When it comes to the best digital marketing strategy, the one that comes in everyone’s mind is search engine optimization or SEO. And it is clear to see why. SEO is the most powerful and most popular online marketing technique today. The quality of your SEO on Google and the SEO tools you use can make or break your business. In our experience, however, the most difficult part is actually quantifying the financial value of your SEO efforts. Results, much like with many other marketing practices, can come slow and can be easily overseen.
Today, we are taking the conversation a step further to talk about how you ensure your SEO is on point. More than that, we are going over the best SEO tools out there, particularly the newly established Morningscore.io, a fresh new SEO tool that combines all the most popular SEO services in one platform at affordable prices. Sounds exciting? Let’s dive in, starting with getting the basics right on SEO:
Over time we have dabbled with the concept of search engine optimization many times, finding ways to improve your website’s visibility. All these tips and tricks are meant to help a website rank higher on search engines, like Google. But to fully understand how SEO works, we first need to understand what SEO is.
What is SEO
In our web dictionary, we explained that SEO is a series of steps you take to make your website easy to find and relevant to users. In other words, SEO is a strategy based on online marketing, meant to make your business visible online. But what does good SEO practices actually mean? Well, we have prepared a SEO checklist for you, so let’s take it to step by step.
Technical SEO is the part of your SEO strategy where you help crawlers find your website, interpret and index it. The reason this is called technical SEO is that it actually has less to do with your content, and more to do with the infrastructure of your website. Basically, you need to start thinking about SEO even before you have content or even a website! It touches upon how your XML sitemap is structured, how URLs are structured and much much more.
Even though this is the first step in SEO, technical SEO has to be an ongoing marketing activity for any business that takes online seriously. Technical SEO needs to maintain certain requirements set by search engines, which are always changing, to ensure continue to be visible on search result pages. Some elements you need to take into consideration when optimizing your technical SEO are:
A fast website is a relevant website. Search engines like Google use page loading speed as ranking criteria for both web and mobile web applications. For a business to maintain a short loading time, one must follow the sacred rule of “less is more”, keeping designs and plugins to a minimum. This means maintaining a simple template with few design elements and only adding plugins that are absolutely needed. Of course, you can add some “nice-to-have” extra features, just don’t go too crazy.
Based on the same rule, make sure the images featured on your web pages are of good quality but small sizes. The higher the resolution, the larger size the file has, hence the longer it takes for it to load.
As smartphones became more and more popular, businesses had to adapt. Consequently, businesses started to compete in a different environment than they were used to. The problem was that size matters, at least when it comes to web design. Moreover, Google’s “Mobile first” movement, pushed the development of mobile-friendly web pages even further. This ranking criteria set by the web giant meant that websites that are not created to be mobile-first, or mobile friendly are going to rank lower than the ones that are. Hence affecting one’s position on the search engine result page (SERP).
If you build your website using a CMS like WordPress, your website is probably mobile friendly already. Many of the WordPress themes are designed to be responsive on mobile devices, to begin with. But if you are not sure, or you have used different CMSs or technologies, you can test your responsiveness with many free SEO tools online. For one, you can use Google’s own DevTools device mode to check the response on different devices. Another solution would be using websites such as responsinator.com. These also offer such services and most time are preferred over Google’s SEO tools, as they are more user-friendly.
The first and probably most important feature in your site’s architecture is owning an SSL certificate. First of all, the little padlock that comes with the certificate is a well-known trust seal for internet traffic. This means that visitors will trust your website more than other similar websites that only have HTTP instead of HTTPS. More importantly, Google has been using the SSL certificate as ranking criteria since 2014. So not only good ol’ Google warns users when accessing a non-secure website, but they punish webpages that lack the certificate.
The second thing you must remember is the URL structure. In this section, there are 2 things you need to do, use breadcrumbs and keywords. Breadcrumbs, much like in the famous Hansel and Gretel story by the Grimm brothers, refer to a way to retrace one’s steps if lost. In web development, this refers to the link structure and how it shows the place a user is currently at.
In the example above we can see the hierarchy of our own blog. A user can see that they accessed the main page and then the blockchain section sorted by our categories. This is called a navigational structure.
Keywords are words or phrases that define the topic and relevance of your content. We use keywords because they work as a direct marketing tool that connects user searches to the information a website, blog, or article provides. In other words, when a user has a need, they search for solutions to their needs on browsers. By using keywords to match the user’s search, you become relevant by offering the most probable solution.
Needless to say, SEO expert or not, you should know that before you start creating content online your first step is to research the keywords you are going to use. The better you research your keywords, the more chances you have, as a content manager and as a business to provide proper information. Good content and good keywords go hand in hand, and browsers will reward your web pages for that. There are two types of keywords that you need to be aware of, seed keywords and long tail keywords.
