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5 SEO myths that you should be aware of

While there are many SEO myths out there, today I’ll be focusing on five myths that I hear most often from clients. But first, let’s start with what SEO is and why you should care about it.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. The SEO process helps your website rank for free on Google, Bing, and other search engines (SERPs). Organic (free) traffic can be incredibly powerful and cost-effective.

SEO has been around since the early 90s. A lot of best practices have changed in this time, and with outdated methods and misinterpretations, we have been led down a path of many myths.

So, let’s begin with my top five SEO myths that you should be aware of.

1. You only have to do it once

Wrong. SEO is constantly evolving, and you shouldn’t get into the habit of getting too comfortable and forgetting the importance of updating your website’s content, and UX, along with other contributing factors.

Some people may get their content or website ‘SEO optimised’ and then think it’s a done deal. Unfortunately, how SERPs interpret data, content, intent, and UX on your website changes overtime, meaning in 2016 your content could have appeared on Google’s first page but now in 2022 this content isn’t relevant, the page may not be mobile-first and the way users search for this type of information could have changed.                         

SEO doesn’t change to trick you or to make life harder for your business, it evolves with the user. How we use SERPs, and websites has changed over the years and the truth is, it won’t stop changing. It’s vital to remember that your website is for the user. How users receive information, page load speed, and how easy your website is to navigate, are all crucial factors of SEO. It’s also best practise to keep up to date with SERPs algorithms changes that could impact your website’s SEO.

Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.

Phil Frost, Main Street ROI

2. The more keywords you include the better

I’m not saying keywords don’t matter, because they do. But extreme overusing of keywords or phrases, also known as keyword stuffing, can be harmful for your website.

“Keyword stuffing” refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. 

This bad tactic was used by many SEO businesses in the early to mid-2000s. But this tactic was only to serve the website and not the user. We’ve already covered that your content should serve a purpose to those who are visiting your website. This can’t be done when you’re overusing keywords in the hope of boosting your SEO.

Just remember, your content should flow fluidly and be a pleasant experience for users. Not only will you create a bad user experience with keyword stuffing, but you could also be heavily penalised by Google.

3. There’s a perfect copy length.

The unfortunate truth is that there isn’t a perfect SEO copy length. Many factors need to be taken into consideration when your content is being ranked, and copy length alone is not going to hit the mark.

There’s a myth that longer content ranks better but having lengthier copy does not always mean your content is more useful to users and it’s the relevance and intent that’s important. Numerous studies have been carried out to find the ‘perfect’ copy length and a study from SEO specialists at Backlino state that the “average Google first page result contains 1,447 words.” However, they acknowledge that this is not a direct reason for a website ranking highly.

Backlino found that long-form content gained more backlinks, which could help your website ranking. We must also consider that longer copy could include more information and answers for the user, which in turn could help with your ranking. But it’s the quality of the content that’s important.

Better content is outweighing more content.

Rand Fishkin

4. Image alt text doesn’t matter

This one often gets left behind and forgotten about, but it’s important to potential users visiting your site and helpful for when your site is being crawled!

Alt text, also known as alternative text, describes an image to visually impaired users. You may have seen alt text in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on your screen.

When using alt text, you will need to describe the contents of an image in good detail. The alt tag should be relevant to the topic that is being spoken about and it should give context to what the image is.

5. Keyword research isn’t important.

Do you want to write a blog or landing page that is going to drive traffic to your website without any keyword research? I’ve saved the biggest myth for last! When writing any content for your website, the hope is that you’ll appear on Google’s first page, users will find the information useful, and you might gain backlinks from the content. But how do you get there?

Keyword research is an essential step for your content to reach the right audience. Here’s why – any information that appears on your website should provide valuable information or answers to potential customer queries. Therefore, understanding what users are searching for and how your content can assist the user is vital. Optimising content for keywords or key phrases helps SERPs understand and rank your content.

Google always puts the user first, meaning it will show relevant queries in the top results. When you have an SEO writing strategy, you can aim to increase traffic to your site and grow your audience.

Conclusion

While this isn’t an extensive list of all the SEO myths that are circling the marketing world today, I hope that my top 5 SEO myths that you should be aware of, have been useful for you or your business. Now, don’t get caught out and always stay up to date!

And don’t forget these 5 points.

1. SEO is an ongoing process, be patient and diligent

2. Avoid keyword stuffing or you may be heavily penalised by Google

3. Your content is more important than the copy length. Quality over quantity

4. Don’t forget to add image alt text

5. Do your keyword research!

If you’re struggling with your SEO and would like a website and content audit, why not email me? sydney@ridgemount.uk.

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