In my decade-long experience as an SEO specialist, I’ve worked with many businesses that have underestimated the search engine optimization process, and yet they have unrealistic expectations of their campaigns. It’s pretty hilarious and frustrating at the same time. But hey, that’s why I’m here to help, right? It’s part of my job to educate clients on how SEO actually works and how they can make the most out of it.
The reality is SEO—much like traditional marketing—is everchanging and far more complex today than it was ten years back. Google has made so many upgrades and changes to its algorithm that sometimes it’s hard to keep up, even for SEO experts of my caliber. That’s why it’s important to have a comprehensive SEO strategy in place and to ensure that your team is continuously educating themselves on new trends and updates.
My advice to businesses looking to dominate the first page of search engine results is: don’t take shortcuts when it comes to SEO. It might seem tempting and easier at first, but it’s a long-term game that needs dedication and patience. Solid SEO is the result of years upon years of planning and execution, and attempts to capture short-term wins by cutting corners are going to leave you with nothing more than a headache in the long run.
Google currently has 86.86% of the search engine market.
10 Common Misconceptions About SEO
Throughout the years I’ve worked in this industry, clients have come to me with all sorts of misconceptions about SEO marketing. Here are a few of the most common ones:
SEO is a one-time fix
As I said, SEO is an ever-evolving process, and you can’t just slap together a few keywords and expect to reach the top spot on Google. You must continually optimize your on-page to ensure it stays at the top of search engine rankings.
SEO audits are a routine process. You must constantly monitor and analyze your website, competitor activities, and search engine algorithms to ensure that you stay ahead of the pack. As technology evolves, so must your website. As design trends change, so must your website. You want to keep your website as fresh and up-to-date as possible to ensure that you remain competitive.
If you’re unfamiliar with an SEO audit, it’s a thorough analysis of your website to ensure it’s optimized for search engines to improve visibility and rankings. Some of the aspects reviewed in an SEO audit include:
- Website Speed: Your website should load quickly and efficiently. You’re losing potential customers if it takes more than 3-5 seconds to load fully.
- Crawl Errors: When you delete a page and forget to redirect them, it results in a crawl error (404). It’s a must that you track these errors and redirect them to improve user experience.
- Missing Tags: There are cases when a page gets created, but the meta title and description tags are not added. Adding proper meta tags is essential so search engine crawlers can understand what that page is about.
- Monitoring Content Issues: Duplicate content and content that are too thin should be avoided. You must make sure that the content you produce is unique and relevant to your target audience.
- Sitemap Errors: Your sitemap should be regularly updated so search engine crawlers can easily identify your content.
- Robots.txt Errors: Similar to sitemaps, your robots.txt should be regularly updated so search engine crawlers can correctly index and follow the content of your website.
- Indexing Fails: This is a common issue for websites with hundreds of pages. Make sure you manually check it to ensure all your content is indexed properly.
- Backlinks Monitoring: Spammy links should be disavowed, and spammy content should be removed.
- Conflicts in Plugins: Whenever you make changes to your website, check for any conflicts with plugins. This could cause your website to slow down or, worse, crash.
These are just a few aspects of an SEO audit, but it’s important to understand that this process is ongoing and ever-changing.
Overestimating the Link Building Process
When I started doing SEO ten years back, all you needed to do to get to the top spot was to spam the internet with links. And getting links was too easy! Links from blog comments, forums, and other low-quality sources were all accepted by search engine crawlers. Those days are long gone!
Today, SEO is more about providing quality content and building relationships with other websites in your niche. Links should be earned through a process of outreach and genuine relationships with website owners. Quality link building takes time and effort, so don’t expect overnight success.
You can no longer put a number (quota) to your link builders to get this amount of backlinks per week or per month. Link builders are all under the mercy of the website owners and how they can negotiate the link-building opportunities. To make the most out of link building, you need to create relationships with the website owners and offer them something of value in exchange for their links. It should be done in a way that is beneficial for both parties.
Lastly, links should be placed on websites that are related to the content of your website and have good traffic. Don’t just request links from random websites. It will do more harm than good for your SEO efforts. You need to make sure you reach out to websites that are highly relevant to your industry. Don’t put a link in a blog about shoes, but you sell software solutions.
Social Media is All You Need
Social media plays an important role in SEO, but it should never be seen as the “be-all and end-all” of your strategy. It is only one piece of the puzzle.
Social media can help to drive traffic to your website, but it won’t do much to help you achieve higher rankings on search engines. While it is true that social signals play a valuable role for Google in determining the popularity of a website, it is only one factor among many. At the end of the day, your website’s on-page work is still the most important factor. As I always say to clients, having a good foundation of on-page work should always come first before you even think about social media or link building.
Another thing to keep in mind as well—people don’t go to social media to find products or services. They go there to connect with their friends and family. Those who are interested in learning about a brand and its products/services go directly to Google and to your website. So imagine a user finding your offer on social media and then going to your website only to get disappointed by how slow it loads or how poorly it is structured. That’s a missed opportunity right there.