Seeds in SEO are one-word keywords that are used to define the core of a search. To give an example, let’s say you are looking for solutions to your search engine optimization strategy. The seed keyword in your search would be “SEO”, hence the topic of the discussion. However, generic words do not create context, and the results may not solve the problem at hand.
If you type SEO in your search engine, the most probable result is a definition of SEO, instead of tips on how to improve. Moreover, because of high competition, seed words are ineffective and don’t draw traffic. Therefore, when selecting keywords, you must add context to the seeds. Which brings us to long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords
These are 2-or-more-words keywords created around your seed. They are meant to be specific and usually seem more like a request rather than an answer. For example, one such keyword can be “what is SEO?”, “best SEO tools” or “SEO strategy tips”. Long tails are used based on users’ searches in browsers. The more specific you are, the better chances you have to match the users’ needs.
SEO tools to use
There are different ways to find your keywords, and there are no wrong steps when it comes to research. What you need to do when you start looking for your seed keywords is start making a list with all the words that may relate to your content or your business. To keep our example, some of the seeds when looking for SEO tips could be “marketing”, “SEO”, “SERP”, “Keywords” and so on.
Use these words to look for longtails. One strategy is to use Google and, well, google the SEO out of those words. The search results will guide your way. For example, we googled “SEO”, and this was our search result:
Start with that and direct your search towards articles, web pages and blogs that answer the same problem your service or product does. Take inspiration from what other use as keywords and test which could have the biggest impact.
To test your keywords you can use Google Ads for free and see which of your longtails and seeds are the most attractive.
Keyword toolboxes, including the AdWords example above, allow you to see the amount of potential traffic a keyword has. At the same time, the keywords planners give you suggestions for longtails that you can use.
And this is the first reason we are so excited to introduce you to Morningscore. Morningscore raised the standards with their keyword planner. Not only can you see the potential of a certain keyword, but you can see the actual financial value it brings.
Backlinks are links connecting another website to your website. For example, when your content is used as a source in a blog, that blog creates a backlink to your web page. If you would use another website as a source then you create a backlink for that source. To explain this better, by using morningscore.io as a source, we have created a backlink for them.
Browsers such as Google take into account the backlinks and, depending on how pristine the “backlinker” is, the higher your post will rank. This also means that the better your content, the more chances you have to be used as a reference by others, thus creating a reputation for yourself.
To follow or not to follow
As with everything, there are two sides of the coin when it comes to backlinking. When creating a backlink there are two ways to go, create a DoFollow link or a NoFollow link. These two types of backlinking exist because when backlinking to a source you show Google and your readers where you got your information from. However, you may not always want to recommend the source as a reliable one. But even though your readers can understand that from the context of your post, Google can’t. Hence, Do or NoFollow links.
The DoFollow links are the ones you want to recommend, and you don’t have to do anything except create a hyperlink between your text and your source. The NoFollow links are a bit different. For Google to acknowledge a source that you DO NOT want to follow, you have to set the relation between your website and the hyperlink to “nofollow”.
SEO tools to use
Much like Morningscore, many SEO tools such as SemRush, or Link Assistant use a backlink checker. These services help you evaluate the external links connected to your business and adjust your strategy based on their value. The difference once again, is that Morningscore allows you to compare your performance with your competitors. This way can see their top backlinking sources and try and create a connection between these sources and your business.
Once launched, your website becomes a live organism. This means that it’s constantly changing, growing and improving. However, this also means that issues such as broken links, general code errors, low site speed, and many more, can occur. While these problems may seem minor in most cases, search engines like Google will pick up on them and penalize your platform for them.
To maintain your website’s reputation, you need to periodically do a SEO audit to check for and fix these errors. Luckily, like most SEO tools, Morningscore has the solution for this situation as well. Although this feature is still being perfected, it will soon become available for users to explore. And as it is with every Morningscore feature, the audit will display simple, easy-to-understand terms. So, start the countdown because we only have a little while longer to wait!
Now that we showed you all these cool features of the Morningscore, it’s time to reveal the best one yet. Morningscore, unlike most SEO tools available, has a competitor analysis option so you can compare your performance to your competitors every step of the way.
If you are not an SEO expert, you don’t need to be overwhelmed by all the SEO tools available anymore. Morningscore is here to help you create and maintain the pristine online reputation your business deserves. Chances are you have already seen the effects good SEO efforts have on your traffic analysis, why not see the financial value of it too? And the best part is, their analysis is easy to understand for even the busiest and most non-technical of us. Who said SEO tools can’t be fun? Try the beta testing version on Morningscore.io for free, send them your feedback and help them create the perfect SEO tool we are all waiting for.