Stefan Scott

Jul 31, 2021

9 min read

SEO: What is it SEO, Why is SEO Important, and Why Search Engine Marketing is Necessary

SEO: What is it SEO, Why is SEO Important, and Why Search Engine Marketing is Necessary
SEO: What is it SEO, Why is SEO Important, and Why Search Engine Marketing is Necessary

SEO: What is it SEO, Why is SEO Important, and Why Search Engine Marketing is Necessary

What is SEO?

Search engine basics

Which search results are “organic”?

Why SEO is important

Should I hire an SEO professional, consultant, or agency?

White hat vs black hat SEO

Search engines share similar goals with the SEO industry

Google Webmaster Guidelines

Basic principles:

  1. Make pages primarily for users, not search engines.
  2. Don’t deceive your users.
  3. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  4. Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging.

Things to avoid:

  1. Automatically generated content
  2. Participating in link schemes
  3. Creating pages with little or no original content (i.e. copied from somewhere else)
  4. Cloaking — the practice of showing search engine crawlers different content than visitors.
  5. Hidden text and links
  6. Doorway pages — pages created to rank well for specific searches to funnel traffic to your website.

Bing Webmaster Guidelines

Basic principles:

  1. Provide clear, deep, engaging, and easy-to-find content on your site.
  2. Keep page titles clear and relevant.
  3. Links are regarded as a signal of popularity and Bing rewards links that have grown organically.
  4. Social influence and social shares are positive signals and can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run.
  5. Page speed is important, along with a positive, useful user experience.
  6. Use alt attributes to describe images, so that Bing can better understand the content.

Things to avoid:

  1. Thin content, pages showing mostly ads or affiliate links, or that otherwise redirect visitors away to other sites will not rank well.
  2. Abusive link tactics that aim to inflate the number and nature of inbound links such as buying links, participating in link schemes, can lead to de-indexing.
  3. Ensure clean, concise, keyword-inclusive URL structures are in place. Dynamic parameters can dirty up your URLs and cause duplicate content issues.
  4. Make your URLs descriptive, short, keyword-rich when possible, and avoid non-letter characters.
  5. Burying links in Javascript/Flash/Silverlight; keep content out of these as well.
  6. Duplicate content
  7. Keyword stuffing
  8. Cloaking — the practice of showing search engine crawlers different content than visitors.

Guidelines for representing your local business on Google

Basic principles:

  1. Be sure you’re eligible for inclusion in the Google My Business index; you must have a physical address, even if it’s your home address, and you must serve customers face-to-face, either at your location (like a retail store) or at theirs (like a plumber)
  2. Honestly and accurately represent all aspects of your local business data, including its name, address, phone number, website address, business categories, hours of operation, and other features.

Things to avoid

  1. Creation of Google My Business listings for entities that aren’t eligible
  2. Misrepresentation of any of your core business information, including “stuffing” your business name with geographic or service keywords, or creating listings for fake addresses
  3. Use of PO boxes or virtual offices instead of authentic street addresses
  4. Abuse of the review portion of the Google My Business listing, via fake positive reviews of your business or fake negative ones of your competitors
  5. Costly, novice mistakes stemming from failure to read the fine details of Google’s guidelines

Fulfilling user intent

Know your website/client’s goals

  1. Sales
  2. Downloads
  3. Email signups
  4. Contact form submissions
  5. Phone calls
  1. Clicks-to-call
  2. Clicks-to-website
  3. Clicks-for-driving-directions
  1. 1,000 monthly visitors and 3 people fill out a contact form? Or…
  2. 300 monthly visitors and 40 people fill out a contact form?