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What is SEO and how can it help boost my business?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization has been a content source of wonder, excitement and confusion for most Marketers with very few being able to crack its workings. However, those who have been successful have seen their business increased tenfold within a small space of time, and they have passed down their knowledge in various forms. Here, we try to do the same by answering all of the general questions surrounding the topic and especially the questions that are present on Quora so that by the time you finish reading this, you can understand, What is SEO and how can it help boost my business?

1. What are the tricks to get rank in Google places within 2 days?

As you probably already know by now, there is no shortcut to success even on the fast and speedy internet. If getting to the top spot within 2 days was possible then everybody would be doing it. However, you can definitely follow some steps which will give you higher ranks in Google. But first you have to keep in mind that Google changes its algorithm almost every day. If you can track and assess that or get a professional to do it – there is nothing than better that. Other than that, you can follow these steps:

1. Accurate and consistent NAP – Make sure the name, address and phone number of your business are same on Google places as on your website’s contact page – Google takes this seriously to check authenticity; and also make sure it is constant throughout the internet. Otherwise, it will confuse the web crawlers as well as your potential customers. Keep your NAP updated.
2. Reviews – Online reviews are the digital version of word of mouth marketing. Ask your existing customers to leave good ratings and reviews on Google places as well as other directories where you are listed, or even on your social media pages.
3. Category – Don’t forget to choose the right category and also put in additional categories covering all of the ones which are remotely related to your business.
4. Embed Google map – Keep the Google map of your location embedded on your website. The procedure is simple. Just search your business once enlisted and then click of ‘share or embed map’. This will help those who visit your site to locate you better and also let Google know that you are actually physically located where you claim to be.
5. Keywords – Put in the right keywords and catchphrases in the target page title and meta description – don’t overuse the keywords but maintain a certain consistency that will get attention.

You can take a look here for a better, in-depth guide.

2. What are the differences between ASO and SEO?

SEO is, as everybody knows, is Search Engine Optimisation, which is the comprehensive way of getting your website visible on search engines. It depends a lot on keywords and business listing on a popular search engine like Google and on other business directory sites.
ASO is the App Store Optimisation – in short, the optimisation of search results on app stores. Just like the right SEO strategies will get a business website higher ranks and more exposure to possible clients, ASO determines which apps will get ranked at the top when a particular category is searched.

There are some differences between the two of course.
1. The scope of ASO is more compact than SEO. World Wide Web is a vast, vast place and the keywords might yield a whole variety of results making it a bit crowded for the user to filter. On App stores, there’s literally no chance of that. For example, an app store search for pdf reader will immediately enlist all the apps in the said category. The ranking, however, is a different story.
2. Rankings in app stores depend a lot on ratings. The higher rated apps of the searched category automatically get listed at the top. Editor’s Choice tag also makes your app rank higher and sends out a message of reliability to any user. In case of SEO, reviews are more important.
3. However, even a higher rated app can be below a lower rated one – this is because of the number of downloads. More the number of downloads, higher the ranking. SEO does not have a scope for this.
4. Keywords are not THAT important for ASO. The app description is not considered thoroughly while generating search results, unlike SEO. So for ASO, app title and app category are much more important.

3. What is the single best piece of SEO advice?

There is no single factor that determines SEO success. It is rather a culmination of many deciding factors – keywords, NAP, backlinks, reviews and ratings – not one alone can take your business or website to the top of searches. But there’s one core concept that transcends all of these, and that is human psychology. You can do every mechanical thing right, but at the end, it is the human mind that decides whether to choose your site or not.
As Matt McGee pointed out, building trust, reputation and goodwill are the key factor after every other technical stuff is dealt with. People trust the search engine they use, especially Google and if your name shows up higher up and more frequently in Google searches, these people will, in turn, take a liking to your site as well. To maintain this virtual goodwill with Google, you again have to go back to the formerly mentioned points. Keep your business details authentic, consistent and updated, mention the right keywords and try your best to avoid Black Hat SEO techniques and its consequential penalty. You don’t want to get blacklisted by the largest search engine of the digital world.

4. Which SEO activity we do in 2018?

SEO is always going to be important, but the activities keep changing with time and passing years. Depending on the technological advances made in the last year and the patterns and trends shown by the internet users, the SEO activities take a different shape. The basic ones like keywords and backlinks remain as significant as ever, but the application of them varies.

For 2018, you can try some of these to enhance your SEO strategy.
1. Voice search SEO: According to Google, 1 out of 5 searches are done via voice queries thanks to the rise of the efficient digital assistants. Everybody who owns a smartphone has got one, and it is only a matter of time before they figure out that speaking out a query is faster than typing it out. To be visible in the voice searches, SEO strategy must concentrate on long-tail keywords as well as keywords made of natural words in a conversational tone.
2. Featured Snippet: The position zero result in Google search that shows up at the top in a box – people notice that and more often than not, click on that link. It is high time to strategize an SEO in a manner so that your content is picked by Google to display in its featured snippet. For that, you have to keep very specific content on your site, with long-tail keywords.


