The questions of “What is SEO?” or “How do I optimize my website for search engines?” can be complex and mysterious, as if marketers are trying to access a hidden diamond in a safe deep within the walls of popular search engines. While there may be no “magic bullet” answer to these questions, practicing sound Search Engine Optimization (SEO) fundamentals relies on arming yourself with as much information as possible about how search engines deliver results to users.
A common misconception about SEO is that marketers can institute some kind of tricks to “crack the code” to cater to an algorithm. Remember that search engines are designed to be used by people, not robots you should be making decisions on what is best for your users. Trying to cater to an algorithm can lead to some misguided decisions. Let’s take a look at four SEO myths that need some serious busting.
1. Rankings are Everything
Achieving a high ranking on search engine results pages (SERPS) should be a result of your SEO efforts, but it should not be an all-encompassing goal. Oftentimes, companies become too focused on rankings and spend all their time and effort trying to rank as high as possible for multiple keywords. Stuffing keywords into pages or creating thousands of key-word specific pages are endeavors that offer diminishing returns. Even if you rank high for a certain term, are you even going to convert a visitor if your content seems unnatural and is not even tangentially related to your business?
2. Get as Many Inbound Links as Possible
Developing and executing a strong link-building strategy is an important part of SEO; however, your aim should not be to just acquire as many links as you can. Your focus should be on generating links from high-quality sites that link to relevant content on our website. These quality links are what will improve your domain authority and increase your presence on the SERPS. Paying for links is an absolute no-go. Focus your time and effort on creating and sharing great content that people will want to link to.
3. On-page SEO is All that Matters
When engaging in search engine optimization, it is important not to forget the big picture. Having sound on-page SEO is essential to your strategy, but your efforts certainly shouldn’t stop there. While being found organically is great, do not ignore other important off-page aspects such as user experience, conversions and a social media/content distribution strategy. Your ultimate aim is to generate leads and customers for your business, so make sure you are doing more than just ranking high.
4. An Ideal Keyword Density Exists
Newsflash: there is no magic number of times you should repeat a keyword on any given page. In the early days of SEO, marketers would spend time and effort trying to determine the perfect amount of times to include each keyword per number of words on a web page. Keyword density is a thing of the past! Yes, keywords are important to use in URLs, headlines and content so readers know what your page is about, but stuffing your content with keywords just to meet a quota will make it sound unnatural. Who wants to read that?
Search engine optimization is a constantly evolving process, and there is not always a definitive answer to every question. In order to succeed, it is important to separate myth from fiction, and remember: don’t try to game the system!
What are some common SEO myths you’ve heard? What tips or tricks have actually worked well for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.