If you’re trying to handle your SEO efforts on your own, there’s nothing wrong with that – but, if you’re just getting started and don’t have any previous experience, letting these misconceptions get in the way of your SEO strategy can be damning from the start.
You Must Use Certain Phases to Appear in the Search Engines
Google’s recent updates ensure that results aren’t just based on keywords, but also the location of the searcher. While it’s true not all searches will be location-based, different people will search different variations of the phrases, all of which could be relevant to your business. Many people use more than ten words in their search. Because Google now ensures searches are based on the user intent and context of the entire query, instead of just primary keywords, it’s important to do keyword research but to keep things on-topic and focus less on those keywords and the message they carry into user intent as you create content.
You Can Beat Search Engine Algorithms to Get Higher Ranking
Google’s search engine algorithms are highly sophisticated. If you try to do something, like buy a bunch of links (don’t do that!) to try to game the system and boost your ranking, Google will know. They pay attention to the rate at which links are coming to your website, and when you go from having zero links one day to 500 links within the next week or even month, Google’s going to know you’re up to something. Today’s link selling services also offer to drip-feed those links, so they come in at a little a time. But Google is still smart enough to figure it out. Focus on doing things the right way. You never know when Google’s going to get even more intelligent and penalize sites. Just because something works now, doesn’t mean it will work forever.
SEO Negates the Need for Publicity
One of the biggest mistakes you’ll make is assuming that because you have a well-optimized website that people will easily be able to find you. Even if you’ve landed number one in various phrases related to your business and are getting plenty of organic traffic, you should still be focusing on publicity, too. People are bombarded by countless results and ads on search engines, so unless they’ve heard of you or trust your brand, chances are they’ll pass right by you. Keep working on those PR efforts to build brand awareness (and use them to help drive traffic to your website too, which helps with SEO.)
You Must Rank #1 in Relevant Google Searches
While that’s what we all want, it’s just not possible to achieve for each keyword or search query. When you consider things like domain age, the people who’ve been online longer will always have the best shot at the number one rank – and if you let that stop you from trying, you’ll be missing out. Google is known for adjusting results pages to make results more personalized to the user, so it’s still possible you’ll rank higher for some of your customers – and that’s precisely why you need to keep making an effort on your SEO.
Google is the Only Search Engine You Need to Think About
Google is the most used, but it’s not the only game in town. Plenty of people use Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and there are still people who use Yahoo as their primary search engine. Focusing solely on Google’s guidelines and recommendations could prevent you from getting a decent ranking in other search engines. As a general rule, good SEO practices help with all the search engines, but it’s not a bad idea to check your site in Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo’s Webmaster resources to make sure you’re on the right track for those, too.