Google tends to keep this section as much to the point with the user’s query as possible – so being specific and accurate will help to get a higher click-through ratio as well as build a reputation. Usually, bullet lists, charts and tables, Q&A format show up more in the snippet.

5. What is the most effective way of doing WordPress site SEO for someone without a budget?

WordPress is known to be extremely SEO friendly, and that is why most beginners or even intermediates choose this platform to start off a blog or a website. There are quite a few ways to increase traffic on WordPress without having to spend a penny.
1. Use categories and tags wisely. WordPress allows you to categorize your content – be it a blog or article or news piece or feature. This will help the search engine understand your type of content better and show results accordingly. Categories are within site itself, whereas tags are related to each post. No amount of tags is too many tags, but don’t overcrowd.
2. Interlink your content to each other. Create a hyperlink in the content to go to another related one – this helps to increase the traffic.
3. Get some of the WordPress plugins. Yoast is one of the best. It helps you optimize your content for SEO on its own.
4. Keep the URL user-friendly. Make sure that the slug for your content is in words and not in characters in numbers. This is simply because it makes more sense to the user and gives them an idea what the blog is about.

You can check this out for more such tips and advice on WordPress SEO.

6. What are the top three SEO strategies?

There is no dearth of SEO strategies to put to use and determining top three is quite difficult. But if you are running a business, then listing in Google places or Google My Business is quite a boost. More than 90% traffic to business websites are from the first page of Google search, and you might as well be a part of that core group. For that you have to do your listing right, providing all the information fully and accurately.
However, you might consider content to be as important. Concentrating on quality content creation goes farther than you can think. Even if someone shows up on your website from Google listing, bad, inauthentic and unattractive content can put them off. Keep your content engaging, go for aesthetic web designing and remember to use a comprehensive sitemap.
For those who are keeping a blog in the website, guest posting is a strategy that is quite underrated as it might look like it is not contributing to your cause, but it is. Exposure on other big sites is always a plus.

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7. What are the best SEO practices regarding URL structures for WordPress post?

There are two immediate ways to make a WordPress URL SEO-friendly.
1. Keep them short, relatable and user-friendly: If you were to click on a link, would you click on  www.websitename.com/?0=p34? You know the answer – it is the former. It not only tells Google what your page is about and when to show it, but it gives the same idea to a user as well. You can change your permalink structure in settings of WordPress. However you have to keep in mind that if you are rewriting the URLs, you will be losing your previous share counts and search rankings – but it is worth it in the long run. For newbies, begin with post name URL.


2. Implement SSL certificate: HTTPS now contributes as an ranking signal in Google’s algorithms. Google requires HTTPS for secure data in Chrome too. So implementing your WordPress account with SSL might not be the worse idea. Conversion from HTTP to https will get all your content a much better ranking and visibility. This article gives a better idea of how you can implement SSL in WordPress in a few steps.

8. How do you choose an SEO Consultant or Agency?

Choosing the right SEO consultant can be more difficult than choosing a dress for dinner. Because at least you can try out the dress once for free. However, there are some traps and trenches that you might want to avoid while looking for one.
For starters, don’t follow Google searches blindly. If you yourself have any idea about SEO, you know how Google algorithm works, and the top ranking results are not always the actual best. But it is a start. After that, you need to filter out the wrong ones by checking their corporate history and details and perhaps have a chat with them regarding their service, cost, case study portfolios and the SEO strategies they usually practise.
Look out for unrealistic promises like top ranking in 2 days or any black hat SEO or if their explanations are ambiguous and not to the point to your query.

9. How do I promote a Dutch website through SEO?

If you are talking about a Dutch counterpart of an English website, then, first of all, you have to make sure that not just one page but the pages or sites to which your text links lead to are also in Dutch because otherwise, it makes no sense. Secondly, you cannot just go straight away translations of the keywords. A dictionary or Google Translate will surely give you the literal translation of the word – but that doesn’t mean it will be a good keyword. Research the keywords separately and consult with someone who speaks the tongue.
Also, it matters if you are heading for local SEO or global one. For global SEO you can stick to the authentic language, but if you are doing it on a region or country-based manner, then the colloquial terms and culture of that country matters. Also make sure that you don’t go by the language in that case and by the country only because even if two or more countries speak the same language, certain words can have entirely different meaning.
You can go for in-country domain name too in the Dutch language separately, instead of using subdomains of your main site like www.websitename.nl (for the Netherlands). Find secrets of SEO success in foreign languages for a better idea.

