Even the most intelligent people can make decisions based on incorrect assumptions. Three SEO myths break down – 3 myths that even rational people believe.
We are referring to the assumption that if we double our organic traffic over the next year, we will double our sales. Now, this can be true — in fact, in some cases, doubling your organic traffic can more than double your sales. But one can’t approach SEO with this idea as a core.
Let’s take the prospective client, for example. They have site structure issues and a large documentation area and blog.
The logic is that if you fix the site structure and internal link issues, you’ll start driving more traffic to the documentation and the blog, which is filled with great content. The problem, of course, is that this traffic is likely to be lower-converting traffic, so hitting the organic traffic targets can be done without hitting what really matters: conversions.
To avoid myth one, the simple approach is to think about the various sections of your site, put a value on those different sections, and then create a formula to ensure that as you’re building out the strategy for the various sections of your site, you’re taking into account the value of that traffic.
Many times we’ve been contacted by both clients and prospects with the statement, “Company XYZ is above me. We’re better than them, and we need to outrank them.”
While the statement seems logical, what is actually being said is: ”Company XYZ is above me for the phrase I looked up. We’re better than them, and we need to divert all energies away from any other goal and focus on one single vanity phrase.”
What we need to remember is that none of this is actually about ranking for a specific phrase.
In fact, the goal of our efforts is not rankings at all, but rather revenue. To aid in this, it can be helpful to not just look at keyword volumes but to get a real picture for how a site is doing overall.
All else being equal, it is better to have 100 phrases each driving 10 visitors than one phrase driving 1,000.
Don’t fixate on your #rank compared to your competitors for one phrase — make sure you’re making the right keyword decisions to maximize your resources.
A lot of potential clients include with their initial emails the incredible search volumes for the phrases they’re thinking about.
Let’s take an example of using Moz Keyword Explorer as opposed to Google’s Keyword Planner.
Why is the former more realistic?
It’s because Keyword Planner is built for AdWords traffic and generally produces numbers far above the number of unique searchers that would reach a result via organic. The Moz tool takes this into account and algorithmically (though not perfectly) adjusts for that to give numbers closer to organic reality.
A lot of mistakes get made before campaigns even begin, and most of them start with a lack of understanding of how #keywords and #rankings function.
No matter how successful the SEO campaign is in regard to the rankings attained, if the principles and data that the efforts were based on are incorrect or misunderstood, then the results can be as catastrophic as if the campaign had simply failed.
Following one guiding principle is all it takes to really avoid the biggest issues: understand what you want, and understand a path to that.
Wanting more traffic in itself is not a goal; wanting more conversions and revenue is.
Focus on that, and when you’re communicating about strategy, make sure that the discussion is on these business goals and not an abstract idea.