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The 5 Most Common SEO Myths

Posted by Erica Hatch   

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SEO myths

Some people will try to tell you that SEO is all about optimizing for the computer. Sure, that makes sense at first. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, after all. However, that simply isn’t the case anymore. Don’t get me wrong, optimizing for the computer is still important. But what’s the point if your website ends up providing human visitors with a bad experience?

Over time, people have been misled when it comes to SEO. To help you understand the topic a little better, we have addressed a few common myths below.

Myth: You Should Optimize For The Computer First

SEO has evolved. It’s no longer all about simply getting found online. It’s about improving how your users engage with your content. To this point, many SEO specialists will tell you that they think that SEO should really stand for “Search Experience Optimization.”

When you optimize for users first, you’re focusing on the actual user experience. This covers everything from the specific keywords that you choose to how your website is both designed and organized. Optimizing for the users means that your visitors will be more likely to actually click through the search result listing to your website. Once on the page, they’re more likely to stay there and then click through to other pages on your site.

Myth: SEO Is All About Ranking

You can rank well for a keyword, get tons of traffic, and not make a cent. Why? Because those visitors aren’t qualified leads. Rather than obsessing about your ranking score, focus on being useful to the individual visitor.

This is where things like choosing effective keywords that your audience actually uses, adding useful links to your content, and including related CTAs will come in handy. After all, your goal is to draw in qualified leads, obtain their contact information, and then provide them with perfectly timed content as they move through your sales funnel.

Myth: Once I Have Set Up My Website, My SEO Is All Set

Believing this myth can end in disaster for your company. First of all, the initial setup of your website could be totally off. For example, your URL’s could be a long string of words allmeshedtogetherlikethis, rather-than-like-this or the URL could be completely void of the proper keywords that the specific page is about. If you’re missing those critical keywords, your SEO will suffer.   

Second, it is absolutely critical to monitor your SEO using a platform like Google Analytics to see not only how you are ranking, but how your visitors are reaching and then clicking through the website. When you monitor things like traffic flows, you will be able to see drop off rates and make adjustments to help guide visitors through your site.

Myth: The Little Things Don’t Matter

Unfortunately, some people think that the little things, like title tags and URLs, don’t really matter. But the following “little things” are actually the most important features to focus on with your website‘s SEO.

  • Title tags- Your title tags are the most important thing for your website when it comes to SEO. This is true for both the computer and the human user. Your titles must accurately reflect the content of the web page or post. Make sure to keep in mind that when visitors go to share the page or article, the title will be what shows up first in their social media posts.
  • Keywords- This may seem obvious, but your keywords should end up in a few places on your page. First, they should be in your title tag. Second, they should be in your URL. And third, they should be sprinkled throughout the content. Just make sure that you don’t overuse them or Google will knock you for keyword stuffing.  
  • Anchor text- Anchor text is the word or phrase that you select to add a hyperlink to. Sometimes you will see people linking whole sentences, and that should be avoided as much as possible. You want your anchor text to only include important keywords to help give authority. Of course, the keywords that you hyperlink must link to an article that is actually related to the keywords.

Myth: SEO Is Easy Once You Get Started

Whether you are just starting out or not, SEO is complicated. There are thousands of articles and blog posts about the topic (many of which are now outdated) as well as numerous programs that offer to help with your SEO data collection and reporting in new and exciting ways- like Google Analytics, HubSpot, and many others.

To make things even more difficult, the world of SEO will always be changing. So something that you thought you were doing right may suddenly have become old news with the latest Google algorithm update. Because of this fast pace, it can be very confusing and difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest methods.

Now that we’ve dispelled the myths, here’s how you should approach SEO for your business:

  1. Optimize for the user first- focus in on what really matters to them.
  2. Focus on the traffic from your qualified leads- if they are getting stuck, what changes can you make to help guide them along?
  3. Set up a process to monitor your SEO- make sure to monitor on a consistent basis in order to recognize abnormalities in the data.
  4. Remember the SEO 101 basics- for more information on the “little things” check out this article.
  5. Stay up to date on the latest SEO tips and tricks- remember that things will change very quickly, so sign up for newsletters or follow accounts like Google Analytics, Moz, and Search Engine Land on social media.

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