You must also remember that not all social channels are created equal. Different platforms will bring different results, so it’s important to tailor your strategy and message for each one. Focus on the platforms where your audience is most active, and build relationships with industry-leading influencers. That way, you can build an engaged community that will help to drive more traffic and engagement for your website.
The Absence of Local Pages or Having Too Many of Them
Local pages are a must. They allow you to target local customers and have an online presence in multiple locations. But there’s one problem—you can’t just create too many of them!
I’ve seen a lot of local brands that have failed to utilize the power of local pages and those who have overdone it. Again, the key here is relevance. You need to create local pages for areas you actually:
a.) Have a physical store or office: You should not create a local page if you don’t have a physical store or office in the area. Doing this will only do more harm than good because customers won’t get what they expect—a location near them.
This is good for retail stores, law firms, and real estate agencies, among others, who actually have a physical presence in the area.
b.) Serve customers from: If you don’t have a physical store or office but serve customers within specific locations, then you should create local pages for these areas. You might be a plumber or handyman who offers services to companies in certain cities or states.
Creating local pages for these areas will give potential customers the sense that you are familiar with their locations and can help them better. This is especially great for service-based businesses such as SEO agencies, web designers, accountants, photographers, etc.
Overall, make sure to not overdo it or underestimate the power of local SEO. Relevance is key, and your goal should be to present the right information on each page. That way, customers won’t feel confused or lost and will be more likely to convert into leads or customers.
Publishing a Blog for the Sake of Having One
Blog is probably the most common misused asset of any business website. And it is quite understandable as SEO content writing services can oftentimes get too expensive to keep up, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.
So sometimes, businesses result in having the CEO or staff members who can write ‘well’ come up with blog articles. This can be a pitfall because these people lack the technical know-how and SEO knowledge required to create well-structured, optimized content. This will result in articles with low visibility on search engine results pages and a bad user experience.
I’ve seen business blogs with unengaging titles and unstructured content lacking focus. One time, I saw a client blog that’s literally titled ‘Blocked Drains’.
If you put yourself in your website visitors’ shoes, would you find that interesting to read? Blocked drains is a vague topic—what exactly about this plumbing issue is this blog about? And since most people online have little to no patience, they would rather skip to the next website to find what they are looking for instead of spending time reading yours.
Some even include topics unrelated to their business. Others are too sales-focused, making them almost advertorials instead of informative pieces. This can be a major turn-off for customers, and you might lose potential leads. CEOs who take over content writing are guilty of this as they tend to emphasize their products and services too much or even their own achievements. The truth is, no one wants to read that. People go online to find solutions to their pain points. They want to research and find answers to their problems—not read about your achievements.
It’s important to remember that blog articles need to have a purpose and align with the reason why visitors are on your website in the first place. If you lack the SEO skills or knowledge, it’s best to invest in content marketing services that can create engaging, well-optimized articles for your website. That way, you’ll be able to drive more traffic and engagement for your website.
I’ve also seen blogs that are too thin or too short—like less than 500 words—so that they can keep up with the cadence of publishing weekly. This is also a mistake as shorter content doesn’t offer enough value to people and is also not very visible on search engine results pages. You want to create long-form guides that value and answer people’s questions. Not only do you gain great rankings for it, you also put yourself out there as an authority on the topic.
Overall, it is important to develop a well-defined content strategy that aligns with the goals of your business and resonates with its target customers. Analyzing what works and what doesn’t is also a must, as this will help you modify or create content that is tailored to your business. Doing things right can ensure that your website runs smoothly and efficiently, helping you gain more leads and customers.
Why Content Marketing Can’t only be About Your Services?
Your content should provide value first. Think about it this way: if your only goal is to sell your product or services, then you’re not really providing any value to your audience. But if you can help them learn something new or understand something better, then you’re giving them a reason to stick around.
Duplicate Content is Okay
Duplicate content can significantly impact your website’s search engine rankings and organic visibility. Search engines like Google prefer unique content for each page of your website, so having duplicate or copied content can lead to penalties.
I’ve seen businesses do this, especially for their location pages. Just because you have multiple locations with the same content structure doesn’t mean you can copy and paste the same content for each page. Each location should have its own unique content that clearly states what services or products are available in that area.
eCommerce websites are also guilty of duplicate content. Some retailers take the easy route of copying their manufacturer’s description and using it on their product pages. But this is very bad for SEO as Google can easily detect that your website has copied content elsewhere. Not only does it hurt your rankings, but it also makes you look unprofessional and untrustworthy.
Instead, focus on creating unique content for each and every page of your website. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel—just modify the content to match your business’s needs and make it speak to your target customers. This takes more effort but will pay dividends in terms of organic visibility and customer engagement.
There’s No Need to Update Content on Existing Pages
Your website’s ranking can be adversely affected by outdated content. When readers search for a particular query, many results pop up in the SERP, but not all are advantageous to them. Search engines might filter out your site or decrease its crawl allowance if your webpages aren’t relevant and current enough. This could also result in negative traffic as visitors may immediately leave due to increased bounce rates caused by irrelevant pages on the website.
