June 15, 2024

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Digitally first class

Reject these SEO myths if you want to thrive in 2022

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If you work in the digital marketing world, you’ve probably heard your business needs to be ramping up its search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. 

But maybe you’re not sure where to start with SEO, or if you’re doing it right.

No worries! 

The first step to getting results from SEO is to let go of a few pesky myths about the topic.

Wait, what even is SEO?

Real quick, let’s start with a short definition.

According to Moz, search engine optimization is:

A set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results.” 

As Moz explains in that article, for a business, SEO is about optimizing both the quantity of traffic that comes to your site through organic search, as well as the quality. 

Unlike pay-per-click, with organic search you don’t have to pay Google or other search engines every time someone comes to your site. 

Now that we have a definition, let’s dive into those myths.

Myth #1: I don’t need SEO

Recently, I heard a brand marketer say she didn’t need SEO because she didn’t want “random people” coming to her website. 

Also recently, I heard an agency owner say that SEO wasn’t a priority because they mainly got their clients via referrals.  

Here’s the thing … 

If you’re a kid selling lemonade to your neighbors, or maybe an Amish carpenter, then you probably don’t need to worry about SEO.

But, if you’re a business that uses the Internet and you want people to know where they can find you (online or otherwise), you and your marketing team need to be thinking about SEO. 

Hiding from this is only going to hurt you, especially in the long run.

Myth #2: SEO compromises writing quality

There was a time when cramming a blog post with keywords over and over was a way to hack the system. This hasn’t been the case for 10+ years.

So let’s say it nice and clear: SEO is NOT keyword stuffing.

Nor is it compromising your team’s awesome copywriting by writing for robots.

Instead, SEO is about letting search engines and your readers know what your content is about … in a natural way. 

In fact, the better and more naturally great your content is, the better it will do in the rankings.

Myth #3 We’ve already done our SEO

Saying you’ve already done SEO for your website is like Michael Scott saying he’s already flossed his teeth for the year. Just because you’ve done it once, doesn’t mean the job is finished.

SEO, like most things in life, takes consistent care and tending to. 

You want the information on your website to be kept accurate and up to date, right? 

This means you need writers to be consistently updating your content.

No consistency, no results.

Myth #4 SEO is all about traffic and rankings

This myth is probably the sneakiest. And to be fair, I also bought into it for a while.

SEO isn’t only about traffic and rankings.

It’s about bringing in the *right* traffic, and engaging them with content that’s suited to what they’re needing *right now*. 

Without these ingredients, your SEO results won’t be very meaningful.

Get your SEO strategy sorted 

The world of SEO is a lot more sophisticated and nuanced than it used to be. 

The good news is that if your brand has been creating great content, you’ve already made a lot of progress towards a solid SEO strategy. 

By putting more attention on SEO, especially over the long term, all that content you’re creating is going to be much more effective.

In next month’s issue, I’m going to talk about what SEO is actually about. 

In the meantime, feel free to check out this excellent guide from AWAI which explains what makes great SEO content.

Or, join in the conversation by commenting below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Rebekah Mays is an award-winning writer and a content strategist for conscientious companies.

For the past five years, she’s partnered with international organizations, tech companies, and start-ups to help mission-driven businesses clarify their messaging and put the needs of their audiences first in their marketing.

This is a distilled version of the monthly Thrive with Rebekah newsletter. To get the full version every month, along with a free copy of the User Experience Email Marketing Checklist, sign up on her website.

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