As e-commerce expands, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is increasingly important for small business owners. If you want to ensure you can compete with your online competitors, it’s important you optimise your website for search engines. If you have little experience in digital marketing or website building, however, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information online. As a leading SEO agency in Auckland, we see this all the time.
After all, there seems to be a million SEO experts on the internet and they often present conflicting information. False information about SEO can damage your website and your brand, so it’s important you approach the process with confidence. That means avoiding the myths that continually pop up on many SEO blogs and sites.
In this article, we’ll take a quick look at the top eight SEO myths to help you navigate away from any basic mistakes.
Myth 1: Keyword Saturation Helps SEO
This is one of the oldest myths in the book. Website owners looking to boost their search engine results often load their content with keywords. While this might seem like a sure-fire way to improve your returns, Google and other search engines can easily spot this technique.
In fact, Google has been using technology to spot keyword saturation for more than ten years. There’s another problem too: not only will keyword saturation damage SEO, it also makes your website appear less legitimate to customers.
So, make sure you spread keywords throughout your content, don’t repeat them too often, and ensure they appear naturally.
Myth 2: Purchased Engagement Improves Rankings
One way to improve your SEO is to increase engagement with your website. In other words, when other websites and blogs link to your site, your credibility improves in the eyes of Google. However, this has created an entire industry dedicated to creating page engagement for clients looking to enhance their stats.
While this can sometimes work in the short-term, using manufactured engagement usually damages your page ranking. Search engines are now better at recognising fake or ‘spammy’ interactions, plus social media sites also work hard to spot fake engagement, penalising companies who engage in the practice.
So, the irony is, real engagement with your company is likely to fall if you use fake engagement.
Myth 3: Site Security is Irrelevant
Several high-profile hacks have made the news in recent times – many large companies have fallen victim to professional hackers looking to exploit personal data and information. If you own a small business, you might not think cybersecurity is applicable to you. Google, however, takes security on the internet very seriously.
While it isn’t one of Google’s core ranking factors at the moment, there’s no doubt security will play a larger role in determining search results in the future.
In addition, some web browsers also notify users when a site is not properly secured. This increases the chance that visitors will abandon your site without any interaction. So, there’s never been a better time to invest in site security.
Myth 4: Loading Your Homepage with Content is Beneficial
There is a lot of conflicting information online about how much content your homepage should include. Many people view their homepage as a segue to other parts of their site. This often results in a small amount of content on the homepage.
However, recent trends indicate homepages should also include optimised keywords and content. In fact, it’s thought most homepages should contain around 2,000 words of high-quality content with related keywords.
This word count also acts as a threshold, however, as loading your homepage with more content than this is unlikely to significantly enhance your SEO.
Even when you have a lot of content on your homepage, you should still link to other areas of your site as internal linking is important to SEO too.
Myth 5: Mobile Optimisation Doesn’t Matter
When SEO first became a thing, all e-commerce took place on traditional computers and laptops. This meant web designers solely focused on building traditional web pages. This has changed as responsiveness is now a key factor in SEO. Responsive websites “respond” to a user’s device, so they display and work properly, including loading quickly.
If you don’t optimise your site for mobile browsing, you will fall behind your competitors. This is because mobile optimisation is now a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm when users search on mobile devices.
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Plus, mobile browsing is now more prevalent than traditional browsing. So, optimising for mobile not only improves the ranking of your website’s pages, it also improves user experience.
Myth 6: Content is the Only Thing That Matters
If you’ve read about SEO recently, you probably noticed a commonly used phrase: content is king. While it is true that creating authentic and useful content is one of the best ways to improve consumer engagement, keywords are equally as important. If you create great content that doesn’t include the keywords users search for, they may not be able to find your site.
The key is to use relevant keywords to produce insightful and thoughtful content. You should approach this process comprehensively, optimising each page of your website with keywords.
Myth 7: Investing in Google Ads Will Improve SEO
There are a lot of short-cut myths out there with some business owners looking for an easy route to improve SEO. One of the most common shortcut myths is the idea that purchasing Google Ads will improve your SEO, i.e. if you pay Google, it will reward you with better organic rankings.
While this method might sound plausible in a cut-throat business world, it doesn’t actually work. You can’t use Google Ads as a bribing technique to improve your page ranking.
Google Ads will improve user engagement and increase traffic to your website by targeting visitors that are likely to benefit from your site or product. If you want to improve your ranking in organic search, however, you need to implement an SEO strategy.
Myth 8: Link Building is in the Past
The fact that this myth still does the rounds is quite baffling as link building remains a major Google ranking factor. As mentioned above, though, you shouldn’t try to cheat the process by purchasing backlinks. You’ll achieve the best results if you naturally earn links from authoritative websites. You can do this by creating great content and engaging key individuals and websites in your industry.
If you’ve fallen for one of the myths mentioned in this article, you’re not alone as there are plenty of small business owners in the same position. After all, search engine optimisation is a constantly evolving area, not least because Google and other search engines update their algorithms and technology on a regular basis.
Therefore, it’s important you stay aware of the common misconceptions in the industry. If you want to avoid wasting time and money, only use SEO techniques that improve your page rank. While SEO might sound difficult and confusing, avoiding traps is crucial to moving forward successfully.