In the spirit of March Madness, this week I wanted to address some SEO myths out there that can really hurt your wallet and leave a bad taste in your mouth. In just the past week, I have seen some examples of a few of these giving the industry a black eye. Unfortunately, like with any industry, there are some bad eggs out there exploiting peoples lack of knowledge and taking them for their money, without getting anything back in return. I’m here to help you avoid those money dumps and help you shop smarter by understanding some of the myths used to get you to shell out your hard earned cash and get nothing in return.
Here are some of the biggest myths out there and a little explanation as to why.
SEO is something you do once:
I have heard “we SEO’d our site” a few times. There are many factors related to SEO and filling in the meta-tags and optimizing your pages towards keywords is something that can help you. Unfortunately many people think that is all you have to do. If you think about it, if it was that easy, wouldn’t everyone be #1 in Google? Unfortunately, though aiming your site through meta-tags and writing to keywords is important to getting a good ranking, your site still will not go anywhere unless you build your domain strength, which is something that you have to do over time with relationships, and yes, building links, which is still important to SEO and will be talked about in another myth. Much like the social media people who had one post go viral and then try to tell everyone that they do that all the time, one site in a million will get great traffic by simply tagging their site properly. This typically only happens if the site has been around for years building online relationships, but for some reason never properly optimized their pages. This doesn’t happen with new businesses and it most likely won’t happen with your business.
I have businesses come to me all the time to “SEO their site” as a one time deal. I would rather just not take their money if they think it will work like that because they are going to end up upset and disappointed. I try to educate them about how it really works and if that is all the budget they have for SEO, it might be better to go a different way or learn how to build their domain on their own.
24 Hour SEO:
7-minute abs, 1-week diets, and any get rich quick scheme. These are all the same. SEO doesn’t work in 24 hours, or one week, or whatever the latest gimmick that they claim is. As you read above, there is more to it than that. There are very rare occasions of quick results that I addressed above. These companies will use these one in a million examples to sell you and get that investment, but it will not work that way for you. Go into SEO knowing that it provides great ROI over the long term, but is not an immediate solution. I actually recommend those needing immediate results try PPC advertising. It can also give you an idea of what visitors are going to do when they enter your site. Will the SEO traffic convert down the road? PPC can give you a test of how it will work.
Link Building is Dead:
Many people I talk to don’t even know about links being a fundamental part of your domain strength. However, some that do, are now locking on to the idea that link building is dead, because of some articles out there using that as an attention grabber. I agree that links probably have more value than they should. I think Google even agrees that they have given them too much power and are pulling back on how important they are making them. However, they are far from dead. Link building as a concept, and in a semantic way is hurting. Links should be genuine representations of real relationships with your business. Google punishes fake links and links meant to fool the search engines, but they still give tremendous value to legitimate link relationships. It is your SEO’s job to help you understand the value of these links, which are still very high, and get real, ethical links, that boost your domain strength and make your site relevant and therefore get you rankings and quality traffic.
SEO is Tricks, Scams, and working the system:
SEO is a wonderful marketing tactic when done right. Because of the overwhelming number of scammers out there that take advantage of people and give them nothing in return, it can give the industry a black eye. There are also a lot of firms that build their reputation by doing scammy “black hat”, unethical things to get you rankings. Google has been slow in the past to punish those that don’t follow the rules. However, when they do, they punish pretty hard. You could completely disappear and lose everything you have built.
The scammers tend to come in with very low-cost plans or one time fees so they can take your money and run. SEO is an investment. If someone is offering you a one time cost, you should probably run away, but a good company with actual references and testimonials will be able to develop a plan and work with you to help you get where you want to go. They should lay out up front where you stand and a long-term plan moving forward. It sounds great to get, quick, cheap, and easy results, but it just isn’t true. These are where the scam myths come from. There are a lot of solid ethical people out there that can help you and really make your business work.
If you want someone to help you legitimately move forward with SEO and get you a good ROI and good results, give us a call, but just understand SEO is not a quick hit, instant reward tactic, and anyone trying to sell you that, probably has some snake oil in their trunk to sell as well.