Search engine optimization is something we as digital marketers use every day. These are some of the most common myths surrounding our business.
The benefits of SEO shouldn’t be disputed any longer, so let’s lay these myths to rest:
1. Myth: SEO doesn’t work.
Truth: Simply put, yes, it does. Search engine optimization delivers organic results. Perhaps the myth comes from some not investing properly in SEO; not dedicating the budget or time needed to see results, or hiring a company that promised too much, too fast.
2. Myth: Link building is a thing of the past.
Truth: SEO changes all the time, there’s no doubt about that. We are at the whims of Google and other search engines, and there’s not much anyone can do about it. But sharing links, using links, and having your page linked to, are all currently active ranking factors. Just don’t use link farms or purchase links in any way. Good content will generate the right links. SEO is a long game.
3. Myth: Producing content is all you need.
Truth: Large volumes of content is not all you need. The quality of that content produced, the number of links used in the content (see number 2), the keywords targeted, and so much more affect SEO. Plus, non-content-related factors like technical aspects of your website matter just as much as content. See our technical site audit blog post to learn about purely technical ways to improve a site’s SEO. Content is a great place to start, but it isn’t the end-all and be-all of search engine optimization.
4. Myth: Buying ads on Google will help you rank higher.
Truth: Google continues to state that ads don’t affect organic search rankings. There’s a big difference between paying for the top spot on Google and earning and keeping the top organic spot. It’s totally great if buying positions atop search engine results pages is part of your marketing strategy, but that spend is definitely not a benefit to your organic placement.
5. Myth: Page speed doesn’t matter.
Truth: Google stated last year that mobile page speed would start affecting mobile rankings. Imagine you user your smartphone to click a link on Google that takes forever to load. Before you even get to the content you back out and try another one on the SERP. This sends a signal to Google that your page isn’t what they wanted, which can hurt your ranking. Google also monitors site speed on their own and the scores you receive impact your mobile rankings.
6. Myth: Being active on social media is a ranking factor.
Truth: This one is trickier, because it is a yes and a no. Social media, as of right now, has no direct effect on your ranking in the SERP. But being an active participant in a social media platform means your links might get more widely seen and shared, which leads to the building of an active linking network (which helps SEO). A great social presence also might mean more people land on your website, improving your ranking. It’s definitely an indirect ranking factor for SEO, but not a direct one.
7. Myth: You must submit your site for it to get noticed.
Truth: You actually don’t have to, but it sure doesn’t hurt. There are benefits to submitting your site directly to Google, because Google will find your content quicker, which could lead to a quicker organic ranking. If you’ve just put out a new piece of content or performed a site audit, you want the crawlers to hit your site ASAP so you can rank quicker. But if you don’t submit, search engines will still find it – eventually.
SEO Myths Abound
If you’re confused about all the ins and outs of SEO, don’t worry. We’re professionals who have been doing this day in and day out for years. The important thing to remember is that SEO benefits your business with a long-term boost in free traffic. And if you need help, reach out to our team. Together, we’ve got this.