Here at Spilled Milkshake, we believe that web designs should be functional and intuitive as well as aesthetically pleasing. Part of that means that websites should be designed from the start to be highly optimized for search engines.
This involves a great many elements, from load speed to site maps. Having said that, it is not a one-size-fits all checklist that guarantees high rankings–despite what people want to believe. We’ve been doing web design with SEO functions for over a decade, and we’re constantly amazed at the persistence of all the myths that still surround SEO. We’ve heard and seen so many false promises, skewed statistics, and outright lies that we felt it might be useful to list (and debunk) some of the most common ones. For example:
- An SEO audit is like a punch-list
SEO audits are useful, but too many people think optimization is a one-time event. SEO, however, is dynamic; it needs ongoing attention and continual tweaking.
Of course, it’s easy to get complacent and forget to focus on optimization, especially when you’re staying near the top of the rankings and business is still coming in. Go too long without updates, however, and others will surpass you … and you’ll more or less be starting from scratch to gain back lost rankings.
- Link-building doesn’t matter if you have good content
Content is definitely one of the most important factors of SEO. But even awesome, current content isn’t enough on its own. Your website must be set up so that Google can find and attribute value to the content. And having authoritative links from a number internal and external sources is the best way to accomplish this.
Link-building is difficult, but it’s still one of the biggest signs search engines look for to know that your website has authority. That means getting third-party websites to link to your website is a must-do. If the content is great, has its own links, and is distributed widely enough, that combination should help you grow organic links.
- It takes a lot of money to rank.
It’s important to understand that paid links like Google Ads and organic search results are NOT the same thing. In fact, they’re mutually exclusive.
Spending a lot of money on a Google Ad campaign will drive traffic to your website, and it can also indirectly boost your SEO by improving your keyword research. But it won’t have a direct impact on your SEO or organic rankings.
Organic search is more like word-of-mouth advertising. It’s your customers telling other customers, and writing positive reviews, and otherwise singing your praises to the point where you don’t need any wacky character out front to create borrowed interest: people are coming to you because you’re the best at what you do.
It’s possible to get amazing results on a small SEO budget).Your best bet is to try a combination of paid ads to create business while your SEO-designed site works on building organic ranking.
- There are shortcuts to guaranteed top rankings
Even Google itself says that no one can guarantee specific results or tell you exactly how long it will take your website and its content to appear on page #1 search results.
Those SEO companies that claim to have a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submission” to Google are misrepresenting the process. Odds are, Google spiders probably won’t even crawl your site for at least a week or longer. Overnight isn’t even an option.
As we have mentioned, there are hundreds of different elements involved in Google’s proprietary search algorithm. Even the best SEO is an ongoing practice that takes considerable time to yield results.
People in the know often refer to eCommerce as “the trillion-dollar opportunity,” but no one says your website is going to make you rich overnight. That’s why it’s so important to have a site that is specifically designed to work over the long-haul. Ignore the myths about website optimization and let Spilled Milkshake help you create a site that will drive business and grow with your company’s success.