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.
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.
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.