Many business owners are confused about how to achieve higher rankings for their business’ website. They often hear about the benefits of SEO but they’re not sure what that means. SEO is search engine optimization, which is the process that helps to propel a business’ website higher in search engine rankings, thereby putting it in front of more consumers and potential customers. However, there are hundreds of spammy fly by night black hat SEO firms willing and able to take advantage of business owners. How are you supposed to determine what will benefit your business?
Some business owners have told tales of callers promising that search engines are holding a place on the front page of Google, Bing, or Yahoo just for them. The truth is, that this is a lie. If your business believes this, you could be subjecting yourself to shady or inferior SEO services. Why would you want to allow someone to sucker your business into SEO and then deliver inferior results? These kinds of lies can only undermine your business’ SEO goals. Instead, you should be aware of the various SEO myths that could be harming your business instead of helping it.
Don’t Believe These SEO Myths
The truth is that SEO is difficult no matter your business or industry. If anyone tells you that SEO is easy, they’re selling you a dream. The problem is that if your business believes these SEO myths, it could potentially be in trouble. The following SEO myths could be extremely harmful to your website’s rankings:
- Meta tags determine your rankings. It used to be that if your website wanted to rank well, it needed Meta tags to inform search engines about its contents. However, now Meta tags don’t determine rankings anymore. Search engines’ algorithms have evolved beyond this tool. They do still help inform your readers, though!
- Domain names with keywords rank higher. In the early days of the internet, keywords in your domain meant that your website would rank higher in results. However, algorithms have moved well beyond these initial limited determinations of rankings. The name of your website means zero to rankings and SEO now.
- Social media is not important. If your SEO practitioner tells you that social media isn’t something smart for your business, then they don’t know the power of social media. These days, search engines are using social signals such as the amount of shares on social media as an indicator that your content is valuable and therefore deserving of a higher spot in search engine results.
- Buying links is the easy way to boost your rankings. If someone is trying to sell you links, back away from the phone. Search engines have begun to identify link farms and penalize websites who have bought links from these companies. If someone’s trying to sell you links instead of helping your business to build them, you could be in for a nasty surprise.
- Comments are the easiest and best way to obtain links. If an SEO practitioner is pitching comment spam, congratulations, your business could find endless amounts of comments online that have nothing to do with their business. We had one client whose former SEO strategy focused solely on comment spam, leaving him with a tarnished image. Before you sign on and find out that your name will now be associated with animal cruelty or worse, ask where your links will be coming from.
- Public relations hurts your website. Of all the ridiculous things I’ve heard, I laughed when one SEO practitioner told me that PR would hurt your SEO strategy or your website. On the contrary, today’s SEO is quite useful to PR and together, they can help boost your website rankings.
- SEO is quantity over quality. Today’s SEO takes quality into consideration because search engine rankings are determined to bring more value to consumers. Any SEO practitioner pitching quantity over quality is pursuing outdated SEO strategies. Not all links are created equal and unfortunately, a quantity over quality approach can lend your business in potentially hot water.
- You need to write your keywords into your text as much as possible. In the old days, you could have a page with so many unnaturally stuffed keywords into the text that it ranked well. However, these days its about naturally including keywords so as not to detract from the value of your content. If you have been told to stuff keywords, you could incur penalties from search engines.
- SEO is the only tool you need to advertise your business. When it comes to gaining new customers, SEO can help your business to rank well and attract consumer attention. But so can many other tools including advertising (online and offline,) public relations, and social media. The key is to find tools to attract new customers without breaking your bank. And often, multiple marketing streams enhance these results more than one tool alone.
When it comes to SEO, everyone’s got a set of ideas about best practices. But some of them are outdated tools and SEO myths. Don’t let your business fall for SEO myths and suffer in the rankings. Instead, pursue a quality approach to deliver value to your customers.