Why SEO Sucks: Myth versus Reality

This blog is the third in a week long experimental blog series. Enjoy. After all is said and done, we’ll let you know how it went.

if youre going to believe a myth, at least let it be something cool like a unicorn.

if you're going to believe a myth, at least let it be something cool like a unicorn.

While our lives and businesses both continue to revolve more heavily around the web as time and technology allow, there are still a surprising few skeptics out there afraid of search engine optimization. If you have a business, and you have a website, why wouldn’t you want to optimize your position on the web to allow your clients to find you easiest? Below are a few of the myths we tend to hear come up disturbingly often and the realities behind them.

Myth: Ranking high is the most important thing.

Really? You’d rather show up #1 or #2 on Google than actually see improved traffic, conversions, or bounce rate? There’s no point in ranking at the top if every time someone clicks on your site, they immediately click away, like someone walking into a storefront and walking right back out before that little bell on the door has a chance to stop jingling. SEO is about more than just rankings – it’s a marketing tool aimed at helping your business actually succeed, not just look successful.

Myth: I would have to spend a lot of money on PPC to improve my organic rankings.

Untrue. PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns and organic optimization are very separate. PPC will not bring your organic rankings up, nor will it degrade your reputation at all. A vast majority of clicks happen in that upper-left hand corner of the search engine result pages, so there’s no harm in increasing your visibility by having both sponsored listings and natural listings.

Myth: Keyword density is a big factor.

Reality: If you focus on keyword density, chances are you’re going to start looking spammy really quick. Repeating keywords unnecessarily is called “keyword stuffing,” and you’d do a lot better for yourself simply adding more qualified content and work on link building than going to the trouble of having a heavy keyword density. However, this doesn’t mean keywords don’t matter at all. SEOmoz has a great article on keyword best practices from a while back.

Myth: I have to buy a domain for every keyword I want to target and put the same content on all of them.

Please don’t. There are a lot of reasons actually why that is exactly the opposite of what will help you improve your rankings. Search engines like fresh content and links, and won’t likely index your pages if you’ve created a substantial amount of duplicate content. Focusing on one domain (or even a few) will narrow down your link-building campaigns, and your efforts will be more productive. This is one of those cases where it’s OK to put all of your eggs in one basket.

See? SEO isn’t so scary after all.