Kiss Me - SEO MythsI regularly hear from businesses and other marketing professionals about what will improve the visibility of their website positions with Google.  Some are true but unfortunately many are SEO myths, bandied around for so long they have become true urban legends.

I have therefore pulled together the 5 most common of these SEO Myths to set the record straight once and for all.

SEO Myth 1: Videos Will Put your Website in Number 1 Spot

Video is great for engagement with your audience – it keeps them sticking around your site and can be influential in encouraging sales and sign ups. However the myth I still hear at network meetings – usually from video producers – is that having a video embedded on your website will put you at the top of the search engines.

This may have been the case in the early days when Google had less video resources to return as results but I’d say right now just having a video on your does not mean you get a top page ranking.

SEO Myth De-bunker:

Having video on your site is a great way to provide content for your audience.  If you optimise it well using on page video content – such as a transcript underneath – you could find yourself ranking highly on Google – but it takes some work to do this. One “average product promotion” video just isn’t likely to cut the mustard from a rankings perspective particularly for competitive keyword phrases.

SEO Myth 2: Purchasing Paid Ads Boosts Your Rankings

I heard this from a client a good few years ago – that they spent a fortune on Google Ads to get higher rankings. They’d seen some movement from page 10 to page 2 at the same time they started spending more and were convinced it was because of their use of Adwords.

Most likely they improved the content on the landing page to help it perform better and it was this that increasied the quality of the content on the page with the result of an organic lift in positions.

A simple way to prove this…… turn off the Adwords, you won’t see a fall in your organic rankings.

SEO Myth De-bunker:

Adwords is a great way to give your site immediate 1st page visibility whilst you work on your organic positions.  Once you start to show organically scale back Adwords spend.

SEO Myth 3: SEO Black Hat Tricks Work

Not something we practise here at ATW HQ but one I see reported online that still works. I can only tell from the results being presented in the articles that it works – you never hear about it when they get caught out and things don’t go so well.

The main thing to remember with this is that Google is getting much better at detecting and issuing penalties.  Whatever benefit you might obtain in the short term you need to consider the impact of getting caught and how long it would take to start again doing things the right way.

SEO Myth De-bunker:

A good Black hat SEO stays in the shadows making money for themselves, they’re not going to share what they know because if their black hat work is working it soon won’t when everyone knows and then blogs about it!

Black hats just selling their SEO services are going to make use of XRumer type bot software that spams blogs and forums – they’ll make a quick buck, get a site ranked and then torched (almost guaranteed, it’s no longer a sustainable practice).

SEO Myth 4: Organic SEO is Simple to do

Once people worked out there were 5 key things to slap keywords into this myth came about. Put a phrase in the title tag, mention it twice in the meta description, ensure it is in the h1 heading, add to a few alt tags and put in the 1st and last paragraphs.

The above is a simple, boilerplate approach to SEO and it quickly allowed people who did not truly understand the subject (site structure, links, content, funnelling, pogosticking) to offer it as a quick, cheap service to those unwilling to really invest in their websites.

SEO Myth De-bunker:

Did it really work? Yes, certainly for long tail keyword phrases without much in the way of competition. Hell, I even saw it for some rather competitive phrases at a local level (backed up with poor links).

But does it still work?

With Google improving its algorithms it is easy for it to detect this style of SEO so it is harder to get results from it.  I’d say any SEO activity has to be planned, thought out and carefully implemented to get the best results, and most importantly part of a wider online marketing strategy.

SEO Myth 5: Once you start doing SEO you have to keep going with it

People tend to think that once the’ve started SEO they would lose their rankings overnight if they stopped activity.

Some unscrupulous SEO’s in the past may have even influenced this way of thinking by pulling links to their clients websites once they stopped working with them in an attempt to get them to come back.

SEO Myth De-bunker:

I am going to say this once: You can do SEO as a one off program, it will help your rankings to a degree – how much is hard to say of course, depends on the level of activity, competition etc

If you stopped then very likely, over time, you would lose your rankings but not within a week of stopping with your SEO provider.  If it was for a very competitive phrase you may see rankings decay in a matter of weeks/months depending on competitor activity, but in many cases (certainly for a non-competitive, long tail keyword phrase) it could take years.

Point in case:

“Gliding Lessons” for a Cambridgeshire Club I left way back in 2005. I’d optimised their page for this phrase in 2004 and it sat on the 1st page of Google till at least 2011. 7 years. Without any other work being carried out as I handed my role to someone else on the club who didn’t touch the site. One off? I don’t think so.

However I’m not saying stopping with your SEO to save a few quid is a good thing. The club’s website is now on the 3rd page of Google for the phrase so it would be a timely task – with costs – to get them back to page one in my opinion.

If you do stop with your SEO you shouldn’t see a sudden fall in traffic and rankings (if it was good, wholesome SEO) – it’s just that you’d be better off to find another SEO who can help on a regular basis to keep you ahead and abreast of your competitors.

If you have an SEO tactic that you think will help but aren’t sure whether it’s truth or fiction drop the team here an email with the details and we will let you know whether it can be added to the SEO Myth Hall of Fame.

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