Misconceptions of SEO

Over the years, there have been many false claims made on the topic of SEO. In all corners of the Internet – and even offline – it is common to find outdated information, outright lies, or advice that ultimately results in websites becoming penalised or in worse cases, banned altogether from the search index.

As search engines are constantly changing the way they rank pages, people look to find new ways of exploiting the system. However, this chase to find the next ‘trick’ is an unwise route to follow. Firstly, it is a very short-sighted and underhand way of conducting online marketing. Tricks can never replace a clear and consistent strategy. Secondly, as search engines become more savvy at fixing potential loopholes, the possibly of a penalty becomes even greater. Getting banned for implementing a quick fix is something that comes to haunt many a ‘black hat’ SEO practitioner.

Below are some of the more common misconceptions that people associate with SEO, along with some commentary to dispel the myths:

Guaranteed 1st page: There is no guarantee that anyone can achieve a 1st page search engine ranking, but many SEO providers still make this claim. Usually, the guarantee is made on a general basis and applies only to non-competitive keywords, which are far easier to achieve. In some industries and niches, competition is extremely high and this makes attracting visitors more difficult. That said, there are ways to attract targeted traffic, even in highly competitive areas.

The more traffic the better: Generating traffic is important for any online business. If people are unaware of a website, they cannot possibly become a customer. However, rather than simply aiming for as much traffic as possible, what businesses should aim for is targeted traffic. Five targeted visitors who convert into a sale can be far more lucrative than a hundred who fail to generate an enquiry.

It’s all about links: For many, attracting visitors from search engines is simply a case of building as many links as possible and adding meta tags and page titles. But while these practices were once effective, and while it is true that gaining quality links is one part of SEO, there are many other factors to consider. Things have moved on enormously since the early 2000s and it is important to be aware of the latest developments in the field.

It’s expensive: Many SEO providers are overly expensive and fail to offer value for money. Typically, medium to large-sized marketing agencies will demand high fees and a tie-in period, often for 12 months or longer. In addition, such agencies may simply hand your account to a junior SEO consultant, trained on the job and without a historical and hands-on background in the subject area. Providers like Digital Promote offer affordable, flexible and personalised SEO services without long-term tie-ins. Quality SEO is now affordable even for the budget-conscious!

It works instantly: SEO is something that can take time, often a few months to see any real difference. This is especially the case if a website has had little or no SEO work. Although it is common to see positive improvements in the short term, SEO should be viewed as more of a long-term investment.

You can DIY: Practicing SEO as an amateur can reduce costs, but will only be effective for those knowledgeable in the area. There is plenty of reliable SEO material available online, but beware: an equal amount of misinformation also exists. It is important to be aware of the potential risks prior to conducting any SEO work.

Digital Promote offers affordable, professional SEO services without the long-term tie-ins associated with many other agencies. Get in touch for a free quote.

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