How many times have you searched online?
Probably too many to count.
But how often have you bothered to look past the first page of results?
Likely, a lot less.
The first Google search results page generates 92% of all traffic from an average search. Meanwhile, the second page (only one click away!) only gets about 4.8%.
One thing is clear: securing a spot on that coveted first page can be a huge boost for your business.
And although no one can guarantee you a top search engine rank, search engine optimization (SEO) is your best bet for moving up the ranks.
But while the benefits of local SEO are well established, there’s a chance you may be doing it all wrong thanks to some SEO myths circulating the web.
To make sure you’re reaping the SEO rewards your business deserves, here are three of the biggest SEO myths you should avoid.
SEO MYTH #1: Keyword targeting became irrelevant with algorithm updates
FACT: Clear keyword SEO strategy is still vital.
When Google rolled out a new algorithm called Hummingbird in 2013, the update impacted 90% of search results.
Even though Google guards the precise details of its algorithms, it’s clear that keywords are still a vital piece of the puzzle.
But the biggest difference with Hummingbird from prior algorithms is the major shift in focus towards user intent.
As a result, it’s not enough to simply jam as many buzz words as you can onto your web page to manipulate search results. That’s called keyword stuffing and will actually harm your site’s ranking.
Instead, businesses need to consider the reasons a user’s search contains particular keywords and optimize their sites’ content accordingly.
In other words, anticipate what your customers are looking for, and use keywords to tell search engines that your website has the best content related to those searching habits.
That means no more keyword ratios or boring, repetitive content. And no more SEO myths about keywords.
But keep in mind, content isn’t everything.
SEO MYTH #2: Content is all that matters
FACT: User experience should help inform your SEO decisions.
Although content is critical for successful SEO, the user experience is becoming increasingly vital for your website’s rankings as well.
A web usability report found that 37% of users will abandon a site if they dislike its design or navigation.
Likewise, 40% of consumers will move on if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
While there are a number of important ranking factors worth your attention, search engine algorithms also incorporate usability factors such as:
- website speed
- average page loading time
- the amount of time users spend on the site
So if your website is poorly organized or hard to use, the algorithms will know by the amount of users that quickly click away.
And that data can seriously injure your SEO cred.
That’s why it’s important to ensure your site provides relevant content quickly with a user-friendly design.
But this isn’t a one and done scenario.
SEO MYTH #3: We did SEO once so there’s no need to do it again
FACT: You should update your SEO strategy periodically.
Google makes changes to its search algorithm hundreds of times a year.
So why should you treat your SEO strategy any differently?
While most algorithm changes won’t directly affect your website rankings, you should reexamine your SEO strategy multiple times a year to stay fresh and relevant in the eyes of the almighty AIs.
Think of SEO as an ongoing process. Even minor tweaks like relinking older blog posts to more recent ones can help establish your site as an authority and keep you from falling down the ranks.
But sometimes, the changes can have a major impact on your status.
That’s where SEO agencies are a great resource. As experts, they can predict what updates will have an impact and help steer your site away from practices that might penalize you.
Enough with the SEO myths
Now that you know the three biggest SEO myths to avoid, check out the secrets to growing your business with Google business reviews as well as these content marketing trends you should take advantage of.