I have heard a lot of myths about the SEO industry from clients, enquiries and even some agencies.
Here are just a few of my favourites.
“SEO is a waste of money”
I always tell clients if you invest in any form of marketing it should pay for itself and more. SEO is no exception, it should be a wise investment for your business or organisation that increases profits.
So how can you make sure this happens?
Set clear and achievable objectives and goals – Know what you want to achieve, this not only gives the SEO focus, but helps you measure the benefits.
Focus on what matters – Some products/services are more business valuable than others, make sure the SEO solidly supports these and isn’t distracted by less valuable offerings.
Set realistic budgets – While more investment can give more resource you need a balance. Go too cheap leads to under performance while too high and you can quickly burn through budgets before profits build.
Understand when SEO interacts with customers – SEO may not always be the last channel used before a sale is closed, yet organic search plays a role in most online leads/sales. Understand how Seo help the customer journey is key to seeing and measuring its value.
“SEO takes a long time”
This is not always the case, while SEO can build and improve over time it can also get a foot hold very quickly.
What prevents fast SEO?
Bad website structure – A website can look beautiful, but inside it’s a big old mess. Bad code, slow site speeds, technical errors in the structure the list goes on and on.
If Google can’t index and understand your pages to start with due to a bad structure it’s going to slow the whole process down.
Poor investment – Fast results targeted work in the early stages to give a real boost. You may think nothing of investing £1,000 or more a month in PPC spend so why not the same or more for SEO.
Don’t get me wrong PPC is great, but so is SEO and it needs investment too. As a rule I find SEO performs consistently better than PPC, but tends to get much less of the budget.
Incorrect focus – There are always easy wins in SEO as well as long-term work. Focusing on the places where growth can be achieved fast will bring quick results.
“Link Building is the most important thing”
Yes links are a key ranking factor and yes you need them, but link building is not a magic SEO key. Google has clearly stated again and again that “Any links intended to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines”.
How do you create a natural link profile?
Quality rather than quantity – Focus on quality links from relevant sites that want to rank to you. Don’t use link building schemes or pay for links.
Check you back links – Check you link profile regularly for any spammy low quality links and get them removed or improved. Not an easy job, but necessary.
Create linkable content – Write good copy and use creative elements like images, graphics and video, but also create tools, guides and solutions people want to use.
Make linking easy – Actively make it easy for visitors to link to your content. Don’t just whack in a share button, test it make sure it makes sense and helps the visitor to share.
“Wanting position 1 for set keywords”
All your potential customers do not use the same set of keywords you think they do. Real sales and leads come from lots of variations often using longer phrases, there is no magic list of keywords. You want coverage for a wide variety of keywords and keyword variations that have the potential to convert.
How do you build keyword coverage?
Good research – Extensive ongoing keyword research helps to identify trends and good topics to work on.
Select the right content – When you look at search results you see for some searches articles do better than services/product pages. Create the right content for the right search area goes a long way to improving your chances of good rankings.
Good on page optimisation – Optimisation is about making it easy for search engines to understand your content and website so that they can match it to the right search requests. There are tool that can help you hone your skills, but being good at on page SEO takes detailed knowledge and skill.
Build Authority – You need the thumbs up from the wider internet to show that your website pages deserve to rank well. This is partly related to back links but there are lots of other signals that go to build a websites online authority and this is a changing area as Google looks for new ways to better gauge a websites authority.
SEO works, can be start to build results fast and as such deserves your investment.
While it’s not all about back links and ranking for set keywords, it is about supporting sales and lead generation and business profitability.