Here at Ducard, we continually receive enquiries from businesses, small and large, and from a wide range of industries about how we can help them with their digital marketing. During these conversations, we are often asked whether there is a quick fix or simple changes they can make to their website that will enable them to achieve the rankings they desire. Unfortunately, these quick fix methods are often unsuccessful and are damaging to current rankings. The term ‘black hat SEO’ is often used and methods such as keyword cramming, hiding text or duplicating content, amongst others, can often gain strong ranking positions in the short term, but once Google crawlers are aware that the site is not following best practice, it is inevitable that the website and company will be penalised. ‘Blackhat SEO’ is often appealing to clients, as they are whisked away with the ideal of securing the first position within a couple of weeks, but, as the saying goes, time will tell and this type of SEO is frowned upon by industry experts and Google. Over time, the website is highly likely to not even appear in the top 50, which is not only clearly detriment to ranking positions, but will also have a knock-on effect on traffic, sales and enquiries amongst many other basic business functions.
During our phone calls, we are often asked about the SEO myths that we are about to debunk below. Many query why the campaign is estimated to take a longer amount of time than they had originally thought and why we don’t use certain methods – we hope that the following points will provide some clarity on the matter, and if it doesn’t, our Business Development Manager, Stu, will be more than happy to go through a few with you. Give him a call on 01271 376687.
‘Meta Descriptions Don’t Matter’
False, much like many of the points we are about to cover. Meta descriptions do matter. We strive to make high-quality content. This isn’t just for Google but is also for the visitors to your site. A meta description gives the reader a clear understanding of what the page they are considering clicking on is about. If it doesn’t meet their search criteria, it is likely they are going to continue searching until they find something that does. Alternatively, they will change their search term until they find a website that presents content, specifically, a meta description, that appears to be relevant.
Meta descriptions may not play a huge part in Google’s algorithms, but, they do affect the likelihood of a user choosing whether or not to spend time on your site. If they are well written and informatically describe what the article or page is about, a click becomes less of a gamble to the user and they are more likely to pay a visit.
‘We Need More Keywords’
Google, the complex operating systems and often ‘secret’ algorithms behind it are a lot more sophisticated than many people imagine. The huge diversity of information available to users at the click of a button is even to us, incomprehensible. All of this information is categorised but this doesn’t mean that a simple search term won’t generate results that aren’t directly related to it. A website can be optimised for words, sentences, questions and statements that aren’t an exact match. This means, that although you are using a limited amount of keywords, Google will recognise synonyms of your chosen words. For example, if you were searching for a holiday cottage, it is highly likely you would also be shown apartments and flats, conversions and modern properties, amongst other types of accommodation.
‘Link Building is Not My Priority’
Link building is a vital part of an SEO campaign and NEEDS to be a priority. For many clients, the cost and inevitable consumption of time it takes to generate high-quality links can be off-putting but without it, ranking for keywords and search terms that are highly competitive can often be like shooting in the dark. More often than not, and much more frequently than before, consumers are looking to credible sources for information regarding a business, product or service. Blogging is big business, and a huge proportion of sales and enquiries are generated for a company because they have an online affiliation with a trusted source in that industry. Not only does this give consumers piece of mind when they finally decide to work with you, but it also creates high-quality backlinks to your website, which in Google’s eyes, is a win-win.
We have a dedicated and highly experienced outreach team, who specialise in finding appropriate and relevant websites to work with on the behalf of your business. It is a vital part of SEO and link building IS one of our priorities.
‘I Don’t Care About Optimising for Mobile’
This is a huge mistake that so many businesses make. A large proportion of online traffic to a website is from a handheld device, and this is predicted to continually increase in the coming years. If your page isn’t optimised for mobile, Google may not favour your website in a mobile search. When all things are considered, if you are spending the businesses resources on optimising for the desktop, you may as well be optimised for mobile too.
‘I Can Update My Website With Duplicate Content’
Although regularly updating your website is favourable in Google’s all-seeing eyes, duplicate content isn’t. If your website is an obvious copy of either its own content, or the content from a competitor, Google will simply ignore those pages during a crawl, this is likely to mean the pages won’t be indexed and your site will suffer for it.
‘I Will Update My Website Every Week, and Not Worry About the SEO’
In the words of our Business Development Manager, ‘this is like building the house, without any foundations’. Your house will fall down. Without sounding too dramatic, as good as regular, quality and new content is, you need the technical SEO too. It goes hand in hand and one without the other simply won’t work. Websites that have achieved high rankings have fantastic content, regularly published, but if it isn’t optimised, your organic traffic and rankings will suffer.
SEO is a fast-paced industry, and it needs to be. With an abundance of information on the web, there needs to be a way it is categorised and that users benefit from it. A search term should generate information, websites and businesses that are relevant. Don’t be enticed by the blackhat practices. We are proud to say that are operations are transparent, and we will be with you every step of the way, to answer your questions and let you know exactly what we’re are doing. So, why wait? Give us a call today and find out how we can help you!