SEO myths and misconceptions don't just appear out of thin air, and are usually no one's fault. They are merely a failure to adapt to the changing face of the World Wide Web and Google algorithms. So even if the points discussed below might have been the law of the land a few years ago, things have changed.
So for those who have missed out on an update or two, here we talk about 5 misconceptions that still hamper many digital marketing campaigns and with some easy fixes, you can make sure your SEO strategy doesn't suffer at the hands of these myths.
1. SEO Is All About Ranking
Sure there is a clear benefit to ranking high in the SERPs, which is why digital marketing professionals are constantly trying to improve their ranking with the latest and greatest SEO techniques. However, with Google algorithms getting smarter by the day and useful content greatly being preferred over link-rich content, ranking doesn't have the same importance today as it did a few years ago.
Users are more discerning about the content they consume and even if the SEO tactics get you a top spot on the SERPs and bring in a ton of traffic, all that traffic won't bring any tangible results to your sales or conversions. It is time to redefine the role of SEO in the modern web and use it as a tool to drive engagement and trust, as that will bring the actual results you are after.
So if you are implementing the best SEO strategy and the traffic is coming too, but you don't see the desired sales, sign-ups or conversions, you are probably focused on rankings and not driving enough engagement. In 2019, gear up for a smarter web by doing SEO to actually creating valuable content that helps your audience.
2. A Blog Will Get Your SEO Galloping
A blog helps your SEO strategy, no doubt, but it needs more work than just posting random pieces of content on an internal blog. When it comes to boosting your ranking and helping increase your Domain Authority, you need a fairly strong website to begin with. If you already have sizeable traffic coming in, you can help things along with a well timed internal blog post. However, if you are still working on building your domain authority, and want to use your blog to that end, you should rather focus on guest blogging.
Try to write useful content and get it published on popular sites that will link back to your site, bringing in traffic and bolstering your domain authority. Quality backlinks are your ticket to climbing the charts in Google's algorithms.
When you do write content for your own blog, remember to spend as much time promoting it as you do writing it. No matter how awesome your content is, getting eyeballs to it takes promotion. Run a Facebook advertising campaign, share it across your social media channels and try to get conversations started around it. In short, don't stop at a half baked attempt at creating a blog in the hopes of charting your SEO. Follow the right discourse and go all hands on deck if you really want to make blogging work.
3. You Can Buy Your Way to the Top for Enough Money
You can't. Period. SEO takes consistent efforts and long term planning along with dynamic strategy changes as and when required. No company in a foreign land can do it for you for $199. What these companies will do instead is get your site chock full of spammy links that will bring you nothing more than a Google penalty.
Of course you can hire a registered digital marketing agency to help improve your ranking through consistent efforts and an in-depth analysis of your business – its goals, foundations, target audience and current link profile. An agency worth its salt will never promise you a three month quick fix and a guaranteed #1 spot.
4. It's The Number Of Backlinks That Matter
With algorithms like Google Rankbrain, things have become even more transparent as to what constitutes a good backlink. And yes, there are good and bad backlinks, so focus on getting the good ones. Not all backlinks are created equal and just working towards gathering as many as they can, only hurts in the long run.
For instance, hyperlinking on social media handles like Facebook and Twitter will not quite help you improve your rankings. Branded links that contextually fit into the content and directly mention your brand will on the other hand, significantly improve your ranking. Links that come from high authority sites and are placed on anchors that naturally flow with the content and bring value to the reader are the only backlinks that Google truly deems worthy. If your backlinks don't correspond to these norms, they will at best do you no good and at worst, bring you a penalty.
5. Keywords Are Still Just Keywords
Keyword stuffing is bad. We don't need to tell you that, you already know it by now. The very sight of ‘dental implants Columbus Ohio' will drive Google and your readers away today. However, there's more to know about these magical nuggets of any SEO strategy. So indeed while keyword stuffing has been shunned out for good, a good keyword optimization strategy still remains pivotal to SEO.
A good place to start is to pay a lot of due attention to long tail keywords – 3 to 4 word phrases that people tend to search for as opposed to generic one-word keywords. No one types ‘doctors' into Google anymore. Your users are likely to type, or rather say, things like ‘experienced pediatrician near me open Sundays'. So be sure to optimize your content for conversational long tail keywords. Plenty of research and careful keyword planning will get you higher in the ranking for certain, but only if you do it well.
Do you feel your SEO has been held back by any of these misconceptions? Like we said in the beginning, a few easy fixes will get you swiftly back on the track. So get cracking on the new way Google ranks websites and say goodbye to the old ways. With consistent and well planned efforts, you will certainly see the positive results in the form of higher ranking and Domain Authority very soon.