Frequenty Asked Questions

These FAQs are always expanding and gaining topics. We encourage you to ask an SEO question if it isnt already included. Just visit submit an SEO FAQ and we’ll respond to you and if it seems relevant to many we’ll add it here.

SEO (3)

What is SEO based on?

SEO is a mutable, always changing field of half technology and half marketing. To my knowledge their are no independent third party nonprofit certifications offered in this expertise. I mention that because with 40 billion a year spent on SEO efforts you’d think there would be an unbiased professional group like ASTD is for training or CompTIA is for technology.

SEO is honestly the wild west. I’d say half of it is a total waste of time and money with folks operating on pre-2010 notions of repeating their keywords over and over on a page and expecting to rank. A lot of your DIY SEO efforts fall in to this area.

From there, 25% is likely On Page optimization which is not much better than the first part. Correctly placing optimized text here and there, insuring the headers are right and the alt-img tag has something … is the page title too long?

Paying no regard to the fact no one links to that content and it loads so slow that Google’s not going to rank it on the first 4 pages.

Finally we have 25% for Off Page … of which I’d bet half of this quarter is done incorrectly.

In the end, it’s the 13% of SEO effort that actually is relevant, executed properly and noticed by Google.

But in the end what all of this really comes down too is attempting to reverse engineer Google. Sure there are other search engines … ya right. No one is really trying to reverse engineer Bing…its a value added option to Google, the primary focus of anyone’s SEO efforts.

Officially, I should say the basis of SEO is on creating the best content that visitors will love to backlink too, that’s on the fastest, most secure network. But … its still reverse engineering Google.

Sometimes I have to remind clients … that backlink we just spent a week trying to get, it’ll provide us 0 traffic and with that … not one conversion. But that’s not really who the backlink is meant for … its there for Google to see.

We want local citations and mentions because they impress Google and elevate our search ranking which in turn drives traffic. No one really should expect traffic from the local chamber of commerce minute notes that links to us…but hey thats a great local search backlink that would be in content and from a trusted source.

No certificate program could really be made for SEO as the course content would be obsolete by the time the course is written, promoted, taken and a certified SEO gets a job.

That’s what makes it a field that you have to experiment with and be open to adapting the way you do things day by day.

For more reading we have an article on the site discussing SEO SEM SMM and SMO and whats the difference.

And when I said it is the wild west … it really is volatile.  Heck look at this tool, ask yourself how many other industries have something like a daily scale letting them know how much upheavle there is in Google rankings for the day.

 

Hits: 7

Category: SEO
Tags: Quora, SEO, What is

What is the best SEO audit tool?

So thats like asking whats the best tool for building a house?

It depends.

Just like in building a house the right tool for the job is essential. So as an SEO, BSIT MBA MEd whos “top rated” by clients on Upwork and has tested in the top 10% there heres how I see it.

No automated free audit tool is really that much better than another because they cant accurately audit the 200+ signals that we suspect Google uses, because of course Google does not publish that. These tools are usually just lead generating gimmicks intended to gain your contact info so someone can actually follow up with ya. Now they are useful …. in like a heart monitor is useful. They cant diagnose the problem but they can be an indicator of something catastrophic.

I divide audits into groupings and each has a tool set.

  1. User Behavior – The most important factor…this includes bounce rate, how many pages they view, if they return, whats the CTR in Google Search Console…these are the most important signals. And it makes sense….if a page doesn’t include a phrase on the page but every time Google lists it first for a specific search everyone clicks it and stays on that site for an hour …. its safe to assume the site is relevant to the user’s search. So in this one I think the best tool is Google Search Console and then Google Analytics. You can combine the data in Data Studio for free.
  2. Backlinks and Mentions (What others think of the site) A Little less important than user behavior but a heck of a lot more important than meta tags and keywords are the off page signals. For this Google Search Console is a good tool again. Now if you’d like a site that breaks this into more then you have to consider that SEMRush .com SEOProfiler .com Moz .com and HREFS .com all crawl the web on their own. They are always going to have a smaller sample size than Google. So all of them are only as good as how fast they can crawl the web and start all over again. With that said I go with SEMRush .com and SEOProfiler .com as they are reasonably priced and I always use at least 2 because of the smaller sample size. You notice the often disagree on what site has how many backlinks and that’s fine I just average them in my head… I also like Monitor Backlinks for just monitoring backlinks.

A couple notes here … DA Domain Authority is no more accurate than Citation Flow or Trust Flow they aren’t accurate. Neither can fully predict Google’s algorithms and focusing on any one of these is as effective as chewing gum to treat a heart attack. Taken together they become more accurate…so know all three and SEMRush offers you DS with LIS from SEOProfiler so there are plenty of measures that eyeball it … but don’t get fixed on anyone. Its like looking over your three credit reports and trying to come up with a FICO score.

  1. The least important part is the most thought of part and the one that gets too much attention…the on page audits of a site. Any of the tools already mentioned with audit the site for broken links and error pages…so just use anyone of them. I use SEOProfiler then SEMRush’s audit but I also like WebSite Auditor as its available offline. On page though is the least accurate indicator to the relevancy of a page to a search. I’d give it maybe 30% of a site’s signals.
  2. Finally the often forgotten but important … especially in the world of mobile. ( Don’t forget over 50% of searches are mobile and Google has a separate index for them ) is Technical SEO. How long does the page take to load. GTMetrix .com is the tool I use for that.

