10 SEO Myths we've heard while performing in the SEO Circus (2021)

by Laurie Heller

Sign up for our once-a-month marketing jam, and we'll hold the spam

SEO is a beast. Done right it can be great. Done wrong it can be a massive waste of time.  Misunderstood, though, is the most dangerous of all. In this blog we’ll look at some of the frustrating things we’ve heard and break down why they caused us to do face plants.

SEO Myths Debunked (2021)

  1. When the site has barely any copy and is mostly images: Our website has 50+ pages and it’s beautiful, why aren’t we ranking?

    Because images don’t count for SEO. Text is your friend. Also a word to the wise, optimize the size of your images or it’ll slow down your page load time and Google will ding you for it. Try Google Squoosh or TinyPNG.

  2. When a small business says: “I want to rank page one for the term that has a search volume of over 20k.”

    That’s cool. I want a winning lotto ticket. Do you have one for me within one month? But seriously, what other words or phrases (long tail searches) might also be relevant for what you’re trying to convey. Go look at those. That’ll be easier.

  3. I need to keep this blog post updated on my website because it gets 10K hits per month even though it doesn’t have much to do with my business. It’s getting me the most traffic!

    Let me ask you this: If you've been inviting 10k people to a party and 9,880 of them leave within the first 30 seconds...how’s that strategy working for you? Spoiler alert: it's not. It might be time to change the playlist (content) because the attendees aren’t digging the music. If SEO peeps suggest you remove blog posts that aren’t focused on your target audience, or are causing visitors to run for the door, that’s why. Quality trumps quantity. Always.

  4. When shown what terms they should rank for and who is ranking for them right now. These keywords are garbage. The website ranking for all the terms is embarrassing and is attracting the wrong people so I’m not going to bother.

    What the what? Just because a competitor is smart with their SEO doesn't mean that the people *you* invite to your party with the right keywords will leave when yours (ahem, awesome website) has the better playlist. You can still go after the same keywords as your competitor who doesn't have as nice a site or terrible products compared to yours. The words are the invitation and the content and the website are the music. If you don't get them to show up in the first place, they won't be able to make a choice.

  5. I don’t have budget for Google Ads.

    SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t the same as SEM (search engine marketing) and it doesn’t involve paid advertising. We’ll save this for another blog post some other time, but it's important to understand the difference. 

  6. I get that SEO is good, but no one gets our voice so we aren’t going to bother with any content marketing or optimize landing pages.  

    Most importantly, have you done a voice and tone guide? If not, there’s your problem. If you have one, I guess it was a waste of time and/or you just like making it easier for your competitors to get found. Must be nice to not have to worry about making money. 

  7. We did an SEO project last year but didn’t see any results.

    Hmm… What does an SEO project mean? Did you get a presentation from a consultant or agency? Did you do it in-house? What were the recommendations? Did you do any optimizations or content? Decks aren’t helpful unless you implement the suggestions. AND monitor them monthly to react to any changes.

  8. We optimized our pages and published content for two months and nothing happened so we gave up.

    Aesop’s fable "The Tortoise and the Hare” might have secretly been written for marketers. Slow and steady wins the race. Stellar advice for kids and SEO nerds and novices alike. SEO takes 3-6 months to kick in and then requires monthly adjustments and tracking. 

  9. SEO doesn’t work for local companies.

    P-L-E-A-S-E do us a favor. Look at your local competitors. If they’re getting lots of organic traffic, they’re doing something right. But it doesn’t happen overnight. You need to take time to do and invest in localized keywords, customer reviews, directory profiles (Yelp), Google My Business, content, etc. PS- if you start out saying your target audience is local, and if you then change your mind about it being national or global, you need to go back to the drawing board. If you ARE national/global, then you need to make sure you also have a separate localized strategy for select locations (if this makes your head hurt, we can help).

  10. When B2B companies say “I’d rather hire more salespeople, SEO is too much of a time suck.” 

    Sigh. We get that sales people are needed but our usual question is how much time  and energy does it take to make a sale? What’s your sales cycle like?  What are you paying your sales teams? If you invest in what sends prospects to you longer term, you might end up needing less sales people or actually drive even better, faster-closing leads and deals per rep that you have. For real. What sales team or person likes cold calling/emailing and doesn't want qualified inbound leads? We don't know too many.

In all fairness, this stuff isn't easy. And if you tried to talk to me about football, I'd be lost. If you asked me how to walk a tightrope, I'd fall. Everyone has their thing, and SEO is ours. If you need help, holler.

The Favorite Co.


May 14.2022

Why B2B marketers should look through a B2C lens

Most B2B companies typically don't want to hire B2C marketers. They're caught up in focusing on bottom-of-the-funnel leads and revenue. We'll talk about why...

Sep 20.2021

10 digital marketing mistakes to avoid

If you've got one minute, we've got 10 digital marketing mistakes to avoid. This post can help save your sanity, marketing budget, and team morale.  

1. Not...