So through all of these blogs that I’ve posted, I have been mentioning the power of search engine optimization (SEO). Here is when we get down to explaining how it really works.
Moz, an inbound marketing software company that specializes in SEO, has a Beginner’s Guide to SEO that will help me to further explain SEO. SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic search engine results. SEO will help improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines. This is done through keywords, links and site structure. SEO is the key to digital marketing!
In the first chapter there are two major functions of search engines.
1. Crawling and Indexing- Googles main job is to crawl the web and search the web
Crawling is a term that means the links that allow search engines to reach the many billions of documents on the web. When the engines find the pages, the code is stored and held to be recalled later when someone in the world uses the search query.
2. Providing Answers
Search engines are answer machines. When someone is looking for something, the search engine returns with results that are relevant and popular. The search engine assumes that the more popular site, page, or document then the more valuable the site is. So there is a an algorithm is the engine that will first sort the search from relevance and then popularity.
This chapter is about building your users. Will visitors be satisfied with what they find on your site? Your primary responsibility is to serve relevant results to your users. Make sure your site delivers good results on search engines.
Your website should be easy for users and search engine robots. There can be problems with crawling and indexing including online forms, duplicate pages, blocked in the code, poor link structures, and non-text content. Problems will come with matching queries to content including uncommon terms, language and internationalization subtleties, incongruous location targeting, and mixed contextual signals.
This chapter is about how your website looks to both the search engine and your users. The most important content should be in HTML, this is the easiest way to to ensure that the words and phrases are visible to the search engines. Keywords are the building blocks of language and search. Search engines measure how keywords are used on pages to help determine the relevance. The more specific the keyword the more narrow return of search results. Use keywords naturally and strategically. The title needs to be an accurate description of what is really in the page content. Look more into this page to see how to apply these concepts.
Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. This helps for getting the right kind of visitors. It’s is important to know demand for a given term or phrase but also the work required to achieve high rankings.
Search engines try to have the best search results and although this term is suggestive, there are several traits to a good search result. Those are:
1. Easy to use, navigate and understand
2. Provide direct, actionable information relevant to the query
3. Professionally designed and accessible to modern browsers
4. Deliver high quality, legitimate, credible content
Links are the streets between pages.
Some link signals are: Global Popularity; you need the help of other popular sites to link with your site. Local/Topic-Specific Popularity; links with topic specific sites are better than general links. Anchor text; links that have keywords that are in a targeted phrase in that anchor. TrustRank; in order to weed out spam, search engines use systems for measuring trust so it is good to have links to highly-trusted domains. Link Neighborhood; choose sites you link to and links you attempt to look at, carefully. Freshness; links tend to decay overtime so check up on them and continue to earn additional links. Social Sharing; it is important to have an optional for users to be able to share your content on social media.
SEO uses may tools. Here are a few examples of some search engine tools.
1. Sitemaps with XML, RSS, and Txt
3. Meta Robots
This chapter goes over some myths about SEO. Spam… you need to know how to weed out spam and also make sure that your site doesn’t look like spam. This means do not link sites that have spam or are linked to some sites that have spam. This is important because you don’t want to have your site be linked to spam because of that reputation.
Measuring SEO is good so that you can improve it. Here are some metrics that you can track.
1. Share of referring visits
2. Search engine referrals
3. Visits referred by specific search engine terms and phrases
4. Conversion rate by search query term/phrase
5. Number of pages receiving at least one visit from search engines
Applying that data:
-Fluctuation; in search engine page and link count numbers
-Falling; search traffic from a single engine, search traffic from multiple engines
-Individuals; ranking fluctuations
-Positive; increases in link metrics without rankings increases
I hope this little refresher gets you to want to read these chapters by Moz because they are very informative.
What really made Google big is their ability to link to other sites. This made Google have very good SEO. In order to come up on searches there needs to be as much words as possible on your site along with a lot of HTML. You want to have all of your pages linked to each other in order to receive even more traffic. Google just came up with a way to sort out people that have too many keywords also. This means that even though you have many keywords in your content does not mean that you will be at the top in results because Google may find you as not as reliable. Make your content awesome, relatable, funny, controversial. See what your buyer personas are doing and what they are looking at through social media in order to make content that will appeal to them.
