Since I have already introduced SEO and what it is, I wanted to share some of the myths surrounding it, so you don’t get sold down the river. SEO is an important practice to help your site not only get ranked by search engines but also to attract new readers–to potentially turn into customers. You should be aware of these 9 myths and avoid them like the plague:
1. You’ll see instant results. Most SEO practices take several weeks or months to see results. If anyone is promising overnight results then they’re probably doing some black hat tricks and you want to stay away!
2. There’s a perfect science. Yes, there are some basic rules and principles you should apply but what works for one site doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for another. Don’t copy and paste!
3. If your competitors are doing it then so should you. Competition over keywords is tough. Sometimes it’s better to not follow the pack and create a strategy around long-tail keywords or low search terms. Do you really want to be another person fighting for that one keyword? Or would you rather attract those searchers who are looking for something specific that pertains to your site?
4. Meta tags will boost your rankings. There is some debate. Personally, I don’t use them. Spammers have abused them and the search engines haven’t put any real stock in them for rankings in years. I say, one less thing to fuss about.
5. Get as many links as you can. It is a big myth that the more links you have to your site, the better. But really, it’s the quality of the links over the quantity. Bad links can actually hurt your site so you don’t want 50 of them. Keep an eye on where your links are coming from so you don’t get bad link juice.
6. Google won’t crawl my images or videos. Google bots are smarter than some SEO specialists give them credit for. Spiders can’t crawl photos or videos but they can crawl file names and img alt tags. If you make your photos or videos free and usable with full attribution, you will find that they can be very valuable. Title them properly, link them back to your site, and apply quotes to the alt img tags.
7. Paid is better than organic. Everyone has their preference. Some opt to do just one versus the other, and some do both. Organic typically gets you customers who are seeking out your products. Paid can also help attract new customers. It all depends on what your strategy is but sometimes one can supplement the other so it’s okay to use both.
8. What I did last year will work this year. SEO is constantly changing and evolving as I mentioned in this article about social media’s impact on SEO. You need to adapt your SEO practices to new changes in algorithms or to keep your content fresh for spiders to crawl. You don’t want a static site!
9. I don’t need to invest in SEO. Everyone from news sites and company blogs to fashion bloggers should be making some SEO effort, whether it’s tagging their posts, giving descriptive titles to their articles, or accurately naming their images. It can only help. You don’t need to invest thousands of dollars but just don’t do nothing!
Kimberlee Van Der Wall is a TWF contributor, focusing on SEO strategy. You can check her out over on her blog, I Have A Degree In This. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.