Given that good Search Engine Optimisation techniques are considered the Holy Grail of online branding, it should probably come as no surprise to find a multitude of myths, tall-tales and outright lies being spread about the process.

The trouble is, when these misleading ideas become popular, real businesses start following them. By the time they realise they took a wrong turn, it’s too late. The damage has been done, and they’ve wasted time and, quite possibly, a good bit of money in the process.

To help you avoid these all-too-common SEO lies, here are three of the most depressingly widespread falsehoods.

1. If you build an optimised website, you’re sorted

Some companies think all the SEO their website needs can be handled during its design. As long as all the initial text we upload is well-written and packed with relevant keywords, they think, we’ve done all the ‘SEO-ing’ we need.

This may be true if you are in a niche that gets searched a couple of times per week. If that is the case, you don’t really need SEO as nobody is looking for what you provide anyway.

2. Google hates link building

This downright lie has become so common recently, that even some fairly trusted sources have started believing it. The idea is that, during recent algorithm changes, Google expressly took action against all attempts to link build and, so, trying to implement these tactics in your SEO is now essentially a grey hat activity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Natural links are still a 100% legitimate way to add authority to your website. Earn your links instead of buying them or using spammy link building tactics.

3. It’s all about targeting one big keyword

This is an area where may amateur marketers go very, very wrong. They decide that, because their company deals in, say, photocopiers, their sole SEO aim should be to lead the Google search rankings for ‘photocopiers’. From that point on, they pour all their content efforts into targeting this and only this keyword. This quest is doomed from the start.

The problem is, unless they are the only site in the world discussing photocopiers (and they won’t be), they are unlikely to ever make good on the goal. Similarly, as they are ignoring all the other highly lucrative long form keywords related to photocopiers, they are missing out on much more obtainable and much more lucrative SEO opportunities.

SEO is crucial for any company who wants to get noticed online. Yet that does not mean you should believe everything that you read about the topic. Good SEO is all about crafting a well-balanced, regular, long term strategy, involving relevant, intelligent content and smart keywords. If anybody offers ‘advice’ that tells you different, you would be wise not to follow.