Moz the Great and Powerful
Moz is a Seattle based software company that launched in 2004 as a consulting firm specializing in search engine optimization (SEO). The company’s founder, Rand Fishkin, speaks to the audience that Moz serves:
“We’re built for companies who care deeply about inbound marketing sources – traffic from search engines and social media in particular.”
Since it began, Moz has grown immensely and now offers a wide variety of inbound marketing tools and data analytics software to help clients effectively draw in customers. In addition to these, the company offers online resources and eBooks to help guide people on their journey in becoming better marketers. In fact, visitor exposure to the high-quality informational content that Moz publishes has generated 85% of the company’s free trial sign-ups. So, inbound marketing seems to be working pretty well for Moz, but why are we investigating them? Because, not only are they experts at inbound marketing, but their specialty is at the top of the funnel and, more specifically, SEO.
Let’s Talk SEO
As was mentioned above, SEO stands for “search engine optimization”, which is the process and goal of making your content extremely visible on the internet through being easily found in organic (non-paid) search engine results. Optimization is best achieved when your content appears on the first page of a search query. Why? Because 75% of searchers never scroll past the first page of results. That is a pretty powerful number, and it speaks to the importance of SEO. If you want people to access your content, then you will definitely want to optimize getting found on search engines. This section will look at a few of the bare essentials on how to do so.
Create a great user experience. First and foremost, it is important not to create webpages solely for the purpose of getting found on a search engine. It is important to create pages that are truly valuable to users because user friendly pages are more likely to be found anyway. If your site provides an excellent user experience, visitors will refer other people to the site and a snowball effect will ensue. Search engines measure website quality by looking at user engagement metrics, and sites that get more visits and are frequently referenced are likely to rank higher in results.
Include keywords that will get you found. A major function of search engines is their ability to find keywords on a page. With this in mind, it is important to think about what words someone might type into search bar to find your content. Use these words on your page to make it easier for search engines to find. But don’t abuse keywords! Over using a certain keyword will not only make for a terrible user experience, search engines are savvy enough to recognize this futile attempt to get found and will rank such a page much lower in the results. Keeping keywords and keyword phrases specific will also be very helpful in allowing your site to get found much easier. “Aunt Melba’s gourmet raisin cookie recipe” will rank higher than “cookie recipe” on search results because it faces a lot less competition.
Incorporate relevant links on and to your page. Search engines use links to crawl through the vast inter-web. If your page isn’t linked to your website or another website, it will be extremely difficult for the engine to find. It is also important for your page to be linked to other relevant content. The word “relevant” is important here because engines can pick up on spam. The algorithms they use take into account the popularity and quality of the content that you reference with your links. The more popular and the higher quality the better. The same goes for your page. The more pages that link to your page will mean that your page will rank higher in the results because it will be seen as an authority.
With this in mind, it is important to consider utilizing a link building strategy to best get found. This refers to the process and ability of getting other websites and web pages to link to your page. Here are some basic takeaways:
It is important to make your page content easily shareable and careable. This means that you need to communicate your value in a way that makes people care about it so that they want to share it with others. One popular angle that content often uses is humor. Utilizing other content marketing techniques for creating value is important in reaching this goal. Once the shareable and careable potential of your content is established, it will be easier to acquire naturally obtained links (links that weren’t acquired by asking a page to link to you) because the value of your content will be evident.
Even though your content may be remarkable, you will likely need to do a little bit of outreach to get the ball rolling. Because of this, it is important to identify and target the proper sites that you would like to reference your site. These sites should be relevant to the content of your own site for obvious reasons. Bloggers are a great audience to target because many of them are industry influencers and authorities. Once you’ve established your targets you need to reach out to them. Make sure that your message communicates why the target should link to your site. The burden of proof lies with you. It is also important to keep in mind that the target is a human being. Therefore, you should communicate in a way that is friendly and respectful.
These are just a few of the main takeaways that I gathered in my exploration of SEO. Getting found on search engines can lead to a remarkable increase in page visits and, by extension, conversions. Every part of the inbound marketing strategy is important, even the top of the funnel; You need it in order to get found.