In a US election week when fact and fiction appear to be interchangeable (and what seemed a far-fetched fantasy only a year ago becomes reality), we’ve decided to debunk a few SEO myths that have been flying about recently.
Clients often ask us to "SEO" their website, as if it were a process that's easy to apply, like a coat of paint.
Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
Search engines keep changing what they want to see in a website.
So, SEO has to adapt to those new requirements accordingly.
This state of constant flux leads to myths building up over what SEO is, what it isn't and 'quick fixes' to get to the top slot in Google (which, btw, don't exist).
So, we're about to bust a few myths. Stand back...
5 SEO myths - busted
Here are our current favourite myths, and why they are fantasy, not fact.
1) SEO is a ‘magic formula’ process that is unchanging
No. SEO is not and can never be a fixed process, because it’s divided into two parts:
- Technical SEO
- Content SEO
- Technical SEO is the coding stuff that goes on behind the scenes, to ensure your website functions well and is accessible to search engines. We include mobile-friendly coding in this.
- Content SEO is the keyword side of search, using the right words in the right way so your website is found in a wide variety of searches.
- Technical SEO isn’t fixed because technology is constantly changing, so websites need to keep their code up to date to compete.
- Content SEO is also constantly changing because people, products and they way they search changes too. Not to mention how the search engines are constantly rejigging their algorithms to better identify high quality content, and more of it too.
That’s why creating relevant, interesting and engaging content is time consuming, intensive, comprehensive and not nearly as easy as most people think!
2) Anchor text is not important
No again. Anchor text is important, but we’ll add a caveat that it’s actually internal linking that’s really important. Anchor text is simply a text link either to another part of the same page, or better, a link to another page on your website. That’s what we call internal linking.
Internal linking is great for search engines and people alike, since it points them directly to the content they want. And here’s a juicy statistic to show this in action: websites achieve 24% clickthrough rate for internal links. That means almost 25% of everyone reading one page will click on a link and go on to read another. Also, the time people spend on your site is clocked by the search engine so that more ‘sticky’ sites (ones where people spend longer before clicking away) rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
3) In depth keyword research isn’t important
Oh yes it is! Here’s another statistic; 40,000 searches are made every second. Every second! And every single one of those searches uses words. Keyword research identifies the words potential customers are using to search for products or services like yours. If you don’t research the keywords those customers are using, and put them into your website content and meta tags, your website won’t show up in their search results. It’s a simple as that.
4) Short keyword phrases are best
No, for one simple reason. 50% of all search terms conatin four words or more. Today, more and more people are searching using a mobile device, and many of their search terms are dictated into the device rather than typed. So, forget "folding bikes", it’s more likely to be “best folding bike reviews” or “what are the best folding bikes?”
Often it’s more specific, such as “Montague Crosstown folding bike reviews”. With such specific searches, it’s vital you have a page for each product you sell online, so buyers can go straight to the product they want from search results, without having to navigate their way from your home page.
5) The meta keywords tag is indexed
This one is a real antique. Search engines stopped indexing this tag years ago, and frankly, it’s a waste of coding space. Far more important, however, is the meta description, because this is what shows up 9 times out of 10 in the search results under the URL.
To be honest, it’s your choice how you format these, but they need to be unique, reflect the content of the page they describe, gently sell to encourage click-through, and have at least one keyword phrase in them. Oh, and be less than 140 characters, max.
The jury is still out on the best way to format meta titles, but we’re moving towards the same idea as the meta description, only in less than 65 characters.
For more information on SEO services from Akira Studio that are based on fact, not fantasy, call us or email us. And together, we will make your website great again.