Search Engine Optimization … or SEO … comes with a number of common misconceptions.
Part of the reason for that it that search engine optimization tends to be something of a moving target … as the search engines themselves change their algorithms, certain SEO tactics can move in and out of vogue.
On top of that, many online marketers have tended to view SEO as something of a “holy grail” when it comes to solving their site traffic problems.
This isn’t true of course, but it has resulted in even more SEO myths and misconceptions being propagated online. To make matters even more confusing, much of the information published is conflicting.
In the remainder of this article, I’m going to address 3 of the most common misconceptions about search engine optimization based on my own personal experience.
In my experience, proper use of tags on your website is the simplest and yet most often overlooked aspect of on-page search engine optimization. And yet it’s so easy to do.
Tags are simply a line of HTML coding that contains data about your web page and which may or may not be specifically used by search engine spiders as they gather information about your page which is then used to determine your page’s relevance for a particular search phrase.
The title tag is easily the most important and it should incorporate your target keyword phrase that you wish to rank for in the search engine results. And the title tag is used by all of the search engines.
As an example, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve come across sites whose title for their home page is “Home”. Well guess what … no one is searching for “Home” and if you insist on using that title for your web page, you aren’t helping the search engines or yourself out at all. If you are, say a piano teacher offering lessons in Winnipeg, then a starting point would be to use a title of “Piano Lessons In Winnipeg”. Prospective students are a lot more likely to be searching using that phrase than “home”.
Including your primary target keyword at the beginning of your title tag is the simplest thing to do, yet so often I see supposedly smart SEO experts who have failed to do so on their own sites.
The other tag that is important is your meta description tag. This tag is often used to generate the description of your website by the search engines when returning search results. So taking the time to create a 160 character description that incorporates your target keyword phrase and a compelling invitation or call to action can enhance the likelihood of someone clicking through to your site once they see you site displayed in their search results.
There is no denying that backlinks … that is links from other websites to yours … are important. Back links play a key part in establishing the authoritativeness of your website in the eyes of the search engines.
However, it is far more important to get a few targeted backlinks from authority sites than it is to get a ton of back links from spammy, low quality website with no authority. When looking to build backlinks to your website, focus on the sites that are ranking on page one of the search engine results for their relevant keyword phrases and attempt to build backlinks from them.
Submitting your website to search engine directories can be helpful because it’s a way of creating back links, but it’s not necessary in order to get your website indexed. By housing your website on a platform such as WordPress, taking advantage of the many pinging services, leveraging social media, and book marking with your posts, you will typically get even a brand new website indexed within a few days.