Over The Top SEO

OTT Blog

Search Engine Marketing Misconceptions

Guy Sheetrit September 30, 2016

SEO Misconceptions

Things People Don´t Know About Search Engine Marketing

Surprise! You or (let’s be honest, more likely) your clients understanding of search engine marketing could be well off the mark.

It can sometimes feel hard ever to get it “right.” There is a lot to know when it comes to the impact of SEO and how it works in detail. Misconceptions about SEO range from the macro to the micro and come in all shapes and sizes.

Let’s go over a few common and widely subscribed views that just aren’t right.

Forget Bing, it’s all about Google

Very wrong – increasingly so every year.

Google remains the champion of search at present, but you can bet there are many executives in hundreds of Google offices burning the midnight oil and looking at the statistics of search engine use.

While Bing had something of a rocky launch, it has picked up significantly in use over recent years. It is fast catching up to Google in the percentage of searches made and has shown unique capability in areas like video search.

2013 was a big year for Bing. It was in this year that a partnership with Facebook was announced together with the introduction of Graph Search. This function has allowed users to search locally while referencing their friends on Facebook. It’s a smart and inventive feature that allows for a level of personalized searching that is unique to Bing.

It doesn’t stop there. In 2012 Bing made a big announcement – it would power all Yahoo searches from that day forward. This was huge. Yahoo in recent years has still retained a sizeable share of online searches and in one fell swoop, this demographic was added to Bing, increasing their search share at the time of the announcement to almost 30% of total internet search.

Bing is also friendlier with keywords. Google has long since made the change to encrypt all the keyword data available from user searches. This was a controversial move, which caused many marketing companies problems in that a large part of their analytics and reporting were suddenly ineffective.

Bing has remained open with this. Keyword data is available and although this doesn’t have any impact on the actual behavior of customers who are searching for your products it does mean that you can gain further insight from the data that is available.

SEO is too technical!

Not entirely accurate. SEO is undoubtedly technical in part, but there is much more to it than just that. You don’t have to have a Swordfish style level of computer wizardry to understand SEO or have success in using it.

Back in the bad old days before the heavy hitting algorithm updates were put out by Google, it was largely down to having a site that was well-optimized. Structure, keyword density, and good layout were the main concerns.

Not true now.

SEO has evolved so that it can survive and now works alongside other marketing channels very closely. It has far more to do with making the best use of organic content and quality engagement than it is about HTML code or specific keyword density.

You can still stuff keywords

Oops. Not right.

It’s long past the time where you can create two hundred cheap blog sites and flood them with duplicated content drowned in keywords. Google and others are smarter now, and the game has changed.

This view used to be correct. It’s not severely outdated, and anyone who claims it to be fact needs his brain examined! The danger of out of date SEO beliefs is as prevalent as ever and is the cause of endless frustration for many.

You’ll still see many websites demonstrating this archaic practice.

Footers galore!

The truth for modern SEO is that keywords do matter but not quite as much as before. It’s important to ensure that a strategy is present and implemented but once you have your phrases covered in your text, headers, footers and titles you are usually ready to go should you be on track with your other SEO tasks.

The above applies in particular due to the changes in algorithm made by the search engine giants. The introduction of semantic search and the ability for search engines to match different phrases together using contextual understanding has removed the need for hordes of specific keywords.

Not only is it an outdated belief, but it is also dangerous. Flood a site with the same keywords and Google and others will likely penalize you.

Search Engine Marketing is optional

While many argue that search engine marketing has diminished over years, it has always been the case that it sits alongside other marketing efforts. This does not mean it can be ignored – quite the contrary.

SEO has demonstrated its value and relevance every year since its inception. While search engines change over time the need to optimize content and websites to best suit their algorithms will be ever present.

A company can succeed without SEO, but it will always be operating at a diminished level without the use of proper optimization.

SEO won’t benefit the rest of my marketing team

A subtler misunderstanding that can be hard to spot. It’s often the case when dealing with clients that a contract will be refused due to the lack of perceived benefit. This is especially true when dealing with companies that have other marketing channels set up or have an extensive marketing team that does not include SEO.

The fact is that the insights gained through search engine optimization are many. Here are a few marketing channels that go hand in hand.

1. Content Marketing

The insights and reporting available off the back of sound SEO will be of benefit to content marketing. If your SEO is in place prior to beginning research on your customers and demographics you can make use of SEO and SEO reporting tools to help understand the customer and the competition.

2. PPC

Like peaches and cream. SEO works well with PPC marketing particularly due to time frames.
A PPC campaign will see immediate traffic and conversions. The efficiency of this will depend on sound keyword analysis, something that is a big part of SEO. You then have your SEO which will develop further over time.

The two share many tasks and themes and work intrinsically together to provide both immediate and long-term traffic increase.

3. Business Development

Don’t let a busy BD manager tell you otherwise – Search engine marketing is a big help here. The level of detail that SEO gives you on your customers and your competition in one swoop can be of tremendous value in helping a business development professional target their outbound correspondence and sales efforts.

Details on competitor analysis, sales forecasts and how best to understand the activity of your customers and the content or product they are truly searching for are all areas that SEO reporting can assist with.

4. Branding and the Customer Experience

Finally, we come to a point of particular relevance in modern marketing. SEO will help give insight through optimization and accessibility work on where your customers are having problems.

This might be details of language or website issues that are causing a blip in the customer experience. SEO can help ensure that your site is running smoothly on all devices.