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Search Engine Optimization Facts

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that’s regularly mentioned in the world of digital marketing but is still widely misunderstood by business owners. Although SEO is now essential to any growing business, many developers and company heads aren’t sure how to incorporate it into their company’s marketing strategy. To help those of you who are still scratching your heads over the topic of SEO, here are four basic questions with clear and concise answers to clear up any confusion.

1. What is SEO?

In short, a well-executed SEO strategy enables a business to rank higher in online search results. For example, if you own a bakery in St. Louis, many potential customers looking for a local bakeshop would go to Google or another search engine and search terms like “St. Louis bakery” or “cakes St. Louis”. Most searchers stop their search on page 1 of results, which typically lists 7-10 local businesses. According to Austin SEO company Moonraker Marketing (http://www.moonrakermarketing.com), the majority of people will not even look at page 2 of search results, which means it’s critical for businesses to show up on page 1 results. Search engine optimization techniques optimize a business’ website to help it rank higher in search engine page results for a list of relevant, targeted keywords.

2. How Does SEO Work?

Because Google zealously guards the specifics of its search algorithm, one can’t point to a single factor and say that it’s the single most important part of an SEO gameplan. Instead, it’s better to stop and look at what on-page and off-page factors influence results. On-page factors are the factors on your website that influence your rankings. These include things like relevant site content, blog posts, site URL structure, and making proper use of tags, titles, and meta descriptions. Off-page tactics include link building and social media marketing. When on-page and off-page techniques are properly employed, the end goal is to boost natural, organic traffic and to create a website that users will want to visit again and again.

A good SEO campaign will increase your ranking on Google's search results.
A good SEO campaign will increase your ranking on Google’s search results.

3. What is White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO?

White Hat and Black Hat are terms that are used to differentiate between friendly (white) and predatory (black) forms of SEO. White Hat SEO seeks to improve a site’s search ranking while still providing a useful experience for a user and abiding by search engine terms of service. Black Hat SEO, on the other hand, employs tactics that are against Google’s rulebook to get results. Black hat techniques include spam comments, paid links, and keyword stuffing.

4. What is Local or Social SEO?

SEO has splintered in recent years as more platforms have become available to be leveraged. Today, local SEO seeks to dominate search listings in its area and is usually aided by products such as Google My Business or other location-specific searches. Social SEO aims to leverage social media to boost a site’s numbers and allow for a greater degree of interactivity with potential customers. Both types of SEO are vital in the world of business, and neither can be ignored for larger-scope issues.

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Best SEO Tools on the Market

If you’re looking to drive more traffic to your company’s website, you can’t ignore the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With several different types of SEO tools on the market, businesses are now able to analyze keywords, build backlinks, and even come up with content ideas to help with search engine ranking. While you’ll find a huge list of SEO strategies to choose from, not all of them are equally helpful or can fit your company’s needs. To help you weed out which tools are right for you, here’s our list of the SEO essentials that you should be using.

SEMRush

This all-inclusive tool can do a variety of things, such as researching keywords, determining keyword ranking, and checking your company’s backlink performance. SEMRush can even run a complete SEO audit of your website and monitor its results against the rankings of your competitors.

Used by online marketers and SEO experts, SEMRush is known for its user-friendly interface and easy navigation. Companies can sign up for a free 14-day trial to experiment with the software before completing a purchase and can sign up for a pro-account to access all of the tools it provides.

Screaming Frog (Spider Tool)

Screaming Frog has a powerful audit tool (Spider) that can index your company’s website and provide a detailed look at its SEO elements. Spider can even help your business find broken links and track various online elements, such as keyword elements for each page, HTTP status codes, the amount of internal and outbound links for each page, and meta titles and descriptions.

The Spider tool can 'crawl' through your company's website and track important information.
The Spider tool can ‘crawl’ through your company’s website and track important information.

If you want a complete overview of your site’s optimization level, Spider is the ideal tool to use. It’s PC, Mac, and Linux compatible, and is free to use for sites that have less than 500-pages.

Google Search Console

Unlike many other SEO tools on the market, the Google Search Console is entirely free. Because Google developed it, it works perfectly with the search engine’s algorithm. It also works with Google Analytics, which is a huge advantage in competitive markets and can give you detailed information on the performance of your company’s website.

By giving you a straightforward analysis of your site’s traffic and SEO performance, the Google Search Console can provide you with accurate reports that can expose problem areas. This process can help your company repair what needs to be fixed and improve your overall rankings on search engine sites.

With the right SEO tools, you’ll be able to get the most out of your website and find out how it’s performing on Google. There are many aspects to SEO, so make sure to choose a strategy that can help you manage several different areas of the process.

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SEO Explained: What You Need to Know Now

If you own a business, you probably understand the importance of marketing your product or services for both short and long-term growth. And if you’re concerned about selling your brand in the digital world, you’ll need to understand what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about. As one of the fastest growing marketing tactics in the world, SEO is considered an essential tool in online marketing. Whether you’re part of a large corporation or a small, family-run business, SEO can help provide significant benefits to your company and extend its reach on the internet.

Defining SEO

When searching for a service or product on the internet, people will usually use a popular search engine such as Google or Bing. These search engines allow users to type a keyword or phrase into the search bar and bring up hundreds of results for viewers to choose from. Statistically, most people will click on a business website that’s listed on the first two pages, which is where your business should be if you want to be found. To get there, it’s important to have an SEO strategy in mind.

SEO uses a series of tactics to optimize your website for search engines. Most of these engines have created algorithms that can include site speed, keywords, updated and unique content, title tags, and meta descriptions, all of which are needed for a site to rank high on a search engine’s result page.

Providing Relevant Information

SEO was initially centered around keywords, and most companies could include them on their website and rank favorably on search engines. For example, let’s say that you owned a pet shop in San Francisco. Potential customers coming to your business would most likely type in keywords such as “San Francisco pet shop”, “pet supplies San Francisco”, or “dog food San Francisco”. If you used enough of these variations on your website, your pet store would rank well among search engine results.

Learning how to utilize SEO is crucial for any business.
Learning how to utilize SEO is crucial for the success of any business.

However, as businesses began cheating the system and overusing keywords for specific services and products, search engines started changing their algorithm and emphasized the importance of providing online customers with helpful information, rather than just keyword-stuffed content. This began a shift in the SEO field, requiring business owners to make sure that their site had relevant keywords as well as high-quality content.

For instance, the same pet shop in San Francisco would be widely successful in ranking if the website provided weekly blogs about pet-related topics, such as local pet events or the best dog parks in the area. If your business provides relevant online content that interests potential customers, search engines will pick up on it and boost your rankings.

Knowing Where to Start

SEO terminology can be overwhelming to many people, and the idea of implementing it for a website can be even more daunting. If you’re not sure where to begin, start by taking the Google Developer site speed test, which can provide information on how well your site is loading and performing. It’s also an easy way to learn how to obtain new traffic to your website. You can also reach out to a local Social Media Manager or marketing agency, like us, who can help optimize your site and let you focus on running your business.