Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a framework that makes a website rank in a particular position on search engines (e.g. Google, Bing etc) whenever a user searches for a keyword on these search engines.
It is estimated that in every 10 search engine users, at least seven of them visit one of the top five results on the first page of their search engine result.
This underscores the potential of SEO to improve the visibility of websites and drive organic traffic to the owners – giving them a comparative advantage over their competitors. SEO also improves the credibility and usability of websites.
SEO is intrinsically complicated; and yet, very dynamic and constantly evolving. This is due to the interwoven nature of the several factors that contribute to the overall ranking. This has also led to the spread of many myths about it on the internet. With that in mind, here are 7 myths about SEO that every entrepreneur should know:
1. SEO Results Come Fast
SEO is a competition for a prized spot on top of the search engine results page. Hence, a website can only rank highly by displacing another high ranking website that is also striving to retain its spots or displace other websites ahead of them.
This is why SEO results require continuous efforts and long-term investments. SEO results don’t happen overnight, and any quick-result promises should be ignored.
2. SEO Agencies Ain’t Worth The Cost
SEO requires a lot of time and effort – the same that the entrepreneur can channel into other areas of the business. According to EWR Digital, an enterprise SEO agency, SEO agencies are more efficient in achieving faster SEO results because they have more experience and focus exclusively on SEO and its evolving trends.
Furthermore, SEO agencies help entrepreneurs save money and cost. This is so because they are deploying their services for more entrepreneurs at a time, and each pays less when compared to maintaining an in-house team.
Another reason why SEO agencies are a go-to is that it is safer with them. Search engines usually sanction websites that try to manipulate the rankings in their favour, even when this is done unintentionally.
Poor SEO can also make a website vulnerable to hacking. Hence, if SEO must be done, it’s best done safely – by a reputable SEO agency.
3. Social Media Sharing is a Ranking Factor
Contrary to popular expectations, sharing website posts on social media does not exactly improve SEO directly. However, it does so indirectly when people click on the shared link and visit the website.
This is because visiting the website increases the traffic to the website, and search engines rate this traffic to be an indicator that the website contains valuable information
4. Keyword Repetition Improves Ranking
While proper keyword usage improves SEO, unnecessary repetition greatly disturbs it. Spamming a website’s content with keywords doesn’t help the user experience. This means that the traffic directed to search engines might not convert to customers – and this greatly defeats a major goal of SEO.
Moreover, search engine crawlers can detect keyword repetition in website content, and the penalties are always often deleterious.
5. Having Many Links Improves SEO
Inbound links (or backlinks) direct visitors to a website while outbound links direct visitors out of a website. Both affirm the credibility of website content and improve SEO.
However, having too many of these links does not produce the expected cumulative effect. For instance, search engines only count the first time an outbound link appears in a website content.
So spamming your content with the same links (or different irrelevant links) come with no advantage, but with the disadvantage of poor user experience.
Spamming with many might even lead to penalties for the websites as search engines can detect paid backlinks or links from link farms.
6. Older Websites Rank Better
The age of a website doesn’t matter in SEO as much as you might think. Instead, it is the backlinks that are more likely to be generated for older websites that help them rank fairly higher than newer websites.
Moreover, the relevancy of the content matters. Old website content on “How to knot a tie” is still likely to be ranked very highly because the process of knotting a tie doesn’t change, all things being equal. As a result, that content is still relevant today.
7. Duplicating Content Can Be Penalized
There is no direct connection between duplicate content and being penalized by search engines—if you use the right HTML tags on the backend.
However, duplicate content will ruin the user experience for your visitors and reduce backlinks to your website. Search engines will also split the organic ranking of your website content into two, and all these will ultimately reduce SEO.