Trying to keep up to date with SEO can feel like trying to catch a plastic bag in the wind. Just as you get closer to it, it flies away out of reach. Even SEO experts have to work hard to keep up with the latest practices, which is why it is so commonly misunderstood by the wider business community.

Here are just some of the reasons SEO is commonly misunderstood…

SEO Search engine optimization concept with Flat design and a lo

It’s a true mystery to all of us

Google doesn’t publish all the secrets to their inner workings online. They don’t share easy guides explaining why they rank one site above another. SEO experts are tasked with figuring out the best course of action by figuring out what works best for their client. The best SEO professionals know that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

It’s always changing

If you met with an SEO specialist 5 years ago, their recommendations would be completely different to those offered today. SEO is always changing, and there are always new algorithm updates to consider. A good SEO expert knows how to keep up (see Paul Gordon’s website). The problem that the industry faces is that not everyone is willing to change with the times and those peddling outdated practices give the rest of us a bad name. SEO is a like a race with no finish line and you have to keep running just to stay in the same spot.

SEO is like the Wild West

SEO cowboys give the rest of us a bad name. The second you set up a website and share your contact details, you’ll soon be subject to a barrage of unsolicited emails promising to get you to the first page of Google. We hate to break it to you, but these cowboys likely have no idea what they’re doing, and £99 per month isn’t the standard rate for SEO services. It’s no wonder that there’s a lot of confusion around the industry when there are people pushing these kinds of outrageous claims.

You have zero control

No one can tell Google what to do. There are no clear-cut answers for how long SEO should take and how long it will take for changes to your website to have an impact. This wait-and-see approach can be frustrating for some people who are used to seeing immediate results from their marketing efforts.

So, what’s the answer?

On Facebook, you can specify an audience and serve an advert directly to them. On PPC, you can bid to make your website appear at the top of the page for a certain keyword. The difference, however, is that when you stop paying for Facebook ads and bidding on PPC, your traffic dries up. SEO is a more sustained practice that could drive organic traffic to your website every month for years to come.

With SEO, you can use the content on your site to drive a consistent stream of traffic and leads to your site. You can continue to expand your content to target more keywords and deliver sustained growth. Provided you are sticking to the rules and publishing helpful content that your audience wants to see, there’s no reason you should ever struggle to bring in traffic from organic search.

Who can you trust to help you?

We’ve painted a pretty bleak picture of the SEO industry as a place where you can’t trust anyone, but this is far from the case! There are plenty of reliable and trustworthy SEO experts out there who will make it their personal goal to make your site rank higher in Google for the most relevant keywords. Avoid the people who go after the low-hanging fruit and the quick fixes and instead focus on someone who takes the time to get to know your company and your wider industry.

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