Debunked SEO Myths

January 15, 2021

Kerrie Ashall

Whether you’re just starting out in SEO or have been part of the community for several years, there are always going to be new myths cropping up to confuse or mislead you. The truth is that there is a lot more that goes into SEO than just links and keywords, and if you want to get the most out of it, then you need to know what to pay attention to and what to ignore.

Here, we’ve compiled a few examples of some of the biggest misconceptions about SEO, so hopefully you’ll have a clearer idea about digital marketing going forward.

The Myth: Content is king

You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘content is king’ when exploring what goes into SEO, but what does it actually mean? In short, it’s the notion that as long as you are putting out content for your target audience, then you are increasing your chances of drawing in more site traffic.

The Truth: While high-quality content is obviously instrumental in digital marketing, it is not the only factor that you should focus on. You can create good content but shouldn’t expect to post it on your site and immediately start attracting clicks and conversions. There is a lot more thought that goes into creating relevant and well-made content, such as how you are going to target it to your audience, how you are going to promote it and how you can make it look like a reputable source of information.

To get the best out of your content, you need to know how to create a tailored content marketing strategy that will help you to create something of value for your audience.

The Myth: SEO = Links

Similarly, you might be under the impression that good SEO comes from getting links.

The Truth: Again, like content, achieving backlinks is still very relevant for your business, but that doesn’t automatically mean that your site will suddenly start topping the SERPs.

It’s important to remember that quality counts for more than quantity when it comes to links, so even if you successfully achieve a dozen backlinks in a single month, if those sites aren’t authoritative or are full of spammy ads, then this will count as a low-quality link and will do little to move you up Google’s search results. In fact, having so many backlinks to untrustworthy sites can have a detrimental effect on your own credibility, as Google might think you are using Black Hat SEO methods to buy those links.

To avoid possibly getting penalised, streamline your search so that you are only targeting high-quality sites that are relevant to your business.

The Myth: Paid advertising is better than organic

When it comes to organic SEO vs. paid advertising, it’s easy to assume which one is the most profitable for your business; after all, surely you get what you pay for?

The Truth: Well, this isn’t entirely accurate. Certainly, if you’re looking for a ‘quick fix’ for your digital marketing woes, then paid advertising can give you that needed boost, but it’s no long-term solution.

If you’re considering paid advertising, then you need to bear in mind your ROI (Return On Investment). For example, if you’re spending £2000 a month and only making £20 in return then you need to lower your cost or look at alternative strategies.

The Myth: Meta descriptions aren’t important

One aspect of SEO that can often be overlooked is meta descriptions, i.e., the brief summary of your page’s content that users see in the search engines. It is largely thought that this feature is unimportant and easy to overlook.

The Truth: What you may not realise is just how essential these descriptions really are to your rankings; after all, they are the first thing users see from your site, and they will give an indication of your site’s quality. If you need help on how to create an ideal meta description, you can check out our previous blog here.

The Myth: Sitemaps help your ranking

When a search engine wants to crawl your site, it will look at your sitemap, i.e., a file that contains information about your site’s pages. Some site owners believe having a sitemap will help their site to rank higher.

The Truth: A sitemap can help to show Google when your site was last updated and how many changes have been made, but it does not guarantee that your SEO rankings will suddenly have a boost. While sitemaps are still recommended for site owners to allow Google to crawl and index pages, you shouldn’t assume they will help your site top the SERPs.

The Myth: SEO is a short-term solution

This idea suggests that SEO is just something you have to do once, like a quick update on your computer, and then you’ll be all set.

The Truth: SEO is not a quick fix if your business needs a boost; it is an ongoing project that you’ll be in for the long haul. If you approach SEO as a one-time thing, then you’re not going to benefit from all the advantages it has to offer in digital marketing. SEO needs to be consistent, and if you want results that are going to help your business long into the future, then you need to put in the time. As Search Engine Journal puts it, “You can’t accurately predict exactly how long SEO takes until you start putting in the work. However, you can make a highly educated guess based on certain variables, and then, over time, you can get a better idea of how long it may take within your particular niche against your competitors.”

Final thoughts

Hopefully, this article will have given you some insight into what assumptions to ignore when it comes to SEO. It might seem like SEO is this intricate labyrinth of myths and misconceptions, but in reality, it’s all part of what makes a substantial digital marketing strategy. If you want to learn more about what SEO can offer your business, then get in touch to find out how we can help you.

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