In fair weather or foul, staying one step ahead of the competition makes all the difference. One of the hardest truths in business to swallow is that it doesn’t matter how great you are if nobody knows you exist. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into refining your product, training your staff or ensuring that your website and your physical premises are perfect embodiments of your brand. It doesn’t even matter how much effort you put into the customer experience. If you’re not visible to consumers online, consumers may never get the opportunity to interact with your brand and see all that you have to offer. If your competitors have invested more time, effort and capital in their online visibility, they may secure the loyalty of legions of customers who might be better served by you.
With this in mind, it’s understandable that 61% of businesses of all shapes and sizes consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) a top priority? However, SEO is a broad and multifaceted discipline. The world of SEO is rife with misconceptions, half-truths and outright fibs received as gospel truths. As such, we thought that this might be the perfect time to debunk some persistent SEO myths that still remain in 2020. In light of all that’s taken place over the last few months, your business needs every inch of inside track that it can get when it comes to engaging your audience and repairing the relationships which may have been rendered asunder by the necessities of the lockdown.
With that in mind, let’s bust some SEO myths so that your SEO strategy can get off to the best possible start…
MYTH 1- SEO Agencies are a waste of money
While we totally understand that shrewd businesses might want to save money by handling SEO in house, trying to do all your own SEO may prove an exercise in false economy. SEO is a battle that’s fought on many fronts, there are numerous technical and content-related issues that can prevent your website and online content from achieving the position it deserves on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Outsourcing SEO services to a company like this one- https://rsmconnect.com/outsource-seo-services/ might involve some upfront investment but you may gain a more appreciable ROI faster than you would trying to do everything yourself. The truth is that most businesses are too occupied by the day-to-day operations and broader operational strategies to take the time that a truly comprehensive SEO strategy requires.
MYTH 2- All backlinks are the same
Oh heck no! Most of us know that generating backlinks is important in SEO. Your website doesn’t exist in a vacuum after all, and backlinks from trusted sources can be a tonic when it comes to boosting your rankings. However, as already discussed in this post, there are certain dos and don’ts that must be adhered to when it comes to building backlinks.
While you may be tempted to think “the more the merrier”, building backlinks indiscriminately can be problematic. If you’re posting to content that isn’t relevant to your business or industry, your backlinks are unlikely to generate value for the users. And when all’s said and done, that’s what SEO is all about. Search engines gear every aspect of their operations towards creating a better experience for users.
This should be your guiding principle, not just when it comes to link building but in all aspects of SEO
MYTH 3- It’s okay to use Black Hat techniques now and then
You’re desperate. You’re frustrated. You’re crying out to be noticed by your audience and grow your reach. In our darkest moments, we’ve all considered turning to Black Hat SEO techniques. Not as a part of our ongoing strategy of course, just as a one-off to give our online presence a bump that we can build on organically.
The truth, however, is that it never works out that way. Black Hat SEO techniques can raise a bright red flag to search engine crawlers and leave an indelible black mark against your website. As such, we strongly advise against using any of the following SEO myths in your SEO strategy;
Keyword stuffing (overusing keywords at the expense of your content’s quality).
Keyword stuffing using invisible text that’s the same color as your background.
Content spinning (copying and pasting content from elsewhere).
Links to sites with poor quality or irrelevant content.
Cloaked redirects that take users to another site or page
Any gains they get you will be superficial and short lived. These are not the best ways to get the kind of genuine engagement that you need.
MYTH 4- It’s all about keywords
Going back to the notion of keyword stuffing, the emphasis on keywords has caused many to misunderstand their value in terms of SEO. That’s not to say that keywords aren’t important. They absolutely are. But using keywords out of context in your content just because they may be trending or popular can do much more harm than good.
Yes, Google and other search engines use keywords to match online content to user queries. But they also value context and relevance. Google in particular uses Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to make sure the content on the page is relevant to a search query. If not, it could actually be damaging to your SEO. To paraphrase mid-90s Bill Gates “Context is King!”.
MYTH 5- You need to improve keyword density to improve your rankings
Finally, this is perhaps one of the oldest and most widely believed myths out there. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have spent years trying to find the magical keyword density that will make their content rocket up SERPs. But all that time and effort has been spent in vain.
There is no magic number for how many times you should place a keyword. And the more you try to appease an algorithm, the more it’ll be at the expense of your actual human readers. Remember that search engines are geared towards what generates value for users, not themselves.
When writing your content, use your keywords organically. If you try and stuff as many of them into your content as possible, users will lose interest in your content and search engines will notice. Hopefully busting these SEO myths helps guide your best practices!
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