I often get calls from website owners who unfortunately believe lots of SEO myths regarding what they can do to grow their business online. When I mention Search Engine Optimisation, I usually get mixed reactions.
I’ve realised that individual website owners out there are still holding on to certain myths about SEO. But I’m on a mission to provide business owners like yourself, marketing and sales tips, and industry knowledge to help you grow your business and be more successful.
Every day a new search engine optimization myth is born. But, unfortunately, not every day does an old myth die off.
Here are ten myths about SEO you should stop believing.
SEO is a Quick Fix
When some people talk about SEO, they think of SEO as some quick fix to their website traffic issues. Nothing could be further from the truth.
SEO takes time to yield positive results. As Google updates its algorithm regularly, professional SEOs need to be on alert to effect necessary tweaks.
Google challenges marketers to educate themselves about each update, adapting their SEO strategy and solving for any reduction in organic traffic.
When you hire an SEO provider, it is based on trust. Since there is a low bar to entry into the field of digital marketing, including and especially SEO. There are no actual certification processes (because how would you certify something that changes every day?) and Google never publishes the algorithms, so there is no way to test an individual’s knowledge against what they contain.
So when you hire an SEO expert, you aren’t paying only for their time. You are paying for their knowledge and results. Prices are set accordingly.
There are no quick fix or magic steps involved in SEO. Almost every SEO signal can be broken down to KPIs that can be explained.
SEO is a One-off Solution
Even if your website ranks as number one today on Google’s search engine result page (SERP) that doesn’t mean you should rest. Instead, you need to keep tweaking your website to make sure it maintains its ranking.
SEO is not a checklist of tasks you mark as done as you complete each task in the list. If you perform an SEO audit, you will get a checklist of task you need to do to put things right. And if you are building a website there is a list of best practices that you need to do to put your site on the path to success. But that doesn’t mean SEO is a one-time activity.
I’ve seen cases of some website that have lost their impressive ranking within a few weeks because of changes made in Google’s algorithm. And the website owners didn’t consider these changes to their websites.
The best practices of the past become outdated or downright obsolete. To keep up with the competition, especially in the more lucrative niches, SEO is an ongoing effort with planned, periodic spurts of increased activity scheduled ahead of time. Some factors such as snippet representation, directly affecting user experience and signals are continuously monitored and improved. The same applies to page performance, which again is directly responsible for how users experience the website. Other factors, such as managing backlink liabilities, may only require spot checks and be part of an annual on- and off-page SEO audit.
Old Domains are Better than New
If you think because you registered your domain back in 1995, so that’s all you need to rank high on search engines, then you are deceiving yourself.
These days a new website registered this year that has valuable content attracting a lot of links will rank higher than yours. So instead of focusing on domain age alone, you still need to produce useful content with consistency on your website.
Keyword Stuffing Helps
If you’re still stuffing your blog posts with additional keywords, you are making an enormous mistake. If you’re not careful, Google might even penalise your website! Then, you will lose whatever ranking you are striving to achieve.
According to this article, if you ratchet up specific keywords to a level that’s unusual for a topic, or start obsessing about your density of adverbs, Google perceives your site as a manipulative outlier and not a more relevant resource.
These tactics no longer work because of Google’s constant work at recognising natural language patterns.
Guest Posting is No Longer Relevant
Nothing could be further from the truth. Guest posting especially from influencers in your industry is still relevant to your SEO.
According to this article, there is no technical difference between guest-blogging content and any other content. Guest blogging means that a guest contributed a piece of content to your blog.
It can help you gain much-needed backlinks. So strive to get as much guest posts as possible but make sure the guest post applies to your target audience.
All Links are Important
These days, outbound links, i.e. links to other websites from your website are not as relevant as inbound links, i.e. links from other sites to your website.
So get as many inbound links from authoritative websites as much as possible. The more inbound links you get from reliable sites like Wikipedia and so on, the higher you will rank on search engines.
Links are the one element of Google’s algorithm that’s difficult to game at scale. Do your best to provide your audience with genuine quality inbound and outbound links.
But this does not mean that you should buy 20,000 backlinks for $10. This will not work. It will get your website penalised and possibly banned on Google and other search engines.
You Don’t Need A Blog
There is a popular saying in online marketing that content is king. Therefore, if your content is king, then you need a blog because it’s one of the primary ways you can produce relevant content.
If in 2020 you still don’t have a blog then how are you providing content for your target audience?
If you don’t have a blog and you’re producing content that lives only on social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) What will happen if you lose it all?
Without a blog, you cannot have much content. Without content, you cannot have traffic. Without traffic, you cannot have backlinks.
Having a blog ensures that you’re creating content that will live on your website. It will of more benefit to your brand from an SEO perspective.
Your Website Doesn’t Need To Be Responsive
These days many people access the internet via their mobile devices. Since you don’t know what device your website visitor will use to visit your website, the best bet is to have a responsive website.
Google has highlighted mobile-friendliness as a major factor in their algorithm since the 2000s. The 2018 mobile-first update was one of the impactful updates in years.
A responsive website caters to different devices and screen sizes. In fact, if your site is responsive, that’s a significant advantage for you from an SEO perspective.
According to this article, Google said a while back that page speed is only a tie-breaker when all other factors are equal. So I’ll argue that you cannot have a responsive website without addressing your website speed. It means (for instance) if your site has a 22-second site load time, then you need to cut it down to 8 seconds.
Content Is All You Need
I will not downplay the role of relevant and authoritative content on your website for SEO.
But it would be a joke if you think SEO is only about content. There’s a lot that goes into SEO, and I have not even scratched the surface in this blog post.
Many articles make the statement content is king. This not completely untrue, because your content needs links, design, and usability. According to this, they are like the conjoined twins of the SEO world. You must have both. One will not work without the other (at least not well and not for the long term)
The same article mentioned earlier says that people regard in-depth content as valuable. But, in reality, most lengthy articles aren’t so valuable for the user, thus don’t provide the website a good premise for content marketing.
SEO is Dead
From time to time, the industry is agog with sensational headlines about the demise of SEO. But to me, SEO is alive and well. But SEO is always developing. SEO is not static.
According to this article search traffic converts 9% better than social media traffic.
If you’re still trying to use old-school SEO techniques to rank high in SERPs, then sooner than later your website will be the one to die off. Remember that these days your brand needs to innovate or die.
These are the ten myths about SEO that I often come across. If you’re one of those still believing these myths, you need to stop. Instead, you need to consider how you too can start using SEO now to grow your business. Contact SEO experts in Nigeria to get started.
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