Everyone has heard of SEO but how much of what you have heard is true? Everyone has an idea of how SEO works but business should know the truth about SEO and understand how it REALLY works. Trust me, your marketing company will thank you as they won’t have to explain away common misconceptions about SEO.

1. Just claiming your website on Google is going to make you rank.

While claiming your website and business on Google My Business does have good benefits, it is not going to make your rank high all on its own. There are other factors that Google looks at when ranking a website. What it can do is bring attention to your website, business, and social media. When someone local to your business does a search, a profile with information that you filled out, will show on the search screen. Make sure your information is correct and consistent with any other listing directories, such as Yelp or Angie,s List.

2. Deleting your listing in the Google My Business dashboard keeps listing from showing during Google searches.

When a company changes location it is better to change the location on the current listing rather than trying to create a whole new one. However, there are times when a business goes out of business and another company takes over the location. They then create a listing for their business (or the amend their current listing as suggested above) and now there are two listings on Google with the same address. It’s a simple fix right? The old business just goes and deletes their listing. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

While when you follow the steps to delete your listing, it does not remove the information from Google maps. This means that during searches that profile will still show up in searches but now it will read permanently closed. The profile will also come up as unclaimed. So while it is possible to delete your listing in the Google My Business dashboard, your listing will still show in local searches.

3. Your profile in Google Maps only shows the information you input in Google My Business dashboard.

This is a common misconception. There are many times a business owner looks at the profile (see example image in myth one) and sees that the business hours are wrong. This can happen for several reasons. Google looks at different areas of the internet to try to make sure your listing has the correct information. It will look at your website and any other listing for that business, ie. Yelp, Manta, and any other listing directory. Customers can also make suggestions to your business listing, such as a change in hours. Google will consider these suggestions and can accept those suggestions and make a change to your listing.

It is a good practice to check your listing with Google My Business often. One way to ensure that there are very little changes is to make your information consistent. Make sure that if you have any other listings on the internet they have the same information.

4. Having citations are a waste of time and have no value to my SEO.

That is completely untrue. Citations are mentions of other local businesses on your website, or vise versa. What this does is show you as being more of an authority in your field. This can help you rank higher as Google will rank sites higher if they are authoritative on a keyword or phrase. Citations also help you show up in local searches when your business is cited on other websites, so don’t miss out on that opportunity. This being said, you need to make sure your citations are valid and that the information you are giving about that business is accurate. If you have incorrect citations it can negatively affect your SEO which could drop your rankings.

5. Citations are good enough and if you have them you don’t need to use backlinks.

Backlinks are important to SEO. They are similar to citations in that it is connecting you to other businesses and vise versa. Backlinks are actual links to other business pages. Like citations, backlinks show Google that you are credible and an authority because if another business is willing to use your site, then you must know what you are doing. Incoming backlinks (links that come from another site to yours) are the best but you do need to have outgoing links (links from your site to another) on your site as well.

6. Reviews don’t mean anything because no one reads them.

In fact, this myth is just the opposite. Many shoppers will read other shopper reviews to find out if the product or service is good and what their experience with it is. If they see too many bad reviews it can turn them off the product. However, they do watch to see how the company handles the bad review, to see if they make any issues right. Reviews can be powerful in converting viewers into customers so make sure you respond to all reviews possible.

In reality, there are many myths about SEO. Some are just misunderstanding and some are outright wrong. We want you to be informed so that you can handle your SEO with confidence. Of course, if you don’t have the want or the time to handle it, hiring a digital marketing agency is best. Once you have an understanding of the myths of SEO you are better equipped to make sure the agency hired is doing a good job. We will be covering more myths of SEO in our next blog. Check back on the 15th to learn more about the truths of SEO.