3 Common Myths About SEO That You Need To Know

SEO is a strange beast. It is surprising how many people have never heard of SEO.  And of the people who have heard of it, many don’t really know what it is. While others know what it is, but have no idea what to do about it.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is a fancy way of saying… make your site easier for Google to find and feature higher in their search results leading to growth in sales, leads or brand visibility.

But of course, it’s not that simple. There are many moving parts in SEO, and those parts are constantly changing due to Google updates, algorithm changes, and improvements in modern technology. On top of that, there are many people online who claim to be SEO experts, but under the most cursory of scrutiny reveal themselves to be at best incompetent, and at worst complete charlatans.

Even the real experts will have different opinions on what works and what doesn’t, so with SEO being so nebulous, it’s no wonder there are so many myths floating around.We could literally write thousands of pages on this topic, but we don’t want to bore you. Instead, here are the top three myths about SEO and why you really should leave it to the professionals.

It’s all about keywords

Myth: Whatever your website sells, the more times you mention it, the more likely you’ll be featured on Google’s first page. Selling chess sets? Then fill your copy with the phrase “chess sets” over and over again. That’s what people are searching for, right? Makes sense to talk about it?

The Truth: Once upon a time in the early days of the internet, this tactic of keyword stuffing actually had some merit. But that was before Google got smart and wised up to what was going on. For at least the past decade, keyword stuffing has been pointless and anyone using it will have their site punished, and even run the risk of having it removed from the search listings altogether! Not something you want to happen as it’s not the easiest or quickest job to get back in the search results.

Google is all about providing the best service to its users. They want the best website for the job, and simply cramming your site full of keywords is not going to help. This was a very old SEO technique which was in an ethical grey area to begin with, but now results in a website being flagged as untrustworthy. If someone recommends this, then it’s a clue they’ve no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to SEO – so move on quickly.

You can simply pay for the same result

Myth: Forget about spending time and money on SEO! Simply pay for Google Ads and you’ll be at the top of Google’s first page anyway!

The Truth: No, that’s not how it works.

While Google Ads can be helpful, particularly alongside organic SEO if you’re targeting certain keywords or running a special promotion, buying Google Ads does not help your site rise in their ranking or get you more organic visitors.

Ok, so, you’re not at the top of Google’s first page “organically”, who cares, you’re still there, right? Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean people will click on your ad. In fact, depending on the topic, the click-through rate on Google Ads can be as small as 2%!

The good news is, those who do click will probably go on to buy something, but the bad news is, the second you stop paying for those ads, you stop appearing on the first page.

Getting to the top of Google’s search results organically is undoubtedly hard, but has longer lasting results and is definitely worth the effort. Organic results are simply trusted more as there are so many factors involved in getting your website there. A key attribute of successful organic performance is E.A.T. or Expertise, Authority, and Trust.

SEO is no longer important

Myth: SEO is dead. There’s no need to optimise your site because Google is answering people’s questions directly on their results page. Add to that their constant algorithm changes, the rise of social media platforms, and mobile technology, and there’s no point in spending all that time and money on optimisation.

The Truth: SEO is more important now than ever, and the reason is because of all those changes. Google receives a mind-blowing six billion search queries per day. That’s roughly two trillion a year. As more and more people find themselves online across the globe, the number of websites, businesses, and products is increasing exponentially.

All these sites are fighting for clients and customers, and Google needs some method to rank them. To visit your site, people must know about it, and more than 95 per cent of clicks go to the top four search results. This is why, if you want to make it to the top of their search results, it’s essential to have a customised SEO strategy.

Visitors turn into customers, and at the end of the day, that’s what makes a business successful.

SEO – best left to the professionals

SEO is an incredibly complicated discipline, shifting in practice, theory, and even definition, year to year. Getting SEO right includes combining a large number of tools, using best practices that are evolving frequently and constantly adjusting to the numerous Google updates.

Even the experts in the field need to be on their toes, constantly keeping ahead of the curve when it comes to updates, software, and Google’s list of do’s and don’ts. It’ really no wonder there are so many myths about SEO and the best practice out there.

Best practice SEO is definitely worth it when built on a strong foundation using good metadata, titles and descriptions, clear, concise headings, and a website optimised for the user. Then there are a large number of other factors – pagespeed, technical performance, lack of errors, page structure, user experience, structured data, backlinks, image optimisation, hosting, content delivery networks, mobile performance and many more. And of course, high quality, unique and informative content.

It’s a fluid, continuous work in progress, always changing and adapting to the demands of the digital horizon, and is never, ever, a one-time thing.So, in the end, what ranks best? What tweaks and twists can you do to get on that much sought-after, but all elusive first page of Google?

The basics are still the same as they were 20 years ago; select keywords (but not too many), create quality content that gives value to your audience, (not boring regurgitated words that offer nothing of value) and solid link-building (but not just to any old site).

