Are you confused about SEO? You’re not alone. It seems that every year the job of understanding how to get the best out of your websites becomes harder.

From endless Google updates to a whole avalanche and conflicting thoughts and opinion online, many businesses simply don’t know which way to turn when it comes to promoting their website properly.

At Blaze Communication we run a number of successful SEO campaigns for our clients, so we have built up a good understanding of what works and what does not.

With that in mind we would like to share with you what we think are the top five biggest SEO myths 2016.

Myth 1: Links are more important than content

For many years SEO has been dominated by links. In theory the more websites that link to yours the better you will rank for your targeted keywords.

Links still do matter – a lot – but in today’s world it is much more important that you get links from trusted, relevant and authoritative websites rather than ones from just anywhere. To do that you need to make sure that your site is choc-full of really useful and engaging content.

Making sure that you have a great blog is a start – but where you really get value is from building strategic partnerships to publish your articles on high authority sites that link back to yours (here’s an example of one we did for a client of ours through the Guardian). It is very hard to do this without some good journalistic or PR expertise.

Myth 2: SEO is all about rankings

We are all used to the daily emails promising #No1 on Google – but number one for what exactly?

There is a lot more to SEO than just where you rank for a few key phrases.

These days you need to think about how you rank overall for all search queries related to your specialist topic area.

With more and more of us using smartphones and voice activated search the days of being number one for a short key phrase on Google – the sort of search query typically typed out on a PC keyboard – are becoming less valuable.

You need to think about making your website the number one authority on your chosen topic. Again, this is about creating amazingly useful content that establishes you as an authority in your sector.

If you spend all of your time chasing around after rankings you could be missing out on a whole world of amazing opportunities.

Myth 3: Good design is an option not a necessity

As Google has become more sophisticated it has invested a lot into measuring the user’s experience of a website and incorporating that into their rankings.

The last thing Google wants is to recommend sites that no-body likes. So how much time a person spends on your website, how many pages they read – all of that good data made available to you in Google Analytics – becomes increasingly important to good SEO.

Using tools like heatmaps and clickmaps can help you understand where the user journey is falling down on your website. Finding and fixing these problems will have a real and significant impact on your overall SEO performance.

Myth 4: SEO is about keywords and where you place them on the page

In the past a lot of SEO was all about keyword placement. Not anymore. These days Google uses something called LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) to read through a page and build a picture of what the page is about and, crucially, how well the content on that page answers the users query.

While it still helps to include your main keywords in places like the title of the page – the general rule is to think less about where you’ve placed your keywords and much more about how the page works for your target users overall.

Myth 5: If I write a blog I’ll get to number one in Google

Blogging is a great and effective way to communicate with your audience but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it solves all of your problems on its own.

While it is an important part of the SEO mix, remember that it is only part of what you need to do.

Google uses over 200 different factors when considering where to rank a website, so having a blog on its own is not the answer.

Unfortunately, studies show that many blogs do not do the job they are supposed to do. Many receive virtually no shares or engagement via social media and even few attract backlinks from high authority websites.

Creating a good blog requires a passion for your topic, an ability to write, and some excellent online networking and PR skills. Above it requires a carefully thought through strategy. Shovelling articles onto your website without one can be a real waste of time and effort.

If you would like to find out more about SEO and digital marketing and what can be done to drive more sales and leads through your website get in touch with us today.

And if you’ve found this information useful we would really appreciate it if you could share it via your own social networks. Just click in some of the icons below.

Unicorn by: Yosuke Muroya