It can be nearly impossible for a beginner to tell what will work and what won’t when it comes to SEO strategies. If you’ve decided that you need SEO but aren’t quite ready to hire a good SEO company, it might be better to stay the course than to veer into the unknown. The potential to do more harm than good is real. This is largely because there is so much outdated content still floating around the internet. Expanding on my previous article where I shared eight SEO myths to let go of, here are seven more.
Myth 1: The More Outgoing Links, The Merrier
In general, having outgoing links on your website is not bad. In most cases, they are just neutral. But no search engine benefits should be expected. Linking to other websites helps their SEO, not yours.
Myth 2: Slow And Steady Linking Wins The Day
The prevailing belief is that you will be penalized if you acquire too many backlinks too quickly. There is some truth to that, but it depends on the quality of the links being acquired.
Think of link building like running a marathon: You can run as fast as you like, but if you didn’t stretch, it’s probably going to hurt sooner rather than later. Instead, you have to improve the quality of your run by stretching first. Google’s Penguin algorithm may penalize a site for racing to add low-quality links. However, if you acquire good backlinks, you have less to worry about. After all, sites that go viral don’t get penalized when there’s a flood of other sites linking to them.
Myth 3: Any Keyword Is As Good As The Next
To save time or money, many sites wander into the no-man’s-land of unsearched keywords because they are easy targets. But why bother getting on the first page of Google with a keyword that no one searches for? Ensure that the keywords you target have enough people searching for them to make it worth your while.
Many online tools can tell you approximately how many times a keyword is searched and how competitive it is to target; they also can suggest other potentially related keywords consider targeting. Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner and AnswerThePublic are three free options to try.
Myth 4: Rankings Are All That Matter
While rankings are one important metric, they do not ensure success. Rankings must convert to traffic, which must convert to sales.
Rankings are one part of a larger picture. User experience is equally important because what good is all the traffic in the world if the users can’t figure out how to complete a transaction? The combination of an effective marketing strategy and an intimate understanding of your customers’ journey is where the real payoff occurs. SEO builds a road to your door, so make sure to leave it unlocked.
Myth 5: You Can Buy Your Way To The Top
Even though Google sells ads at the top of the search results page, the money spent on ads has no relation to showing up higher in the organic results. They’re completely unrelated, so don’t feel like you have to pour a lot of money into purchasing ads in an effort to support SEO.
Myth 6: Invest A Penny To Earn Millions
You may have heard that if you double a penny every day for 30 days, you’ll have more than $5 million dollars. The only problem is there are very few investments that will double your money quickly like that. It’s better to live by the adage, “It takes money (or time) to make money.” SEO can yield huge returns as long as you’re patient and make smart investments.
Myth 7: SEO Will Save Us
This is perhaps the best myth to close out this article. While SEO is powerful, it is not a magic potion that can turn your business around in just a matter of days or even weeks. It is a strategy that requires planning and time to work. When a company is failing, it is usually too late to try SEO to save a sinking ship.
There’s a lot of misinformation about SEO out there. But armed with the knowledge of what’s myth and what’s fact, you can protect your wallet and conquer search engines.
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Author: Damon Burton, Forbes Councils Member