By now, anyone in the marketing or advertising industry knows that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential element in gathering online awareness and getting found on the internet. However, when companies or young brands hire SEO consultants or companies to help them rank on the internet’s popular search engines, a lot of the time they come out of the agreement without much positive change.
So, how can you avoid lackluster or poor results when hiring or working with SEO consultants?
By understanding the most important SEO terms and basics, as well as what kind of questions to ask or answers to look for when interviewing a prospective consultant.
Understanding SEO Basic Terms
Search Engine Spiders and Web Crawling
One of the main reasons of why SEO became such a powerful and needed strategy is the Search Engine Spider. A search engine spider is an algorithm created by a search engine such as Google that crawls the internet and indexes all the visited websites and web pages for processing.
It is what ranks pages or websites on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and states whether it is a quality page/website or not. Making your website easy for web crawling is one of the most fundamentals when it comes to SEO.
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There is a lot of debate on how fast a spider will come to crawl your webpages, with some saying within 48hours and some stating between 4 days or 4 weeks, but the general rule is to always prepare your website or new pages with headlines, tags, titles and links before publishing.
There are also a number of tips on the internet that state you can force spiders to crawl your website faster, but it’s not always 100% proven.
Headlines, Tags and Titles
Speaking of headlines, tags and titles, On-site SEO is all about optimizing your website to be as efficient as possible to affect organic search results.
When creating a new page for your website, always ensure it has these 3 elements included.
They all provide a way for both customers and spiders to understand what to expect from the page. However, be careful!
Select your headlines, keywords/tags and titles carefully as pages that mislead people will increase your bounce rate (the rate at which people click away from your page) which will tell SE spiders that you are not providing quality or accurate content and will subsequently lower your ranking.
Domain History and Authority
When it comes to Domain History, it can be an important factor if you are buying a used domain. Its age isn’t the factor that’s important, but whether it’s been hit with penalties by Google or other search engines (which can cross over to the new owner) or what kind of backlinks (links from other websites that link to the domain) it has.
These are not usually major issues, but sometimes its good to know if you’re buying a used domain.
DA (Domain Authority) is a ranking score that can be used to predict how well a website will rank on search engine result pages.
According to Moz, domain authority is best used as a comparative metric — a “good” domain authority score depends on the domain authority of the sites you’re competing with on SERPs. With this in mind, your objective should not be to have the highest authority score possible, but to have a higher authority score than your competitors.
You can build this up through quality content and a lot of quality inbound links.
Inbound and Outbound Links
Speaking of links, links are a powerful tool in building authority for your website, whether they are internal or external.
Internal links are links within your website that link to other pages in your website. These are used to create journey flow or help push visitor further into your website.
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There are two types of external links; Inbound and Outbound links. Inbound links, or Backlinks, are links from other websites that direct people to your website, while Outbound links are a link in your website that directs people to other websites.
Here are two examples.
An inbound link is a link from your Facebook page to your website, while an outbound link is a link from your blog to another website.
Quality inbound links/backlinks are very important in building your DA; the more other websites link to your website means that you are doing something right and are providing accurate/valuable information to people, which the SE spider will heavily consider when creating SERPs.
Outbound links should also be monitored, mostly because you are giving credibility to another website, and just like in real life, it’s important to check who you are vouching for.
Search Engine Types
A popular misunderstanding, SEO isn’t just for Google or Yahoo search but also encompasses how to be found on social media such as Facebook, YouTube and etc.
In a recent article, famed marketer Neil Patel also discusses the importance of social media links where he states “Companies should expand their concept of SEO to include not just the traditional search engines––Google and Bing––but also social search engines”.
If you’re already doing SEO for your website you already know what to do, simply apply all the basics to your social channels.
This means ensuring all your descriptions, links and content are working, use keywords/hashtags to get found on social search engines, provide valuable content and etc.
If you post on different social platforms, consider changing the captions and hashtags on each one to improve your SEO on both social and search engine result pages.
Where To Start The SEO Journey
There is a lot to learn when it comes to SEO, however understanding the basics and what items are more or less important to your objectives when building your online presence is extremely important and easy.
Try to keep these points in mind, whether you have an inhouse team or planning to hire someone to help you out, when improving your online presence and visibility and ensuring that you’re working with the right people to meet your goals.
Do you want more articles like this? Are you an SEO person who disagrees with these points? Let us know in the comments on social media!
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