There is a lot of conflicting information out there about search engine optimisation (SEO). In this article I highlight some of the top mistakes and misconceptions about this crucial element of your digital marketing strategy.
1. SEO is a shady dark art!
There are a lot of cowboys and dubious practices out there, which gives SEO a bad name. When done properly, SEO can be the most effective marketing tool there is.
SEO is simply about understanding how search engines rank a website, and then tailoring your website to be as search engine friendly as possible and focussed towards the most effective keywords.
There are over 200 factors that Google takes into account, for instance, so it takes a very skilled SEO professional to truly understand how to get a website to rank highly.
2. Once is enough
SEO is not merely a one-off exercise. It requires a lot of sustained, ongoing work in order to achieve high, stable results.
Google is constantly changing the way it indexes websites and, as such, a website will need to evolve over time to remain ahead of the curve.
Your business is constantly changing, so a good SEO strategy should keep in-line with these changes and constantly reassess your target keywords.
3. SEO is quick
To build a highly-ranked, trusted website takes time. It can take many months, even years, of SEO work to achieve that coveted page 1 listing.
4. Buying a cheap off the shelf website with 'SEO built in'?
You can't just buy an off-the-shelf website or plug-in and expect to rank well instantly.
How your website is programmed is the most crucial part of an SEO strategy. SEO considerations need to be incorporated into the code from the ground up.
5. I am on page 1, job done!
Everyone wants to make it to page 1. However, there’s little point being there for a search term that no-one is actually searching for! It’s not the number of page 1-listed results you achieve that count, it's the amount of relevant converting traffic that your website attracts from the page 1 listings.
6. It works for them
What works for another business, competitor, or friend won't necessarily work for you and your business. Every website has different requirements and therefore needs a tailor-made SEO action plan.
Always have a bespoke SEO strategy and be prepared to evolve it, target those keywords with the highest chance of conversion, and invest the time and money in a well-built website. Finally, be patient – high listings in Google take time and a lot of effort.