Search engine optimization can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool. If done well, it can provide consistent conversions at a fraction of the cost than many forms of paid advertising. As more and more businesses recognize the importance of SEO, there has been a substantial increase in SEO guides, blogs, and articles online.
Unfortunately, much of the advice online does not come from reputable sources. Some SEO advice is simply incorrect, and suggests practices that may damage your rankings, or worse, completely obliterate them! Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and rules, and because of this, a significant proportion of SEO advice isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s just outdated. We’ve picked out four myths that we tend to see shared around, and present them here to help you avoid this kind of thinking!
- SEO can be automated
A number of free SEO tools exist that claim they can automate the process fully and return good results in a relatively short period of time. If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. The majority of these tools rely on crude link building methods. Search engines have cracked down on ‘artificial’ link building in recent years, and most websites that attempt to do so are hit with ranking penalties. While it’s possible that full SEO automation could improve your search rankings in the short run, it’s more likely to devastate your rankings in the long term.
- SEO is a one-off thing
In the last few years, on page optimization has increased in importance. This has given rise to the myth that a website can be created with excellent SEO and then left alone. However, this is a dangerous misconception for several reasons.
Market conditions evolve in every niche over time. If your website sells cell phones, SEO designed to target buyers of Razr flip phones might have been extremely profitable a decade ago, but it is probably of relatively little use today.
Search engines are constantly updating their search algorithms in order to return the best results. For example, a major update to Google’s search algorithm in 2013 known as Hummingbird, increased the importance of long tail keywords, or search terms that are at least three or four words long. Some of the effects of the algorithm change included promoting more natural use of language and more content-rich websites. However, websites that were optimized for shorter keywords lost out as a result. Every website’s SEO needs to adapt to to reflect the constant changes in the methods that generate what you see on the a search engine’s results page.
Search engines also incorporate how regularly a website is updated when factoring rankings. Leaving other SEO factors aside, websites that are updated regularly rank significantly higher than those that are updated infrequently. This is not to say that you need to alter your homepage every day or every week, but any website can benefit from high quality new content – like a blog, for instance!
- SEO is just tricks and artifice
Claims like this had some validity before search engines implemented advanced machine learning techniques. However, these days, search engines are becoming increasingly intuitive, and frankly it’s only a matter of time until they start mimicking our own behavior! (yikes! – or awesome, depending on which side of the spectrum you are.)
Today, unscrupulous webmasters find it difficult to fool search engines for long. Search engines prioritize websites that are structured for straightforward navigation. They reward sites that render well on all devices, and penalize those that do not. They have sophisticated measures of website authority that promote high quality resources and content and limit the visibility of spammy or less useful websites.
Although there are numerous complex SEO techniques, search engines today are fairly successful in ranking websites according to relevancy, authority, and the quality of their content. Given the importance of SEO and the field’s increasing complexity, working with professionals is often a very good investment for getting your website, and as a result, your business, more customers.
Struggling to get found online? Simply Design has been helping Albuquerque and clients throughout the nation use SEO and smarter marketing strategies in order to bring in more business. Give us a call today: 505-503-6910