Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of those nebulous marketing tactics that not many, outside those of us who stay on top of it, fully understand. Therefore, there are several SEO myths floating around the web that many people take as fact. Now that April Fools’ Day is safely in the past and you can start believing everything you read online again (just kidding), we’d like to help debunk a few of those myths so you can better understand this very important pillar of your marketing strategy.
Myth #1: We’ve already done SEO, so we’re good.
This is one that we in the marketing biz have a good chuckle over each time we hear it. That’s because SEO isn’t something you can “do” once and expect to get results. SEO is a multilayered, ongoing process that must be implemented, evaluated, and updated over time to ensure you are meeting Google’s ever-changing algorithms and best practices.
Myth #2: SEO is dead.
This is likely one you’ve heard in several different forms – SEO is dead, link building is dead, keywords are dead, etc. No matter which version you’ve heard, it’s false; SEO is very much alive in all its forms. While Google has shifted in recent years to prioritizing quality content over, say, how many keywords each of your pages contains, keywords, link building, social metrics, and other aspects of SEO are still very important to how Google reads and ranks your website.
As Google continues to change its search algorithm, the rules of SEO evolve to accommodate those changes, but they don’t die. For example, in the early days of the Internet, a website could get a high ranking simply by ignoring the readability of its content and instead stuffing its pages with particular keywords. Google has since changed its algorithm multiple times to try to discourage the use of these tactics and help users reach sites with relevant and readable content. Your keywords still count, though, just in different ways than they used to.
Myth #3: We guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
This one may fall more under the term “scam” as opposed to “myth,” but we think it’s worth mentioning. If you get this dubious “guarantee” from a marketing company, politely thank them for their time and then run in the other direction. No one can promise a front page ranking, even if they’re the best of the best at SEO, and anyone who makes that promise either doesn’t understand how SEO works or they’re banking on the fact that YOU don’t understand how SEO works. According to Google themselves, you should “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.”
Myth #4: SEO is something my IT guy can do.
This is true only if your IT guy also has extensive knowledge in the many and various workings of SEO. There’s often a misconception that SEO can be done by anyone with a tech background, and while there are a few technical elements to SEO, IT and SEO are two entirely different skill sets. You’re better off leaving SEO to someone who fully understands and stays up to date on it.
Myth #5: SEO is overnight magic!
All too often we begin work on a client’s SEO only to have the client contact us the next week (sometimes the next day) to ask why their site isn’t ranking in the top 5 for a particular keyword yet. Sadly, it just doesn’t work that way. A quality SEO strategy takes time to implement and it takes months of dedicated SEO work to see results, not days. This article from Forbes has a good breakdown of the month-by-month SEO work that needs to happen in order to see results, and also provides a better perspective on how clients should view SEO as an overall strategy. In short, SEO is a commitment, not a fling.
Want to get an in-depth look at some prevalent SEO myths and get the facts behind them? Join corecubed and HCAOA for our upcoming webcast, “Debunking Common SEO Myths & How to Get Your Website Found” on May 6th.
Need some help sorting out your SEO strategy? The SEO and content marketing experts at corecubed can help. Contact us to learn more.