Posted 16th March 2016 | By ExtraMile

I think everyone here at ExtraMile will agree with me when I say I'm far from an SEO expert! There are, however, some things that I've picked up from Annabel, Jade and the rest of the team, that I can hopefully shed some light on for the non-SEO-specialists! Here are five of my favourite myths about SEO:

I think everyone here at ExtraMile will agree with me when I say I'm far from an SEO expert! There are, however, some things that I've picked up from Annabel, Jade and the rest of the team, that I can hopefully shed some light on for the non-SEO-specialists! Here are five of my favourite myths about SEO:

1. Social Media has no impact on SEO

While Google doesn't use Facebook 'likes' or tweet counts to rank websites, there are other ways that social media can be an advantage to your SEO efforts. Often, users will search for keywords and a Facebook page will be one of the listed websites. From there, users will be directed to your website. Social media is also the perfect place to share new pages of content, especially blogs or news, and build those all-important links to your site. Facebook is also a direct way to communicate to your customers without them needing to be on your website, and so your company will be one of the first companies they think of, when they have a need for your product or service.

2. SEO is expensive

It's important to consider what you should get for your money when you take out an SEO package. At the very basic level, you are paying for people to update your website for you - but these aren't just any people!
• They need to have knowledge, understanding and experience of targeting different audiences and using a variety of methods (blogs, news articles, content on the website, social media, etc.).
• They also need to be very adaptable to be able to write content for a variety of sectors. SEO specialists will often work on more than one project in a day, so for example, they will need to jump from targeting events organisers when writing content for a conferencing centre, to updating a website to communicate with engineers who are looking for a specific car part. As part of this, SEO employees will need to have very good research skills, to be able to get an understanding of the industry, the competitors and the market in which your company is based. This research will need to be done regularly, to make sure that any changes in the environment are tackled.
• The specialists will also need to have knowledge of the search engine algorithms, and, as the algorithms are regularly changing and updating, SEO employees need to be on top of all the updates – often attending training courses to make sure they can offer the best service to their clients.
• They also need to be business-minded, but again, for more than one sector. SEO specialists should think "out the box" when suggesting ideas to your company, and all of these ideas should align with your business objectives.
These aren't skills that are easily acquired!

3. If your site is built to be SEO-friendly, that's all it takes

The world is evolving, the internet is involving, your business is evolving, and your website needs to follow suit. While the technical side of websites can be built as "SEO Friendly" originally, there are certain elements of this that can deteriorate over time, for example if any links to or from your website degrade. There is also the fact that Google and other search engines often change their algorithms (the 'formula' that they use when they look at websites, to determine which website should be top of the list). Annabel and Jade are constantly monitoring these algorithm changes to ensure that our clients are one step ahead when it comes to changing algorithms!

It's also important to update the content on your site regularly. Think of the cinema – do you go to the cinema because the 'structure' of the building is good, or do you go because there is a new film out that looks interesting? Website visitors work in a similar way – people are always looking for the next big thing, the next product, and looking to find out the news that their friends don't know!

4. SEO is a scam

Sadly, as with any product or service, there are always companies out there who do want to scam you out of your money. That's why its important to meet with the person who will be working on your site, as well as meeting with the salesperson who is selling to you. The SEO specialist needs to have an understanding of you as a company, and you need to have an understanding and a trust in their abilities. It's also important that they communicate any progress with you. At ExtraMile, if you have chosen to undertake SEO on your new website project, the SEO specialist will be in the design meeting with you, and they will keep you informed throughout the website build. They will also send monthly reports, showing the progress your site has made.

5. Progress is just about Google rankings

While it's obviously important to be at the top of Google when people search for key words, there are other things that are equally, if not more, important. You need the user to be engaged with your website, you then want that user to convert into an enquiry, a sale, or even just a repeat visit. For a user to engage with your site, they need to have a great experience on there. The more they engage, the more likely they will stay on your site for long enough to purchase a product or service from you, or to get in touch with you. It's important to consider the journey that users take, as this journey has an impact on the conversion rates. It's all well and good if 5000 users visit your site, but if only 1% of them buy your product through the site, then it could be that improvements are needed to help users easily find the relevant product.

Overall, there are a few overriding factors which should be considered when selecting which company you'd like to undertake SEO work on your website. As with any suppliers, you need to feel that you can trust them – you need an open and honest company who you feel you can communicate freely with, and to be able to give feedback on the work without being scared of their reactions. With SEO, two-way communication is essential to helping you achieve success – you need your supplier to let you know what they are doing and why, and they need content from you – they need to know what's going on in your business so they can communicate this to your audience. They also need some understanding of the focus of the company – if you are heading in one direction, and the SEO company thinks you're heading in another, you can end up with a very mismatched message!

Written by Emma Bourne, Business Coordinator at ExtraMile Communications.

extramile

About ExtraMile

A digital marketing agency with international capabilities