Most website owners know by now that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, isn’t optional. Having your website optimized for SEO means you are more competitive online, and you’ll have more traffic to your website.
While there are a lot of great resources and expert tools to help you build your own SEO, there are also a lot of myths surrounding SEO.
You don’t need to be a computer expert to optimize your website for search engines, but you do need to know how to separate myth from fact!
Are You Falling For Any Of These 5 Common SEO Myths?
Myth #1: It’s all About Keywords
One of the biggest mistakes when optimizing a website is focusing too much on keywords. This is an old habit from the early days of SEO.
It’s true that keywords used to be a really important part of search engine results, but today that’s simply not the case.
Google is cracking down on keyword stuffing, so using too many keywords is actually a bad thing!
Instead of loading your pages and posts with keywords, focus on quality over quantity. Plan out your keywords so you have a chance of ranking high. That means having a good variety of both short tail and long tail keywords and using a tool to monitor their performance over time.
Use similar keywords in your posts to help search engines better understand your topic. Ultimately, your keywords should sound naturally, and they shouldn’t take away from your post or page!
Myth #2: Meta Descriptions Matter
Stop spending a meticulous amount of time on your meta descriptions. They don’t actually have any effect on your Google ranking! Though these descriptions do show up in search results, Google will automatically generate them for you if you don’t customize them using the first few lines of your text.
That doesn’t mean that meta descriptions don’t help people click on your link over others. Writing a good meta description might help you snag the right visitors.
So, the final result is that while meta descriptions might affect the humans who view search results, it won’t matter to Google!
Myth #3: Your Website Age is Important
For some reason, a lot of people online like to think your website age matters. In no way does your website affect your SEO performance. This myth is most likely due to the fact that, on average, most older websites do perform better on search engines.
That’s just because they’ve been around long enough to acquire a lot of links and stats that do actually affect SEO! Instead of worrying about your website age, start putting in the work to make an impact in your page ranking.
Myth #4: Longer Posts are Better
When a leading SEO blog published a post saying that longer posts perform better, this seemed to strike a chord with the marketing community. Now, it’s all about having long, comprehensive content and posts. Pages scroll endlessly with sometimes upwards of 3000 words per page!
Do longer posts really perform better on search engines? The quick answer is no. Having longer content is not a substitute for quality content. In the race between quality and quantity, quality will always win.
Google rewards great content! The truth is that most complex topics might take more words to explain, and that’s why some longer content does outperform shorter content. Instead of sticking to any strict word count, focus on writing high-quality, valuable content.
Myth #5: I Don’t Need an SSL
The answer to this final myth is tricky. Up until recently, you really didn’t need an SSL certificate for your website if you didn’t use your website to collect user information.
Nowadays, that’s changed. Google has recently began punishing websites that don’t have this extra level of security. To be safe, it’s best to install an SSL certificate on your website. Https is a confirmed ranking symbol, and it’s always worth the extra security!
Bonus Myth: SEO Metrics Don’t Change
Search engine rules are always changing. What makes one website perform highly today isn’t guaranteed to do the same tomorrow. That’s why it’s so important to always be on the lookout for new ways to boost your SEO.
SEO isn’t rocket science, but it does take some research. In this wild west that we call the modern internet, things change fast. The best websites are those that adapt to new changes as they come and leave traditions of yesterday behind! Don’t fall for these myths above if you want to create a powerful SEO strategy.