With the wealth of information available at the click of our fingers, it’s no wonder there is a lot of contradicting, confusing content out there.
I like to call some of this contradicting content myths. and in this blog post, I chat about several SEO myths I come across daily and I attempt to bust these myths in an easy to understand way.
Myth 1: Keyword optimisation is the only way to improve your SEO
Although keyword optimisation is important, it is not solely what search engine optimisation is all about. The key to optimising your blog post with keywords is to ensure that your keyword fits in with your content, rather than the other way around.
Without readers, great SEO won’t help you much.
When using keywords to optimise your content, do not over-do it. Less is more, even when it comes to SEO. In a post of 500 words, 3 – 5 keywords (with synonyms) are more than enough.
Myth 2: Keyword optimisation must be an exact match
Keywords do not have to be an exact match.
Stop stuffing those keywords in your content!
Your readers (and search engines) can see right through you. Always keep your reader in mind when you are doing keyword research. Your keywords must make sense within your content and should flow naturally throughout the copy.
A great way to ensure that you include keywords within your copy, without sounding like a bad robot, is to use synonyms. By using your main keyword and a variation of synonyms for your keyword, your content will read in a more natural way, increasing readability, interaction and your SEO score.
Myth 3: I don’t have to optimise my images for search engines
Search engines, like Google, cannot “see” what is on your image.
Search engines only read the file as an image and don’t know whether it is a picture of you and your bestie, or whether it is an image of this awesome e-course you are promoting. The only way search engines will know is when you tell them exactly what the image is about. In other words, you need to add some text to your image to tell the likes of Google what they can expect from this image.
Ah-ha! Image optimisation!
Here are my steps for optimising your images for SEO:
Step 1: Name your images properly
Give your images descriptive names.
Before you even upload your images to your blog, decide on a keyword rich description for your image.
Most cameras default all of the image names to something like IMG2435.jpg. That name means nothing to your readers and it means absolutely ZERO to search engines. The first step is then to change these names to keyword rich names.
If your post is a review of the LA Girl Flat Finish Pigment Gloss, you would ideally want to name your images in your post something like la-girl-flat-finish-pigment-gloss-review.png and la-girl-matte-lipstick.jpg. These new image names are now optimised for SEO so when Google crawls through your content, it will crawl your image name and ranks your post in Google accordingly.
Always remember to use hyphens in your image names.
Search engines can’t really separate characters, so everything appears as a string to them. The hyphen (-) acts as a space, therefore creating a sense of sentence structure to your image name.
Step 2: Use alt attributes wisely
ALT stands for Alternative Text and is used to describe your images. If for some strange reason, your images don’t show up in your blog post, text will be displayed where the image was placed. That text that is displayed is the alt text. Search engines crawl through these descriptions to determine what your images are about. Your alt tags should also be SEO optimised and filled with keywords so that Google bots can read through this with ease.
WordPress has the ALT attribute option built-in, but if you are using a different platform for your blog, you might need to add these ALT Attributes yourself. Here’s how you do it:
Once you are in the HTML section of your blog post, add the following bit in purple to your image tags:
<img src=”http:….” alt=”optimizing your images for SEO” />
TITLE ATTRIBUTE FOR IMAGES
Now, you have probably noticed the “Title” field when you upload images to your site. Image Titles are used to give readers and search engines more information about your images.
You know when you hover over an image and text appears in the left-hand corner of the screen? That is your Title Attribute.
Search engines place a bigger emphasis on your ALT text, but it is still important for you to add your Title to your image.
Do not use the same ALT and TITLE Attribute, focus on using different keywords for your ALT and Title Attribute in your images. When using the same copy for ALT and TITLE text, Google considers this as keyword stuffing and will penalise your blog by dropping it from Google rankings completely.
Rather let one attribute complement the other.
Myth 4: Good user-experience is not important
Good user-experience is extremely important for SEO!
When your users enjoy using your site, it will, in turn, lead to increased time on site, which will be rewarded with a better ranking in search engines.
When you consider good user-experience, you need to take a look at your website’s loading time, the time your readers spend on your site and your page views per visit. Usually, this is a good indication of how your readers navigate through your site and whether your user-experience is good or bad.
Focus on good quality content over quantity.
You can upload 10 blog posts a day, but if it is all nonsense, your readers won’t stay on your site longer, and search engines will consider your site as irrelevant to the keyword and you will be dropped low on the search engine index list.
Myth 5: SEO is all about luck
SEO takes hard work. And yes, it can be monotonous and tedious. And yes, it takes time. But, it is worth every second you spend on optimising your content.
There is a fair bit of “science” that goes into optimising your content for SEO. From keyword research to implementation and then finally, results. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it surely doesn’t just happen within the blink of an eye. If it was that easy, everyone would be SEO experts, don’t you think?
SEO is not about luck. It’s about hard work, it’s about patience and it’s about trial and error.
Whether you do it yourself or pay someone to do it, it takes time and knowledge to get the results you want.
Imka Webb is the digital mastermind behind , she loves working with creative lady bosses leverage the power of Search Engine Optimisation on their blogs and side hustles. She’s been in the business of SEO stats, keyword research, SERPS results and copy for over seven years and has recently decided to step out from behind the screen and offer in person SEO workshops. Yay!
Her first SEO Workshop is happening in Johannesburg on the 9th of September from 8:30 am – 11:30 am at the Perch Co-Working Office Space in Rosebank.
On the day you’ll get to learn what SEO is, why you need it, how to find the right SEO Keywords for your blog or business, how to write the perfect content for SEO, how to create an SEO Strategy and so much more.
In order to keep her workshops interactive and personable, she has limited them to only five creative individuals so if you’re keen to join be sure to book your ticket today!