Search engine optimization is a complex and technical field, which is made even more complex by Google not revealing the various factors which influence their search results.
There's good reason for this, of course - if Google detailed how their system worked, it would help those trying to cheat the system to do so - but at the same time, the lack of true clarity has also lead to a lot of misinformation.
It takes a lot of time and effort to build up a list of high-quality backlinks for your website in order to enhance your SEO, and more often than not, it costs more than just your time, however the benefits it provides makes the process worthwhile.
Google has long maintained that a company’s social media accounts do not influence it’s search rankings - Google’s former head of webspam Matt Cutts released a video back in 2014 which explained that social signals, such as Facebook likes and Twitter followers, have no impact on search rankings. However, even though social signals don't directly influence search rank, there are ways to harness social media to increase backlinks to your website and improve your website’s SEO. In fact 74% of companies and 82% of agencies recently said that social media is either somewhat or highly integrated into their SEO strategy.
Search engine optimization is a necessary element of any effective digital marketing strategy. It's also one of the most complex, with ever-changing Google algorithms and updates, along with behavioral shifts and platform updates. With all the different elements you need to keep track of, it can be difficult for anyone - even experts in the field - to ensure they're providing the most current, relevant advice.
But as noted, it is necessary - however you look at it, SEO is an important consideration for all marketers, and as such, you need to stay on top of the latest shifts and changes to ensure you're maximizing your opportunities.
While most every business now has an SEO strategy of some description in place, most are focused solely on Google. Which makes sense, Google does hold some 81% of the global search engine market, but there are other search platforms out there, and they are being used by a lot of people.
Take, for example, Microsoft's Bing. Sure, it's no Google, but according to Microsoft's stats, Bing serves more than 5 billion searches per month, and caters to more than 59 million people who don't use Google.
Search engine optimization can seem like an alien concept to those unfamiliar with it, and one of the biggest struggles for marketers tasked with adopting search engine marketing is explaining the concept to a boss or client who is brand new to SEO.
There's no doubt that SEO is a complex and ever-evolving marketing process - so how do you go about communicating how it works and why it's important?
Great SEO can make a company, bad SEO can kill a company. For consumers, links are a way to learn more information about a subject, but to search engines they can serve as an indication of content that’s popular. If multiple pages link to the same article or news item, search algorithms assume it must be of value and rank it higher. External links are a major factor in how Google determines search results, according to separate reports from Moz and Searchmetrics.
However, because this process can be manipulated, it’s important that those links be legitimate to avoid being seen as spammy by Google’s algorithms. While organic links are more important than ever, the legitimacy of those links is also more important than ever. With Google placing such a strong emphasis on links, here are a few things you can do to improve your links for SEO purposes.
Nobody likes an audit. Any kind of audit. And when it comes to an SEO audit, digital marketing specialists have a tendency to overcomplicate things.
But the truth is, most of the big ticket items impacting your SEO are things you can easily look into on your own to see where you stand and what you need to do to bring your site up to par. You do need to know your 'metadata' from your 'messaging', but you don't need to be a digital ninja/guru/magician to do a basic audit.
Are you looking for ways to get your website higher up in search rankings? Want to use techniques that won’t get you in trouble with Google?
Alexa share their white hat SEO tips for success in this infographic.