Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a constantly evolving beast, as you very well know. In fact, keeping pace with the changes can be a challenge for most webmasters, even those with significant experience of technical SEO. Makes it even worse with the amount of SEO myths out there.
A major concern SEO experts share is that due to the frequent changes, there is a good chance of some myths and misconceptions getting put out into cyber space. Countering misinformation can be difficult, especially for business owners and/or clients. Thus, the wrong information can end up misleading you.
For instance, backlinks and content are still extremely important factors for boosting your search rankings. The key to achieving the results you desire is formulating a comprehensive and integrated strategy.
Let’s debunk a few SEO myths you should say goodbye to in 2018:
1. “You Can Generate Quick Results”
SEO takes time. The fact that SEO continues to evolve and Google keeps changing its algorithm clearly indicates that the process will keep changing. Hence, you cannot expect quick results with SEO.
In fact, anyone who promises you quick results through SEO is misleading you. SEO requires a long-term approach. You can achieve results but you have to be patient. Just because your online presence didn’t skyrocket overnight doesn’t mean that you won’t achieve results.
Stay patient, follow an effective strategy and you are good to go.
2. “Reaching the First Page is the Ultimate Goal”
Many business managers assume that reaching the first page of the search results is enough. However, SEO is a never-ending process. It won’t be wrong to say that getting to the first page is not too difficult.
You have to constantly take steps to improve your search presence. At the same time, you need to keep pace with the changes in SEO. Update your strategy on a regular basis and you will be able to stay one step ahead of your competitors.
3. “Keywords Don’t Matter As Much Anymore”
A myth quickly gaining traction in many circles is that the importance of keyword research is waning. This is not the case at all. Regardless of the number of updates Google introduces over time, you can rest assured keywords are and will remain crucial for SEO.
Therefore, you have to invest time and effort into effective keyword research. Without incorporating the right keywords in your content and ads, achieving the results you desire can be difficult.
4. “Mobile-Responsive Web Design Doesn’t Affect SEO Success”
Google assigns greater value to mobile-responsive designs. Your chances of SEO success hinge significantly on how well your site renders on mobile devices.
Don’t, not even for a moment, assume that you can achieve results without investing in a responsive design. As a matter of fact, websites with a mobile-responsive design, on average, rank higher than those without.
5. “Internal Linking Is Immaterial”
Believe it or not, user-friendliness is still a key factor for SEO success today. The easier you make it for visitors to navigate your website, the higher your ranking is likely to be. As you know, internal linking is the key to making navigation easy.
Lack of effective internal linking makes it difficult for users to access the different pages of your site. Eventually, they give up and click away. Thus, you unintentionally drive potential customers away.
Moreover, keep in mind that quality internal links can directly contribute to an increase in the time visitors spend on your website.
6. “High-Quality Content is Enough”
“Content is the king” is perhaps the most widely quoted adage when it comes to digital marketing. The statement holds true for SEO. Without high-quality content, you will be unable to generate the results you want.
However, simply creating and posting high-quality content is not enough. Many marketers assume that just because they post engaging content that includes relevant keywords, they will be able to achieve high search engine rankings.
The key to success, instead, lies in optimizing the content using SEO elements. You have to find the right mix of keywords, as well as add links to improve your chances of success.
7. “Meta Descriptions are Crucial”
At the turn of the decade, you could say that meta descriptions were an important ranking factor for SEO. However, this is not the case anymore. You have to write a decent meta description nonetheless, but it will not affect your rankings in any way.
Google will create a description for your URL using the content on the page, particularly the first couple of sentences, if you don’t add one yourself. Simply put, meta descriptions are more useful for humans, not robots. Writing a catchy meta description can improve your chances of attracting more visitors.
8. “Image Optimization Isn’t Important”
While machines are responsible for evaluating your content for SEO, there is still some way to go. This holds particularly accurate for images. Search engines, as of yet, are unable to view images, and therefore, rely on SEO professionals to add alt tags.
Alt tags are a form of HTML attribute that describe what the picture shows. Not adding appropriate alt tags can prove a huge mistake for you. Search engines will not be able to ‘view’ the images you post.
Do note that images are part of the ‘content’ Google considers for evaluating your online presence. Hence, adding alt tags is crucial.
9. “You Don’t Need a Blog”
Every couple of years or so, the internet is overrun with claims that blogging is dead. Well, it truly is not, and when it comes to SEO, blogging is still important. A blog provides you the perfect means of sharing updates and announcements about your business.
Customers today want to stay up to date with the new developments from their favorite brands. Using your blog, you can communicate with them directly. Simultaneously, you can add keywords and backlinks to the blog content, which boosts your rankings.
More significantly, you can build authority as an expert in your niche via blogging. Google is placing greater value to authority with each new update. Stay one step ahead of the game by maintaining a blog on your website.
10. “You Don’t Have to Worry about HTTPS”
Last, but not the least, the security of your website plays a role in determining your site’s online rankings. A majority of sites today feature “https” instead of “http” at the beginning of the URL.
If your website domain doesn’t begin with HTTPS, the browser will not allow users to proceed to it without a warning message. In almost 100% of the cases, users will not take the risk. Regardless of your SEO efforts, without a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for your URL, you will not reach your goals.
So, now that you are aware of these 10 SEO myths, steer clear of them. A few of these myths have been around for a few years now, and 2018 is the right time to let go for good.