Debunking 6 SEO Myths by GCC Marketing Dubai
From the author: you’re new to SEO, you have some experience or you are a hard-core veteran, it does not matter. Most likely, you have some false thoughts in your head on this topic, or you simply have already outdated information that you heard once upon a time while studying SEO. Unfortunately, there is a chance that, in your opinion, you are doing everything right, but in reality only make marketing difficult. We are approaching the holiday shopping season (we are already in the 4th quarter), so you should discard all these false ideas and make the most of digital marketing.
1. SEO is just a keyword density
This myth can be called the rudiment of a bygone era. Once upon a time, with the help of such content with many keywords and synonyms, you could trick search engines into thinking that your page is highly relevant. It took only a couple of hundred words per page. This type of SEO actually ceased to exist after the release of the Google Panda update, which learned to distinguish low-quality content with many duplicates. Sites with good optimization sagged strongly in ranking and traffic. If you still think that keyword density is working, you will probably have to sweat in order to stay on the front lines. It is also very bad user experience.
But this does not mean that you do not need to optimize your site for certain keywords. You just need to do it normally and remember the quality of the content provided. Places where you still need to use keywords:
URL: Search engines and users look at URLs and imagine what they see on the page. URL plays a big role in SEO. The best URL optimization is keywords at the beginning, dashes as a separator, keywords should match the page title as closely as possible.
Title tag: one of the most important SEO factors on the page. Title tags are a powerful hint to search engines about what is on the page. As with the URL, use keywords at the beginning of the title. Headings are very easy to overload, so once again think about whether to place more than one keyword in the heading or not. This can be done in cases where this can actually happen. Keywords in such cases should be very close in meaning. Otherwise, take one keyword. If you insert the same keyword multiple times, Google will certainly think that you are distributing spam.
Headings and subheadings: headings (h1) and subheadings (h2-h6) give content order and structure, which simplifies interpretation for search engines and makes reading easier for users. H1 tags are of great importance as they serve as the title of the content. However, they should not be confused with the title tag. Keywords in these places will tell the user what to expect from the content section. However, excessive use of keywords in headings will lower your ranking in search results.
When it comes to writing page content, don’t think about the number of keywords written. Search engines look at them completely differently. If you use too many keywords, the text will be terrible. Better insert keywords in the places described above and throughout the page. The length of the content is very important here. You have a set of keywords, and semantically similar words will gradually slip through the text, which will make the page only better. You can check the smoothness of keywords and similar words using the WooRank service:
2. Images and videos do not affect SEO
Images and videos play a role in SEO in two important places: in ordinary search results and in image/video results. Images and videos improve SEO on a page in two ways:
Improve user experience. No one wants to go to the page where he is waiting for a giant wall of text without divisions. Photos, pictures, infographics, and other images increase the attractiveness of the page and break the text for better assimilation. Graphics increases the time spent on the page and reduces the rate of withdrawal. These two factors are used by Google to rank. Reducing image weight will speed up page loading time, and this is another important factor when ranking in UX and SERP.
Great relevance to keywords. Search engines do not see what is in the image, however, they can scan HTML tags on the page. Use this, optimize images by adding alternative text and file names. The text should be clear, describe the subject and use keywords.
Well-optimized images and videos also open up a new traffic channel for your pages: search results for images and videos. This type of SEO kills two birds with one stone: it optimizes media files to increase search results, and also increases the ranking in search results. From the point of view of optimization in multimedia, you need to look at two important things:
Filename. Use the filenames as in the URL on the page. Insert keywords first, separate the words with a dash, describe the subject, and use as many details as possible.
Alternate attribute. The alt attribute allows you to describe a media file if something does not fit in its name. Write the alt attribute as if you were describing an image to a blind person — that is what the alternative text does. Search engines rely heavily on the alt attribute, as they cannot scan the image and understand what is there.
Check the optimization of your images using the WooRank service to see if the alt attribute is spelled correctly.
Check that the search engines correctly crawl and index your images and videos using the image and video XML extensions of the site map. If there are a lot of images and videos on your site, make maps from images and videos and add them to the site in the index file of the site map.
3. Advanced descriptions have a bad effect on marketers
The expanded descriptions, both the knowledge graph and the answer block, are part of Google’s efforts to enhance search results by interpreting the purpose of the search and providing the required information directly to SERP using semantic search information collected from all over the Internet. Such chunks of text force some marketers to rip hair off their heads. The knowledge graph collects information from all over the Internet, so it will not always leave a link to your site.
In addition, the response block practically discourages the user from going to your site, as he has already received an answer to his question. However, there are advantages. The most obvious is that you can jump over your competitor who works in the same field (knowledge graph) or is ahead of you in keywords (answer block). Moreover, the pages that appeared in the response block noticed a significant increase in traffic.
