Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be tricky. It constantly evolves as search engines continually improve their algorithms to better predict the intention behind searcher’s queries. Due to the speed at which trends and tools change these days, myths are formed and told like tales at SEO campfires. How do you avoid the myths and stick to the facts? Let’s take a few minutes to debunk the following five SEO myths:
1. Myth: Submitting your website to search engines is a best practice.
Truth: The thinking here is logical – putting your website on a search engine’s radar is a must if you want to show up in search results. However, search engines are smart enough to eventually find your website and content even if you don’t submit it directly. Search engines have evolved to find your website regardless, so take the time and energy instead to create relevant, engaging content for your audience.
2. Myth: Links, links and more links. The more links the better!
Truth: Search engines have put in the work to stay ahead of sketchy link building practices designed to trick the system. In fact, Google’s John Mueller has stated that, “only focusing on links is probably going to cause more problems for your website than it actually helps.” The emphasis now is on content and user experience. That being said, link building is still important, which leads us to our next myth…
3. Myth: Link building is a dinosaur. Content is now.
Truth: Link building doesn’t hold as much weight as it used to, but that doesn’t mean a well planned and executed link building strategy doesn’t contribute to SEO. The fact of the matter is that search engines still value link authority in their algorithms. The key is finding balance between content and link building in a website package that is easy to navigate, and relevant to the audience. This is something that takes time and patience but every little bit counts.
4. Myth: Local SEO doesn’t matter.
Truth: Optimizing your website for local search results increases the chances of people in your area actually finding your business, plain and simple. Google recently released an update to its local search algorithm, emphasizing the importance of local SEO. The bottom line is that local SEO is and will continue to be important.
5. Myth: I did SEO once and saw some immediate results. Case closed.
Truth: If only it were that easy! You can think about SEO like maintaining a car. It requires constant tuning and monitoring if you want to get the most out of it. Can you imagine only taking your car in once for an oil change or brake check during its lifetime, and then expecting top performance as you use it over time? Like anything else, SEO takes effort, work and patience to see the results.
To summarize, keep these myths and truths in mind when building out your next SEO strategy:
- Feel free to submit your website – but it’s a not a must
- Always create/ keep content relevant
- Link build where it makes sense with a focus on designing a fluid user experience
- Localize the content
- SEO requires constant maintenance – try, try, try again and again!
This is a short list and there are definitely more myths out there in the SEO world. Remember to stay vigilant and stay on top of SEO as best you can. You can’t afford not to!
Photo: Copyright Vadim Ermak