The one thing SEO and diets have in common is the abundance of gurus, experts, and ‘secret methods’ that will, for sure, bring success overnight.
These two topics are tossed around in clickbait titles, discussed in YouTube videos, and promoted by anyone who wants to have something important to say. What’s puzzling is that the real advice, that’s supported by actual experts, gets mixed with and pushed down by the flashy content that promises easy results.
This creates a state of confusion and misguidance that hurts actual people and makes them swear off such techniques.
So, while we won’t be talking about diets, we will have a look at the most hurtful SEO myths and rip them to shreds so you can understand why they don’t stand to trial.
SEO Doesn’t Work
This myth comes from crooked SEO consultants who flash some sort of impossible-to-achieve results and promise the same thing for your site in a matter of weeks. They charge astronomical fees, but when push comes to shove, they don’t deliver and blame your site for not being performant enough for their methods.
There’s also the case when these so-called experts employ unhealthy SEO techniques to get rapid results that fail in time. Since the traffic is artificially inflated, the people who visit your site won’t transform into leads, so your sales will stay the same or even drop.
Myth Debunked: SEO is effective, but only when done with the client’s interest in mind. Each campaign must be customized based on the needs of the customer and their goals. Also, SEO is not a hit-and-run kind of deal; it’s a continuous effort that requires market analysis, observation, and regular adjustments,
It’s All About Keywords
The first thing many people know about SEO is that it uses keywords. Everyone knows that you can use only a certain number of keywords (to avoid stuffing) and that they must show up in titles and meta description.
Sadly, that’s the extent of it and there are people out there who still think that’s all it takes to rank in Google.
Myth Debunked: While keywords used to have this role when sites and search engines first started, nowadays things go beyond this aspect.
Keywords are still useful but only if used with other elements such as:
- Quality content that answers to users’ needs
- Data and content are structured logically
- Good website performance
- Responsive template
- Addressing and reaching an audience that’s relevant
Algorithm Updates Will Hurt Your Site
The algorithm updates are the scarecrow of the SEO world because everyone knows of sites that used to rank high and have good traffic but never recovered after an update hit. So why bother putting in all that money and effort?
Myth Debunked: While some of the stories are true, the only reason their site’s metrics plummeted was that they were using manipulative SEO techniques (knowingly or unknowingly).
These algorithms are not Google’s way to downgrade your site. They are working hard to improve the user experience and make the crawlers as effective as possible in finding the most relevant content for each search query.
So, while some changes may have a small effect on your site, it will be easy to tweak things and return to the initial position or even higher.
I’ll Have My IT Guy Handle It
Myth Debunked: No, the IT guy or department has nothing to do with SEO! While they’re both in the new technologies sphere, the two fields are as different as day and night. One handles equipment, networks, and software installation while the other works with marketing data and sales reports.
Search Engine Optimization is a collaborative effort that has marketing and sales team working together to identify the best approach for your ideal customers. Their job is to find ways to make the site more attractive, easier to navigate, and interesting for visitors while creating an easy-to-follow sales funnel that transforms them into paying customers.
Guarantees for Ranking First
If an SEO company or expert ever guarantees that their technique will help the site rank first in Google for a keyword, run and don’t look back!
Myth Debunked: In SEO there are no guarantees because we don’t know the mechanics behind each search inquiry. However, we do have access to high-end techniques that, when put together, create an effective online marketing strategy.
Moreover, you shouldn’t be concerned about ranking first for a keyword. Your main concern should be in identifying a specific niche that works with your product or service, and focus the SEO efforts on that. As the word spreads (and it usually does, especially in a tight community) more customers will come.
Content is King
Why invest in SEO when I can pay someone to write a few articles every other week?
Myth Debunked: The idea that high-quality content is enough to set you aside from the competition is misguided. While it’s true that well-structured content, with an easy flow and good grammar, is necessary, it is not enough to rank in search engines.
Just like in the case of keywords, good content is just another piece of the puzzle. But you’ll need more pieces to create a coherent strategy that promotes your site as being the go-to choice for specific search queries.
Link-building is Not Effective
There was a time when it didn’t matter what type of sites were linking back to you. This led to the existence of the dreaded link farms or web directories where anyone could register a link and have their site rank up.
Moreover, people started posting comments with links back to their sites on blogs, forums, and other sites.
As a result, Google perfected their link-building rules and started penalizing the sites that were using unhealthy practices.
Myth Debunked: Nowadays, backlinking only works if it comes from sources that are relevant and credible. So, if an authority site in your niche recommends your page to their audience, this shows you are delivering high-quality content, that’s relevant. Google will take notice and will probably bump you up in rankings and send more traffic your way.
But if you pay a bunch of low-quality blogs to include your link in their articles, you risk losing the current position in SERP.
You Should Be on Social Media
Social media seems to be the scapegoat of every SEO campaign gone wrong. The reason why your site isn’t ranking is that you don’t have a strong persona on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and ten other platforms!
Myth Debunked: As it turns out, social media and SEO don’t really mix. True, you have the chance to get in contact with your customers, at a more personal level, on social media. However, having an account on all the platforms you can think of won’t do much for your SEO efforts.
So, unless you know for sure where to find your target audience’s digital watering hole, it’s best to make SEO work first. As your campaign gets more refined, you too get to learn more about the people who need your services or products.
The More Articles the Better
This is somehow connected to the ‘content is king’ myth because it has marketers believe that the frequency of posting is more important than the quality of content.
Myth Debunked: While Google may appreciate you are actively creating content, the end result will not be impressive, and the ROI will be low. Instead, you should focus on writing / creating several well-researched and on-point pieces of content for the most relevant keywords and long tail searches.
The traffic will increase once you learn how to deliver content that matters for the audience and not for search engines.
If you take anything from this article let it be the fact that there is no easy way to high-quality SEO. Optimizing for search engines is hard science that requires constant work because the landscape is always changing.
The digital world is dynamic and, in order to beat the competition (even the big brands), you must stay sharp and prepared for change!