SEO and search rankings are a constantly evolving science. The things that would have landed your business on the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) a few years ago won’t do the same today, as search engines like Google become more advanced and efficient at their jobs. Whether they have simply become outdated over time or have always been the stuff of myths, these five misconceptions can all hurt your digital marketing strategy and lower your SEO rankings.
“Keywords and linking are more important than content.”
There was a time when spamming yourself with links and keyword-stuffing (just throwing in keywords haphazardly) would help you rank higher in SERPs. But search engines are more intelligent today, and people are becoming increasingly likely to enter questions as their search queries instead of keywords. The most important thing is that your website offers unique, high-quality content. Keywords and links are still important, however, so make sure to balance both.
“Results will be immediate/SEO will eventually be over and done with.”
Never trust a “quick fix” when it comes to promoting your business. Chances are, if someone offers you immediate results, they are likely using “black hat” SEO techniques to boost your rankings, and modern search engines will likely penalize you for this. SEO is an on-going process that takes time, fine-tuning, and is never really complete. As long as search trends continue to change, you will always need effective SEO to make sure you continue to rank on SERPs.
“We can make the website now – we’ll focus on the SEO later.”
SEO is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. When your business builds its website, you should do so with keywords in mind. If you’ve already built all of your content and then you try to integrate SEO later on, you can end up with keyword-stuffing, and that is never a good thing.
“Stocking up on extra pages and domains will increase our SEO rankings.”
Again, this is an old black hat trick to boost SEO rankings. Creating extra pages on or off of your domain – referred to as doorway pages – to increase the number of indexed search results used to work for any website dastardly enough to use this underhanded trick. But thanks to Google’s recent doorway page penalty algorithm, this cheat is off the table, which clears up SERPs for websites that offer quality of content over quantity of pages.
“Anyone can do effective SEO.”
This one is sort of true, in the same way that anyone can pick up a guitar and learn to play a song – but not everyone is destined to be Jimi Hendrix. While a dozen hours of searches and reading can teach you a thing or two about SEO, nothing beats the experience of professionals. If you want to achieve high SEO rankings month after month, your best bet is a digital marketing agency that has the tools necessary to help grow your business on multiple fronts with a coordinated strategy that perfectly addresses your specific needs.