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Ways Your Mother Lied To You About SEO

Let’s face it: myths and fallacies marred in complete fiction are how some SEOs thrive. This is part of why some people in the industry consider SEOs to be snake oil salesmen. Which is unfortunate, because there are many superb SEOs.

Mama knows SEO

There are ways that lies and outright half-truths sometimes get touted as the latest in SEO methodologies without any research performed into how they function for a particular business. The latest flavor of the month SEO methods may in fact be completely detrimental to a certain industry.

You won’t know until you try these methods. However, there are some myths that are perpetuated regardless of what methods are or are not detrimental, and they can be just as detrimental to any marketing campaign depending on the campaign’s targeted industry.

It Was a Panda or Penguin Update

Are you sure it was a Panda or Penguin update? Have you looked at all of your analytics to judge the big picture? If you have just looked at Google traffic, and you have made many changes to your marketing campaign recently, it could be you are missing the fact that all traffic has taken a complete hit, not just Google.

Have you decreased content? Have you stopped link building? Have you changed strategies completely and decided to focus on a different area? Any one of these decisions can impact traffic in a negative way, especially all traffic.

Before jumping to the conclusion that it was a Panda update, look through your analytics thoroughly. Then look through them with a fine-toothed comb three more times to be sure the conclusion is correct. Are you still able to rank for new pages regardless of algorithm updates? Then it could be that a small change in strategy months before was a reason for the drop in traffic.

Video is the Way to Great Traffic and Conversions For SEO

There is no one set method to SEO. Different methods will almost surely achieve different results. It’s how you approach it. The latest flavor of the month SEO technique is not always guaranteed to deliver traffic month after month.

Video may be an amazing driver of traffic for one industry, like educational videos and random music videos. But video may not lend itself to great use for another industry. Like plumbing. Who wants to watch hours of video on plumbing unless you have that rare DIY home project that comes up once every 5 years? Even then results from such videos can be thin at best.

The best SEO campaigns rely on a solid combination of strategies that include website updates, link building, content writing, and other techniques that are part of a long-term, results-oriented campaign. No single technique can be a one size fits all driver of traffic for all industries.

Just Write Great Content, And Your Traffic Will Thrive

Content can be a driver of traffic, yes. But what if people don’t know about your website? What if you don’t promote it to real people? How else are you going to be able to drive quality traffic and conversions?

How else will you promote this content? Social Media drives some promotion of this content to your potential clients. But, proper keyword research and optimization will drive this traffic too.

A solid combination of promotion to social media and proper keyword research and SEO of your content will provide dividends in results beyond just focusing on a single area. This is why diversifying high quality strategies is so important.

We Are #1 On Google! We Are Doing Awesome!

Rankings are a metric that is worth its staying power in many an SEO’s monthly analytics reports to their clients. Just as many SEO’s agree with including rankings as much as other SEOs disagree with including rankings.

I like rankings and my boss likes rankings because we like seeing our site at the top for our targeted keywords. But, we use many other metrics to gauge success. Some people, however, fall into the trap of using rankings as the only metric to gauge a marketing campaign’s success.

Unfortunately, rankings are only a partial metric when considering how successful a marketing campaign is.

Here’s the problem with using only rankings as the be-all end-all success metric: rankings only look at one part of the picture. Rankings tell you how your online presence is doing, sure, but only on that search engine. Rankings tell you nothing about your conversions, the kind of traffic being driven to your website from different traffic sources, or how your monthly bottom line is being affected by your SEO efforts.

This is why building a solid analytics report with many different metrics is so important: it gives you a window into the big picture as to how different techniques you are using contribute to the value of your marketing campaign.

For example, you may want to include the # of articles you are adding to your website, along with other metrics like unique visitors, bounce rate, and time on page. You may also want to include conversions and other important bottom line metrics for determining the success of a page as it relates to your conversions.

Many different metrics can contribute to a very different picture of how a website is performing. If you focus on a single metric as an indicator of success for a website, you are doomed to fail in enhancing the business’ bottom line.

Many different myths have perpetuated themselves throughout the SEO industry over the years, but thankfully that situation is improving immensely. Thanks to education and the willingness of business owners to learn even more about the details of SEO, many are on the way to reaping the benefits of such knowledge. That is the benefit of continued education in the industry.

The next time someone runs across an obvious myth they will be able to reject the idea and move forward with more correct methods of driving traffic and conversions, instead of relying on age old myths and fallacies.


One Comment

  1. Karl March 5, 2013

    This is true, especially the part about promoting. That’s why social is becomming a bigger part of the algo, according to my predictions. Because real webmasters want to reach real people, while spammers want to go undetected.

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