SEO stands for « Search Engine Optimization ». It is the discipline that sees websites being reworked/rewritten in such a way that they get higher visibility by standing out in the search results of search engines in response to specific requests. Starting out with natural referencing, people are inclined to believe everything that is being said about getting results the quick and easy way. But SEO is not magic. It requires time and quality work. To help you avoid the pitfalls, we have compiled a list of the myths that surround SEO. Here is a non-exhaustive list of things you may have heard being bandied about but should not be believed about SEO :
- « To get top billing in the search engines you need to put lots of keywords in the keyword meta tags ».
To start with, what are keyword meta tags? A meta tag is a marker that is not visible to the Internet users but is seen by the search engines, as something which, a long time ago, had an impact on the ranking. All it took was to fill in this keyword tag to get displayed on the first page search results in response to the relevant search requests. However, the search engines soon cottoned on to the fact that using this type of keywords did not do much for the quality of their results. This tag is no longer relevant for the ranking in the search results. So you do not need to waste your time and energy filling them in !
- « You can get properly referenced very quickly »
Generally speaking, the response to this statement is ‘No, not true’. In fact, Google has recorded a video explaining that it takes between 4 months and 1 year before the efforts of a professional SEO writer becomes visible. In the introduction to the articles, we already said that natural referencing is a labour of endurance that requires time and putting some thought into things! Everything also depends on the activity sector and the competition. So there is no one absolute truth regarding this matter. The one thing that is certain is that things do not go “quickly”. If a professional SEO writer promises to get you a higher ranking in just a few weeks’ time, our only advice is : run ! For further details, check out this article : http://www.thesempost.com/google-seos-need-4-months-year-seo-changes-ranks/
- « Once you get the number one billing spot, you’ve got it forever »
Sadly, this is not even possible as Google adopts new algorithmson a regular basis. What is good for your SEO ranking today may no longer be of any merit tomorrow, etc. Moreover, your competitors may well be updating their SEO, trying to get themselves higher rankings using the same keywords as you. So it is a case of constantly keeping an eye on your ranking and constantly improving your site and its content to meet the expectations of your users to the max.
- « Images are irrelevant when it comes to referencing »
Images as well as videos can attract qualified traffic to your site as they may be shown directly in the search results pages. To do so, you obviously need to make enquires and get the right information regarding your images, i.e. an express name and an alternative attribute. Which is all the more important for lines of business where the visual element play a key role, such as graphics agencies or e-commerce websites, etc.
- « A domain name with a main keyword is better »
Not necessarily. In fact, it may well even be a drawback nowadays. Since the “Google Panda” algorithm was introduced, Google has been penalising poor quality websites, that is to say sites who tend to over-optimise their SEO. Entering a keyword as the domain name may be considered an over-optimisation, which means your website risks getting penalised. So it is more rewarding to go for a domain name that contains the name of your company. This allows you to keep your brand image and to stand out from the competition.
- « With AdWords you are paying for better SEO »
It is wrong to think that running AdWords campaigns will improve your natural referencing. SEA, or “Search Engine Advertising” is about paying to raise the visibility of your website on a search engine for a certain length of time. So you need to ask yourself if you still need to see advertisement displayed when it is pitted against the competition in response to specific requests. The fact of the matter is that once you stop your campaigns, you no longer appear at the top of the results pages. So it is worth to get into AdWords advertising to make up for poor/ non-efficient SEO, although this can never be more than a short term solution. It is important that you keep up working and optimising your SEO to make sure your website is not dependent on paid advertising for visibility.
- « Inserting the same keyword in every sentence helps »
Again, things are not quite as straightforward. You are not writing for search engines but for people. There is nothing worse for an Internet user than reading a text that repeats the same thing over and over again. Bear in mind that, above all else, your content needs to meet the needs of your website visitors. However much repeating a keyword may be important for your referencing, it needs to be put into context, and used in related expressions and variations. The one thing to observe is a reasonable density which will mainly depend on the number of words your page contains. As you can tell, the myths surrounding SEO persist but you are now duly informed not to get fooled. Need help defining and implementing your natural referencing strategy ? Contact our teams.