We learn more about how you can strengthen your SEO strategy to provide the results your brand needs
When Instagram and Facebook went down in mid-March, it was an important reminder for brands to not be totally dependent on one platform or marketing channel. So, you could say, there’s never been a better time to focus on SEO.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of optimising your website and content to make it easier for search engines like Google and Bing to find it and understand it. Quality SEO gives your website the best chance of ranking in search engines results pages. And those rankings? They give you the best shot at getting quality traffic to your website.
But not all SEO campaigns are created equal, and there are some common misconceptions that could be holding you back or even causing your site to receive a penalty from Google. So let’s debunk five common misconceptions about SEO that could be hurting your brand.
1. You just need to add some keywords
Keywords, keywords everywhere. That’s all it takes right? Nope. While keywords are a critical element of SEO, throwing them around willy nilly or jamming as many as possible into the web page isn’t going to get your content to rank.
Rather, you need to have a focus keyword or search phrase for each page and craft content naturally to cover off this topic. You’ll then strategically include that keyword, or variations of it (synonyms), in the page title tag, meta description, headings, body content, image file names and alt tags — all while maintaining a natural style of writing. No keyword spam here.
Quality SEO gives your website the best chance of ranking in search engines results pages. And those rankings? They give you the best shot at getting quality traffic to your website.
2. It takes a long time for SEO to work
Wrong. Dramatic uplifts in organic traffic are rarely an overnight thing. But it doesn’t take as long as people think for SEO to work. With a solid SEO strategy in place, and the right optimisations applied to the website and content, it’s possible to improve keyword rankings exponentially and rapidly (within weeks). Seriously, we’ve seen some websites jump 80 positions when the content was (finally) optimised within search engines.
And while it can take a long time for SEO to work really well — and by really well, we mean consistent month-to-month organic traffic growth — so does growing a large social media audience? And we all got plenty of time for scrolling on Instagram, right? Maybe it’s time we all did a little less mindless scrolling and a little more SEO?
3. Having a blog is good for SEO
While a blog is a powerful element of any SEO strategy, the idea that you just need to have one and then you’re “doing SEO” is flawed. It’s kinda like saying having a gym membership is good for your health. You’ve actually gotta have a training plan and show up to do the workouts. Same goes for SEO blogging. There needs to be a strategy in place, and you need to show up on the reg’ and deliver it.
Just like posting regularly on social media keeps the community buzzing, a regular commitment to SEO is crucial.
4. SEO is a one-time thing
Not today, Satan. Just like posting regularly on social media keeps the community buzzing, a regular commitment to SEO is crucial. Think about it, your competitors could be constantly making optimisations to their website and content strategy. And, Google is constantly tweaking the algorithm. So even if your content ranks today if it might not tomorrow.
Most people start out with an initial SEO project — an SEO audit, followed by an SEO strategy then implementation. After that initial project it’s common practice to move into “maintenance mode” which includes the continual monitoring and optimisation of the website, along with regularly adding new optimised content pages or blog posts and backlink outreach campaigns.
5. Content marketing and SEO are separate
Nope. Content marketing and SEO are not separate. In fact, you could argue that SEO is the original content marketing — because SEO is all about using content to build awareness and acquire quality traffic (kinda like content marketing, huh).
These days, it’s almost impossible to drive online sales conversions without content. Podcasts, online slide decks, infographics, blogs, and landing pages? They’re all forms of content marketing that can be optimised for search engines.
Erin is the founder and strategy director at Young Folks Digital — a boutique digital marketing agency based in Mornington, Victoria and working with clients Australia-wide. An experienced digital strategist with over 10 years experience, Erin is set on using her marketing powers for good, not evil. She believes the world needs more creativity and more sustainability and prioritises partnering with brands with aligned values.