The importance of SEO is known throughout the digital marketing world. With SEO, you will be able to drive more targeted and natural traffic, which will help increase conversions and improve trust in customers and clients. In addition, SEO helps to boost organic SERPs. SEO is an important piece of any and every digital marketing campaign; however, some business owners aren't exactly sure why they are in need of it.
For individuals who are not considered marketers, tags, keywords, algorithms, and rankings make no sense. Then, SEO methods and practices tend to quickly evolve, which means that even experts fall short. This is why there are so many SEO myths among business owners. So, here are six myths about SEO and how they relate to your digital marketing campaign:
1. SEO is a One-and-Done Process.
One of the most common mistakes that business owners make is thinking that SEO is something that can be done one time and that's it. SEO is something that is a drawn-out process. It needs consistency in order to work. New content needs to be posted, pages need to be optimized, links need to be attracted and traffic needs to be driven - and all of this needs to be done regularly. If you fail to do this, then you will notice that your SERPs will begin to suffer. You can't afford to rest because your competitors won't. Once your website gets to the top position in the search engine rankings, this doesn't mean that you can stop. If you do, your site won't stay there. It will slowly start dropping. In fact, when you reach that #1 spot, this is when the battle really begins, as your competitors will up their campaigns to fight you.
With SEO, you can accomplish so many things. However, you have to be willing to invest time and money on a regular basis. If you need quick results, SEO won't get them for you. You need to go with PPC advertisements.
2. It's All About the Links.
While it is true that links are very important when it comes to SEO, you should never overestimate their power. Google's algorithm can be very complicated and no one (expect Google) knows how it really works. However, what we are aware of is that there are a number of factors involved, including keywords, context, meta tags, social signals and links, when calculating a website's SERP.
So, links do matter but they are not the only thing that you should focus on. In addition, you shouldn't just focus on the number of links, but you should make sure to focus on the quality of the links, as this will make a huge difference. Thousands of backlinks from low-quality websites aren't nearly as worthy as a couple of backlinks from aa single authoritive website. This is one of the many reasons why SEO isn't a simple trick that you can have up your sleeve, as you can no longer buy links and get your website to the first page of the search results.
Many entrepreneurs assume that SEO means instant results. They think that they can buy links -- any links -- and that their website will be on the first page of Google's search results. However, this is nowhere near the truth. SEO takes time, and each website needs high-quality links and those links must have useful content and be optimized.
3. Keywords Results in Better Rankings.
At one time, in SEO, keywords were just as important as links. You had the potential to get higher in search engine results by creating low-quality content that had been stuffed with keywords. However, and fortunately, keyword stuffing is no longer something that is allowed to move your website up.
Of course, keywords are still effective at getting better rankings, but the overall meaning of keywords resulting in better rankings has simply changed. Today, in order to move up in organic search with keywords, you have to create quality content and do research on keywords. Your content must be optimized and it must be posted regularly. Your keywords, which have been researched well, need to be placed accurately and strategically in your headlines, text, subtitles, descriptions, images, and links to be successful.
When it comes to using keywords in your content, you need to choose one or two primary keywords that are best for your industry and use them throughout the content. You can also use synonyms of those keywords throughout the content. Google Predictions is a good tool to use to help you with this overall task. If you have a client that wants to produce their own content, make sure that they understand the guidelines so that they can do it correctly. Otherwise, spammy content can ruin a digital marketing campaign.
4. SEO Was Killed by Encrypted Keywords.
In 2011, Google began encrypting keywords, which means that they started to hide the keywords in Google Analytics. This shocked the entire SEO world. SEO experts had been accustomed to having full access to their keywords as well keyword statistics. They were able to research keywords and analyze keywords that had been performing well or sift through the keywords that couldn't keep up. So, when they couldn't do this any longer, they panicked a bit. Some went so far as to saying that the encrypted keywords killed search engine optimization. However, as everyone can see, SEO is alive and well.
Now, although keywords may not be displayed on Google Analytics, a site's pages can still be accessed by SEO professionals. It does take some analysis to do what GA did, but all you need to do is research the web pages that are ranking higher organically in the search engines by keywords, topic, imagery, backlinks, headline type, etc. and adapt some of your other pages to meet that pre-determined standard.
So, as you can see, SEO wasn't killed by encrypted keywords. However, some of your clients may not be aware of this, so you may need to spread the word and let them know how keyword research can be performed now. Google Predictions and other tools can be used to perform keyword research and other things can be done that are similar to what could be done in Google Analytics.
5. Guest Blogs Don't Work.
In 2015, it was announced by Matt Cutts that guest blogging would be no more. When this happened, everyone talked a lot about what would happen next. A lot of SEOs and digital marketers who had invested in guest blogging were scared that they would lose traffic. However, everyone found out that it was black-hat guest bloggers that were in trouble.
It's now 2017 and guest blogging is actually still a relatively effective strategy for SEO as long as you create and share quality content on a consistent basis. Blogs that post content that is useless with spam links will be punished, while the blogs that post content is relevant, useful and original will be just fine.
Guest blogging is great for PR too. It is a great way to build trust, start relationships, and even position your customers/clients as leaders in their individual niches. So, if one of your primary goals in digital marketing is to get your client's brand out there and popular, then guest blogging is an effective way to get the job done.
6. SEO Can Be Replaced with Content Marketing.
Without content, it is virtually impossible to lure individuals in, convert them into customers and then close and retain them. If you fail to post content on a consistent basis, your website will suffer from a decrease in traffic as well as leads and conversion. However, at the same time, this does not mean in any way that content marketing over-rules other methods of digital marketing, such as SEO.
Every single article, podcast, slide deck, and infographic must be optimized. This means that each piece of content posted needs to include the following:
- 2-3 properly-researched keywords per 500 words
- a primary keyword in the article headline (in a H1 tag)
- relevant keywords in the article's subtitles (with necessary H2 and/or H3 tags), Alt tags, and meta descriptions
- links that go back to on-site pages as well as outbound links to authoritive, trustworthy sources
This list can continue on, which is one of the reasons that many people turn to professional content marketers and SEO professionals for assistance. In fact, content marketers will often ask for the help of SEO experts for assistance because being good at putting words together isn't always good enough since you need to know how search engine indexing work. Together, they can create content that is read by individuals and that Google (and other search engines) can locate and index.
If your clients tell you that creating content with zero SEO is what they want to do, you need to figure out a way to change their mind. If you continue to invest in content without proper SEO, your campaign budget will continue to deplete and you will get no ROI.
All in all, SEO and digital marketing goes together and it is important that all businesses understand this. Otherwise, their online performance will be limited and their rankings will not be nearly as great as they can be. By combining digital marketing and SEO, businesses can see a huge boost in traffic and leads as well as conversions and revenue, which is what everyone is looking for, right?
For assistance getting your digital marketing and SEO campaign off the ground, or to learn more about what you have read here today, contact us here at WebDetail.