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The SEO Blog with Rhiannon

5 SEO Myths That Are Holding You Back

SEO Fundamentals
Author: Rhiannon Carnohan

Ever thought about giving SEO a go, but not sure if it’s right for your business?

Maybe you’ve heard that it’s expensive, time-consuming, or worse, that it doesn’t even work! 

There are plenty of misconceptions out there about SEO, and too often I see small businesses ignoring this powerful marketing tool because of something they’ve heard on the grape vine.

So  today, I want to set the record straight by debunking the biggest SEO myths holding you back from achieving next-level business growth.

1. SEO doesn’t work

For every SEO success story out there, there's a small business owner who’s been burnt by an SEO specialist or agency. Locked into an expensive contract with little results to show for it.

Sadly, I see this happen quite often in this industry, and it can give SEO a bad name (thanks to a few bad eggs). But it definitely doesn’t reflect the effectiveness of SEO as a marketing tool for your business. 

Google has 4.3 billion users worldwide. That's twice as many as Instagram and Tiktok combined. And people who use Google are actively searching for solutions you provide, not passively scrolling. 

This makes SEO one of the best ways to get your business in front of potential customers who are ready to buy from you.

As an SEO expert, I’ve worked with almost 100 businesses who have all experienced first-hand how effective SEO can be for them, no matter the size of their business or budget. 

It all comes down to having the right SEO strategy in place.

If you've tried to DIY your SEO with lacklustre results, it might be time to reassess your SEO strategy and make some adjustments. Are you targeting highly relevant keywords that you can *actually* rank for? Are you creating fresh blog content?

Do some market research. What are other websites doing that are ranking well? How are they using keywords? What can you learn from them? This will give you an idea of where you can make some improvements.

SEO can and will work for your business, you might just need some more guidance to get you there.

2. SEO is too hard to DIY

There are plenty of SEO specialists and agencies who will tell you SEO is hard. It's techy. Google is constantly changing the algorithm so there's no way you could possibly keep up with it.

Sure, Google updates their algorithm all the time - like, 1,000 times per year - but these updates are tweaks to the same ranking factors we already know about, rather than sweeping changes. 

And if you're doing SEO right then you shouldn't be worried about these updates, because you’ll already have the foundations in place to set your website up for success in search results.

Here's the truth: SEO is a lot easier than you might think. You don't need any special skills. You don't need to be techy.  You just need the right tools, the right resources, and the right information. 

There are plenty of SEO tools on the market that will help you do everything from checking keyword density to finding internal linking opportunities. And there are plenty of resources out there in the form of blogs, Youtube videos and podcasts.

You just need to know how to use these to your advantage. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the resources out there, check out my SEO Starter Pack for everything you need to DIY your SEO, all in one place.

3. SEO is expensive

Just like anything in business, there are expensive options out there when it comes to SEO. But there are also plenty of affordable options. 

Creating and implementing the right SEO strategy doesn't have to blow the budget, You just need to understand which options are available to you, and which ones are right for your business.

If you want to completely outsource your SEO, it might cost you $1,000 a month to hire an agency, but it will be worth the investment if you’ve done your research and chosen a provider who will deliver results (with transparency and honesty). 

SEO has one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) of any marketing channel. Making it one of the best channels to invest in for your business. And it’s not just your bottom line that will benefit - SEO can also increase your brand awareness, credibility and customer experience.

But most small businesses aren’t in a position to commit to a monthly investment in the thousands, especially when they’re just starting out.

This is where more affordable DIY and done-with-you solutions are a great option. Providing you with support and guidance to get started and see results, without the big price tag.

4. SEO takes constant work

Ready for some tough love? Your website won't get to page one of Google on its own. You need to put in the work with your SEO.

But that doesn’t mean you have to spend every hour of every day updating and optimising your website.

The truth is, once you have the foundations of a solid SEO strategy in place - strategic keyword targeting, a logical website structure, and highly relevant and useful content - you don’t need to spend tonnes of time on your SEO.

This isn’t a case of set-and-forget, but there’s just a handful of easy tasks to stay focussed on that will help you maintain and grow your website traffic:

  1. Keep an eye on your SEO rankings. Your keyword rankings are the best indicator of whether your SEO is working. If you start to see your ranking positions move up month on month, you know you're on the right track. If you see them drop you need to make some improvements to your website content or keyword targeting.

  2. Spend some time in Google Analytics. While your rankings help you track visibility, website traffic helps you track eyeballs on your content. So jump into Google Analytics to compare your traffic month on month, and discover other insights like which pages are driving the most traffic and even how long people are spending on your site. This will help you plan new content and update or optimise existing content.
  3. Keep an eye on any website errors that might need fixed. Make sure you’ve got Google Search Console set up to monitor your website performance and make sure there aren’t any issues that might prevent Google from finding and ranking your content. It only takes a couple of minutes to check each week but this can have a major impact on your SEO.

  4. Create regular blog content. Creating fresh, relevant and useful content that your audience is interested in is the best way to continually improve your SEO traffic over time. And the best way to do this is with blog content.

By setting aside a few hours each month, you can avoid the SEO overwhelm and make sure you’re staying on top of the tasks that will have the biggest impact for your business.

5. SEO is a long-term game

OK, there's some truth to this myth. Any SEO expert, including yours truly, will tell you it takes time to start seeing results from SEO. 

But the same could be said for organic social media, email marketing or any effective business strategy. A harsh truth of running a business is you won’t get overnight results, so you need to be willing to play the long game. 

If you’re new to SEO it can take time for Google’s algorithm to recognise you as an authority in your niche and start ranking your content higher in search results. On average, this process takes about four to six months, but I’ve also worked with businesses who have achieved results in as little as a few weeks.

There are so many factors that come into play here, from the age and authority of your domain, to how frequently you're updating your content and even how competitive your industry is. 

The truth is you can never really know how long SEO will take for your business. But if you start today, I can guarantee you’ll be better off in one, three, six, twelve months and beyond. Because you’ve made progress towards your goals. 

It’s free to get started with SEO by reading blogs or taking a free course. And it doesn’t take a lot of time to chip away at small actions each week. So what have you got to lose by giving it a go?

Feeling inspired?

If you’ve found this little myth-bustin’ session eye-opening, therapeutic, inspiring or all of the above, then I’ve done my job!

SEO isn’t all sunshine and rainbows (is anything in business - asking for a friend 🙃), but it’s not all doom-and-gloom either.

It doesn’t have to be tricky or confusing. You don’t *have* to hire expensive 1:1 help.

SEO can work for your business. You just need the right tools, knowledge and support.

Whether you’ve decided to DIY or opted to outsource, check out my SEO services for all the support you need.


Not sure which option is right for you? My free SEO mini-course is a good place to start. Join Kickstart Your Visibility for five days of easy, actionable SEO lessons delivered straight to your inbox.

rhiannon carnohan seo blog
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Rhiannon Carnohan

Rhiannon is self-professed Google geek and passionate small biz supporter, on a mission to help small business achieve next-level growth through the power of SEO

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