Debunking 10 Common SEO Myths and Misconceptions

Many of those who are involved in online marketing in any way—business owners, online marketers, etc.—know that SEO is one of the pillars of a successful Internet marketing strategy. Not only can it help you secure excellent rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs), but it also helps you build online authority. Furthermore, it helps you provide your online audience with a much better user experience by consistently offering useful and relevant information.

The problem is that only a few people have a full understanding of the concept of SEO, and the many changes in the way web pages are indexed don’t make things any easier. As a result of the widespread confusion, several myths were born and have come to be accepted as fact by many people, especially those who are just starting to get involved in SEO. To make the optimization process easier for you and set things clear, we have prepared a list of the most common SEO myths. It’s high time you left these myths behind.

SEO is expensive. Yes, you’ll have to pay an expert to handle SEO for your business and you may indeed have to pay a sizable amount. But when you consider the things your SEO specialist needs to do for you, you’ll realize that SEO services aren’t so expensive, after all. Among other things, your SEO expert will conduct industry and market research, and stay on top of sales trends. He/she is also responsible for conducting competitive research, building your link network, doing keyword research, and optimizing your site. Additionally, the SEO specialist will monitor and analyze your online performance.

Every single task an SEO expert is required to perform takes time and effort, and requires a special set of skills. And when SEO is done right, the results you get will benefit your business long after a particular SEO campaign is completed. Even if you pay a significant amount for professional SEO services, therefore, the returns on your investment will likely be well worth it.

A #1 ranking can be guaranteed. Perhaps this falls more in the category of “scam” than “myth” because you will most likely hear this from an SEO service provider. Even so, we feel that this is worth including on this list for the simple reason that many entrepreneurs still fall prey to this false promise. You need to remember that no matter how good an SEO specialist is—even if he/she is the best in the industry—a front page ranking can never be guaranteed, much less a #1 ranking. Anybody who gives you such a guarantee is probably not worth your time and definitely not worth your money.

If an SEO service provider promises you top rankings within a certain period of time, it’s best for you to look for someone else. Such promises are a sure sign that you are either dealing with a scam artist out to rip you off or someone who doesn’t really have a clear understanding of how SEO works. Either way, hiring that person is definitely not a good idea. The only thing your SEO specialist should promise you is that he/she will give your campaign his/her best shot and that he/she won’t use any tactic that may get your site penalized. Other than that, beware.

Instrument for SEO

If an SEO specialist promises you that he/she can give you top ranking within a certain period of time, it may be best to look for someone else.

I don’t have an online business, so I don’t need SEO. Here are a few statistics you may want to consider if you really think traditional businesses do not need SEO:

  • As of last year, 87% of adults in the United States used the Internet.
  • 93% of those who used the Internet daily began their online experience on a search engine.
  • Close to 80% of American consumers check out online reviews before they make purchase decisions.

Even if only a fraction of those people become your regular customers because of online marketing and SEO, that would still be a considerable number. So, you see, you’ll be missing out on a huge opportunity to promote your business to a wide range of individuals if you choose not to engage in SEO. And if any or all of your competitors are doing SEO, then the opportunities you miss out on are left for their picking.

My IT guy can handle my company’s SEO. There is a chance that this statement applies to you. That is, if your IT guy not only has extensive IT training and skills, but also ample knowledge and understanding as regards the ins and outs of SEO. In most cases, however, an IT expert only has the barest of basic knowledge about SEO. Most people seem to think that anyone with a technical background can effectively run an SEO campaign. The truth is that SEO and IT are two entirely different things and they require a totally different set of skills.

SEO changes too much; it’s not worth the trouble. It’s true that there are so many changes happening in the world of SEO all the time. Google alone updates its algorithms a few hundred times each year and being the world’s largest search engine, the changes they implement are often considered a big deal by SEO practitioners worldwide. What you need to know is that only about two or three of these changes will have a significant impact on your site; all the rest are so minor you probably won’t even notice them. What you need to do is hire experienced SEO specialists who know how to dance with these changes.

I can automate SEO. True, there are SEO tools that can help make your tasks easier and quicker to complete. But this doesn’t mean SEO can be automated. SEO involves the management and synchronization of several marketing processes. Automation doesn’t leave room for management and synchronization at all. In fact, automation is now considered a spammy practice and is likely to get you penalized by Google. If you’ve decided to benefit from SEO, you’ll have to be prepared to invest in both tools and human resources.

Tools for Automated SEO

Automation is deemed as spammy and is likely to get you penalized. Besides, SEO involves more than the use of automated tools.

I should follow what Fortune 500 companies are doing. Yes, Fortune 500 companies are highly successful, so they must be doing something right in terms of online marketing. But that doesn’t mean you should start doing what they’re doing. Your business situation is different from theirs, so you probably have different needs where online marketing is concerned. Besides, there is more than one way to conduct SEO and succeed at it.

Note as well that there isn’t a magic formula to attain success in SEO. True, there are certain things search engines reward and things they penalize, but there are no hard and fast rules on how you should do things. Smart thinking and creativity are often rewarded in SEO, so instead of copying the moves of others, you’d most probably get better results by relying on your smarts and letting your creative juices flow. Of course, you can learn from the mistakes of others and take your cue from their successes, but you don’t necessarily have to do what they do.

When I get to the top of SERPs, I’m good. So you’ve finally managed to reach the top of SERPs. Does this mean you can stop doing what you’ve been doing for SEO? Definitely not! In fact, that could be the worst thing you can do at this point. The fact that you’ve reached the top means you managed to bring your competitors’ rankings down. News flash: What you’ve managed to do to them could just as easily be done to you if you rest on your laurels. So don’t.

I can expect immediate success as long as I do SEO right. Among the things that SEO practitioners find frustrating is when a client calls them a couple of weeks after they started working on an SEO campaign, asking why they still aren’t ranking among the top 5 for their targeted keywords. Bear in mind that SEO doesn’t work that way. While the best SEO campaigns deliver the best results, they can also take time to properly implement, so don’t expect miracles. As a general rule, it may take months for you to see the first significant results of your SEO campaign, not just two weeks.

SEO is dead. This is something you’ve probably heard quite a lot recently. But the fact that you constantly hear it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. As a matter of fact, SEO is still very much alive and just as important as ever. Quality content may now be more important than link-building for attaining SEO success and social media may have become a key player in online marketing, but search is still a major factor in terms of gaining traffic and improving conversion. This only means one thing: SEO is alive and is most probably here to stay.

There may be a lot of misinformation circulating about it, but one thing is for sure: SEO is still very important for the success of your online marketing strategy and gaining a clear understanding of how it works is the first step towards fully benefiting from it.

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