Want more traffic to your site? Looking for a way to increase your sales by using online marketing? SEO is the answer.

Or is it?

There’s a lot of talk about SEO strategy, and not all of it is valid. Some of it is a downright lie. But how are you supposed to know? Your job is to produce your product or service, and keep your customers happy. You don’t have time to give yourself a full-blown SEO education. But who should you trust?

We know how difficult that question can be. There are a lot of people claiming to be SEO experts, when all they’re really doing is touting SEO myths. Here are some SEO myths you should never fall for.

African-American man typing content on a laptop - SEO Myths Blog

Myth #1 Content is everything

We talk about content a lot around here. That’s because we know just how important it is.

Google’s sole purpose is to provide the best results possible. That’s why they adjust their algorithms over and over again. They know if searchers aren’t happy, they won’t use Google. Content isn’t king – Google is. And that means making sure your site has everything Google deems necessary. The kicker is their algorithms are proprietary, meaning they’ll never release exactly how they work.

Having a lot of good quality content is important. It’s how you can come up high using long-tail queries. But don’t think for a minute that content is your only priority.

Content works well. But if you want an effective online marketing strategy, you have to consider all aspects of SEO on a continual basis. That includes things like links too.

Yes, Google wants to “see” that you’re adding great content on a regular basis. But it also checks to see if links exist, proving that other people think your content is of value too.

Myth #2 Links are bad

Once upon a time, adding resource pages was a good thing to do in the SEO world. So sites piled up pages filled with links to other resources. Reciprocal linking became a common tactic. You could even buy links to try and drive up your ranking.

Google, of course, caught on. It penalized all of the sites online that bought into these “link farms.”

So the rumors started circulating that links were bad. And site owners started pulling down pages with links on them in droves.

Guess what? Links aren’t bad if they’re legitimate. In fact, links are a very good thing if they are of high quality. It all boils down to relevancy. If there’s a purpose for a link, and you link to a high-quality page, linking is still a good thing.

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Myth #3 Keyword, keyword, keyword

Have you ever been to a page where the keyword was used all over it? In the title. In every paragraph. Even used over and over and over again at the bottom of the page. Sometimes you can find it “hidden” in the coding, the same color as the background, so it shows to the search engines, but not to the reader.

Google has smartened up over the years. And while keyword matters to you so you can focus your content, and to your reader to get a better grasp on what they searched for, it doesn’t apply as much to Google.

That’s because Google considers everything about the page during the ranking process. Yes, it looks at your title, your metadata, and your content. But it also knows to look for relevancy. It recognizes that if a page on your site is comparing two new automobiles, using words like car, auto, driving, and transmission all add into the content. Make it readable; don’t worry about optimizing keywords. It’ll work out fine.

Myth #4 Sitemaps are oldschool

Like any good navigator, having a map helps you on your journey. The same applies when creating a sitemap of your website, especially as we transition to mobile technology.

If your site is mobile-friendly (and it should be), it means you have made the site easier to display on mobile technology, which in many cases means reducing the navigational elements. Sites today have to consider user-friendliness based on how someone with a handheld device thinks. View, click, over and over again.

While it may be user-friendly for the viewer, it’s not always easy for the spiders to crawl and rank your site. A sitemap gives Google the navigation necessary to be sure every aspect of your site is ranked.

Myth # 5 Your competition knows what they are doing

It’s easy to get sucked up into great looking sites, especially when you’re trying to emulate their business. Big companies have big bucks. Why not try and copy some of the things they use on their sites?

Because it might not work.

What works for them might not work for you. What’s more, without analyzing their metrics and staying on top of analytics, you have no idea how well their site is working for them. What they may be using might be a complete waste of time and money, and they might be in the process of making changes to try and make it better.

Your best strategy is to find your own solution. When you set clear goals and define your strategy, you’re much more likely to get results. And that’s what really matters.

Man drawing arrows around the words "Duplicate Success" - SEO Myths Blog

Myth #6 Duplicate content is killing your site

Ever read the one about duplicate content penalizing your rank? Forget about it. It doesn’t exist.

Google doesn’t care about duplicate content. That’s why creators of great content can share it as guest posts on other sites, and on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and … You get it. Sure, Google does have an original content filter; it will only rank a piece of content once. But that’s so content can be shared in the many ways available today.

What good is content if you don’t share it?

Again, focus in on your readers. What do they want to read? The rest will all fall into place.

Myth #7 Social media helps your SEO

Nope. Social media activity has never impacted your SEO.

What social media does is help your exposure. It enables you to get in front of your prospects and your customers, drive traffic to your site, and ultimately bring in sales.

So what are you doing to improve your SEO on your site? Have you made search engine optimization a priority? Or are you still “hoping” you’re doing something right?

Isn’t it time to do something about it?

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