Search engine optimization is one of the most talked about topics when it comes to website rankings and advertisement campaigns. Everyone wants to come to the notice of their audiences, and this is why SEO plays a part in getting your content displayed in front of the right audience. But, following SEO myths jeopardises everything and doesn’t let you succeed even if you bend your efforts to get around SEO.

So, let’s debunk these SEO myths that hold you back from success and learn the real techniques that matter in SEO.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is a practice that helps in improving the visibility of your website. And this visibility helps in building the traffic and quality of your webpage. SEO is the organic way of improving traffic to your website. This means that you don’t pay for people to come to your website, but you do certain things that optimize your page so that people notice it. And they’ll notice because the search engine displays your webpage in front of them.

Does SEO really work?

SEO does work. If you’ve come to this page, then it’s because of the best SEO techniques. SEO puts your website, app, or product in front of people. And because of SEO, you don’t have to spend a penny to make people notice you; search engines do the rest of the job.

But the only intent is that you use SEO techniques correctly without getting lost between the myths that harm your success.

Debunking the SEO myths

SEO is dead

This is probably the most common misconception out there. And it is because some may feel SEO be demanding and intimidating. But, in short, it needs to be clarified that SEO is not dead.

Search engine optimization is one of the important ways through which search engines like Google try to understand your website. And since SEO blurts out what your website is about on the internet, it is an essential part of reaching visitors on Google or any search engine.

Many agencies and websites consistently work on SEO, and if they break this consistency, their website traffic tends to decrease. 

SEO is a one-time process

SEO is like working out. You can’t get a lean body by visiting a gym once a month. And you can’t get that body in one process. You’ve got to follow a diet, exercise consistently, reduce stress, have 8 hours of sleep, and so on. Similarly, SEO is also not one process step. 

This is the myth that soon you understand, soon you will get into the game of SEO. Because search engine algorithms constantly evolve for better relevance, SEO also tends to evolve with them. Therefore, you can’t do one or two things for your website and stop SEO. You’ll have to walk with it throughout the path. And this path never ends.

However, for some websites, SEO might be a one-process thing, but that’s rarely the case if you’re up for increasing traffic.

In-depth keyword research isn’t always necessary

Keywords are one of the elements that link your content to visitors. So, how can keywords get outdated? 

A keyword is most commonly required for advertisement campaigns and bringing the right and relevant knowledge in front of the audience. Therefore, deep researching the right keywords that can make your brand or website visible is critically important if you’re spending your money on paid ads.

Besides this, keywords are also a means to reach your targeted audience organically.

Adding keywords multiple times in an article improves its ranking

Though keywords are important for SEO, this doesn’t mean stuffing the articles with them. This actually has a reverse impact. The Google algorithms have been evolving, and the trend of using a certain percentage of keywords has become obsolete.

Now, Google favors high-quality content with relevance to the audience. Overstuffing keywords multiple times can make the content in the article manipulative. And this can hurt your visibility on search engines.

The high number of backlinks directly relates to high rankings

Backlinks play one of the parts in SEO and ranking your webpage. But you don’t have to go crazy about them and include more than necessary. In fact, a high number of backlinks on a page can give you the opposite effect of the ranking.

Many people spend a lot to buy backlinks that are not even relevant to them. Some backlinks can be inappropriate for your brand and end up degrading your brand’s value. Therefore, you don’t want to have any such links connected with your brand. 

Even two backlinks with credible sources can serve your purpose better than ten backlinks that have nothing to do with your brand.

Penalty for duplicate content

Search engines don’t penalize you for duplicate content. Yes, if you have content that duplicates anything on any other site, you’re not going to get into trouble from an SEO perspective. 

However, Google likes to give the best and most relevant experience to its users. Therefore, the algorithm doesn’t find any need to display two similar pieces of content on the same page. So, it chooses the best one for the ranking, keeping in mind the interest of users.

Even if you don’t get penalized, you’ll still suffer from the audience navigating your website. Also, trouble might knock on your door as you might get charged for copyright issues by other companies with the original content.

SEO is all about ranking

SEO does help in rankings. Yes, it can make your website land on the first or second page. But, the number of people who click on your website isn’t the work of SEO. 

You get on the front pages because of your research and work on the complex systems that get your page there. But, users only click the page that they find useful. So, if you don’t have any meta descriptions, intriguing titles, and so on, chances are that people will still pass by your website without giving it a second glance.

Meta tags don’t matter

Meta tag keywords don’t impact Google ranking. The search engine doesn’t care about meta keywords for ranking your website. 

However, with meta descriptions and meta keywords, Google gets to know the information in your content. And this is one of the factors it takes into consideration to present relevant content to the user. So, ranking might not depend on meta tags, but they do come in handy when it comes to user-friendly content. 

And if your website has a meta description, users might find it appealing, which increases the chances of entering your website more than sites without meta tags.

