The Facts and Fiction: What's the Truth about SEO?
Search engine optimization is a complicated concept. When you’re starting off in internet marketing, one of the first things you’ll come to recognize is just how important SEO is, however you may not understand why. Interestingly, despite the amount of time that SEO has now been prominent throughout the online industry, a lot of companies and individuals continue to work on common misconceptions regarding SEO, as though they were fact. Although many of the more popular flaws in utilizing SEO have received clarification over time, others continue to persist. Now that Google has begun rolling out animal-themed algorithms to control the spread of online content, many of the aspects concerning SEO have begun to change, meaning that it no longer works the way it once did. Certain factors that used to boost your ranking could seriously damage your online marketing today. So how do you separate the fact from the fiction when it comes to understanding SEO tactics?
Fiction: Rankings are the most important thing
A lot of online sources will repeatedly draw attention to just how important rankings are to your website. Although they’re not entirely incorrect, they’re often too simplistic about the matter. Rankings are not important unless they result in other essential metrics such as traffic, backlinks, conversions, profits, and a lower bounce rate. It’s possible to achieve improved rankings, without getting any more significant results. Without traffic, you don’t get leads, without leads, you don’t get sales, and without sales, you don’t get profits. Don’t ignore your rankings, but don’t give them importance beyond what they deserve. Make sure that throughout your SEO strategy, you’re keeping your eye trained on the most important goal. Instead of working towards rankings, work backward from profits, thinking about:
- Which of your products or services are most profitable
- How you can change your sales process to encourage more deals
- How you can modify your website to generate better leads from your traffic
- What kind of keyword strategy will boost your valuable visitor rate (i.e. visitors who lead to profit)
- How your website can be optimized to execute a keyword concept.
Fact: Google loves high-quality content
This is a fact that a lot of people get confused. Some people focus their entire online marketing strategy on the fiction that Google simply loves content, which leads them to believe that the more content they generate, the better their results will be. However, Google does not reward just ‘content’, its focus is on the content of high quality. Writing small amounts of extremely good content that offer value and information to your readers will provide you with far better results than if you were to simply spam the internet with text.
Fiction: You have to rank for your top keywords
One of the older ways of dealing with SEO tactics was to focus on a small number of elite keywords which could potentially generate a lot of traffic for your website. For example, if your business is all about interior blinds in New York, then you wanted to rank well for ‘New York blinds’. However, today, focusing on a singularly important keyword is not so important. Remember, someone who’s searching for blinds in New York isn’t always looking to buy them for you. They might be writing for a paper, creating content online, searching for options for when they do decide to purchase, or they may be from a competing company. Today, you need to worry more about long-term phrases, such as ‘buy New York blinds’. This should actually prove to be easier for you, as many of your competitors may still be attempting to optimize more generic, shorter options.
Fact: Good Quality Links are Useful
Similarly to the misconception about Google’s love of content, a lot of people struggle to tell the difference between the ideas that using as many links as possible will lead to success and that certain, important links can be helpful. Once again, with links, quality is everything. Terrible links, at their best, will provide your company with no positive impact whatsoever. However, bad links can also lead to seriously damaged rankings, and in some cases, penalties from Google. If you’re going to use links, then focus on building them naturally instead of trying to force them into place. This means that you need to think about creating the content that your readers are going to want to link to, rather than begging for links on other sites.