What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the technique of improving the ranking of web pages in order to increase the total volume of traffic going to a website from the search engine results pages.
This is achieved by embracing search engine friendly elements and strategies into the website to generate this traffic. A successful search engine optimization campaign will have relevant keywords placed in such an order that it catches the attention of search engine algorithms (on-page SEO), while also looking at external factors (off-page SEO) to build up the online visibility of a site..
How does SEO help in growing business?
Naturally, if your webpage appears on the top page of the search results for a particular query, it will generate more traffic, and ideally grow your business.
However, being listed on that glorious #1 spot on page 1 completely depends on the SEO practices that you follow and how consistent you are with your efforts.
For many the first port of call is Youtube when it comes to educating oneself on SEO. Unfortunately this is where you will find a lot of outdated information, amateur level gurus, all which result in SEO myths being born.
So, here we have listed the Top 5 most common myths in SEO.
Read on and find out the five most common SEO myths we come across. No time to read? Here they are listed
The 5 Most Common SEO Myths:
- Long-form content doesn’t secure high rankings
- You can’t fool search engines by stuffing keywords
- Linking is useless
- Social media doesn’t impact SEO
- Image optimisation is unnecessary
Long write-ups won’t secure good rankings
Word count is unquestionably important for SEO but it’s not the only thing you should rely on.
Commonly referred to as “skyscraper” content, long-form written text is often rumoured to guarantee high rankings for your post. It will certainly help but will only truly work, when other factors have been considered alongside and the content is written with the purpose of SEO in mind.
So, writing up longer posts won’t necessarily give you the desired results.
It is always best though for you to focus on producing high-quality content that solves issues and queries of users. Users will hang around to read your post, and subsequently share it, only when it interests them and is presented in a neat, easy to digest structure.
This will make them automatically share content with other people in their circle resulting in natural backlinks which definitely assist in higher ranking.
Using single keyword in multiple places won’t fool search engines
Search engines have two things they mainly concern themselves with.
Firstly, whether the users’ query was solved, and secondly whether it was done in a user friendly way.
Therefore, while writing the post, you should be writing for people, not robots. You mustn’t insert single keywords repeatedly unnecessarily.
This is known as “keyword stuffing” which is considered a highly punishable act for search engines and often results in more harm than good.
Rather than stuffing your posts full of keywords, think of semantically related words you can use instead.
Failing to do so might see your website marked as spam. So, never try to deceive search engine crawlers.
Create a website that is responsive, reads naturally, error-free (grammatical error, factual error), and contains interesting and precious information for the user to attract him/her.
Selling comes later.
Linking is useless
In the early stages of SEO, webmasters used thousands of links to enjoy good ranking. However, Google caught on and penalized these sites involved in manipulative link building practices.
This taught SEO’s lesson that buying links or spamming pages, or leaving website links in blog comments are not beneficial, not of any sort of quality, and basically just rubbish.
Links are undoubtedly an important ranking factor, but you’ll want quality and relevant links to your industry or business.
Industry-relevant links, as well as NAP citations, are all you’re wanting. So focus on quality rather than the number of backlinks. If you’re looking for a list of backlinks that every Australian business should have, check out our article of Top 10 Easy Backlinks For Australian Businesses.
When you hear about people hitting rock bottom after an algorithm update, it’s usually websites built on black hat or unsustainable SEO tactics.
That is not to discount the power of internal linking because that’s about as foundational and as important as it gets.
Social media has no impact on SEO
It is the biggest myth that social media is not related to SEO since social traffic is not a ranking factor for SERPs, but this doesn’t mean that it still cannot influence your online presence.
Social media, if done right, has the incredible power to attract people to your websites.
We also know that backlinks from popular social media platforms (like your Facebook or Linkedin pages) are picked up on, and are beneficial.
As we’ve already discussed, quality backlinks including NAP citations are highly sought after and help establish your business as an entity. This helps in bringing in more web traffic.
In our opinion, social media also brings in users that are highly engaged, meaning they’re unlikely to bounce away from your site, sending negative engagement signals to Google.
Marketing through social media is no longer a new trend but it is still relevant in increasing your site’s visibility; thus making search engines happy!
With the increase in visual media present on websites, (addition of pictures, videos), the value of the content as well as the user experienced goes up dramatically.
When adding images though it is important to ensure you’re not uploading photos directly from your smart phone, as these are likely to be quite large.
Uploading a series of large photos will blow out the time it takes for your webpage to load, and we say, on average, you’re losing 50% of traffic if your site takes longer than 5 seconds to load.
With Australia’s shocking internet, you don’t want to make people wait.
Additionally, when uploading images you have the opportunity to optimise them by adding additional details such as title, alt text, and description which will greatly contribute to the increased chances of having your image visible in search engines but also to show Google, through keywords, that your images are supportive and reflective of the rest of the page content.
SEO Myths in a Nutshell
With each Google algorithm update new SEO myths are born while others are laid to rest.
While we can certainly manipulate your ranking and optimise your site in a favourable way, the number one thing to focus on will always be looking after the user first.
Answer the user’s query with great user experience, and you’re helping Google appease their customers. If you help Google, the search engine will eventually send you more traffic.