There are many myths in life that result in a waste of time, energy and even money. SEO is no exception. It is important to do your research and prove things for yourself, rather than going by the word of someone else alone. Sure, we should definitely take SEO advice on board. But you may be unknowingly following myths which not only won’t help your SEO, but may quite possibly do the opposite. Here are just a few that we’ve come across:
- Keyword Research Doesn’t Matter
- Keyword Optimisation is a One Time Thing
- Ranking for Long Tail Keywords is Easier
- Keywords in the Footer Boost Rankings
- Duplicate Content Means Penalization
If you are looking for advice to get you kickstarted, get in touch with our Birmingham SEO team.
Keyword Research Doesn’t Matter
Lots of people do a Google search and think great, that’s what I’ll target. Why would I need to carry out keyword research when I can see the terms right there on search? Lots of pages must rank for hundreds of keywords without any research, so why bother?
Keyword research isn’t just about ranking, it’s about attracting relevant traffic to your website. You might be targeting a keyword that gets only 10 searches per month, which isn’t going to get you tons of traffic. Equally, you might be targeting a keyword that gets 10,000 searches per month, which is naturally going to be more difficult to perform for.
Ranking well in search results naturally drives a higher volume of traffic to your website. If more traffic reaches your website, you will be able to sell and promote more products and services online. A win, right? Do your keyword research. Always.
Keyword Optimisation is a One Time Thing
If only! It is not enough to optimise your website for keywords once and leave it there. Google likes to see websites that are refreshed and up to date. Keywords require research and monitoring so that you can ensure you are targeting the relevant audiences.
We recommend optimising your website and then monitoring how it performs over the following months. For any areas that aren’t performing as you’d like them to, try making content tweaks and incorporate different keywords. Upload new and relevant content/information as regularly as you can.
Ranking for Long Tail Keywords is Easier
For one thing, many people think that long-tail keywords are just keywords with lots of words in them. This isn’t the whole truth, they can also be described as keywords with a low search volume. Either way, they are not always easier to rank for.
Google ranks these sets of keywords equally as it does main keywords, so there is not much difference between. What we would recommend is to use a mixture of both long tail and short tail keywords, then see how they do on your website.
Keywords in the Footer Boost Rankings
Chucking a few keywords in your footer isn’t a fail-safe way to rank on Google. Sometimes it works, but nowadays there are better practices for targeting your key terms.
Search engines are clever, they don’t always value keyword text links when they appear hundreds of times on repetitive website features, such as the footer or header. They certainly don’t value it as much as a content-rich and informative page, for example. If you have a large website, don’t fall back on your footer. Place valuable internal links throughout your content and you will stand a better chance of ranking for your targets.
Duplicate Content Means Penalization
Duplicate content is what it sounds like, content that is precisely or closely matched in more than one place on the web. Google has actually given lots of guidance around this subject, but the infamous ‘duplicate content penalty’ is still a prospect that puts the fear into many SEOers out there.
By no means do we encourage duplicate content, but a little bit of repetitive text on a website with hundreds of pages isn’t going to get you banished. Google just prefers it if you produce unique, informative content wherever you can. Where it sees lots of duplicates, it will try to filter through. The result can be that only one result will rank, rather than all of them.
Duplicate content becomes more of a problem with large e-commerce businesses for example, where it can be difficult to avoid duplicate product descriptions across websites. To get around this, you can create unique descriptions and provide further details on some of your most popular pages. Other methods include:
- Canonical tags
- Optimised URLs
- Creating unique content wherever possible
- Pinning down your highest value search terms
- Creating unique variations of your product pages
- Optimising your website structure
- Varying your keyword usage (do your research)
Is this all the SEO myths you need to worry about? By no means. But this is a collection of some of the most common fables that we have come across, that everyone would do well to think twice about.
In essence, what we would recommend is to always do your research. Don’t just go by the word of someone else, prove the facts by experimenting yourself. Always think twice before you make major SEO decisions on your website and ensure you are on the right path first. For further advice and information, get in touch with our Birmingham SEO team today. We are here to advise, help and do all the SEO dirty work for you.