Google’s search results pages have been a mystery for most since its beginning in 1998. SEO digital marketing to those who aren’t familiar with the practices seems to be a trick, magic, or potentially witchcraft.
However, there is plenty of information out there letting you know how Google’s algorithm works, what factors Google (and other search engines) uses to rank websites, and what info is legit.
Unfortunately, the shroud of mystery still surrounds SEO marketing, which leads to a lot of misinformation. In this post, we’re going to debunk 7 of the most common myths about SEO.
Let’s get started!
1. SEO Is Quick
If you’ve ever approached an SEO agency and requested that they get your site to rank in top spots within weeks or months and they promised they would, you should find a new agency.
SEO is anything but quick. While great agencies and SEO marketers are able to predict with accuracy what is and isn’t going to work for your site, there’s no guarantee. There’s also no guarantee on the time-frame of SEO marketing strategies, either.
Google is constantly changing how they rank websites, not to mention that there are over 110 billion global searches each month: that’s a lot of data and information for Google to sort through.
What does that mean? It means that SEO isn’t a quick trick. It takes time, dedication, and adjustments in order for SEO to be successful.
2. More Keywords = Better
You might remember in the not so recent past that keyword density was a big part of SEO. This resulted in “keyword stuffing” where you would see the same word or phrase stuffed into content as much as possible.
Google eventually got smart to people abusing this tactic and would penalize people for keyword stuffing. Now, it’s gone a step further: keyword density really isn’t a factor in ranking anymore. It’s all about smart and natural keyword integration.
You don’t need to worry about needing “X” amount of keywords per page or per word count. Some pages don’t even feature any visible keywords and they still rank because of smart keyword placement in tags, URLs, links, etc.
In short? Keep your keywords smart and don’t stuff them in. That’s a thing of the past.
3. Content Is the Only Thing You Need
Look up any SEO site and you’ll see that ubiquitous phrase, “content is king.” This leads people to believe that content rules all and nothing else matters.
But have you ever heard of a kingdom that only needed a king? What about the queen? Or the royal guards? Or the court jester? Or the knights?
You get what we mean. No kingdom can rest its crown on solely one person just as SEO rankings can’t rely solely on content. While content is a key part of SEO marketing strategy, you also need to put effort into linking, website optimization, mobile use, etc.
Another note: content is king doesn’t mean any old content will do. Throwing useless content with a few keywords isn’t going to cut it in Google’s royal court. The content needs to be well-written, informative, and useful to do anything for your ranking.
4. Sitemaps Boost Your Ranking
Sitemaps are a type of, well, “map” or guide that helps Google navigate your site. Without one, it takes much longer for Google to crawl and index your pages. Sitemaps make it easier for Google to crawl and index the pages on your website.
They don’t boost your ranking, and they aren’t a factor that Google looks for in order to rank your pages or site higher.
5. Sitemaps Aren’t Necessary for SEO
Did you read that last section and think, “well, then I don’t need a sitemap, then”? Just because sitemaps don’t boost your ranking directly doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful (or necessary) for SEO.
When you create new content or craft newly optimized pages on your website, you want Google to crawl and index those pages quickly. This will help the SEO practices you put in place start working for you faster than they would if Google took longer to index your site and site pages.
Sitemaps are going to help speed up this process and put your SEO strategy in motion a bit more quickly. It also helps them find new pages that you’ve posted faster, so they can then be ranked.
6. Social Media Directly Boosts Rankings
This myth is similar to the sitemap one. While social media (likes, activity, Facebook posts, Instagram stories, Tweets, etc), won’t directly influence your SEO rankings, it can help you out.
Social media activity can increase traffic, brand awareness, site mentions, links, etc. All of this can eventually lead to a boosted ranking because of that increased traffic, increased website visits, shares, etc.
7. Speed Isn’t Very Important
As we touched on in the content section, certain factors usually take precedence for people over others. Content is number one in people’s minds, next perhaps would be UX design, mobile design, etc.
But something that people see an unimportant, or at least see as less important, is website speed. You could have the best content on the Internet, amazing website design, and links from the top websites online, but it won’t mean much if it takes 3 minutes for one of your pages to load.
Google has definitively announced that page speed is going to be a huge ranking factor for traditional and mobile sites alike.
7 SEO Digital Marketing Myths Debunked
Don’t fall for these SEO digital marketing myths. They’re easy to fall for, especially if SEO and marketing strategy isn’t your strong suit.
That’s where we come in. We can help you avoid common pitfalls and maximize your success with marketing techniques and strategy.
Contact us today to get started!