Here at SilverFox, SEO we don’t expect everyone who visits our site to be SEO experts. Because of that, we have provided a page with some of the most frequently asked questions in regard to our company, as well as SEO and digital marketing in general.
We’ve tried to provide a pretty good base here on this page, but if you have any other questions that we happened to miss, please include them in the comments section of the page, and we will make sure to get them added as soon as possible! Enjoy!
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” and deals with a variety of activities that all share the end goal of increasing a site’s ranking in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) in order to increase traffic to the site.
What type of content is best for SEO?
That’s a tough question. The best answer we can give is, “It depends.” If you are looking to rank higher in the generic SERPs, things like well-written content focusing on specific keywords, using optimized pictures, and backlinking are going to be really important.
However, there are other ways to get ranked higher in the Search Engine Results. One of those ways is to use a lot of video content. YouTube is the second most popular search engine behind Google, and a good video focusing on the right keywords could really boost your rankings.
What is backlinking, and why is it so important?
Backlinking refers to the process of building a base of other websites with hyperlinks directing users back to your own page. In the eyes of Google and other search engines, the more sites there is that link back to your site, the more credible and trustworthy your site is, and the more you will rise in the search engine rankings. This is especially true if the sites linking to yours are very reputable names with a strong internet presence.
What are some things that can get my site penalized, and how do I avoid them?
Now that we’ve talked a little about backlinking, let us speak a word of caution. Not all backlinks are good, and some are actually really bad. For example, you do not want sites in less socially acceptable industries, like pornography or gambling sites to have links to your sites.
Other sites that you don’t want to be linked with your site in any way include sites that have been penalized in some way for breaking any of the search engine “rules,” because these sites will drag you down in the rankings.
Is it safe to buy backlinks?
Yes, but no. It’s ok to pay for backlinks as long as they are no-follow links, which we will explain in a second. Be careful about buying backlinks with the intent to manipulate search engine results, because it is actually against those search engine “rules” that we mentioned in the last question.
What is the difference between a no-follow link and a do-follow link?
Basically, no-follow links and do-follow links are tags in a website’s code that tell search engine bots what they are and are not allowed to do with the links. These tags on your website’s links to other pages and the other pages’ links to your own will affect your rankings in the SERPs. A no-follow link tells search engine bots that they are not allowed to weigh that link into the search engine rankings for your site, whereas the do-follow links give them permission to consider that link in your rankings. This becomes especially important when the reputation of a site linking to you is questionable or flat-out bad. Nofollow links permit human traffic only to your site, without letting search engine bots penalize you for being linked to a bad site.
Here is an example of what the code would look like for a link with a no-follow tag:
<a href=”http://www.google.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Google</a>
In the case of a dofollow tag, the nofollow in quotation marks would simply be replaced with “dofollow.”
How do I delete backlinks?
If you find that a questionable site is linking to your website (and you can get tools that will alert you when a new site links to you), the easiest way to get rid of the backlink is to contact the webmaster of the other page and politely ask them to remove it. If that fails, you can submit a complaint to Google who will make sure the problem gets taken care of.
What is schema, and why do I need it?
Schema markup is code that you can put on your website so that search engine bots can more easily index the information on your website. For more info on Schema, check out our blog post “2017: The rise of mobile.”
Does it matter how many pages I have on my website?
Again, Yes and no. Technically it doesn’t matter how many pages your site has. What matters is how many of those pages are indexed by the search engine bots so that they can appear in the search rankings. You might want to consider adding a sitemap to your website to assure that crawlers, as well as users, can easily navigate your site. This will give you a better chance of ranking well in the SERPs.
Is website loading speed important?
There are going to be some places on the SilverFox site that you are going to see different answers than other SEO companies will give you. This is one of those places. Website loading speed hasn’t been that important in the past, but especially in 2017 loading speed will become an increasingly important factor when it comes to ranking well on Google.
Google recommends a loading time of 2-3 seconds. Any longer than that and you risk not only losing traffic due to impatience on the part of your users, but you also risk Google dropping you in the rankings because your site is too slow.
How important is a mobile-friendly site?
