Have you heard these 10 absurd SEO lies about your search engine optimization (SEO)? Think you already have your SEO services well in hand? Maybe. Check out these 10 SEO lies.

SEO Lie #1: My SEO Is Built Into My Website.

If you think your web developer or the web program you’re using has automatically optimized your website, that’s usually NOT the case.

Web developers bring a wealth of talent and skills to companies, but many of them don’t understand or apply SEO.

Furthermore, one of the most important components of search engine optimization is the content, especially the words on the page. Unfortunately, most web developers rely on their clients to provide the copy for their websites. But most clients don’t know how to optimize content for the web or search engines.

At our agency, we have an SEO process we follow. What’s more, we build SEO into our web design services.

Similarly, your free or inexpensive software (eg, Wix, Square Space) may not be optimized automatically for search engines to crawl your site. You may need an SEO expert to help you. ONLY  an audit of your SEO will reveal how your company is really doing on the internet.

SEO Lie #2: I’ll Get on Google AFTER I Build My Website.

The best websites are built with SEO AND the user experience in mind. In fact, if you build your site without SEO, you’ll often have to go back and redo much of the original work. Even Google recommends that you consider search engine optimization (SEO) sooner rather than later. In other words, before you build your website–not after.

It’s not a cost-efficient practice to delay SEO.

SEO Lie #3: I Don’t Need SEO.

With 40,000 Google search queries EVERY SECOND on Google, even a small slice of the pie would be helpful. Best practices in SEO services are likely to help you capture some of that traffic and leading internet users to your company, store, or website.

Think about it. Would you like to capture a sliver of that pie with 3.5 trillion searches a day?

pinocchio representing lies

SEO Lie #4: My Marketing Dollars Are Better Spent on….

If you already have email addresses for customers and prospects, some of your marketing dollars may be better spent on email marketing rather than SEO. Only referrals from colleagues and subject matter experts exceed the influence of email marketing services.

Email marketing has an average return on investment (ROI) of about 42 dollars for every dollar spent. However, the email may not arrive at a time when your prospect is actively looking for information.

By contrast, SEO responds to an individual’s active, immediate interest. It fulfills a need exactly when the prospect or customer is looking for an answer. Moz estimates that SEO has an ROI that’s five times higher than online advertising.

Moreover, SEO is an investment rather than simply a spend. It can pay dividends for months and/or years to come. It’s a long-term strategy.

SEO Lie #5: I’m Already in the Top Spot on Google.

It’s not very difficult to get rated in the top spot on Google for your business name. Especially if your business has a unique name, you’re likely to rank well when your company name is “Googled”. (If you don’t, you really need help with your SEO.)

However, much traffic comes in through other queries. As mentioned in Lie #3 above, on average there are 40,000 search queries every second.

If you’re asking, “How can I get my business on Google?,” you’re asking the right question.

SEO Lie #6:  My New SEO Agency Promised My Site Will Be Number 1.

Really? For what? How many internet users actually type that phrase? The goal of SEO is to be first on the page for a keyword phrase that’s typed frequently every month.

What’s frequently? That depends on your product or service. Your SEO services company can help you discover ranges for your relevant keyword phrases.

Realistically, results for SEO can take months to appear. Be wary of promised results that are controlled by a third party (ie, Google). A reputable SEO company will discuss the goal of getting on the first spot of the first page, but will not guarantee that result.


SEO Lie #7: My Website Isn’t Really a Successful Marketing Tool for Me, So SEO Doesn’t Make Sense for My Business.

If your website is ineffectual, perhaps it’s precisely because you didn’t optimize it. It’s like saying, “I bought the best rooster that money can buy, and it hasn’t laid a single egg.”

Well-optimized websites are now as important as business cards or print sales brochures were ten years ago. Your website is a proof point that your business is legitimate and credible.

SEO Lie #8: I’ll Send My Customers and Prospect to My Website Instead of Doing SEO.

Using your business cards, email signature, email marketing, and social media to drive customers and prospects to your website is always a best practice–and a great adjunct to SEO.

At the same time, a well-optimized website is a user-friendly website. Think about it.

For example, Google recommends a responsive design. This improves the user’s experience on a mobile device. Now that 57% of people search on a mobile device, doesn’t it make sense that your site is mobile responsive?

What’s more, later this year, you can expect Google to place ONLY your mobile results in the search engine return pages (SERPs)–whether someone is “Googling” from a phone, tablet, or desktop. Make sure your content renders well on mobile!

Likewise, Google recommends a secure site.  (Simply put, your website URL should begin https vs http.)

Increasingly, Google is emphasizing a fast-loading site. Users don’t like to wait.

The list goes on and on.

Overall, Google’s recommendations create a great user experience for those who “Google.” This creates both trust and credibility for the Google user—and if your site is well optimized, ultimately for your business.

As mentioned previously, 40,000 queries are “Googled” every second. Will you be able to drive the same volume of prospects to your website?

SEO Lie #9: I Don’t Have the Budget for SEO.

Again, SEO is an investment that will continue to pay dividends for months and years to come.

Additionally, website owners tend to spend where they see the most potential value. While you’re spending on trade shows, travel, education, direct mail, promotional items, social media marketing, advertising,  or cold calls with a higher cost per lead, your competitors may be actively pursuing SEO. They are likely to beat you by capturing Google search traffic and redirecting it to their website–and not yours.

Your investment can result in more website traffic and leads. It ultimately can generate more revenue that will allow you (or your competitors) to continue to reinvest in greater SEO efforts and additional marketing activities.

SEO Lie #10: I Optimized at Launch, So Now I’m Done.

Great start! But SEO work continues. SEO evolves and changes with technology updates. It’s important to stay on top of those changes.
Moreover, you’ll not only want to measure your success with analytics but you’ll also want to GROW your success, adding new pages of content, additional links to your site, and updating with Google’s algorithm changes.


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Nancy Burgess

Nancy Burgess is the owner of Nancy Burgess Strategic Marketing, a marketing consulting firm and online agency. In that role, she integrates her corporate success as a digital marketer along with her marketing agency experience in marketing communications and branding to help businesses prosper. Nancy's specialties are search engine optimization (SEO) and content creation. She graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, holds a master's degree, and also multiple marketing certificates from DePaul University's graduate school. She is a frequent presenter on SEO strategies and has worked in digital marketing since the late 1990s. As someone who can strategize AND execute, Nancy offers digital and traditional marketing services to SMBs. Agency value without agency fees. Along with SEO and content strategies, Nancy's agency offers website design, marketing automation, integrated marketing strategies, and branding to her clients.