Although SEO is probably one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of marketing your business online, it’s also one of the most important. Today, we want to try and clear up some SEO myths!
People often come into the Studio Culture office in Brisbane with bad experiences of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Sometimes a company has promised that SEO will get them “a number one search ranking on Google” (which hasn’t happened), or they’ve been told that SEO is just tricking the system (which it isn’t). Here are our responses to the 4 most common misconceptions about SEO:
SEO myth 1: SEO is “just one thing”
There’s no strict definition or process for what SEO actually is. It’s not just blogging, it’s not just link building and it’s not just keywording. Although these elements form a part of SEO, they’re brushstrokes in the larger picture. SEO should become integrated into every aspect of the marketing process — most importantly within content creation. One has to consider not only how to promote content and encourage users to share it, but also the very keywords that make up the content and how they integrate into your overall marketing strategy.
SEO myth 2: SEO is just “keyword stuffing”
Since Google released its ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’ algorithm updates a few years ago – which it constantly updates — manipulative and unethical SEO tactics have become very ineffective. These ‘black-hat’ techniques, which sought to artificially increase search ranking by ‘stuffing’ keywords into a website’s meta tags, or spamming links in content or blogs, can now get your website ‘demoted’ Google. ‘High quality sites’, which Google indexes most favourably in its rankings, are those that have good content and a good user experience above all else. Keywords are still important, but you must know how to use them strategically.
SEO myth 3: SEO can “guarantee a number one ranking for keywords”
Dodgy SEO companies will do more harm than good. To quote Google themselves, “beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings […] no one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google”. It’s that simple, and any SEO agency that says otherwise is either lying to you, or engaging in illegitimate — and bannable — tactics. Be sceptical of companies that are secretive about what they intend to do, or refuse to clearly explain their processes. Remember, whatever an SEO does on your behalf is ultimately your responsibility, and reflects onto your name and online reputation.
SEO myth 4: SEO is a “magic bullet”
SEO is just one element of a larger marketing process. It won’t help you generate sales if your product isn’t up to scratch, if your customer support is weak or if your branding is flawed. Think of SEO as the staple that binds together a document; it’s not going to make that document legible if it isn’t already, but it can both keep your pages from getting lost amongst the junk and make your good content more accessible. Like every aspect of marketing, SEO requires a lot of research, hard work and persistence.
Did you believe any of these myths about SEO? What other ones have you heard? We bet there are some great ones out there!
Also, tell us your SEO success stories. How has it helped you ‘tie together’ your marketing strategy?
David is Studio Culture’s Head of Digital Marketing.