In the time when search engines are constantly updating their algorithms for ranking websites, It is not unusual to get confused between what works and what is outdated with respect to SEO. What factors directly affect the rank listing? How does your competitor rank better than you even though you find your content better? How important are keywords and how are they to be used? These are some of the questions that might create a storm of confusion and divert you from the right path.
Given below are some of the most common misconceptions regarding SEO that you need to steer clear of, if you want your SEO strategies to work best.
- Keywords are the only focus-point
Keywords are extremely relevant to engine optimization, but they are one among the many factors that contribute to generating better rankings and greater visibility for your website. Various other factors such as website speed, social media shares, inbound and outbound links, mobile compatibility etc contribute to a successful website. Latest updates in machine learning are allowing search engines to trace the intent of a user and provide the most relevant (not necessarily the most keyword rich content) to maximize user-satisfaction.
- Google is the only Search Engine
Although Google seems like the undisputed king of search engines, and is enough to have had replaced the term searching with ‘googling’, other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo make up considerably large percentages of the user base. It is a bad idea to disregard all search engines besides Google when developing and implementing SEO strategies. Different search engines work on different algorithms, different factors hold different measure of importance, for each while ranking websites. Thus, what might not work for you with Google can give you good results with another search engine. In fact, Bing’s strategic partnership with Facebook and Yahoo makes it an interesting force in the market.
- Creating Inbound Links
Marketers often make the mistake of blindly posting inbound links on various online platforms like comment sections and forum spaces etc in hope to direct traffic to their webpage. It’s a major misconception that this technique always works. It is important to prioritize content quality and relevance over the number of backlinks you get. Besides, multiple backlinks from a single website or referring domains don’t count because search engines may mark them as spam. Moreover, backlinks from an authority website or a well reputed and popular page works far better than less reputable websites, which in some cases can even harm your ranking.
- The Deal with Paid Search
The most complex of SEO misconceptions revolves around the spending on search engine advertising or PPC (Pay Per Click) and whether or not it improves the organic SEO rankings. All major search engines today have undertaken elaborate measures to prevent the kind of crossover where sponsored and organic result listings get mixed. So long as this firewall is maintained, organic SEO rankings from paid advertising will remain nothing but a myth.
- Sub-headers are as important as Title tags
While subheads on your webpage are part of the on-page content thus shaping basic user experience and need optimization, they are not as relevant as your H1 heading or the title tag. Sub-headers H2-H6 do not actually have a lot of priority. All-in-all, they can be used to enhance the site’s accessibility and add to the visitors’ participation. They should not however be overloaded with Keywords, rather should focus most on the relevance of their content.
- SEO is a “one- time” investment
Engine optimization is a slow and ongoing process that needs continuous study and application. Altering the URLs, headlines and site tags to be keyword rich and interact better with search engines is barely enough. In addition, one cannot expect results to show immediately. It is a long-term deal that takes marketing strategies, relationship building and social media into its fold in order to obtain greater visibility for the website.
- What is up with Guest Blogging?
Despite the popular turn of opinion of how guest blogging may be dead because of malpractices like spamming, it is still a great way to introduce your brand in a new community and build relationships. What you need to keep in mind is that when you write a guest blog on a reputable platform, make sure you create rich and relevant material, don’t over-do on keywords and keep your focus on content rather than links. This way you’ll successfully be able to establish your authority and give your website more traffic and an improved ranking.
Important part of strategy is knowing the prospective pitfalls and preventing oneself from wandering too close to them. Keeping in mind the above mentioned misconceptions, can help you steer clear of confusing tough-spots that can hamper your SEO strategy and stunt the growth of your website.
Author: Aditi Saxena
Aditi is a blogger/freelance writer from Delhi with a Masters degree in English Literature. Having worked with a variety of companies as a content expert, she loves to dab into various fields of research and write about pretty much everything under the sun.