Believing in SEO myths can hurt website rankings.
Time and again, search engine optimization has been proven to be beneficial for businesses. In fact, one of the most persistent SEO Myths – that it is dead and no longer relevant –has been debunked numerous times.
“And no matter what industry your business is in, no matter what its size is, one of the worst things that you can do in terms of establishing an online presence is ignoring the value of SEO.”
But even among companies that have invested in SEO, there are still adherents to myths and half-truths that can be damaging to a business’s online presence. What are these myths?
SEO Myth: Links are more important than content
Building links is an integral part of search engine optimization and is considered one of the key rankings factors.
Links matter. But building these should not come at the expense of creating quality content. If your budget is tight and if you have to choose between building links and crafting quality content, opt for the latter which can bring in more links eventually.
Myth: You can gauge an SEO campaign’s success with a website’s increase in ranking
While it is true that websites that are able to land on the top search results get more traffic, ranking is not the most important metric for success.
Even more important than ranking is conversion. Quite simply, it does not matter how many people visit your website if only a handful or no one buys your products or services.
Furthermore, higher rankings do not necessarily translate to increased traffic. Many people may see your website but may not click on your link due to poor choice of keywords and/or badly written meta descriptions.
Myth: Your success is anchored upon keyword optimization
Search engines are now using algorithms that allow them to recognize synonyms of the search terms keyed in by users.What this simply means is that when you are using keywords for your content, it is no longer important to use the exact keywords word for word.
The algorithms are now capable of recognizing similar terms and they focus more on the intent of the searcher.
This also means that you no longer have to use the same keywords all over your headline and content. Otherwise, you become more prone to keyword stuffing, which Google frowns upon.
Myth: The homepage should be full of content
How much content should your homepage have?
While there is no specific guideline regarding this matter, a good rule of thumb to follow is to put in just enough content to introduce your company and what it has to offer to customers as well as other pertinent information, like your location.
Remember, your homepage is your visitor’s first touch point with you. And as such, you want to make a good impression and avoid being too overwhelming.
Myth: A website needs lots of pages
Here is another case wherein more is not better.The number of pages a website has does not correlate to its performance in search engine rankings.
For one, not every page is indexed by search engines. Two, some of the pages may be indexed but are removed from the index. Finally, having more indexed pages does not translate to more website visitors or increased conversions.
In fact, striving to add more pages to a website can backfire badly.
This is because the more pages you try to add to your website, the more you become prone to publishing poor content that offers little to no value to visitors.
There is no set number of pages that a website should have. But a good rule of thumb to follow is to have enough pages to showcase quality content.
Myth: Good user experience does not count
Google has expressly stated numerous times that its goal is to provide users with better search results.
In order to achieve that goal, the search engine rewards the websites which it thinks echoes that same goal.
Apart from providing great content, Google uses a few key factors to judge whether a website can provide site visitors with a good user experience. These include loading time, page views per visit, bounce rate, and time spent on each page.
Myth: You don’t need a mobile-friendly website
With more and more people using their tablets and smartphones to conduct online searches, mobile-friendly website design has become a necessity.
In fact, when Google launched the Mobilegeddon algorithm update back in 2015, websites which were not optimized for mobile saw a drop in rank by an average of five percent.
Myth: Your IT personnel can handle your SEO
True, most IT professionals are adept in the technical aspects of search engine optimization. But when it comes to other aspects of SEO, it is better to hire professionals with the skills and experience to boost your online presence.