We’ll keep this one short. Mobile is everything. In 2017, web pages will be primarily ranked by their mobile versions instead of their desktop versions in the SERPs. For more one this, check out our article “21 SEO Trends we predict for 2017”
What does my page's code have to do with SEO?
This may come as a surprise to some, but your website’s source code has a lot to do with how search engines interact with your website. Things like optimizing your pictures, having keywords in the meta description, title, and headings, and other things like that are all important ranking factors for your site.
If I'm doing local SEO, does it matter where the sites linking to me are located?
Yes! If you are doing local SEO, you will be much more benefited by having local sites and businesses link to your site.
How long will it take to see results from my SEO?
That depends. Sorry, I promise we aren’t trying to dodge your questions. That’s just the truth. Generally, the newer and less optimised your site is, the more an SEO service can help you and the sooner you can start seeing results. It also depends on your industry and how competitive the keywords are that you’re trying to rank for.
The best practice to answer this question would be to talk with an SEO professional about your unique situation in order to be able to get a better idea of how soon you could start seeing results from an SEO service.
Should I hire an SEO company that guarantees a 1st place ranking?
Please don’t. If any company guarantees you the 1st place ranking they are bluffing. SEO isn’t quite as exact as some people would like you to think it is. Of course, the goal of any SEO service would be to help you rank number one for one or more keywords or phrases, but that’s also what everyone else is trying to do. Rankings can fluctuate a lot, and certain guarantees should simply not be trusted.
How do I know whether or not my SEO company is helping me?
You should never just blindly trust your SEO company. You should definitely trust them and their experience, but never blindly. They should be providing you with regular reports of what they are doing and how their efforts are affecting your search engine rankings.
Basically, if your rankings are on the rise, and the traffic to your site is increasing, you can know that your SEO company is doing their job.
Can social media help my SEO?
Yes! This is another place where we at SilverFox are going to deviate from the norm. In the past, social media has frankly had nothing to do with the SERPs, but in 2017, that is all going to change. We know that Google is going to start paying a lot more attention to viral content on social media because the new algorithms for search indexing will be based on user intent. Viral content is clearly something that is popular among web users, meaning that Google can no longer ignore your company’s social media.
What social media platforms should I use to market my business?
Again, that depends. It mostly depends on your target market and the most popular social media platform among those users. It’s definitely worth experimenting with multiple social media platforms in order to see where you are getting the most engagement.
Should I use social media if I'm a B2B business?
Generally, we recommend that you do. Although this type of social media will be a little different than the traditional social media where businesses market directly to consumers. B2B social media will generally be more professional in nature, and the social media platform used as a medium may be LinkedIn instead of Facebook, but some form of social media marketing can always be profitable, no matter what industry you’re in or who your target market is.
Do I need a blog?
Blogs are not usually thought of as social media, but they have become indispensable in this day and age of digital marketing. Blogs add another page to your website, allow you to use keywords over and over again, and provide an excuse to update your content frequently. If you’re serious about ranking well in the SERPs, you absolutely need to start blogging.
Can I use social media to influence what others are saying about me?
You might think that this would be a tough area to influence, but the key to change what others are saying about you on social media – especially if what others are saying is negative – is engagement. Some of the top companies in the world make a habit of finding negative reviews and other negative interactions on social media and then engaging with those users in a positive way. This practice has helped to drastically change the attitude of some who had previously been actively speaking out against those companies.
How much time should I spend doing social media marketing?
That also depends. Social media marketing can be a full-time job, and actually is for some people. There are tools that you can use to post things on social media at a certain time so that you don’t have to constantly manage your accounts, but for real-time, adequate engagement with prospective customers, it could be a good idea to look into hiring a professional.
Are there any common social media marketing mistakes to avoid?
The biggest mistake that we see most people make with social media marketing is inconsistency. Many companies start off with strong social media campaigns and get a lot of interaction with prospective customers early on, but then let the momentum fade and the campaign die due to lack of use. If there is one social media marketing mistake to avoid, it is the sin of inconsistency.
What is the most important thing I can do on social media?
