There are many opinions floating around the internet regarding SEO, and it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. We have identified some common myths surrounding search engine optimization and tried to debunk them once and for all.
“It’s a one-time thing.”
Doing SEO once is only part of the job. If you don’t keep on top of and working on your website, you can expect to see your efforts soon fizzle out. There are a variety of reasons as to why you can expect to see your rankings and favourability to drop if you do not keep up with your SEO.
Firstly, algorithms are constantly being updated. As the ranking factors change with time, if your website does not keep up or previous tactics become redundant or even frowned upon, it may well be the case that your site drops down in the rankings.
Link rotting can also occur, as the backlinks that you built once upon a time become old, are no longer live or get hacked, resulting in a negative effect on your website and its trust.
If your competitors are hot on SEO, you and your site run the risk of being victim to this, as they shoot up to the top you will find yourself being left behind. Similarly, over time your content will become more and more outdated. Content freshness is thought to be a great way to improve favourability with ranking algorithms.
Ultimately, as the well-known saying goes, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t work overnight, and things constantly change. For long-lasting results, it is best for your business to implement a long-term SEO plan.
“I’m not an online retailer, it doesn’t matter if my site isn’t secure.”
In short, every website should be secure, regardless of its purpose.
Google in particular wants its users to browse the web safely and stay secure online, so it is no surprise that websites have been prompted to make the switch from the HTTP protocol, to HTTPS.
By obtaining an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate on your site, it essentially means that the users information is encrypted, and any information sent or received from this site is private and protected. If this is the case, Chrome will display a green padlock stating it is secure. If this is not the case, Chrome will state ‘not secure’ next to the URL, and even display warning symbols.
It is a misconception, however, that only sites dealing with transactions and customer passwords need to be secure. Obtaining an SSL certificate comes with many other benefits. Firstly, it is a key trust signal to your web visitors. As web users become more sophisticated and aware of online safety, displaying that green padlock is much more appealing to your visitors than being told they are not secure, which could potentially lead to higher bounce rates. From a ranking perspective, it has also been confirmed by Google themselves that HTTPS is a signal used by their algorithms. Whilst it may not have much weight in comparison to other ranking signals, it is still a great help.
“Google Ignores Meta Descriptions, I don’t need them.”
Whilst it is true that meta descriptions are not a factor considered by Google’s ranking algorithms, it is still important not to neglect it.
Meta descriptions are like your shop window display. As this is the snippet of text shown on the search engine results page, it is an ideal opportunity to sell the click.
This is an excellent place to put a keyword or two (although don’t overdo it!) and give a quick summary of who you are or what the page is, and more importantly, how it solves the search query.
If you don’t have meta descriptions, Google will choose random text from the page and display this. Whilst this is fine, it is not always the most appealing.
“I’m already doing PPC. I don’t need SEO”
Quite the opposite! In fact, SEO & PPC should be used to complement each other. Whilst PPC allows you to control where you sit on page one, based on how much you’re willing to pay, this is not always the cheapest option.
SEO allows you to target for those keywords that are perhaps out of your price range. As well as being more cost effective, especially in the long-run, organic results are sometimes favoured by searchers who prefer to ignore the ‘ads’.
In addition, optimising your landing pages that you feature on your paid results will ensure that you are directing your users to the right page and reduce the risk of bounce rates.
“SEO is dead.”
Ah, the classic line. A common statement thrown around every year, time and time again, is that SEO is in fact useless. However, this is simply not true. As long as there are search engines, there will always be ways to ensure your website performs better on those search engines pages.
As algorithms become more sophisticated and. Quick wins and the tricks that may have worked in the past, such as keyword stuffing, are no longer an option. It is vital to adhere to the algorithm updates, especially as they will only become more advanced. Constantly being aware of what the changes are is vital and is where SEO’s come in.
Search is growing year on year, so we don’t see it going anywhere any time soon!
Phew, we covered a lot there! Hopefully we cleared the air on a few SEO myths there. If you are looking for some help optimizing your website for search engines, our digital whizzes would be more than happy to have a chat. Just get in touch!