Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful component of digital marketing. When a website ranks in top positions in Google for highly searched keywords, organic search queries generate significant website traffic and business leads.
These top 10 SEO myths dispel common SEO rumors:
Myth #1: SEO is dead
SEO is not dead, but it IS constantly evolving! Google (and other search engines) frequently update the algorithms to improve user experience. In the process, search engine techniques have evolved. The shift is less on creating content to appease search engines and more on creating appeasing user experiences (think: fast websites, interactive page elements, share-worthy content, etc.).
Myth #2: SEO results can be guaranteed
There are no guarantees in SEO because search engine algorithms are in control. There are over 200 ranking factors and Google does not publish their algorithms. While many SEOs have dissected the algorithms and have experience to know what works, it is advised to be skeptical of any SEO promising rankings for highly competitive terms.
Myth #3: SEO is only for B2C business
Increasingly, search engines are used to find B2B services. 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search (Google) and 52% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation (source: NewsCred).
Myth #4: Keywords no longer matter
While the meta keywords tag is no longer used in Google’s algorithm, the use of keywords in other areas is still important to help crawlers identify and index content. Google’s new RankBrain is intuitive enough to understand variation and context, so it is best to focus on user experience rather than keyword stuffing. Keywords should also be more conversational in nature so they are optimized for voice search.
Myth #5: SEO can be done quickly
Effective SEO takes time. It often takes 6-12 months to see significant gains, especially in highly competitive industries. It is recommended to be skeptical of SEO providers who promise quick results. It is recommended to utilize paid search (PPC) if quick results are needed.
Myth #6: Anybody can do SEO
While most websites have basic SEO features built in to add simple meta data, it takes an experienced SEO specialist to understand the many technical anomalies that occur with search engines and indexing. It is best to have a dedicated in-house SEO person or outsource to an experienced agency.
Myth #7: People no longer use search engines as frequently
While some third party product and services aggregator websites have grown in popularity (think: Amazon, Yelp, Groupon), search engines are still the largest source of initial browsing for products and services. In fact, 89% of consumers begin their buying process with a search engine (source: Fleishman-Hillard).
Myth #8: I’ve already done SEO
Like other facets of marketing, SEO is an ongoing process. While it helps to do a one-time optimization, SEO should receive ongoing attention. Fresh content, page speed improvements, and new inbound links are all quality signals that should happen on a regular basis.
Myth #9: Link building no longer works
Link building is still one of the strongest ranking signals. Search engines caught on to artificial, low quality link building tactics such as buying backlinks and using private blog networks. Today, it is more effective to produce great content for natural link building. Focus on link quality vs. link quantity.
Myth #10: SEO is expensive
Effective SEO can pay for itself over and over. If a keyword ranks in position #1 in Google, the chance of a searcher clicking the result is ~34%. If the same keyword is in position #10, the click-through rate drops to ~2%. When calculating the click-through rate (CTR) x average order value (AOV), it is easy to apply a dollar amount to see how much a keyword position can pay off.
For any business looking to increase website traffic through Google, effective and up-to-date SEO is crucial to success.