The Top Misconceptions About SEO

Aug 14, 2023 | SEO

As an SEO service provider, we take great pride in every bit of success we’re able to achieve for our clients. Since our company first started out 20+ years ago in web design, it seemed only natural for us to learn and add this service to boost the businesses we work with.

But truth be told, time and time again, we find that people aren’t aware of the full scope of work that goes into SEO. It’s not that people don’t have any idea what it means… but rather, are confused about much work needs to be done to see actual, tangible results.

Over the past year of doing ongoing SEO campaign work for some of our clients, we caught onto the common misconceptions people have about SEO. 

Before we dive into this part, you might be interested in checking out our blog post on the common mistakes made in SEO.

But without further ado.. read on to find out more about the top misconceptions about SEO that we have heard.

Top Misconceptions About SEO

Misconception #1:
You don’t need a company to do your SEO

It’s true most people can figure out how to fix things themselves, and we don’t doubt you have the brains to do it. But with the time and resources needed to do it properly, many would rather leave it to professionals.

For example, it could take you hours to figure out and fix issues like broken links, redirects, missing sitemap and/or robots.txt, etc. – whereas we can do each in minutes. Not to mention that the tools and plugins we use for research, content optimization, and monitoring cost hundreds of dollars per month – which most people can’t justify as an expense.

Fixing backend issues is important, and with all the DIY builder websites these days, it’s easy to miss problems. But that aside, it’s also only going to go so far if you don’t cater your written content to keywords based on research.

That’s why we work hand-in-hand with clients on a process that looks like this:

Competitor Comparison + Keyword Research
To determine starting point opportunities on how website content should be written.

Content Optimization
To assess and edit content so it hits benchmarks that will ensure pages get indexed.

Site Audit
To start wrapping up loose ends and fix those backend code-related issues that crawlers would catch.

It’s only after 1 month that we have a better idea of if keywords are being picked up. We watch this closely to spot trends, make minor improvements, and watch changes closely for another 1-2 months before deciding what’s next.

Report back on Positions and Findings
Starting in month 3, we’ll know with certainty if we need to go back to do new research and recommend pages that need to be changed. Since websites are indexed on a per-page basis, we know by this point what the low-hanging fruit is. This prompts a return to the previous steps on those pages.

Repeat and continue to Monitor
As mentioned, it takes time for
(1) pages to be picked up and [re]indexed, and
(2) positions to improve.
We pay close attention to what works (aka what stays in a higher position) and what doesn’t (aka what doesn’t pick up / stays in position #100+, and/or drops off in search volume).

Over time, steps 4-6 are always revisited to make sure a website gets the best rankings (positions) possible.

So yes, you can do this yourself given that you commit the time and resources to learn, implement, and maintain it all. But if you’d rather be hands-off and reserve your time for delivering to your customers instead, you’re better off hiring a service provider for SEO.

Misconception #2:
Believing that updating content won’t change its Position(s)

Think before you change - Misconceptions about SEO and how to avoid rapid declines in your search engine positions | Blog Post

Actual screenshot from one of our clients; We had previously spent time focusing on boosting particular services – namely, one for which this was the primary keyword. See the Ranking shown was actually what it fell to 4 months after SEO services were stopped and the company started doing their own updates (left). Note what position it’s in today because the entire website was rewritten without advice on content writing for SEO (right).

It is possible to update a page without affecting the page’s position, but the opposite is also true. If you change too much, and/or remove or rewrite paragraphs that were essential in getting the page ranked for a certain keyword, then it could decline your website’s overall visibility in as little as one week.

We’ve seen pages drop out of the top 10 and end up in position #50+ because a client decided to completely rewrite that page.

Granted, this only happens with major changes done without any guidance or tips on how to write for SEO.

But noting what your ranking keywords are is only one thing to keep in mind.

While doing ongoing monitoring, we like to note what we call “unintentional keywords” – and we watch these too.

This is typically phrasing within page content that was not a part of keyword research; either because it doesn’t describe the product or service itself or isn’t considered to be important. Either way, these are noteworthy since they make up additional search terms for which that page is found online.

