We make assumptions about many things on a daily basis. In fact, without a little bit of guesswork, most of the decisions in our lives would become extremely difficult and cumbersome challenges. However, when it comes to your business, sometimes the common-sense assumptions we made can be drastically removed from the truth and can have enormous unintended consequences.

So here are three common misconceptions about SEO that make logical sense on the surface, but are actually myths:

Myth 1:  Higher Organic Traffic leads to Higher Sales

While organic traffic can certainly in some cases be directly correlated with sales numbers, this is not a rule.

This is because traffic from different parts of your website will generate different conversion rates. Having great content on your blog which generates tons of traffic, but this does not guarantee conversions.

A simple way to figure this out is to create a formula to calculate how much revenue you might get from a specific page or set of pages, let’s say 2 percent from your blog, and 4 percent from your product pages. So treating them all as the same metric is ultimately illogical and will not contribute to your bottom line.

Having an understanding that not all organic traffic will yield the same number of conversions can help you narrow your focus and adjust your strategy to meeting your business goals, not just your traffic goals.

Myth 2: I Must Outrank my Competitors

Although there is no doubt that search engine rankings can be very, very important for your ability to be discovered by potential customers, it is not a calamity if your business ranks below your competitors. Because here, it isn’t really about ranking, it’s about revenue.

This is why instead of just looking at keyboard volumes using something like Moz’s Keyword Explorer, you should also use something like SpyFu for a bigger picture look at how your site is doing.

At the end of the day, diverse keywords are the best way to keep yourself immune to the changes in algorithms. You would rather have multiple phrases driving small numbers of visitors than to have one phrase driving a large number of visitors, so it’s really not the end of the world if you don’t rank for one specific term.

Myth 3: Keyword Tools Can Be Taken at Face Value

When it comes to deciding what to use for your measuring your metrics, not all tools are made equal. For example, the Moz Keyword Explorer we mentioned before is more realistic than say, Google’s Keyword Planner because the latter is built for AdWords traffic and hence tends to produce inflated numbers. Keyword Explorer, on the other hand, automatically adjusts those numbers to reflect somewhat more organic results, albeit not perfectly.

Being realistic when it comes to the traffic you’re generating can help you choose which keywords or groups of words that are really worth targeting rather than investing all your energy into phrases that will not be beneficial in the long run.