"One of my day to day goals is to teach prospective clients about what actually moves the needle from an SEO perspective. And to erase from their minds, the theories they have heard that produce very little or even a negative impact to their business. There are many misconceptions about search engine optimization. In my experience, I’ve talked with hundreds of business owners, entrepreneurs and marketing managers prior to launching SEO campaigns. From Fortune 500 brands to local family owned operations, I’ve fielded questions from people in many different industries. And I’ve been amazed at the common misconceptions that I continuously hear about search engine optimization..."
SEO Myth No. 1: Blogs will help your SEO.
For some reason, everyone thinks posting a blog on your own website will magically increase your SEO presence and make your website stronger. It wont.
If you have a very strong website to begin with, internal blogs can help drive more traffic to your site. Here’s the deal though, the purpose of a blog is to drive traffic for long-tail keywords. It takes years, day in and day out, building the SEO for a website to establish a relatively high domain authority. That domain authority is what allows your blog to rank well over broader markets, which is the reason for increased traffic. Domain authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines and tracks the “strength” of your website over time. If you have a website that has a high domain authority, internal blog posts can be great. Same if you are in a line of work where there is not a lot of competition, you can also rank well with blog posts.
Now if your website is new or if you have a low domain authority, just posting a blog to your site is going to have hardly any benefit from an SEO perspective. People like to think that when you post an internal blog, Google will see your website receiving “fresh content.” While this is not inaccurate, on a scale of 1-100, this scores a 1 in terms of how much it will move the needle for your SEO.
TIP:Try and write blog content for external websites, and link back to your website. This will boost your domain authority. Backlinks are the foundation of Google’s algorithm. If you start writing content on your own blog, run a Facebook advertising campaign to promote your blog to drive traffic to the piece of content. It happens way too often that people write a great piece of content and don’t get any eyeballs on it because it doesn’t have any exposure.
SEO Myth No. 2: All backlinks are created equal.
When I explain to prospective clients the importance of quality backlinks for their SEO strategy, some tend to think that all backlinks are created equally. They believe that if you hyperlink on Facebook, Twitter or your email newsletter, this will help you rise in the ranks of Google. This is not the case. On powerful social media sites, the hyperlinks you include in your posts don’t get counted as a link that will help improve your backlink profile. Also, on a lot of websites, they’ll have what’s called a “no-follow” link. According to Google, "no-follow" provides a way for webmasters to tell search engines "Don't follow links on this page" or "Don't follow this specific link." This helps websites prevent un-trusted content or paid links. The backlinks you want pointing to your site are natural, authentic, industry-related and authoritative. Don’t get suckered into believing that all backlinks are created equally. Spammy backlinks and backlinks from low-ranked or unrelated sites can actually cause more harm than good.
SEO Myth No. 3: You can get on page 1 of Google for a few hundred dollars.
I know that everyone reading this article has received constant email pitches and phone calls about “1st Page Google Ranking for just $300.” There is a lot of B.S. in the SEO industry. There is no “quick solution” to get onto the first page of Google. I’ve helped several businesses recover from Google algorithm penalties because they signed up with some oversees company for a few hundred dollars, and this “company” built spammy backlinks to their site, resulting in a Google penalty. Really interested in improving your SEO? A whole strategy needs to be formulated. An expert will need to identify the services or products that drive the most revenue for your business so they can deploy an SEO strategy based on your actual business model. Keyword research is involved, as is onsite SEO optimization. If anyone guarantees you page #1 ranking on Google within a three-month time-span, run... just RUN!
SEO Myth No. 4: I have a contact at Google.
The only contact one might have at Google would be for Adwords, the online advertising beast that generates billions of dollars for Google yearly.
If any SEO professional tells you that they have a contact at Google and the conversation pertains to search engine optimization, they are full of sh*t. Google doesn’t have employees who can help businesses with their SEO. That’s one of the fascinating components about this industry; you have to follow the latest trends to make sure your SEO strategy aligns with Google’s constant algorithm updates. Some great SEO experts to follow are Barry Schwartz, Glenn Gabe and Marie Haynes. There is also Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst for Google, who provides best practices and insight.
SEO Myth No. 5: Stuffing keywords is going to help me.
Long gone are the days where you could buy a domain name like YourCompanyDenver.com and rank at the very top of the search engines in the Mile High City. Google is looking for authoritative sites that are actual businesses that are getting legitimate visitors to their site. If you have too many keywords stuffed into your domain or website, this can be viewed as a spammy tactic that Google can pick up on.
Now, Including a keyword within a company is a good practice, if it is a natural fit, of course. Let’s say I wanted to start a commercial roofing company. A name like “Fox Roofing” would be a good option because it has a personal connection based off of my name, and the keyword “roofing” will allow Google to clearly understand that I own a roofing company.
I’ve also seen instances where a company will create a URL structure similar to the example below. They build out a ton of pages trying to rank for every single suburb in their area. Again, a big no-no. Google can view this as multiplicative content and a deceptive practice, which can do more harm than good for your site.
Focus on unique informative content. Use your website to tell the world about your company, knowing there is nowhere else they can find this information. Go into detail and use a thesaurus! Trust your web professional, if you're running a good business and your customers are happy, the traffic will come. It takes time and due-diligence.