We pay attention to these purely because they are additional opportunities for traffic. They can be advantageous to lean into more if they apply and are working well for conversion. But if they aren’t helping with any conversion (ie. if it is irrelevant and causes more bouncing), then it may become a consideration to remove the verbiage from the page.

The bottom line: By completely rewriting a page’s content, you could potentially eliminate one or more positions you have in search engine results. Since this is not the goal in doing SEO work, it’s good to either (1) have a professional do this work for/with you for the long haul, or (2) talk to someone that can advise on your changes before you make them.

Misconception #3:
Thinking nobody cares about blogging anymore

Believe it or not, blogging is going strong! Most websites these days are actually just blogs that offer information in the form of articles. This fact alone creates unlimited opportunities for organic traffic.

Think about how often you look for DIY guides, facts on news-worthy stories, or made-from-scratch food recipes. It’s guaranteed that you’re looking at a blog article when you find what you want.

It’s also guaranteed that there’s a long list of questions that are being searched for online in relation to what you offer. Researching this gives you a starting point on topics to write about if you don’t know what to do.

Blogs also add a more personal touch that allows potential and current clients to connect with your brand. By going in-depth about your processes, or related advice, people can clearly see both your expertise and passion.

And in this day and age, most clients would rather buy from a company that’s transparent and passionate. Leaning into showcasing this more is a win-win scenario.

The bottom line is that blogging gives you a forum in which to add more content without having to create new web pages. The strategy here is simply having more valuable resources with keywords in which people can organically discover you. And by adding a clear CTA at the end of each post that asks readers to engage elsewhere on your site, you begin nurturing new leads.

As we like to say to our SEO and Digital Marketing clients: Your “main” web pages should focus on keywords specific to your brand and services/products… but your blog posts can open up visibility for additional keywords that are of a variety. Give this further thought if you aren’t already blogging.

Misconception #4:
Believing that setting up your Google Profile = SEO

Google Business Profile is not the only profile that helps with SEO. SEO is also more than just having a profile. Learn more about the common misconceptions of SEO and how to avoid mistakes.

Let’s be crystal clear on this: Setting up and verifying your Google Business Profile will make a big difference. But in retrospect, it’s only one piece of the puzzle that is SEO work.

We’ve had very constructive conversations with businesses that didn’t realize there’s more to SEO. They believed that because their Google Profile was there and showing them at the top, they didn’t need to do anything else. But after doing an SEO review, we revealed that this only worked when someone searched for their company name. Depending on the industry, services worked in place of the company name. But when it was a business that has several local competitors… well, you can guess that meant their profile wasn’t always visible at the top of the page.

This means that people would already need to know who you are. So it raises the question of “how do people find you when they don’t know you exist?”.

There’s a lot you can do within your Google listing to help. Second to this – which you can do on your own – is running ads. While we do recommend ads for a more rapid visibility boost, it’s also important to note that it’s a temporary one.

And did you know Google Profiles is just one listing out of many?

Yes, it cannot be denied that Google is the most widely used platform… but it’s not the only one. By integrating with a Bing profile, and utilizing other listing services, opens potential visibility up even more. This also helps with Backlinks, which is another smaller slice of the pie that is SEO work.

Even still, it does lead back to the question of if your individual products or services are indexed. Because if they don’t show up on the first page of search results, then you know that some research and content optimization can be done.

We’ve seen how setting up the Google Profile + doing SEO work boosted visibility greatly.

Similar to noting the review findings above about having a profile, there’s also the question of if you show up in search results outside your local area. If you have a store with shipping capabilities (for example), you probably want more than a localized audience. This is another situation in which it’s advantageous to see how else you can expand visibility. It’s food for thought at this point, but it’s also important to note that there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to SEO.

SEO is extremely important for any business that wishes to increase its visibility organically.. but it’s also important to use the right tools and information to see results. It won’t happen overnight, and it will need review as time goes on, so it’s not something to take lightly. If you want to know what we can do for you for SEO and/or Digital Marketing, reach out for a consultation call. And stay tuned to our blog for future tips on SEO strategy!

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