10. What is the use of the hashtag in SEO?

You have seen hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, so you probably know how it works there. It helps group the similar kind of discussions and topics together to help the users find and participate upon a quick search. When quite a lot of people start talking on a hashtag, it becomes trending. They add value to your SEO strategy in a similar manner. Incorporating hashtags in your content now means you become relevant on social media as well as Google. Google search on hashtags shows not the only list of links but social media posts about them as well.
There are two ways of doing it. Big companies start their own hashtags because they can. You can try starting your own and make it popular over your social media campaigns – that would be a great success. Otherwise, you can find the popular hashtags relevant to your content and incorporate them wisely in your website, blog posts, status updates, and tweets.

11. What are the most effective White Hat SEO Methods?

White Hat SEO methods are the ethical ways of SEO strategizing that most search engines approve of. The most common and effective White Hat SEO strategy is to provide with quality content instead of using click baits and other such things. Original, informative content always wins over duplicated, paraphrased or half-hearted writing.
Keep your content attractive with images, video clips, external and inbound links, GIFs – these are really easy and effective SEO without breaking any rule.
Keep your schema markup on the spot and up to date.
Using the right keywords is always a right way of SEO, but overstuffing and using irrelevant ones border near the black hat line.
Search engine listing and citation sites – they will never fail you. Keep on goof digital terms with the bigger-then-everyone search engines like Google and YouTube.

12. I saw a site top of Google for a hot keyword with hardly any content or links but hundreds of 'Trustpilot' reviews, why?

Reviews are always a good sign that most search engines, especially Google considers while choosing its top ranked. The content is important in SEO – you would read everywhere. But sometimes some websites don’t need them AS MUCH and are quite self-explanatory – for example, Harley Davidson, as Tom Boland pointed out. In that case, reviews from a reputed site like Trustpilot do the trick.
Quantity does not always matter. You have not mentioned the company name or its credentials but if it looks ambiguous enough or really lacks in content with quality, then perhaps they are using some black hat SEO techniques.

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13. Is there an available *SCHEMA* to use for a college course webpage?

There is not much heard or known about this yet, might be in the near future. However, a description of an educational course schema is here which can be conducted at different locations through a different medium. Look for it here.

14. What would be a good SEO strategy for a franchisor with multiple local-based franchisees?

If you want to generate business for all your local franchisees, first and foremost, make sure you claim all of them on the search engine listings and citation websites – with individual names, addresses and phone numbers. Chances are they will all be of the same category, but if not, MENTION. If any particular franchise offers some special service, do not forget to use it as a keyword in its own Meta description.
Maintain social media campaigns and interactions in each of the franchise profiles and if possible, get your loyal customers to leave individual reviews for the branches or franchise outlets.

15. What can a business expect from SEO and what not?

SEO is more or less everything in the digital world of business. For a business, it does the most important thing – that is, getting the business and it will not stop doing it anytime soon. The right SEO techniques and strategies will gain your site more visits than anything else. If online marketing is a war, then SEO strategy is your front line battalion.
And even if you think you don’t need SEO, you must keep in mind that your competitors are doing it – global or local and you don’t want to fall back in the race. It is cost-effective, and there is hardly any reason why you should give it up.

16. What would cause natural search traffic to drop 80% between Google algorithm updates?

There can be a couple of reasons why search traffic drops.
One of them is keywords becoming obsolete or irrelevant, or your backlink sources might have been affected because of an algorithmic update. But it would get to normal if you fix your SEO a little bit and invest in the right places.
Another reason can be using black hat techniques. Google identifies if you are up to something fishy and can even charge a penalty for that.

17. What are the latest trends in SEO?

SEO keeps changing trends matching with how the digital world is operating; it is much like the hand of the market. So keeping in mind the latest technological trends, here are a couple of SEO techniques you can try.
1. Voice search SEO: According to Google, 1 out of 5 searches are done via voice queries thanks to the rise of the efficient digital assistants. Everybody who owns a smartphone has got one, and it is only a matter of time before they figure out that speaking out a query is faster than typing it out. To be visible in the voice searches, SEO strategy must concentrate on long-tail keywords as well as keywords made of natural words in a conversational tone.
2. Featured Snippet: The position zero result in Google search that shows up at the top in a box – people notice that and more often than not, click on that link. It is high time to strategize an SEO in a manner so that your content is picked by Google to display in its featured snippet. For that, you have to keep very specific content on your site, with long-tail keywords.


Google tends to keep this section as much to the point with the user’s query as possible – so being specific and accurate will help to get a higher click-through ratio as well as build a reputation. Usually, bullet lists, charts and tables, Q&A format show up more in the snippet.

