*This blog was originally posted by RSO Consulting.com
In case you missed it, here is Part 1 of the Top SEO Myths series.
We hear a lot of myths about SEO from our clients, and we want to set the record straight.
Not only so our clients understand why we might recommend a certain strategy, but also because we believe it’s our job to follow best practices.
This series highlights the top SEO myths we’re hearing most often (thereby making them the most common) and explains the truths behind these misguided statements.
Our hope is to clear the confusion and create space for real progress for our clients. Let me know in the comments if you need more convincing on these myths. ????
Myth #1: Social media doesn’t help SEO.
You may have heard that social media isn’t a ranking factor for SEO, and that is true.
However, social media can still have an impact on your search engine rankings, even if it’s not a direct Google ranking factor. Here’s how:
- Potential links – If you create quality content, promote it on social media, get people to share it and link back to it, then you create more links back to your original content, which helps boost your organic search rankings.
- Clickthrough rates (CTRs) – Social media has the potential to increase your clickthrough rates, especially as you build trust and awareness on social platforms. The larger your audience becomes, the more people are likely to click on your posts and your content, the higher your CTRs – ultimately impacting your search rankings.
You can use social media as a way to increase links back to your content, as well as boost your CTRs, and help your SEO efforts. This is known as off-page SEO; here’s the difference between on-page and off-page SEO.
Myth #2: Keyword density improves search engine rankings.
You can think of keyword density as keyword frequency, as in – how many times you use a keyword on a page of content.
In the mid-2000s, many SEOs practiced a keyword density of 5.5%, because it was an effective method at the time. Unfortunately, this hard and fast “rule” led to keyword stuffing, which meant keywords appeared too many times on a page. It made the content hard to read and degraded the user experience, so Google started penalizing pages stuffed with keywords.
Keywords still matter, of course, but they need to be used judiciously in your content. Instead of overusing them, keywords should feel natural on the page.
Google is getting really good at understanding content without us being be so blatant about our keywords, so a few times on the page is usually enough. It’s not a direct ranking factor either, but it does help search engines understand what your content is about, thereby increasing the chances of ranking higher for appropriate search queries.
Myth #3: SEO can get me the #1 spot on Google.
By far, this is one of the most common SEO myths we hear every day.
First of all, no SEO company can guarantee you a #1 spot on Google. No one knows Google’s algorithm (except Google employees, and they’re not doing your SEO), so there is no way to actually deliver on this promise.
Second, the #1 position isn’t the end-all-be-all when it comes to SEO. There are a ton of other features nowadays on search engines results pages to get you more organic traffic, such as:
- Knowledge graphs
- Featured snippets
Many of these new features are positioned above the #1 result, too, so it’s a good idea to work on these areas in addition to your regular SEO strategies.
What have you been hearing about lately that you think could be a myth about SEO? Let us know in the comments so we can address it!