Debunking the biggest SEO myths so you don't fall foul of them
Poor SEO, so misunderstood! These days there are so many misconceptions about SEO that it is becoming ridiculous. It is now time to shed some light on the biggest myths of SEO. Unfortunately, anyone can write anything on the internet. This is how some of the biggest myths are born. Others myths seem to be embedded in people’s heads because they haven’t done their research.
It is common to see many businesses fall for at least some of these myths. This is quite disturbing because believing in some of these myths can cause detrimental effects to your SEO campaign (or even mean businesses do not use SEO altogether).
Some of these myths are simply bad SEO practices while others are outdated due to the ever evolving nature of SEO. Most businesses don’t even know they are following these myths that could cause great harm to your website and its ranking!
Below are the biggest SEO myths that I have seen. Believing in most of these myths has the potential to destroy your SEO (or not even get it started). If you find you indeed do believe in one of some of these myths, it is important for you to change your belief and your tactics going forward.
By only believing in the truth and facts, you are able to develop a solid SEO strategy that will actually be beneficial to your website. Unfortunately, there are some people out there that no matter what you say or how many facts and statistics you show them, they will never change their mind.
I am here to set the record straight, but if you truly don’t believe that SEO is important to boost your ranking then there is nothing I can do to help you! I hope you enjoy not moving up in the search engine ranking! For those interested in what the biggest SEO myth are, have a read below to find out.
1. SEO doesn’t work and it is a scam
This is the biggest and most detrimental myth of all. SEO does actually work and it certainly isn’t a scam. Where this myth most likely originates from is those who have tried SEO for let’s say 2 weeks, didn’t see instant results and therefore believe it doesn’t work and is a waste of money.
If you have done any research at all, you will understand that SEO doesn’t provide instant overnight results. SEO is a slow process and it is important that you are constantly investing in it in order to see results.
The time it takes to see SEO results will greatly depend on the type of business and industry you are in as well as the type of keywords you are looking to target. As a general rule, most businesses will start to see results after a couple of months.
Unfortunately, there are a few scam SEO companies out there that give the rest of us a bad name. SEO is not a scam, but there are scam SEO businesses. People that believe SEO is a scam probably have hired the assistance of a dodgy SEO company.
Dodgy SEO companies offer promises that are too good to be true. For example, they can get you to the first position on Google, they know Google’s algorithm; and all for a very cheap price. These companies use black hat SEO methods which are known for spamming and usually result in your website receiving a penalty from Google.
This is certainly not what SEO is! SEO helps to build your ranking naturally using proven organic methods like creating engaging and valuable content as well as quality link building.
As I said before SEO results take a lot of time, this means (quality) SEO companies will be working hard for extended periods of time to show you the best possible results. Do you think that these SEO companies will be putting in all this hard work for a small fee? No, probably not!
Just because SEO takes a long time to show results and the cost is not dirt cheap, it doesn’t mean it is a scam. SEO takes real commitment and I recommend that you give SEO a good crack before you make any harsh judgements about its effectiveness.
2. Google doesn’t care about user experience
Now, why would Google not care about your website’s user experience? Think about it, how did Google become the most powerful search engine? By giving the users exactly what they want! This relates directly back to none other than…USER EXPERIENCE!
Google does care about ensuring that users find exactly what they are looking for and that users have a positive experience when they click on a website. User experience is also one of Google’s ranking factors.
To me, this myth makes no sense at all and anyone with a tiny bit of knowledge about SEO will be able to know that this is a complete myth. User experience is very important because it signifies to Google that you actually care about the users that visit your website.
Search engines use certain metrics and measures to determine whether a website has positive user engagement as well as how much this will impact the ranking. When users are having a good experience they are more likely going to stay for longer and return often, this signifies to Google that the site is popular and care about user experience.
