Much like “dynamic” and “synergy”, you might think “SEO” is just one of those buzzwords that doesn’t have any practical use for your business.
In fact, a few tweaks here and there can make a really big difference to your online marketing efforts. SEO, which stands for “search engine optimisation”, is simply the process of ensuring that your website appears early in online search results. The idea is that when people Google (or Bing, or Yahoo) certain keywords, you’ll show up before your competitors. Thus, you get first crack any potential customers.
It’s a vital part of any business’ online presence, but with the wealth of conflicting information out there, it’s tricky to separate fact from fiction. Here are a few common myths set straight to help you on your way to SEO success.
Myth 1: SEO is pointless
Many people think that SEO is just a waste of time and money, and that a website is all you need to show up in Google searches. The truth is that a few small SEO steps can give you a big leg up in the long run. A great place to start is setting up a regular blog schedule for your website and updating your True Local and social media pages frequently; after all, fresh content is good content in the eyes of Google. And as we know, appearing near the top of search results lets customers find you much more easily, plus it’s a great shortcut to presenting yourself as an industry leader.
Myth 2: It’s expensive
Hiring someone to do SEO for you is a bit like having a personal chef: a luxury that not many people actually have. After all, SEO is a skill just like any other, and it’s much easier than you might think to pick up the basics. Familiarising yourself with the right keywords for your business and getting to know basic (and free) tools like Google Analytics are simple things to learn, and there’s countless sources of help available online. Hiring an SEO whiz to handle everything is an instant fix, but it’s not your only option.
Myth 3: It’s all about keywords
Keywords are certainly a huge part of SEO, but there’s more to it than that. In fact, too many keywords can actually harm your chances of success. Google always favours quality over quantity, and a small number of well-chosen keywords will serve you better than trying to be a catch-all for every keyword out there. For example, if you’re an electrician in Bondi, you might stick with some simple terms like “electrician”, “electrician in Bondi” and “electrician in Sydney”, alongside a couple of key phrases related to your services, like “lighting installation” and “data cabling”. Sprinkle those terms throughout your website, True Local listing and social media pages, and you’ll be on the right track.
Also remember to link back to your website from your social media pages (to help boost your website’s credibility) and add captions to your photos so that Google knows what they’re all about.
Myth 4: The more webpages you have, the better your ranking will be
As we mentioned, quality over quantity is a golden rule when it comes to SEO. It always pays to focus your attention on producing good stuff, rather than just a lot of stuff. So what is great-quality content? It includes things like focused, informative blog posts about your field, interesting images of your products, and even cool videos of your team in action. Make sure everything you put out has a point beyond just spamming your brand name.
Having a website with a limited number of pages (5 or less) is also easier to navigate, meaning whoever is browsing it is more likely to stay on your site to see what you’re all about, rather than leave feeling confused. And guess what? When people stay on your website longer, Google rewards you for that too by bumping up your ranking!
Myth 5: SEO is based on your website only
This is the most common misunderstanding about SEO, and the biggest reason why many don’t think it means much anymore. What people don’t realise, however, is that social signals make a hefty impact on both Google rankings and your overall online presence. The more active your True Local and social media pages, the stronger your business’ overall online presence will be. Regularly updated social media is actually an essential part of SEO, so there’s no need to focus on one over the other. It all works together to get you more hits!