If you look on Google for best SEO (search engine optimization) practices you’re bound to find conflicting information. Since SEO is an ever-changing process – especially with giants like Google coming out with new algorithm updates every few months – it can be hard to distinguish truth from the myth. Below we take a look at a few of the most common SEO myths and why you should ignore them.
Myth: #1 Search Engine Ranking Means Success
Seeing your website show up as the number one search result is a great feeling, but you need to consider what search terms give you those results. If no one is searching for the phrases you show up for – or those phrases aren’t relevant to your business – then your site isn’t going to be successful. For example, if a bakery shows as number one for “half eaten cupcakes for sale” but not a single person is looking to buy half eaten cupcakes then the site isn’t going to get any traffic, simply because no one is interested. Likewise, a bakery that shows up in the number one spot for the phrase “used cars” is not going to be getting relevant traffic or bakery sales. Keyword research is the prime way to choose the best phrases to use on your site.
Myth: The More Links The Better, No Matter Where They Come From
For some site owners the focus of link building is quantity rather than quality. This concept couldn’t be more wrong, especially in the wake of Google’s Panda updates. Link building should focus on attracting a range of quality links to relevant pages on your website. Spammy links can hurt your site; so know where your links are coming from and be selective about it. Stay away from buying links and sketchy automatic link exchanges.
Myth: Link Building Is More Important Than Content
Inbound links are important for SEO but focusing on link building when your site lacks any useful content is a waste of time. The purpose of SEO is to bring good traffic to your site, but good traffic is hard to get when your site has little or useless information on it. Developing quality content that viewers find useful will not only help bring people back to your site, but it can also earn you inbound links over time.
Myth: Meta Tags Don’t Matter
Some SEO’s argue that meta tags have been so abused by spammers that search engines don’t put any weight in them. But consider this, meta descriptions are the snippets that show up in Google search results, and Google bolds any words in this snippet that match the searcher’s query. By optimizing and customizing meta descriptions for each of your webpages, you have a better chance of being clicked on in search results because your meta description stands out.
Myth: SEO Is A One-Time “Set It And Forget It” Activity
Often times when a site is first created, owners will invest in a bit of SEO work and then think they are set for the long haul. This is not true. SEO needs to be monitored and updated consistently. Google is constantly updating its algorithms, inbound links can become stale, new competitors pop up, and new marketing tactics develop, to name a few reasons SEO requires ongoing efforts. Think of SEO as a workout plan for your website. With time and effort, your site stays in shape and relevant in the eyes of Google. But if you only “workout” for a month then stop… your site will slowly become out of shape and all the effort you put in initially will have been a waste.