5 Common Misconceptions About SEO

Every day, we come across a new misconception about Search Engine Optimisation. It’s easy to understand: there are a lot of people in the industry that haven’t adapted to how SEO has developed, and many more who think they can still second-guess Google to this day. Here, we break the spell cast over five common myths about SEO.

I’ve done my site’s SEO. It’s finished.

Whatever your SEO activities two years ago amounted to – from basic on-page optimisation to link-building campaigns – they’re almost certainly not doing you much good any more. SEO is a race with your competitors, and just because you got out in front, doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. Good SEO performance requires consistent revision of your website’s structure and copy, your relationships with influencers, your content creation and distribution, and your wider marketing strategy. When huge companies do SEO, they know the job will never be finished. It’s the same for any company.

SEO is mostly for spammers!

Google’s evolution over the last five years has meant that spam and manipulation no longer work as SEO tactics. In 2014, SEO is won by companies who communicate and organise their websites effectively, who have something important to say and who people trust. Those are the crucial skills involved in SEO; on top of them, you need an understanding of how search engines and their algorithms operate, but you don’t need to be trained in any dark arts to succeed at SEO and improve your search rankings.

I have to submit my site to the search engines!

Search engines crawl the web day in, day out, looking for new content, following links and indexing pages. Submitting your site to search engines used to be a thing – but it’s not any more. Set your site up properly, register it with Webmaster Tools, structure your content well, and link to it from other sites. Let Google come to you; it’s much more effective.

Google will like me more if I use AdWords

This is a myth espoused by conspiracy theorists who think that, because Google’s business model includes revenue from paid search ads, they will favour those companies that use their AdWords system over those that don’t. There’s no evidence for this whatsoever.

It’s all about keywords!

Keywords are a good place to start your campaign, because it means you get to understand what people in your market are looking for and tailor your content to that demand. It’s also a good idea to use your selected keywords on your pages. But beyond that, it’s foolish to obsess over getting your keywords in every element of your page, and in every link you build back to your site. It’s foolish because Google can recognise over-optimisation when it sees it, and it’s foolish because Google understands language better than either of us – which means synonyms and related vocabulary come into play a lot more than most people would believe. Write good content about subjects that matter, and stop fretting about specific combinations of words.

Find out more about the latest white-hat SEO techniques and other online marketing methods by downloading our report: Navigating the eMarketing Landscape 2014