SEO Myths That Hurt Your Results

Working with bad information causes you to unknowingly make bad decisions. This happens a lot with SEO. What you don’t know can not only hurt you, but can hurt you severely.

SEO Myth #1: It’s All About SEO Optimizatioon

SEO is a foundational aspect of Inbound Marketing. SEO is the technical aspects of ensuring your website is easy for the search engine robots to crawl and index. It is also the proper formatting of what is called meta data for each and every individual webpage.

Your website does need to be properly optimized for good SEO, but if you have a 37 page website (37 separate URLs) and you hire an SEO consultant to touch each and every page to make sure they are properly optimized for SEO, your site is very unlikely to rank well. The reason is your site is too small. Your competitors have out-published you. You need to publish more.

Inbound Marketing is all about publishing where you write articles and stories for people, and format them properly for search engines.

SEO Myth #2: Longer Posts Rank Higher

This is only partially a myth, because longer posts do rank higher, but what ranks even higher than that are websites that are updated very frequently. As in 3 (or more) times a day.

In order to update your site multiple times a day, it helps to publish shorter posts.

It helps to think that posts are of one of two types; snippet posts or pillar posts.

Pillar posts are the longer better researched posts that promote a big idea with sections providing detail to backup that big idea.

Snippet posts are shorter. Each snippet posts answers one question or addresses one main idea.

For your Inbound Marketing to work in months rather than years, you need to publish multiple times each day. Publishing multiple snippet posts each day, and publishing 1 or 2 pillar posts each week is a very effective way.

Additionally, every post you publish needs an internal link, and linking from snippet posts to pillar posts not only serves this need very well, it helps you strategically raise the authority of your pillar posts over time.

SEO Myth #2: SEO is Best Left to the Pros

This is true if you can afford the really good pros. The ones who charge $8K to $10K per month.

If your options are the pros in the range of $2K to $4K per month, it’s hit or miss. Some of them are very good. Others are terrible.

If your options are the pros in the range of $300 to $800 a month, that statement is false. For that small amount of money, you do not get enough attention to make it work.

I had success with SEO once I learned to do it myself, and while I’ve helped other businesses get started with theirs, the small businesses I like to work with simply can not afford to consultant or agency rates and at some point had to transition from customer to student.

Additionally, the way well done SEO (by which I really mean Inbound Marketing) can completely transform a business makes it mission critical in my opinion. I’m a big fan of the idea of outsourcing everything that is not a core competency. Inbound Marketing needs to be a core competency. No outside consultant or agency will understand your business and your customers the way you do. No outside consultant or agency will care as much as you do.

Inbound Marketing is foundational to modern business.

SEO Myth #4: It’s All About the Keywords

This used to be true. You could get amazing results by “stuffing” pages with keywords so it was “enough but not too much”. SEO Plugins for WordPress used to calculate “keyword density”. Some still do.

While keywords are not yet fully irrelevant, Google is moving us in that direction.

The beginning of the end of Keywords is the Google algorithm update named Hummingbird, which was initially rolled out about 18 months ago.

Google is moving us to a more “natural language” focus rather than a keyword focus. Concepts matter more than words. Each Hummingbird update takes us further in this direction.

SEO Myth #5: Quality is Subjective and Hard to Measure

There are two aspects of the quality of a post.

SEO Formatting: This is completely objective. Either the stuff that needs to be done was done correctly or it wasn’t. You simply run a checklist and your post should meet the criteria on the checklist.

Quality to a Person: You would think this is highly subjective, but Google actually works behind the scenes using human raters to quantify what we would consider to be the subjective aspect of the quality of a webpage.

They do this in two way, but rather than repeat them here, to read more select the link in the prior sentence.

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