SEO for Beginners: 5 Common Myths [Part Four]

Eric Kazda  |   May 16, 2018   |  Posted in Tips

In the fourth edition of our SEO series for beginners, we’re covering 5 common SEO myths and what you should do instead. If you haven’t read any of our previous SEO articles, catch up on them first!

Read SEO for Beginners: HTML Formatting & URL Structure [Part One] here.

Read SEO for Beginners: Title Tags & Keyword Optimization [Part Two] here.

Read SEO for Beginners: UX and Link-building [Part Three] here.

Once you’re caught up, continue reading to learn about common seo myths that persist in the digital marketing industry. Get the truth behind these misconceptions to avoid Google penalties and help your organic search rankings.

Myth #1: You have to submit your site to search engines to rank.

Search engine manual submissions haven’t been required since 2001! They got rid of this practice because too many submissions were actually spam. There are way too many sites on the internet for submissions to work on a grand scale, so that process has developed into the crawling technique search engines now use.

What to do instead

Make sure your site is easily crawled and indexed by search engines. Also, try to gain positive backlinks to your site to show search engines that you are an authority in your industry.

Myth #2: Meta keyword tags are the best way to show up in searches.

You used to be able to tell the search engine exactly what keywords you wanted to rank for through the meta keyword tag. Unfortunately, this also led to ridiculous spamming of these tags. Meta keyword tags are no longer crucial to SEO – but title tags and meta description tags still are.

What to do instead

Place long-tail keywords within your title tags and meta description tags. Make sure that the page’s content actually matches the intent of the original search query! No clickbait allowed.

Myth #3: I need to stuff my website full of the keywords I want to rank for.

Keyword density does not equal organic rankings for that keyword. Google is way too smart for that now. We’ve seen shady SEO companies pitch their services to unsuspecting businesses, only to end up with a paragraph that goes something like this –

“The Royal Candy Shop is the best candy shop in Lancaster. This candy shop offers all sorts of candies, including red candies, blue candies, and yellow candies. Don’t miss the best candy shop around and shop at The Royal Candy Shop for all your candy cravings.”

How many times did you read ‘candy’ in three sentences? (It was ten times.) Saying ‘candy’ a thousand times on your page won’t automatically guarantee higher search rankings for the best candy shop.

What to do instead

Focus on writing website content that makes for a great user experience. Sure, visitors need to know that you are a candy shop. But you don’t have to yell it a hundred times. If a person is searching for the best candy, they might find your site through an independent reviewer, or read your page about how much care goes into making your candy.

Myth #4: If I pay for Google Pay-per-click advertising, I’ll increase my organic results.

Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Google keeps their advertising and organic search departments completely separate. You can’t buy your way to the top of organic search results, and you shouldn’t believe anyone who tells you that you can.

What to do instead

If you want to ensure you are found at the top of a page, consider investing in PPC campaigns around targeted keywords. Just know that visitors will understand they are clicking on an advertisement.

Myth #5: Any backlink is better than no backlink.

Google likes to see that respected websites on the internet link back to your content. This linking network helps raise your authority and removes the chance of being seen as a spammer. However, not all links hold the same weight. If you use the wrong backlinks, Google could mark you with a penalty that hurts your rankings. One quality backlink is 1000X better than 100 spam-related backlinks!

What to do instead

Implement positive backlink strategies. Positive backlinks come from other authority websites. You could write a guest post on another website, or have another site share a link to your content. Read more about positive v. negative backlinks here.

The Big SEO Secret

The big secret is that there isn’t one. There is no magic solution to improving your rankings. Google doesn’t even explicitly share what factors they use to determine organic search rankings. The best thing you can do is to provide your users with the best experience possible on your site and keep up-to-date about changing SEO strategies. If visitors enjoy using your site, they’ll share it and come back to visit again. Leave these 5 common SEO myths behind and start focusing on user experience again.

How Do You Improve the User Experience?

A great place to start is conversion rate optimization, or CRO. We wrote a 4-part series about CRO we think you’ll enjoy. This series covers why CRO is vital to any website, how to implement an effective CRO strategy, the common barriers to success, and resources we recommend. Start reading the 4-part CRO series now!

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Eric

About
Eric Kazda

Eric Kazda is a leading expert in the interactive development industry with over fifteen years of experience. With a mastery of critical development technologies, Eric has crafted innovative award-winning work for clients both large and small. Coupling this knowledge with a real world understanding of usability and technological feasibility, his work is developed to be accessible by every user.

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