TXT is overrated

SEO Myths

13 SEO myths you can safely forget

Every website operator wants their page to be found and therefore more or less inevitably deals with search engine optimization. Read a little here, heard a little there - this is how it is created SEO Myths, which you should look at critically if you want your website to be found as easily as possible on the Internet. The Google updates Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird repeatedly punish existing SEO tactics, so that you often no longer know exactly which ones are actually out of date and which one should be used.

1. SEO is all about ranking

Of course, it is important that your website ideally appears in the first three positions of the organic search results on Google and Co. with the keywords that are important to you. Good click rates may mean a lot of visitors to your website, but not necessarily that these visitors also reach the goal of the website, e.g. order something, fill out the contact form or watch a product video (this goal achievement is called "conversion").

Search engine optimization affects many areas: usability, i.e. user guidance and user experience (how the users experience the website), the website structure, content marketing, etc. The ranking of individual keywords is only an SEO goal and is often overrated. It is often not the relevant keywords for which the ranking is analyzed. If there are very generic keywords like “bike travel” or “event agency”, then of course there are usually very strong competitors. So always take a look at which websites are listed on Google among the top 10 for the search term or phase that is relevant to you. This gives you a good overview of how you can optimize your website.

2. The most important thing is on-page SEO

The on-page SEO, i.e. all SEO measures directly on the website, is unfortunately only part of the work. In addition to keyword research, image optimization, content creation, etc., there are many other factors to consider, such as page performance, link building or social media optimization. SEO is a holistic project. It is always about the website being coherent, the positioning clearly recognizable and the overall concept "round". Find out more SEO tips here.

3. SEO can also be done by the IT department or the web designer

Yes, of course, SEO also has many technical aspects and the IT department can often help with redirects, the robots.txt or the loading times of the site. But neither the web designer nor the IT department will deal intensively with keyword research or content marketing. That is why it is good if an SEO manager takes care of getting the many different aspects under one roof and makes the specifications for the others.

4. Keywords must match exactly and be entered everywhere

Keyword stuffing, i.e. entering many keywords in one text or in the footer, is mega-out. Above all, you don't need to enter anything in the metatag , this is completely irrelevant for Google. You also don't have to force the keyword or long-tail keywords into the text. Modern SEO means more today Keyword theme worlds to find keywords, synonyms and variants that go with it. Write a good headline and user-relevant content. Because what is good for users is also good for Google.

Here is a typical example of keyword stuffing. The pixelated keywords are each a local company including the location. Firstly, this is unpleasant to read and secondly, classic keyword stuffing that search engines have recognized for a long time and consider to be of little use to the user.

5. There is an ideal keyword density

Keyword density is a myth that keeps popping up. There is no indication of how often the keyword should be mentioned. And if the text sounds unnatural when you read it out loud, then it certainly doesn't make sense. But it makes sense to mention the keyword in the headline. As in a book, the heading is used to say what the chapter is about. It is best to include the keyword in the (not too long) URL and at the beginning of the text. Do not over-optimize, then the text will be read with pleasure. Yoast's popular SEO plug-in for WordPress also calls it “keyword phrase density”. But that doesn't mean that you should follow the recommended 7 times.

6. It is good if a lot of links point to my website

Yes, it's good to have backlinks pointing to your site from well-respected thematic pages. And no, because it comes with Link building on quality, not on quantity. The times of link buying and link exchange farms are clearly over, Google immediately recognizes this as spam. Even the pointless entry in all possible web catalogs, web directories etc. does not help to strengthen the authority of a website. And you definitely shouldn't buy links. You can invest this money better if you (let) write good content, e.g. posts for your blog, interesting offers or guest posts on other sites. This is how you gradually build natural links.

7. Good content is enough, I don't need SEO

Good content is important, very clearly. It is also important that something new is always added to the website. But of course you should also check which keywords got visitors to your website, where these visitors came from and which posts were the best. This research can also be used to find new topics for your website. That's search engine optimization again;)! Content and SEO are inextricably linked.

Incidentally, Google does not want to display the website in the top positions that are best optimized for search engines, but rather show the website that contains relevant content for the search term. Good content is therefore a prerequisite and a meaningful onpage optimization supports the work of the crawlers in understanding the topic of your page.

8. I need a lot of content and therefore absolutely have to blog

No, it's not about killing the user with content, but about your company and your unique selling point correctly and it is clear to the user what he should do next on your site. You don't need hundreds of pages to do this. Better pay attention to the quality of the content. Just a few lines with company news is rather uninteresting for users and is rated by Google as "thin content" that offers no added value. So when you add new content, make sure that the new page is created because you have something to say and it really brings something to the user.

But it doesn't necessarily have to be a blog that attracts users' attention. It can also be pages that provide advice, FAQs or small useful tools.

9. Social media and SEO have nothing to do with each other

Just to get straight to the point: just because you have a company profile on Facebook, Xing, Twitter or any other social network doesn't automatically rank your website better. This is because Google cannot necessarily access the content of the networks. But still, a social media marketing strategy and search engine optimization belong together. You don't have to be represented everywhere, but if you do, you do it right, because high-quality content is also shared.

10. For Local SEO I only have to add the city

If it were that easy: then all you had to do was add your city or region in the text on your page and you would appear at the top of the search results. Of course, if you want to be found locally, it makes sense to mention where you can be found on the website. But also think of review portals such as Yelp (e.g. for restaurants) or Jameda (for doctors) when it comes to local search engine optimization. A company profile on Google MyBusiness is particularly important, because here you can appear in Google Maps and thus rank better in the search results. The company can also receive reviews, receive customer messages, or post posts.

11. I need to submit my website to Google

No, Google will find your website faster than you think. If you are unlucky, Google will index the pages before you even go online (so, for example, think of the hook with WordPress: “Forbid search engines to index”). But you should sitemap.xml Submit in Google Search Console so that Google has a table of contents of your website. This is how Google understands the structure of your website faster and better. Make sure to enter the correct format in the Search Console, namely xml and not html. At Yoast you can see which sitemaps there are and then decide which ones to give to Google for indexing.

12. When I run Google Ads, I get a better ranking in the organic search results

No, that's not correct. Google Ads and the search engine are two separate Google products and you will not get a better ranking by placing ads. However, your website may then appear at the top of the search results, which will generate more traffic for your website. However, Google Ads is a complex product that you shouldn't use in a hurry, otherwise it will quickly become expensive.

13. SEO is free

If you're doing SEO yourself and don't really need an advertising budget, SEO might be free (except that you spend time on it). And if you like to create content for your website anyway, for example blogging or creating video tutorials, then don't do this for SEO, but for your users. The time factor is an argument, because it takes a lot of time to get used to it and to stay up to date. SEO is an online marketing tool as well as ad placement and therefore budget (and / or time) must be available for this.

Conclusion

SEO always has a holistic aspect and many adjustments. Which one needs to be shot depends on your goals and priorities, time and resources. First of all, it is important that you deal with the topic at all and no longer use outdated SEO techniques.

The original article dates from August 2016 and was extensively updated in March 2019.