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18 Search engine optimisation myths you need to know – part 2

Here is the second instalment in a three part series where I look at common search engine optimisation myths, and give you some guidance on what you should be doing to gain maximum exposure for your website.

 

7. Search engine optimisation is best handled by the IT guy / department

SEO sounds very technical so surely it is best handled by IT people, right? Wrong! No disrespect to the IT guys, but there is a lot more to performing good search engine optimisation than just having technical nous.  While the IT guys may be required to implement some of the changes it’s not something you should hand over in its entirety.

Making sure your website is crawl-able, that sitemaps and robots.txt files have been properly set up are all technical aspects of SEO. But the non technical aspects of crafting the best title tags and descriptions, or writing great copy are best handled by someone with a thorough understanding of search engine optimisation and some solid marketing ability.

 

8. More backlinks are better for SEO than more content

Back in the day (only a couple of years really) everyone was obsessed with building backlinks to their website as a way to improve their ranking. The more links you had the better, and businesses that provided paid link building services boomed.

This resulted in sites being rewarded with high rankings simply because they threw money at buying backlinks, with little regard for the quality of the site, it’s content and how well it satisfied visitor’s needs. As it is Google’s mission to provide high quality search results with links to sites that it believes are the best match to a user’s query, it’s little wonder that Google put a stop to this practice.

So while links are still important for search engine optimisation today, more important is how those links are obtained. If other sites link to you because they feel you add value to their business in some way and your site contains content which is helpful to their customers, these are exactly the type of link you want. The ‘quality over quantity’ rule applies to links as well as content – it’s not a numbers game.

You aim is to write great content that is linked to from diverse and relevant sources. If you can’t write it, get someone else to do it. Great content that people want to link to and share on social networks will create better, more valuable backlinks than employing a low cost backlink service.

 

9. There is an ideal keyword density for web content

There is no magic number or ratio of how many times you should include the keyword. Having said that, you do need to be mindful of over-using keywords or keyword stuffing. What constitutes overuse of keywords? If it sounds unnatural than you’ve probably overused the keyword.

Your keyword or phrase should be included in the page title and title tag, and ideally included in a headline som

keywords for search engine optimisationewhere on the page, the URL and an image. Then you should include the keyword as often as necessary in the page copy.

 

10. Keywords must be an exact match

No, they don’t. There is nothing to be gained from repeating the keyword through a piece of content. Google is a highly sophisticated beast, and it does a very fine job of finding related terms or related keywords. So think about what other variations of the keyword you can use so that your copy will read well and you won’t be penalised for over-optimisation or keyword stuffing.

 

11. On page search engine optimisation is all I need

There isn’t one single factor that, if you focused all your efforts on it, will propel you up to the top of Google. Putting keywords on a page and making sure your pages are technically great is only a part of search engine optimisation. You need to take a holistic approach to SEO and ensure that on-page optimisation, off-page optimisation, user experience, content and conversion pathways are all at their best.

 

12. There is no relationship between social media activity and SEO

[blockquote_right] Relevant content that’s seen as authoritative and from a trusted source will drive both your search and social media marketing. You only need to look at the increasing importance that Google is placing on Google Plus and authorship profiles. [/blockquote_right]

If you choose to ignore the impact that social media and social search have on your search engine optimisation efforts than you do so at your own peril. Social search is an increasingly formal relationship between search and social media which has been developing for years. It’s an extension of what I keep reiterating in my blog posts.

Relevant content that’s seen as authoritative and from a trusted source will drive both your search and social media marketing. You only need to look at the increasing importance that Google is placing on Google Plus and authorship profiles.

It’s crucial that you identify which social media platforms are relevant to you and that allow you to get in front of potential customers and continue interacting with existing ones. The lesson is to make sure you have a social media strategy and think of it as part of your search optimisation efforts. Ensure the two are integrated as much as possible.

 

I hope this is proving helpful and making you consider the way you operate your own website. We’ll conclude with the final six seo myths next week.

 

By Aaron Enright

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