SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You engage in SEO when you attempt to get a page to rank higher in a search engine’s SERPs (search engine results pages), with the ultimate goal being to increase organic (unpaid) traffic to that page.
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This question is a little like asking: Who’s more important to the Patriots, Bill Belichik or Tom Brady? You can probably come up with an argument for either; but the reality is, both are vital to the team’s success. The same goes for SEO and PPC (pay-per-click). You couldn’t establish domain authority, organic brand affinity, and really, a wholly formed online presence without SEO. By the same token, you couldn’t granularly target prospects by demographic, behaviors, or keywords without PPC.
There are a ton of great resources out there if you’re trying to learn SEO. If you’re short on cash, check out blogs like Search Engine Journal, Moz, Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, SEMPost, and the blog of all blogs, WordStream’s. We also put together a great guide on SEO basics. If not, splurge on a book like The Art of Seo, or on classes by Udemy or Lynda.
Again, you could come up with a good argument for a few different answers here. Ahrefs is great for competitor content and backlink research; Moz Pro’s content explorer is great for finding unlinked mentions; and SEMrush is great for rank and visibility tracking. The three share many overlapping features. It’s more a matter of preference than anything. Spyfu, AWR Cloud, and DeepCrawl are also worth checking out.
As we discussed earlier, SEO is always changing. But the biggest change continues to be the shift toward mobile. Mobile digital media time in the US is now significantly higher (51%) than desktop digital media time (42%), and that number is set to continue to grow. Google recently made mobile page speed a ranking factor. Going forward, if you haven’t already done so, you should look into Accelerated Mobile Pages. It’s becoming more and more paramount to make sure you have no mobile usability issues on your site.
What have you done thus far? If the answer is nothing, you’re going to want to use one of the SEO tools I mentioned above to run a site audit. This will allow you to find and rectify any broken links, make sure all your meta tags are in order, and check page load speeds. Search Console also has a great “Crawl Errors” tool, in addition to other tools that help you diagnose your site’s speed and usability. Once your current pages are in order, get cracking on keyword research, and start putting out some content!
Find a short list of our most frequently asked questions.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to techniques that help your website become more visible in organic search results for the people who are looking for your brand, product, or service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Organic results are the results that appear in search engines, for free, based on an algorithm. Paid — or inorganic — search results appear at the top or side of a page. These are the links that advertisers pay to appear on different search engines.
A meta description is the text that appears below your page in a search engine result that explains what the page is all about. In this example, the meta description is “Learn the elements needed to write a comprehensive blog post in just 9 easy steps.”
Your primary domain should not include a keyword just for the sake of keyword optimization — that can actually hurt your SEO. If your company name happens to have a keyword, that’s fine, but don’t go buying inboundmarketingsoftwarebloggingsocialseoemailautomation.com.
There’s no keyword density you should be aiming for — in fact, using a keyword too many times can result in penalization due to “keyword stuffing.” Just keep the reader in mind, and only use keywords when you need to. You’ll find enough natural opportunities to include keywords that you won’t even have to worry about reaching an arbitrary number.
Internal links are links on a page on your site that go to another page on your site. Inbound links are other websites that link to your content. Both are valuable for SEO.
Hiring someone internally or externally to do your SEO can be helpful, but it can also be dangerous if that person doesn’t actually know the modern rules of SEO. Google goes into the risks of hiring the wrong SEO person in this support doc.
When you think about your goal for SEO, don’t just think about the top of the funnel and how many more visits you’re getting to your website. Think about your full marketing funnel and how much quality traffic you’re getting to your website.
A large site could possibly see results in a couple of days if a search engines is crawling their site regularly. Smaller sites will most likely take longer because they get crawled less frequently. Wait at least a week, but probably closer to a month, before you consider changing your SEO strategy — a bit longer if you’re brand new to SEO.
Determine your potential return on investment. Online marketing tactics help bring more traffic and business to your site, raising your revenue. There is always a need for online marketing; however, be sure your provider is presenting you with quantifiable results.