Debunking The Most Common SEO Myths
Although the world of SEO is constantly evolving, we still come across the same misconceptions about organic search. Through this blog, we’re aiming to address six of the most common SEO myths.
SEOs love to abbreviate key terms, so before diving straight into myth-busting mode, let’s take a quick recap of some of the most used acronyms:
- SEO: Refers to search engine optimisation.
- SERP: Is an abbreviation for search engine results page - the page you see after conducting a search.
- Traffic: Is the number of visits to a website.
- URL: Also known as uniform resource locators - refers to the location or addresses for online content.
- HTML: Hypertext markup language is used to create web pages.
- Alt text: The text in HTML code that describes website images.
- Title tag: HTML element that indicates the title on a page.
- Sitemap: Is a list of pages on your website, which enables search engines to find, crawl and understand the structure of your site.
#1 - My new website is live… why can’t I find it on Google?
We get it. You’re excited. You’ve just launched your brand new website, and yet when you try to search for it on Google, it’s nowhere to be seen. Now before spamming the panic button, it’s worth remembering that it takes time for search engines to discover new websites and web pages. In most cases, it’s likely that Google simply hasn’t found your website yet.
Now if patience isn’t one of your virtues, or you want complete peace of mind, you can run a search for site:yourwebsite.co.uk to see if Google knows your site exists. If your query returns no search results, you’ll need to create a sitemap, and submit it via Google Search Console.
#2 - We want to rank #1 for “[insert keyword]”
There’s often a perception that ranking #1 for a specific keyword is the only KPI to measure successful SEO. We’re not trying to dismiss the importance of short-tail keywords, like “marketing” or “web dev”, as they’re useful for sending traffic to your website. However, they’re not as effective as long-tail keywords with more focused user intent.
The key is to consistently create high-quality content about topics your target audience is likely to be interested in. With this strategy in place, potential customers will visit your site because your content is servicing their needs.
#3 - All search results are the same
This section is a combination of points #1 and #2. The short answer is no, search engine results are not the same for everyone in the world.
Search engines are designed to provide the most relevant and useful results for an individual’s queries. There is a wide range of factors such as physical location, device and search history that determine the websites displayed on the SERP.
It’s important to be aware that constantly searching for your own website or your competition’s site, can you give you a false representation of your website’s rankings, as search engines display your most visited websites at the top of the page.
To provide our clients with an accurate view of their website rankings, we use a third-party reporting tool that tracks keyword performance across different devices, locations and search engines. Get in touch to discuss how you can benefit from our meticulous approach to analytics.
#4 - SEO is a one-off thing
SEO is a long-term process that can deliver outstanding results for your business. But unfortunately, there’s no ‘magic trick’ that can accelerate the process and it can take several months to see improvements.
But stay committed. Even if you reach the top of your SEO peak and you’re satisfied with the results, your site still needs consistent effort to maintain your position in search rankings. By implementing a long-term SEO strategy you can prevent a dip in organic search traffic and diminish the threats of:
- Link degradation.
- Changing search engine algorithms.
- Your competition overtaking you.
- Outdated content.
#5 - SEO is content marketing
Although SEO and content marketing goes together as well as bread and butter, it’s important to understand there is a difference between the two.
As stated in this helpful blog post, SEO is considered to be a more technical process, whereas content marketing is more holistic. In truth, the two overlap seamlessly and to implement an effective digital marketing strategy, you need to focus on both SEO and content marketing.
#6 - Social media doesn’t impact SEO
Okay, we’ll admit it. In the past major search engines have stated that social media metrics such as Instagram likes or the number of tweets aren’t used to determine the rank of your website.
However, that doesn’t mean that social media isn’t important or has no impact on the success of your SEO strategy. In fact, social media has a ton of secondary benefits for SEO, some of which are listed below:
Driving website traffic - Social media is a powerful marketing tool that enables you to promote relevant and engaging content with your target audience. As your followers begin to share your content within their networks, they’re going to send more traffic to your website and boost your search rankings. Win, win.
Social profiles appear in search results - It’s worth noting that optimised social media accounts will appear in search engine results. In most cases, when searching for branded terms, your social media accounts will appear on the first page of the results. Try it out by searching for Applied Digital Marketing.
Content distribution - Remember in the section above when we said SEO and content marketing work in tandem? Well it’s time to add social media to the mix too. Social media is a fantastic channel for maximising the reach of your content. In contrast to search engines, which rely on users searching for the relevant keyword or query, social media allows you to promote your content to users who are not necessarily looking for it.
We hope that this blog has helped to dispel some of the most common SEO myths if you have any questions do let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn. And to discuss your SEO strategy and objectives in more detail simply drop us a line.