Some myths endure for decades, and that’s perfectly fine. For example, the Tooth Fairy has been around since the early 1900s, and there isn’t a parent anywhere who wants to see this extremely helpful lady disappear.
After all, what better way to keep your kid from freaking out over a loose tooth? And then, of course, there’s Santa Claus, who has been ho-ho-ho’ing it for almost two millennia. Sure, maybe the whole red suit and sleigh ride thing is a bit tired, but who wants to see jolly old Saint Nick on the unemployment line?
However, there are some other myths that desperately, urgently, absolutely need to disappear — because they’re destructive and costly. And unfortunately, the SEO landscape is riddled with these enduring falsehoods. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you can arm yourself with the truth, and put your business on track to climb the search engine ladder — and stay at or near the top. Here’s what you need to know:
Myth 1: Backlinks Don’t Matter.
Truth: The astonishing falsehood of this myth is probably the only reason it continues to exist, like an urban legend that is so bizarre that people assume it must be true.
Well, here’s the actual truth: backlinks are still very important in SEO — provided, of course, that they are from relevant, credible websites (a.k.a. white hat link building).
Myth 2: If SEO didn’t work for your business in the past, then it must be just a bunch of nonsense to make agencies and consultants money.
Truth: SEO works. There is no debate about it. However, what probably happened is that the agency or consultant you hired in the past didn’t know what they were doing, or perhaps you fell victim to the next myth on the list.
Myth 3: You’ll see major SEO improvements right away.
Truth: SEO is like getting healthy. Yes, there can be some immediate gains — and that’s inspiring. But really, it’s a long-term play; especially if you are aiming for many of the same keywords and concepts as your competitors.
This isn’t to say that it will take years to see results, but if you’re starting from page 20, then don’t expect to be on page 1 in a week. SEO doesn’t work that way.
Myth 4: Spending money on pay-per-click advertising will boost organic search results.
Truth: Nope. A business can spend $1 million a month on Google AdWords, and it won’t have any impact on whether its website appears for organic searches.
With this being said, however, studies have shown that when a business has both an organic result and a PPC ad show up at the same time, consumers perceive that it has more brand authority compared to competitors that appear in either the organic results or PPC ad (but not both).
Myth 5: SEO is a one-time investment.
Truth: Like promoting collaboration in the workplace, SEO is an ongoing program and commitment. You need to regularly keep an eye on your analytics to see what’s working (and what isn’t), and publish a steady stream of relevant, quality content.
And of course, don’t forget about those quality backlinks!
The Bottom Line
Despite the fact that SEO has been around for decades, the number of businesses that get it wrong far outnumbers those that get it right.
Fortunately, now you won’t get zapped and trapped by any of the five SEO myths highlighted above, you’ll have a much better chance of winning the SEO game.