Of all the website marketing strategies web development firms are constantly testing, search engine optimization — building and marketing a website so that it ranks highly in search engine results — is arguably the most important for bringing in new customers. But many misconceptions about SEO plague its implementation and prevent businesses from working with a qualified SEO web design company. Here are five SEO myths that need to be busted:
- Onsite Copy Should be Keyword Heavy
Some people tell their clients that people don’t actually read website content carefully, so it’s better to stuff it with relevant keywords (even when the result is awkward) so it at least serves an SEO function. But onsite copy plays a huge role in demonstrating your brand authority to potential customers, and should be written just as carefully as any other marketing copy; it’s OK to use keywords, but they should feel naturally integrated into the relevant content contained on the site.
- Meta Tags and Anchor Text Are Key
Meta keyword tags and keyword-rich anchor text (that’s the visible text that you see when you click a hyperlink) were two important aspects of old-school SEO. But failing to update to modern best practices can really hurt a website and make it appear that the site is attempting to manipulate the search engine (which can lead to penalties). It’s best to focus on title tags and meta description tags, instead.
- The Days of Link Building Are Over
This myth actually stems from people trying to get away from outdated SEO techniques now flagged as spam, such as buying thousands of directory links or syndicating “guest blogs” on many sites. The reality is that external links still matter, but it’s important that you focus on getting qualified links from high-quality sources, rather than just racking up numbers.
- PPC Spending Boosts Organic Results
This is just a conspiracy theory, holding that those who spend more on pay per click ads from search engines get an underhanded boost in the organic results, too. But it’s simply not true; search engines do not alter organic results to favor high PPC spenders.
- SEO and Web Design Are Separate Services
Some people think professional website development and SEO are separate processes, that first a website is created and then it’s optimized. But it’s actually best to find an SEO web design company that understands both SEO best practices and a broader range of marketing principles that will make your website helpful for your actual users, not just search engine webcrawlers.
Do you have any tips for choosing an SEO web design company that won’t fall into these popular pitfalls? Join the discussion in the comments.