Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential tool for any business, whether you’re a fortune 500 company or a mom-and-pop shop down the street. SEO helps your website appear within the top results on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, which ultimately will direct more consumers to your website first – rather than to your competitors.
According to intraspin.com, 42% of search engine users click the top ranking website. Only 8% click the second, and the click-through-rate continues to drop every website thereafter . Furthermore, 62% of search users click on a link on the first page of search results. This exemplifies the importance of having an SEO strategy in place to drive qualified traffic to your site and to add value to those searching for relevant data.
We all get WHY it’s important but HOW should you implement it? With so much information circulating the net these days on SEO practices, it may seem easy to drive traffic to your site and to share the right content with your target audience. With this in mind, we will go over the top 10 myths associated with SEO marketing and identify when it’s time to make the switch from DIY to relying on the experts!
1. The perfect headings are all I need
According to the Webmaster Center blog on Bing Community, many people still believe that having captivating title tags with solid content is enough to drive business to your site. While having relevant title tags is important, the bulk of the content has to be strategically aligned with what your users are searching for.
2. SEO is a one time commitment
This is one of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to implementing an SEO strategy. Google and other search engines are constantly changing their algorithms in order to have the most fresh and relevant data being fed through their searches. If you are to integrate SEO into your website, you must have it be an ongoing process. This may sound time consuming, but proper SEO integration will lead to your searches becoming organically higher ranked, which will ultimately improve your bottom line.
3. The Meta Keywords will give me high rankings
When the Internet was just starting out, having the right keywords in your meta keyword tag was the ultimate way to rank high in the search results. Nowadays, with a much more sophisticated Internet browsing system that can identify keyword stuffing, the meta keyword tag has little weight when it comes to the signals that ultimately result in a webpage ranking where it does.
4. Social Media alone will fuel my SEO
It is no surprise how important social media is for connecting with prospective and current customers and to drive more traffic to your website. However, a misconception is that social media is all you need to get qualified traffic into your site. But relying solely on social media efforts to optimize your site is unrealistic. Your social media tactics are just that- they are tactics for your overall SEO strategy. They must work together to feed your common goal- whatever that may be.
5. External linking > Internal Linking
It is easy to assume that having as many external links into your website is the ultimate tool to allow search engines to identify your site as qualified and relevant. With this notion, it has been said that internal linking is just not as important for SEO. Google has recently cracked down on sites that pay third party sites to link back to their web pages. This behavior has made internal linking that much more important for spiders to navigate your site and to rank it higher within search engines.
6. Images are not important for ranking organically
Having photos or any type of imagery is very important however many SEO-ers do not take the time to properly label their images. Ensuring your titles and quoting your image alt tags, with links back to your site will increase the visibility of those keywords and help you further optimize the pictures on your site.
7. The website guru’s and ‘experts’ will prepare you for a successful SEO strategy
With the Internet being extremely accessible to everyone it seems as though every day a new “social media guru” or “seo expert” pops up ready to provide SEO services. This is not to say that they’re aren’t individual experts and consultants who do know their stuff but do your home work before hiring one!
Again, with so much information circulating the web about SEO and with a number of ‘expert’s in the field, you have to be careful with taking it all in with a grain of salt. According to Noupe.com, there are more people who spend their time ‘theorizing, pontificating and regurgitating opinions of others than they do actually SEOing, consequently their knowledge and advice often leaves a little to be desired .’ You can spend countless hours on reading and implementing what the latest ‘SEO Guru’ has to say, but time is money and you may end up putting yourself further behind then when you started.
8. Quantity over quality when it comes to site links
This was touched on earlier, but we cannot stress this enough! It is not the quantity of internal or external links to your site- it is the quality! Having reputable third party sites that link back to your page or internally linking a few relevant links to other parts of your website is imperative to show search engines you are a trusted source and are affiliated with other trusted sources. There is the idea planting many site links with ‘relevant’ keywords will rank you high and you can sit back and reap the benefits. You must be careful with this- because once you are flagged from the search engines and possibly penalized, it can take a long time to recover.
9. PageRank is the only metric that matters
Again, SEO is an overall strategy, implemented using various tools and tactics. Your page being ranked #1 is not the only indicator that matters to search engines. There are over 200 ranking factors that Google uses to determine where your website appears in the search results, PageRank is just one of them. It is just a piece of the puzzle that can help your SEO, but is not the only meter to determine your visibility online.
10. The SEO fad is over
As with all strategies and digital tactics out there they are constantly evolving. The SEO tactics used today are very different than the SEO tactics someone would have implemented 15 years ago. On that point, anyone who says SEO is just a fad hasn’t realized that fads usually don’t stick around for 15 years and remains a long term digital marketing strategy. However, with the recent Google+ integration with search SEO by itself may not be as effective as it once was at grabbing the attention of your customer base and now requires a company to adopt other tactics to make their digital marketing an integrated approach.
These myths are meant to inform- not scare you. Do you agree or disagree with any of the myths?