We increase your web presence and drive more traffic to your site by using a combination of SEO, Google Ads, and digital marketing techniques like website design. We’re pretty proud of our work, and we’re always looking to make our services better for our clients.
With that in mind, the internet is constantly developing, and things move pretty fast.
Our SEO and digital marketing techniques have to be adjusted and moderated all the time to ensure that we keep up with the changes. The way SEO looks today differs a great deal from what it was like even six months ago. Tactics, techniques, and implementation change all the time. And yet, within the world of SEO, there are pervasive myths from years ago that we just can’t seem to shake.
I wrote this piece to dispel some of those myths and hopefully bring more clarity to your understanding of what SEO is.
Myth #1 – ‘SEO’ means ‘rank me at position 1’
I’d like to kick off with this one, because while it’s not a myth per se – in that yes, ranking you number one is one of our primary goals – there is a bit more to SEO than just hitting that number one spot.
You see, once you reach number one on Google, it’s important that the methods you used to get you there are going to hold their results. What this means is that you need to create evergreen content (content that stays fresh, à la the namesake tree) which people will continually engage with to keep your site ranking.
You also need to remember that it is possible to rank for keywords that may not actually relate to your field. While it’s all well and good to rank position one, it’s more important to rank for keywords that relate to the searcher’s intent. Otherwise, people are not going to click on your result.
Search intent is the difference between someone looking for information and someone looking to buy. For example, ‘search engine optimisation’ as a search has –
- 1,000 searches a month
- Search results include Wikipedia, Government resources, ‘what is SEO’ from 6 different sites and 1-2 business who offer it as a service
But when you look at ‘search engine optimisation brisbane’ there is –
- A lower search volume (210)
- And all the search results are businesses offering it as a service
It is very important to distinguish what Google thinks people are searching for – and structure your site accordingly. If you rank position one for ‘search engine optimisation’ then it will likely be for an information-based page (because that’s what Google thinks people are looking for). If you did rank position one, you may get a lot of traffic with very few conversions.
Because other businesses offering it as a service are ranking for ‘search engine optimisation brisbane’, it’s far more likely that your service-based page will rank for this term – and ranking at position 1 is much more likely to bring you enquiries, in spite of having less monthly search volume
Plus, once you get to position one, you need to be aware that the top rank may actually be a paid search result – in which case your SEO efforts should also be combined with a paid campaign to ensure that you are ranking where you want to be. Plus, having a paid campaign running alongside organic SEO is good social proof (people see you in multiple spots so are more likely to click you when they see you the second time). And remember, it’s not just ads that will rank above you – there are very few organic results that don’t return something at the top of the page. That could be paid ads, the 3-pack maps, featured snippets, knowledge graphs, Google News snippets, etc.
Making sure you have a strong and enticing snippet with good CTAs can make a world of difference on any day, but especially when position 1 is halfway down the page.
Myth #2 – ‘SEO’ is just building backlinks, right?
Have you heard of something called a penalty algorithm? Yeah. Well that’s a thing. And it’s a thing that can have a big impact on your site’s online ranking results. The specific algorithm relating to the penalty algorithm is Google Penguin (first rolled out in 2012). Google used to have to go through a periodic ‘refresh’, where Google would update the algorithm manually, which would then target sites with spammy backlinks and penalise them during those updates.
In 2016 Google incorporated Penguin into its core algorithm, which means that they no longer have to schedule manual updates – it’s now always evaluating backlink profiles and trying to determine how much weight it puts towards good/bad backlinks.
Therefore, the focus for your business should be on creating relevant links –
- Links between sites must be as organic as possible. The more relevant a backlink and the more real the relationship, then the more that link is worth.
- One backlink from a reseller who mentions on their site that they work with (your business name) and say how they work with you (e.g. mention the service, the location, etc.), would likely be worth more than five backlinks from directories or link farms (or even a link on a good/strong site that is in a completely different field) – the context between the sites and the context around the link itself is the difference between a good quality link and poor quality link
How link building ties in –
- Around 2010-2013 you could get away with building massive amounts of backlinks to a site and achieving amazing rankings, regardless of quality – this is pretty much what the Penguin algorithm was designed to stop.
- These days, link building is essentially the mark of good quality content – people won’t link to you if they don’t have a reason to.
- Because of the above, you generally can’t have a website that ranks well on links alone (and again, it’s about having the right links, not just quantity). A good site should also have high quality and relevant content that fosters those types of links.
- It also depends on the industry – some industries rely very heavily on link building, but in other industries you can get away with only having a handful of links
TL;DR – while backlinks are vital, they also need to be quality backlinks. Because Google is like the eye of Sauron (except maybe less evil… we’re not sure) – it sees everything.
And if you’ve got some dodgy sites hanging out with some links to your business, you can bet that Google will see it and punish you – which means a nice quick slide down the rankings. Ouch.
You can get around this by disavowing your links to these shady sites – but be warned, and is best performed by a professional! If you have spammy links or artificial links, give us a call and we can go through this with you.
Myth #3 – SEO is a shady practice run by snake oil salesmen.
Hey! We can hear you, you know. No, but honestly, we know where this one came from.
You see, way back in the wild west days of ‘Black Hat SEO’ (SEO techniques that violate best practice and search engine terms of service), there were indeed plenty of the aforementioned snake oil creeps getting around.
And they cashed in on people’s naivety. And it was terrible. And they gave us good guys and girls (White Hat SEO legends) a bad name! But it’s always the bad ones that spoil it for the rest of us.
Most of the black hat techniques that were employed in the past are no longer viable tactics, and employing a ‘white hat’ approach to SEO not only gets results, but it maintains them over a longer period of time (as opposed to the ‘quick fix’ approach to Black Hat, that might work for a period of time until Google picks up on it).
Anyway, the myth is just that – a myth. It’s no longer possible to do such dodgy work, thanks to the sophisticated algorithms and techniques Google uses. And at KDM, we are ethical to the core, and we believe in transparency and doing good work for our clients. Feel free to call us to find out more about what we mean by this!
Myth #4 – SEO is dying
Ah yes. This is a common myth we hear. There’s always this rumour floating around that SEO is done for; and it’s all about Google Ads or Facebook Ads or Instagram (not that these aren’t important by the way, they are – we can help with that too).
But the point is that while there are indeed new options for digital marketing, SEO ain’t dying. Not by a long shot. The way things work in 2019 is that real SEO is about making websites high quality and user-friendly – that is, if you do everything right by the user and work to make yourself the best and most relevant search result for a particular query, then the rankings will follow.
SEO is changing – sure, but it’s an ongoing evolution, and we’re adapting just as quickly as Google makes changes. Although Google is completely unpredictable, our approach to SEO means that we’re working within their established guidelines which means our work is more likely to improve your business ranking when Google updates its algorithm
Myth #5 – It’s not that hard – I can do SEO myself
Many people are very good at SEO techniques. And some are even exceptional at writing meta tags, headings, content, and developing a website for SEO purposes.
But although SEO is not terribly difficult, it does require a deep understanding of the industry’s best practices and how to implement it. You want to ensure that you’re taking care of all possible loose ends, lest one of the things you miss ends up punishing you.
We’ll be honest – It is very possible to do it yourself. But be warned – there is a lot to take in, and you may spend a lot of your time Googling things and self-teaching. And when you think about how much your time is worth to you and what you could better be doing with those hours, it often makes sense to outsource that task to a professional. Like us!
I hope you enjoyed us busting these myths to give you some thought on what to look for with your SEO investment. As I said above, please call us on 1300 596 636 if you need more information. We’d love to help you with your digital marketing and SEO.