Does your SEO strategy feel like you’re running and running…only to look back and see that you’ve barely moved? It’s no secret that SEO is tricky, but if you’re still bogged down in common SEO misconceptions then you’re doing more harm than good.
Lie: You Set up SEO Once and Forget About It
A common misconception about SEO is that you only need to focus on it once (usually when you’re creating your website) and then let it go. But SEO is a dynamic process. A big push that has no follow up won’t do your website any favors.
Truth: SEO is Ongoing
One of the (many) factors that Google looks into when ranking a website is how often that website is updated. An easy way to achieve this is by posting regular (SEO’d) blogs. Search engines are also not stationary. Their algorithms are constantly evolving, and the common SEO practices of even 2 years ago are now obsolete. In order to stay ranking, you need to make sure your site keeps pace with the latest algorithm.
Lie: You Repeat the Same Keyword as Many Times to Rank
This myth has a dose of truth – in the early days of SEO, search engines were a lot more simplistic. Back then, the easiest way to rank for a keyword was to repeat it as much as possible in your copy – to the point where people would put the keyword in white text on their white backgrounds to trick the search engines.
Truth: Use Relevant, Natural Keywords
In response to shady SEO strategies (called “black hat SEO”) Google spent years tweaking their algorithm. Now, search engines are a lot more sophisticated. If you want to rank for a keyword, it doesn’t need to be repeated verbatim throughout your text. Instead, aim for only 2.5% of your text to be the keyword. Google wants to show people content they want to see. It’s sophisticated enough to understand that similar language means the same thing. For example, instead of typing “Minneapolis SEO” into a blog post over and over again, you can also use phrases like “SEO in Minneapolis” or “Minneapolis search engine optimization.” The more user-focused your content, the better.
Lie: Use Short Keywords and Rank #1
Let’s be honest: we’d all love to rank #1 for our specific keywords. If BizzyWeb ranked #1 for “web design” and “online marketing” I’d have my robot butler writing this blog from the comfort of my mansion. But like my dream, ranking #1 for popular keywords isn’t attainable for most of us.
Truth: Use Long-Tail Keywords and Rank on the First Page
Consider this: to rank #1 for short, high-volume keywords you’d have to compete with Fortune 500 companies who have entire teams dedicated to keeping them in that #1 spot. Most of us simply don’t have the resources to compete on that level. It’s time to re-think your strategy and focus more on ranking for long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are a lot more specific and reflective of how people search: “gas stations near me,” “what is SEO,” “cheap carpet cleaners.” These keywords typically see less volume than short keywords but are much easier to rank for. You can rank #1 for several long-tail keywords, versus #20 for a specific short keyword.
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