Over the years at 1PCS Creative we have come across many SEO myths. It is important to understand which guidance is a useful SEO strategy to implement and what is a myth. It is important because following a search engine optimisation myth, can actually be detrimental to your rankings on search engines.
This blog post will look at some of the common SEO myths and why they are a myth when it comes to your search engine optimisation strategy.
Creative director at 1PCS. Addicted to design, SEO, pizza and helping companies big and small succeed online.
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Why is SEO Important?
Firstly let’s begin with why search engine optimisation is important. To clarify for anyone who is new to looking at SEO for their business. SEO will impact the search results on major search engines such as Google. Specifically this is the organic search results.
Search engine results are determined by the search engine algorithms. Search engines understand if your website includes relevant keywords on your web pages, if internal and external links are included. Along with other important factors such as high quality content, title tags, meta description tags and link building.
SEO experts have the knowledge to implement a successful SEO strategy so that when a user searches for the relevant keywords for your business, that your website is shown at the top of the results. Being one of the top results will lead to receiving higher search traffic.
To achieve the highest conversion from traffic coming to your website. It is important to be targeting the most relevant keywords. This is visitors who have the right search intent for your business. When SEO is done correctly it ultimately leads to more enquiries and sales.
Why Are There SEO Myths?
There are a mixture of reasons why over the years SEO myths have circulated either online or when being discussed with businesses. A key point is that there are many factors that come into play for a successful SEO strategy. It isn’t as simple as inputting X + Y = Z.
Therefore one approach which could work well for one business or industry may not work for another. As a result if one business didn’t have success with a tactic, they might write it off as a myth. When in fact it just wasn’t the right SEO approach for them.
Similarly SEO is a long term and on-going strategy that needs continuous monitoring, testing and optimising. Sometimes an assumption can be made that an approach they were told to implement didn’t work, however a change in search engine results could have happened for a multitude of reasons.
Such as changes to the search algorithm rather than that specific action. Or not enough time was given to see the full impact of the changes made to see the full SEO success. Equally assumptions can be made incorrectly that gains in search engine traffic and search engine results were due to a particular strategy, however the reality may be a totally different reason or several factors. As a result similarly to above, this can lead to decisions being made on what an SEO myth is based on the wrong information.
So now is the time to clear up some of those SEO myths.
SEO Myth 1: SEO is about cramming in keywords
If you google search about search engine optimisation, you will often see people discuss whether to cram keywords onto each web page for search engines to discover your website.
By this we mean once you know the keyword(s) you would like to be found for in the search result. The solution is to include that keyword as many times as possible onto each web page. The more times you include the word, the better the result will be for the search queries when people search.
If only it was that simple! The reality is the search engines work much smarter than this. Google and other search engines want to ensure they are delivering the best result to meet the search query for a user. It makes them look good! So if the web page the user is sent to has no relevant content to actually help provide a solution and answer to their query, they will end up bouncing back to the search engine and going to your competitor.
The result of this will be your website being ranked lower, not higher! As search engines will decide your website does not have trust, authority or credibility. All important factors for search engine marketing.
The correct approach is yes to include keywords of course, but it is about the quality and relevance in which they are used as opposed to the quantity. They need to be used in the right context and the overall content should add value for the user, which includes your keywords within it.
SEO isn’t as simple as adding in more and more keywords.
SEO Myth 2: SEO can be done once
Quite often what happens is SEO is looked at once and may perhaps initially be showing good results with the search engine results pages. The SEO may have been reviewed and planned when the website first launched or rebranded. Have a think about your own SEO and website, can you remember when you last looked at your SEO?
If it was even just a year ago, the likelihood is the SEO approach is outdated compared to what your competitors are currently doing and either now or in the coming months this will have a negative impact on your ranking and position on search engines. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!
The reality is SEO works when SEO resources and optimisations are being consistently used. Search engine marketing should be considered a long term strategy. It is not about short term wins, when SEO knowledge is used correctly and frequently then the end result will be your business coming out on top for the right keywords and receiving qualified traffic from people with the right search intent to buy from your business.
An example of why it can’t be done once and forgotten about. If your website is not responsive, so not optimised for mobile or if you have recently updated your website to be suitable for mobile. Then the SEO strategies being used before this point will no longer be giving you the same results. This is one of the many changes made by the search algorithm which impacts how your website will rank on Google or other search engines.
It is essential to keep on top of any Google updates and changes to the algorithm. With any change then it is important to test, monitor and optimise the impact for your SEO strategy.
SEO is a long term strategy: To win the race be the Tortoise not the Hare!
SEO Myth 3: Keyword research is pointless
A common myth we come across is that there isn’t a need to delve deeper into keyword research to find out specific keywords to help search engines discover your website. For example only implementing SEO work for the keyword ‘Accountant’.
