Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical part of online marketing. Marketing experts estimate that roughly 64% of web traffic comes from organic search engine listings. Without a strong SEO strategy in place, marketers are going to struggle to drive sufficient quality traffic.
Marketers need to appreciate the importance of SEO. They need a well-planned and properly executed strategy to drive search engine traffic.
Unfortunately, many marketers struggle to develop a proper search engine strategy. One of the problems is that they fall victim to a number of misconceptions about SEO. They should be more informed about the nature of search engine algorithms and try to adapt their strategies accordingly.
According to Kevin Yeaman, a 20 year Denver SEO expert, these are some of the biggest misconceptions about SEO to avoid.
The quantity of links is more important than anything else
Some people believe that their website will rank better in the search engines if they get more links. This is true to a point, but there are many other factors that are more important. A website with more backlinks is not necessarily going to rank better than one with fewer.
One of my colleagues recently posted a question in a marketing Facebook group. He found that his website had received over a dozen backlinks from a website domain that looked spammy.
I did an analysis with SEMRush, which showed that the linking site was not ranking for a single keyword. However, another data point that I saw was very surprising. The site had over 4.3 million links to it.
The quality of links to a website is arguably even more important than the number. A single link from a major website like CNN could cause your search engine rankings to rise dramatically. On the other hand, getting 10,000 links from low quality sites with thin and duplicate content would likely hurt your rankings more than they help it. This is why finding the best backlinking strategies is so vital.
SEO is something that you only work on for a short period of time
SEO is not a time-limited process. You can’t expect to spend a couple of weeks, six months or even a year working on your SEO strategy and call it a day.
Your strategy needs to be ongoing. There are a few reasons for this:
- Link velocity is an important ranking factor with Google. Google doesn’t just pay attention to the sheer number of backlinks that your website has earned. Your site will rank higher if you are continuously getting new links at a fairly rapid pace. If you stop building links, then your link velocity will drop to zero. Your rankings could easily suffer as a result.
- Fresh content is another important ranking factor. Bloggers that stop publishing new content often find that their rankings start to decrease.
- Your competitors won’t just stop working on their own SEO strategy just because you decided to. They could easily start to outrank you if you give up.
Your search engine optimization strategy needs to be endless. You must avoid getting complacent if you want to maintain rankings.
Keyword density is a critical ranking factor
During the early days of the Internet, keyword density played a huge role in search engine rankings. The quality of search engine rankings was a lot lower back then, because websites could easily manipulate the rankings by changing the composition of keywords on their pages.
Google disrupted the search engine industry when founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page unveiled the PageRank algorithm. This algorithm shifted the focus towards the quality of references from other pages online. It didn’t entirely kill the concept of keyword density overnight, but it was a start.
Today, keyword density is almost entirely irrelevant. Search engines have started using much more sophisticated artificial intelligence technology to assess the relevance of content for various keyword phrases. Marketers need to focus more on improving the relevance of their content, rather than finding the sweet spot with keyword density.
Content is the be-all end-all of SEO
You have probably heard the term “content is king. “ This phrase is meant to emphasize the importance of quality content in SEO.
It is true that you need quality content. However, you can’t take this concept to the extreme, which is a mistake that many marketers make. You’re going to need to focus on other SEO metrics as well. We need to build quality links and improve the speed of your website.
Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.