SEO (search engine optimization) when broken down into its most basic form, consists of only two things: on and off-site SEO. While they are both an integral part of your overall strategy and success, the misinformation and constant shifts within on-site SEO have resulted in the propagation of some pretty damaging myths.
And since on-site optimization serves as the foundation upon which all of your other SEO efforts stand, I felt that it was important to address some of the mistakes that you might be making so that you can start the new year off with a fully optimized website that is kicking and rearing to take 2017 by storm.
1. On-site SEO Requires You to Hire an Expert
While this particular myth has provided some incredibly lucrative entrepreneurial opportunities over the years and is grounded in truth, it has also prevented many entrepreneurs from achieving their true potential.
Yes, there are aspects of on-site SEO that are extremely technical and require an in depth knowledge of coding and website development. And yes, if you can afford the investment, it is generally more expedient to hire a professional SEO firm or consultant so that you can focus your time elsewhere.
However, optimizing the essential 80% of your on-site SEO is a task that nearly anyone can do regardless of their current technical abilities.
Just about any skill that is required to get your website up to the modern standards of SEO can be learned by anyone, and learned rather quickly.
2. Every Title and Description Needs to Have a Keyword
One of the most common things that you will hear from SEO gurus and consultants is that you need to include one or more keywords for each title and description on your website. These title tags and meta descriptions are what your audience will see whenever they pull up the search engine results page, and they are meant to provide both Google and your viewers with meaningful information about the page’s content.
And while there is no detriment to including at least one keyword within your title tags and meta descriptions, it also isn’t necessary. Google has started indexing and providing content ratings using semantic searches, which means that it is now better to focus your efforts on accurately describing the content of your pages.
This will lure readers in and result in a higher number of click-throughs on your page. And, some studies have suggested that the higher your CTR within the SERPs is, the higher your rankings will be.
3. More (content) is Better
We live a society that constantly propagates the myth that more is always better. Whether this is more money, more fame, more muscles, or, in our case, more content. The problem is, more is not always better, especially with regards to SEO.
Yes, you want to have several hundred words of high quality content on each page. Yes, you need to have an effective content marketing strategy that includes the regular addition of new pages and posts that provide tremendous value to your audience. But simply loading up your website with superfluous content to try and land yourself in Google’s good graces is never a good idea.
With SEO, quality is more important than quantity. You will need to build up enough content to get picked by search engines in the first place, but once that has been accomplished, shift your focus to the quality of your content and not just having high amounts of content.
Instead of quality, think of relevance. Content for national websites should be different than content for local businesses.
4. We Already Did SEO Once
This is one of those myths that really grinds my gears. I am not sure who started it or why, but the belief that SEO is static, that it is so simple you can merely set it and forget it is not only blatantly false, but downright dangerous.
The algorithms that Google uses to determine page ranking and website relevance change on an almost constant basis, and while I am not suggesting that you need to “redo” your SEO every week, you should take an audit of your SEO practices and performance at least once every other month.
5. You Need to Create a Separate Page for Each of Your Target Keywords
Like I have said, most of the myths within this article are grounded in reality, and this one is no exception. Back when keyword optimization was the driving force behind SEO, this tactic worked wonders. However, in 2016 and beyond, this method will be mildly effective at best and a massive waste of time at worst.
Instead, you need to tailor your pages to follow certain themes that are important to your audience. Focus on the quality of the content you are producing instead of matching it to certain keywords. Because, at the end of the day, the only way to truly become a master of SEO is to create content that people want to read, share, and promote into virality.
SEO can be one of the most confusing and challenging aspect of running any online business. But it doesn’t need to be. By eliminating the biggest myths that are perpetuated throughout the SEO industry, you will be able to severely reduce the amount of time required to become an SEO powerhouse.
What are some SEO myths that you have believed before? How did they affect your business?