June 10

The Story of SEO: Science, Art or Both?

By Dyanne Williamson

June 10, 2020

Search engine optimization (SEO) combines strategies, techniques and tactics to improve search results. SEO marketing includes many elements like content creation, public relations, link building, social media and graphic design.

When you’re seeking SEO, you’re chasing a moving target, at least to a degree. In the quest for SEO supremacy, the only thing that’s guaranteed is change. Yesterday’s techniques fade as new priorities emerge. Change rewards the nimble while penalizing the entrenched. Navigating the SEO landscape makes it feel like a minefield at times. Don’t forget that your competition faces the same challenges, however. Aligned with the right SEO expertise, complexity’s your friend.

Although strategies evolve, organic search and paid search still dominate. BrightEdge Research calculates that organic search still accounts for 53 percent of searches. Another 27 percent comes from paid search.

Science and Art: A Role for Each

The science of SEO relies on mathematical models based on data. Demystify SEO by understanding the science behind it. Or, work with the experts who do. At the same time, don’t disregard the art of SEO. Only you have an intimate knowledge of why people purchase your product or service. Business owners with an innate feel for their markets possess insights vital to the quest for better SEO.

Of course, the quest for higher search engine rankings is always changing, like the ebb and flow of the tides. At critical junctures, it’s more like a sea change. You might even call it a paradigm shift. The coronavirus crisis presents such a moment when the way of the future necessarily departs from the ways of the past. To get a feel on the impact look at SimilarWebs tracking of the coronavirus crisis on B2B web traffic.

9 Tips for Better SEO

SEO refines your website’s content to make your business more discoverable. There are a host of worthwhile SEO techniques and tactics. Here are some important ones.

1. Optimize every web page

First, it’s important to measure the relative SEO strength of each webpage. Yoast SEO is a popular tool often used for this purpose. Optimization includes the strategic use of appropriate keywords throughout your website. They should appear in titles, sub-headers, content, meta descriptions and image alt tags.

Every bit helps. Clear, creative titles with the right keywords stimulate reader interest and search response. Rich text delivers more information than the normal snippet conveyed in search results. Carefully crafted meta descriptions can increase click-thru-rates six percent.

SEO Meta descriptions

2. Publish blog posts

The best blog content serves two masters – your audience and SEO. Ignore either at your own peril. Balance is key. Timely, insightful, high-quality content builds your brand. Expert identification and inclusion of keywords enhances SEO. It is important to optimize for SEO keywords as well as relevant Google AdWords.

Publish blogs of sufficient length for the best SEO. An analysis of 1 million Google search results found that the average length of listings was 1,890 words on page one. Regardless of length, it’s important to publish your posts on a regular basis. This means monthly, bi-monthly or even weekly. Blog posts increase internal and external links that further optimize your site. Cumulative, high-quality content enhances your search rankings over time. Thoughtful, thorough blog posts also position you as a thought leader in your industry.

3. Generate press releases

The press release has long been a staple of public relations efforts. Today, the press release is also another arrow in the quiver of SEO tools. For one, it is a way to get your business noticed via Google News. The beta version of Google News dates back to 2002. A newer version of Google News arrived in May 2019. The latest update delivers relevant news from press releases, periodicals and video stories. Google’s algorithms assess content using a variety of metrics. These include originality, timeliness, diversity and rich snippets.

4. Embrace Web 2.0

Master Web 2.0 guidelines to further improve SEO. Web 2.0 is more collaborative, social and participatory than its predecessor. Before Web 2.0, content moved from website to audience. Now, it’s a two-way street, a conversation. Users comment, rate, rank, review and tag content. They share and publish content without programming or HTML skills. Web 2.0 incorporates social media, social networking, blogging, podcasts and more.

5. Cultivate a YouTube presence

Now, more than ever, we live in a visual age. Conveying your ideas and data in the form of images and infographics is a good discipline. YouTube is the #2 site for search.

Post your company videos and news videos to YouTube to get more traffic. Build your brand at the same time. Optimize these videos with the right keyword submissions. Read our blog post “YouTube SEO Tips 2023” to rank your videos higher.

6. Pursue featured snippets

Google first released featured snippets in 2014. By 2016, they appeared in more than 10 percent of its search results. Featured snippets capture many of the clicks that #1 rankings used to get. Increase your company’s visibility and click-through rates at the same time. The path to a featured snippet is almost always through a page-one ranking.

There are many ways to take full advantage of featured snippets. For example, increase click-throughs by including a list or table that Google must truncate in the snippet. Develop mobile-friendly snippets that are about 40-60 words long.

7. Submit to SlideShare

LinkedIn’s SlideShare allows you to share infographics, slideshow presentations and more. Reach an audience of 80+ million users while improving your SEO score.

8. Submit to directories & business listings

Directory submission pings your site so search engine bots crawl it without delay. Submissions can also generate quality backlinks that enhance SEO. Content should emphasize brand anchors rather than keyword-rich text. Distinguish between directories that legitimately serve users and those that exist only for SEO. Submissions to the latter carry risk.

9. Post to Q&A Platforms

Posting answers to relevant Quora questions is another strategy for getting the attention of search engines. Since people communicate in everyday language on Quora, the platform is also great for keyword research.

For some time, there’s been a battle between search engines and those seeking an unfair advantage. Google has responded with algorithms that are more sophisticated. For example, they reduce rankings in response to keyword stuffing. They also recognize questionable backlinks with more precision. In the future, AI will increasingly examine content for depth and relevance with relentless efficiency.

Through it all, SEO expertise keeps pace as the rules of the game change.

Need SEO Help?

SEO experts bring the science to the table while you deliver the art — your deep comprehension of your enterprise’s role in the marketplace.

Grow your business by generating and converting more leads. The SEO experts at Forward Vision Marketing stand ready to optimize your site for search. We welcome your questions. Ask about our free digital marketing audit. Harness the power of SEO like never before! Contact us today.

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