Search engine optimisation (SEO), like any other practise, is filled with myths and misconceptions about which strategies really work and which are dead in the water. Some of these myths are relatively harmless misunderstandings while others are totally wrong and will be counterproductive to SEO efforts if followed.
With the search engines algorithms that govern SEO behaviour constantly being updated, there is naturally a lot of confusion of which strategies are still relevant and which are obsolete. This leads to plenty of myths being created faster than they can be squashed, because the understanding of the field is always changing a little bit at a time.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common SEO myths that people still tend to believe.
Myth: SEO falls under information technology (IT)
This is a huge mistake that many businesses make when they first hear about SEO, believing it be a function of IT departments because it is digitally bases. While some skills are shared between IT and SEO (like website development), and IT worker probably hasn’t the faintest clue how to implement SEO unless they were trained in digital marketing.
Ultimately SEO is a digital marketing discipline and should be handled by a marketing team with a marketing budget. A business that doesn’t have these things should outsource their SEO work to a professional digital marketing agency that can do it effectively for them.
Myth: SEO is free
Many people mistakenly believe SEO if free to do because they:
- Have seen SEO as an alternative to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and assumed it was free
- Have encountered many free SEO tools for content management system’s (CMS) like WordPress
- Have been told it was a free way to boost online exposure
While the basic principles that inform SEO strategy have no inherent cost to them, the man hours and expertise required to perform proper SEO will require an investment. Unless you have all the knowledge and man hours to do it yourself, you’ll need to employ people or outsource your SEO work to a professional team, both options that need you to pay for them.
Myth: Keywords aren’t effective anymore
Due to the growing trend in search engines like Google to favour semantic search and high quality content over keyword relevance, people have mistakenly assumed that targeting keywords is a waste of time. While keywords are far less important than they used to be, they are still the only strings that search engines have to work off since they denote subject matter.