SEO seems to have a reputation as being really hard, really intense, and that you couldn’t possibly understand it without a whole heap of experience and doing SEO courses.
But it’s just not true.
Anyone can do SEO. But what you have to decide is if you have the time to dedicate to SEO so that you can do it well.
If you’re avoiding learning more about SEO because you think it’s too hard, I’m about to change your mind.
Here are 16 popular SEO myths debunked (plus 5 bonus SEO agency claims busted).
1. SEO Is Black Magic
SEO is most definitely not black magic. It’s a whole of lot of elements coming together to make your website get some love from Google.
Sure, some of those elements might be technical and a bit over your head, but then you can get some help on those, either from your web developer if it’s related to the code on your site, or an SEO specialist.
You don’t have to go it alone!
2. SEO Is A Scam
In no way is SEO a scam. Your website needs SEO to be found. Launching a website without SEO is like opening your store in the middle of the outback. No-one’s going to just stumble across it!
Unless you’re already a major global brand, but you know what, they probably have a whole team of in-house SEO’s already!
What is a scam, is slick salespeople selling you SEO services, only for them to either outsource the work to dodgy consultants who use black hat SEO techniques (bad techniques that could get your website flagged and penalised by Google), or they just don’t do the work at all.
Always be wary of people who cold call or email you trying to sell SEO services. They’re likely to be salespeople with targets to hit, not people who actually know anything about SEO.
3. All You Need Is Awesome Content
Content is essential but it’s not the be all and end all of SEO. There are some simple technical things you need to do, and some more complicated things (get some help on issues if needed) that all add up to a well-optimised site.
It’s like baking a cake – you need all the ingredients for it to work, otherwise it just won’t taste as good!
4. Your Content Has To Be Super Long
This one is always widely debated and the experts often disagree or change their minds about the optimal length for blog posts.
Your content doesn’t have to be super long, it just has to be better than everyone else’s. So if the only content for your topic is less than 500 words, you probably don’t have to write 5000 words to outrank it.
5. Must Add Meta Tags
Meta tags DO NOT have any SEO influence anymore. Enough said. Stop using them!
6. SEO Is A One-Off Thing
While certain elements of your SEO can be set up and not changed regularly (like robots txt files, title tags and meta descriptions), SEO is not a one-off thing.
You’ll want to keep an eye on your site, update your SEO with any changes to your content or services, continually look at optimising your blogs and any new pages or content, and update your SEO when best practice changes or updates roll out that affect your website.
7. You Have To Add Your Keywords To Your Page At Least X Times
There are so many different schools of thought on this. Some people say you need your keyword mentioned at least 5 times, 10 times, 100 times.
Treat Google and your readers the same for this one – if you’re stuffing your same keyword into your text 100 times, and there are only 400 words on a page, how do you think that will read? Not great at all.
Keep your writing natural and weave your keywords and variations of them into your content. There is no magic number but it should be more than zero!
8. Your Domain Needs To Have Keywords In It
This used to be recommended to improve your chances of outranking the competition. If your website was ‘mechanicbrisbane.com.au’ you were likely going to be on that all important first page.
However, it’s not great for your brand to have a different domain to your actual business name. It’s confusing for users who are trying to find you online.
Also, having your keywords in your URL is not the be all and end all of SEO and can be seen as a way of trying to game Google, which never goes down well.
Stick to your brand name for your URL.
9. HTTPS Is Not Important Unless You Are Selling Stuff
How wrong can you be? Having a secure website is essential these days whether you sell anything online or not.
It’s now a ranking factor and Google can show the user a warning before they visit your website telling them your website is not secure. This could have a seriously detrimental effect on your click-through rate so traffic could decline considerably.
It’s simple and affordable to set up – just contact your website host and get them to set your website up as https instead of http.
10. All Your Links Must Come From High DA Websites
So often I see callouts from fellow bloggers asking for contributions to their website or for other websites they can contribute to, and they specify they will only work with websites that have a certain DA (usually 30/40+).
Domain authority (DA) is not a ranking factor for Google. It is a metric created by Moz to predict how a website will rank and also indicates how reliable/useful/old/good/trustworthy/spammy a website is.
The higher the DA the more authoritative the site. The lower the DA, the less authoritative the website. But only in the eyes of Moz.
