Modern marketing is marketing based off data analytics. It’s data-driven, insanely complex, and quite difficult to master. And while digital marketing is heavily based off numbers created by us, the consumer, pinpointing exactly what works and what doesn’t can be a difficult process. But that’s why you hire experts like SDIs! Our internet marketers have spent years developing unique marketing strategies for various industries. In fact, we just recently discussed ASO and how to get your app ranked in the app store. From the feedback we received on that post, we realized there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding basic SEO. So we decided to talk in-depth about 2 newer aspects to SEO practices, and how we can help apply them to your SMB or startup: Google’s Rich Answers; Link Building; and Keywords. Link Building Link building is probably one of the most hated aspects of SEO out there. It takes time (a desperate commodity in a digital era), effort, and skill. Which is why we thought we’d cover it first and just get it out of the way – like ripping off a bandaid, but probably more uncomfortable. Basically the idea is to get other pages to reference (via hyperlink) to your page. But of course, there is more: not only do you have to convince other pages that your site is an authority, you also must ensure that those sites themselves are actual sites, and not spam. Why? Well most search engines look at one spam site and assume that inbound and outbound links are also spam sites. Thus, if you have spam sites linking to your page, you too become spam in Google’s eyes. Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple to prevent when you have the right team The biggest thing to remember is that in order to get anyone to link to your site that isn’t a spammer, you need good, accurate content. Link building occurs in a couple major ways: 1. Outreach This is an active tactic that many SEO marketers will take. It includes paying for a listing, guest blogging, of asking other bloggers to link to your site. 2. Natural (aka editorial) Editorial links are a passive tactic that comes as a result of other sites linking to yours without you directly asking them to do so. How? Well, it all goes back to ‘content is king.’ There are active moves a marketer can take, including building a Social media campaign. Click here for more info on how to do that. Also, one can use websites, blog comments, forum signings and the like. This is not really recommended. Most people will ignore these links Oh, and you have to keep this up. It never ends. Google, Bing and other pages also look at how fresh a link is, so you have to keep getting more links with new content out there. Fun right? If you’re asking yourself, ‘can I learn SEO?’ this is one of those things where you really should hire an expert. While there are many aspects of SEO you can learn on your own, this is one of the most difficult aspects to master. While you aren’t going to put an eye out or anything but you will waste some time if you don’t know what you’re doing! Rich Answers Rich Answers in SEO are relatively new to the marketing world. Google has really made it an important aspect of their search algorithm. In fact, there’s been nearly a 10% increase in the prevalence of these rich answers. But let’s back up a little: what is a Rich Answer? Well, if you’ve Googled something in the last few years – let’s say ‘what is an Android App,” you would have noticed a little box with a succinct answer. This is actually pulled from a businesses website! Moreover, you’ll notice that these little boxes are displayed at the top off a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If you dig a little deeper, you will also realize that the Rich Answer is often taken from a website that is not even the top-ranked site! The idea behind a perfect ‘rich answer’ is to image what a user may query and then crafting the perfect answer for that query. Like most modern digital marketing, it is not a simple task. It requires technological, psychological, and anthropological thinking – and you have maybe 100 words to do! Now this is one of the aspects of proper SEO that can be so frustrating to the layman. Obviously, you need to write the content for these rich answers yourself; search engines aren’t going to do it for you. So by developing rich answers for your website, you can boost your website search engine presence. The downside to this is that you need a killer landing page to convince those people to stick around! The good news is that SDI can help you there too! Schemas This isn’t the only process to creating a rich answer that will get displayed on a SERP. You need to have what is called a ‘schema.’ A schema is basically a way of formatting your page in a way that tells Google and other search engines exactly what your content is saying. This includes identifying content precisely so Google knows exactly where and how your content should be indexed. This includes writing schema for snippets having to do with anything from Business Hours to Price Ranges. Schemas are useful beyond Rich Answers, too. It helps your site be better indexed overall and makes it much more likely that Google will rank your site hire on a SERP. Basically, it points out to a Search Engine spider content that would normally be overlooked. All in all, a good SEO practice to follow! But, unfortunately, a great Rich Snippet (the portion of the content on your website you have marked with a schema for a rich answer) properly indexed with Schema will not necessarily mean you will get your site’s content in that desired little box on top of a SERP. You need to make sure your whole site is authoritative. In other words, it means you still need to have a pretty decent spot on a SERP. A rich answer will be taken from a website that is lower on the first SERP, but you still gotta be on that first page! Which means, of course, the dreaded Link Building….yea, I know you skipped that part! Contact SDI’s Marketing Team Today Digital marketing is a headache you don’t need. So call us to talk more about how you can boost your website’s Search Engine presence (408.805.0495 / 408.621.8481 or contact us by email). We offer free consultations and quotes!