Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), is one of the most valuable and effective forms of marketing today. That’s a fact. It’s an ever-complicated beast which is always evolving. That’s another fact. But, are there misconceptions which might be holding you back? Is everything that SEO agencies tell you entirely correct?
In this post, we’re going to explore 10 misconceptions about SEO that you need to know. In addition to that, we’re going to look at why you might have been told otherwise. Read on and learn the truth!
1 – Keyword density is a huge factor in PR and search rankings
Keywords are important, there’s no denying that, but are they the be all and end all? Well, if it means spamming a page with an unnatural amount of keyword usage, then no, it most certainly is not.
The idea that you should be including a “minimum” number of keywords in the content on a page can be harmful. This often leads to unnatural content which can not only damage your reputation with your readers, but Google might rank you down for it as well.
Google uses something called TF-IDF (term frequency-inverse document frequency). With this they are essentially comparing the “term frequency” in your content, in comparison with what is considered to be normal throughout the rest of the web.
- Are keywords important?
- Should they be squeezed into the detriment of the entire piece?
2 – Links are not an important factor
Something which has been circulating a fair among throughout the SEO industry of late is the idea that links no longer matter. This is simply not the case. Of course, there are other very important factors which must be considered for links to work. But to say that they’re no longer a ranking factor is incorrect. Just like anything in life, link building is about quality over quantity.
So, building hundreds of cheap, irrelevant links for the sake of it is a waste of time and money. However, placing relevant and shareworthy content on trusted websites is, and always will be valuable. That and if you focus heavily on the quality and authenticity of the content that you create, then more natural links are bound to occur as people share and reference your articles.
- Is link building important?
- Should you buy 10,000 links for $10? Absolutely not.
Why have I been told otherwise?
Well, it could be for one of two reasons:
- The SEO company that you’re dealing with is not as knowledgeable as they claim to be.
- They don’t have access to strong link resources and are trying to steer you towards other areas in which they are more comfortable (it’s much easier to sell someone a tonne of links than it is to strategise a well-optimised content marketing campaign).
3 – Content is dead
Wrong! Content marketing is very much alive and well. You must remember who you’re trying to reach through SEO: real live people. This means that everything you create should be for the benefit of your target audience. You have to guide your page visitors to a positive conclusion, and what better a way of doing this then with quality, authentic and “share-worthy” content?
Why have I been told otherwise?
There are many “hustlers” in SEO who are looking to make a quick buck. So, the talentless & inequitable will try to make out that SEO is far simpler than it is in order to sign you up to a large link order with very little focus on the quality of their content. When you don’t get the desired results, they will keep you on board by insisting that you need another round of links. This will be rinsed and repeated until you eventually give up all together.
An SEO specialist worth their weight in gold will tell you that results have to be earned, by showcasing why you’re the best, through sharing unique, expertly crafted, industry-related content.
4 – Social signals affect your rankings
This is not to say that social signals aren’t incredibly important, but they do not affect your rankings in a Google SERP. Social signals can, however, have a positive impact on your links. And of course, having a strong presence on social media can only be of benefit to your brand and business.
- Should you stop working hard on your social media?
- Should you replace other SEO methods with a social media marketing campaign and expect to rank well in Google? Absolutely not.
You should use social media to build relationships with your existing customers and to attract more to your cause. It won’t directly affect your rankings, but the benefits of working on both your SEO and social media together are not to be snuffed at.
Find out more about the benefits of an effective social media campaign here.
5 – All SEO software is completely accurate
This is a tricky one, as there are certain SEO software’s which can be incredibly useful. However, if an SEO company is approaching you with “facts & figures” insisting that you’re getting zero to very little traffic, then we’d advise that you err on the side of caution. Much of the software is actually designed to frighten you into signing up to an SEO campaign.
Reputable companies on the other hand, who know what they’re doing will openly tell you what is working for you. They might even share a software audit with you and tell you that it’s not as bad as it looks, offering a clear plan on how to move forward.
Just be mindful of companies that give you the impression that the world might end tomorrow unless you sign up with them. The real specialists let their results and existing clientele speak for itself.
