Misconceptions about search engines
Confusion about how search engines operate and rank pages can be damaging to businesses. Here are some common misconceptions about search engines.
- SEO companies should and can guarantee rankings. No SEO company can guarantee higher rankings, and if you find one that does, look elsewhere.
- Rankings are the most important performance metric. Sure, higher rankings will increase your visibility. But, if those rankings aren’t turning into conversions and increased business, what are they doing?
- A webpage can be optimized for countless locations and keywords. Attempting to add too many keywords and locations to a single webpage isn’t only going to confuse your users, but the search engines, as well. If you use more than one keyword, be sure they are matching keywords - meaning keywords that naturally make sense together and things a searcher would find natural together on the same page.
- Google Ads can replace SEO. While paid ads are wonderful for gaining visibility and brand awareness, internet users are savvy and can tell the difference between a paid ad and an organic search result. For many people, organic results may seem more trustworthy because they know they aren’t paying for that ranking.
- A redesign is vital to improve your rankings. A properly functioning, attractive, and easy to navigate website is crucial to user experience, which is crucial to SEO. But, a redesign alone cannot boost your rankings.
- Your brother-in-law (or friend, or old college roommate, etc.) who has a computer science degree can handle your SEO. Anyone is capable of reading a few blogs and thinking they can become an SEO expert. But, there are so many tricks to the trade that it is best to leave your SEO in the hands of a professional. Someone with good intentions but little experience can do more harm than good.
- SEO can improve your rankings overnight. SEO takes patience. Rankings won’t be achieved overnight, no matter what you may hear (or want to hear). There is a lot of work that goes in to search engine optimization, and being patient is important.
- Your web design company can handle your SEO. Creating a beautiful website and understanding SEO can go hand in hand, but won’t necessarily be found under the same roof. They complement each other, but just because your design company can deliver a beautiful website doesn’t mean they have the skills or knowledge to deliver on SEO.
- Negative reviews on Google will decrease your rankings. If you have an imbalance of negative reviews to positive, then you may have a bigger issue to worry about than rankings. But, a few negative reviews sprinkled in to plenty of positive ones won’t hurt your business. And, if you handle them properly, they may even help.
- SEO is all you have to do market your business. SEO should be one aspect of your overall marketing plan, but can’t be the only trick you employ.
- You can stop SEO once you’ve gained high rankings. You may think once you’ve achieved that high ranking, your work is done. But, it’s important the work continues in order to maintain those rankings. If you aren’t, your competitors are and you may find yourself losing ground to them.
- If your current SEO company can’t achieve high rankings for your target keyword, no other SEO firm will be able to. Just like with every industry, not everyone within the SEO field will have the same knowledge and skills. Just because one company was unsuccessful doesn’t mean the next one will be, as well.
- I get most of my business referrals from Yelp, so I don’t need to be optimized for search engines. People may be contacting you from Yelp, but they may also be looking at you through a search engine first, or doing more research online after getting referrals. It’s never a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket.