With Google changing its algorithms every few months, SEO is a constantly changing game. As a result, many myths abound about what improves and what hurts your blog or website.
Are you deluded by any of these myths?
Myth #1: The goal of SEO is to get search engine rank.
The is a pervasive lie and has been incredibly destructive to sites chasing the latest SEO gimmicks and tricks — all while getting hammered by each whimsical algorithm change. Search engines are not God. They are pawns; pawns to be used to lure your readers, though strategic SEO. The goal of SEO is to get the real gods, readers. Readers can maintain and explode traffic through social media, linking, emails and repeat visits. They can, in the end, reward you in more than a search engine can — but only if they are completely satisfied and excited about your content.
This is why your SEO tactics and website must be reader-centric in addition to being bot-centric. Far too many folks focus on the later. If the content is not lively, full of unique personality and full of information, not only will folks stop visiting you, but you WILL fall out of favor with search engines due to bounce rates and low quality site grades. Remember: bots aren’t the only ones analyzing your page. Real people known as search engine evaluators, who are actually hired by places like Google and Yahoo, may occasionally take a gander at your site. Will they like what they see?
Myth #2 Meta descriptions are optional
You’d be surprised how many people actually install plugins like SEO Ultimate, WordPress SEO and All-in-One SEO, but never take time to fill out all the descriptions and meta tags for every page. They fill out one or two sections and skip the rest. It’s not optional people. You control what people see when they skim the search engine page by filling out compelling meta data. Wherever you can add descriptions, titles and tags that advertise the content and keywords on your site, use that to lure readers. Absolutely always fill out title tags, meta tags, meta description, alt tags for every single post, every single image and every single video even if it’s time-consuming. It makes no difference if you rank high on the page, but your descriptions are too boring or insufficient to tempt browsers to click.
Myth #3 : I just need to mention the keywords
You’re familiar with election season. I’m sure you’ve noticed how politicians who make promises at the beginning of their tenure have to prove they’ve delivered on those promises when it’s time for re-election. A keyword is a promise – – and from the time a visitor lands on their site you are campaigning to be believed and worthy of reader’s trust. Yet, how many sites sandwich keyword terms in content that really isn’t even about the keyword term just to perhaps entice a click on an advertisement. You need to do more than mention keywords in unrelated content. You have to fulfill, as much as possible, the expectations of the keyword.
I’ve read some gurus who advise bloggers not to tell readers much at all about a keyword topic so that the reader will be enticed to click an advertisement to learn more. That kind of bait-and-switch no longer works. If you are not going to provide significant and essential information on the keyword topic, you’re making a false promise and dooming your SEO efforts.
Myth #4: Intra-site links are not as important as external links.
Remember when getting external links were all the rage? Remember when Google decided to penalize sites if the external links were on poor quality sites? Yeah, that sucks. You can’t always control the value of external links, but you can definitely control the links on your site in order to create deep-linking between all the pages and posts. This is a valuable form of linking that is solely under your control; it definitely helps with site rank and site quality because it suggests a wealth of information on the same topic and creates an air of authority. While all forms of linking are important, don’t make the mistake of skipping the easiest kind.
Myth#5: Once I create my master list of site-wide keywords, my keyword research is done.
Everyone knows the importance of having target core words, particularly in long tailed phrases for a website. However, you’d be surprised how many people create posts and pages without doing research for that individual page. Keyword research is never done, because there are always semantic and stem keywords to consider– and those vary per post not per site. In addition to making sure a post targets a site-wide keyword, always consider keywords that naturally arise when a reader is discussing or searching for your post topic, even if those peripheral terms have nothing to do with the main goal of your site. Do keyword research for the scope of every single post.