Unfortunately, the appearance in the graph of knowledge does not provide the same large increase in traffic. But you can still make it work for you, optimizing the places where the graph will receive data in order to be able to control the information that is displayed to users.
So how to appear in extended descriptions? Depends on the type of description. Answer blocks look more at page content and site authority, and for a knowledge graph, you need to focus on optimizing SEO factors.
Answer Block Google decides who appears in the answer block based on how well the content on the page answers the user’s question, as well as on the basis of the trust and authority of your domain. In addition to a good answer, in order to appear in the answer block, you need to structure the content in such a way that it tells Google that you answered the question. Here headings, subheadings and semantic markup from the Schema website will help you.
Graph of knowledge. Google builds a knowledge graph based on keywords. Whether you want it or not, it’s better to control the information, and not fight it. Since we are talking with Google, the first thing you need to optimize your page on Google+. The better your presence on Google+, the more Google trusts you. After that, it is very important to optimize on Wikipedia and Wikidata (the former Freebase, which is deprecated). Optimize your Wikidata entries and open Wikipedia to improve the content in the knowledge graph.
4. Links need to be earned, not built
This myth appeared in SEO after the Google Penguin update was released, which punished no-nonsense website owners who were involved in various link building techniques. This step, along with the growing popularity of content marketing, has forced some SEO experts to declare that the days of link building have come to an end, and that you can best earn links by creating great content. The meaning is not entirely wrong, since writing useful articles, creating videos and infographics is still the most important way to get links. However, the idea that the content will receive links depending on the quality and interaction with social networks has not passed.
What does it mean? Links are still important. This is evident from the latest update to the Penguin 4.0 algorithm. You still need to build links manually, guided by a link building strategy. The following parts should be included in your strategy:
Content Create content with a focus on link building. See what content your audience is already reposting (you can use Buzzsumo and Ahrefs). Use the ideas from this content to build new, update old information or provide new perspectives. Whatever you do, do not copy – duplication of content is bad for the site.
Look for new sources. Do not expect that reposts of your pages on social networks will do all the work for you. Link building requires you to search for the right audience to not only increase your success but also get the opportunity to have a good editorial link. You can use AuthorCrawl and BlogDash services to create a list of bloggers. Use Majestic to search for sites that have already linked to your content. Or you can use this service to search for competitor links to try to pick up those links.
Do it yourself. People immediately distinguish the prepared letter. Automation of communication with the audience will lead to the fact that all your letters will fall into the basket (if they pass the spam filter at all). To get the most out of it, write the letters yourself using an approximate template to simplify the process.
5. An increase in search results will solve all problems
For many, the point of SEO is not to take first place in the SERP. If this is your main task, then you have fallen victim to the myth that the first place is a magic pill for digital marketing. This is part of the truth. However, to see the desired result, it is necessary to carry out optimization within the framework of a common company. Being the first in the phrase “women’s shoes” will not lead you to success if most people are looking for model shoes, and your landing page is optimized for sports shoes.
Instead of poorly optimizing your site, take the time and develop a powerful SEO strategy. Good SEO strategy:
Defines goals. You cannot judge the success or failure of a company without knowing how to measure it. Before optimizing your URLs and writing blog posts, decide whether you want to increase conversion or just get more eye contact.
Defines the ideal viewer. Who is your potential buyer? Ideally, you should already know the answer. But if you do not know or have not yet formally decided, then create a potential buyer: age, gender, interests, goals, where he lives. Google Analytics helps you find out the demographic component and interests of your audience.
Finds the right keywords. At what stage in the buying process, a person will determine which keywords were used in the search engine. People can simply search for an answer to a question, study subjects or search for goods that they want to buy. In all cases, the keywords will be different. In addition, the ultimate goal of the entire company will change the way you optimize your landing page, as well as the content that you create for such pages.
Tracks and modifies. Analytics is a very important component of digital marketing, especially if you need constant fine-tuning, as in SEO. Analytics should evaluate not only traffic. Increasing traffic will not help much if it does not affect the achievement of the final goal. Therefore, track conversions. If you don’t like the conversion, this may be a sign that the keywords are not selected for the optimal audience, or your pages do not translate visitors into buyers.
6. Content rules the ball
If you’ve been in digital marketing for quite some time, you should have heard this mantra of “content above all” again and again. Useful high-quality content itself will raise you in search results without the help of SEO. If you take this statement at face value, it seems that everything is so. Each update of the search algorithm is trying to more and more clean out the results of sites with low-quality content and spam. However, just posting good content will not put you on the front lines at Google, especially if you work in a highly competitive niche.
Good content is still a very important component in the ranking, but how do search engines realize that content is good without optimization? Moreover, if your site is not optimized at all, search engines may not find the content at all, that is, it will not be in the search results at all. The main goal of SEO is to make sure that search engines deliver your pages to the right audience. Although content rules the show, it is not an absolute monarchy.