Search Engine Optimization is crucial to any business as it improves visibility, attracts leads, boosts revenue, and helps build a loyal customer base.
However, search engine algorithms change periodically, and hence you must update your SEO strategies to maintain your ranking or improve it on search engine results pages, also known as SERPs. To make sure you don’t get penalized or lose your ranking, we’re busting 10 common SEO myths and what you should do instead.
Myth 1: SEO is a one-time activity
Fact: Consider this—When you buy a bike, you can’t expect it to run in top shape forever, without any maintenance. SEO works similarly. To maintain your performance and improve it, you must keep your ears to the ground and continuously incorporate best SEO practices. Beat your competitors by tracking the latest trends and tactics, and implement them if they align with your SEO goals. Also, use analytics to measure if your efforts are giving you the desired results or not, and be open to optimizing your approach in real time.
Myth 2: Implementing an SEO strategy guarantees the top position in SERPs
Fact: Yes, implementing an SEO strategy will help you improve your performance on search engines, but it’s unethical for anyone to promise you that implementing a strategy will guarantee you pole position. This is because there are numerous variables involved, and despite your best efforts, you cannot predict the outcome.
So, the only thing you can do is work on bettering your performance consistently. Concentrate on improving the customer experience day after day. If you can create content that your target audience wants regularly, and do so in an engaging manner, it will establish your credibility and relevance, and hence lead to a rank improvement.
Myth 3: PPC campaigns do not improve SEO performance at all
Fact: Implementing a PPC or Pay-Per-Click campaign can indirectly impact your rankings. How? Once people see your ad, they are more inclined to click on an organic result (of your website) on SERPs. Similarly, PPC ads help keep you fresh in your target audience’s mind. This means that when they finally require your product or service, they’ll visit your website straightaway.
Myth 4: Outbound link sources are unimportant
Fact: The source of an outbound link does not directly affect your SEO score. But, it is pivotal to how your prospects perceive you, and this is the important factor. Identify sites that are reputable and that your target audience trusts. Add outbound links to your content only from such sites. Once people start trusting you, they will keep coming back to you in the future as well. By offering quality content and referencing authoritative sources, you can build consistent traffic to your website in the long run, and this is what will help you from an SEO standpoint.
Apart from linking to external sources, you can also link to other content pieces that you’ve created that hold relevance. However, make it a point to not overdo this. Too many links can make readers weary and drive them away.
Myth 5: SEO is all about keyword research
Fact: SEO is an extensive, complex field and to improve your performance, you have to pay attention to a number of factors. Keyword research is a critical part of this process, but there are other important measures that you must take too. For instance, content creation, optimizing links, optimizing your website for mobile viewing, etc. are all crucial aspects that also deserve your attention.
Myth 6: More keywords mean better ranking
Fact: Definitely not. Before Google’s Panda update in 2019, it wasn’t uncommon to see marketers using one set of keywords as many times as possible in their content. This practice, called keyword stuffing, improved ranking but did not serve the visitors’ interests.
Post 2019, the focus has shifted to search intent. Now, Google ranks results based on how closely a piece of content matches the search intent, and not by the presence or absence of a specific set of keywords. So, while keyword research is still important, addressing the underlying intent certainly helps drive results.
Myth 7: Page speed is unrelated to SEO performance
Fact: Page speed does not directly affect your SEO performance, but it does so indirectly. Here’s how. Assume that your webpage takes too long to load, say 10 seconds. In this event, a site visitor is likely to get agitated because of the waiting time involved. He/she might go back to the main page or even leave your website and search for other sites that offer similar information. To the search engine, it will appear that you are not a reliable website, or the visitor’s search intent is not satisfied by the content that you have on offer. In this manner, it can indirectly impact your performance.
To counter this, you can compress files, optimize code and images, enhance server response time, and leverage browser caching, to name a few tactics. This will yield a lighter page that loads faster.
Myth 8: Duplicating content is beneficial
Fact: This was a popular trick a few years ago, but one that experts frown upon. It involved making minor changes to high-performing content and reposting it—essentially, duplicating content so that for one search query, each of your content versions or duplicates showed up as a different result on SERPs. Many results meant that your click-through rate would spike significantly.
However, this is a practice you should steer clear of. If you wish to repurpose content, do so smartly. For instance, once you conduct a successful webinar, use the talking points to create a blog post. You can reach people on multiple platforms using the same content in this manner. If you absolutely must have same or similar content on multiple webpages, use redirects instead.
Myth 9: Interactive content does not affect rankings
Fact: Interactive content affects user experience and hence impacts your ranking. Such content enhances engagement and increases the time a visitor spends on your website. When done right, it creates a memorable experience and establishes your expertise as a credible source of information. It encourages website visitors to revisit your website, and owing to the engaging nature of interactive content, it even triggers shares. All of these outcomes put together help boost your SEO performance.
Myth 10: Social media has nothing to do with SEO
Fact: Your social media presence is a great way to enhance your brand perception, increase engagement and attract new customers, while retaining existing ones. This does not directly alter SEO scores, but can encourage people to visit your website, which is beneficial in its own way.
For instance, assume that you publish an interactive post on Instagram. At the end of the post, you add a link to your website. When prospects reach your website through this link, they contribute to organic traffic. So while you can’t expect any rapid improvement in rankings through social media platforms, in the long run, it will add to your tally.
Keeping track of what is fact, what is fiction and changing your SEO approach accordingly is a lot of work—there’s no sugar-coating it. However, when you partner with the right people, you can boost your SEO performance without any of the stress. For instance, collaborate with us at Resolute B2B. Our exhaustive range of SEO services help us cater to your every need, and our agile approach means that you can benefit from the best and latest SEO trends and practices. Get in touch with us to know more.