6 – SEO is a one-off activity
This is a dangerous misconception that many people want to believe because it can “save them money”. Obtaining the results that you set out to achieve and then thanking your SEO company and bidding them farewell is not the best move. The fact is, SEO is a competitive practise which is best treated as an on-going affair. Achieving page-one results is one thing; keeping them is another!
Yes, there are certain things which you might only need to do the once. For example: the onsite optimisation of your website. That said: the businesses which achieve and maintain the best results are those who frequently revisit their content in order to keep it fresh and relative. So, you may have some incredible product and service descriptions working well for you now. But, who’s to say that a slight revision in the future won’t benefit you? Stay on your toes, keep moving and evolve.
Why have I been told otherwise?
Again, there are certain individuals and businesses out there who aren’t interested in building long-lasting relationships. Instead they’re more focused on earning quick money with little effort. So, they charge a lumpsum for the SEO work and then leave you to it. Next thing you know, you’re not much better off than you were to begin with, and you’re being told that “there are no guarantees in SEO.”
Any reputable and reliable digital marketing agency will insist that it takes time to build up a natural profile. Results do not come over night, you’ve got to earn them.
7 – Position #1 on Google is the only profitable position
Yes, ranking at position one yields the highest “clickthrough” rates, but does that mean a position two or three ranking is useless to you? No, it does not. Here’s why…
You have to think about the way that you browse the internet. Do you search for a product or service and visit only the one website? Do you click on position one and make your purchase without even a glance at anything else?
In most cases, you’ll open and compare several tabs. This is why it’s so incredibly important to invest in quality content writing for your website. It’s all about creating the best possible user-experience with useful and in-depth descriptions. This care and consideration can only benefit you with higher “clicks to conversion” rates.
8 – Google Ads increases organic ranking
Many agencies who specialise in selling Google Ads will insist that they improve your organic rankings. This is simply not the case. Not convinced? Take Google’s word for it.
- Should you incorporate Adwords into your digital marketing campaign? Absolutely (Particularly when you’re in the process of improving your organic rankings through proven SEO strategies).
- Should Adwords be used instead of SEO? Or in the hopes that it will directly benefit your organic rankings? Absolutely not!
Your main focus should always be on your organic rankings. However, incorporating Adwords in order to give certain search phrases a boost is definitely an effective approach. You can even do this during certain holidays. For example: if you specialise in camping equipment or swimwear, then a summer Adwords campaign could yield some great results over the short-term.
9 – Mobile first isn’t all that important
The question you need to ask is; how often do you search for products and services on a laptop or desktop computer? If you’re in the office or you work from home, then you’ll be more likely to use a computer. However, the rest of the time you’ll more than likely use a tablet or mobile device.
The fact is: up to 70% of web traffic happens on mobile devices. So, why is it then that so many people claim that “mobile-first” is irrelevant?
If your website hasn’t been optimised with mobile functionality in mind, then you must endeavour to remedy that immediately. All content should be visible to both desktop and mobile users. There really is no excuse not to.
10 – SEO no longer works
This is quite possibly the most dangerous of all misconceptions. There are a number of reasons why people might think or believe this…
Many people might have had a bad run with a previous SEO company who failed to get them anywhere, took their money and messed them around. That’s enough to put most business owners off for life.
Other marketers who specialise in more traditional marketing methods (e.g., magazines) might share media about SEO being dead or no longer working, in an attempt to attract more clicks and ultimately scare people into favouring their chosen medium.
Don’t buy into it. Yes, there are other forms of marketing. Certainly, if you have enough budget, you should work on as much as you can (the bigger the net, the more fish you’ll catch). But, by believing that SEO doesn’t work, you’ll be missing out on huge growth and earning potential!
SEO does work, but it requires a patient and well-informed approach. You must be up to date with Google’s strict guidelines. You must also persevere through the tough times and trust that your hard work will pay off.
If you take anything away from this post, it should be that you shouldn’t believe everything that you hear online. Do your research and choose your experts carefully.