We, at Solo SEO, believe in Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. We know that it works. It helps your business grow and get more leads that turn into customers. However, business owners often have SEO misconceptions. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. In this article, we’ll discuss – and hopefully – debunk – those SEO misconceptions you may have.
- SEO is not necessary. Not necessary? We could not disagree more. Some business owners think that SEO is unnecessary or even a scam. They may have been approached by some agencies that perform black hat SEO tactics or have promised them quick results. Anyone who tells you that SEO results will come to you quickly and easily is feeding you line or malarkey.
- SEO results should be seen quickly. This SEO misconception might be the most damaging of all. To get proper SEO results, you will have to spend time and effort. SEO does not happen overnight. It’s a series of practices when done, over time, will yield results. You can’t expect to rank at the top of the listings in a week or a month. It may even take longer than a year (but not usually). SEO requires patience on the part of the business owner. It’s a long-term strategy that, when done right, yields great reward. SEO is effective but not immediate.
- You use keywords excessively. Although it’s important to optimize your content and website for keywords that are related to your industry, there’s such a thing as overkill. You don’t need to use all 40 keywords that pop up in your research. Pick about four or five. They don’t have to all be at the top. Make some descriptive or long-tail keywords. If you rely too heavily on keywords, your website content will suffer and Google will take notice, but not in the way you want it to. Keyword stuffing is a no-no. Don’t do it.
- We did SEO once and it didn’t work, so why try again. Wait? How long did you engage in this practice? Did you work with an agency or do it in-house? Did you use tools to gauge your analytics to see if there was positive movement? Did you adjust your strategy based on those analytics? The truth is that you may have “done SEO” once, but you didn’t really do SEO. SEO is a consistent practice, one that you need to spend time on each week. You didn’t do SEO; rather, you experimented with SEO and were looking for a quick fix. SEO is a series of strategies that, when done together over time, will yield positive results.
- People will be able to figure out where to find things on my website; I don’t need to optimize it. Really? This is a poor attitude to have. When people come to your website, they are looking for certain things. If they can’t find them immediately, they will leave your website and find one that makes it easier for them to get the information they want. You have to make it clear to your users where you want them to go. Otherwise, they won’t know. An SEO optimized website is clear to navigate and helps end users do what you want them to do – buy from you.
- Google’s not monitoring my site. Think again. Google is omnipresent. Seriously, it is. It’s like Santa. It knows whose SEO is naughty and whose SEO is nice. It rewards the good websites with higher search engine rankings so people can find those businesses more easily. Do you really want to miss out on those goodies? We think not.
- Link building is dead (again). Nothing has changed the fact that search engines use link authority and anchor text signals heavily in their search engine algorithms. They try to avoid black hat practices of bad links and links without authority. White-hat link building – using legitimate links that are related to your business or industry – is completely legitimate (still) and a time-tested marketing practice. Don’t listen to the naysayers on link building. It’s still part of the game and probably always will be.
- I’m a small business so SEO doesn’t matter for me. This SEO misconception can put you right out of business. SEO is actually a great equalizer. It helps smaller businesses compete on the online stage with larger businesses. If you do your SEO right and follow the right concepts like creating quality content, optimizing your site for navigation and keywords and proper link building, you will see your SEO grow and your ranking improve. As you move up through the ranks, you may even surpass some of those large businesses that you thought you couldn’t compete with. The fact is – many online users prefer using smaller businesses for their purchases. If they can find you, that is. With SEO, you can be there for your customers when they’re looking for you.
- People don’t really look for me on their mobile devices. Actually, in today’s world, mobile devices are the primary website search device. That’s why Google added mobile friendliness to its algorithm a few years back. Businesses that do not have mobile friendly websites are penalized in search engine results. You don’t need to move backwards or remain in the Dark Ages. Get your website mobile-friendly so you don’t lose ranking points or business.
- Social activity doesn’t affect SEO. This SEO misconception is really damaging. The truth is that your interactions on social media heavily affect your SEO. Although Google may not rank the Tweets or Facebook posts, social activity helps address two main tasks of search engine optimization: 1) search engine discovery and indexation and 2) content distribution, which leads to links and shares. Successful social activity puts your content in front of the right group of users. This increases visits to your website and engagement. The simple act of more people visiting your content can lead to more links and further sharing. The cycle can repeat itself over and over again. All of these secondary effects will significantly boost your SEO efforts.
As you can see, believing in SEO misconceptions can be damaging to your business. We hope we’ve helped you see the light and understand that SEO is a process that is necessary and important for your business. There are plenty of SEO misconceptions out there. We can’t debunk them all in this blog post, but we will revisit this topic again.