Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for any website when the owner wants to rank.
There are some digital marketers out there who claim that SEO is dead, but that in itself is a myth.
SEO is alive and well, but there’s no doubt that it has changed a lot over the years.
When I first became a freelance writer and started learning about SEO, it was pretty standard practice to just include a list of the keywords you wanted to rank for at the bottom of each page.
Keyword stuffing was also quite common in those days.
As SEO has evolved and Google has improved its algorithms over the years, these outdated, unethical, and annoying practices will get a site penalized fast.
Today, Google rewards valuable, original, keyword-rich content. Quite honestly, that makes the internet a better place to be.
But if you’ve heard the rumor that SEO is dead or one of the other countless SEO myths out there today, you’re in the right place to learn the truth.
Myth: Google Suppresses New Websites
You may have seen some marketers talking about the Google Sandbox. The theory is that Google doesn’t allow newer sites to rank well right away, and purposefully holds them back.
This theory causes many new business owners to believe that SEO really isn’t worth it.
As a result, they miss out on a lot of new customers, both in the short and long term.
Fact: Google Indexing Takes Some Time, But Not as Much as You Think
Google has gone on record stating that there is no sandbox where they’re holding websites hostage until some time has passed.
However, considering the fact that around 252,000 new websites are launched every day, it’s understandable that it might take a day or two for Google to properly index the pages on each one.
Will your site start ranking well the day after it’s launched?
Probably not; especially if you’re in a more competitive industry or if the goal is to attract customers on a worldwide scale.
But it might only take 2-4 weeks for you to see some positive traction, and in six months or so, by continually implementing proper SEO, you’ll be happy with where you’re ranking.
Myth: Paying for Ads Will Improve Your Google Rank
Too many business owners believe they need to pay to rank on Google.
They’ve falsely believed that Google will rank them higher if they’re spending money on ads.
Unfortunately, the result is a site with its organic SEO going completely ignored, which results in a lower rank.
Fact: PPC and Organic SEO are Not the Same
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and organic SEO are two very different things.
In fact, they use two completely different algorithms.
If you’ve fallen into this trap, please know that while running Google ads can get you results, you’re likely missing out on a lot of new customers because you’re not focusing any of your marketing efforts organically.
But don’t worry; the solution is an easy one.
Organic SEO can be built over time and with continuous improvements and a healthy Google ads budget, your site will rank with PPC as well as organically.
Myth: Websites That Have Been Around Longer, Rank Better
There are a lot of locally-focused businesses out there (and many in my own community) that forgo getting a business website because their competitors have one.
They inaccurately think their website won’t matter or rank at all because there’s too much local competition and the other sites have been around for years.
That’s just not how it works.
The sad part is, many of those businesses use their Facebook pages as their “websites.”
There are a few problems with this approach:
It makes the business look less professional.
An actual business website is always going to outrank a Facebook page.
Social media pages - while they can be informative - usually don’t offer the type of functionality and details customers are looking for.
Fact: Older Competitor Websites Can be Surpassed in the SERPs
Websites that have been around longer have had more time to make SEO improvements. Some may have gotten a lot of backlinks over the years. They’ve had time to learn what works and what doesn’t.
But a lot of them are filled with outdated information, don’t have blogs (so no opportunity for continual changes), and don’t always follow the most recent algorithm rules.
One of our favorite things to do when we’re building websites for our local clients is to take a look at their competitors’ sites.
Our goal is always to pull together the best aspects of those sites and create a site for our clients that positions them well for a higher Google rank.
Outranking an older, more “seasoned” website is not only possible, but it’s completely doable as long as your SEO is top-notch and consistent.
What are Your Thoughts About SEO?
We believe the best approach to organic SEO is a manual one. There are some great tools out there that can help, but SEO should never be an automated task.
At Colwell Creative Content, Inc., we work with busy, overwhelmed business owners to boost sales through targeted web design, copywriting, social media, and other digital marketing channels. Our goal is your success! Let’s Grow Your Business Together!