There’s wisdom in listening to the advice of others, especially the pros.
If Kevin Durant offers pointers on jump-shots, every aspiring basketball player–whether the captain of the varsity team or the kid who rides the bench in the 12-13 year-old league–should listen. If Tiger Woods ever gives a tip or two about putting, every golfer should take note.
In a way, that’s what happened for internet marketing industry recently. Last week, a Sr. Product Manager at Bing! wrote a blog post about the biggest myths in search engine optimization (SEO). Here are the highlights from Duane Forrester’s advice:
Myth #1: I write quality content.
Perhaps, but how do you know?
Just because you put a lot of time into it–even if you’re an objectively great writer (with proper grammar, spelling, voicing, etc)–doesn’t mean that what you produced is excellent. Look at your site’s bounce-rate, conversion-rate. “Great content is content that’s deemed great by searchers and visitors to your site,” says Forrester.
What content / pages on your site really work? Watch what visitors engage with. Try as best you can to follow that pattern.
Myth #2: Usability is different than SEO.
Although technically different disciplines, “it’s time more folks start seeing them as similar,” writes Forrester. Both focus on improving a website for users. Investing in SEO but not usability is like tying to run a marathon with only one shoe. Sure, you might be fine, but isn’t it better with both shoes on?
Traditionally, SEO firms tried to ride two horses at once: creating content for the search engines and creating content for their customers. In the past few years, though, Bing!, Google, and Yahoo–the big 3 search engines–have really improved their algorithms, enabling them to imitate a person on the web.
Today, the practices that best work for your clients–non-cluttered text, informative content, organized, hierarchical site structures–are what best work for the search engines as well.
Myth #3: A good title tag is all I need.
There are still a lot of companies, especially companies who do SEO in-house, that think this.
Although important, the most well-crafted title tag can’t save a site that misses everything else. You should spend time getting the title right, but this alone won’t save a sinking ship.