My Additions to: Search Engine Optimization – Two Major Misconceptions

By Avelyn Austin | Jul 28, 2009
More Articles by Avelyn


Today I read Anna Johnson’s post Search Engine Optimization – Two Major Misconceptions and although I agree with the misconceptions I want to add my two cents to her reality.  So here we go:

Major Misconception 1:

“SEO should be soley based on getting the highest rankings on a search engine results page (SERP) for any seemingly relevant keywords or phrases in a given market.  In other words, you should strive to have your webpage rank as the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd result on the SERP for even the most obscure keywords relating to your business.”

Johnson’s Reality:

“You are in business to make money, not to play a ‘ranking’ game.  Unless the keywords you are ranking highly for are search queries used by qualified prospects, high search engine listings are largely useless.”

My Addition:

It’s true you’re in business to make money and should be focused on ranking for highly relevant search queries.  For example, a long tailed keyword like “search engine optimization and pay per click advertising agencies in charlottesville virginia” is a very relevant and specific search query.  However, I think it’s fair to say that if you end up ranking on the first page of search results for a broader term like “pay per click advertising” or “advertising agencies” it won’t hurt your business.  The only time that ranking high in the search results will hurt you is if you’re ranking for a negative term such as “terrible search engine optimization agencies”.

Major Misconception 2:

“The whole point of ranking highly on a SERP is to increase traffic to your website.”

Johnson’s Reality:

“Again…getting tons of traffic to your website is useless if those web visitors do not buy anything (now or ever)!  Yet, this can happen all too easily when you and/or your SEO consultant focuses on increasing the quantity, rather than quality, of your search engine traffic.”

My Addition:

Once again I agree with Johnson when she says businesses should be focused on quality versus quantity.  However, it’s important to realize that all organic traffic – driven by search engine optimization – is “free” whether you receive one click or one million clicks.  Therefore, while you or your search engine optimization agency strategically choose highly searched and highly relevant keywords to optimize your site for it’s OK if you get some extra traffic that may not be your ideal target audience.  Either way it costs the same.

Not sure how to hire a qualified search engine optimization agency?  Check out Search Mojo’s Checklist “How to Choose a Search Engine Optimization Agency“.

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