To avoid this, regularly update your web pages with fresh content. If a page has been stagnant for a while and needs a revamp, consider doing it by adding new information or changing the structure of the page. You can also repurpose old blog posts that have become outdated by adding more relevant content.
However, it is essential to note that updating content doesn’t always necessarily mean adding content or pages. You can also update your existing content by reorganizing and optimizing it for a better user experience. This could involve tweaking the headlines, images, CTA’s, etc. These small changes can make a huge difference in visibility and engagement on your website.
Having One Page for Services is Enough
Some businesses fear having a large website (whether it’s because they’re trying to save up on bandwidth or they just don’t like having too many pages) that they try to squeeze in all services into one main service page.
It’s understandable, as having one page for all your services can make it easier for visitors to navigate. But this is actually a huge mistake that can leave you with less organic visibility in the SERP.
Search engine algorithms are designed to detect pages with more relevant content and rank them higher in the SERP. By consolidating all your services into one page, you are not only making it difficult for search engines to rank that page but also reducing chances of having more organic visibility.
To maximize your website’s potential, create individual pages for each service or product you offer. This will make the content on those pages more relevant and help improve your SEO rankings. It will also help keep visitors on your website for longer, boosting conversions and leads.
Stealth Keywords Aren’t a Good Idea
Many webmasters believe that stuffing keywords into the content of their pages is a good way to increase visibility in SERPs. While it could be effective in the short term, this approach could penalize your website by Google in the long run.
Search engines are getting smarter and more sophisticated every day. They can detect if the content on a web page is written solely for SEO purposes and not user experience. This is called ‘stealth keyword’ technique, where webmasters stuff keywords into the content to try and game the SERP.
The best approach is to make sure your content is optimized for both users and search engines. Your primary goal should be to provide useful, informative, and relevant content that speaks to the needs of your target customers. This way you can rank high in SERPs without having to worry about possible penalties from search engines.
Of course, you want to include keywords in your content but make sure they are relevant and used naturally. As long as the content is written for user experience and not SEO purposes, it will be beneficial in the long run.
There’s No Point in Redesigning a Website
Would you believe in this day and age that I still see websites that are purely text-based and not optimized for mobile? It’s shocking but true. It’s the wrong kind of throwback if you ask me, especially for businesses that want to compete and thrive in the digital space.
People tend to think that redesigning a website is just an expensive and pointless exercise. A website redesign can help you make your website more modern, attractive, and engaging while also providing a better user experience – two things that search engines highly value. A modern website design can also make it easier for search engine robots to crawl your page, which can help you improve your rankings and visibility in SERPs.
So don’t be afraid to redesign your website from time to time. Doing so can greatly increase the chances of having more organic visibility and higher conversions.
Case Study: Photo Editing Service’s Organic Traffic Grows by 32.87% in 5 Months
This company was struggling with its organic traffic and getting new leads. What’s more is that they are planning to lower the costs of their Google Ads campaign—which is currently the main driver of their customer acquisition. So, they needed a more cost-effective way to grow their customer base and generate enough leads cheaply.
In a Nutshell
As you can see from the points mentioned above, there are many ways to improve your website’s visibility in SERPs. From optimizing content for user experience to avoiding stealth keywords and creating individual pages for services, there are a number of tactics you can use to make sure your website stands out in search engine results. Doing so will help you get more organic visibility, leads, and conversions. Take the time to review your website’s SEO and ensure it follows the best search engine optimization practices.
It’s a Writer’s World SEO Company in the Philippines is a search engine optimization service and content marketing agency dedicated to helping businesses maximize their online visibility and reach through effective marketing strategies. With our years of experience in the industry, we have helped hundreds of companies increase their organic search rankings, drive more traffic to their websites, and generate high-quality leads that eventually turn into conversions.
Our team of SEO specialists and content writers is here to help you navigate the world of search engine optimization and digital marketing. Whether it’s improving your website’s visibility in SERPs, creating blog posts that engage readers, or optimizing your web pages for higher rankings – we can help you succeed online. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business reach its digital marketing goals.
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How does SEO work?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing web pages so they appear higher in organic search engine results. This includes content optimization, link building, keyword research, and page speed optimization.
How to find keywords for SEO?
You can use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner to find keywords related to your business and industry. These tools will provide you with a list of highly relevant, targeted keywords that you can use on your website and in content marketing efforts. We have a comprehensive guide to keyword research here.
What are the benefits of SEO?
SEO offers a variety of benefits, including increased organic visibility in search engine results, improved website traffic, and more high-quality leads. Additionally, SEO can help to improve your overall reputation online and strengthen your brand’s identity.
What is the difference between organic and paid search?
Organic search refers to unpaid search results that appear in SERPs based on relevancy, while paid search is when you pay for sponsored ads to appear in SERPs. Organic search is a long-term strategy that can generate more high-quality leads and conversions, while paid search is a short-term approach to generate more immediate results.
What are the most important SEO techniques?
The most important SEO techniques include content marketing and optimization, link building, keyword research and page speed optimization. You should also ensure your website follows best practices such as mobile-friendliness and using structured data markup. Additionally, don’t be afraid to redesign your website from time to time to maximize organic visibility and higher conversions.