SEO has changed so much in the past 2 years, many marketers are not sure what is important, what’s outdated, what will actually ‘move the needle’ and what is just a waste of time. So here are some common misconceptions and myths about SEO, so you can focus on what will get you results.
“The more links you have the better your website will perform”
Not anymore! Although building links is among the top five most important ranking factors for web pages, the change in Google’s search methods mean that the quality of links is much more important than the quantity. Previously, SEO worked by building as many links as possible without analysing the linking domain. Nowadays, less can be more if you know how to build links the proper way. Your main focus should be on having relevant and diverse sources that link to relevant pages. Investing in content which can be used for web pages, blog posts, and guest posts on other sites, is a sure way to bring in more links over time.
“I have to submit my site to Google”
You don’t have to! While you can submit a website’s URL to Google directly, a search engine like Google can still find your site without you submitting it. This is because Google uses spiders or crawlers to explore web pages, creating an ever updating and evolving index of pages. Therefore crawlers will find your new site and index it, without you needing to submit it directly.
“Having a secure (HTTPS encrypted) is not important for SEO”
Wrong! You may have noticed some URL’s start with “http://” and some with “https://”. There is a reason for this. The “s” stands for ‘secure’. This will only appear if the site has a valid SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate installed, which means your connection to that website is encrypted so hackers will not be able to intercept any of your data.
In September 2016, Google announced that chrome will flag HTTP pages as potentially unsafe starting in January 2017, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure. Therefore this is a great time to update and encrypt your site.
“SEO is all about ranking”
This is a big misconception. Having a high ranking will mean people will see you, yes, however this does not guarantee you will get more click-throughs. You could rank well for a term, get lots of traffic and not actually achieve any conversions, if you rank well for the wrong keywords. Not useful.
Some top tips for ensuring you rank well for the right searches:
Use keywords that are related to your business.
Your meta descriptions should be appealing and inviting to the user. Use language that will compel people to click through to your website.
Featured snippets can gain more clicks than the number one listings, so make sure your content is ranking on page one and is well structured.
“Pop-ups will always hurt my ranking in search”
Not all of them. Google announced in August 2016 that they would begin to penalise websites that use “intrusive interstitials” also known as annoying pop ups that cover the whole page! It’s this misuse of pop-ups which Google is controlling.
Pop-ups including banners and slide-ins that won’t disrupt the user experience are just fine, and will not affect your ranking. Pop-ups work, and used in the right way can create lovable experiences for your website visitors and, at the same time, generate sales.
We have a team of search engine optimisation professionals who combined have optimised hundreds of websites on the first page for important keywords. Find out what we can do for you here.