In a prior post, we took a look at 7 SEO myths that we can now ditch in 2015. Eager to ditch some more?

Myth #8 More Links Are Better Than More Content

A common question, “Which should I invest in, link building or content generation?”

Links are an important part of your website’s authority. But, we continue to advise, “Hire a writer.”

Too often, when businesses hire out link building, the focus is on quantity rather than quality. Instead, focus on having relevant and diverse sources that link to relevant pages.

By investing in content, that content can be repurposed for webpages, blog posts, lead generation offers, and guest posts on other sites.

All compelling content will attract more links naturally, over time.

Alpine_ArrowsgreyRemember, the “Signal-to-noise” is critical.
With the release of the Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird algorithm updates,
Google has slapped down garbage links, an SEO spam tradition, no longer allowing them to game the system.
While link-building done responsibly is still valuable, creating extraordinary content is non-negotiable.

Myth #9 A Secure (HTTPS Encrypted) Site Is Not Important to SEO

HTTPS provides the benefit of an added layer of security called SSL/TLS. SE Spammers rarely use HTTPS. This makes your HTTPS site more credible.

In August of 2014, Google announced that it had started using HTTPS as a signal in their ranking algorithms, which means if your website still relies on standard HTTP, your rankings could suffer as a result.

For now, however, HTTPS remains a “lightweight” signal, affecting fewer than 1% of global queries (according to Google). So while it’s clear that Google wants everyone to move over to the more secure HTTPS protocol, don’t freak out if you haven’t done it yet. There are still more important factors that Google is looking at, such as the presence of high-quality content.

Alpine_ArrowsgreyWhen using Alpine WordPress, our SEO module will give you
everything you need to know about the search engine optimization of a given page or post.

This tool provides diagnosis and recommendations
that point out major optimization issues and minor fixes.

Myth #10 SEO Is All About Ranking

While there’s a strong correlation between search results placement and clickthrough rates, ranking is not the supreme end goal that it used to be.

Studies of clickthrough rates and user behavior have shown that searchers favor the top search results — particularly the top-three listings. However, it’s also been shown that on subsequent pages, being listed toward the top of the page shows similar click behavior.

And with search results now being appended with rich text/snippets, results that appear below the top three search results are getting much higher clickthrough rates.

Even before all of that was applied, rankings did not guarantee success. Theoretically, you could rank quite well for a term, get tons of traffic, and not make a dime from it. Is that what you really want? I didn’t think so.

Alpine_ArrowsgreyRanking for what?
Remember those “Guaranteed to get you to #1 on Google!” ads,
but they never said what for?
Rather than obsessing about ranking, be useful!
Your readers will bring about more consumers because they’ll share your stuff.

Myth #11 Meta Descriptions Have A Huge Impact On Search Rankings

Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that concisely explain the contents of pages. You’ve seen them on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), they’re commonly known as preview snippets.

It’s easy to think that Google’s algorithm would take these meta descriptions into account. Well, not so much.

Google announced back in 2009 that neither meta descriptions or meta keywords have any bearing on search rankings. That’s not to say, however, that these descriptions aren’t important for SEO.

On the contrary: Meta descriptions present a major opportunity to separate yourself from the riff-raff and convince searchers that your page is worth navigating to.

Having a relevant, compelling meta description will be the difference between a visitor that clicks through to your page and one that clicks elsewhere.

Alpine_ArrowsgreyMeta descriptions do not affect search results placement.
But, descriptions are critical to engage the visitor, compelling them to click.

Use the targeted keyword once, not because it will help with ranking,
but because it appears as bold if it matches a person’s search.

Try adding a mini call-to-action into your description too.

Myth #12 We Can Hand SEO Off to IT/Interns/Designer

There seems to be a perception that SEO requires some technical expertise, and because it is technical, IT can just do the work. While there is a technical component to SEO, it requires far more than just technical chops.

Though you may need some of those individuals to assist you while optimizing your website, it’s far from ideal to simply hand over SEO duties to IT and expect good results.

While many IT professionals are adept in many areas — such as designing networks or managing printers, that is a different skill set than required to run an effective SEO strategy.

Alpine_ArrowsgreySEO is one of those acronyms that sounds like rocket fuel
— something that belongs in the hands of technoids with html skillz.

With every new iteration of Google algorithms, though,
we are learning that SEO should really stand for being Simply Excellent Online.

Create compelling content first, THEN work to make sure that your good copy also scores well.

Myth #13 On-Page SEO Is All I Need

Until search engines are able to enter our brains and read our thoughts, we’ll always need to use written language in order to make search queries. We need to use keywords to communicate.

That being said, it’s important to realize that Google is no longer trying to match the keywords you type into its search engine to the keywords of a web page.

Instead, it’s trying to understand the intent behind the keywords you type so it can match that intent to relevant, high-quality content.

The bottom line: search engines of the future aren’t going to punish folks for under-using keywords or failing to have an expertly crafted, keyword-optimized page title … but they will continue to punish folks for overusing keywords.

(FYI: In the next myth, we’ll offer some keyword best practices.)

Alpine_ArrowsgreyYears ago we felt this way; it was true then.
But as the environment has changed, we’ve learned and adapted.
We now know that the most effective SEO strategies involve both on-site and off-site components.
Today, we combine our on-site efforts with a solid social distribution strategy,
influencer marketing strategy and more!

Myth #14 Keywords Need To Be An Exact Match

Keywords do not need to be repeated verbatim throughout a piece of content.

In a headline, in particular, you want to use a keyword (or keywords) in a way that makes the most sense to your audience.

The goal should be to write a stellar headline (somewhere between 4-9 words) that clearly explains what a piece of content is about.

Nothing is more of a buzzkill than having a headline that’s awkwardly framed around one keyword phrase or, worse, that forcibly repeats a keyword phrase.

This rule applies not only to headlines, but also the content on the page: the goal should be to inform the reader, not to game the search engines.

Alpine_ArrowsgreyDon’t waste your time trying to find the perfect couple of keywords to use on your site over and over.
First, Google hates it when you over-optimize for machines.
Secondly, searchers will use a vast mix of words and phrases to find what they’re looking for.
The content on your site should be varied enough to meet that search criteria while still sticking to one overarching theme.

Ready for more? See SEO Changes: Final 7 Myths to Ditch

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