To put it in simple terms, link building is the process used to get other websites to link back to your website. Building links is one of the many disciplines used in SEO as they indicate to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation.

But alongside that, there are a thousand and one small nuances that constantly change over time, moving the goalposts for everyone. A good knowledgeable SEO professional will constantly educate themselves to keep up with the constant changes to Google’s algorithm and adhere to best practice within the industry, making sure they are doing their best for their clients to keep them in the game.

If you are thinking about implementing a customised SEO strategy to help your rankings in Google, please feel free to contact us and have a chat about what we can do for you and your business. We will break down the complexities of SEO into simple terms that you can understand.

We are a specialist inbound marketing agency with a range of clients across New Zealand and Australia. The Directors have over 15 years of experience in this space and our team bring specialist skills and years of experience to their roles.

We have been recognised by some of the largest content marketing and SEO organisations on the planet for our work including Content Marketing Institute, Copyblogger Media, Chief Content Officer magazine and a number of specialist SEO blogs. Our business approach is all about trust, transparency, a commitment to quality and representing our clients with integrity.

Gary Ireland

Gary Ireland

With experience in everything from graphic design to teenage counseling, Gary finally settled on writing as his main weapon of choice. “But writing is just one part of this job, which is why I love it so much. It’s hard to get bored with so many irons in the fire. If I’m not researching an article, I’m on Social Media, or working behind the scenes to optimise a site for Google’s latest algorithms. I learn something new every day, and each day brings with it new challenges.”

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Google Search Central

What are some of the biggest SEO Myths you see still being repeated (either at conferences, or in blogs, etc) Ryan, Michigan Have a question? Ask it in our Webmaster Help Forum: http://groups.google.com/a/googleprod… Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/googlewmc Get notified of new videos on Google+: http://www.google.com/+GoogleWebmasters More videos: http://www.youtube.com/GoogleWebmaste… Webmaster Central Blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspo… Webmaster Central: http://www.google.com/webmasters/

A Beginner’s Guide To Using Keywords In Google Ads

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Google Ads can be an effective way to reach an audience of new customers. However, if you do not have a well-thought-out keyword list, your search and display ads may not be shown to those much-coveted consumers.

What is a keyword list? It is a set of terms, words and phrases that are associated with your business, brand or product. For example, if you own a yoga studio, keywords or phrases might include yoga classes, beginners’ yoga, hot yoga or meditation classes.

Beyond compiling a list of keywords and phrases that correlate to your business, think about the ways that people may search for you. Listing out your business or product name is always a must. But what if people do not already know about you? In our example of the yoga studio, keywords to use could be yoga studio near me, yoga studio in [town name], or even something as simple as good yoga studios.

The more specific your keywords are, the narrower the audience will be that finds them in their search. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is a good keyword if you are targeting experienced and knowledgeable yogis, but it may exclude those new to the practice trying to find a studio. However, too broad of a keyword and you may be wasting money on showing your ad to people that may not be your target audience. Yoga is a pretty broad keyword and it competes with many other facets of the practice, including magazines, blogs and other online websites. Finding keywords that hit the proverbial sweet spot, as mentioned in paragraph three, will help optimize your reach to those searching for your business.

Once you have a keyword list ready, you must next decide on the modifiers. These are ways of inputting the keywords into Google Ads using quotation marks, brackets, plus signs, or leaving no modifiers of the keyword or phrase at all. The options are exact match, phrase match, broad match modifier, and broad match, respectively.

Exact Match is much like it sounds. By choosing the Exact Match modifier using brackets, ads will show when someone searches that exact term. [Beginners’ Yoga Studio] is an example of an exact match. Only someone searching that exact term will see the ad associated with that keyword.

Phrase Match uses quotation marks around the word or phrase. “Beginners’ Yoga” would be shown to those searching that phrase or a variation of that phrase, like beginners’ yoga classes.

Broad Match Modifier utilizes plus signs in front of the keywords so that they will appear when those terms, or close variations of those keywords, are searched in any order. +Beginners’ +yoga is an example of Broad Match Modifier. If someone searches yoga for beginners, the ad associated with that phrase will be shown to them.

Leaving out any modification and inputting the keywords or phrases just as they are is Broad Match. This type of matching leaves the terms open to include misspellings, synonyms and variations of the term. This is the default match when adding your keywords into Google Ads.

Which modifier is better to use is up to you. However, Google Ads makes it very easy to access your keywords and make changes at any time. If you start your ads with Broad Match but find that you are not converting customers, try Broad Match Modifier or Phrase Match. Google Ads’ dashboard can help you determine which keywords are successful. Google will also provide you recommendations on what keywords you may want to add to the campaign.

