SEO seems to be rocket science, but it’s really elbow grease.
Sure, there are some technical things you need to know, but not many of them require above-average smarts. I’ve answered some of the more common questions I get below, but as any Austin SEO expert can tell you, you’ll never answer them ALL.
I’m including links to my other FAQs here, just in case you’re needing more broad-based, Integrated Digital Marketing questions answered.
The idea is that yes, there is a base level of SEO you need to do to your site. Assuming your site has a year or more on the content you have there, it’s fairly easy to see if you need it.
Search the name of your company. As long as it’s not a common phrase, like “Dog Food” this will work.
For instance, if your business name is “Harris Electric”, you should be able to google your business name and you come back at the top. If not, then use your demographic. IF you’re in Dallas, it would be “Harris Electric Dallas”.
If you don’t return on page 1, you have a problem, and you need on page work.
Next, go after your service demos.
If it’s electric, then you’ll have electrical repair, electric panel installation, gfci inspection, etc..
Google your business name plus each one of these service areas, i.e. “Harris Electric gfci inspection”. Individual pages in your website should return for each service type. If they don’t, red flag.
This is what “Minimum Viable SEO” does for you, and yes, you need it.
Nofollow backlinks are links that tell the search engine NOT to follow it. The reasoning is to indicate to the search engines that this link is not important to the core content of your site or page.
That’s a bit oversimplified, but that’s the way it works (for instance, it’s the ABSENCE of the rel=nofollow tag that tells a search engine to keep the dofollow status in place).
It’s widely thought that dofollow are the only backlinks that will give you any SEO advantage.
That used to be true, but thanks to Google’s algorithm updates like Penguin, Panda and Mobilegeddon, it’s not as true as it once was.
Nofollow backlinks could be great to increase exposure of your website or blog and sending traffic to those, but they will not technically help you with SEO as a ranking signal. Still, it doesn’t mean nofollow backlinks are bad.
The quality and value of a nofollow backlink is really about how Google sees the site. If it is valuable to the community, and has great organic traffic, then the link will have some value, even if it’s nofollow.
Looking at the reputation of the website linking to you is critical. It also matters if the source website content is relevant to you. If a well-known, reputable website links to you, even if it’s a nofollow link, the backlink will still be good.
There are tons of good websites you’ve never heard of.
Checking the SEO metrics of any site you want to get links from is always recommended, but old school ranking factors aren’t as important any more. Google has changed all that, and values relevance above all other factors.
If enough people view a site as relevant, it’s relevant, and the link matters, nofollow or not.
If you want to, you can still analyze factors in Google Analytics like the Citation Flow, Domain Authority, Trust Flow, Page Authority, total external links, how often they update content, and more.
But at the end of the day, if you don’t have relevant content, your links won’t matter.
The best way to find opportunities to build good backlinks is to look at the links of your competitors. Use Monitor Backlinks to spy your competitors backlinks and try to replicate the ones that are good and worthy. If your competitors are ranking above you, it often means they have done something right, and they have better backlinks than you.
By replicating the most important links of all your competitors, you’ll have higher chances to outrank them. Using the metrics provided by Monitor Backlinks you can see at a glance what backlinks are good or bad. Take each link one by one to understand how your competitor has gotten to have a link from that website. If they got a link because of a blogger review or mention, you can contact that blogger and offer him the chance to test your product as well. Whether it’s a guest post, a forum mention or any other type of backlink, you should try to replicate it.
Do consider that sometimes your competitors might have bad backlinks, so don’t rush into replicating, without analyzing if the website has a good authority.”
If the backlink is bad, you should try to remove it and then disavow it, even if it’s dofollow or nofollow. If you have a good nofollow backlink, you should leave it as it is because it might send relevant traffic your way.According to John Mueller, disavowing a backlink is the equivalent adding a nofollow to a dofollow link.Considering what John said, disavowing a nofollow link would be like adding a nofollow attribute to a backlink that’s already nofollow. Based on Google’s guidelines, a nofollow link provides the webmasters a way to tell search engines “don’t follow links on this page” or “don’t follow this specific link”.”
Manual penalty: Takes 1-2 weeks for Google to review your reconsideration request
Algorithm updates penalties: This is the case of Penguin or Panda. You’ll have to wait for another Google Penguin or Panda algorithm update to take place. It can take months, or days, depending when it was updated last.”
a. You haven’t cleaned up all your bad backlinks
b. Your disavow report is incomplete
c. No algorithm update took place lately. Panda and Penguin penalties require a fresh algorithm update for recovery.
d. Your content is holding you back. If a Google update hit your website, you have to revise your website’s content.
e. You don’t have enough quality backlinks
f. Your website has other unknown problems
g. Your reconsideration request was not yet reviewed.
Read more about the 7 reasons why your website won’t recover from a Google penalty.”
The recipe for SEO success is high-quality content and backlinks from authoritative domains. One without the other will not work.”
Your content must be well documented and offer value to your readers by answering their most important questions and offering useful tips.”
You’ll not be able to remove all links, but don’t worry, you can use the Disavow Tool.
Read more about Backlinks removal and analytics – How to delete bad links.”
Ask them to send weekly reports and keep an eye on how your organic traffic is performing. Use tools like Monitor Backlinks to analyze the new backlinks your website is getting and if you see anything suspicious, suspend the collaboration immediately.
If anything bad ever happens to your website (like a penalty), you’ll be the one affected, not your SEO company. Hence why you analyze all the work, they are doing.”
Most websites publish at least one article per week.”
A bad anchor text distribution can cause a Google Penguin penalty.”
Don’t use too many ads, whether it’s Adsense or another provider.”
What energy to put where, and when. That’s the main thing.
There is SO MUCH to learn as an SEO newbie, where would you start?
Further, which online “expert” do you trust as authoritative? I know of several who are claiming to be teaching the latest tips, but they’re really rolling out tactics they used 5 years ago that worked then, but no longer are very effective. I’m especially wary of “How I Drove 2.5 Million hits on a brand new site in one month!”, then I look at their follower base and they have 5M followers. Well, of COURSE you can drive that many in that amount of time! That doesn’t make you an SEO expert, but rather someone with a huge follower base (which is its own accomplishment!).
Title Tags in SEO
I think you could spend 6 months on writing Title Tags, and as long as your sourcing the right material, you’d have a solid base. Then move to H2 tags (this is predicated on you being able to write for your audience. If you can’t, you need to spend a year learning to write).
Link Building is probably the biggest “moving target” piece of SEO, so that’s going to take some time, give that another 6–9 months of constant learning and executing.
So now you’re 2 years in, and if you’re actually good at these things, YOU are now one of the SEO experts, because you’re doing what small business owners can’t do for themselves.
Like I frequently say, it’s not rocket science, it’s more elbow grease than anything else. Just grind it out and learn. SEO is all about time plus efficiency.