4 Myths About SEO
Even though it’s one of the top marketing tools, SEO continues to be an enigma for many online entrepreneurs. The acronym itself is not the most self-explanatory (search engine optimization) and, without being somewhat tech-savvy, you’re likely to have heard it but never fully understood it.
Search engine optimization (aka SEO) is a collection of best practices that can help a website (including an online business) rank higher in the results page (aka SERP) of search engines like Google or Bing. This results in higher website traffic and, consequently, larger sales. Given its complexity, however, much misinformation has been disseminated around this topic. So, in this article, we will debunk a few common myths about SEO and set the record straight.
Myth 1. SEO has an exact formula behind it.
Search engines do have an algorithm for ranking pages but this algorithm does not only vary from one engine to another but it is also AI-based (aka designed using artificial intelligence). So, by definition, this algorithm continues to learn what type of content users want to find and, if user trends or preferences change, so will the page rankings on SERPs. Therefore, one cannot ever say they’ve mastered SEO or have found the formula behind it. SEO will continue to change and finding a good strategy will always require more testing and adjusting.
However, optimizing your site on every angle that is part of SEO will still give you better results than shooting in the dark or not doing anything at all. So, just because the work is hard and results are unpredictable, it doesn’t mean it should not get done. SEO is still essential for competing in the online world and it has to be a priority for any business that wants to monetize its website.
Myth 2. Keywords and website speed are the only SEO strategies that matter.
While these two are the most popular strategies, they are not enough by themselves. Keywords are highly emphasized by content writers or copywriters, while speed is a priority for web designers. So, they get talked about more often. However, backlinks, meta tags and data, and XML sitemaps are just as important. Backlinks are mentions of your website on an external page (aka links that take a user back to your website). Metadata includes the title and small blurb which show up for your site on a SERP and an XML sitemap is a guide of what can be found on your site. This guide helps a search engine easily “crawl” through, index the main parts of your site, and more easily direct a user to the specific information they may be searching for.
All of these strategies are interconnected; they build on each other. A map will get generated when you plan your content strategy and before designing your website. During web design, you’ll create the metadata, implement ways of navigating quickly (e.g. reducing image sizes or interlinking pages), and add more keywords (e.g. alt text for pictures). All of these are the bricks in the larger foundation of your marketing strategy and are also equally essential for it.
Myth 3. Domain extensions are irrelevant.
A domain extension is the last part of the URL / link of a site’s home page (e.g. .com, .org, .gov, .edu, .net, etc.). Nowadays, there are about as many extensions as there are letters in the alphabet. Some of them identify the type of website (e.g. educational vs governmental vs commercial), while others denote the geographic location of that online business or geographic relevance of the website itself (e.g. .ca for Canada, .uk for Great Britain, or .jp for Japan).
The most popular extension is .com, and domains with this extension are pricier, which makes them look more legitimate to a user. They also address a global audience, rather than a specific location. For these reasons, .com websites will be prioritized in SERP rankings, and they absolutely matter for SEO. If your content is tailored to a certain location, it may be wise to buy both the .com domain and the one with the corresponding geographic extension. And yes, if available and your budget allows for it, you can buy the same domain with multiple extensions and redirect them all to the same website.
Myth 4. You write the content once and forget it.
Search engines love new content, even if it includes repeated information. They constantly search for new pages, new websites, and new backlinks. This is why having a blog or a news feed on your site is so important for SEO. It gives the algorithm new material to work with. Pair that with an automatic sitemap generator plugin, and you’ll help engine crawlers find your new page quicker and rank you sooner.
Besides adding new content, you should also make it a habit to keep your current information up to date. This means revising your site regularly, including new business changes, or deleting outdated material. Having a plugin for user/client reviews, posting your website URL or new blog on social media, or using third-party tools like Pingomatic can also help with ranking and SEO.
As you can see, SEO is not a one-man job. We will not sugar-coat it. Proper SEO requires planning and diligence, which do take time and resources. Understanding it is the first step toward executing it correctly, as well as toward nailing your marketing. However, without some understanding of web design, content strategy, and technology (particularly search engine algorithms), you may not be able to fully optimize your site.
We have made it our mission to not only understand the ins and outs of SEO but also to clarify and facilitate the process for online entrepreneurs. You could say it’s part of our DNA now – it’s one of our most requested and most effective services. We’re not saying you won’t get it after some trial and error. But if you don’t have the time, energy, patience, or money to waste on that, then let us help you. You’ll be happy you did.