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Finally, create a negative keyword list for terms for which you do not want to be found. Using the yoga studio as an example again, if it does not offer hot yoga classes, then the term hot yoga can be added to the negative keyword list. When people search the term hot yoga, your ads will not show up, saving the money on ads to be shown to those who are in the market for your type of studio.

Google Ads can act as a driver to gain brand awareness, push more visits to your website, receive more phone calls and, most especially, grow your customer base if they are set up correctly. Taking your time with your keyword list is a great way to start.

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How to Use Keyword Gap Analysis to Land High-Quality Guest Posts – Dustin Christensen

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The days of guest blogging strictly for SEO purposes may be over – Google long ago called out the tactic  – but it is still a great way to build rapport with your industry. Guest posting is also an ideal way to provide value to your audience without having a large platform yourself, which is often the case with new brands or websites.

One of the most challenging parts of this process is finding the right topic to pitch to your target sites. This can be particularly difficult when approaching large sites that have hundreds or thousands of published articles spanning many years. The chance that your topic has already been covered may be high.

Recently, I discovered an easy way to find potential topics for your guest posts that can nearly guarantee you will pitch something they haven’t covered before. It takes some research, but can dramatically improve your success rate when it comes to editors accepting your ideas.

Here is how it works:

1. Find a website you’d like to write for and identify their main organic competition.

2. Use the SEMrush Keyword Gap Tool to find keywords that the competition ranks for, but your target site does not.

With this data, you will have plenty of topics that your target site hasn’t sufficiently covered, and with the right approach, you can craft a pitch that is tailored to that site’s focus and audience. This doesn’t mean you will automatically get your idea published, but it will help you avoid pitching topics they have already discussed.

In your pitch, you can also allude to the fact that their closest competitors have covered the topic, which may help your case.

I recently used this strategy to write a contributor post for Foundr.com; a site focused on early-stage entrepreneurship. Here is a look at the process I used, and how you can apply this to your guest blogging campaigns.

Find Your Target Website

Many websites still accept guest posts or editorial submissions, so building your potential prospect list should be straightforward. I began by looking for entrepreneurship, business, and marketing sites that seemed accessible, and made a list of 5 – 10 websites I wanted to pitch.

From there, I started with Foundr.com because the site met my criteria and includes a contributor page with information on how to submit content ideas. When a site offers this info, it is much easier to adapt your pitch to exactly what they are looking for.

foundr contributor form

Aside from being a fan of Foundr’s podcast, I also spent some time browsing their recent and most popular blog articles to get an idea of the site’s tone, voice, and style. Once I was comfortable knowing I could pitch a topic that would be valuable to their audience, I began researching the site’s organic competition.

Identify the Organic Competition

The SEMrush Organic Competitors report identified more than 7,500 domains that had keywords in common with Foundr.com, including large sites like Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, and Medium.com.

foundr organic competition

When choosing domains to run through the Keyword Gap Analysis, however, I like to use sites that aren’t too large – otherwise, you will get a lot of keywords and topics that aren’t necessarily related to your target site.

If I were to run YouTube and Foundr through the analysis, for example, I would get thousands of keywords YouTube ranks for that are unrelated to Foundr.

It helps to identify sites of the same relative size and scope of your target site, and this will make the next step easier when choosing keywords and potential content topics. In my research, I found one site that seemed to have a large amount of data to work with, but was focused enough to provide targeted results, and that was Harvard Business Review.

foundr competition

Harvard Business Review covers everything from entrepreneurship to leadership, management, and marketing. The site seemed a good fit because Foundr takes a decidedly young approach to entrepreneurship, where HBR is a decades-old non-profit whose goal is “to improve the practice of management in a changing world.” They may cover similar topics, but their philosophies are different, and I believed I could use this to my advantage when crafting article ideas.

The next step was to find keywords and topics that HBR ranked for that Foundr did not.

Use Keyword Gap Analysis to Find Relevant Keywords

Using the Keyword Gap tool, I entered HBR.org as the first domain and Foundr.com as the second. In between, I chose the “Unique to the first domain’s keywords” option. This gave me more than one million keywords.

foundr gap analysis tool

To clean things up, I narrowed down the results by volume (keywords between 80 and 500 searches) and keyword difficulty (less than 85). This gave me a more manageable starting point of about 150,000 keywords.

how to build resilience at work keyword

Next, I began going through the keywords to see if there was anything I could use as the seed of an article for Foundr. Here is where critical thinking comes into play, and although it is not always fun to work through hundreds of keywords, the time you put into this stage can make or break your pitches down the road.

Many keywords were related to careers and management, including:

  • How to tell someone they are being laid off
  • Office politics hbr
  • How to write short cover letter

Some of these may be good long-tail topics, but Foundr is about early-career entrepreneurs and founders – not traditional career advice. After some research, one of the top keywords stood out:

  • how to build resilience at work

That was something that applied to entrepreneurship because of the immense obstacles and challenges facing those looking to build businesses. Resilience isn’t just helpful for founders – it is practically a requirement.

