If you’re researching SEO companies to help you get found online then you’re probably going to hear a lot of the same terms like keywords, content, links, and blogging. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about SEO which can lead you into buying something that won’t actually help you reach your goals.
SEO is More Than Just Keywords
SEO has changed quite a bit over the past 10 years. As more businesses get their own website and publish more content in attempts to get found by their ideal customers, search engines have fine-tuned their ranking algorithm to make sense of all this information (and to provide searchers with the best content from around the web).
Keywords still play an important role in helping companies get found in the search results, and incorporating the right keywords into the right areas on your website can certainly affect your visibility.
However, a website that’s overloaded with keywords can actually get penalized by the major search engines. A web page that over-uses keywords not only raises the red flag to search engines, but it also makes it harder for visitors to try to read a web page that uses “Maine hotels” after every other word.
Having the right keywords and search phrases in the right places on your website is just one of many factors that can affect your placements. Providing relevant and informative content, creating a user-friendly website, improving your website’s load speed, building high-quality backlinks, and optimizing your code are just a few of the many other factors that can affect your rankings and, more importantly, your ability to get more inquiries and leads.
REAL SEO Improves Your Site Overall for a Better User-Experience and Builds Trust with Your Target Market
The search engine algorithm for ranking is highly impacted by the user experience, if visitors to your site are not staying and interacting with your content and converting, your rankings will drop, conversely if you are optimizing your website for a better user experience and building a relationship with your target market, the search engines will see that your site is a trusted and well-loved resource and your ranking, traffic and conversions will improve.
Great Content Still Needs to be Optimized
No matter how informative and relevant that new blog post or web page might be, it still needs to be optimized so it has a better chance of getting found in the search results. From incorporating the appropriate keywords to interlinking to other pages on your website to creating search engine-friendly titles and descriptions, there are a handful of other techniques that should be applied to your latest piece of content. Creating great content means that you look at the analytics after it’s posted and revise when needed.
Not All Inbound Links are Good Inbound Links
One of the SEO techniques that drives me crazy is the misconceptions around backlinks. Quite simply, a backlink is a link pointing back to a specific page on your website (for example: www.yourdomain.com) from another website. Search engines use links as a ranking signal to determine which websites are “referencing” your website.
Unfortunately, many companies think that the more links they get back to their website the better their rankings will be as a result. However, if you have a lot of bad, spammy websites linking to you, then that could actually hurt your website’s rankings. One of the major algorithm updates (Penguin) targeted websites that had bad links pointing to them, forcing companies to take a hard look at which websites are linking back to their site.
It’s always a good idea to monitor the backlinks that are pointing to your website. When a potentially dangerous backlink is spotted, the goal is to remove (“disavow”) that backlink before it can hurt your rankings.