Although search engine optimisation is not rocket science, there are many people out there that do not understand the basics of SEO at all. That is where SEO companies and SEO specialists come in. Unfortunately, the lack of understanding of SEO can often lead to misconceptions regarding what an SEO can, and cannot, do.
If you are interested in SEO services here are some of the common misconceptions about what an SEO agency in South Africa can do.
The biggest misconception is that SEOs can somehow control Google, and therefore make Google give you better rankings. However, the main function of SEO is to give Google what it is looking for.
Good SEOs understand what Google is looking for and can implement those factors on your website (or specific pages of your website) so that Google better understands your website. This understanding helps Google determine how to rank your content for target keywords.
There is no red phone that SEOs can use to chat with Larry Page (one of the creators of Google). Nobody controls Google.
Any SEO or SEO company that guarantees, or promises, any rankings is a red flag and a reason to run in the opposite direction. No SEO can guarantee any rankings, especially not #1 rankings. The day an SEO can do that, the SEO won’t have to do work for clients, because he/she could just build businesses on the back of all the #1 rankings he could get for his/her own businesses.
Any SEO that attempts to guarantee rankings, should immediately be asked to show their own rankings for the term “SEO Services”. If they are not at #1 (they won’t be), they should then explain how they can promise clients a #1 ranking when they can’t even accomplish #1 rankings for their own target keywords.
Target all (and any) keywords
Any SEO that can do SEO well will tell you that targeting all keywords is a terrible SEO strategy that will likely lead to disappointment for everyone involved. Keyword research is one of the most important tasks that an SEO can perform, and keyword research should always inform what keywords you are going to target.
An adept SEO will review the keyword difficulty of selected phrases for your business because the more SEOs are competing for rankings for a specific keyword, the more work it will take to gain rankings for that keyword. Keyword research will inform you on the “low hanging fruit” keywords that you can start gaining rankings immediately in the short term while working to target the more competitive keywords in the long term.
Also, keep in mind that search volumes are not the same for all keywords. SEOs have tools that they can use to determine how many people are searching for a specific keyword or phrase each month. Targeting a keyword that nobody types into Google, is a giant waste of SEO resources.
Help you rank without content
The funny thing about working in SEO is that I rely a lot on other people to help me do my work. SEOs work closely with web developers, designers, and with copywriters. Each of these has a key part to play in SEO success, but the one that has the biggest impact on my work is the copywriter.
You might have seen the phrase “Content is king” floating around on many digital marketing sites. Content is important, because without it, it is impossible to explain to users, and Google, what your product or service is. If there is no content on your website, there is nothing to optimise for SEO and there is no way for Google to know what to rank you for, or where to have your website rank.
Content writing doesn’t just start and end with the content on your website’s main pages (home page, about us page, product pages etc.) but also for landing pages and blog posts. Effectively targeting any keyword will need SEO-optimised content, and a blog is just one of the great ways that you can create the content needed to rank for your target keywords. If you want to invest in SEO, but not content, you have lost the SEO fight even before it started.
Help you rank with once-off SEO
I often hear people claim SEO is snake oil because they paid a once-off fee and then they didn’t get the rankings they were looking for. SEO is not a switch that can be turned on and off. SEO is in 99% of cases a long-term strategy that takes a substantial investment of time to build rankings over months, if not years.
Once-off SEO on your website is normally performed to give you the best chance you have, by optimising what you currently have. Once-off SEO lays the groundwork to help Google find and understand your website, service, or product. But, to start building rankings you’ll need a combination of on-page SEO and off-page SEO strategies.
Just like laying the foundations of a house doesn’t magically give you a house you can comfortably and safely live in, once-off SEO is a first step that needs to be combined with more work to build rankings (or raise walls and a roof-in-the-house metaphor).
Don’t let the common SEO misconceptions put you off
You don’t need to understand every fine detail of search engine optimisation if you are not an SEO specialist. That is why I have a career. Most people are bored to death when we start talking about keywords, metadata optimisation, XML sitemaps, Robots.txt files, and link building. I find very few things in digital marketing as interesting as SEO and content creation, and I love nothing more than executing an SEO strategy successfully for a client that helps their rankings climb to page one of Google.
So, feel free to contact us if you want a free SEO audit for your website, and let’s take the mysticism out of SEO for you.