5 SEO myths explained
The words Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, often cause confusion and despair for small business owners who are trying to get their brand up to the number one spot on Google.
There are a lot of different opinions about how it should be done and what the best way to “do SEO” is. Fortunately, unless you are in an extremely competitive industry, if you get the basics right, you can usually get some good results without spending a fortune. Below are a few of the myths about SEO that you should know before you jump into it.
Myth #1: You need one “magic” keyword on all web pages to get to the top of Google
The idea of SEO is to optimise a website for keywords, or keyword phrases, that people would search for to find your product or service. The aim of the game is to ensure that when you rank for a keyword, the person who lands on your website will find exactly what they are looking for.
This doesn’t mean someone will only find your website for one specific keyword – but they will appreciate your website when you meet their needs. Focus your efforts on creating good content around a topic, not one keyword, and you’ll find you get more and possibly better traffic in the long run.
Myth #2: SEO is best done by an expert
As SEO develops into a full-blown industry, there are “experts” who will claim that it’s a job best left to those who know how. However, there are many tutorials and free tools available that will help you to understand the basics and get started. Too many small business owners get swept up in the need for good SEO and pay way beyond what’s necessary.
The fundamental concept of SEO is to create good content, often and make it easy for Google to find it. This is done by adding the right titles, descriptions and keywords to a post and to ensure that it meets Google’s requirements.
Myth #3: If you “do SEO” you will be at the top of Google all the time
Like with weight loss, if anyone ever guarantees fast, effective results, it’s most likely a scam. If anyone guarantees to get you to first place on Google, it’s definitely a scam. Ranking in first place on Google is never guaranteed; as Google’s algorithm is constantly changing and adapting to ensure that only the most relevant hits for a keyword phrase appear at the top of the search engine. That being said, if you get the basics right, you can quickly start seeing results with very little effort.
Myth #4: SEO is about tricks and magic
SEO is about following the rules that Google puts out. It’s about checking that you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s. It’s also fairly predictable - if you do everything that Google recommends, you will see results and rank on at least the first page of the search engine. There are no tricks involved, just simply follow a checklist to ensure that you have done everything you can to help the search engine find your website.
Myth #5: SEO is expensive
Hopefully by now you’re convinced that this is not true. It doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise, but you do need to spend a little time learning how to incorporate the basics of SEO into your website and marketing efforts.
Start by making sure your “on-page” SEO is 100% complete, i.e. every page has a title and description that includes relevant keywords or phrases that you would want to rank for. Next, create good, relevant content and publish it on your own website or guest blog for a someone in your industry. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get a link back to your website by just asking politely and offering good, well-written content. Lastly, spend time creating a holistic marketing strategy to ensure that you are sending the right message out to all relevant platforms on social media.
Now that you have a better knowledge of what SEO isn’t, you can focus on how you can make it work for your business. Remember that every page on your website should be unique, valuable and contain the relevant information to help search engines sort them from the billions of other pages on the web. But most of all, your website should be user-friendly and interesting to your customer – that’s how you succeed in online business.
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