SEO is no magic; you cannot obtain top rankings on Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs) overnight. It requires time, effort and a set of proven techniques to achieve your desired goals. So in many ways, search engine optimization is science, which is still evolving. Except for a few things like the need for high-quality content, the techniques used to optimize your website are continuously changing, reducing a lot of those techniques to mere stories from the past.
However, keeping up with these changes is often a struggle, given the ever-changing nature of SEO. Today’s best practices become are outdated tomorrow. This fast-paced innovation in SEO industry is further making it a challenging task to differentiate between the fact and the myth. Here are top 4 SEO myths you need to demystify immediately, if you haven’t already.
- SEO is All About Keywords
No, it isn’t. In 2013, Google announced that it will obscure its keyword referral data going forward. The number of “Not Provided” keywords is hovering but SEO isn’t dead yet. It is true that once upon a time, search engine optimization was all about keywords but that’s bygone. We no longer focus only on on-page optimization with keyword-stuffed title tags and Meta descriptions. Neither do online marketers emphasise only on link building anymore.
The truth is SEO (read Google) is moving away from keywords and so do marketers. We no more waste time on researching and creating lists of keywords, creating pages and content pieces around those keywords, building backlinks for them and tracking organic traffic coming from those keywords. Let aside Google’s updated policy about keyword referral data, today’s organic traffic is more than your keywords. Users today are more inclined to use Google’s autocomplete feature to get a suggested query instead of using keywords like before.
Besides, Google is giving significant importance to other elements such as the author, Author Rank, Knowledge Graph, personalization, and the platform where it is shared etc., killing the previously established keyword-driven approach of marketers.
- SEO is a One-Time Task
Really? Perhaps you can apply the same logic to social media marketing and with your one “killer’ post on Facebook or a viral tweet earn millions of fans and followers on these popular social networks. Or may be water your plant once to enjoy its shades and heavy flowering forever. Impossible, isn’t it? The same goes for SEO. Many companies fall into the trap by believing this myth and then end-up saying SEO is just a scam and never generate any real result.
You are bound to fail if you update your website once in a blue moon to meet best practices. You may have posted killer content once or twice a year that almost broke the Internet and generated a lot of social sharing and brand mentions, but in reality you are losing out the competition to others who have a more regular and strategic SEO approach.
Google and other major search engines are constantly tweaking and testing their algorithm. So if you fail to update your website on a regular basis with fresh and unique content, these search engines won’t crawl your site and your chance of ranking higher on the SERPs is almost zero. You should therefore use SEO as an ongoing engagement – create fresh and unique content and post them on your website frequently. Understand the need of your target audience and create content that caters to that need because the only thing that matters to Google now is user experience. So it is high time to get proactive with your SEO efforts.
- SEO Takes Too Much Time to Generate Result
It is partially true and is often misinterpreted. If you are comparing SEO with Pay-per-click or PPC then it is true that the latter can bring instant results. Almost immediately after launching your PPC campaign, you can start receiving visitors as PPC provides the benefits of speed and expansiveness. That said, it doesn’t mean SEO will only consume a lot of your time and effort without generating any real result.
First thing first, why would pay for PPC when you can get it for free with SEO? PPC needs constant investment; every time a visitor clicks your ad, you need to pay. Worst still, not all are qualified leads and the bounce rate or the cart abandonment rate can still be higher. Moreover, the cost-per-click is ever-increasing. To display your ads on the top spots, you must outbid your competitors and this is a vicious circle as they too would only replicate the same behavior.
In contrast, SEO helps you build authority for your website. The results may come later, but by the time it will come people will already start identifying you as an authority, a credible source in your particular domain. This helps to establish and improve the trust fact, which PPC is unable to provide. In fact, if you closely study not many people trust paid listing. Instead, they trust organic search results more. Finally, SEO will provide slow but steady and continuous results without increasing your cost.
The best practice, however, is to use SEO and PPC together for better, faster and a steady result; but that’s a different topic and we shall discuss it some other day.
- Link Building for SEO is Dead
That’s exactly what we said in our first point, isn’t it? Not really. But then again, it is true that many people are questioning the longevity and legitimacy of link building, especially after Google’s John Mueller recommended marketers to avoid link building as it can adversely affect their website.
There is no denying that links have lost their previous stature and influence when it comes to determining a website’s ranking on SERPs. Today, many other factors such as social signals and brand mentions are also taken into consideration and often given significant importance. But honestly, they haven’t replaced links yet.
What Mueller meant is to avoid poor quality links as they will do you more harm than any good. Always focus on quality over quantity. Your attitude towards link building needs to change; don’t be overzealous. One of the best ways to get quality links is to do guest blogging with popular, authoritative and quality blogs and websites in your domain.
Despite the myths and misconceptions around SEO, it is still critical to your business. Even today it helps you to reach millions, if you know and implement the right tactics and techniques. But before building your search engine optimization strategy, you need to first understand the difference between a fact and a myth, as having any misconception can cost you dearly in the long run.