According to Internet Live Stats, Google handles over 3.5 billion searches per day.
If that doesn’t exhaust you, imagine spending every day fighting it out to get to the top of every search. With strong search engine optimization (SEO), there’s no fight. Instead, you can use smart strategies to reach the very top.
Unfortunately, too many people are letting SEO myths slow them down.
By ignoring these 12 rumors, you can shove the myths aside and get back on top. Improve your website’s SEO value with a smart strategy today.
1. HTTPS Doesn’t Help
“Having an HTTP website won’t hurt my SEO ranking.”
Actually, it can.
Google announced that websites without an SSL certificate are considered unsafe in Google Chrome.
Take a look at your website in the URL bar. If it has a lock and “HTTPS” in front of the address, you’re good to go.
This security means no one will obstruct your data. It also tells website visitors you value security (which adds SEO value, too!).
A lot of people will even leave a website when they realize it isn’t secure. Receiving a warning message about security risks doesn’t exactly encourage visitors. The resulting increase in your website’s bounce rate can impact SEO as well.
Meanwhile, adding SSL across your websites tells visitors you play it safe. If your competitors are neglecting their own website’s SSL, taking this step might even give you an edge.
When you’re looking for hosting providers, do your research. Many providers now offer free SSL certificates in addition to hosting services.
Once you add that “s” to your URL, you might start to notice the shift in your SEO ranking.
2. Exact or Nothing
“My keywords have to appear as the exact match within the content.”
Before the Google Hummingbird update, exact match was key.
Exact match refers to using the word by word (exact) version of your keyword within the content. It also meant avoiding stop words like “the,” “a,” or “of” within your keyword.
Writing this way tended to get a little tricky.
Often enough, the content didn’t read naturally. Google wants to offer its users an easy experience.
Google’s pretty smart. Smart enough to know what you mean, even without an exact match.
Now, Google can recognize the relevance of your keyword within the content.
Keyword research is still as important as ever, though. By researching your target audience, you can determine what their searching. Then, you can create a list of keywords (and secondary keywords) to improve your SEO.
The Hummingbird update didn’t remove the importance of keyword use.
Rather, it just made using keywords a lot easier.
3. Meta Doesn’t Matter
“Adding meta tags won’t help my SEO strategy.”
Meta tags are added between the opening and closing <head> sections on an HTML page. These HTML tags create snippets for your content in search results.
They also feature your target keyword.
A meta tag includes:
- The title tag
- The meta description
- The meta keyword
After the Hummingbird update, there was a lot of debate about the future state of meta keyword tags.
Without it, Google might pull text from the page’s body copy. Unfortunately, that won’t always include your target keyword. In that case, meta is still important.
Remember, these tags tell searchers (and Google) what your content is all about.
A well-written snippet can attract people to click on your content. If the page fits their search, Google will start to see your content’s value. Then, your high-quality content will start rising in the SEO ranks.
4. Same Old Local SEO
“I don’t need local SEO for my normal SEO strategy.”
Claiming your business on Google is an important step as you’re optimizing your website. A local listing tells Google and customers where you are. Verify your business to make sure the contact information (and website link) are correct.
However, this step alone won’t increase your SEO rankings.
Instead, make sure your contact information is consistent everywhere. That includes other online listings, your website, and your Google My Business Listing.
Then, get people talking. Have your happy customers post reviews on your Google listing.
Local searches lead 50 percent of mobile users to visit the store that same day. Showing interest visitors your previous customers had a happy experience can help attract that foot traffic.
It’s important to note local SEO and your general SEO strategy are separate.
Otherwise, you might miss this step in the process.
5. Content is King
“Content is all I need.”
Search engine optimization is an on-going strategy. It’s not enough to just post online. Rather, it’s a continuous process.
You also need to remain relevant to your readers.
After all, you’re trying to attract website traffic based on Google searches.
So, what are they searching?
This is where your research comes in. If you know what problems your customers are facing, you can use search engine optimized content to offer solutions.
When your content is relevant to search intent, Google takes notice.
Then, you can increase your SEO value and encourage customers to value your business!
6. Search Improves Organic
“My Google Ads strategy will improve my organic rankings.“
There’s actually no obvious connection between organic and paid rankings. The two of them use different criteria to determine rankings.
Organic search results depend on the index database.
Meanwhile, a pay-per-click ad is ranked based on bidding and quality scores.
Paid ads also allow you to test different campaigns with more keywords.
The results and data you generate from your paid ads can help you strategize, though. For example, these results can tell you what people are searching for. Then, you can optimize your SEO strategy with a stronger list of SEO keywords.
7. Bye Bye, Guest Blogging
“Guest blogging died out.”
Guest blogging means a guest writer contributed their content to your blog. In most cases, guest bloggers link back to their own website within the post.
For higher SEO value, you need original, relevant content and a strong link profile.
References external links that are relevant to your industry can improve your SEO ranking.
Think about websites like Forbes, Inc., and Mashable. Many of these websites now rely on guest bloggers for unique perspectives and content.
For guest blogging to benefit your SEO, however, it has to be unique. Otherwise, you hit the issue of duplicating content.
Proper guest blogging requires:
- Links within the content (not in a bio)
- A focus on the readers (how are you helping them?)
- Your brand (don’t forget adding your URL as anchor text)
Guest blogging is a great opportunity to improve your SEO value. It’s a chance to make some valuable business relationships, too!
8. No Need to Stress Speed
“I don’t need a fast website.”
Google wants to give their searchers a positive, convenient user experience.
Waiting for a website page to load probably doesn’t fall under their definition of “convenient.”
Google measures how long your Direct Object Model (DOM) takes to load. This refers to items that are visible on the page.
Faster websites are also easier for a Google organic traffic bot to crawl. If your site slows the bot, less of your site gets indexed.
You can use the Google Page Speed Insight tool to determine if your website is loading too slowly.
9. Links Died Out
“Links are hurting my SEO.“
You can have the best content ever posted online. Without links, however, your website won’t generate much attention.
Links and content quality impact your website ranking.
Remember, these links need to be relevant to the post and search intent. They should also link back to legitimate, reputable resources.
10. X Out XML
“I don’t need a sitemap.”
Your sitemap will help Google’s bots find your website content. That makes it easier for the bot to index and rank your website. Otherwise, it might have a difficult time (especially with mobile-first indexing).
11. You Must Submit
“I need to resubmit my website to search engines.”
Like we said before, Google is pretty smart. It knows how to find your website after it’s gone live. However, you can tell search engines to come back and take a second look.
If you’ve updated your SEO with the newest strategies, it doesn’t hurt to resubmit.
12. You Have to Stay Social
“Social media can boost my ranking.”
Posting your content on social media will help you get exposure. That exposure leads to business connections, which leads to links. Those links can help your SEO.
Searches are 10 times more likely to lead to conversions than social media.
You don’t need to post on social media for strong SEO, though it can attract new website visitors.
Vamp Up Your SEO Value: 12 Myths to Leave Behind
Ready to vamp up your SEO value? Kick these 12 myths to the curb and start strategizing today!
Discover more SEO tips and tricks for smart strategizing on the blog.