Demystifying SEO in 2024: 5 Common SEO Myths Debunked for Good

running a business. It helps you reach new clients and makes it easier to showcase why your services and products are better than your competitors. But to make sure your site reaches those customers, you’ll want to implement a solid SEO strategy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about SEO circulating online, and many of them are false. Here are some of the most common SEO myths and what makes them completely and utterly incorrect.

1. You Have to Include Keywords a Certain Number of Times
Keyword density is something of a buzzword. It refers to the number of times you include a specific keyword in a piece of content. For example, say you’re writing a 2,000-word blog post and include your main target keyword 40 times in the article. In this case, your article’s keyword density would be 2%. Some SEO “experts” claim that having a density of as much as 5% is best and sends the strongest ranking signals to search engines. That would mean you’d need to use your keyword more than 100 times in the article. 

Sounds questionable, right? It is. There is no hard and fast rule for how many times you need to include your target keywords in your content. In fact, using them too many times can make the writing feel stilted or just plain bad. Instead of focusing on a specific keyword density, you’ll want to use keywords where they fit naturally. Don’t overdo it and always write with your readers in mind. 

2. Targeting High-Volume Keywords Is Best
High-volume keywords are ones that people search for most often each month. And while targeting those high-volume keywords may seem like a good idea since they’re the phrases that generate the most traffic to sites that are ranking for them, you don’t have to focus on them exclusively. Why? Because competition for those keywords is incredibly high. Tons of sites are already ranking for them and tons of your competitors are targeting them in their content.

Instead, try to use a mix of both high-volume and low or medium-volume keywords in your content. This can increase your chances of ranking for search terms. Just make sure that the keywords you’re choosing all have the same search intent, meaning they all effectively address or are relevant to the content you’re writing.

3. Targeting Keywords Is More Important Than Your Content
This used to be true back in the day. As early as 2007, search engines considered blog posts and pages with lists of keywords at the bottom of the page as relevant and appropriately targeting specific keywords. This has changed, but the myth is still lingering around. Now, many business owners think that targeting keywords is more important than creating quality content that incorporates their chosen keywords in a natural way. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Search engines are smarter and now favor posts and sites that publish helpful content that informs the reader and gives useful information over sites that spam pages with keywords or toss keywords into paragraphs in a way that doesn’t make sense. 

Do your research. Write content for your readers and add target keywords where they’re appropriate. As long as you prioritize quality and helpfulness over targeting keywords haphazardly, you’ll be in good shape.

4. Long-Form Content Is Better Than Short-Form
If you look at the posts that are ranking well for keywords you want to target, you’ll likely notice that those posts are on the longer side. While there is some truth to the myth that long-form content performs and ranks better than short-form content, that doesn’t mean that long-form is the only type of content you should be creating.

Instead, you’ll want to create a mix of long-form and short-form content. Not sure how? Consider the topic you’re covering and write what you feel is needed to cover the topic in depth. Remember, you’re sharing your knowledge and expertise. Some posts may end up being 500 words long while others might end up being close to 3,000. That’s okay. 

The key to being successful lies in creating content that adequately addresses search intent and uses headings and subheadings in a way that helps readers scan the page. Your content should also be written with humans in mind, not just search engines. 

5. Your Meta Descriptions Send Ranking Signals
Meta descriptions are small summaries of your page that search engines display to help readers decide if they want to read your page. This leads many to believe that well-written meta descriptions send strong ranking signals to search engines like Google. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Meta descriptions do not influence your rank. But that doesn’t mean they’re useless or that you shouldn’t take your time creating helpful descriptions.

Remember, it’s a way to entice readers into clicking on your page instead of your competitors. While meta descriptions might not send ranking signals, they can influence the amount of traffic you receive. 

Use this to your advantage. Include your target keyword if you can and provide a clear and succinct description of what the page is about. Be sure to include a call to action (CTA) encouraging readers to click your link.

Now, here’s the kicker. Shorter descriptions are typically better. You’ll want to aim for around 106 characters in total. Otherwise, your meta description could get cut off on mobile devices. 

Investing in SEO Is Investing in Your Business
Search engine optimization can feel a bit mystifying if you’re just getting started, and with all the myths circulating about SEO and what you should and shouldn’t do, it can be easy to head down the wrong track. Instead of trying to manage things on your own, let an experienced team help. 

At Denver Website Designs, we understand the nuances of SEO and can help you create and implement a strategy that works for your business now and in the long term. Contact us today to schedule a demo or to request more information about our services. 
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