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The Top 3 Misconceptions About SEO

Search Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for a website's online visibility. It can propel your site to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) or drop your site to the depths of the index.

Yet many businesses and people remain hesitant to engage in SEO due to the widespread misconceptions that have gained traction in the marketing community.

Because of these misconceptions, business owners delay employing an SEO marketing agency, which slows expansion and prevents acquiring quality new customers.

To ensure that you are on the right track with SEO, here are seven common SEO misconceptions to avoid:

Misconception #1: Length Equals Quality.

long-form vs. short-form content

Content length and how it affects search engine rankings is a hotly debated topic in digital marketing. The premise is that the longer a piece of content is, the more likely it will rank well in search engines.

However, Google's ranking system does not rely solely on word count. This means that shorter content can compete for top positions. Depending on the user's needs, short-form content can even prove more effective. It’s therefore important to understand the length a piece of content needs to have to prove sufficiently valuable to readers.

Long-Form vs. Short-Form Content

When it comes to ranking well on the SERP, there is no set word count for content. The length of content appears to be determined by the topic and the medium in which it is presented.

However, our SEO marketing agency can conclude the following about content length and search results:

  • Websites with higher rankings typically have more content. The content length correlates with domain authority, website performance, and backlinks. Higher-ranking websites consistently have content with a word count between 2,000 and 2,500. As a result, long-form content demonstrates subject-matter authority, allowing it to rank highly in SERPs.
  • Longer content is more likely to earn backlinks. In general, longer pieces of content generate more links. Long content is frequently referenced by webmasters and other online authors who want to boost their own claims with more information because it delves deeply into a topic.
  • Longer content keeps people engaged. For the same reasons that webmasters are more likely to link to longer pieces of content when referencing authoritative sources, social media users are more likely to share longer pieces of content when they believe they will provide value to their followers.

Furthermore, because short content is much more challenging to optimize for search engines, it must be unique and beneficial to users to rank well. Short-form content includes lists, infographics, and social media posts. 

Here's what our SEO marketing agency knows about short content and search results:

  • Websites with more authority can use shorter content lengths with success. If a website consistently creates authoritative long-form content, those past credentials are carried over to every new type of content they make—even if it's short.
  • Short content is well-represented by Google's Featured Snippets. The descriptive snippet appears first in a Featured Snippet. Google uses these snippets to highlight answers to specific questions posed by users. Users can thus obtain the information they require without sifting through search results.
  • Google has other ways to provide users with short content. Google also has Rich Answers, Knowledge Graphs, and Rich Snippets in addition to Featured Snippets. They give people the information they need right when they need it.

Which Content Length is Preferable?

To put it briefly, "it depends." There's room on the web for both short and long-form writing. To sum up, the most crucial thing is high-qualy content. Your content length can vary as long as you satisfy your target audience's and the search engine's needs.

Misconception #2: SEO Kills Creativity.

Creativity's tombstone

If you want people to read your work, you need to optimize it for search engines. You want your article to be one of the first in a Google search for your topic.  

This requires some forethought and planning, but at the expense of your writing voice and, more specifically, your ability to be creative.

You may have noticed that following SEO guidelines makes your work sound less like you. But, as with everything else, finding a middle ground is the key to writing well and getting your work read.

Our SEO marketing agency strongly advises being fearless of the challenge of creating SEO-friendly yet creative pieces. You don't want the standard of your work to drop while you keep your focus on the technicalities.

So, aim to have a collection of work you're pleased with, one that engages readers and stays with them.

Remember that sharing is a big part of how people find articles. If you write a good piece, a reader will almost certainly recommend it to a friend. The reader then forwards it to a friend, and so on.  

The higher the quality of your content, the more likely it will be appreciated and shared.

Misconception #3: SEO Will Not Yield Immediate Results.

SEO thumbs down

That is, in fact, correct. But that's no reason to put it off; it's a reason to get started sooner.

One of our SEO marketing agency's most frequently asked questions is, "How long does SEO take?" Because of the numerous variables involved, this is one of the most challenging questions to answer. It is frustrating for both the client and the consultant.

This is because, in addition to evaluating all the factors that go into optimizing your own website, you must also assess all the factors that go into optimizing your competitors' websites.

However, here is a plausible scenario for how your SEO efforts might look during the first few months, as well as the results you can expect:

  • Month 1: Research and discovery, website audit, keyword strategy, and planning. If research and discovery can be completed quickly, technical changes to the website could begin within the first month. In other cases, a thorough research and discovery phase can last several months.
  • Month 2: Start technical SEO work, which means making changes to the site based on the site audit results. Sometimes, the website must be completely rebuilt, which can take months. Other SEO tasks, like working on the site's link profile and making new content, can be done simultaneously with the overhaul.
  • Month 3: Start concentrating on content creation. Ideally, you would have started on this after the strategy and planning. But, budget constraints often limit what can be done at once, so a technical overhaul must come first. As a result, you may see some rankings improvements by the end of this month. If those rankings translate into leads or sales, that's fantastic, but don't count on it just yet.
  • Month 4-5: Continued content creation, technical website optimization, and healthy link profile development. You may have begun incorporating social media management into your plan by this month or earlier to amplify your content and increase direct traffic to your website. This can result in a healthy, natural link profile and lead generation.
  • Month 6: If you're getting more than 5,000 visitors a month, conversion rate optimization could help you turn those eyeballs into paying customers. From this point forward, your activities may be consistently focused on content creation and promotion, or you may be doing something more creative.

Many SEO companies will tell you that it takes four to six months to see results. That is generally correct, but keep in mind that this is when you begin to see results, and SEO results grow over time.

Whatever results you get at six months should be significantly less than what you get at 12 months. At some point, your results may begin to plateau, and it may become a matter of maintaining rather than growing your results.

It's Time to Put an End to These Misconceptions

The success of our SEO strategy is crucial to the achievement of both our immediate and long-term objectives. To rise in the ranks and attract more customers, it helps to know what actually works and what is just a misconception.

And if you're serious about learning as much as you can about SEO, it's time to hire an SEO marketing agency that specializes in your field.

At Digital Resource, we have a comprehensive strategy for achieving top Google rankings!

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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