SEO is a constantly evolving practice. Because of this, there are many things that were once true that linger, and many things that were never true that become “common knowledge”. Here are some of the biggest SEO myths that we encounter on a regular basis.
#1 – I “Need” To Rank For This Keyword
This is the most common misconception that we have to address on a regular basis. A lot of people become fixated on a particular keyword that they feel will improve their website traffic. They feel that an SEO campaign cannot be truly successful unless they are ranking for this one particular “magic keyword”.
Truth: For every high volume generic keyword out there, there are hundreds of long tail keywords that are not only easier to target, but also provide more focused traffic to your site. Keyword research can help uncover these opportunities, so is a very important part of SEO. We can’t just pick your keywords out of a hat and run with them.
#2 – I Have To Put My Keyword Everywhere
Keyword stuffing. It’s a bad thing.
You will hear a lot of people talking about keyword density, and how often a keyword should be mentioned throughout your page, as well as within each element. Some people think you should include your desired keyword within every part of your landing page.
Truth: Google doesn’t look at meta descriptions anymore, so your keyword is useless there. Alt text in images should be used to describe the image, not a place for extra keyword stuffing. And, there’s no magic percentage of keywords you should include within the content.
Search engines now look at keywords that would be considered as synonymous with the relevant search term, as well as the actual key term. Ensuring your content is well written, and not filled with spammy mentions of your desired keyword is far more important.
#3 – I Did SEO Once, I Should Be Fine
This one speaks for itself. A lot of people think that if they’ve paid an SEO person to have a look at their new website before they launch it, it should be fine.
Truth: SEO is an ongoing practice. Search engines look at a number of factors to determine the strength of your website, including relevancy. Unfortunately, relevancy also takes into consideration how recent a piece of information is. Has your website received no backlinks for a few months? It’s no longer relevant. Have you updated the content on your site? If not, it’s no longer relevant.
#4 – The More Pages I Have, The Better
If you want to start ranking for lots of keywords, you need lots of pages, right? Wrong.
Truth: If you need a lot of pages, then don’t hesitate to create them. As long as each page is relevant to the topic it has been created for, and there aren’t other pages within your website talking about the same thing, then it makes sense. What we’re talking about are websites that are filled with pages that are near duplicates of one another.
Not all the pages on your site are crawled every time, and not all pages that are crawled are indexed. So, by adding unnecessary pages to your site, you could actually be damaging your SEO.
#5 – Good UX Doesn’t Effect SEO
“SEO is all about keywords and backlinks.” It’s a common misconception that the sole purpose of an SEO campaign is to get users to visit your website.
Truth: You need to cater to the users once they land on your page. Amongst the ranking factors for search engines is a host of factors related to UX; bounce rate, average session duration, conversion rate, page views, etc.
All of these factors can be improved with good UX implemented on your website.
#6 – Images Don’t Require SEO
Expanding upon the keyword stuffing point made above, the main reason people feel they can fill alt text of images with keywords is because of the common myth that Images don’t require optimisations.
Truth: Image optimisations (when done correctly) are a great way of gaining additional visibility, in addition to possible backlinks. By optimising the image to reflect what it’s actually about, as opposed to just your keywords, it can begin to surface in the rankings for search engines’ image searches, increasing the possible chances for your website to be viewed.
#7 – SEO Is Easy
Truth: It’s not. See above.