SEO scares or confuses most bloggers and for very good reason.
Google makes it a challenge for you to understand what they are doing, and they keep changing the rules. If that were not enough, there is also a lot of half-baked information out there and blog posts filled with the wrong information.
So, in this post I want to highlight five ridiculous SEO myths you should ignore and, what you should do instead.
Only The Big Blogs Can Get Traffic From Google
It is true that bigger (more authoritative) websites often rank higher on Google. And naturally, you might take that as a sign that it is impossible to a piece of the Google pie.
Believe it or not, everyone has a chance to get lots of traffic from Google. In fact, most of my clients get the majority of their traffic from search because they understand how to play the game.
Now you are probably wondering:
“Ashley, how can I also get boat-loads of traffic from Google?”
There are two big things you need to do:
- Target keywords that are quite specific (ie. long tail keywords) instead of going for the high competition phrases
- Check how competitive the top 10 in Google are before you target a specific keyword term (just do a search and see who ranks)
In short, pick your battles before you create your content.
SEO Is Too Hard, Google Always Changes The Rules
Sure, Google does tweak their algorithm countless times a year. And, they introduce bigger changes all the time knocking many off their perch.
Do you want me to let you in on a little SEO secret?
If you are doing SEO the right way, none of that really matters!
Every time Google makes a change to their search engine, it’s the people who do the “wrong” thing that suffer.
That might be you if you trying to trick Google with:
- too many links from spammy sites
- too many keywords in your posts
- blog posts that are just not worth anyone’s time
However, if you stick to the following simple rules, you are always good to go:
- Only use your keywords 4-5 times (only)
- Write the best piece of content you can on your chosen topic
- Get links from quality websites in your niche
If you are keen for some more in-depth information on exactly how to write SEO optimized content, you can this more detailed post on the topic.
Keywords Are No Longer Relevant
A few years ago you could stuff your keywords into your blog posts dozens of times. That ensured Google understood the point of your post.
Today, that is no longer a good idea. And because of this, many people are claiming:
Keywords are no longer relevant
The truth is always more complicated that simple quotes.
Search engines still need to be given some hints to truly understand what your post is about. And those are your keywords.
Today, instead of sprinkling them all over your content like confetti, you only need to put them in a few key places.
Do you want to know what those places are?
Let me list them out for you:
- The URL
- The title of the post (SEO Title – ie. Yoast)
- The main heading
- The first paragraph (or 100 words)
- Once more in the content (a variation if possible)
That is all you need to get your content ranked for a particular keyword.
Guest Blogging Is Dead
It’s funny how Google always tells us to stop doing what works. And guest blogging is no exception.
Back in 2014, Matt Cutts scared everyone by stating that guest blogging was dead.
This stopped a lot of people in their tracks, and lead to a big decline in guest blogging.
But don’t let it stop you!
Matt was really saying that if you use guest blogging the wrong way (like anything in SEO) Google will punish or ignore you.
What is the right way to guest blog?
Write a relevant, helpful blog post for a fellow blogger in your niche.
Take this post as an example. I wrote this like I would any content on my own blog.
And the great news is, many top blogs are still accepting guest posts and it’s a great way to do SEO.
You also get a link to your website, exposure to a new audience and a chance to network with new people.
All great ideas in my book.
Google Will Automagically Find My New Post
For bigger and more well known websites, that is certainly true.
However, if you have a newer site or have not published something in a long time Google might ignore you for a while.
There are a range of ways you can solve this, however I want to bring only the best one to your attention.
Google has created Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) to help us connect to them, and monitor our websites from a search perspective.
There are so many advantages to setting this up, but one of the biggest is informing Google of each and every page and post you have. Including the brand new ones, when they are created.
There are a few steps involved in this process, but the basics go like this:
- Sign up for Search Console (with a gmail account)
- Connect your website (by adding a special code)
- Add an XML site map (use Yoast plugin on WordPress)
There are some nuances to it, but that is the basics.
Once you have it set up, not only will you be able to get your new content on Google faster, but they will keep you informed of all sorts of other useful things too!
This one is a must!
Ignore The Myths And Thrive With SEO
By doing a few simple things, and ignoring all the bad advice out there, you can quickly gain traffic from Google.
Take one or a few of the tips above, and you will soon be wondering how you ever lived with SEO in your life!
Ashley is an SEO and WordPress specialist, and founder of Mad Lemmings, who helps bloggers, solopreneurs and small business get more traffic from Google.