Online marketers have long scratched their heads in an attempt to master – let alone understand – Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The goal of their work, of course, is to gain visibility for their web site.
That is easier said than done. Changes not only to search engine algorithms but also web design in general make SEO a tricky subject that is often surrounded with a variety of claims.
Some, as you can imagine, are truer than others.
A little while back, Taylor debunked several popular myths about SEO. In the spirit of the constant change that is SEO optimization, let’s revisit more common perceptions surrounding SEO and cut through the malarkey.
Consider this Roundpeg’s version of Mythbusters… minus the PhD’s in physics and fewer explosions.
MYTH: Image Optimization is Not Important
If you have spent any time in online marketing, you are fully aware that Google is a strange, strange thing. While we have said before that adding graphics and pictures to blogs and pages can help give it better visibility or new life, the picture alone isn’t what is doing it.
You see, Google can read, but what it can’t do is see pictures. In order to get the best results out of adding a picture, you have to optimize it by adding alternate text, a description and – optionally – a caption. This practice beefs up the amount of content and tells the sightless Google Machine that this picture contains worthwhile and relevant content. This in turn will give your post the boost you ultimately wanted when you added the picture in the first place. Bonus points for using your keyword in the description and alt text.
Image optimization is really easy to do, especially in WordPress. Once you upload the file, it presents you with an area to fill in all the information. Take this picture of Peter eating a cheeseburger for example.
MYTH: The Bigger Your Website is the Better
While bigger is indeed better in cases like foot-long hot dogs – judge all you want hot dogs are awesome – this is not necessarily the case when it comes to your website. It is true that a bigger website will have better visibility, however, this is not the case for a “hollow website.”
You can spend all the time you want making a bazillion pages with limited content hoping to reach a massive scope, but you are ultimately hurting yourself. Google responds well to pages that have high user engagement and attract long visits. If a web page lacks any valuable content, visitors won’t stay and Google will penalize you for it. This is known as “thin content“.
Quality trumps quantity every day of the week and twice on Sunday for Google. So, make sure each of your pages has valuable content. A smaller website with higher quality pages will have a higher rank than a gigantic one with low quality content.
MYTH: You Need to Constantly be Changing Your SEO
Much like our last myth, this one is only a half truth. It is true that the algorithm Google uses for its search engine changes very often. It is also true that last time we told you that your SEO is never “done.”
However, that does not mean that your SEO needs to be updated or changed on a month-to-month basis. For all the changes to the algorithm Google goes through, only a handful are significant and will effect your ranking – if even that.
If you are serious about your search engine ranking, you don’t have to obsess about it. Just do your do diligence, pay attention to changes to the algorithms that Google, Yahoo and Bing use and update when it is necessary.
In an ultra-competitive marketing world, it is easy to overthink your SEO. If you are ready to ditch the old ways of SEO thinking and are ready to get the most out of your website, let’s have a conversation.