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7 SEO Myths To Leave Behind

Posted by Ian Callanan on March 15, 2016 at 11:56 AM

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can be a difficult subject for the uninitiated to grasp. Before we go over our SEO tips, let's take a moment to talk about what SEO actually is before we continue.

Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing your website and web pages for search engines, but most especially Google. Big words that come up when SEO is being discussed include "ranking", "keyword density", and more. While it's true that good SEO will facilitate a higher rank in search results, content needs a lot more than just optimal keyword density to perform well on the modern Internet.

Let's go over seven prominent myths about SEO, and a few SEO tips to steer you away from them.

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The Myths

Myth #1. I must submit my site to Google.

While it's true that you can submit your site to Google, you don't need to at all, as Google can very well find you on their own. In addition, submissions don't necessarily make you show up more quickly, either—the crawlers will find you when they find you, and you're better off waiting for them to do that.

Counter SEO Tips:

If you're worried about how you might appear on Google, you should take a look at your robots.txt file. The robots.txt file tells Google what it should and shouldn't show in search results, and you may want to block certain pages and directories (like internal search results) in order to prevent this.

Myth #2. More links are better than more content.

The myth behind this is based on the fact that links are fairly important with SEO. However, they also aren't the be-all, end-all of good SEO. Links aren't judged by quantity, they're judged by quality. Links from trusted, big-profile sites to your own will build up much more goodwill in Google's eyes than a link to your site spammed on some random Wordpress blog a hundred times a day.

Counter SEO Tips:

Content is what you really want—compelling, original content that gets shared, that educates, and could even lead to you getting some guest blogging spots, which will give you some of those sweet, sweet inbound links. Create compelling content, share it, and the people will come.

Myth #3. Social media and SEO aren't related at all.

Whenever people bring together these two, they refer to it as "social search", which refers to the relationship between the two. In social search, content is prioritized in search results if it's related to you. For instance, if a friend of yours on Facebook posted something you're looking for, Google might show you that result based on what it might know about you.

Counter SEO Tips:

The two are absolutely related!

It's important to build an all-around web presence for you and your business, whether you're a local brick-and-mortar store, an international corporation, or an Internet-only company. Creating a social media presence allows you and your content to get out to the masses, and isn't that what you want in the first place?

Myth #4. On-page SEO is all I need to rank.

Keywords are important, but they also aren't as important as you might think. You don't just need great SEO for a single page via good keyword usage—you need great SEO for the rest of your site as well as a focus on user experience.

Counter SEO Tips:

Focus on user experience and building your entire site to be optimized for SEO as well as establishing a social media presence.

Myth #5. Keywords need to be an exact match.

The keyword you focus on may not be exactly what the user typed into their search engine which is always a concern for those trying to get their company out there and noticed by others.

Counter SEO Tips:

Because of this, it's good to have natural deviations from that keyword throughout your page. Not every keyword is going to flow naturally in a sentence or sound all too great on its own, and if you try and flood your site with a bunch of identical keywords, not only will Google dislike you, but so will its users.

Myth #6. My homepage needs a lot of content.

Your homepage is your gateway, and it's what is used to make the strongest first impression possible to your customers. People like concise, clear homepages that are pleasing to the eye and offer routes to more information, should they need it.

Counter SEO Tips:

This means that you don't want to overload your homepage with content or make it so slim that there's nothing of value for the consumer to go on. At least have an About, Contact, and Products page. If you're producing content on your site, and you should, it also doesn't hurt to have a link to a Blog page where users can learn more.

Myth #7. SEO is not a usability issue.

Robots will browse your site. These robots will look for things like sentence structure, page layout, and keyword density, and what they think does play a large part in your SEO.

However...

Counter SEO Tips:

Site usability is just as important, if not more. Google doesn't like websites that pander to its robots, and neither will the users who find you through the search engine. If people decide your site isn't useful, they'll leave and go somewhere else—and Google will notice this and penalize you for it.

Prioritize user experience above what the machine thinks—ironically enough, this is what will make the machine happy, not desperately trying to cater to it.

What Now?

Well, this obviously isn't all that you need to know about SEO. There are a lot more tips on how to gain more traction to your website, and in turn, gain more customers with your company. For more on these and other SEO tips, consider reading our full eBook on the matter, checking out our blog, or contacting us for a consultation.

Learn 17 SEO Myths

 

Topics: seo, search engine optimization

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