The (sometimes harsh) reality of SEO

Unfortunately, SEO, like many industries is one that is rife and oftentimes riddled with misconceptions. From people who believe that SEO is a one time game, that keywords are the only thing to care about or that it’s a quick fix and easy to measure your ROI – it’s crazy how much misinformation is out there on the market today.

In fact, since COVID came along, these kinds of beliefs have only been getting more twisted. There was a huge spike in the number of businesses who were forced to digitise at a very quick rate, and, of course, a spike in the number of dodgy businesses and freelancers out to capitalise on business owners’ naivety and make a quick buck.

So, as a leading SEO Sydney agency, we decided enough is enough – it’s time we reclaimed the narrative and spoke our truth.

Let’s see if we can clear up a few of the common misconceptions about SEO.

1. SEO is not only about keywords

Yes – that’s right. You’d think by now that we would be sick and tired of hearing about keywords, but, sadly some people still believe that you need to completely stuff an article or piece of content with the same keyword over and over again if you’re going to perform well in the Google rankings. This is simply not the case.

First of all, when you write like this it is very jarring to readers. For example, you’re an SEO agency and your first paragraph looks a bit like this:

“Do you know what an SEO agency can do for you and your business? Well, get in touch with the best SEO agency ever! There are many SEO agencies out there, but we are the only SEO agency to be able to provide specialised SEO in [insert local area].”

That’s not good content and it actually violates Google’s quality guidelines which are supposed to be a bit like SEO laws. Back in the day, this was called ‘keyword stuffing’ and was an accepted part of SEO practices.

But, like many things, that is now well and truly out of fashion. All you’ll receive from Google is trouble. You’ll fall in the rankings and might even receive a fine for your efforts. This is because Google now wants website owners to focus much more on the actual usefulness of their content for users, not for bots.

I’m not at all suggesting keywords are not important, but just that you don’t need to litter the entire text with the exact same word or phrase over and over again.

This is especially true since Google’s last BERT update which means Google can now understand the semantic meaning behind words (aka. They don’t need an exact match to user queries).

2. SEO can be done quickly

No. Just no. SEO is not like Google Ads in that you can start seeing results instantly. Instead, it’s a long game and it takes time.

Even when you do some of the quick technical fixes, you probably won’t actually see any results instantly. Instead, you have to constantly work hard at your SEO.

Let me rephrase that, it’s an ongoing process that actually never stops. Sure, you might do your technical audit and deep dive into the site’s health only once (or maybe once in a blue moon), but every time you write and publish content SEO remains important.

Remember as well that a lot of SEO is actually about maintaining your rankings as well as trying to improve them. People are always coming along and trying to take your hard-earned spot away from you.

3. SEOers know lots of sneaky tricks to improve your rankings

I can’t say how many times we as an SEO agency hear this kind of request.

No, just no. As I said before, Google is just getting smarter and smarter. The tricks that once worked just simply do not work at all anymore. Doing ‘illegal’ things like link-farming or keyword stuffing, or hiding keywords on your site just doesn’t serve a purpose.

You do still need links as it is one great way of proving your domain is both quality and has high authority (it means your content is good enough that other people want to come along and link to it).

There are lots of ways that you can gain backlinks, but these need to be done in an ethical way. An SEOer can come along and give you a professional view as to what needs to be improved on your site.

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