There is also another ebook posted from Moz The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building. This helps to understand link building.
Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. Search engines use links to discover new web pages and to help determine how well a page should rank in their results. Link building can benefit your business by building relationships, sending referral traffic, and brand building.
Types of links: Good and Bad
-Natural editorial links: links that you didn’t even have to ask for because they are editorially given by other website owners.
-Manual “outreach” link building: manually contacting website owners and bloggers, asking them to link to you.
-Self-created, non-editorial links: these are usually frowned upon but you should avoid links that are not editorially given but the links you should pursue depend on your existing link profile.
To structure a link building campaign you need to:
set goals; knowing your goals at the start helps to ensure that you create a strategy that gives you the best possible chance of success.
finding your assets; the hook that will make people care about what you have to offer, and will entice them into linking to you.
finding link targets; have a rough idea of who you think will care about what you’re doing. If you know the type of people you want to create content for then you will find it fairly easy to get people to look at your content.
identifying your target audience for links; once the idea is mapped out, it shouldn’t be too hard to find out who will be your target audience.
-Outreach: now you need to tell people about your content or campaign. Contacting real people, crafting the message to them, telling them why they should care, telling them what action to take, and show them you’re genuine and not a spammer. Ask them to link to you and tell them why your content is specific.
-Following up: make sure that you follow up on all outreach if you don’t get a reply the first time. People are busy so you want to make sure you are not forgotten about.
-Dealing with negative replies: negative replies are normal and it is good to hear feedback from everyone. Always reply -don’t ignore the emails and get as much information and feedback as possible.
Soon you will be able to build links without asking.
Guest blogging – is the process of approaching other websites to see if they will publish a piece of content that you write on their blog.
Ego bait – is a piece of content that plays on the egos of the people who are featured within that content. The process for ego-bait link building looks something like this: concept and research targets > write content > outreach > follow up
-Broken link building: this is a popular practice that works on the premise of helping webmasters fix their broken links by providing a superior alternative for them to link to.
-Link reclamation: this is where you fix or “reclaim” links that once pointed at your site, or point to your site but fail to provide any SEO value.
Metrics can help you judge the value of a potential link, helping you assess whether it is worth pursuing and how much resources you should put into acquiring it.
–Domain strength is the cumulative value of an entire domain.
–Page Rank is what Google gives you as a ranking where higher ranking pages that link to you give you higher rankings per page.
–Domain authority is developed by Moz and they analyze your website based on the page ranks that Google gives you.
–Page strength should be assessed to see how strong the page is so that you know how worthwhile the link is to you before you put effort into acquiring it.
-We know what a anchor text is but now as a metric it can give Google an indication of the subject matter of the page being linked.
-You want to keep track of the number of links you have built and you also want to check into how your website compares to your competitors’ sites to see how far you have gotten.
–Linking root domains is an even more powerful ranking signal to Google. Linking root domains means the number of district domains that link to us, not the raw number of links.
-There is a relevance of the linking page and you should be trying to place links on websites where potential customers may visit.
-Google is able to work out the position of links on the page and can choose to value it differently.
–White-hat strategies are those that are very low-risk to carry out and usually fall well within the webmaster guidelines laid out by Google and Bing. Using this strategy mean that you stand very little chance of running into problems with the search engines when it comes to losing traffic because of a penalty. They are important because they pose the least amount of risk and are very unlikely to lead to you being hit with a penalty from Google.
–Black-hat strategies is a term used to describe techniques that directly violate search engine guidelines. They seek to exploit loopholes in the search engine algorithms and rank websites higher than they deserve. Black-hats are building for the long term. This is paid link building and it is bad because it violates SEO and Google won’t let you pay someone to link to you. Google will choose to take you off of their search index for awhile.
This section has some link building tips and tricks that can be useful such as:
-Make your link building personable
-Real address, real location
-Concept and research targets > write content > outreach > follow up
-Speeding up link prospecting with lists
-Finding bloggers using Followerwonk – they are doing you a favor
-Getting more links from your infographics
These are all suggestions from Moz that I hope you find very helpful when dealing with search engine optimization!
Thank you for reading,