There is no shortage of information with regards to SEO (search engine optimisation).
The challenge is sifting through everything to determine what is worthwhile and what could be potentially harmful for your website. Although there are numerous platforms for driving traffic to new pages (ie. Facebook, YouTube, etc.), Google continues to account for a significant portion of traffic online.
Ignoring SEO is perhaps one of the worst business decisions you could make. Ranking high for profitable keywords can practically guarantee new leads and paying customers for your business.
But this also presents a problem.
Any time there is an opportunity for webmasters to drive traffic to their pages, there will almost always be spam involved. Google has made it clear with its most recent Penguin 2.0 update that questionable tactics such as keyword spamming or building links in hordes are unacceptable and will result in ranking penalties.
Despite these warnings many misconceptions about online marketing continue to be prevalent. Some are completely harmless but implementing others could lead to devastating results.
1. More backlinks equals higher rankings
Backlinks from other websites remain an important factor but more of them do not necessarily equate to higher rankings. Years ago it was almost too easy to secure top rankings for competitive keywords just from backlinks alone. Irrelevant pages slowly began to proliferate through the search results, comprising its integrity.
So something had to be done.
The Google Panda update launched in early 2011 was the first of many significant changes in an effort to improve search results. A year later the first iteration of Penguin went live, this time penalising websites participating in link schemes or using black hat SEO techniques.
Backlinks still matter but the days of building thousands of links in the hopes of higher rankings are gone. Doing so looks spammy and is likely to result in ranking penalties.
2. Not necessarily true
There is a clear difference between content that is added just to be added and content that serves a purpose. The latter provides value and is exactly what gets rewarded in the search engines.
Content that is engaging and relevant for its target audience is also more likely to be shared across social media networks. Research has even shown a correlation between higher rankings and social signals through Facebook and Twitter.
3. SEO is a onetime project
SEO is not a scheme that promises imaginary results. Nor is it something that is implemented once, never to be done again.
With constant algorithm updates and stiff competition for profitable keywords, consistent marketing through SEO is absolutely necessary. Otherwise your pages risk being pushed down by competitors who are putting in more effort to improve their visibility.
Online marketing consists of more than just SEO and some of the most successful companies inherently understand this.
SEO combined with other forms of marketing from social media engagement to content marketing and PPC advertising are powerful mediums that can elevate your business to new levels.
But only with the right strategy in place and proper execution.