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SEO Myths And Other Misconceptions That Can Hinder Your Progress

The world of SEO is complicated and ever-changing, but what’s most frustrating is the fact that it is littered with myth and misconception. Whether you consider yourself a seasoned pro or you are only just discovering the world of digital marketing, give this article a read and we’ll share some of the biggest myths and misconceptions that can hinder your progress. Let’s get stuck in…

  • You cannot use emoji in your meta descriptions

Most experts assume that using emoji in your meta descriptions is an absolute no-no. The fact is, Google has stated that you can use them, however, it will not impact your SEO rankings.

In other words, if you are targeting a younger audience that may resonate with some well-placed emoji, go for it. Just make sure that you use the right keywords and that you keep the descriptions short and sweet.

  • You should use pipes (|) over dashes (—) in titles (and vice versa)

There has long been much debate about whether you should use pipes or dashes in your titles to separate text. In this case, there is no clear right or wrong answer.

  • Some people prefer pipes as they use a smaller pixel width.
  • Others prefer dashes as they keep the reader’s eyes—flowing—across—text.

This is largely a branding / aesthetic decision so pick one and stick with it.

  • A meta description should be: H1 header and a call to action

A large number of SEO experts believe that the meta description for a page should simply be the H1 header including an attractive CTA at the end. The truth is, it’s not the most effective way to attract people to click on it

Do not underestimate the immense value well-written meta descriptions can bring. Instead, use that limited character count to create unique and ‘clickworthy’ copy.

Don’t let this put you off adding a CTA to your meta description altogether. They can and do work. However, with a finite character limit, focus on a catchy description with the appropriate keywords – and then implement a CTA if there is room (and it’s engaging).

  • Including a CTA at the beginning of a meta description

Many experts believe that having a call to action at the start or a meta description is the best approach. However, one study found that organic clicks dropped by 20% using this approach.

Again, you can include CTAs in your meta description, but writing it at the start is not advised. The main purpose of a meta description is to describe to potential website visitors exactly what it is they will find should they click on the link.

A call to action can be seen as being too ‘salesy’ and pushy and thus might put some people off.

Remember, the goal is to get them to follow through, then read the copy on your page, which should ideally touch on some pain points, nurture them, and then naturally guide them towards a positive conclusion.

  • Google penalises duplicate content

One of the most common SEO misconceptions of all is that Google will penalise any website that uses duplicate content.

Duplicate content refers to anything that is either ‘copy & pasted’ from a competitor website, has been re-written and is still incredibly close to the original, or for any product / service pages that use a lot of the same content over and over again.

Turns out that Google does not actually ‘punish’ or penalise websites for this. The problem is however, that Google still has to decide on which content to rank – which they almost always get wrong.

All that being said, just because Google won’t penalise you for plagiarising your competitor’s website copy, it doesn’t mean that you should do it.

  • Find your own voice
  • Invest in better copy
  • Try to mix up each product and service page as much as you can.
  • Google is constantly at war with SEO

Another very dangerous misconception is that Google is at war with SEO and doesn’t agree with or like the practice. This isn’t the case.

Yes, Google is constantly at war with ‘black hat’ SEO techniques and those who would seek to manipulate the rankings by cutting corners and misleading website visitors. 

However, for those who are dedicated to improving the lives of their audience, while picking up new customers and making more money online, then it’s fair game.

Google even agrees that:

  • SEO can potentially improve your website
  • SEO agencies do provide useful services
  • And that the sooner you hire a digital marketing agency, the better.

Final thoughts

These are just a handful of the myths and misconceptions, so it’s definitely worth doing some more digging around. For example:

  • SEO is a one-time effort (wrong)
  • Guest blogging is obsolete (wrong)
  • Social signals bring no value to SEO (wrong)
  • Paid advertising is better than SEO (both have immense value).
  • Link building can be dangerous (only if using ‘black hat’ techniques)

Yes, SEO is a complicated beast and you should be constantly learning and shaking up your strategies, however, so long as you remember to always put the customer first, you should never run into too many problems. That, and make sure you do your due diligence when trying to find the ideal digital marketing agency for your business.

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