Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process by which the quality and quantity of website traffic from search engines is improved. Investing in SEO services for your business’s website is a sound investment. It will improve your online presence and visibility, and drive more relevant searches to your site.

SEO is an untamed beast and, as such, seems to be shrouded in mystery. This has led to the rise of a large number of myths around the capability, validity and value of investing in specialised SEO services.

We’ve taken this opportunity to debunk 12 such common myths:

#1:  SEO only Needs to be Done Once

This myth can be detrimental to your business’s online presence and growth.  SEO is a long-term strategy that rewards hard work.  Due to the changing nature of search engine algorithms and the fast paced trends associated with the consumer’s online habits, your SEO strategies should be regularly tweaked and optimised.

#2:        I can Trust an SEO Company that Guarantees Fast Results

Effective SEO strategies are bespoke and tailored to the specific needs of the individual business and it takes ethical, white hat techniques to sustainably improve site rankings and online visibility.  Beware of those companies promising you instant results and instant first page rankings – these may sound like good returns but are often backed by unscrupulous back-end tactics that could see your website and online presence being severely penalised.

#3:        My SEO Campaign isn’t Working if I’m not in First Position

It is a goal of SEO campaigns to earn top spot but it doesn’t mean that your SEO is failing if that isn’t the case.  There are a number of reasons why, including that your campaign needs to be refined or needs time to develop.  Analytics and reporting will help with optimising your campaign so you get maximum benefits.

#4:        Keyword Research is Unnecessary

That’s not true.  Relevant keywords are crucial to driving relevant traffic to your site.  Keyword research will provide useful information that can help you track valuable keywords on the pages of your site and will also guide you to additional keywords you can use to maximise search results.

#5:        Keywords over Content

It’s a common misperception that incorporating keywords as much as possible will help you rank higher whereas the converse is actually true;  integrating keywords too often, known as ‘keyword stuffing’, is actually a negative ranking factor that can be detrimental to your site.  Focus on creating content that satisfies your visitor’s search by providing well-written and informative content that is relevant to your visitors.

#6:        High Bounce Rates affect Site Rankings

A high bounce rate will not affect your site’s rankings but it may shed some light on potential shortcomings on your site.  There are a number of factors that can account for a high bounce rate, including content your visitors find irrelevant and a slow load time.  Google analytics is a useful tool to assess these shortcomings which can then be rectified.

#7:        Google Will Instantly Crawl my Website

Crawling is how search engines index all the information on the internet.  The Googlebot systematically crawls the internet gathering information and discovering websites on a regular basis but this won’t happen instantly.  If you’ve recently made changes and/or updates and/or relaunched your site you can submit a request to Google to conduct a manual crawl of your site and there are a number of techniques you can implement to increase the Google crawl rate of your site.

#8:        The ‘s’ is HTTPS is not Important

Having a secure site will give your visitors the confidence to engage more freely with your content.  The ‘S’ in HTTPS means that your site is secure and is hugely important in the fight against hackers and spam artists, and protecting sensitive information on your site, like credit card details.  Once your site is secure, your URL will display a padlock in the browser.

#9:        SEO is not Related to Social Media

While there is no direct correlation between SEO and social media, they are very complementary and work well together.  By promoting site content on your social media platforms, you are encouraging your followers to share and engage with the content on your site.  This increases the number of page views, your site’s reach and exposure and, potentially, your Google ranking.

#10:      A Mobile-Optimised Website isn’t Crucial

More consumers than ever before are accessing information, products and services on-the-go, from their mobile phones. Google has embraced this shift and now actively boosts the rankings of mobile-friendly sites and pages.  Engage with your visitors wherever they are by ensuring that your mobile site is fit-for purpose.

#11:      All backlinks are good

Backlinks are links on other sites that direct visitors to your site.  Incorporating backlinks is part of any SEO strategy but, just as having backlinks from credible sites can increase the credibility of your site, the converse is also true, i.e. bad backlinks can be detrimental to your site’s credibility and make your site appear untrustworthy which may result in your site being penalised by search engines.

#12:      Broken Links Won’t affect Your Website

That’s not true.  Broken links make it seem as though your website is not regularly managed or updated.  Broken links not only affect a user’s experience but can also harm your site’s credibility, and negatively impact your site’s rankings.  It’s a great idea to set up alerts that will notify you of any broken links.

SEO is a powerful addition to any effective digital marketing strategy; it helps to drive relevant traffic, enhance your visitors’ experience, and can help to improve site rankings.  SEO is a long-term investment in your business’s online presence so don’t be misled by SEO myths that could be detrimental to your site.

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