Because search engine optimization is a shifting target, it can appear intimidating.
What worked in SEO five or ten years ago might not work today. That doesn’t stop some of the past’s truisms from lingering long after the passage of time has rendered them obsolete, transforming great practices into foggy fables.
With that in mind, here’s a little myth-busting to bring your SEO knowledge up to date.
MYTH #1: KEYWORDS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT
Many SEO efforts are naturally focused on keywords. They are, after all, what people use to search. However, after years of keyword-dense content flooding search engines, there has been a drive to generate content that is less keyword-dense and more beneficial to visitors.
Of course, this isn’t to say you can’t or shouldn’t utilize keywords intelligently. It just implies that you should think about how you use them. For one thing, you must ensure that your material is not only based on industry-specific language.
There can be a gap between terminology used within your organization and the methods your members really hunt for information they care about, according to Emily Patterson of the digital outreach firm Bee Measure.
“Instead of thinking about how the people we serve and the individuals in this profession actually talk about things and search for things, [associations] tend to utilize jargon, buzzwords, and things that are internal to their organization,” she said in an interview earlier this year.
Rather, the material should be based on what the audience is likely to read and engage with at work. Recognize the difference—and prioritize the end user.
MYTH #2: THE DESKTOP IS PREFERRED BY THE USERS
You’re developing your platform on a laptop or desktop, therefore it’s safe to assume that your consumers are doing so as well.
You’d be mistaken in that assumption. According to Statcounter, Windows and MacOS account for around 37% of internet users, while Android accounts for 41% of users and iOS accounts for 16.07 percent. In other words, consumers are more likely to find your material on mobile devices than on desktop computers, so you must design for both.
MYTH #3: THE MORE CONTENT, THE BETTER.
Associations are known for having a lot of content that covers the complete spectrum of issues that could be important, and a desire to keep it all. After all, what if someone is searching for that obscure piece you wrote six years ago?
However, most websites acquire a substantial part of their traffic from a small number of articles, and some of those lesser-visited assets can duplicate or impair the potential of what you currently have by competing with your higher-performing material. As a result, performing a content audit on a regular basis with the goal of pruning is worthwhile.
MYTH #4: IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THE CONTENT IS DUPLICATE.
You may be familiar with this content strategy scenario: you have numerous domains and have decided to publish the same material across all of them to coincide with your objective. Perhaps you’ve opted to syndicate a piece of content to a larger audience on an external site. Or perhaps you’re distributing a press release that spans many web pages.
Duplicative content, in any case, can complicate your search traffic by causing you to compete against yourself for relevant search phrases. This is a horrible idea, according to Google.
When a visitor sees basically the same information repeated within a set of search results, deceptive methods like these can result in a poor user experience,” the business claims on its website.
One approach to deal with this is to put a canonical tag on any website linked to your information, so search engines know where the original source is.
Myth #5: The speed of your website has no bearing on its ranking.
Is your website so slow to load that it makes you feel like you’re still on dial-up? That’s a telling sign that you’re not giving your members a wonderful experience, and search engines are picking up on it.
Google is concerned about the speed of a website. Last year, it introduced a program called “core web vitals,” which it has only lately begun to use when prioritizing its search results, particularly on mobile.
As a result, one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization in 2021 will be optimizing your site’s speed, which might be slowed by external scripts, poorly optimized servers, and a lack of caching. As a result, strong SEO may entail focusing on areas you previously ignored, such as fast-loading websites.