Whilst this is an essential target keyword to use for on page SEO, it is worth researching further to understand if other keywords could benefit your business. If you can drive traffic to your web pages which are qualified, so therefore are in the right position there and then with their search intent to want to use your business you can achieve a higher conversion from the traffic going to your website.
Similarly if your competitors are also targeting identical keywords, it can be helpful to find similar or alternative keywords which can still deliver a high return on your investment. The right approach is to target multiple keywords to drive traffic to your website.
It is also important to know the keywords you are targeting are definitely the right keywords for your business. If not you will end up targeting no one and won’t increase traffic from search engines. Therefore investing the time in keyword research is certainly not pointless.
As mentioned part of your research should include looking at the right keywords. This should be the most profitable for your niche. With a mixture of short tail keywords and long tail keywords (4 or more keyword phrases). To provide an example ‘Accountant’ is a short tail keyword. Whereas ‘Chartered Certified Accountant for tax returns’ is a long tail keyword.
Keyword research is essential to your SEO strategy more than ever, when Google did the ‘Hummingbird’ update it meant content must be relevant. With the content on each web page being structured well and following a consistent approach. The search algorithms knows if the keywords used aren’t relevant – Google wants to ensure the user of your website is being giving the right solution to their search queries.
Doing your homework on keywords pays off when it comes to SEO.
SEO Myth 4: Google penalises content updates and duplications
It has been said that when a website has duplicate content that this is penalised by Google and other search engines. However this is another SEO myth. Provided it is used in a relevant way and the right context, there is no issue using duplicate content and it is not penalised.
In fact the search algorithms account for this and acknowledge that duplicate copy will occur naturally on a website. The important point is to ensure that when implementing your SEO campaign to be giving the right signals to Google of which page to index. Google will then index the most relevant pages and indexes highest quality for the search query.
The reason it does this is so that the user is not repeatedly shown the same content, they are shown the relevant content for their current search. This myth has come about by people trying to manipulate their rankings and their entire website is web page after web page of duplicate content. The algorithm cottons onto this and the ranking is impacted as it is not viewed as authoritative or trustworthy.
Similarly, it has been said when updating content that it is penalised by Google. This is also an SEO myth. Former Google engineer Fili Wiese said “There is no such thing as an algorithmic penalty, it’s actually a recalculation.” He goes onto explain that with each quality update done on a web page, Google looks at what you have put in and what comes out is the rankings. So that ranking initially may be slightly different to before, but it is not a penalty.
As a result companies have been known to not adjust their content of fear their organic search results will be negatively impacted and penalised. The opposite is the reality. Fresh and updated content is key to successful SEO. Whilst you could be the number 1 result for a your desired keyword today. Tomorrow other websites who compete with you will overtake that position without keeping an eye on this. Which could impact on the search results. Don’t prevent search engines from keeping you at the top! Make sure to keep content fresh.
There are no penalties from Google for duplicated content and SEO updates.
Just recalculation of your ranking.
SEO Myth 5: One size fits all for SEO
Another cause of SEO myths becoming something people find themselves needing to read about it. Is the myth that the same SEO strategy will work for everyone. However, this in fact is how myths come about! With people sharing what didn’t work for them as either a myth or as fact if they found success.
SEO involves many elements that need constant monitoring, testing and optimising to deliver the best search results for your business. Whether that be using the right title tag, meta description and meta keywords or phrases. Or including relevant internal and external links for your niche to help build credibility and authority for your website, which in turn will benefit your rankings. If someone shared that they linked to a high authority website which boosted their rankings, that external link may not be natural or relevant to include for your business.
Every single business has its own industry and own set of competitors along with other factors making that business unique. Local SEO is an important ranking factor which again will differ for each business. A technique may work for one business, but not for another.
Another example, is that domain age is a ranking factor. In fact an older website is simply likely to have built up on its web pages a higher volume of relevant backlinks. So there is no impact on ranking simply due to the age of a website. A newer business will need a stronger focus with their SEO campaign to build these up. Whereas an older website may have a different focus for their SEO strategy.
Therefore multiple techniques and approaches are needed when it comes to SEO. One size does not fit all!
Every business has bespoke SEO requirements, one size does not fit all!
Want to know more?
We hope our blog post has helped to bust some of the SEO Myths you may have come across. Our team of SEO experts have been working with businesses for 20 years and come across every search algorithm update and change that impacts SEO. As a result it means we have the SEO experience and knowledge to know when to ignore a myth that comes along.
We continuously monitor, test and optimise SEO for our clients to ensure they are achieving the highest search results for their keywords and receiving qualified traffic with the right search intent to their website.
Get in touch today to speak to one of the team. We are more than happy to help and can discuss your business plans to see how we can support you to reach your goals.