Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process by which Google or any other search engine ranks your website or webpage for more visibility to the user. An effective SEO strategy essentially means that when a user “searches” for things related to your business, your webpage or product offering springs up on the first one or two pages of search engine ranks. A science and an art, digital marketers believe SEO to be the success mantra especially for online businesses such as e-commerce. However, few seem to get it right, especially so since the algorithms by which your webpage is ranked are dynamic and ever changing.
Here are some of the common SEO misconceptions that digital companies fall for, and end up ruling out SEO as an effective element of marketing strategy.
One can get by with mediocre content: This is one of the most popular beliefs—that the quality of content does not matter as much as the clicks. Many believe that website content should be built to attract customers/clicks alone. But this belies the importance of building SEO-friendly content, or content that adds value beyond just a click-through. As a result, they may shy away from availing professional SEO services and end up ignoring the building of SEO skills and creating quality content that invites repeat visitors and results in conversions.
Black SEO tactics are okay: Many businesses turn to unscrupulous means to get their links to be noticed in search engines. Measures such as link networks to undesirable sites, or paid links are easy tactics that may even throw up better SEO results in the short term. However, Google comes with its own ‘intelligence’, and has its means to block such unscrupulous content. Turning to spam to make SEO work is definitely ineffective in the long run.
You need to be a 100% white-SEO geek: Most white-hat SEO people stick to a rigid view that white hatting (following the search engine’s policies) is the best and only way to get SEO scores. Most of these view questionable inter-linkages (keyword stuffing, page swapping and more) as a big no-no and steer clear of any such clever tactics. Yet, they must understand that certain content sectors have found success thanks to a fair degree of grey SEO instrumentation (methods such as click bait that work in areas ill-defined by policy). The idea is to understand the element of “greyness” and balance out the risk, so as to make the most of grey and white SEO strategy.
Ignoring brand building: SEO in itself may not leave as strong an impact, as when created with a solid brand-building strategy. At the end of the day, it is direct searches that increase the probability of a customer purchase. Searching for “online fashion” is quite ineffective, as compared to searches for “Amazon”. Many deem this not to be a true SEO strategy, and rightly so. But SEO and brand building go very much hand-in-hand as both are directed towards the same outcome—customer leads.
These are some of the core misconceptions that prevent brands from embracing SEO to increase sales leads. In fact, companies must look at SEO as fruitful opportunity, banking upon its wonderful ability to create a “pull” for the target audience. SEO actions such as adequate keyword usage, linkage to high-authority sites, reacting to sentiment analytics etc., go a long way in creating a visible and engaging online presence for your business.