The beauty of search engine optimization is that the Google, Bing, and other search engine algorithms are top-secret. Some ways marketers can understand what’s working or failing are by testing certain theories on their own websites or reading leaked information from Google representatives. There are certain theories that have been confirmed as “SEO myths” by algorithm updates and penalties that are important to share so your business doesn’t suffer on the SERPs.
Myth: If I Use All My Keywords On One Page It Will Rank #1
This is one of the most common SEO myths we’ve heard. The theory states that if you stick every single one of your keywords in list format on your homepage, you’ll gain that Number 1 organic spot. Back in the ancient search days, this could have worked. However, Google and other search engines have perfected semantic search. Semantic search is the art of understanding contextual relevance to search queries in order to provide a more in-depth, comprehensive set of webpage listings. Therefore, search engine crawlers understand keyword-stuffing, and you will see this reflected in your low rankings.
Myth: As Long As My Content is Good, I Will Rank Well
We hear all the time, “Content is King!” Yes, your content should be informative, easy to read, and answer the questions your visitors need to know. However, the format of your content is mattering more and more. With the release of featured snippets and Quick Answers, there’s a certain way to format your content so it will pull nicely into a Snippet. The best way to understand how your blog or landing page should look is to see what’s currently ranking for that position and implementing the layout that Google has deemed superior.
Myth: As Long As I Blog Weekly, I’ll Have Good SEO
Adding pages to your website certainly improves your organic visibility. Depending on the quality of your content, the strategy of your keywords and inbound links, and the frequency of how you post, you can have a decent SEO program. However, there is so much more that gets looked at in the ranking process. Things like site speed, image alt text, inbound and outbound links, and more, all get taken into consideration during algorithm updates. You may be churning out content regularly, but if your site has a lot of technical problems and poor site structure, you will find yourself on page 10 of Google before you know it.
Myth: I Don’t Need Paid Search If I Have SEO
We all know running paid search (PPC) and search engine optimization are two completely different ways of marketing. You can be the first organic listing for any kind of query related to your business, but what if there are four ads at the top of the SERPs? The sheer presence of ads pushes down organic listings about halfway down the page on desktop screens, and what appears to look even farther on mobile devices. Sometimes it’s necessary to run paid search campaigns for certain keywords depending on the current competition level of SEM. Moreover, sometimes your business may be having a sale or incentive where you need immediate exposure online. For these types of keywords, you’ll want to run a PPC campaign. Think of SEO as a marathon and PPC as a sprint. If you need exposure right now, you may want to run another channel of marketing alongside your SEO to compliment your efforts.
Myth: The More Backlinks, the Merrier
In the days of black-hat SEO techniques, having as many backlinks as possible was a way to improve your SEO. Today, Google and other search engines have out-smarted that. It’s important to make sure you’re focusing on quality instead of quantity of backlinks. Spammy or paid-for links are frowned upon in organic search, so focus on developing true partnerships and guest-blogs for other websites.
Myth vs Truth
There are many SEO myths that exist, but the theories listed above are some of the most common out there today. What can the debunking of these theories teach us? There are a lot of variables that go into the ranking process. Find out what those variables are and implement them strategically.
Stream Companies is a full-service advertising agency. We serve various SEM packages nationwide. For more information on SEO, PPC, and other channels of inbound marketing, contact us!