If you have heard or read anything about SEO techniques and ways to improve the ranking of your website, the subject of keywords is almost certain to have been discussed. This is perfectly understandable given that keywords are one of the major ways by which Google’s algorithms identify a website’s relevance within a certain niche or to a particular subject.
Given the importance of keywords, a lot of has been written about them in articles, blog posts and there is also countless videos on ‘What is SEO?’ that you may have seen on YouTube or as part of an SEO training course. Unfortunately, not everything that you have been told will have been 100% accurate and some it may even have been completely wrong.
The reason is that there are several myths which circulate around the internet regarding keywords, and some of them have been repeated so often they have become part of SEO folklore. Where the problems start is when unsuspecting website owners and even an SEO company, who should know better, erroneously apply those keywords myths and instead of improving a website’s ranking, they damage it.
To help ensure that you do not make these mistakes, here are 4 of the most common SEO myths in relation to keywords.
1) There’s No Point In Doing Keywords Research, As Keywords Do Not Matter Anymore.
Nobody is sure why this myth gained traction, but we suspect it was due to lazy website owners or so-called SEO experts who couldn’t be bothered doing keyword research. Rather than do it, they hoped that by getting others, and especially their competitors, to believe it, they possibly hoped that it would become true.
Be in no doubt that keyword research is essential and remains crucial to your SEO strategy. There are several of Google’s ranking factors that apply to keywords such as domains, meta tags, content and backlinking, to name but a few. If you haven’t done proper research, then you have no way of knowing how to optimise any of these with regards to your website’s SEO.
2) Use As Many Keywords As Possible
It beggars belief that this myth is still doing the rounds, but sadly it is. The practice of filling every piece of content, both on and off your site, with the same keyword repeatedly is known as keyword stuffing, and it is a killer in terms of SEO.
Google introduced the Panda update in 2012, and one of their primary intentions with it was to discourage the practice of keyword overkill. If you are thinking of, or currently, doing it, you will gain nothing by it.
3) Only Target Keywords With High Search Volumes
Every website owner would love to rank for the most searched keywords in their niche, and any SEO campaign is right to try to do all it can to achieve that. However, this should not be done at the expense of targeting other relevant keywords that don’t get searched for as often.
There are literally hundreds of medium and low search volume keywords that can bring traffic to your site, and to rank for them on page 1 takes a lot less time and effort than high volume keywords.
4) You Should Focus On Short Keywords Of No More Than One Or Two Words
This may have been the case for the first few years after Google first arrived on the internet scene, but it is no longer true. Shorter keywords are obviously still important, but Google’s algorithm is now so sophisticated, that it identifies and recognises keywords that are more akin to a phrase.
Do not overlook using what are termed ‘long tail’ keywords as they are often not targeted by many websites which means you could take all that traffic from them, very easily.