Search engine optimization is a constantly evolving process, but B2B marketing professionals may be clinging to ineffective tactics. This could diminish results over time. Here is a closer look at two of the most harmful myths in SEO and what you should be doing to rise to new challenges in the industry:
- Keyword density is the most important component of SEO.
- Content is only useful for increasing search engine ranking (1).
Myth 1: Keyword density
In the past, marketers could gain decent search engine rankings with relatively low-quality content that was stuffed with keywords. However, most search engines, especially Google, now prioritize quality and readability as content marketing continues to take off. Keywords need to flow intuitively within the content. Additionally, focusing on keyword density is no longer very effective because SEO isn't a new tactic anymore, meaning brands face more competition from other companies using similar keywords (1).
This isn't to say that keywords have been rendered irrelevant. It's still crucial to know how prospects find your page because it allows you to refine your marketing strategy. Strong content is the way to succeed at SEO rather than packing blog posts full of keywords.
Myth 2: Content marketing is just a means of boosting SEO
It's true; it would be difficult for prospective customers to find your website without an SEO strategy in place. While content marketing does boost search engine results, especially in the wake of Google's recent changes and shifting focus to quality, this tactic serves multiple purposes. Content is an excellent lead generation and nurturing tool. It increases brand awareness and loyalty and encourages visitors to return to your site. It also boosts engagement on your website. Content is no longer a novelty in B2B marketing; it's an essential part of doing business. If you believe people don't read Web content, you could be hurting your ability to win new business. Most buyers consult content in their research processes.
The convergence of SEO, social media, content and mobile
Many marketers are struggling to determine the right mix of tactics because they are all starting to run together. Content marketing and SEO have always been linked, but this is becoming increasingly clear. However, marketers need to shift focus to determine how mobile will affect their content and search engine results. Mobile searches could exceed desktop this year. Additionally, 74 percent of the U.S. population is expected to own smartphones by the end of the year (2). This means B2B marketers will have a better opportunity to reach their target audience in more places.
A website's user-friendliness from a mobile device is starting to have a greater impact on search engine results. Because so many more people are searching from their smartphones, Google has started penalizing sites that do not load within an acceptable timeframe. Additionally, mobile users are less tolerant of a poor experience. If content doesn't load quickly or display without zooming, visitors may not stay on your site. This will contribute to a higher bounce rate, potentially damaging your search engine rankings. It's important to consider that desktop users may have different needs than prospects on the go. You may need to provide different content for each group of users.
Going beyond mobile, marketers also need to consider social media in their SEO strategies. Google Plus and YouTube have a clear link to search engine results (3). Including relevant keywords in Google Plus posts of YouTube videos can increase search engine visibility.