When a website is deemed of a higher quality, it is likely to receive better rankings. So how do you actually make your website more user-friendly? Below are a few tips to help boost your user experience:
- Ensure your website is responsive – i.e. there are lots of places for users to click and explore and the layout is suitable
- You will need to have accurate and relevant descriptions of your web pages
- Use relevant keywords (but don’t keyword stuff)
- Create engaging headlines that appeal to the user
- Ensure your website has a fast speed
- Include interesting and high-quality visuals (don’t have too many big blocks of text)
3. We already did SEO so we don’t need to do it again
As I said in the first point, SEO requires continual effort and resources. Just because you already did it doesn’t mean you will see perpetual results well into the future after you have stopped your SEO campaign.
If you start an SEO campaign and stop it after any amount of time, this doesn’t mean you will still see results. After stopping SEO you will actually most likely see your search traffic begin to fall. If you have stopped your campaign because you can’t afford to pay someone, then you should try to put in the effort yourself.
This means that even though there is no campaign running, you are still putting effort towards the cause. This will help to limit the severity of the drop in traffic after your campaign ends.
So why is it so important to ensure you are always maintaining your website’s SEO? Well here are some of the key reasons:
- Your content will become outdated – by not maintain your SEO the content on your website is not the most up to date and relevant.
- Search engine algorithms change – the algorithm that impacts the ranking of your website is constantly changing and evolving with the times. This means that an important ranking factor today may have little influence in a couple of years’ time.
- Competition moves up – most of your competition will probably still be using SEO, so while your results stagnate, their results will continue to flourish, pushing their ranking further up and potentially your ranking further down.
- Outdated links – link building is an important part of SEO and over time the links essentially “rot”, meaning they are no longer effective.
Over time all the good work you put in with your SEO campaign will slowly undo itself. Therefore, just because you did SEO once in the past DOES NOT mean you are fine not to do it now. SEO is constantly changing so it is important for you to keep on top of what’s happening.
4. All keywords need to be included in the title
After you have completed your keyword research (yes, you will definitely need to research on keywords), you will find there are actually a lot of keywords that you want to rank for. Some of your keywords may be more important than others and they will certainly have different levels of competitiveness attached to them.
Just because you have a lot of keywords you want to rank for, doesn’t mean you should be including them all in the title. This is especially the case if you have a certain variety of keywords. So for example, if I am the owner of a candy store two of my keywords may be; “candy store Sydney” and “candy store online”.
These two keywords would not make sense if I tried to put them together in the same title, right? And the title would be way too long. These keywords could work well in the content but not together in the title.
A way to overcome the temptation to put all your keywords into the title is to write a different article for every different group of keywords you have. Keywords like, “candy store” and “candy store Sydney” would certainly work well together! This also helps you create more content (which is hopefully quality) that both users and Google will love!
The reason many people believe this myth is because it used to work in the past. However, Google has since changed the algorithm and stuffing your title will too many keywords is no longer effective. What’s more, you may even be penalised from Google for keyword stuffing!
It is pretty much impossible to create a short and engaging title while also including lots of keywords. When creating your title you have to think about what the user would want to read. A web page with the title “Best candy store Sydney and great candy store online” probably won’t draw in the users.
Go for a title like “Best candy store in Sydney – the yummiest lollies you will ever taste!”. Here there is only one keyword, but doesn’t the title sound a lot more engaging and inviting this way?
Users are smart; they can tell went something isn’t right. Keyword stuffing shows to your users that you don’t actually care about them as much as you care about Google and ensuring you have a good ranking. So make sure you don’t put too many keywords in the title, there is always plenty of room in the content for more keywords.
So there you have it, 4 of the biggest SEO myths. There are certainly a lot more myths out there that you will need to watch out for. Morale of the story, you need to be careful with what you read about SEO on the internet! If you are just starting out with SEO make sure you only review credible SEO websites.
There are a lot of people who will try to discredit SEO. The most important thing to remember above everything is that SEO does indeed work. There are proven strategies that quality SEO companies (or yourself) can put in place that will improve your ranking.
Just because you don’t see instant results doesn’t mean it’s not working. Be patient as SEO will take time. You will need to continue SEO long term because if you stop all the hard work you previously put in will eventually unravel itself.
Other than that, it is also important to ensure your website has a high level of user experience. The better your user experience, the more repeat visitors you’ll get and the longer users will stay on your website. And never keyword stuff in the title! There is plenty of room in the content to include the keywords.