Get ready for Part 2 of TL;DR RG (really good) BLTBSMDIFU (but let Total BS Media do it for you) of Hubspots “17 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2016”.
The H1 tag lets the search engines know what the title of your page is. This is important. But as with all SEO tactics it was hacked and used to spam the search engines. Important take away; put your most important and relevant content for that page close to the beginning of the page. And as always, optimize for the user experience, not the search engines first.
9. ET Phone Home
“My homepage needs a lot of content.” This may be true for your business, but it is not necessarily going to hurt your rankings if you don’t. What will hurt your ranking is if a user bounces when they get to your homepage because they have no idea what to do, where to go next or who you are. We have said it before, and we will say it again, always keep your user and their experience top of mind. Never underestimate the power of user testing. Don’t just set it and forget it either. Make sure you are always optimizing for the user and then for search engines.
10. More is Better
Quality, quality, quality. Don’t you want to create content that matters and that people consume? Yes! And that is what your users want to. Create quality content, let that guide how many pages you have, not an arbitrary page goal that you have set for yourself. Let it grow organically and be built on the needs of your prospects and customers.
“Good user experience is an added bonus, not a requirement”
False, false and false. Your number one goal should be to create high-quality content that is beneficial and helpful to your prospects and customers. If your website is clunky and hard to navigate, you lose, and most of the time despite how great the content is.
12. Keep it Local
Local SEO does matter, and as annoying as setting up your Google Business page is, and then requesting the postcard, and then requesting the postcard again, and then one more time and then verifying it, it's really important. “Near me” searches are some of the top searches on Google, and you want to be found if someone says, “Bozeman Marketing Agency near me.”
You do not want Google to blacklist you. It insights sleepless nights and nightmares when do finally fall asleep. Insert our website watchdog, Google Search Console. It allows you to see every site that links to you and verify that they are quality links, not bots from Russsia. If you see spammy links, disavow them. You can also choose which website is primary, the www or the non-www version. This also helps with eliminating duplicate content, another no, no for the search engines.
14. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
The Google bots cannot see images, so it is crucial to use alt text and make sure your file names are descriptive and represents what the image actually is, not keywords you want to rank for. This is the only way search engines will be able to identify the image; it provides tremendous value to your on page SEO. Another tip: Don’t shy away from adding captions and descriptive titles as well; this is a Google recommend practice. In short, you want your alt text, file name, description and caption to be as descriptive as possible, don’t hesitate to mention the photo in the copy around it as well. This provides another level of relevance.
15. How to beat Wikipedia
Answer boxes. Answer boxes are quick answers Google provides to searchers that appear above the other SERPs. It is extremely relevant high-quality content, from a high authority site. That is a lot to aspire too, but you can do it. We type questions into Google. The best way to create an answer box that is relevant and helpful to your buyer personas is to think about the answers they are searching out. You want to answer these in a short and sweet kind of way. Bulleted lists are great for that, and also fit nicely into an answer box.
“Mobilegeddon” is not as devastating as Googlegeddon, not yet that is. Google released an algorithm update in the spring of 2015 that starting do use mobile optimization as a ranking factor, favoring those that were. Why? Because more searches take place on smart phones than on desktops. Google’s number one priority is giving those searchers a great experience. Therefore, they give priority and better ranking to sites that are mobile-friendly (i.e. your index and thumb don’t have to do much work). If you take only one thing away from this article, let it be this. Make your site responsive ASAP. This will not only provide a better customer experience on mobile, but you won’t be penalized by Google. Win win.
17. IT to the Rescue
SEO is something that you should not hand off to your IT team. That may have worked back in the day, but as Paul Furiga put it “SEO should really stand for being Simply Excellent Online. In other words, create remarkable content first, THEN work with the IT folks to make sure that what reads well also scores well technically.” SEO is about creating high-quality content that adds value to the customers and prospects that you serve or hope to serve.
Craving even more SEO jargon and juicy tidbits? Subscribe to the Total BS Media blog, and get the update right in your inbox.