These SEO Misconceptions Could Be Hurting Your Website. You know that SEO is an important part of online marketing, but you might not be aware of how it works as a component of a successful digital marketing strategy. This is because the accepted wisdom about SEO best practices is constantly evolving as algorithms change and marketing professionals find new ways to ensure that webpages achieve high rankings in SERPs. With marketers adapting to changes in SEO every year, myths often arise about how this vital part of your website actually works. Here is the truth about some common misconceptions about SEO.
Link building gets you penalized.
This assumption arises from the fact that Google does indeed penalize sites that engage in so-called “black hat” SEO practices like linking to suspicious or spammy websites or leaving links in unrelated comments sections on other sites. To avoid this, always link to reputable and relevant websites, and be sure that all links and comments are adding value. A variety of robust backlinks to credible websites will be rewarded by search engine algorithms and make it easier for potential customers to find your website.
Content is all that matters.
In recent years, the focus in the digital marketing world has been shifting toward delivering high-quality online content, but that doesn’t mean SEO has become irrelevant. Along with up-to-date responsive design and great UI/UX, SEO and content marketing work together to bring new users to your website. Content attracts subscribers and keeps them coming back for more, but it is the judicious use of keywords and quality backlinks that makes it possible for them to find your site in the first place.
You have to react instantly to algorithm changes.
Marketing industry insiders often lose sleep over changes to Google’s search algorithms, but a solid SEO strategy should shield your business by being adversely affected by every new development. In many cases, these updates may even help your rankings without any effort on your part. Since Google makes an estimated 500 changes a year to its algorithms, it is often best to take a wait and see approach when these routine changes are implemented. Pay close attention to metrics in the days and weeks following major changes and adjust accordingly.
Personalized Google searches destabilize SERPs.
It’s easy to think that when search engine results are tailored to each individual user, certain websites will get lost in the shuffle. However, this simply isn’t the case. To test this theory, try doing a Google search on your own device, which will provide individual results, then add &pws=0 to the URL of the results page. This will show you the depersonalized version of the SERP. Conclusion? There is usually very little difference between the two, because top-ranking sites will still dominate regardless of who is searching.
Sitemaps boost your SEO.
Yes and no. While the inclusion of an XML sitemap makes it easier for search engine crawlers to find your site, there is no evidence that it increases search rankings. Although the benefits are not instantaneous, it is nevertheless a good idea to add sitemaps to make sure your site indexes quickly and improve visibility in the long run.