The 3 Biggest Myths the Experts Aren’t Telling you About SEO
Do you feel daunted by SEO? Not sure what it really even means?
We know how you feel!
A little queasy… A little anxious….?
You’re not alone.
You are probably well aware that SEO is arguably the biggest black hole of online marketing.
How do you know if someone is really doing a good job for you?
Or are they another SEO con-artist ripping you off?
There are hundreds of horror stories out there about $thousands wasted on so-called ‘experts’; or Google penalties and lost ranking for years…
…but your gut tells you it could be really great for sales if you could just work it out!
In this guest blog post, our favourite SEO expert Felicia Rusher gives you the inside scoop on what the experts in the industry aren’t telling you – including what exactly is SEO, and the three myths widely accepted but NOT TRUE that will save you money, time and stress! These include:
What is SEO
If you’re new to it, SEO essentially stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’.
And Google is a search engine, right?
So it basically refers to any activity you do to rank your website at the top of Google search results, under the ads; when someone types in a query relating to your business.
These are FREE listings that Google gives to any business who they deem worthy :-).
So if you’re paying for Ads at the top of Google, that’s not SEO. It’s all the listings under the ads (and now maps + shopping images etc).
Google’s 10 Free listings per page
Google still gives 10 free listings on every page of their search results – and if you are serious about getting more people (traffic) to your website, you’re going to have to get to the TOP of that top 10 on their first page – so in either the first, second or third place on their FIRST page.
This makes a lot of sense if you think about how you use Google. Do you click on the ads at the top? Or do you look at the results under the ads and click on one of them?
How far are you willing to scroll down to find what you are after?
Not very far, I’ll bet!
So you and all your competitors are all fighting for those top positions … :-).
And so the industry of SEO was born, so the best and brightest could make it to the top of the first page of Google while the rest of us are left wondering what we have or haven’t done and why we’re nowhere near the top.
I wish I could fit how to do it in a single blog post how to get there, but I can’t!
It isn’t complicated, but it does require a bit of learning and some elbow grease!
So the next best thing I think will help you is to share the biggest myths in the industry to save you from hiring a dud.
If you hear an ‘expert’ spouting them – don’t hire!!!!!
SEO Myth #1 “It’s Going to take 12-18 months to see results…”
If an SEO expert tells you it’s going to take ages to see results, RUN. FOR. THE. HILLS.
You see, Google has got really, really, really smart about how it ranks your website.
So smart, in fact, if you tell it that you have created a new page on your website, it will rank it within 5 minutes.
Huh? Yes! 5 minutes. So you can create a page, submit it to Google, make a coffee, and then come back and see where it ranks.
Now – don’t get me wrong – it’s not necessarily going to rank you #1 on the first page if you are a complete novice, but it will rank you SOMEWHERE in its search results.
If you know what you are doing, you should expect to be on the first page or at least second page with your first go.
For the clients I’ve worked with, and for my own site, this happens 95% of the time.
On the odd occurrence we don’t rank on the first or second page immediately (usually if you are in an extremely competitive industry), we re-visit the content to see why / how we can do better and give it another go.
Like, within a week – not 12 months down the track!
So of course, now you know this, can you see why it’s a problem if an SEO expert says it’s going to take at least 12 months to see results…..?!!!!!! Or even 6 months!
How to rank on Google in 5 minutes
If you’re wondering how to submit your own website page/s to Google, I cover this more fully in my SEO training.
However if you want the abridged version, and are keen to do it yourself, set up your Google Search Console account (this is separate from Google Analytics), and go to the main menu ‘Crawl’; ‘Fetch as Google’; enter the URL address of the page you’ve created; and press ‘Request Indexing’.
I suggest you then go make yourself a coffee; then come back and type in the keywords you were targeting into Google and work out where your page you just created appears (ranks) in Google’s search results.
If it’s not as high as you would like – check out the pages above it, and challenge yourself to work out what they are doing that you are not! (and update your content to make it better).
Just a note on this point – if you don’t have a free Google search console account – learn how to set one up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aozclsavSu4
SEO Myth #2 You need to pay per keyword an expert is ranking you for
Firstly, to understand this myth, you need to better understand what keywords are and how they work.
What Keywords Are
Keywords are just what people type into Google to find you.
So if you sell red leather shoes, your keywords are going to be what people type into Google –like ‘red leather shoes’ or ‘high heel red leather shoes’ or ‘dark red leather shoes for women’.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the suggestions I just gave above are your keywords.
I always say ‘if you were in the supermarket and shopping for your own service, digital or physical product on the shelf, what aisle would you go down? What would be the label on the tin?
Those are your keywords!
If you type in ‘red leather shoes’ to Google from our example above, and scroll down to the bottom of the first page of Google, it will give you suggestions (FOR FREE) of what people also type in.
These suggestions are what Google thinks also matches the intent of your search.
How Keywords Work
What most people don’t realise, is in recent years, Google has been optimising for search intent. NOT exact keyword match.
