Many people still misunderstand SEO despite it being a staple in digital marketing strategies. These misconceptions are probably responsible for business owners' hesitation about having an optimization strategy for their website. If you have doubts about implementing an SEO strategy, keep reading; we break down three of the most prevalent SEO myths and show you the truth about them.
Myth: Search Engine Optimization Is Dead
People are reluctant to invest in SEO because they believe SERPs have changed to favor organic results less. It depends on the keywords you use; if you are only looking at bottom-funnel keywords with a high cost per click, you will have the impression that SEO is dead since many advertisers will be competing with you for these keywords. If you use long-tail keywords, though, you will see more organic results closer to the top of the page.
Reality: Search Optimization Has Evolved
Like anything that lasts, search optimization has changed with the times. Today, people don't go to Google to discover products and services. They pull up the search engine if they want to research before buying. In the past, SEO involved stuffing as many keywords as possible in your article.
Today, it's about providing value to prospective clients or customers. SEO isn't dead—it's just different now. Today, it involves writing keyword-rich articles for the middle or the top of the funnel. While SEO isn't dead, it cannot be the only thing you rely on for traffic. Combining SEO with PPC or social is the best way to build a long-term digital presence.
Myth: SEO Brings the Wrong Kind of Organic Traffic
Other people think that SEO does not deliver the right kind of traffic. They think that organic content delivers branded traffic, people who already know about the business. If most of a company's website traffic comes from people who search a company's name, they likely have not invested much in optimization.
Alternatively, they could be inadvertently targeting keywords. A business owner can find out which keywords his brand ranks for by going into the website's Google Search Console. A cursory look through the non-branded queries will show what brings clicks and drives impressions. Once you know which keywords bring in the audience, you can intentionally write content incorporating them.
Reality: You Need to Qualify the Traffic You Want
If you pay attention to your audience, you will be familiar with the terms they search for and what is important to them. Investing time and effort into getting to know your target market will pay off. If you know your audience, you will be better equipped for qualifying the traffic you want.
Also, do not discount the power of assists—you will undoubtedly have blog articles that do not bring conversions, but just because they don't doesn't mean they shouldn't be on your website. Having articles that address a range of topics relevant to your target audience will help solidify you as a go-to for valuable content.
Myth: Channels That Deliver More Traffic Are Better
There are two parts to this claim: first, you get more traffic from other channels, and second, you get better results from this traffic. Let us look at each part separately. First, the idea that SEO brings fewer people to your website than PPC or social media is misguided.
Though you will see a boost in your website traffic after posting on a Facebook page or launching an ad campaign, SEO's advantage is its longevity. A well-structured, optimized, and relevant article can bring in people years after you publish it on your blog.
If you invest time, money, and talent into your SEO, it will produce results. The same is true for your PPC and social campaigns. There isn't one channel that produces superior results—you reap benefits proportional to what you put in. If you put more effort into your PPC campaigns, you'll naturally see more results from them.
Reality: Each Channel Has a Different Purpose
You cannot expect all channels to provide the same results. PPC, SEO, and social have strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you're on social media, you cannot expect to increase your conversions solely from posting and interacting with followers. On social, the engagements are the point; you go there for audience development. Meanwhile, SEO shines in marketing to people mid-funnel. It helps casual browsers learn more about your offerings and see you as a reliable source of information.
SEO non-believers love bringing up that search optimization has little to no last click or direct conversion value. The number of sales or conversions a channel completes—its last click value—can be a metric for the campaign's effectiveness. However, it is crucial to invest in SEO, even if its direct conversion value is low. Though it does not drive conversions, it pushes people through the funnel and gives them more reasons to purchase. It can also reinforce what your brand represents.
Like any marketing strategy, it takes time to implement and reap the benefits of search engine optimization. Besides knowing your keywords and writing content that incorporates them, you need to be aware of your audience's concerns and needs. SEO has a place in any digital marketer's toolbox. However, like any other instrument, you have to know how to use it properly to make the most of it.
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