7 Common SEO Myths You Should Ignore

There are SO many free tips and tricks online for anything you could possibly want. And while having access to any answer you want is awesome, it can also be tricky to sort out what's true.

Especially when it comes to something like SEO, which is often seen as intimidating and is evolving all the time, it can be hard to keep up.

So let me save you the time! I’m tired of these SEO myths and want to debunk them once and for all!

7 Unusual & Common SEO Myths You Can Safely Ignore

7 SEO Myths You Can Stop Believing

Myth #1 | If you can’t get into top result on page 1 of Google, there’s no point in bothering with SEO

Let’s just get the biggest myth out the way first.

Actually, there’s a lot more happening on the first page of the search results than you may realize.

And there’s a big difference between pay per click (PPC) AKA paying for keyword adverts and organic SEO, which is a free and long-term marketing strategy.

Advertisers who pay for keywords are given the “premium” top locations {as long as they keep paying their AdWords fees}.

This fluctuates - some days a keyword might have a couple of adverts and other days, none. Plus, some keywords are more competitive than others – as you can see below, the day I searched “design agency Los Angeles” had very high competition for that phrase, with four adverts being shown.

Thereafter comes the “Local Pack” – the closest businesses to your current location. As you zoom into the map, the businesses listed changes. The Local Pack isn’t always present and depends on what you happen to be searching for.

Under the Local Pack comes directory listings and, sometimes, influencer websites. Again, depending on what you’re searching for, these may or may not be present.

Then the free organic listings start.

Below are two examples of keyword searches:

  1. a highly competitive keyword where location businesses are present, and

  2. a search that produced only two adverts and more organic listings on the first page.

Highly competitive keyword phrase search results with Local Pack


Search results for keyword phrase with medium-level competition


Organic SEO gives 20X the traffic of Pay Per Click


Moz’s recent study of searcher behavior has found that organic SEO (41 – 62%) has more than 20X the traffic opportunity than PPC (2%):

You may think the “No Clicks” are high, but it’s much better to have highly-qualified people landing on your website, as they’re more likely to be your ideal client.

Wondering how long it takes to get results?

Organic SEO can take from 3 – 6 months before you start to see increases in your web traffic, though typically, my clients see results in just 1 – 3 months.

Myth #2 | SEO is all about keywords

Doing your keyword research is important, but Search Engine Optimization requires a combination of efforts, which work together as an SEO approach, rather than separate tactics.

Content creation and blogging are a vital part of your SEO strategy (more on that shortly).

You need to think about the searcher’s intent behind the keywords.

For example, if someone types “ballet school” into the search bar, are they:

  • Wanting to go to a beginner ballet class or advanced?

  • Looking for a drop-in dance class on tonight nearby?

  • A parent looking for classes for their child?

  • Wanting to check reviews to see where the best ballet school is in their area?

Already, you have lots of potential content ideas where you can match your ideal client and their pressing needs/frustrations/desires with what you offer.

Myth #3 | “My social media doesn’t affect my website ranking”

Yes, it does!

When people share your content on social network platforms, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, they’re telling search engines that your content is relevant to them – it’s helpful in some way, whether that’s So, make sure you have several ways people can share your content, for example, I use:

  • The Click to Tweet to create “Tweetables” throughout my copy – a short statement (under 140 characters) which automatically creates Tweets with my Twitter handle, @danielleadairz that you can share to Twitter in one click.

  • Pinterest “Pin it” buttons (AKA Pinterest Bookmarklet) on all my images which, again, automates the process of sharing to Pinterest.

  • I’ve created custom-styled sharing buttons for the ends of my blog posts using StumbleUpon.

  • All posts have a featured image (the image that links to your post and is displayed at the top) which is designed as a “Pinnable” brand image using my brand colors.

This type of social proof gives you more authority, not just within your community and audience, but with search engines too, meaning they’ll place you higher up the rankings.

Myth #4 | Meta descriptions are essential for SEO

This may surprise you, but it makes sense – hear me out…

Google and Bing have stopped indexing meta descriptions.

That means they have no bearing on your SEO.

Or do they?

When people search for your type of product, service, method or knowledge read the meta descriptions, so compelling descriptions are just as important as persuasive title tags.

With a compelling meta description, you’ll:

  1. Qualify your ideal clients

  2. Encourage them to click through to website

  3. By clicking through they’re telling Google your post is relevant, which…

  4. Improves your ranking.

  5. Plus, the longer they spend on your website browsing, the more likely they are to subscribe, share, comment, inquire or buy – bonus!

Myth #5 | SEO consultants can get me into the top rankings RIGHT AWAY

Avoid SEO consultants who promise you top “organic” rankings in days– they may use black-hat SEO which will severely damage your rankings.

This doesn’t mean they can’t get you into the top rankings over time. Pay close attention to how much effort an consultant pays to understand your unique business’s goals, audience, and overall strategy. Learn more about what to look for when hiring an SEO specialist here.

Myth #6 | Long-tail keywords aren’t as important as short keywords

Long-tail keywords are vital. They help you attract more of your ideal clients, are less competitive search terms, and mean you can create a wealth of content targeted to your dream customers’ needs, wants, desires, issues, and questions.

When you break the traffic down into desktop vs mobile, different search intent, and keyword length, you can see the clear benefit of using long-tail keywords.

Informational user intent gets the most traffic

That’s great news if you're producing what, when, why, how and how-to type posts on your blog.


Long-tail keywords show strength on desktop


Long-tail keywords continue to make gains on mobile


Surprising traffic percentages for different keyword lengths on tablet


Data from Advanced Web Ranking’s Click Through Rate study.

Myth #7 | Blogging doesn’t affect SEO

This couldn’t be more wrong!

Blogging regularly is essential to growing your traffic and your business.

Just look at these blogging statistics:

  • 47% of buyers consume 3 – 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016 – via Hubspot)

  • 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders.(Demand Gen Report, 2016 – via Hubspot)

  • 94% of people share blog content because they think it might be useful to other people. (nymarketing.com)

  • B2B marketers who use blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those that don’t. (Hubspot)

  • B2B marketers have found blogging to be significantly more time and cost-effective than traditional lead generation methods (Hubspot)

  • Blogs are trusted sources of information and advice say 81% of US online consumers. (BlogHer)

Want to improve your ranking and get more of the RIGHT traffic to your website, i.e. ideal clients who’ll love your content (and your offerings)?

SEO Made Simple will show you how!

What changes are you going to make to help your search engine rankings? Tell me in the comments.

7 Common SEO Myths You Should Ignore

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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!