Home > Organic SEO – The Facts and the Minefield of Myths

As the name suggests, organic SEO is naturally grown search rankings.

The search engine rankings of a website refer to the position a website appears within the search results.

How Does a Website Show Up in The Search Results?

There’s a few ways a website can appear in the search results, one way is to use PPC (Pay Per Click).

Paid adverts within the search results have both positives and negatives.

It’s a fact, many internet users purposely avoid clicking on paid adverts.

A lot of new websites and businesses dive straight into PPC with no marketing team or plan in place to set up and manage a successful PPC campaign then lose faith when they’ve not received 100 phone calls, emails or sales.

There’s a lot to a successful marketing and SEO campaign, nothing worth anything is easy and to gain results that return on investment, takes not just investment but also a solid strategy, knowledge and time.

The other type of listings within the search results are known as organic listings.

Organic search engine listings are naturally placed listings within the search results. These type of listings are shown down the center of the page, and show approximately 10 results per page.

Gaining page one organic search engine placement takes time, effort, consistency and knowledge.

Depending on how competitive the search term you’re targeting is and how well your site and content is optimized along with other factors, will depend on when and more to the point – if your site manages to make it to page one of the organic listings.

The difference with organic search listings is you don’t have to pay for them, the listing won’t vanish after a set amount of clicks.

The results and conversions gained from organic search engine listings are far more valuable and in the long run more cost effective than solely running a PPC campaign.
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The Minefields and Myths of Organic SEO

Needless to say, any business with any sense would surely want their site to be organically shown in search results. It’s a far more sustainable and valuable strategy compared to PPC alone. That said, there’s also a minefield of myths surrounding SEO in general – especially organic SEO.


Myth 1 – A Website Must Be Submitted To The Search Engines

There was a time you would have to submit every URL of your website to the search engines – that time has been and gone!

SEO has changed so much over the years and continues to change daily, nowadays there is absolutely no need to do this. You can if you want, but it’s really not necessary.


Myth 2 – You Need To Target Long Tail Keywords

Targeting long tail keywords is optimizing for longer search terms, which are searched by users – but not many.

So achieving rankings for long tail keywords is not that difficult, valuable and not even SEO – it doesn’t exactly take much!

If you create content or a blog post that’s titled well and your long tail keyword is in your title and throughout your content a few times. You will rank for that exact phrase, but to be honest who really searches for partial sentences or long titles when looking for products or services, not many people.


Myth 3 – The More Backlinks You Have The Better

This one makes me laugh I had to add it!

I’ve been asked this a few times over the past few weeks, could I provide nothing but backlinks for a new website and also a website that had been victim to black hat SEO and lost rankings.

The answer I gave was no, looking for the door as all efforts to try and educate fell on deaf ears!


Backlinks are valuable don’t get me wrong, but a total waste of time if the website is in bits and not even had completion of on page SEO or default page titles changed! As far as a website goes that’s been affected with a Google penalty, adding more backlinks is not going to fix it.

Gone are the days of backlinks being about quantity, they’re not.

Backlinks are only valuable to a website if the backlinks themselves are valuable – and relevant to that website – that’s it.

Gaining backlinks for a website have to earned, manually. Backlinks are about quality over quantity– not the other way round.


Myth 4 – You Just Need a Bit of SEO and You’re Done!

This is a classic, again this is a recent one I faced with a client who had outsourced the development of their website, and then was offered some SEO on the side, (With some ketchup and a coke maybe…?)

The client was looking for nothing but blog posts, stating they have had their SEO and their site does not need it. Adding, all they needed was some regular blogging for what they wanted to rank for.

I began to explain what their site was lacking in terms of sending the right signals and also how SEO and digital marketing consists of much more than just one process.

Eventually, they began to understand and see their outsourcing had left their site in quite a state. Especially as they had not even logged into the admin area or seen the bunged up misconfiguration that was behind the scenes!

The point is,

SEO is not a one hit wonder and you’re done.

It’s a process that consists of many stages and relies on consistency and quality across the website itself – on site, as well as the promotion and marketing – off site.


Just Add Some SEO


Myth 5 – No Sitemap, No Rankings!

This is another golden nugget of nonsense.

Don’t get me wrong a sitemap won’t hurt, but if you’ve built your site properly and have understood internal linking and have pages of related content linking to each other and correctly titled – then you don’t need a sitemap to show the bots where to go.

If you’ve done it correctly in the first place, the bots will be able to navigate through your site naturally.

A website with good internal linking passes link juice through the site and does help rankings. Choosing to bang on a sitemap for the sake of improving rankings, won’t happen – it won’t hurt your site, but a sitemap is not an organic ranking tool.


Myth 6 – Your Content Has To Be a Certain Length To Rank

A dear friend and SEO legend I once knew, was adamant content does not have to be a certain length to rank organically – as long as it’s of value.

To that, I wholeheartedly agree!

Value of the content to the audience it’s for – is what matters.

If you can say what you need to say in 300 words or less then great,

If not, then it takes what it takes.

I personally think content needs to be at least a few hundred words to be of any value to your audience. If not, then there needs to be some other type of content to accompany it, such as video or media, images or info-graphics for example.

There is no number of words required for content to be included in organic search results.


Myth 7 – If You Don’t Use Headings, Forget About Ranking!

I think this myth is much like the “content must be a certain length to rank” myth.

I personally feel this myth has infected population and continues to do so due to SEO All-in-One plugins and the similar pre-packed solutions.

Headings help separate your content and add separation to content.

Headings are read by the bots and registered as being a heading, however that doesn’t mean you’re not going to rank for your intended keywords if you don’t use headings.

I personally think use headings if it works for your content,

I like headings and use them, I do use most of them – because I want to.

Not because I think if I don’t I won’t rank, but because to me it makes sense to separate your content with headings.

It’s how I write content and also find that when reading content online, the content that uses headings I can retain better and am more likely to fully read as it doesn’t feel as blocky or long when split up with headings.

There is no official data that states using headings or not using headings affects rankings.

It’s a personal choice really, a recommended one from an audience prospective but not an essential one needed on order to rank.


Final Thoughts

It’s safe to say SEO consists of more than one process or action.

The success of a website takes great design and user friendly functionality alongside full completion of on page SEO, followed by a targeted and strategic digital marketing and SEO plan.

If you’re looking for organic SEO services, driven on delivering results contact ServeOnly, the web design company focused on search!
The success of a website is a journey, not a destination.

Lizzie Thomson
Creating, developing and imagining is the place I love the most! Great websites take more than just great design. A great website, deserves great digital marketing! Web Design and Internet Marketing both parallels that drive the addiction I have for the fascinating world of the web! Digitally crafting concepts into completion and making websites be the best they can be in both performance and design, is my daily drive and commitment!

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