SEO MYTH # 1: More links are better than more content.
In the past, ranking by building links was all about quantity. Building links is still an important ranking factor. As a matter of fact, it is one of the top 5 ranking factors according to a study by Searchmetrics, a company that provides SEO analytics and reporting tools for large enterprises.
Now, it is important to focus on link quality, rather than just quantity. Sometimes less can be more if you know how to take a laser approach to link building.
So, should you invest in content or link building? If you have budget to invest in your website I would suggest hiring someone to write for you.
When you invest in content, that content can be used for web pages, blog posts, lead generation offers, and guest posts on other sites – all content types that will bring more links with them over time.
Takeaway: Invest in quality, shareable content that will generate quality links over time.
2 SEO MYTH # 2: Having a secure site isn’t important for SEO.
Have you ever noticed that some URLs start with “http://” while others start with “https://”? The extra “s” means your connection to that website is encrypted so hackers can’t intercept your data. The technology behind that is called SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
Starting back in 2014, Google started using SSL as a signal in their ranking algorithms because it meant that a website cared about their users experience enough to keep their data safe. This means that if your website still hasn’t updated to SSL, your rankings are suffering because of it.
Takeaway: In August of 2014, Google started using HTTPS as a ranking factor.
3 SEO MYTHS # 3: Keyword optimization is THE key to SEO.
It used to be important to write content with exact keyword matches. Now Google uses RankBrain, which is its machine-learning algorithm that finds keyword topics that are related to one another.
It’s now important to optimize your page for the user experience. This means that you do not have to place your keywords word-for-word in the content. Instead, write the content for the user. If you use synonyms and related terms, search engines like Google will still understand what your goal is.
Google is no longer trying to match the keywords you type to the keywords of a web page. It’s trying to understand your intent, so it can match that intent to relevant, high-quality content.
Takeaway: Google now matches intent to relevant, content not specific search terms.
4 SEO MYTH # 4: The H1 is the most important on-page element.
Your H1 is still important, but it’s not the most important element on your pages. Think of your page’s content as an outline. The header-tag a designer wraps your headline in has little to no influence on your overall SEO. The reason is because search engines understand that more and more designers use the tiered structure of H tags as design elements.
Focus on the user experience by telling them exactly what your page is about with a clear headline and having the most important information at the top.
Takeaway: It doesn’t matter what H Tag you use, as long as your most important concepts are at the top of the page.
5 SEO MYTH # 5: SEO is something I can hand off to IT.
The idea that SEO and IT require the same skill-set is a misnomer. The skillset required for SEO is closer to that of a librarian than IT.
That isn’t to say you won’t need IT help during the course of optimizing your website, it’s far from ideal to just give SEO duties to IT and expect best practices to be adhered to.
Takeaway: No. Just no. IT is a very different skill set than what is needed for effective SEO strategy.