To grow a business, attracting consumers seems a no-brainer. Yet, through the years, the best ways of doing so have evolved. In this technological, web-based age, it is no trick of magic that brings Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to the forefront of marketing efforts. But, as with all other new-fangled ideas, myths abound with this strategy.
Below you will find seven SEO myths you need to ignore and the truth that shatters their illusion. SEO offers companies a reliable marketing focus with no hocus pocus. Set aside your preconceived notions and read on.
1. SEO is all smoke and mirrors.
Scams and tricks. Plenty of them float about the Internet, and SEO content opportunities prove to be no exception. Quick and overly easy solutions with little effort applied manipulate company owners into believing their SEO investment will produce results. In other words, duping them into thinking they have found the magic potion to business success. In reality, these tactics lead to campaigns which reap penalties, engender results that fizzle or never materialize, and perpetuate this myth.
Pure SEO results prove worth far beyond a scam. However, marketing vendors promising top rankings in Google with little investment fraud companies and give SEO a bad wrap. SEO requires effort and commitment which reward companies with more than attention through traffic generation. The goal of SEO focuses on improving content organization and the browsing experience. Solid SEO efforts optimize your web content, including:
— Creating content that users need.
— Making content easy to find.
— Adjusting site architecture and user experience for accessibility.
— Improving website performance.
— Understanding search engines to truly improve search presence.
— Maximizing the use of social sharing.
— Attracting the right audiences.
Like everything else, there are less than reputable claims of SEO work. Do not fall into the trap of the myth they perpetuate. Worthy SEO efforts exist in plenty and produce tangible results without trickery. Just good old-fashioned commitment and knowledge required.
2. SEO fails to gain attention and applause.
The myth that SEO lacks results takes little more than pulling down a curtain to expose. After getting past the idea of a scam or trickery, a few tricks up the sleeve may keep you questioning if SEO holds promise for your company. These mini-myths might include:
— “Been there, done that.”
— “Google has it covered.”
— “Not worth it for my small company.”
— “I am already way behind the times.”
Let’s get to the heart of it:
— A one-time SEO effort fizzles over time. Success in these efforts requires maintenance and continual investment.
— Google does not work magic. While they prove smart at what they do, their efforts mimic human behavior. Successful SEO efforts need to understand technical clues and search engine sorts to raise your presence above the billions of web possibilities.
— SEO works for all company sizes. In fact, smaller companies find SEO vital to remaining competitive.
— No matter how late in the show you believe you are, do not turn around and walk out the door. Engaging SEO content at any point reaps benefits.
The truth is, SEO done well, works well. For final affirmation, consider these statistics:
— A search engine continues to be the start of purchase for 44 percent of consumers.
— The fourth top Internet activity in the US remains the search.
— According to 57 percent of B2B marketers, SEO ranks first in lead generation goals.
— Leads from a search close into customers eight times more often than outbound leads.
3. SEO breaks the piggy bank.
The underlying truth to this myth is that paying for expertise and physical execution costs the precious dollar. The expense of hiring a full-time employee or outsourcing to a company for SEO needs might leave many businesses going without or going it on their own. Yet, the perceived value of this investment comes into play when determining its worth.
SEO reaps more than traffic. It secures customers. And, this reward continues after the project finishes. Quality SEO content is not a flash in the pan, but an on-going effort to improve your web presence. Consider what hiring a quality SEO company does for you:
— Understands your industry, market and sales trends.
— Conducts competitive research.
— Identifies keyword terms.
— Optimizes your site.
— Builds links.
— Provides monitoring and outcome analysis.
The time and effort required to complete these tasks on your own, often by trial and error, needs to be weighed against the investment. As any business knows, profit cannot flow in without some money flowing out. SEO provides a powerful return on investment.
4. Quick-change artistry of SEO requires too much time and effort.
Even the idea of pursuing SEO may feel overwhelming. The newness of the concept for some, the nuances and the continual change of technology finds many of us giving into pre-show butterflies and jitters. But to run from this experience does nothing more than perpetuate the myth that SEO time and effort are not manageable.
Optimization of your website plays a crucial role in underlying success. In fact, all other SEO efforts fail without a strong website. Site structures affected by SEO include:
— poor design.
— confusing structure.
— inadequate content.
— slow load times.
— features to improve accessibility.
However, once the site issues are corrected, there is little need to continue to adjust. Websites without foundational issues show little return in rankings with continued change. Even changes to Google’s algorithms do not drastically affect foundational SEO efforts. In fact, your company as well as the user may not notice them at all.
The real impact involves changes that cause penalties. An expert SEO delivers this security and adjusts with Google as needed. So, the show goes on seamlessly for your company and the end user.
5. The chatter of the audience (social activity) plays no role in SEO.
If Google does not use Facebook likes and Tweet counts to rank websites, why should a company care about them regarding SEO? The myth underlying the truth that Facebook and Twitter do no impact rankings claims that considering social activity and SEO is a mute point.
While social activity does not improve Google rankings, chatter among friends via Facebook and Twitter boasts secondary SEO returns. This social medium supports SEO efforts by increasing search engine discovery and content distribution.
In other words, social activity makes your content appear before the eyes of the users most likely to be interested and respond. And, when the right users see your content, visits, engagement and the numbers of those searching for your company’s site increase. The effect does not stop there. It continues as more visits breed more links and more shares to engage more users again. This hamster wheel is one you want to be on.
6. Other faster ways to gain traffic exist.
Pay-per-click (PPC) and keyword focus may appear to bring greater, quicker results. In fact, PPC generates visitors seemingly simultaneously with the launch of the campaign. But, the instantaneous success of these and other options (even some gimmicks) prove an illusion over the long haul.
The gag within this myth remains two-fold. First, with the example of PPC, continual financial investment exists with each click. In fact, cost-per-click increases as your competitive edge grows. In other words, visible top spots cost.
Second, these methods produce higher returns at first but do little for the longevity of the campaign. In fact, with PPC, research shows that organic content attracts more clicks than paid ads. Others may boast traffic in numbers yet, prove empty in actual conversion.
SEO provides the slower, steadier option. Remember the turtle and the hare? That was no hat trick.
7. Keyword ranking brings the magic.
Climbing higher in Google rankings seems a lofty, worthwhile goal. Yes, we are tempted to believe that, in our bag of tricks, ranking number 1 is the sweet spot for earning applause and conversions. And, in our culture of making it to the top, this myth finds footing in philosophy.
Keywords play a vital role in SEO campaigns. However, the goal of highest keyword rank leaves the audience behind. While your company may see good traffic flow, more targeted traffic bears greater results. For instance, long-tail keywords with focused intent attract visitors more directly interested in your product or services.
Also, content trumps keywords. Focusing content around topics that interest users draws better traffic than ranking. The adage that “The customer is always right” takes on a new twist in the arena of SEO. Addressing the needs of the consumer through content lets them know that you are interested in them. And, interest breeds interest. Keyword matching falls short in connecting with potential customers in this way. SEO metrics that measure search volume and Google-assigned competition can be deceiving. Generating lower traffic volumes of the right audiences yields rewards.
Eighty-six percent of Americans use the Internet daily. Ninety-three of these users begin their online time with a search. This data provides powerful motivation to employ SEO strategies in your marketing campaign. No magic. Just real life solutions.
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