10 SEO myths that need to be cleared up

As a SME you may or may not have had heard the term SEO before let alone had any experience of it. No matter what you’re previous experience with online marketing may be, everyone develops an understanding of what is to be expected from investing in a search engine strategy.

Defining SEO and the multiple activities that are involved with it is very difficult. That may be why assumptions and myths plague the field and here are 10 of the most frequently heard.

The Quick Turn Around:

This must be the most common query we get: “it’s been a few weeks why haven’t I seen any progress?” We make sure all our clients know that SEO work is a long commitment and that depending on where they were when they came to us it could be a good 3 months before the work starts to become more visible.

Number 1

There is no need to tell us you want to be top of page 1 for a specific word but you shouldn’t prioritise it over more valuable longer tail keywords. There’s a big focus on trying to summarise your business in 2 words but there needs to be some outside thinking ‘what would I need as a customer to search and then find this website?’

.html URL attribute

No one knows where the assumption that your URL must end in .html originated. Perhaps it is the most common url attribute but whether you use .html, .index.php, .xml .aspx and so on is absolutely fine. There is no difference.

XML sitemap doesn’t boost rankings:

This is an odd one but bear with me. An XML sitemap doesn’t directly affect your ranking - that is not its job. It is important if you want to build a site that can be easily crawled. Your sitemap will submit new pages to Google and other search engines allowing them to be crawled and indexed faster than without one. Essentially it is an aid which assists your websites visibility.

SEO is a onetime process

There is no switch on - switch off for SEO and nor is it one job. Think of it in the same way you do your physical marketing team. They don’t have one successful campaign and jobs a good’en, there’s always another job to be done or another search engine change which throws a spanner in the works.

Make a page just for optimisation:

Every page you create will be visible on your sitemap, therefore every page can be found by the public. Every page should be made with your audience or customers in mind. Having a page that’s laden with terms that don’t make any sense other than for SEO purposes will be found and you will face the consequences and for a while you might not know why.

I must have a .com domain name:

If you are in the UK and your services remain within the UK there is no need to actively pursue the .com domain which is internationally recognized.

Social media and SEO are two different things:

As a company, you must adopt social media into your SEO strategy. You could have the most interesting photographs, infographics, products, blog or more but who knows about it if you’re not telling them. Just think what appears on your personal news feed on Facebook. I can say that mine always has something from Ladbible on it, that’s because people share, like, or have commented on their posts. Now for me it’s worked as brand awareness, I know who they are and what they’re about but for someone else they might follow them and visit their website and become a regular visitor.

I don’t need SEO because my traffic from other sources is great:

If all the traffic from your Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and all the others is converting in to sales or whatever your service is then that is fantastic. However generally speaking, the traffic source with the lowest bounce rate is your organic traffic, the people who searched and found you. Even if your social referral traffic is great you should never leave out the organic.

My keyword ranking has moved down, what happened?

The myth here is that assumption that something must have happened. “Keyword rankings fluctuate” could be my slogan. Next time you check, they’re back to where they were or better. Keyword ranking is a clearly visible method of measuring your websites progress but it is certainly not the only way to measure it and an overreliance on the meaning behind the number can lead to over optimisation as you panic to appear better for said word. Instead focus on ROI, how is your traffic? Seen more conversions? More engagement on social media?

Do you know of any other SEO myths that keep site owners from increasing organic traffic and rankings? Share them with us on Twitter, Facebook or Google +.

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