The myths surrounding SEO grow daily, with some being more dramatised and far from the truth than others. Some of these myths state link-building is not important, or content quality isn’t as relevant, or even that click through rate is a ranking factor. These just aren’t true and misinformation can be harmful to your campaign, so it’s important to debunk the most widespread myths surrounding SEO.
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It’s fine to not include SEO in your marketing strategy
To begin, one of the most common SEO myths is that SEO is not an important part of your digital marketing strategy. This could not be further from the truth.
SEO has grown exponentially, and along with the digital transformation the world has seen, businesses everywhere are turning to SEO tactics to meet their business goals. Put simply, SEO is a vital tool for building your online brand and helping boost brand awareness, because it makes your website more visible to your target audience.
This, in turn, can attract more traffic and increase your ability to convert prospective leads to customers. In fact, according to Hubspot, ‘75% of marketers feel their SEO tactics are ‘extremely effective’ or ‘very effective’ at helping them achieve their marketing goals’.
Content isn’t that important
The idea that content in general is irrelevant when it comes to SEO is nonsensical. Considering SEO consists of link-building, which includes guest posting, blog posts, and outreach for publications and domains, it is quite important that content is done properly.
SEO and content compliment each other nicely, and if you want your website to rank higher in any search result pages and use this to drive traffic to your website, you will need to create high quality content that will attract your target audience.
Creative content can help businesses boost their organic search visibility, too, as long as you remain committed to creating high quality pieces of content that position your site as an industry leader and differentiate you from your competitors.
Keywords debunked – density and research
The goal of SEO is to rank higher on the search engine results page, therefore your SEO strategy and content should include the most relevant keywords. There are many myths surrounding keywords; for example, ignoring high quality keywords if they are saturated and not researching keywords. Both of these are mistakes.
High quality content marketing includes well thought out and relevant keywords. Most brands fail to look at industry specific keywords and what their competitors are up to, which actually are benchmarks for your own SEO success. Understanding which keywords work and which don’t is important, but how will you know that if you don’t do the research?
You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to see which keywords your competitors are targeting, while also helping you to understand the user intent behind the search, as well as keywords and meta phrases, too.
Another keyword myth is that having a high keyword density will improve your pages ranking, which is simply not true. Implementing a lot of similar keywords (also known as keyword stuffing) is considered to be a ‘black hat’ SEO tactic.
This is because keyword stuffing doesn’t actually hold much value for Google and it can create a more annoying experience for users, while being seen as a manipulation tool to help businesses rank higher. For this reason, keyword stuffing will see you move down the rankings instead of up.
Lastly, contrary to popular belief, don’t ignore long-tail keywords! Although short-tail keywords tend to have higher search volumes, it also takes longer to rank higher up on a results page. Long-tail keywords are specific and can be more related to the user’s search intent, and they can also be more cost-effective, too.
Hiring an agency is pointless
Of course, knowledge is power, so learning about what SEO is and using the right tools and resources is a huge plus for your business, but it can also be very time consuming and sometimes difficult to navigate.
Although it’s becoming easier to secure quick and cheap links all over domains and publications, these could easily get you penalised if the linking site has a low domain authority or trust score. Having industry experts work on your strategies and campaigns will reduce the chances of you getting toxic backlinks that could harm your strategy, as well as keep on top of important algorithm changes that could see your site tank if you’re not prepared.
Whether you simply don’t have time to indulge in the SEO world or don’t understand it, you can hire an agency to help you understand the ins and outs while also allowing you to focus your efforts on other areas of your business.
Outreach is dead
Outreach, meaning guest blogging, editorials or features, are undeniably a huge part of SEO; however, some marketers have come forward to say this is not a great way to build links and is actually time consuming more than anything. This is incorrect.
Having high-quality content linked to prestigious publications or trustworthy domains is never a waste of time, especially when those domains have a high user circulation and readership, or are targeting your exact audience.
Content marketing is massive – freelancers are consistently working for some of the biggest publications in the world, including CNN, The Financial Times, The New York Times, and The Times.
So, this shows it’s not dead at all, and as long as the content itself is relevant, useful and interesting, you have a real chance of getting through to the right people. Furthermore, knowing which anchor texts and links to integrate is also important.
Regardless of which of these myths resonate most with you, or which SEO tactics you choose to adopt, the main aim of your digital marketing strategy is to position yourself as a trusted industry leader.