The most important thing you can do on social media is to engage with other users in your target market. No matter what social media platform you use, strive for maximum engagement in the form of mentions, likes, shares, etc. It may be helpful to look into the times of the day and the platforms that generate the most engagement. If you’re interested, check out our blog post on Instagram for some good info.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of different forms of media that doesn’t specifically support a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in a product or service.
Is there a relationship between my content marketing and social media?
Social media is an indispensable part of content marketing. Not only can you post original content on your social media pages, but social media is a great way to begin sharing your blog posts and other forms of duplicate content pulled from your website.
Is it bad to post anything besides evergreen content?
You hear a lot these days about evergreen content – especially from us here at SilverFox. We love evergreen content, and so do your users and the search engines. But do you remember what we said earlier about viral posts on social media and how those are going to begin to affect the search rankings in 2017? Viral content is not evergreen content, but users are always searching for the new, trendy things as well as the things that will always be relevant.
In short, the answer is no. Not only is it not bad to post content besides evergreen content, but it is also actually a very good idea to spice up your blog and your website with some of the newest trends. Especially in the digital marketing world, it will show your visitors that you are an expert in your field and that you stay on top of what people want.
How often should I publish new content on my website?
In case you weren’t already aware, websites that are updated more frequently usually rank better in the SERPs. This is one reason that a blog can be very helpful, because 2-3 new articles a week can add pages and pages to your blog and go a long way towards getting your site ranked higher for more keywords.
How long should my articles be if I want them to rank well?
The rule in the world of content creation seems to be “More is better.” While the goal is still to have good quality, helpful content that meets your users’ needs, studies have shown that longer articles do usually rank better in the SERPs than those that are shorter. We generally recommend that articles be at least 2000-2500 words.
Is email marketing a thing of the past?
If you had asked me this question before I got involved in the digital marketing world, I would have guessed that email marketing was never useful. As I got involved in content creation and learned more about the industry, I learned that email marketing is far from useless.
With social media marketing, you are basically going with the “spray and pray” marketing method. It’s often hard to know if your posts are actually reaching your desired audience. With email marketing, however, you are placing your advertisements directly in your prospect’s inbox where they will at least see the name of your company and the subject of the email. In this way, you know that your marketing campaigns are at least reaching their desired audience.
How can I grow a subscriber list?
There are a few tools you can use on your website, some free, others paid, in order to capture the email of your visitors. A great way to get prospects to offer their emails is by offering products or other incentives in return.
Are there any email marketing "Don'ts?"
For one, make sure you review the laws surrounding email marketing. Each email must contain an unsubscribe button, and if that button is pressed, you must never send that person another email ever again. Violation of this law can result in up to a $300 fine per email.
What is big content, and how do I incorporate it into my marketing strategy?
Big content has kind of a loose definition. It basically just includes content that is too big and broad to fit the definition of smaller content such as blog posts. Big content includes longer content such as ebooks, PDFs, etc. and can be offered as a promotional item, or as an incentive to encourage visitors to subscribe to your email campaigns, etc.
What is the most common content marketing mistake?
The most frequent mistake we see when it comes to content creation is that too many companies are overly concerned with making a sale. If your articles or other forms of content sound like a sales pitch, you are much more likely to alienate your potential customers than you are to actually make a sale.
Articles should be written in a friendly manner in order to help visitors feel safe and begin to develop a relationship of trust with your company.
Is it ok to re-share content?
Yes. Never be afraid to use the same content on multiple social media platforms, or to share your blog posts on social media. Another common practice is to write an ebook, and then take each individual chapter of the ebook, alter parts of it slightly, and then repost the chapters as individual blog posts. As long as you aren’t using spam methods or using too much duplicate content, you shouldn’t attract any negative attention.
How can I get the best results from my digital marketing efforts?
The way to get the best results from your digital marketing efforts is to use a variety of methods that we have explained here. It may be tempting to take all of the information that we have provided and start to create a load of content right away. Resist this temptation. The race of digital marketing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Given time and consistency, the tips found on the SilverFox website can go a long way in helping you reach your SEO goals.