Google ranks only fresh content

This is another SEO myth. You don’t need to republish all types of content. Therefore, refreshing content will not put you on the number one page. Remember, it’s not the quantity that matters, it’s the quality that matters.

Google only likes to rank content that is user-friendly. If your content resonates with the latest information, your content will get ranked even if it is six months old.

Long tail keywords are easier to rank for

This is another common myth that is SEO outdated and needs to be cleared out. Long tail keywords exclusively aren’t easier to rank. In fact, there are many long-tail keywords that have lower traffic than their counterparts. 

For example, “How to lose weight” has more traffic” than “How to lose weight from a protein-rich diet.”

These long sets of words might help in addressing the similar concern of the topic “lose weight”. But, it’s not necessary that they’ll be ranked because of their length.

How can you debunk these myths and improve your SEO?

When you’ve debunked SEO myths that are harming your ranking, you’ll come to notice that SEO is not all that complicated. If you follow the right path, it’ll come around and give you the results you need. When all of the practices are implemented together, the outcome is promising.

Now, let’s look at more realistic ways of SEO, shall we?

Creating content with a search intent

It’s the most basic thing to do when you’re going to hit on SEO. As Google works to give the best user experience, therefore, it looks for what people are asking rather than what you are saying. So, you need to craft your content with the motive of a searcher’s intent.

People search for the following reasons:

To know the answer to a question (Informational)

To buy something. (Transactional)

To get knowledge of the best options. (commercial)

To go to a website or app. (Navigational)

Therefore, if you’re selling a product, then revolving around informational content won’t bear your fruit, but commercial content may give the desired results.

Craft clickable title tags and meta descriptions

Title tags are one of the important subjects when it comes to ranking. Because of these, Google makes your content come above all if you’ve cracked the code in the right way. To make a clickable title, try to follow the rules given below.

  • Write an attractive title with search intent.
  • Try to keep it under 60 characters.
  • Include targeted keywords in the title.
  • Avoid over-stuffing of the keyword.
  • Keep it simple to understand.

Meta descriptions don’t have a direct impact on the rankings, but they do have a noticeable impact on click-through rates. These are the summaries that get displayed under your title tags. Through meta descriptions, people get to know what they’re going to get if they open your page. Therefore, writing a meta description for your page is like having items displayed outside of a shop. So, make them worthy of getting attention from your audiences.

Optimizing images

Content without any visuals on your page will become boring. So it’s important to insert images between your content. Visuals are the best way to make a point understood. And this is where images come into place. But, not optimizing your images is another mistake for overlooking SEO. 

You need to optimize the image. Get through the checklist given below for optimizing images on your site.

  • Images should be of an appropriate size because they affect the speed of the page.
  • Compress the images if they’re larger than the required size.
  • If you’re confused between JPEG and PNG, choose PNG because they’re more web-competent.
  • Include ALT text for your images. This will tell Google the descriptive part of your image.

Loading speed matters

Nobody likes to stand in line and wait. If your website takes forever to load, then you’re going to get a low ranking. Get straight with your website’s speed. 

You can use tools such as GT Metrix and Page Speed Insights to check your website’s speed.

Have content that can be gulped

If you’re going to just write in a paragraph, your webpage will look like an essay. And let’s face it, nobody likes long paragraphs. So, improving the user experience on your webpage might be the best option for effective ranking.

  • Use subheadings.
  • short paragraphs
  • have a mobile-friendly site.
  • Make your content visually appealing.
  • Don’t make your webpage crowdy; have white space.
  • Avoid repetitive pop-ups.

Internal linking

Internal linking is good for rankings. It lets Google understand the content of your website. Internal linking also helps users navigate easily to the information they’re looking for. Also, they sometimes get useful information that they didn’t know about. So, internal linking can change the game in terms of user experience on your website.

Relevant content

Create content that is relevant and speaks to your audience. Remember, they’ve come to your website to gain something. Make each second of their presence count by giving them the best content. 

To create attractive and relevant content, you need to follow the cheat sheet.

  • Create user-friendly content.
  • Choose the right keywords for targeting.
  • Know the competitive content.
  • Insert visuals wherever possible.
  • Optimize titles, subheadings, and meta descriptions.
  • Collect the original data.

Keep yourself updated with SEO techniques

SEO is a subject that’ll keep on evolving and the reason is simple: search engines value the experience of users. Therefore, to make their experience easy and useful, search engines will keep on evolving, and so will their SEO practices. 

Therefore, you need to debunk the SEO techniques that get old with time. A truly successful business is the only one that evolves and upgrades with time. The sooner you understand it, the better it is for your website.

Try to learn new SEO techniques and keep a close eye on the changing rules of SEO. 

Takeaway 

Not following the actual rules of SEO and focusing on false techniques may harm your rankings more than you know. You need to let these outdated SEO practices go. If you’re finding the answer to the question – Does SEO matter anymore? Then yes, it does. All you need to do is follow the techniques that actually matter rather than blindly following outdated SEO practices. And this is enough to change the game in your rankings.