10 SEO Myths Every SMB Should Know

Friday, June 23, 2006
Posted by Brawlin Melgar

Top Ten SEO Myths
By Andy MacDonald 

Ever wonder what the biggest SEO myths are? I have taken the most prevalent myths that seem to be constantly resurfacing and examined them for you. This is a must read for anyone looking to hire an SEO firm or someone looking to do SEO for themselves.

Myth # 1: All Meta Tags Are Of Equal Importance

Some Meta tags are useful while others are not. I have stated this many times. Search engines are relying more and more about what is on the website than what the tags are telling them. The description tag is used by some (but not all) search engines. The same goes for the keyword tag. Keyword tags are used more by spammers and people using software to find you as a link partner than the search engines. In my opinion, the only tags you should concentrate your efforts on are the robot tag and the description tags.

Myth # 2: You Should Submit Your Site to Search Engines Weekly or Monthly

Honestly, I nevr submit any site more than 1 time and sometimes I don't even do that. If you submit your site once, you're good. The engines will come back on their own. You can sometimes speed up the process of getting your site indexed by linking it to a high traffc or high PR site. The search engines will find the URL to your site and index it automatically.

Myth # 3: SEO is Too Expensive

Actually, SEO is probably the most cost effective frm of online marketing. Organic SEO is cheaper to set up and maintain than a PPC campaign or banner advertising. With PPC and banner advertising, you pay for clicks or impressions. With SEO, all clicks are Fre. You simply pay for the set up and monitoring of your site's pages.

Myth # 4: PPC Is More Effective Than Natural SEO

In the short term...true. In the long term...false. Why, you ask? Organic SEO is preferred by searchers over 5 to 1 to PPC. People trust organic searches to return relevant results. People also know that the ads to the right of the page are sponsored ads. They have long ago figured out that anyone can bid on any term they want, as many often do, without even a hint of relevance. So, long term SEO structuring can indeed be more effective than PPC, especially when considering the preferences of search traffc. A top 5 ranking may take some time to get, but once you are there (and provided you can maintain it), you will get better results than from a PPC ad.

Myth # 5: Hiring an SEO Specialist "In House" is Cheaper

The problem with hiring someone in house is that they are paid hourly or by salary. Most SEO firms charge per item or project. It doesn't matter how long it takes us, you pay a one tme charge. When you hire a firm, it's like having a team of SEO experts on your payroll. Paying a flat rate saves you mony and speeds up the time it takes to complete a job. Additionally, most SEO firms have specialists who write, submit, redesign sites, post pages, etc... Hiring one person who can do all these things competently is highly unlikely.

Myth # 6: I Can Only Optimize My Homepage for Key Terms

You can and should optimize every page on your site. Each page should have its own key terms, with no more than three phrases per page (preferably one).

Myth # 7: All I Need to do is Write Content with the correct Keyword Density and My Site Will Rank Well

Wrong...especially if you want to rank on Google. You will need off-site SEO as well as on-site SEO. Keyword density may work on MSN (for now), but it will take more than that to rank well for all search engines.

Myth # 8: I Shouldn't Aim for the Most Competitive Keywords and Phrases

If the keywords you are competing for are very competitive, should you optimize your site for them? Of Course! I would optimize for some high, medium and low competitive key terms. Cover all your bases. The worst case is that you won't rank well for the high competitive key terms and that'