Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the cornerstones of content marketing. Even if you create pages and pages of text, your campaign will stall at the starting line if you aren't following key SEO principles.
It might seem like a good idea to search the Internet for advice on how to get started with SEO, but this isn't always the best plan, as there are many SEO misconceptions masquerading as facts. Here are some of the most common SEO fallacies that you should avoid.
1. Search Terms Have to Be Short
Novice marketers often assume there are more searches for generic, short-tail key phrases like "Cleveland plumbing" or "back pain" than for long-tail keyword like "clogged toilet problem Cleveland price" or "sharp pain in lower back." However, long-tail keywords are more specific in their requirements and, therefore, can help marketers craft more targeted and relevant content. Forbes reports that although long-tail keywords get less search traffic, they make up for this shortcoming with dramatically less competition, which makes it easier for you to rank higher in search engines.
2. Content Should Be Saturated With Keywords
Search Engine Land notes that in the early days of content marketing, keyword stuffing — the practice of putting as many keywords as possible in a blog post or landing page — was a viable SEO tactic. Even if there wasn't much substance behind the content, search engines would still favorably rank pages with high keyword frequency.
However, in the past few years, search engines have gotten smarter, as algorithm changes have started demoting sites that engage in this practice. You might be tempted to slip in a few extra key phrases here and there, but stay far away from the practice of keyword stuffing if you want to continue rising through the search engine results.
3. Your SEO Strategy Must Change With Every Algorithm Update
Speaking of algorithm updates, there's a common SEO misconception that marketers must revamp their content strategy every time Google releases an update. In reality, these updates often have little to no effect on marketers who are already practicing good SEO tactics. Most updates are designed to promote useful content while pushing down sites that use "black hat" SEO tactics like keyword stuffing. Though it's worth monitoring the continued improvements in search engine technology, there's no reason to panic every time an update goes live. If you have questions, ask an expert. The digital marketing teams at CMG Local Solutions are always happy to help.
It can be overwhelming to get started with content marketing, as there are seemingly endless "rules" regarding SEO. While it's important to follow basic SEO guidelines, it's even more important to separate fact from fiction, and smart marketers will be careful not to fall prey to the most prominent SEO misconceptions.