You know what’s the most misinformed aspect of digital marketing – SEO.
While Google tries to convey their updates in the simplest language possible, they still miss out on a lot of questions burning inside most of the modern-day marketers and business owners out there.
The result: wrong interpretations and misconceptions!
Also, some techniques that may have helped greatly in increasing search engine rankings in 2012 may be redundant today. But newbies searching for relevant information on Search Engine Optimization may still stumble upon those old blogs and take their stale, floating advice for real.
We know it is hard to keep up with all the latest Google ranking algorithm changes but it doesn’t mean in any way that you will neglect the best source of bringing free traffic to your website and use poor and outdated optimization techniques.
We, as a digital marketing agency, understand the importance of proper SEO and how implementing a bad SEO tactic can seriously hurt your search engine rankings and eventually business.
So, let’s clear out some air about what exactly is bad and good for your business SEO by debunking some common SEO myths and misconceptions –
Myth #1: Mobile is not necessary for me
Business owners and marketers have long been evading optimizing their websites for mobile, but not anymore!
After the recent Google update, making mobile websites the primary source for indexation and rankings, there’s just no way around optimizing your website for mobile.
This update comes after a predicted trend change in how most of the searchers access Google, which is through mobile.
Your site may face serious SEO repercussions if it’s not optimized for mobile. If you’re not quite sure if your website is as easy on mobile as it’s on a desktop, you can use Google’s own mobile-friendly test to check and improve.
Myth #2: Duplicate content hurts your website
I have personally heard this a lot. No, Google will not penalize your website if you have accidentally or intentionally uploaded plagiarized content on it.
And Google confirmed this as well.
If Google finds out that you have put duplicate content on your website, it will simply not rank it and will rank the original content instead, and I am talking about the worst that can happen to a plagiarized website.
Don’t stress over it though as you can easily check for duplicate content on your website using Copyscape.
Myth #3: Meta Descriptions don’t matter much nowadays
Yes, Google stopped using a website’s description meta tags as a direct ranking factor way back in 2009, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely useless.
A meta description is a small text below each link in the Google SERP explaining what the page is all about. And if you haven’t cared enough to add a meta description to a particular webpage, Google does it for you by choosing the first few lines of a webpage as its meta description.
But why would Google go through all this trouble for you? Simply because having a meta description will help searchers understand the real context of your webpage and decide if they can really get some value out of it.
Writing a well-thought-out meta description that perfectly outlines the content of your webpage will not help Google in any way but will greatly help searchers searching for your services, which is bound to increase your CTR.
Do it for the searchers.
Myth #4: Keyword stuffing is still relevant
Decades ago, when search engine algorithms were at their initial development stages (mainly Google), webmasters would trick it by stuffing it with keywords for rankings.
Let’s take an example, say if the target keyword is ‘Cheap Socks’, you could easily rank #1 on Google with this content on your webpage –
“Are you looking for cheap socks? We, at Cheap socks, sell the best cheap socks in town. We sold Cheap socks to your mom last week and she loved those Cheap Socks so much that she came to us again for more Cheap socks. Our cheap socks are that good! Buy our Cheap socks today before there are no Cheap socks left to buy”
You get the idea! Thankfully, search engine algorithms have come a long way since then and are far more intelligent today in recognizing the intent behind keywords, ehmm…. Rankbrain.
While we are not implying in any way that you ditch your keyword research altogether and stop creating content wrapped around rich-search keywords, just don’t mindlessly stuff you content with it.
Myth #5: Encryption is a fad
Back in 2016, Google announced their intentions to make the web a safer place for everyone.
What followed was SSL encryption being mandatory for all sites. It just means having a site start with ”https://” rather than the normal “http://”. The extra little ‘s’ basically denotes that the user’s connection with the website is encrypted with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which prevents anyone from intercepting their data.
SSL encryption is a direct search engine ranking factor, which I guess is as far away from being a fad as it can be! Also, you really don’t want your website to show up with an ‘Unsafe’ warning and increase your bounce rates.
Myth #6: More content = Great content
This myth reminds me of a saying popular in the content writing world – “500 well-written words are worth more than writing 5000 words of gibberish’
Filling your website up with bland content that serves no purpose will do nothing good, neither to your search engines nor to your users.
Quality triumphs over quantity every day in the world of SEO!
So, create pages and add content that adds value to your services, your users and throws light on what you stand for. Merely adding pages just for the sake of it will not help your website rank in any way.
Myth #7: You can handle Technical SEO
I’ve seen many people venture out into the vast world of SEO all by themselves, trying to learn about all the major ranking factors and optimizing their website according to them.
Some come back with a place on the first page, while some get bogged down and off by penalties.
While it can be done, it is a really complex process that takes a considerable amount of time to first understand all its ranking concepts and then you’ll have to spend some more time in implementation. Not forgetting the fact that implementation needs to be just perfect or you risk losing the rank that you already have.
Say, you need to add schema markup in your website’s HTML to add a rich snippet to your search engine results. To do that, you will have to first learn everything about Schema.org vocabulary and how to add everything in your HTML Microdata. If you have no idea about HTML or your site’s coding, things might get a bit difficult for you! Moreover, there are literally 100 types of schema markups than you can add to your search results according to your industry. Also, even if you manage to add a schema markup successfully, you will have to copy and paste that into your site’s HTML, which if you do wrong can result in loss of important website data.
And adding rich snippets is kind of considered easy in the SEO world but it can be a fuss for a normal business owner. So, it’s always better to let an SEO expert handle all this stuff.
Myth #8: SEO is one time
SEO is not a do once and forget later kind of scheme. Think of it as more of a marathon than a sprint.
Most business owners and marketers spend all their time and energy in optimizing their website for SEO and never optimize it again.
Which is a mistake, as SEO is a never-ending, ever-evolving marketing sphere that you need to stay on top of every day, keeping a close eye on the latest updates and optimizing your site according to them.
In a fast-changing world like SEO, former truths can become myths and once best practices can be listed as a black hat in no time. If you are not up-to-date with the latest happenings in the tinkle town of SEO, chances are that you’ll be soon left behind by your SEO savvy competitors! Research online, educate yourself and take the reigns of your SEO game in your own hands and you’ll never believe in one of the many such SEO myths making rounds on the internet.