SEO is one of the pillars of digital marketing and, not surprisingly, I get asked a lot of questions about it from clients. If you don’t have good SEO, you’ll fall behind all of your rivals. It is the number one way of gaining web traffic, meaning you can potentially increase sales and leads at the same time. There’s a lot spoken about SEO, but most of it repeats the same things. You should already know what it is and some of the main principles, so let’s not waste more time repeating all of that!
Instead, here are a few things you probably didn’t know about SEO:
The rules change all the time
Unless you immerse yourself in digital marketing and SEO, you probably don’t know that the rules change all the time. Most people are unaware of this as the main SEO fundamentals have stayed somewhat similar over time. For instance, keywords have always been a key part of any SEO strategy.
Nevertheless, the rules change based on different updates by Google. They basically outline the good and bad practices, letting you know what you can do to improve your SEO and boost your ranking. Now and then, you get a significant update that pushes certain things to the top of your priority list. For instance, an update a year or so ago really put content as a key ranking factor. As a result, everyone started producing more and more content.
Black hat SEO is a thing, and it’s bad
On the topic of rules and ranking factors, did you know that black hat SEO exists? Essentially, this relates to any SEO tactics that will have a negative effect on your ranking. This includes things like spamming links across loads of different websites. People do this to try and improve link building as they know it’s a key ranking factor. However, Google recognizes the ploy and punishes you for it.
As time goes on, more things are included under the black hat SEO heading. Usually, it stems from ranking factors and rules that people abuse. The previous example is the perfect summary of that. People saw link building helped them rank high, so they took advantage of it and invented ways to generate more links. If you get caught using any black hat techniques, you’ll get ranking penalties that shift you lower down the results pages.
SEO isn’t free
Now, this is a common misconception as people often weigh SEO against PPC. In this battle, PPC is seen as ‘paid advertising’, while SEO is deemed more organic. However, this is because SEO deals with organic web traffic and organic search results. You can do things to improve your SEO for free, but most people will still pay for a company to run an SEO strategy purely because of how complex it can be.
How much does SEO cost? It depends on the level of service you choose, where you live, and so on. You can use an SEO calculator to work out a rough estimate if you want. It will help you understand how much you’ll need to pay for a winning strategy.
SEO and mobile SEO are slightly different
Back in the day, SEO only referred to one thing. It contained all the different results, regardless of what device someone was using. Now, mobile SEO exists alongside traditional SEO. The premise behind the two is similar, but they are slightly different.
In essence, the mobile search rankings won’t be 100% the same as the desktop ones. If you search for a term on both platforms, you may be presented with different results. Why? Well, it all comes down to responsive web design. A few years ago, Google introduced a new rule that penalized any businesses without a mobile-friendly site. So, if someone looked for your business on their phone/tablet, they might not find it in the results. Mobile-friendly sites had priority, so yours got pushed further down. This system still exists today, so be sure you have a responsive website that fits all devices!
SEO is all about the user
Did you know that the whole purpose of SEO is to benefit the user? Obviously, it’s advantageous for businesses to appear high in search results, but have you ever wondered why a ranking system is needed? It’s because Google wants users to find the best websites based on their queries. They want to direct people to engaging, informative sites and provide answers to any questions. This is the best way to think about SEO when improving your website; focus on things that improve the user experience!
Hopefully, this post enhances your existing knowledge of search engine optimization. It’s definitely up there with social media as a digital marketing tactic you simply can’t avoid.