Hits: 3

Categories: SEO, SEO Audits

Well so DA or Domain Authority is a proprietary guess by Moz dot com as to a domains ability to rank for a relevant keyword. It attempts to mimic Google PageRank, which is also proprietary so no one knows what’s exactly in it. We know it has 200 ranking factors and I’ve actually done an article on this on my own site but to be quicker …

its primarily a measure of the number of domains that link to your site, how old your site is and how much social buzz there is … now DA is just one measure. DR DS AS CF TF all are made by someone else but all try to mimic Google PageRank which is not publically shared.

There are hundreds if not thousands of free sites that give out DA. The just have to be linked up to Moz to pull the number they assign. There are also many bulk DA lookup tools out there for free.

I personally use Domain Detailer by Domain Hunter Gatherer. (I don’t work with or for them, I honestly just like their product) its great cause it gives you DA but in a useful way. DA by itself is worthless…only has value if you believe it too, cause its just their guess.

Domain Detailer also gives you Moz Backlinks, Majestic Backlinks count, Majestics Domain count, Majestics IP addresses count, CF TF Moz Rank, Page Rank and more…auto does it all…does it in bulk and you buy credits ahead of time. I think I paid like 30 bucks and can use it 10000 times or something.

Learn more about these SEO Metrics in these two articles:

SEO Metrics: DA DS DR DT CF TF DP AS and domain authority ranking.

Is A Site Low Level? DA vs CF vs TF … DR, DS, AS, TS and more!

Hits: 4

Categories: SEO, SEO Audits

SEO Audits (2)

What is the best SEO audit tool?

So thats like asking whats the best tool for building a house?

It depends.

Just like in building a house the right tool for the job is essential. So as an SEO, BSIT MBA MEd whos “top rated” by clients on Upwork and has tested in the top 10% there heres how I see it.

No automated free audit tool is really that much better than another because they cant accurately audit the 200+ signals that we suspect Google uses, because of course Google does not publish that. These tools are usually just lead generating gimmicks intended to gain your contact info so someone can actually follow up with ya. Now they are useful …. in like a heart monitor is useful. They cant diagnose the problem but they can be an indicator of something catastrophic.

I divide audits into groupings and each has a tool set.

  1. User Behavior – The most important factor…this includes bounce rate, how many pages they view, if they return, whats the CTR in Google Search Console…these are the most important signals. And it makes sense….if a page doesn’t include a phrase on the page but every time Google lists it first for a specific search everyone clicks it and stays on that site for an hour …. its safe to assume the site is relevant to the user’s search. So in this one I think the best tool is Google Search Console and then Google Analytics. You can combine the data in Data Studio for free.
  2. Backlinks and Mentions (What others think of the site) A Little less important than user behavior but a heck of a lot more important than meta tags and keywords are the off page signals. For this Google Search Console is a good tool again. Now if you’d like a site that breaks this into more then you have to consider that SEMRush .com SEOProfiler .com Moz .com and HREFS .com all crawl the web on their own. They are always going to have a smaller sample size than Google. So all of them are only as good as how fast they can crawl the web and start all over again. With that said I go with SEMRush .com and SEOProfiler .com as they are reasonably priced and I always use at least 2 because of the smaller sample size. You notice the often disagree on what site has how many backlinks and that’s fine I just average them in my head… I also like Monitor Backlinks for just monitoring backlinks.

A couple notes here … DA Domain Authority is no more accurate than Citation Flow or Trust Flow they aren’t accurate. Neither can fully predict Google’s algorithms and focusing on any one of these is as effective as chewing gum to treat a heart attack. Taken together they become more accurate…so know all three and SEMRush offers you DS with LIS from SEOProfiler so there are plenty of measures that eyeball it … but don’t get fixed on anyone. Its like looking over your three credit reports and trying to come up with a FICO score.

  1. The least important part is the most thought of part and the one that gets too much attention…the on page audits of a site. Any of the tools already mentioned with audit the site for broken links and error pages…so just use anyone of them. I use SEOProfiler then SEMRush’s audit but I also like WebSite Auditor as its available offline. On page though is the least accurate indicator to the relevancy of a page to a search. I’d give it maybe 30% of a site’s signals.
  2. Finally the often forgotten but important … especially in the world of mobile. ( Don’t forget over 50% of searches are mobile and Google has a separate index for them ) is Technical SEO. How long does the page take to load. GTMetrix .com is the tool I use for that.

Hits: 3

Categories: SEO, SEO Audits

Well so DA or Domain Authority is a proprietary guess by Moz dot com as to a domains ability to rank for a relevant keyword. It attempts to mimic Google PageRank, which is also proprietary so no one knows what’s exactly in it. We know it has 200 ranking factors and I’ve actually done an article on this on my own site but to be quicker …

its primarily a measure of the number of domains that link to your site, how old your site is and how much social buzz there is … now DA is just one measure. DR DS AS CF TF all are made by someone else but all try to mimic Google PageRank which is not publically shared.

There are hundreds if not thousands of free sites that give out DA. The just have to be linked up to Moz to pull the number they assign. There are also many bulk DA lookup tools out there for free.

I personally use Domain Detailer by Domain Hunter Gatherer. (I don’t work with or for them, I honestly just like their product) its great cause it gives you DA but in a useful way. DA by itself is worthless…only has value if you believe it too, cause its just their guess.

Domain Detailer also gives you Moz Backlinks, Majestic Backlinks count, Majestics Domain count, Majestics IP addresses count, CF TF Moz Rank, Page Rank and more…auto does it all…does it in bulk and you buy credits ahead of time. I think I paid like 30 bucks and can use it 10000 times or something.

Learn more about these SEO Metrics in these two articles:

SEO Metrics: DA DS DR DT CF TF DP AS and domain authority ranking.

Is A Site Low Level? DA vs CF vs TF … DR, DS, AS, TS and more!

Hits: 4

Categories: SEO, SEO Audits