It is desperately trying to understand what problem you are trying to solve, so it can give you the best results.
It is super smart about understanding this, because a large part of its ranking methodology is determined by an Artificial Intelligence engine called ‘Rank Brain’.
This AI engine learns from every search that’s ever entered into Google. Of which there are billions and billions.
What that means in laymans terms, is Google understands people searching for the following, ALL want to find red leather shoes
- ‘read lether shoes Australia’
- or ‘red leather shoes Aust.’
- ‘Red leather shoe Australa’
There is ZERO advantage in paying to rank for spelling mistakes or plurals or different tenses as additional keywords.
You are basically being ripped off if someone is charging you this way.
And the same goes if they are making you pay for very similar terms….
- Carpet Cleaning Melbourne
- or Carpet Cleaner Melbourne
Ranking for 1,000s of Keywords – an example
Let’s take my own ecommerce website as an example, that sells Australian gifts and souvenirs.
I currently rank in Google on the first page for over 1,000 keywords.
Imagine if I was paying an SEO expert per keyword!!!!!
But have I targeted over 1,000 keywords?
I’ve probably REALLY specifically targeted about 30.
And there’s about 1,000 different ways people type in these 30 terms with the SAME search intent.
Because Google recognises the search intent, (otherwise known as what problem your customer is trying to solve), it ranks my site for ALL the different ways people ask for it – not just the specific keyword match for what I’ve targeted.
So randomly choosing 10 or 20 keywords to rank for isn’t how the game works. The way it works is you target one, long, specific keyword phrase, and Google will rank you for ALL the similar keyword searches that have the same intent.
SEO Myth #3 You need deep technical expertise to be good at SEO
OK – like the other two myths explained above, this USED to be true.
About 10 years ago.
This was true in the days when the only thing that mattered was gazillions of backlinks + internal links, and the SEO experts took it upon themselves to make sure websites ran well (like had good site speed, for example).
Nowadays, if you have a good web developer – here’s the 4 things they should be doing a decent job of for you:-
- decent site speed
- good up-time of your site
- a secure site (SSL certificate)
- decent navigation / usability
And if they’re doing a decent job (not even world-class) of all of the above for you, there’s very little you need to worry about from a technical standpoint for SEO.
You can also think about this in these terms – if your website takes AGES to load, is not secure, goes down all the time and people can’t easily find what they’re looking for on your site; you’ve got bigger problems than not ranking well enough in Google!
Why Technical skills are no longer the primary skill you need to rank your website
So back to this Myth – that you need deep technical expertise to win the SEO game – NO.
If you have a SEO ‘expert’ who’s only focused on technical aspects of helping you + backlinks, they are YEARS and YEARS out of touch with what they should be helping you with.
This is because Google’s mission is to make the worlds information universally accessible and useful.
(note – not to glorify the worlds fastest, most technically savvy websites).
They published this mission in September 2013 and haven’t changed it since then.
So guess what! …. to be working in line with Google’s mission, you need great content; that’s well organised; that’s useful your customers.
Google is in the business of helping you find what you want online, after all.
If it didn’t do that well, nobody would use it.
So Google primarily wants to give its users good content that answers the query that’s being asked of it.
So it wants to return good websites in the search results that have great content to help the person resolve their search query.
So THIS is why content on your site matters so much more than incremental improvements to technical aspects of your site.
And THIS is why SEO experts say to blog so much (as just one strategy to create content) – because it’s the PERFECT way to provide users with helpful answers to their problem without being too salesy.
If you’ve absolutely gone through and done every single piece of content you could possibly think of related to what you do or sell (note – SEO experts have 1,000s of pages on their sties not 100s!); then yes go back and have a look at the technical aspects of your site. But until then – work on content!
In summary, I hope you found this blog useful to debunk the crazy and outdated myths about SEO.
This is starting with an understanding that Google ranks your content in about 5 minutes; so anyone who says it’s going to take 6-12-18 months to see results is extremely outdated.
The second myth looks at how people pay per keyword. Because Google understands user intent, it will return your website page for any relevant search related to (and similar) to your keyword targets.
And thirdly, the final one looks at the skillset of an SEO expert.
Nowadays they are more like marketing and PR gurus – and need to be great at content and marketing… NOT technical aspects of your site.
So if you’re looking to hire a computer-programmer type-skillset to do your SEO – I urge you to think again!
About Felicia Rusher
Felicia is our guest SEO Expert here at Success Wizards.
She is an ex-management consultant in Operations Strategy, who left the corporate world to start her own E-commerce business.
After spending a small fortune with digital marketing ‘experts’ with no results, she decided to learn the skill herself. Due to her success in quickly ranking her own and others websites for tens of thousands of keywords every month, she now teaches her 4-step process on how to do it yourself.
Here at Success Wizards we have partnered with Felicia to bring to you ‘SEO Like a Pro’ – our online SEO training course to help you rank at the top of Google.