3 SEO Myths that Content Marketers Should Ignore

4 minute read

Upland Admin

If you’re a content marketer, you’re well aware that SEO can feel like voodoo. As your company’s chief content engine, you know how important it is to achieve high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). In fact, you see the consequences of ranking every day when you dig into your marketing metrics dashboard and see the amount of search traffic that you’re driving.

The challenge, however, is that you may not be able to replicate these “one-off” hits because you’re chasing multiple moving targets. For one, your SEO firm may be telling you to rank for different keywords than what’s driving traffic—or to avoid pursuing keyword opportunities, altogether. You might also have a quarterly goal to “rank” while ill-equipped with the resources to actually make your content visible in search.

The key to knowing what you need to do is to know what you need to avoid: like the following 3 SEO myths that are probably driving you bonkers.

seo myths for marketing

Myth #1: It’s All about Keywords

SEO is a marketing discipline with many moving parts. In addition to writing SEO-optimized content, you also need to make sure that search engines can crawl your pages for information. This process involves a technical mindset. For instance, if you notice that something is broken, you’ll likely need some engineering help.

How to Navigate This Myth

Make SEO a cross-functional discussion from day one. If you’re asked to “optimize your content,” loop in your analytics and web development leads immediately. Start by figuring out what’s already done. You can use this technical site audit checklist from Moz to help you get started.

Myth #2: Syndication and Re-Publishing Will Hurt Us

Syndication is one of the best opportunities to happen in content distribution. The idea is simple: you write one article and then publish it in multiple places including top business websites, Medium, and LinkedIn. It’s a low-cost and efficient way to bring your perspectives to new audiences.

Many content marketers are hesitant, however, to jump in and start cross-promoting their content. The reason? They’re worried about being penalized for having duplicate content.

How to Navigate This Myth

Embrace Google’s algorithm as the intelligent being that it is. If you add proper attribution to your syndicated pieces, explaining that “this content originally appeared on website X,” you won’t be dinged. Just follow the SEO steps listed here, and make sure that your partners have the resources necessary to attribute your content correctly. You’ll be safe.

Myth #3: Hunt for Low Competition and High Search Volume Keywords

Keyword optimization is one of the most important parts of the SEO optimization process. It’s also the most constricting.

When you’re laser-focused around a specific set of keywords, you risk stifling your creativity—which, in turn, results in a lackluster reader experience for your audience.

While it may seem like a good idea to pursue the low competition, high search volume keywords that the AdWords keyword tools recommend, you run the risk of ignoring the miscellaneous long-tail opportunities that have a lower barrier to entry. At the end of the day, Google’s algorithm is smart enough to recognize variations of keywords. When it comes to the long-tail, search volume doesn’t matter.

Focus on leveraging the keywords that are authentic to your brand, regardless of the competition levels.

How to Navigate This Myth

Be keyword-aware, but take metrics like search volume and Google-assigned competition with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, you want to connect with the right audiences, even if you’re generating lower traffic.

Final Thoughts

Focus on establishing connections with your target audiences, and the rest will fall into place. Marketers have been chasing keywords and other ‘tricks’ for too long. What precedent teaches us is that eventually, Google’s search algorithm will outsmart us.

Get ahead by getting back to the basics: keeping your audience happy.

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