Since the advent of search engines (some of which are names forgotten in the past: HotBot and AltaVista come to mind) marketers have been trying to figure out how to game the system. And in return, search engines work hard to make sure that they're picking up quality content, not regurgitated fluff. It's been over 10 years since we heard the words "SEO," and it's easy to believe it just can't be relevant anymore.
But that's just not true. Does SEO matter? Today, SEO copy is perhaps even more important than it was 20 years ago, when many people didn't even know how to use a search engine. But now, everyone does. In fact, a recent study showed that search queries beat out social referrals for site traffic, something that hasn't happened in four years. Which I guess means that search is king again, and it's time to dust off the old SEO copy skills. So let's clean up by busting some popular SEO myths and misconceptions people still believe:
SEO Myth #1: It's not a "Trick"
You might have had many clients who were skeptical about adding SEO copy to their website, simply because, well, sometimes SEO gets a bad rap. A lot of people think that it's about "tricking" search engines into ranking you higher. What they don't understand is that it's about creating enough quality content that you deserve a higher ranking. That content still needs to be noticed, so keywords are still key, but SEO isn't about stuffing so many of them in that the content suffers. In fact, the more you try to manipulate with SEO, the worse it often gets. Remember: good SEO is about providing something to your clients' customers. In return, you get rewarded with higher search ranking because your clients' website has simply become better.
Related: Top 5 Busted Blogging Myths
SEO Myth #2: Not All Traffic Is the Same
When a person searches for something, they're generally looking for a solution. They're being targeted, as if they're on a mission. So what you need to do is make sure that you target them back. This is exactly why SEO copy is so important. When someone shares something about your clients' businesses on social media sites, you're likely getting a lot of traffic, but it may not be the kind of traffic you want. You want to bring in people from search engines because these are the people who are likely to close the deal. Searchers are motivated, more so than someone browsing Facebook and stumbling across your site.
Related: SEO Tips and Best Practices from 100+ Experts
SEO Myth #3: We Did SEO
This is perhaps the most common SEO myth you will ever encounter. Someone will work on a website and declare it "done." Your client will perhaps even repeat to you that they've already "done" SEO. What they don't realize is that SEO is an ongoing process and there's more to do than just creating good SEO copy. It's crucial that you maintain your SEO because content and links become out of date, because search engines change and you may want new content. But most of all, you want to keep your SEO up-to-date because if you aren't, you can bet that your clients' competitors are.
While you might not be falling prey to any of these misconceptions, it's important to remember that your clients may not be as well-versed in SEO. By showing them how important SEO and SEO copy can be, you may be able to help them realize that SEO is just a form of modern day advertising. It's not a trick and it's more than just utilizing social media. SEO is an entire strategy for a website, using the tools given to try and make sure that their visitors get exactly what they were looking for when they stumble upon a site.
To learn more about SEO myths and the future of SEO, check out our white paper, "What's The Future of SEO?"