I always recommend looking at a website and asking yourself, ‘Is this a website I would want to be mentioned on?’.
If the answer is no, don’t bother pursuing a link. If the answer is yes, go for it, no matter what the DA is.
11. The More Links You Have The Better
More isn’t always better when it comes to links.
Yes, links are important, but don’t think if you have 6,000 links you’re going to see a big boost in your rankings.
It’s all about the quality of the link, not the number of links.
One link from a high authority website is much more powerful than 1,000 links from SEO directory websites (which unfortunately is where some SEO agencies can focus their link building efforts).
12. No-Follow Links Are Useless
A good backlink profile will always have a mix of follow and no-follow links. It is not natural to have all the links to your website as follow links, just as it would be unnatural to have all no-follow links to your website.
If the website is a great website, get the link, even if it’s no follow. Often high authority websites, like news sites, will only give no-follow links so don’t be put off if the link is not followed.
13. Images And Videos Don’t Matter For SEO
Images and video can definitely be optimised for SEO. Don’t ignore these elements on your page because you don’t think it’s possible to make them SEO-friendly.
There are so many great guides on optimising images and video for SEO, so start googling and optimising today. Yoast has a good guide to optimising images here and Wordstream has a blog about optimising videos for SEO.
14. Running Google Ads Will Improve Your Organic Rankings
Here’s another myth that is constantly up for debate.
I personally don’t think running Google Ads has any real SEO benefit. Running ads is purely a way to get your website on the first page or guaranteed to be above your competitor’s organic listings.
Some people say that Google Ads drive traffic to your website, and therefore Google sees people spending time on your site and this click through rate (CTR) has an impact on your SEO. Google has also openly said CTR has no impact on rankings, but many SEO experts are constantly questioning this.
If running ads does have an effect on your SEO, it would be miniscule and take a very long time to have a noticeable impact.
15. That You Have To Know Everything About SEO To Start Doing It
Everyone has to start somewhere with SEO. And it’s constantly shifting and evolving.
If you want until you know everything, you’ll be waiting forever.
Get stuck in and start doing!
16. Getting To Number 1 on Google Will Get You Loads More Business
Just because you hit that magic number 1 spot, does not mean that you’ll automatically get a whole heap of new clients.
Your title tag and meta description still need to convince people to click, and your website needs to convince them to buy.
SEO Agency Claims Busted
Not only should I talk about SEO myths debunked, but also SEO agency claims. I’ve heard it all over the years and seen so many business owners taken advantage of by unscrupulous practices in the SEO world.
So here are my bonus 5 SEO agency claims busted!
1. You Can Game Google
No. You can’t. It’s a load of bollocks.
I once saw an SEO who claimed on his website that he was 6-9 months ahead of the Google algorithm updates! WTAF.
When you see statements like this, just run. Far far away. Quickly.
2. We Are ‘Google Certified’
THERE. IS. NO. SUCH. THING. AS. GOOGLE. CERTIFIED.
Google Ads certified – sure!
Google certified – not a chance.
You can even report them to Google for claiming this as they take these fraudulent claims very seriously.
3. We Guarantee Your Page 1 Rankings
No-one can guarantee anything when it comes to where you’ll rank on Google.
If an SEO consultant does a great job on your website, chances are you’ll see some improvements. But there is no guarantee, as things change at such a fast pace, and you never know what Google has around the corner.
4. Our Work Includes Submitting Your Site To Search Engines
Well duh. If they aren’t setting up Search Console for you what are they doing?
Plus, you don’t HAVE to submit your website to search engines, Google knows how to find it (they’re pretty smart like that). It can just help them index it quicker if you submit a sitemap in Search Console.
Hardly worth their $2000+ fee per month.
5. You’ll Get Quick Results
Again, no way to prove this at all. You MAY get quick results, but no-one can promise you any.
And there you have some of the most popular SEO myths debunked!
Sick of the BS from SEO salesmen trying to get you to sign up for a 12 month contract?
I have no lock-in contracts for any of my affordable online marketing services and never cold call anyone about their SEO.
My clients all find me or are referred to me by other clients and professionals in the industry.
Get in touch with me online today and find out how I can help you grow your business online. There’s no time like the present!
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