May 29, 2020 - Brittany Garlin

SEO Locale on the 8 SEO Myths to Let Go of

The reality is that search traffic converts 9% better than social media traffic – but you must learn the 8 SEO myths to let go of in order to achieve this. Agencies and brands spend significant time and money on improving their search traffic and web rankings, but with new SEO strategies appearing almost every day it can be hard to weed threw all the information to find what actually is accurate. 

SEO is not going anywhere, even during a pandemic the search intent only increased in most industries. The amount of people with mobile devices and connected to the internet with smart devices there is a search happening every second. Capturing your local audience with traditional advertising is starting to become obsolete and digital marketing with SEO is expanding. Any business can benefit from SEO and you should stay on top of it because most likely you have competitors doing SEO.

We were able to sit down with SEO Locale’s COO, Nick Quirk, who debunked the most common SEO myths and shared some great insights into how you can drive real traffic to your site. 

SEO Locale is a full-service digital marketing agency located in the Philadelphia area. The company was started by Marc Brookland and asked Nick to partner up with him in 2018. They joined forces to offer a full product from SEO, web design, and app development. Marc and Nick instantly became best friends when Nick mentored Marc about SEO when he was fresh out of college. Their agency is now 8 full-time digital marketers with part-time writers in the Philadelphia region. SEO Locale does not outsource any work to other agencies or out of the organization. Their SEO product speaks for itself, you can search SEO Philadelphia and see them ranked right away. SEO Locale believes in offering a month to month contract for clients so they don’t feel like they are stuck or tied to an agency. They believe in their product and trust that they will keep their client’s long term without having to trap them.

Q1: Is content all you need for good SEO?

I hate the saying “Content is King”, it isn’t true. If your website had 0 backlinks and all you did was write content all day you aren’t going to outrank your competition that has all the other SEO factors on their website. The algorithm with Google is complex and depends on all SEO factors from technical, page speed, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and more. To have a great strategy in place for SEO you will want to make sure you aren’t just doing one SEO improvement. You will want to look at all the SEO factors and improve everywhere to be ranking.

Q2: Is site speed that important?

Extremely from user experience to the crawlers. Page speed is important for the user because you may lose business if your website is taking forever to load. Many people think people will wait, they won’t, the attention span on an everyday user is low. You need to make them happy with a fast loading website. The crawlers for example the Google Bot looks at page speed as a ranking factor. Why? Because if you have a fast website, you are providing great user experience. Google understands the factors for user experience and it is important to stay on top of those items.

Q3: Are links dead?

Never, links are good. How you obtained them in the past may be dead. Building backlinks need to be natural and not forced. Google came out and said stop asking for a link from other website owners. Now if that is the case, it would become extremely difficult to rank a website. Partnering up with another webmaster is difficult because if you own your own website you will see a ton of people asking for a backlink from your website. It is saturated in our industry. You need to build naturally and create relationships.

Q4: How much keyword density is good for SEO?

I am personally not a fan of keyword density. The reason being this can be different from industry to keywords. Ranking factors of keyword density does not exist. You need to focus on natural content when writing. If you hit the specific keyword a certain amount of times that is great but don’t let that force you to place a keyword in your content so many times for SEO. Write for the user experience first.

Q5: Do algorithm devaluations result in penalties on search engines? 

The algorithm updates that Google releases can result in a “penalty” for certain websites. These updates to improve the quality of the search engines. This is a different penalty than a manual spam action. The only way you can detect if you were hit by an update by Google is focusing in on your Google Analytics. Looking at the organic traffic only to determine an area where the traffic took a huge hit. This will help you determine an area where you may need to improve upon if it fell into a date range of an update. Always follow white-hat SEO methods to make sure you aren’t going to be hit by these types of updates. Sometimes these updates do hit websites in different areas when they do follow best practices. Each update Google makes has a certain quality improvement on their search engines.

Q6: Is there a duplicating content penalty on Google?

Yes and no, the reason being is Google isn’t going to directly “penalize” you for duplicate content. You may not find yourself ranking well on the search engines if you have an internal and external duplicate content issue. Look at it from the view of the bot, how would the bot put you in front of another website when you both share the same exact content? Look at it from an internal perspective as well, you may have X amount of pages sharing the same content, which page should Google pick? You should always put unique content on your website and watch out for thin content.

Q7: Does social media help you rank better? 

Again this is a yes and no answer as well, reason being is if people are posting your website on social media platforms throughout the web it now becomes an off-page SEO factor. If you asked me does posting on social media help you rank better, I’d say no. There isn’t much correlation between social media posting and ranking better. Social media helps increase online visibility, traffic, authority, and brand recognition. 

Q8: Will buying Google ads help with organic ranking?

No, these are two different areas. There is no correlation between the two.

So Nick, what actually works for driving traffic from search engines? 

That is an interesting question, we have over 100+ clients and I can tell you the interaction on every website is different based on the demographics and intent. Analyzing the data from Google Analytics and our tool UsersGo.com helps us determine the traffic from search engines and how to convert them. When targeting any SEO keywords for your business it is important to make sure there is search volume behind the keyword, 15+ years ago Google was so kind to tell us the exact amount of people searching for a keyword. Today this data is more so an “estimate”. It is important to target keywords that will drive traffic, but you can spot quick wins with low competition in every industry.

Thank You!

A huge thank you to Nick and the rest of the SEO Locale team that shared their insights for our #FeatureFriday post.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about #FeatureFriday and the topics discussed above. If you work at an agency and are interested in being a guest on our #FeatureFriday please reach out to yourfriends@agencyvista.com

If you want to talk social media, you can always find me on LinkedIn. I love connecting with social media marketers and creatives so don’t hesitate to reach out!

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