After doing further research on Foundr’s content, including a Google “site:” search, I found no other article that seemed to hit on the same topic. I had a winner.

Tailor Your Keyword with an Appealing Angle

Once you have your keywords in mind, it is not enough to simply pitch that search query as your topic. You will want to craft an angle that is specific to your target site’s audience and goals. For Foundr, it was not a stretch to relate resilience and entrepreneurship, but I needed to refocus the keyword to be more focused on their brand and business goals.

In my submission, I described “how entrepreneurs can build world-class resiliency by rethinking the way they approach their struggles and challenges.” I explained that for entrepreneurs, resilience is often more important than more concrete skills that are easier to quantify.

The search “how to build resilience at work” then became the topic of how to build resilience while building a business.

I sent the pitch and the next day received an email from the editor saying they were interested in the article. Several drafts, revisions, and months later, the article was published and shared more than 70 times.

building resilience article

Conclusion

For many writers and marketers, finding a good angle for content is often harder than the writing itself. Using the SEMrush Gap Analysis tool, I was able to cut hours of time from my prep work by focusing on topics I knew websites would be more likely to publish. It is not a fool-proof method to landing guest posts, but it can make the outreach process much more efficient.

In the end, the success of your guest post campaigns comes down to your ability to provide real, practical value to your audience, and the right keyword research can help you demonstrate that value front and center starting with your guest blog pitch.

If everyone who read the articles and like it, that would be favorable to have your donations – Thank you.

Long Tail Pro – How To Get Hybrid Keyword-Baby Monster Training

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Long Tail Pro provides exact search volume data, as well as our industry-leading Keyword Competitiveness (KC) metric. You can search for specific keywords, or get hundreds of keyword suggestions at a time.

You can View your domain statistics and pick the best keywords for your site. Use Target KC to find out which keywords are easy, which ones will take extra effort, and which ones to avoid.

Use the Google AdWords Suggestions to find hundreds of new related keywords in minutes, for any country or language.Measure your success and keep tabs on how you’re doing with the Brand New Rank Tracker feature in Long Tail Pro, fresh out of beta testing. Based on feedback from 70,000 marketers.

Know how close you are to the top result for all your keywords so you can hone in on your winning keywords and start seeing results even faster.

  • Keyword Competitiveness Score and Competitor Analysis
  • Search for keywords manually or get hundreds of suggestions for each keyword search
  • Keyword results include Search volume (from Google Data) Keyword Competitiveness score calculated by Long Tail Pro for each keyword searched Bid Competition
  • SERP lookup and detailed competition analysis for each keyword
  • Rank Value feature to estimate the monthly value of ranking #1 for each keyword
  • Personal Domain analysis and customized Keyword Competitiveness Targets

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  • Add Seed Keywords – this is where you add your broad terms you want to build keyword lists from.
  • Add My Own Keywords – a feature of LTP Platinum (will discuss this in more detail later). It allows you to bulk add your own keywords, giving you competition metrics and expanding your list much faster.
  • Suggested Bids – useful if you’re looking at LTP from the perspective of building Adsense sites, or looking for Adwords keywords. You can filter so that results only above or below a certain suggested bid display.
  • Local Search Volume – this is ticked by default, and is the search volume for each keyword for whichever Google locale you selected when creating your project.  Once again you can pre-filter with min or max values here. Great if you want to avoid being shown hundreds of phrases with 0 or 10 or 20 volume.
  • Advertiser Competition – THIS IS NOT FOR SEO, MMKAY! It’s a metric used to look at Adwords competition, so if you’re finding keywords for SEO then basically ignore this. However, may be useful for us PPC fiends.
  • Num Words – A very useful feature in my opinion. You can set a min or max number of individual words in the keyword. This means you can focus on finding proper long tail phrases (e.g. “dog training toys for small puppies” as opposed to seeing lots of broader terms like “dog training”).
  • Global Search Volume – THIS IS UNTICKED BY DEFAULT. Y? Y? Y? But seriously, make sure you tick this before you get to work, provided you are in a niche or business that makes sense on a global scale. Unnecessary if you are targeting a specific country or geographic area, and global volume isn’t relevant to your interests.
  • Domain Availability – Checks to see if you can register your keyword as a domain name. Since EMDs aren’t cool any more, I’d advise it’s not worth the extra processing power. Branded domains are the future.
  • Google Title Competition – Runs an “allintitle:” check for the keywords in Google
  • Bing Title Competition – Same as above, but for Bing. Both of these are kind of useful if you are looking hard at SEO competition analysis.

longtailpro-homepage

Long Tail Pro can also be useful for PPC marketers, as it can help you to find keywords that would work well as phrase and exact matched terms, as well as get an indication of CPC and Adwords competition.

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