In this day and age, people want to find exactly what they’re looking for when they go online. They don’t want to scroll endlessly through search results to find the answer to their question. Users are going to choose the top results for their search request, and that’s why SEO or search engine optimization is so essential for your website.
With so much competition online today, it’s harder than ever to get noticed. The right strategy can make the difference between your website appearing at the top of search results or getting lost in the noise.
Everyone knows the internet is always changing. It changes so rapidly, in fact, that it feels impossible to keep up sometimes. With social media algorithms always changing and new compliance regulations, websites of today have a lot to pay attention to if they want to be seen online. This leads today’s website owners to dedicate a lot of time and attention to SEO gurus and experts claiming they have the best-kept-secret for staying ahead.
While there are many great resources, not everything you read about SEO is true. This guide will address some of the most common SEO myths that might be holding back your website performance. When it comes to optimization, there’s a lot to learn. Are you falling for any of these common myths about SEO optimization?
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Myth 1: Social media doesn’t affect your page ranking.
This myth is founded on truth, but it’s a dangerous way to think. While social media doesn’t have a direct relationship to your website SEO, it still carries weight in a unique way.
Getting more “likes” or “follows” won’t directly translate to a higher page ranking, but it will help you generate more traffic. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram thrive on content. If you’re creating high-quality content for your website, you should be sharing it on social media.
When you promote your website content across your platforms, it gets attention. Generating more traffic, in turn, boosts your page ranking. Searchical SEO argues, “The most effective online campaigns are going to be ones that help tie social media marketing and SEO efforts together.” By getting your website content in front of more users in your target audience, social media earns itself a place as a part of any successful optimization strategy.
Myth 2: The age of your website matters.
The myth that the age of your website matters is something you’ll see repeated time and time again on forums and blog posts. The idea here is that having an older webpage with older links that have been around a longer period of time provide more weight in your page ranking.
The logic of this train of thought makes sense: older links and pages have been crawled more often, so they must carry more weight, right? According to Google, it doesn’t. Or, if it does, it’s such a tiny percentage you shouldn’t worry about it.
That being said, you’ll still notice many of the top results on Google are all websites that have been around the block before. This is correlation and not causation. Because these websites are older, they’ve had a longer amount of time to attract links and references. They also have the advantage of a more powerful URL, not to mention more time to create quality content.
That doesn’t mean that a new website created today couldn’t also have all of these things. Instead of worrying about the age of your domain, focus on creating great content and building your SEO strategy.
Myth 3: Your meta tags don’t matter.
Meta tags are added to the <head> section of your HTML page, and they are used to show a preview of your webpage that appears in search results. These meta tags might sound simple, but they’re at the center of a large SEO debate about whether they do anything important.
The meta tags are made up of 3 different elements: the title, the description, and keywords or phrases. While Google has officially announced meta tags are not used in the search algorithm to affect page rankings, they still are a powerful way to increase traffic.
While SEO experts are right that meta tags will not directly affect your page ranking, they help users learn more about your webpage. When people search something on Google, for example, they’re clearly going to select the result that they feel directly answers their question.
Customizing your meta tags makes you a more attractive search result to your audience, which can attract more clicks.
How can you create rich descriptions with your meta tags? First, make them descriptive with relevant explanations that fit your article. Next, make them short by following Google’s recommended character counts so they aren’t cut off prematurely. Analyze your meta descriptions over time to discover which phrasing is most successful.
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Myth 4: Link building is frowned upon by search engines.
Link building gets a bad rep from the few who misuse this process. The truth of the matter is that not all backlinks are created equally. While Google’s John Mueller recently stated that link building is something website should “avoid,” it is still one of the primary indicators of search algorithms.
There is an important difference between white hat link building and black hat link building. An example of black hat link building is keyword stuffing, an outdated practice which can put you in the search engine doghouse.
White hat link building is always a good idea, but it does take a lot of effort on your part. Guest blogging on another website is perhaps the best way to authentically get your link published on another quality website.
Other options are to submit to directories or to comment on other blogs or community forums. In general, your link building strategy should revolve around creating unique, relevant content that is beneficial to your industry.
Myth 5: SEO is one and done.
Search engines don’t take a day off, and neither should your optimization strategy. As we already covered, the internet is constantly evolving. What worked yesterday isn’t guaranteed to work tomorrow.
SEO isn’t something that is one and done. You can’t optimize your website once and call it a day. Your user base might change. Your traffic source might change. Nothing is permanent, and your strategy shouldn’t be either.
Create an SEO strategy that analyzes your success over time. By making changes as needed to keep targeting your audience, you should notice a steady rise in traffic over time. Commit to publishing quality content regularly, and also to optimizing your old content to keep it relevant and fresh. Never settle for the old when you could try something new.
Are you familiar with any of the SEO myths listed above? If so, now’s the time to make a change. Search engines are constantly evolving, and your website should be evolving with it. Creating a strong strategy helps the right users find your website at the right time.