When small business owners start their online journey, hoping that an online presence will attract more customers, they are often faced with many conflicting reports about what should be done for SEO and what one should stay away from.
This excess of information can be very confusing, and it's important to have accurate information about what will hold water in the world of SEO and what will lead your website down the drain.
Let's shed light on 10 small business SEO myths debunked, as well as some other vital tips and information.
10 Small Business SEO Myths Debunked
- Keywords are king.
Well, no... actually, content is king. In days gone by, the ranking algorithm used by Google was much simpler, and revolved mainly around how many times keywords were used per ratio (of words). People often stuffed their articles with keywords, and even hid keywords in white print, in order to make it search engine- readable only. Nowadays, however, websites that overuse keywords are actually penalised.
- Backlinks are crucial.
Again, this is not the case any more. Yes, Google used to view back links as a way to rate a site's popularity, but after people started manipulating the system by having websites set up with the sole purpose of creating thousands of back links, all that has changed. Excessive will only damage your site in the long run.
- Submitting articles to article directories is useful.
This used to be a major fad, and the main point of doing so was to create back links. However, since as mentioned, back links do not matter , their only possible use would be to drive extra traffic to your site.
- One should use an SEO service.
"We will push your website to #1 in Google for only $200 a month!" is the sort of advertisement that is commonly found. Unsuspecting website owners may fall for this scheme, but even if it does work in the short-term, these services usually use spammy, black hatted methods, which means that you run the risk of getting your website blacklisted by Google.
- Keywords should be placed in the meta tags.
Well, that's outdated information, fellas. Meta tags and descriptions can help search engines know what your site is about, but stuffing keywords in the meta section (an html section in the article) doesn't work any more.
- Sites should be directly submitted to Google and Bing in order to boost rankings.
Well, yes, sites should be submitted to Google and Bing (by using a site map), but it won't boost your rankings. It just lets Google know whenever you've updated your site, so that your new posts will get indexed faster.
- Using paid search campaigns will boost organic search rankings.
Well, PPC campaigns such as Google AdWords will increase paid traffic, but there's absolutely no evidence that it will affect your organic search rankings. Google does a good job separating the two.
- I can cloak all I want.
No you can't. Cloaking is basically hiding things (such as keywords) in the html part of an article, so that only Google will see it. However, Google will detect that you're deceptively serving different results, and will penalise your site.
- I'll link to whom I feel like.
Please don't. If your site contains too much outbound links, say affiliate links, it basically tells Google that your site has no value of its own, other to serve as a bridge to other sites! So link smartly, don't overdo it, and having some links to authoritative sites such as Wikipedia and CNN is actually beneficial.
- Lastly, a tip...
Gain Google's trust. This doesn't happen overnight, so continually offer good content, avoid black hatted tactics such as duplicate content and link farms, and your site will slowly but surely inch its way up Google's search results.
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