One of the most challenging concepts in content marketing these days seems to be the world of search engine optimization – SEO. It seems that everyone and their brother has an opinion about how to tweak pages to get them to the top of Google search!
But as Google continues to tweak its formula, and content marketing continues to grow as its own specialty as a part of social media marketing, there are some pretty persistent lies about SEO that keep hanging around!
Since content marketing continues to increase in importance and value for customers, I wanted to go over the top 5 SEO lies you're likely to hear and answer them with the truths you need to know about effective SEO practices.
The Top 5 SEO Lies Revealed:
1. It's all about on-page SEO
This is one of the biggest SEO lies. Yes, keywords have importance, but that's only one piece of the puzzle for SEO. Your SEO is a whole picture that uses on page optimization, off page optimization, user engagement, and conversions to determine the level of success.
2. Keywords must match exactly
This used to be true in earlier days of search engines, but not so much anymore. Don't try to "stuff" or optimize an awkward keyword phrase without adjusting it for readability. If you do, you'll shoot yourself in the foot by making a piece (or worse – its title) so awkward that no one wants to read it. And if no one's reading it, they're certainly not converting in any way either.
3. Keywords must be present in a specific density
Again, this is a holdover from earlier search engine algorithms, but please, can we finally put this one to rest? There is no magic number. And if you include an exact keyword phrase in a way that is awkward – or "stuffed" too many times, it will actually work against you in both search engine results and your human readers.
4. Any domain or microsite I own that links in to my site is a good thing
Search engines have complex algorithms and that even includes knowing who the registrant for each domain is. If you own multiple domains and optimize each of them to boost your SEO, you are actually diluting your efforts! Spend that time and energy creating valuable content on a single site and you will end up ahead.
5. It's all about getting ranked high on Google and getting my website found.
Sure, getting ranked on Google increases the odds that someone will see your website. However, if your content isn't interesting enough to get visitors to click through to your website or to keep peoples' attention once they arrive on your website, it won't provide any benefit whatsoever. It's important to create a website with rich content that provides value. It's also important to write well, especially when it comes to your titles and meta descriptions. Again – it's not about keyword stuffing there either. It's about writing titles and meta descriptions that adequately tell people what your articles and site is about and persuades them, very quickly, to click through and read your content.
What other SEO lies have you heard lately? Leave a comment below – I'd love to hear!