One of the great things about SEO is that virtually anyone can start working on an SEO strategy by themselves and see results. However, there is a lot about SEO that is misunderstood, often even by self-professed gurus. SEO changes all the time and is becoming increasingly complex by the minute. You have the advent of technologies like AI and machine learning that are completely transforming what it means to optimize a website.
Mobile searches have also greatly changed the nature of the business. This is why many myths and half-truths keep circulating about SEO. The issue is that many of them could have a disastrous effect on your results without you realizing it. Here are some of the things people get terribly wrong with SEO.
1. SEO is All About Keywords
It is true that the foundation of search engines is keywords, but you cannot expect to dominate results simply because you use certain terms in your content. The worst part is when people think that there is some magical keyword ratio that will allow them to get on the first page. This is not how things work.
It’s important that you know which keywords people use to visit your website. These should be included in your content in a natural way. You should also make sure that they’re in your meta tags and descriptions. But that’s all you need to do. You shouldn’t try to stuff your content with all sorts of different variations. You shouldn’t try to do some manipulation with semantics like excessive use of keywords in titles either.
If you speak with anyone and they mention anything about keyword ratios, run. There is no such thing and search engines are much more sophisticated than that. You will need to do more than stuff content with keywords. If we were to give you one piece of advice when creating content, it would be to start with a list of keywords and use them as a theme for the article. They will then fall naturally within the text.
2. SEO is Free
Yes, you can start doing SEO for free and you might get some results as well. However, you will have to expect to pay at some point either in money or time. Building a content strategy takes time. You can decide to do it alone, but not everyone knows what good content looks like. Also, you have to have the expertise needed to analyze your website for issues. You need to be able to keep tabs on links to your website, and you need to know how to use analytics. This is not something that is given to anyone.
In this case, we would suggest that you at least speak with the pros and see what they could do for you. If you’re looking for a great team, you should check out lnpmediagroup.com. They’ll be able to look at your website and run a full audit to find areas where you could improve. They will also help you increase visibility through various techniques such as on-page optimization, link building, technical optimization, and local optimization just to name a few.
3. You Can Buy Your Way to Number One
On the other hand, don’t fall for services that promise that they can get you on the first page of Google by buying 10,000 links for £12. Can you imagine how simple (or impossible) things would be if anyone could buy one of these packages and get on the first page? This mainly comes from when links had a disproportionate influence on search engine results. There was a time when you indeed could buy cheap links from sites with relatively high authority and get a bump in your results. But those days are long gone, and Google got much wiser with time.
These days, you have to work on everything from on-page optimization and performance, to brand mentions whether they’re linked or unlinked, website performance, and more if you want a chance at ranking high. You can forget about trying to trick or pay your way to a high result – it just won’t happen.
4. SEO is a Set-it-and-Forget-it Process
This is another major misconception with SEO. If you want to get results, be ready to constantly – and we mean constantly – work on your SEO. You will need to check your old pieces of content and make sure that they’re up to date, or you might want to remove pages that are irrelevant or underperforming. You will also need to constantly keep releasing new content. Google favors everything that is fresh, and if you start neglecting this part, your results will slowly start to slide.
And don’t forget that rules change all the time. Google works day and night to constantly improve their service, and one thing that they secretly abhor is SEO. They actually hate the idea of people being able to manipulate listings, which is understandable. So, they constantly tweak their algorithms so that results reflect what users want and need.
This means that you have to constantly stay abreast of recent changes and be ready to make swift adjustments in case you were penalized by an algorithm change or update. These are a hot topic in the SEO community, and it’s not uncommon for them to result in an absolute bloodbath. This is why you need to make sure that you always work on your strategy and use techniques that are time tested. The most important thing to remember is that you need to think about people first and search engines second.
5. Only Number 1 Results Count
It’s true that the number one result will gobble up most of the traffic. It’s estimated that about 35% of clicks will be on that top result. Numbers 2 and 3 get 15% and 10% respectively, and this number drops to 2% on the second page. But the thing with SEO is that you can have many results for the same term on these pages. So, if you have 5 results between page 1 or 2, you still have a chance at getting some good traffic. Not only that, but more visibility will build your brand regardless of whether it’s at number 1, 2, or 12.
6. High Bounce Rates Will Ruin Your Website
This one is very pervasive and has been perpetuated by many people who are actually respected in the SEO world. There was this belief that bounce rates, which is when people “bounce” out of a site immediately after getting in, was a factor Google used to rank websites. While this sounds plausible at first, you have to take a deeper look at this. For one, a high bounce rate is not always an indication of irrelevance or bad quality.
Sometimes, people get what they need immediately and leave. That’s actually a good thing. Imagine Wikipedia getting penalized for everything someone runs a quick search for, then finds what they want. That couldn’t work, and Google understands this. Furthermore, there is no way for them to know your bounce rates unless you use Google analytics, and a large portion of websites on the internet don’t, so it would be impossible for them to act on them.
These are all common myths floating around about SEO. They could have very serious consequences, so make sure that you do your research first and speak with an expert if needed.