Search engine optimization is something each and every business should invest time and other resources into. Without SEO, your online content is going to get lost in a sea of competitors. Fortunately, when done right, SEO can boost your rankings, drive traffic to your site, and help you convert sales. However, many people still believe several misconceptions about SEO that could ultimately be hurting their business. So to help you succeed with search engine optimization, let’s take a look at a few common SEO misconceptions and the truth behind them.

Misconception #1: Using Keywords in Anchor Text Doesn’t Matter

Anchor text is necessary when you’re building links into your content. But when it comes to choosing what the anchor text should be, many people believe it doesn’t matter what words they use. However, this isn’t true at all — Google looks at anchor text to determine rankings and whether or not the content will be relevant to a consumer’s search. This is why it can still be beneficial to use target keywords in anchor text. But you should not over-do it with using the same keywords over and over again in your anchor text, as this can actually do more harm than good. So use relevant keywords in your anchor text but be sure to switch it up and use different terms.

Misconception #2: Having a Slow Load Time Is Fine

Does your site take forever to load? If so, this can be detrimental to your rankings — when a consumer visits a site, they expect the page to load within a few seconds. And if it doesn’t, they’re most likely not going to wait and they’ll head to another page. If a consumer leaves a page before viewing it, this will increase your site’s bounce rate. And because search engines look at bounce rates and loading times to determine rankings, having a slow loading page time and a high bounce rate can ultimately impact your rankings negatively. Furthermore, you’ll be losing potential leads and sales if people aren’t actually looking at your site.

Misconception #3: You Don’t Need Meta Tags

When you look at the Google search results page, you will see website links with descriptions below — these descriptions are meta tags. In a meta tag, you need a meta description, meta keywords, and a title tag to tell consumers what the page is about and what kind of information they can get from it. While meta tags aren’t directly related to search engine rankings, these descriptions help to direct traffic to your site. And by combining a great meta tag with outstanding content marketing, you can improve your overall site and therefore your rankings.

Misconception #4: Images Don’t Need to Be Optimized

All of the content on your site should be optimized for search engines — and that includes any images on your site. Search engines don’t identify images like they do words, which is why it’s important to optimize images using HTML, like the ‘alt tag’. These tags can help tell Google what the image is so it can better decide whether or not the image is relevant to the search. In doing this, you can ensure everything on your website’s pages is easily recognizable by both consumers and search engines.

Misconception #5: Research on Keywords Isn’t Necessary

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in SEO is not conducting keyword research. While you may feel like you know which keywords your audience is searching and which ones would be best for your site, you need to look at actual data. You should use tools to not only see which keywords are ranking, but also which ones will have the greatest return on investment for your business. After all, you need to ensure you’re getting the traffic and clicks you’re looking for from the keywords you choose. And, of course, it always helps to know which keywords your competitors are using so you can decide how to out-rank them.

Misconception #6: Having Many Links Is Better Than Having Quality Links

It can be extremely beneficial to link to outside sources on your site. But unfortunately, many businesses assume that having a ton of links is more important than having a few really high-quality links. Having links to high-ranking sites is beneficial in numerous ways. While having links to other sites may seem like it will drive traffic away from your site, your content should be strong enough that it will bring them back — and when consumers see links to reputable sites, they’ll come back with more interest in your site. Putting a few strong links into your content will help boost your traffic, your rankings, and even help you build relationships with other businesses.

Misconception #7: Buying Advertisements Will Boost Organic Traffic

While PPC can be a great investment, it does not help with organic traffic or search rankings. When you invest in paid advertisements, you’ll hopefully increase traffic to your site and build brand awareness and validation. However, organic traffic is only counted when someone finds your site through a link that was not bought. It’s important to remember that organic traffic and paid traffic are both great, but they’re very different. Working with a white label SEO company can help you determine which area to focus on and how to boost your overall traffic, both paid and organic.

As you can see, it’s easy to get confused and make mistakes when working on search engine optimization. This is why it’s so important to take your time, do your research, use the right tools, and invest in the right help. With some trial and error and by avoiding these mistakes, you can run a successful SEO campaign. From there, you’ll see your business grow and you can continue to make changes as the digital marketing industry changes — which it inevitably will.