18. What is the SEO benefit of Guest Blogging?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that guest blogging is a pointless activity and you can get away with writing not-so-quality content while making a submission to a guest blog. Remember it is still on you if the content is not good enough and it is your reputation online.
Guest Blogging gives you exposure to a much wider audience in your particular niche and lets them know exactly how good you are, especially if you are writing in popular blogs with lots of traffic. It might not work from the word go, but give it some time, and it will open up new business opportunities. Guest blogs are also a great source for getting backlinks to your site. Other than your bio on the guest site where your website might be mentioned, you can link your own blogs to the guest blog and increase traffic for yourself.

19. What are the factors that I should consider when choosing SEO packages for my business website?

The SEO factors which you will find in any of the answers are mostly interconnected and work only when made to work with each other. Keywords without proper content to support it will not work. Backlinks to your website will be pointless if Google decides not to show your site at all. However, when put together, there is nothing better for a business than a well-thought SEO package. Keep in mind the following.

1. You want to attract the viewers and humans do not work mechanically. So despite all your SEO efforts which might convince Google algorithm, your sites might still lack in traffic if it does not have quality and attractive content. Engaging the viewers must be your key objective.
2. Remember the keywords. They can make or break your SEO strategy – as cliché as that sounds.
3. Build link as much as possible while keeping it relevant.
4. Avoid black hat techniques. They might increase traffic, but one Google stops liking you, you are in trouble.
5. ALWAYS include search engine listings and online directories or citation sites. Cover as many reputed citation sites as possible – you never know which one your potential customers might be trusting. Maintain consistency of NAP details throughout.

20. What is organic SEO? How can companies successfully achieve it?

Organic SEO practices point towards SEO techniques that act like actual organisms – nourished and grown naturally with the right inputs. Organic SEO methods include keyword infusing, relevant quality content, use of Meta descriptions and tags and all another unpaid form of SEO which trigger the algorithm to choose it over others. Some of the more popular forms of organic SEO are:
1. If you can and if your type of website allows, plan SEO for YouTube. Google prefers it, because they own it. People prefer it, because it is the best out there and you know it. Interesting video links on your page or better still, your own YouTube channel will take you up notches in Google ranking.
2. Good content is always – always important.
3. Keep interesting tabs on your website. The About US, Product/ Service Categories or Contact Us pages are all the usual ones. But something offbeat and creative will take the visitors deeper into your website and Google identifies such activities as more traffic.
4. Maintain interaction. Keep social media links on your website and also keep a place where visitors can leave their feedback or queries. More interaction means more engagement.
Companies can definitely successfully achieve organic SEO if they keep away from the black hat techniques because that might land them in penalties.

21. What is an SEO "clean-up"?

An SEO clean-up is nothing but to “clean up” after your SEO activities spread all over the internet. Not all of them are still relevant or do any good for your business. On the contrary, they might harm your reputation. So track them out and delete or edit them to suit your current purpose.

  • For local SEO, it is to make sure your links have the correct NAPs updated throughout Google and other search engine listings as well as citation sites and bring a consistency.
  • Sometimes you click on a link which is on the top few of a Google search and find the link broken. You don’t want your customers to feel the same way. So 404/301 clean-up, as Jamie Zack pointed out, is to make sure all your internal and external links actually lead to somewhere relevant and worthwhile. It applies for both inbound and outbound links.
  • Always remember to continue the clean up to your social media pages. Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google plus pages bring more traffic than you might be giving them credit for so keep them updated. You can use the websites/apps like Hootsuite where you can log into all your social media accounts at the same time and maintain consistency.

22. What are the free SEO tools for website analyzing?

It is difficult or rather impossible to assume how Google or other important search engines will behave. Google algorithms keep changing and the moment you think you have got the rules of the game, an update can mess all your strategies up. But website analyzing tools will do exactly what they sound like – analyze the search engine activities and help you understand exactly what SEO techniques will catch the attention of Google. Google Webmaster tools and Moz Pro Tools are some of the best SEO analyzing tools you will find which study your SEO practices just like search engines will do.

1. Google Webmaster tools: If you are wondering how Google will treat your website, why not ask it straightaway? Google Webmaster has a bunch of tools which come for free and will let you have a sneak peek into your website from Google’s point of view. It allows you 500 such fetches each week – you can figure out how your site looks to Google’s algorithms in terms of speed, performance, authenticity and so on.
2. Moz Pro Tools: This one is a paid subscription and the amount varies depending on what all tools you choose in your monthly package. But it is an all-inclusive tool to determine your SEO scopes and scores and change the activities accordingly. Get the tools here – you can try out the first month for free.
For a detailed list, go through this.

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