11 SEO Myths You Don’t Want To Be Fooled By
Have you ever found yourself a victim of SEO myths? It's easy to get confused; SEO is a rabbit warren of information.
We've all been there!
But today, I want to help straighten out the maze with some plain truths about...
Common SEO myths for small businesses
My site will get onto page 1 of Google because it’s new
Sadly there’s no ‘build it and they will come’ reality in SEO. Sites aren't automatically pushed to the front of the line because they're new.
A new site has to work even harder because Google doesn't recognise it as a trusted authority. It needs to prove itself, as such. Google likes sites that produce consistent useful content, use keywords and meta tags, and build a loyal readership over time.
An SEO consultant can get me onto page 1
If anyone tells you this, run for the hills.
There are no guarantees in the SEO business. Google’s algorithms are a guarded secret, and no one knows exactly how they work. Also Google doesn’t have any authorised SEO consultants; that would be a bit like cheating, wouldn't it?
An SEO consultant that makes the page 1 claim may want you to use uncommon keywords as it’s much easier to rank for them.
My new content will automatically get onto Google searches
While the Google bots regularly crawl the internet for new content, it can be a slow process. They may take a few days or weeks to find your content. This is especially true if your site is new or updated infrequently.
You can speed up the process submitting your content to Google via the Google Search Console.
RELATED POST: How To: Get Your Website Noticed By Google
All my page content needs to be really long
There's a debate raging over the ideal length of website page content.
Short content less than 300 words means little to read, and no keywords for Google to latch onto.
Longer content means more room for keywords, titles and points of interest. But you don’t want it so long that your reader gets bored!
I recommend website content of around 500 word per page but longer blog posts of about 1200 words.
SEO is the most important thing for online business
There's no doubt that SEO is hugely valuable and helps to drive traffic. I mean, I'm writing a blog post about it, right? Everyone wants to know about SEO these days.
But SEO is just ONE part of your marketing strategy.
Traditional marketing still plays a massive role in a successful businesses. Referrals, testimonials, networking, email lists and so on are still crucial. They need to run side by side with an optimised website.
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Only Wordpress sites can get good SEO results
This a favourite catch call of the Wordpress gang. In truth, there's little substance to it. No single platform can guarantee better SEO results because SEO is not platform-dependent.
What Wordpress does have are a lot of plugins that help automate some of the SEO processes. These may be features that are often already incorporated into other platforms. Just be aware that using a lot of Wordpress plugins can also slow down your site.
RELATED POST: Squarespace: How to Optimise Your Site For SEO
Once I set up SEO on my site, I'm done
But in part, this is true. You can set up your page and site descriptions on the backend of your website, and leave them to do their thing. But every new piece of content, image and link you create needs to be optimised too.
Websites are always evolving and changing, the same as your business. SEO is an ongoing process.
But the longer you do it, the more trust and authority your site will build. And the easier and more natural it will be for you too.
I’m not technical enough to understand SEO
If you're feeling overwhelmed by SEO, remember that everyone has stood in your shoes at some point too. You're not alone. Oh, no no no.
Yes, you do need some technical knowledge. A familiarity with the backend of your website is really helpful with site SEO.
But dedication and consistent, quality content is the most important aspect of SEO. Impressing Google is second fiddle.
I have to rank for a certain keyword
Don't get yourself twisted up trying to rank for a super competitive keyword. Instead focus on how your business can fill a need or answer a question that your audience is searching for.
Niche down into your service or product to find specific things that they need.
Include your location as a point of difference. Eg “wedding health coach bondi eastern suburbs" instead of “wedding health coach sydney”.
RELATED POST: How to: Set Up Keywords That Will Rock Your Website SEO
Google My Business isn’t necessary for my service-based business
Google My Business is about giving people localised search results. It's now the biggest driver of local SEO success.
Research shows that people prefer to work with locals service and product-based businesses. Familiarity breed trust.
But remember, that Google My Business can't work alone. You also need an optimised site and reliable business service.
I can’t compete with all the other businesses investing in SEO
Yes you can. Because your business is different. Yes, it is.
Consider your market and audience. Consider your services, offerings and style. You're not identical to any other business.
The more niched and localised you are, the better you’re able to target your ideal client.
You don’t need to compete with multinational companies. Focus on Google My Business to localise your service. Show your points of difference through your site and marketing.
So, have YOU ever been “myth-taken” by these SEO “myth-nomers”?!
The truth of the matter is that SEO is a complex, ongoing and long term process. It doesn’t end after you write your page descriptions or get a Google My Business account.
But you don’t need a team of SEO masterminds behind the scene (although, wouldn’t that be nice?). SEO results can be achieved by anybody but it is a process with no guarantees. You won’t have overnight success.
The best results are gained by those businesses who put in the effort consistently and over time.
You’ll get there!
About the author: Lilani Goonesena is an Australian freelance writer, SEO copywriter and Squarespace web designer based in Vientiane, Laos. She loves boosting freelancers and small businesses with web design, SEO content and digital marketing strategy. She writes an awesome weekly newsletter on digital marketing, social media, blogging, web design and "all that online stuff". Lilani also blogs at the delectable Eat Drink Laos, just for fun.