You’ve likely heard of SEO and the ways in which Google ranks pages – but you’ve also probably heard some SEO myths too. While you may or may not know the ins and outs of SEO in detail, you probably want to know how you can actually leverage SEO to help drive more relevant traffic, leads, sales, and ultimately revenue and profit for your business.
Which is why we’re here to debunk some of those SEO myths and help you get your digital marketing strategy back on track.
Link building is dead
SEO is constantly changing; the importance of gaining good quality links to your website remains. However, they do need to be created and used carefully. Reciprocal linking won’t do you much good, and neither will links that aren’t topical, or links that aren’t legitimate.
Backlinks help to establish your brand as an authoritative source and are a useful tool in supporting your SEO efforts. Obtaining natural, genuine and good quality links from high-profile websites and blogs can help build up your site’s digital footprint. An experienced outreach agency can provide sustainable, long-term value and help you achieve better rankings.
SEO is a one-time thing
You might think that once you’ve set your website up and optimised it from an SEO perspective, you’re good to go. But the SEO that worked for you a few months ago can become irrelevant faster than you’d expect. On 6 August 1991, British physicist Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in Switzerland published the first ever website, the WorldWideWeb (W3), today there are 1.72 billion websites, and this figure is currently increasing at a rapid rate. This means your website will constantly be vying for attention against your competitors.
Rather than seeing SEO as a one-time thing, it’s important that you monitor your SEO and update it regularly in line with Google’s ever evolving algorithms. If you want your SEO to work for you, you have to work for it – and make it a long-term commitment.
Metatags don’t matter
You may have spotted that many sites don’t use metatags, but guess what? Metatags do matter. Metatags are used in HTML documents to provide structured metadata about a website. They appear between the opening and closing <head> tags on a page. The key metatags from an SEO perspective are:
- Title tag
- Meta description
Meta descriptions won’t affect your rankings; however they are still relevant as they indicate to Google users what your content is about. They can make your search results more appealing – which can help attract more clicks to your website.
Images don’t need to be optimised
When Google is crawling through a website it uses file names, alt tags and URLs to understand images – which makes optimising your images essential. When using images on your site, you should use file types that are supported by Google, including:
You should also take the time to make your images accessible. This requires adding alt text. Alt text helps those with visual impairments or other disabilities, as well as helping Google understand the image contents too.
Your alt text should be as descriptive as possible without any attempts to keyword stuff. The more descriptive your alt text, the better understood your image will be. You can also add an image sitemap and HTML markup to help Google further understand your content. This can help image visibility within Google’s image search.
Using keywords in content will result in poor organic rankings
There’s a belief that using keywords in your content will have a negative impact on rankings and that Google will penalise a website for over optimising. But if you’re using a variety of keywords sparingly and naturally and your content is unique and helpful, the inclusion of keywords within the text can still help Google understand the context and meaning of your content.
The key to avoiding over optimising is to make sure you include a variety of keywords in your content, including:
- Branded keywords
- Product keywords
- Long-tail keywords
- Short-tail keywords
- Market-defining keywords
- Customer-defining keywords
There are a number of free tools you can use to help you gather this information and will help form the backbone of your keyword research.