Top 5 SEO Myths That Need To Go Away
Because SEO is a complex topic, there's bound to be some old myths and misinformation out there.
At the rate search and digital culture are changing, understanding SEO requires constant upkeep. Methods that put web pages and businesses in the #1 spot in 2015 may be penalized to and drop page 10 this year.
Here the top list of SEO myths that need to die.
Myth #1: More Content = Better Rankings
I worked with a marketing department and their CEO demanded daily blogs. 365 days a year. Weekends. Holidays. No excuses.
A huge task, with some merits to it. Fill your website with content and hope something attracts visitors, why not?
The problem was the emphasis on quantity over quality. In his perspective, throwing crap at a wall until something sticks and goes viral was the key to SEO.
Needless to say, this was a ton of work for their staff, and did little to nothing to improve site rankings. Lesson learned.
Low-quality content is often worse than no content at all.
Quality is extremely important to Google, and has been since its beginning. Think about it: Google’s #1 job is to get its users to what they are looking for. The better your content is, the better Google’s user experience is. That’s why spam and deceptive content/practices don’t rank anymore.
When creating content, what you create and do should be ten times better than the competition.
If your content is undeniably better than the competitor’s content, there’s a good chance you will crush the opposition in rankings. The problem? Good content takes time, effort, and (often) money.
Pro Tip: Change your focus from amount of content to quality of content.
Myth #2: Meta Descriptions/Meta Keywords Play A Big Role in Rankings
For those who don’t know, meta descriptions are those little summaries of a web page that usually appear beneath the page title and link when viewing your search results. It’s sort of like the blurb of a book: few short sentences that give an overview of the subject, without giving away any juicy details.
Like mostly everything on the internet, many attempted to use meta descriptions in a spammy way. It’s more content for Google’s crawlers, right? Wrong. Meta descriptions won’t help your site’s ranking. Not directly, anyways.
There are, however, some best practices for meta descriptions. So, if they don’t help your ranking, why even worry about them?
A well written meta description, which may be shown in the SERPs, can greatly increase your CTR (click through rate). That, indirectly, can help your rankings.
Spammy descriptions should be avoided, users won't click on them. Plus, spammy meta descriptions could potentially hurt your rankings.
Pro Tip: Write informative, descriptions for users, and not for search engine crawlers.
Myth #3: Keyword-Stuffing Still Works
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar to SEO. The reason it made this list is because keyword stuffing is still prevalent. Website owners are still stuffing keywords like it’s 1999.
Keyword stuffing is where a keyword is stamped throughout a website. It’s spammy. It’s obvious. It’s hated by search engines.
Google has been cracking down on keyword stuffing since at least the early 2000’s by penalizing (and even banning) spammy websites. Even then, you still see keyword density that looks like this in website copy:
“Looking for new tires? AnySite.com has all the new tires and new tires accessories a new tires seeker could ever want! Call today for new tires in your area! NEW TIRES!”
Does that seem natural when you read it aloud? No.
Does it help search engine rankings? No.
Does it sell new tires? No.
Does it make the internet worse? Yes.
Pro Tip: Use keywords and keyword phrases in a natural way. Users (and search engines) are looking for relevant, quality content, and not repetitive drivel.
Myth #4: More Engagement is Always Good
Comments, social shares, inbound links, and engagement are generally good…generally.
The insatiable hunger for engagement can lead some folks down a path of evil.
More likes shows more engagement, so why not buy interaction when possible?
30 to 40 percent of Facebook likes are processed in 3rd world countries, where $50 can get you around 1,000 likes. It’s pretty obvious when likes are fake.
A seldom-updated page with tens of thousands of likes, but zero engagement is a huge red flag.
A sudden spike of thousands of likes out of the blue?
Accruing legitimate fans is generally a slow-and-steady climb, and not a spastic, unnatural lurch.
Even if hard rules about fake engagement aren’t officially in place, inauthentic behavior damages trust for your brand. Though it may be tempting to surge your brand artificially, it will catch up with you, and hurt your brand in the long run.
Pro Tip: Once again, quality is key. Form real relationships on the internet, and foster real engagement.
Myth #5: We Don’t Need Content
It can be hard to communicate the real value of good content. Business owners are used to stripping down costs and identifying redundancies to make budgets sustainable, and content may be the very last priority.
Content advocates and creators are often dismissed as dreamers with no tangible value. In all reality, content marketing has measurable, effective results.
Content isn’t just blog-writing and little tweets and quirky videos. Content is anything that communicates a message to the audience. Anything.
The internet is made of content. It’s what everyone consumes and interacts with from sunrise to long after sunset. Making outstanding content gets your brand into the lives of your audience.
Blogging establishes expertise in your industry, and (hopefully) gets links all over the place. Blogs actually generate sales leads. Site traffic, improved SEO, direct customer conversions, and immersion with your brand all come from blog content.
Video content is probably taking over your news feed, and it’s only going to get more popular. Many predict 80% of global internet consumption will be video content by 2020.
If you’re not making good video content, your business will very likely be left in the dust of your competition.
Pro Tip: Every business can benefit from quality content marketing. Just make sure you’re doing it right!
The Big Takeaways:
- Focus on content quality. Your website is for visitors, not robots.
- Don’t spam. Stay current with SEO trends. Fake engagement hurts your brand. Content is more important than ever.
- In general, authenticity is the best policy in SEO strategy. Your content should be a quality resource for your audience, and spammy “hacks” and shortcuts will only make people think less of your brand.
- Sometimes webmasters, business owners, and content creators can forget that they are cultivating web content for human experiences, and not to appease search engine crawlers.
- Provide valuable content, and your web presence will flourish.
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