*This is a guest post by Christopher Holland*
I recently signed up to a few business and SEO forums and was amazed at what people still recommend.
As there are so many people offering outdated or wrong tips and tricks on how to improve your search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns, I thought I’d let you know of some of the biggest myths around.
Search engines are always changing their algorithms, and over the past decade things have changed dramatically. Due to complexity of this industry, and the rapid changes, this has led to the many believed SEO myths which I have listed below.
1) Submit your websites to search engines
I still hear about people submitting their website to Google and other search engines to get indexed and to “rank higher” – this just simply isn’t true anymore. It has been at least 5 years since this technique has been necessary and all you need to do is obtain a few backlinks and make sure your not blocking robots from crawling your website.
There are still hundreds and hundreds (probably thousands) of websites that either have lots of keywords spammed at the bottom of their website or within their content. This will do more harm than good, and it’s almost a certainty that you will get penalised and dropped from the results.
So instead of spamming, I recommend that you write great content targeted towards your visitors and to include your chosen keywords naturally (this should not be a problem as you should be targeting relevant keywords to the page).
3) Content length
A while ago, there was a big rumour that went around saying that you need to have a specific number of words in order to get indexed and to increase your position.
Your content should be as long as it needs to be to tell the reader exactly what you need to.
4) Keyword rich domain name
It is still widely believed that if you have keywords within your domain name like www.website-design-nbat-digital.co.uk, that it will improve your rankings. This is not true. Your domain should be short, contain your company name and most importantly be easy to remember.
Note from Ann: I actually still believe in this one
(But not in spamming your domain with keywords though)
5) Meta Tags are no longer relevant
To an extent this is true, but there are still some uses for the META tags. First off, I’d like to say that the keywords tag is no longer used by the main search engines, and therefore does not need including, let alone optimising.
Now that’s out the way, let’s move onto the other main META tag – description. The description tag does not affect rankings in anyway, but it’s a chance for you to try and sell your company and to get a user to click on your website. If you can write a compelling ad that is about your product or service, then you could see your click through rates increase through the roof.
Finally, the title tag. This is the most important tag which highly contributes to your on page optimisation. You should include your main keyword as close to the beginning as you can and of course don’t fill it with unrelated keywords.
6) Pay Per Click will help or hurt your organic rankings
Running a Pay per click (PPC) campaign will not directly affect your organic rankings. However, by occupying two positions for the same keyword you give the user a choice, and while the PPC ad can be good for getting extra traffic, some of the PPC visitors will come from those who previously might have clicked on the organic listing.
7) NoFollow links are a waste of time
Anyone running a link building campaign should acquire both NoFollow and DoFollow links. Not only will this look far more natural but studies suggest that not all search engines pay attention to the NoFollow attribute and in fact value them the same as a DoFollow link.
This article was by Christopher Holland, who is a search engine marketer for nbat Digital – professional web design and search engine optimisation services. Follow us on twitter – @nbatdigital or take a look at our blog.