9 SEO Myths Debunked | Don't Get Tricked!
As one of the most valuable things you can do for your business, it's understandable that SEO is fraught with dodgy and outdated tactics that are peddled by opportunistic business owners. Once it's clear that your hard-spent investment isn't working, they can easily make their excuses and move onto the next person. To avoid this painful scenario, we've listed the 9 most common SEO myths and debunked them for you, so that your inner alarm bell can start ringing when you hear them.
SEO Myths Debunked
SEO Myth 1: Content doesn't matter
Content is at the absolute heart of good SEO. When you regularly produce high quality content that meets your audience's needs, and then SEO optimise it to make sure it's easily found, you can attract droves of new visitors to your website. This includes both educational content like blogs, and content for your transactional pages where you actually generate leads and sales.
If an SEO company is selling you SEO without a content component, run for the hills.
SEO Myth 2: SEO is a one-time project
Sadly, SEO isn't something that you can complete once before sitting back and collecting profits. It's an ongoing process that requires regular content, new backlinks, and plenty of technical SEO fixes to name a few things. It's hard work, which is why so many SEO companies try to cut corners and go for the easy win. But it almost always fails because other companies are putting the time into their SEO, and will quickly pull ahead of their competitors as a result.
SEO Myth 3: Google Ads have a direct impact on SEO
Google uses an entirely different algorithm for webpage ranking and advertising. Spending money on adverts will not directly affect your ranking, but it can indirectly improve your ranking by bringing more visitors to your website (visitors are a positive user signal for Google).
SEO Myth 4: Only our way works
If a local SEO company has told you it’s their way or the highway, they’re probably telling you fibs! There isn't one specific way to complete effective SEO. It's both an art and a science, and requires the right selection of techniques at the right time, which must be suited to your business goals.
Some companies might place all of their SEO eggs into backlinks. But creating links and doing nothing else will not help to build your online presence or increase brand awareness, and certainly isn't enough to improve your SEO by themselves. If a digital marketing sales shark has told you about their "exclusive" network of link producing websites—that’s not a good thing. That’s called a Private Blog Network—and is officially on Google Spam Team’s Most Wanted List. A few years back, one of Australia’s top-ranked SEO companies left clients high and dry when their work got them penalised. They simply closed up shop and reopened under another name.
Be wary of any company who claims to have an SEO panacea, especially if their techniques are limited to just one or two things.
SEO Myth 5: SEO packages work
Your business is nothing like any other business. Your challenges and opportunities are wildly different to your competitors’. That is why there is no one size fits all SEO strategy. In fact, if they’re trying to push you onto a set and forget program, you’ll probably be paying for SEO that you don't need—no two companies have the same requirements.
There may be some SEO campaigns included in the package that gets you decent results, but probably not enough to give you a genuine return on your investment. Your SEO plan needs to be based on your business’s challenges, your industry’s challenges, your goals and your contacts. Don't settle for a pre-made one-size-fits all package because it probably won't work for you.
SEO Myth 6: Guaranteed page one results
Give ’em your money and they’ll rain your keywords down all over page one, and fast. This is one of the most popular myths perpetrated by SEO companies. Anyone can slam page one with keywords, especially ones that will never ever lead to sales.
The reason some SEO companies can get you to number one with a bullet is that the keywords they target for you are ones nobody else wants. Meanwhile the keywords that everyone wants will do what all keywords do, slowly grow over time … don’t pay extra for no return on investment.
SEO Myth 7: SEO is the same quality for every company
A surprising number of SEO companies are a single person shooting emails back and forth to contractors in India and the Philippines. An article written by someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language will sound that way and that will reflect on your brand and your ROI. Similarly, link building done in a foreign country, on foreign websites, will not have the same impact, trust and SEO signals as local, high-quality links. While some elements of your digital marketing strategy can be done anywhere, by anyone, be sure to find out who will be doing your work.
SEO Myth 8: Longer content always wins
Writing longer content can improve your SEO chances, but it isn't automatically lead to a higher ranker than the pages you're competing against. What's more important is that the content is exactly what the user is looking for, and contains all of the relevant keywords to help it rank. If your content is well-written, educational, and extremely valuable to the user, they will leave plenty of positive user signals for Google to collect, which will boost your ranking.
It's usually a good idea to write more than less, but it's not mandatory.
SEO Myth 9: An SEO plugin is enough
SEO plugins—aren’t they fabulous? WordPress users are spoiled for choice. Sadly, they don’t actually do SEO. Neither does your assistant. WordPress plugins and other SEO tools help you organise your content in a way that search engines understand. They bring all those pesky elements that need optimising together in one simple box—with a cute little green light that gives you a definite sense of satisfaction.
Here are a few of the things they don’t do:
- Keyword research
- Competitor research
- Keyword difficulty analysis
- Long tail keyword analysis
- Information architecture
- Internal linking strategy
- Link juice distribution
- Click through optimisation
- Robots Tags and crawl compliance
- Snippet markup
- Trust elements
- Bounce-rate reduction and time on site tactics
- AMP optimisation
- Sitemap submission
- Page speed optimisation
- Code bloat minimisation
- Search Engine Code compliance
- LSI keyword research (in fact, they whole heartedly encourage over-optimisation!)
- Conversion tracking
- Funnel management
- Link building
- Link quality analysis
- Influencer outreach
- Amplification tactics
- Anchor text analysis
- Campaign monitoring
- ROI tracking
And yes, you will probably need most of that stuff. Maybe not all, but quite a bit of it. While your assistant might be a deft hand at making that little Yoast light go green, this stuff is actually what goes into SEO.
Connecting with an excellent SEO company means you’ll get all the things you need and none that you don’t. They won’t sell you on rainmaking dreams and they will make sure that you’re squeezing every drop from your digital marketing budget.
That's it! The 8 most common SEO myths debunked. We hope they help you to select a quality SEO provider to grow your business.