10 misconceptions of search engine optimisation

You finally got that website live and you’ve decided to try your hand at SEO. But the average Google search you will submit will offer you conflicting opinions on what the best practices are for SEO. So where do you even begin if you can’t even trust the answers Google gives you?

I’m sure you have realised by now that SEO is not a quick fix and it honestly involves hours upon hours of dedication. Not to mention the fact that it never ends, once you think you’re done, there will always be more.

Did you know that there are more than 200 factors that Google considers in their search algorithms? That can be daunting if you have no prior experience in the industry. To demystify some of the grey areas, we have included a list of top 10 SEO myths:

1. Buying advertising on Google will help your organic searches rank higher

No, Google doesn’t show favouritism to its paying clients. In fact, they can’t even cheat the system to get their own pages to rank higher. The only reason they rank at the top is because they have some of the best SEO people on their payroll. Sometimes, paying professionals to do your SEO can pay off in the long run.

2. If your domain is older than 2 years then you will rank higher in Google search


Just because spammers usually have young domains, that doesn’t prove to Google that you are not a spammer because your domain is older than most. If you haven’t spent the time to build up your domain authority then your domain will have a low score along with all the other people who haven’t committed to their SEO.

3. If you buy a whole bunch of domains with specific keywords in them then they will rank higher for those keywords

Buying 15 domains with different keywords and pointing them to your website will do more harm to your search ranking than it will do good. There is a term used in SEO called ‘link-juice’. It’s basically the indicator on how popular or relevant your website is. Your score increases if a website with a lot of ‘link-juice’ links to your website. Your website decreases its score in the same way when websites with no relevancy point to your website. If you have a lot of empty domains pointing to your website then you are leaking ‘link-juice’ on all sides.

4. SEO doesn’t matter

SEO might not guarantee that your business will succeed, if your product is bad then it’s not going to sell – no matter what you do. That’s not to say that SEO doesn’t matter. You want your website to be as accessible to search engines as possible so that you rank higher in searches. It won’t happen overnight, so hang in there for the long haul.

5. SEO companies can guarantee a top ranking


No one can guarantee a top ranking on any search engine… SEO just doesn’t work like that. If you have decided to rely on professionals to take care of the SEO nitty gritty items, make sure they are not over-exaggerating what they can deliver. There are never any guarantees and there are no exceptions to rule.

6. Social media doesn’t affect SEO


Of course social media affects your SEO! Anything that links back to your website is going to affect your SEO in either a positive or a negative way. When you integrate your social media into your website, you are constantly updating your website with every social media post you add. This means the search bots notice how your website is up to date with relevant information to your website. This means your organic search ranking will go up steadily as well.

7. Keyword stuffing is the best way to cover all your bases


Adding relevant keywords to your website is very important but they are not the only thing that factor into the search algorithms. Keyword stuffing can confuse the bots as to what your topic is about and this will result in a lower search page ranking. Google is all about the human experience so the algorithms favour SEO practices that use keywords in sentences that are natural.

8. SEO is a one-time effort


Think about any relationship you have ever had with a friend or loved one. When you stop putting effort into it then the value of your relationship decreases. The same applies to your SEO. Search engines are continuously evolving their algorithms and how they interact with users. If you don’t keep yourself up to date then you risk falling behind your competitors in search page ranking.

9. Writing a blog on your website will boost SEO drastically


While writing a blog on your website helps to keep it up to date and relevant, if you haven’t established your domain authority yet then you would be better off focusing your efforts on external blogging as well. This is a method where you write a guest post on another website and you link back to your website. Without this, it will be quite difficult to get people to your website to read what you have posted.

10. The order of heading tags affects your SEO score


Google software engineer, Matt Cutts, debunked this himself in a YouTube video a few years ago. Having your H1 tag below your H2 tag or having the order as H1, H3, H2, H4 will not hurt your SEO in any way. In fact, syntax errors or spelling errors are more likely to hurt your SEO score on your website.

What’s next

Do you have to use an SEO company to do your SEO to succeed? No, you don’t. But if you want the same results then you must put a lot of research hours to find out the information that the professionals eat and breathe every day.

Here’s an exercise… How much is your time worth? If SEO is going to cost you 3-4 hours of work a day (and that’s if you get everything right the first time), that means in a month you are spending an average of 60-80 hours a month on SEO. How much potential revenue are you losing while you are trying to save a quick buck by doing it yourself?

Contact us for an obligation free quotation and decide for yourself if you can afford to lose potential business at that rate. 

Further reading

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What is SEO?
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