuring it all out on your own, we’d be happy to speak with you here at Yes Digital and see how we can help.
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