SEO myths and contradictory tips make it hard to decipher the myths from the truth.


What is SEO and Why Do We Need It?

We have all kinds of information about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and much of it is often-repeated SEO myths. From business owners who don’t really understand how SEO works, to those who know it inside and out, it can be totally confusing when you’re building and promoting your business online. SEO involves setting up various online components, like those on a website, in such a way as to cause search engines to easily find and rank the site higher. When someone initiates a search online, the search engine looks for the most relevant answer to that query. If they don’t find what they are looking for, quickly and efficiently on your site, they move on to the next one. That’s why your site may not show up until the 596th page of search results.

It’s pretty hard to get a prospect to wade through that many pages to find you! So, even though your product is excellent or your service is the best out there, your prospects never know it. The big joke (not a joke) is “The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google”

So what’s a business owner to do?

Get Rid of SEO Myths

Here are some common SEO myths I hear on a regular basis.

Myth: If I have a great product, people will find me online.
Truth: Ranking doesn’t just happen. It requires putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.
Myth: I can get to page 1 of Google if I buy ad words, stuff my site with keywords, or pay John Doe, SEO expert, $3,000.
Truth: Ranking well takes time. It requires patience and a willingness to update your online presence regularly.
Myth: Once I get it done, I can stop worrying about it.
Truth: Google and other search engine algorithms change all the time. Keeping fresh content and delivering it the way the search engine wants it is key.

SEO Doesn’t Just Happen. It Takes Knowledge and a Lot of Work.

In order to improve SEO rankings, there are a couple more things you need to know before getting started.

Know WHO you are talking to.

Hopefully, you went through this exercise when you started your business. In the online world, it’s even more important to be able to specifically identify your ideal client. Your product or service may be used by a large variety of people, but each group needs to have its own persona. That way, when you’re crafting your message, you can speak directly to them.

Know WHAT they are searching for.

Do you know the most popular words and phrases people use to search for your business?
These words can change, so it’s a good idea to keep checking regularly.

Research keywords.

You can use a tool like Rank Tracker to help you with this task and many others. The free version is very robust but there are also paid options. Rank Tracker helps you to narrow down keywords and find new and unique keywords. It helps you understand what your competition is doing so you stay ahead of the game. Using common keywords can backfire because the more common or generic the words are, the greater the number of other sites using them.

Make sure your site is mobile optimized.

Long gone are the days when you could get by without having a mobile-optimized site. These days, if your site is not optimized for mobile, Google will not rank you at all, much less show your site to a large audience. In the US, of the total number of minutes spent online, 71% are on a mobile phone. Need to check your site? You can do that with this tool.

Create excellent content with proper use of keywords and long tail keywords

If SEO is the map that gets prospects to your website, content is what keeps them there. The more relevant and valuable your content is, the longer your visitors will stay and the sooner they’ll come back!
At the end of the day, without content, you can’t rank highly. Google cares about people finding value in what they search for.

Make sure your website code is optimized.

In order for search engines to find and deliver results, the spiders or bots look for certain types of coding in the back-end of your website. Some of these include title tags, meta descriptions, keyword consistency, alt attributes, backlinks, sitemaps and more. A beautiful website with proper keywords may still not get traffic if the structure of the site isn’t set up correctly.

Your New Best Friend

Before you begin working to improve your website rank, install and use Google Analytics to see where you are now. This will be your new best friend and will help you to understand, as you go, what’s working. Knowing where you need to go, and being diligent about measuring to see if you’re getting there, is one of the most important parts of everything you do online.

For more information about SEO or other online marketing topics, follow my blog, email me at, or call me at 602-327-3529.



Sherree Mongrain was an early adopter of social media and has watched the internet transform the way we work, play, and live for over 18 years. Her unique perspective and straight-forward approach make her popular with entrepreneurs and small businesses who want actionable information they can understand and that helps them grow their business. She specializes in online marketing strategy and planning, creating content--blogs, website pages, graphics, and videos, and working specifically with small business owners.