Digital marketing is a vast and interesting and often difficult place that all businesses must embrace in 2018. But for beginners, it’s a world that can often be overrun with ambiguous ideas and contradicting theories. Take SEO as an example. The world of Search Engine Optimisation is one filled with myths about the do’s and don’t’s, and it arguably has more confusion than any other field of marketing.
So if you’re a beginner, it’s important to realise that you can do it pretty well with only a little knowledge. We’re here to cut through the myths and serve you up with the information that you really need. Here’s 8 myths we’re busting in the world of SEO.
1. Guaranteed SEO Results
Like with most things in marketing (and in life), there’s no such thing as a guarantee. A lot of experts will claim they can give you outstanding results and can deliver them in a specific time period. But actually, it’s near impossible to predict what Google will do and no one can guarantee your results. Especially not in a short time frame.
Google algorithms are extremely complex and always scope out unnatural optimisation behaviour, so they will cut right through any overly false SEO attempts. Be patient and work hard and you should see ranking results and web traffic improvements in 6 to 12 months.
2. Free Trials or Cheap SEO Services
You know that saying that if something seems to be good to be true then it probably is? This applies with SEO too. Companies that offer “free trials” or cheap SEO services are playing to the fact that a lot of businesses, particularly new ones, don’t have the budget.
But instead of good quality SEO services to boost your rankings and traffic, they offer backlinks which can increase your risk of Google algorithm penalties. If you want to buy it cheap, you’ll buy it twice. Just make the jump, invest in premium SEO and check the validity of any company or person claiming to be an SEO expert before signing up.
3. Keyword Stuffing
An easy trap to fall in to is keyword stuffing. Quite literally what it sounds like, this is cramming keywords in inorganically and hoping it will win the search engine game for you. But it can quite easily backfire because not only can Google algorithms see that you’re sacrificing valuable content for keywords, but your audiences can see it too. And if you have nothing of value to offer then they’ll quickly stop visiting. Remember, although SEO is about search engines, your content should still be about people.
4. Just Create Great Content & Don’t Worry About SEO
You may think that good quality content speaks for itself but most of the time, this isn’t true. It’s important to ensure you’re creating original and engaging content, but you can’t forget about SEO altogether. Even creating backlinks from related pages will boost your efforts. Balancing SEO principles with targeted content can work mostly in tandem so you don’t have to separate them.
5. Buying High Authority Links
Before Google started penalising it, buying high authority links was seen as a pretty good idea. However, it’s now risky business because Google can spot the difference between paid and natural backlinks.
Instead of purchasing backlinks (a strategy that won’t help with page rank, page authority or domain authority anyway), take the time to ensure your content is of the highest quality, to encourage people to link your site. Organic backlinks are way more valuable than purchased ones.
6. Using Automated SEO Software to Build Links
We see automation in many industries, and it’s a successful tool for the most part. But don’t assume that this means you should use it on your SEO. In the world of marketing, it’s great for targeting and timing, but with SEO you risk Google penalties and you’ll end up with low quality backlinks and a decrease in content quality.
It may take more time, but do your SEO manually and you’re much more likely to see successful results.
7. Sneaky Redirects
Given how quickly it continues to advance, you should know by now that there’s no outsmarting Google. Adding in sneaky redirects (although it may sound super clever) is sure to be picked up by their intelligent algorithm and you’ll likely pick up a penalty for trying it.
Sneaky redirects are when you try to direct visitors to pages other than those shown on Google or what crawlers have scanned. Not only is it crooked, but it doesn’t work anymore anyway. Leave the sneaky behaviour at the door.
8. Mobile Optimisation Doesn’t Matter
Think about how many people are searching the web on their computers versus how many people are doing so on their mobiles. Do you really think that you don’t need to put as much time and energy into mobile optimisation as that of desktop?
There are a number of mobile-tailored tools you could use, including AMP (accelerated mobile pages), which is an open-source code that makes for faster-loading content. Because in this day and age, if it’s not available in a matter of seconds, no one wants it.
And as the number 1 choice swings forever in mobile’s favour, you can be sure that you’re going to have to focus on mobile SEO in the future so why not start now?
Whether you have rudimentary knowledge of SEO or are only just starting out, with the above myths de-mystified, you should be all set to tackle the world of optimisation and to get the most out of your online presence. No tricky tactics necessary.
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