10 Common Myths About SEO Featured.jpg

Busting the Top Myths About SEO

Having a beautiful website can go a long way for any small business, but only if the site is visible enough that potential customers will see it. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.

SEO is all about helping your site rank higher in the organic search results for relevant keywords, and it’s a critical aspect of a business’s long-term success online.

SEO isn’t the only way to make your website more visible. You could (and should) increase your visibility through search advertising, social media marketing and management, and by getting listed on the applicable review sites and directories, but a focus on SEO is the key to affordable, long-term visibility.

Although SEO is incredibly important, it’s also one of those things that’s highly misunderstood. Part of the reason for this is that Google’s search algorithm is always changing in an effort to continually improve the experience for its users. That means what worked to get your website ranked a month ago may not fly today.

The other big reason why there’s so much about SEO that’s misunderstood is that Google’s algorithm isn’t exactly publicly accessible, and Google isn’t often straightforward about the ranking factors it takes into account.

This has led to a lot of confusion about SEO, and unfortunately, some businesses have given up on it altogether. Today, I hope to shed some light on some of the most common misconceptions about SEO.

6 common myths about SEO

Myth #1. Content is the only thing that matters

The phrase, “Content is king,” is popular in the SEO world. While it’s true that content is a vitally important part of any SEO strategy, it’s important to realize that it’s not everything, and it’s certainly not the only thing you should be doing from an SEO perspective.

You absolutely need great content, but content is just one aspect of SEO. Earning links is, arguably, just as important as building content, especially if you’re hoping to rank for broader keywords in addition to long-tail keywords.

Myth #2. SEO is an unsolved mystery

From the fate of Amelia Earhart to the true identity of Jack the Ripper, there are a lot of unanswered questions in the world that we never fully understand the answers to. And, unfortunately, a lot of people are under the misconception that SEO is one of them.

The good news is that SEO is not a mystery that will never be solved. While the average person who doesn’t work at Google may not be able to know <i>everything</i> about the search algorithm, there is a lot that we do know.

The truth is that SEO doesn’t have to be overly complicated or mysterious; it’s something anybody can do themselves if they dedicate the time to it.

Myth #3. The more keywords you can use, the better

Using the right keywords in your content is a basic SEO principle that most people are very familiar with. However, where people get into trouble is when they put more emphasis on using keywords in their content than on providing quality content in the first place.

When you are aiming to get too many keywords in your content, it can come out clunky and less than reader-friendly. It’s also fairly obvious what you’re trying to do, and Google will see it as a spammy ploy for organic rankings. In the end, keyword stuffing can actually end up hurting your standing in the SERP (search engine results pages).

Instead of trying to cram a bunch of keywords into your content, focus on building out high-quality content that is relevant to the keywords you’re targeting and that will naturally include them without being spammy.

Myth #4. Google penalizes duplicate content

There’s a big misconception in the SEO world that if there’s duplicate content on your site, Google will penalize your site in the search results. But, the reality of the situation is a little more complicated than that.

The truth is that Google doesn’t penalize duplicate content at all. Now, hear me out. That doesn’t mean that having duplicate content on your website will help you. It can still hurt you, but not in the way that was previously thought.

If there’s more than one version of the same content out there, it’s important to know that Google will only ever rank one of them. Why would Google want to provide its users with multiple results that contain the same content?

So, while Google won’t punish your website for using duplicate content in poorer rankings, it also won’t help it rank. In fact, Google will likely pretend like it doesn’t exist in the first place.

Myth #5. Meta tags aren’t all that important

The meta tags on a webpage are the title tag — sometimes called SEO title — and meta description. These elements don’t appear on the page themselves; although, you can find the title tag if you hover over the tab with your mouse. Meta tags also aren’t ranking factors for Google and other search engines.

So, if title tags and meta descriptions aren’t visible on the page and aren’t a ranking factor, they’re not really all that important, right? Wrong!

You may not be able to see the meta data of the page on the front end of your website, but search engine users will see them in the search results. When they do, you want your meta tags to entice them to click through and visit your site, and that means that you need to optimize them.

Myth #6. When your website starts ranking, you can stop focusing on SEO

A lot of people see SEO as running a marathon or working toward a goal. Yes, it may take time and energy to get there, but eventually, there’s a finish line.

However, this mentality is dangerous when it comes to SEO, because even if you’ve managed to get your site on page one for your most valuable keywords today, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be ranking on page one for those keywords tomorrow.

SEO isn’t a one-time thing, your site won’t rank overnight, and reaching the top position doesn’t mean that you can stop working at it. SEO is an ongoing process that requires consistency.

Before you can start dominating the organic rankings, you need a fast, mobile-friendly, user-friendly website. Start building your own with the Websites 360® website builder today!

Originally published on 7/10/20