DIY SEO myths cause many do-it-yourself web marketers and small businesses to crash and burn. It seems like a good idea to save money. Meanwhile you are spending time on SEO that you could be spending time on sales or delivery of your products and services. The old adage applies in that if you don’t do your on plumbing, why should you do your own SEO. But, alas, many of us do work on our own plumbing, so I would like to share some SEO myths with you diehard DIYers to help you prevent damaging your online reputation or wasting your time.
DIY SEO Myths That Can Kill
Yes, kill. Your time, your business, your ability to succeed. Avoid falling into the traps of these DIY SEO myths to stay alive in the web marketing game.
I can build my website then worry about SEO later
It is true that the keyword ranking can be achieved after launching a website, but that tactic will result in rework and likely, suboptimal SEO results. Hosting, web architecture, web design of URLs and content breakdown, keyword analysis, and content development using focus keywords are important aspects for successful SEO. If you put the website up first, then worry about those things, you have invested in work that must be thrown away and then pay someone else to redesign. It can be frustrating and costly for you. Hire a website designer who has a portfolio of successful SEO sites or have your designer work with a professional SEO expert.
What I see in Google results is my ranking position
Nope! What Google shows you in your search results for a keyword is not what it shows others. Your location affects what you see. For example, if you are in New York City and search for “flower shop”, and then later you search for the same phrase from Houston, you will see drastically different results.
Another effect is what is called personal results. Because of the sites you have recently visited, your results may be skewed to show you a company or brand you viewed before. In Google, you can turn this off by clicking on the globe icon in the top right of your browser window
I must repeat repeat repeat my keywords
While it is extremely important that our site is optimized with carefully selected keywords, in this case, too much of a good thing is TOO MUCH! A page with the same word or phrase used over and over is not appealing to your website visitors and can be considered spam and penalized by search engines. A good rule of thumb for SEO is that if the tactic is good for your website visitor, it is likely to provide favor with the search engines.
I can do SEO myself, so it is free
Well, DIY SEO is most appealing because of the perception that it is free. It takes a lot of effort and dedication to learn and stay abreast of SEO strategies. Of course, most people can learn to do SEO. But most people are not interested or do not have the time to learn enough to do it well. All the time you spend learning and then perhaps making mistakes because of your beliefs in SEO myths could be spent working on your business and engaging with prospects and customers. By doing so, you can earn enough to pay for the SEO. And the beauty of it is that the SEO done right will pay you back.
More links will improve my keyword ranking
Again, more is not better. The quality of the links is more important than quantity. And the origin of the links as well as diversity in the anchor text of the links…these are important strategies. The search engines are very clever and allowing your website to be linked to a spammy, low value website can actually hurt your ability to rank. It is better to invest time in getting one high quality link from a reputable site than 10 links in a spammy directory.
The key to search engine ranking is only keywords and content
Keywords and content are important aspects of SEO, but they are not the only ones.
Optimization issues such as site design, web architecture, pictures, videos, social media engagement, local business listings, and referring links are all important points of an effective SEO strategy. Many in the SEO industry subscribe to the observation that SEO is 30% on the website and 70% off the website. Your division of your SEO efforts should match these pro-rations.
I got my page on the first page of search results, I’m done!
If only it were true. SEO is a continuous process. Search engines recognize when something changes like all of a sudden fewer links are being created when you take a break from actively pursuing SEO. And, the markets change so just like in offline marketing, your strategies such as keywords used change. Your investment in SEO continues to support domain authority, but you may need to rank for new keywords to keep your position in the markets…not just the search engine results. Failing to do so will allow your competitors to overtake you.
Ranking is a process that takes years to generate results
It does require time to see the effects of SEO, but not years. Within 3-6 months, you may not be in the top 10 search results, but you should see movement from not ranking at all to increasing every couple of weeks by a few positions. Your SEO partner should provide reports for you so you can see the progress and help to tweak the strategy along the way. Another reason that makes it challenging for DIYers to do SEO…you need access to metrics that you may not know how to acquire.
Googling my site and clicking it helps to rank it
It is commonly thought that an afternoon of searching and clicking a website on the search results page will help the site rank faster. This is simply not so. This only wastes time. Selecting effective keywords, using them in your website design and content, and then acquiring quality backlinks are the only methods that help your website rank.
Selection of keywords should be based on those with the most searches
It seems counter-intuitive, but actually you will have better results usually if you focus on keywords with lower competition that have an acceptable volume of searches. The process of selecting keywords is to understand your markets and your target customers. Then select a short list of keywords that represent the mindset of one of those target customers who is ready to buy. If they are searching for “swimming pools” that has a volume of 1 million searches per month, they could be searching for any reason. But if they are searching for “custom swimming pool company katy tx” that has a search volume of 50 per month, they are likely finished with researching pools, know roughly what they want, and are looking for a company to work with. Which would you rather have?
- Heavy investment to rank for a broad keyword that will produce lots of clicks that will bounce out of your site or make lots of time-consuming inquiries that do not produce sales?
- OR a reasonable investment for a longtail keyword that produces only a few clicks from people ready to hire your company?
- Choose keywords for conversion. Learn more about keyword research.
I don’t need SEO
Today every website needs an SEO strategy. Not the same strategy as each business has its own business goals, market characteristics, and industry challenges. If your website is not in the first page of search results, the its wonderful design and content are virtually invisible. Almost no one visits page 2 of search results when looking for a product or service. Is your competitor on page 1?
Need help with your SEO strategy? Have these DIY SEO myths come true for you? We can help. We customize each SEO strategy based on the needs of our clients’ businesses. Just this week, I had a prospective client say to me, “My business offers a personal service and I really only need 2 or 3 new customers per month on my website”. So his proposal included a local SEO strategy using a very specific longtail keyword with the goal in mind to keep the volume of website visitors relatively low. What are your needs?
Work with us! And comment below about your experiences with SEO DIY myths.
Thanks to Posicionamiento Web for their inspiration for this post.