Online marketing map and termsThe digital landscape changes so quickly it’s hard for business owners to keep up. When you run a company you have enough to worry about without keeping tabs on the latest technology and marketing developments. The trouble is you have to invest in these sectors to market your business and take things forward.
SEO has come on a tremendous pace since Google unleashed the first Panda algorithm update back in 2011. Since this time search optimisation has become progressively more difficult and equally dangerous if you get it wrong. It’s scary how many website owners fall into this category too – even after Panda approaches four years of age. Here are five SEO myths business owners need to forget fast.

#1: Google is the only search engine

You can be forgiven for this because Google is the dominant search provider by such a large extent. Google is the biggest name in search for every country in the world, except a grand total of five. But Bing ended 2013 with a record 18.2% of all searches between November and December last year – which adds up to around 3.5 billion searches. You can expect this number to increase again this year which makes Bing a search engine you don’t want to ignore.

#2: SEO is your only search strategy

Search marketing generally covers two types of strategy designed to increase traffic – SEO and paid search. These days paid search means Google Ads or Bing Ads as the effectiveness of banner ads and early PPC techniques dwindles. The process of paid ads with search engines is very similar to SEO, with a focus on keywords and search queries. Except you bid on ads to be displayed in search results and effectively pay to make it onto page one – a valuable strategy in the days of Google algorithm updates.

#3: You have to choose between SEO and paid search

You may well have seen the articles weighing up the pros and cons of SEO and PPC. There is a old myth in marketing that you have to choose between paid search and a “free” alternative, called SEO. It’s an old concept that’s dying out – but in case it hasn’t reached you yet – SEO and paid search are best applied together.

#4: Keywords and links are all bad

All the fuss about Panda and Penguin algorithms has left website owners scrambling to clean up their keyword strategies and link profiles. But the impact of Google updates initially sparked talk about the death of SEO, the fading value of links and ineffectiveness of keywords. You can forget all that, because Google algorithms have made keywords and links more important than ever – so you need to make sure you get them right.

#5: Social media is the new SEO

The rise of social media timed things perfectly with the release of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. So it’s no surprise social was hailed as the next SEO and businesses of all size have jumped on the big networks to boost their marketing efforts. Social metrics play an increasing role in search ranking too, which brings SEO and social media closer together. It’s not a case of replacing SEO -rather that search, content and social marketing are more integrated and dependent on each other than ever before.