It’s been a while since I put together a post sharing my SEO knowledge. With so much conflicting or outdated content on the subject, I’m focusing on SEO myths for bloggers.
Myth #1: Plugins like Yoast do SEO for you
I use Yoast myself and find it really useful for setting meta data and to remind me of things like adding external links and using keywords in my headings, but its purpose is to suggest those on-page factors you might have forgotten about to help you rank for a particular phrase. It doesn’t consider any off-page stuff like how the current search engine results pages look or what authority and relevance your site has. Because of this, it’s pretty easy to get the green light from Yoast for a really generic keyword that your site actually has no chance of ranking for.
Used wisely, it’s a good plugin to have but a plugin will never be able to just do SEO for you and having Yoast installed won’t suddenly give you a boost in Google rankings.
Myth #2: SEO is a one-time fix
If you have a website that’s never been optimised at all or that has a lot of technical errors like broken links, you might think that you can just fix everything and be done with it. Once you already rank well, what’s the point of spending time on SEO? But the thing is, SEO is all about maximising your site’s visibility in search engines so that means finding new content opportunities and keeping existing content up to date. Plus, Google will always update its algorithms and introduce new features to search results so not staying updated means your site will get left behind.
Myth #3: I only need to focus on high-volume keywords
If you’re conducting keyword research for your blog (which you absolutely should!), a common misconception is that you should only focus your SEO efforts on the keywords that get the most searches. If you’re new to SEO, targetting a keyword with 1000 monthly searches makes more sense than a keyword with 10 monthly searches but there’s a lot of factors to consider here. Firstly, those high-volume search terms are usually a lot more competitive and difficult to rank for. Secondly, not all keywords are equal and they typically convey different search intents. And then of course, there’s the overall strategy that SEO is about improving visibility. So while you might want to work at those big search terms as a long-term goal, you could be bringing in more traffic by targetting multiple low-volume keywords too.
Myth #4: Content needs to be longer to rank
I’ve seen the idea of a magical wordcount that an article should be before it can rank, which is just not true. It really depends what the subject is and what search users want but a 400-word article that best answers the search query is always going to win against a 2000-word piece that’s stuffed with fluff or irrelevancy, assuming your website is engaging and offers a great user experience.
Myth #5: Guest blogging doesn’t work
While posting poor quality articles on other sites just to obtain a link isn’t a strategy you should use, guest blogging isn’t a totally useless practice. Submitting content to the right sites in your niche could actually help build referral traffic and an awareness of your brand. I also wouldn’t be concerned about no follow links if you’re getting valuable traffic from it as they make up a natural link profile.
I hope this helped to clear up some of those SEO myths out there. As always, this is the field I work in but not something I claim to know everything about and I’m happy to have discussions about anything.
Drop me a comment or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to cover any other areas!