We asked some SEO professionals and business owners - “what are their biggest SEO confusions and challenges?”
And we shortlisted some of their questions and confusions. To solve these confusions, I interviewed Fernando Angulo, the head of International Partnerships at SEMrush.
Fernando specialises in B2B search marketing, e-commerce, competitive intelligence and influencer marketing. He has represented the company at numerous industry conferences and events globally.
Here, he’s answering your frequently asked questions and sharing his best advice. In this article, you’ll find out:
How can you benefit from SEO?
Answers to the most asked questions by SEO professional.
Is voice search the future of SEO?
Best SEO tools.
How to do SEO effectively.
Check this out:
Q 1. What Is skyscraper technique and how to use it efficiently?
Fernando: In a nutshell, the skyscraper technique implies looking at the tallest and most frequently visited building (the very best content out there), adding up a few floors (providing even more value, length, more up-to-date info and so on), and, finally, everyone will want to come and see it.
How do you make sure people will actually come?
Well, that’s the final stage. It’s all about outreach! You’ll have to find out those people and websites that either shared that content you chose to build upon or cover similar areas. Then reach out to them, offering your even more enhanced post. The results may surprise you. Skyscraper technique is an exquisite way of building links to your content.
Make sure that you’ve done your homework: choose the best content that has already performed well and ensure that you aren’t simply rewriting what’s already out there and are actually adding real value to the subject matter. Make it longer, add more recent statistics, and, yes, it has to have an impeccable design and readability.
It’s also essential to sort through those who you are reaching out to. Once again, choose the most respectful and authoritative sources. And, voila, you’ll receive links from highly respectable sources that have high traffic and will share some readership with you.
Another bonus tip: Make sure your already amazing content always stays up to date. You aren’t the only one who knows of this technique so staying competitive and on the top of things is essential. Revisit your posts from time to time and update what is needed.
Q 2. How can we integrate SEO with other marketing efforts like email marketing, social media, content marketing, etc?
Fernando: You know these 4P’s of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. Well, that’s what traditional marketing mix looks like. SEO is that “place” aspect within digital marketing. What does that mean? There’s no point in using all of these other mix pieces, without the fourth one.
You may have the best content out there, greatest growth hacking email strategies in place, and so on, but if no one can actually find you, be it via Google or links, there’s not much point in any of that. SEO is your exposure, accessibility and usability.
The HOW question is really extensive. But let’s put aside underlying SEO issues, such as site speed or mobile-friendliness, and focus on one aspect. What’s really important for things, such as email, content, and social media marketing, is keyword research, as in understanding how people search and what they search for.
Once you have that covered, and SEO will help you with that, you’ll be able to build your other marketing strategies, according to the information you gather.
Or, as an example, if you’re a local business, that works hard on attracting new clients and nurturing existing ones, local SEO is an essential tool to expand your audience. If a customer doesn’t know you yet, (s)he won’t be able to read your newsletter or take a look at your Twitter. Instead, (s)he will Google “where to buy a hammer”, and if you’re anywhere nearby, or have a well-optimized blog post on picking the perfect hammer, you’ll have a chance to show up right where the user needs you - on the first page of Google.
Q 3. We hear this term “Modern SEO”. What does it actually mean?
Fernando: You’ve probably heard that a happy Googlebot leads to a happy customer. What’s happening now, and search algorithms are rapidly taking that direction, is that a happy customer equals a happy Googlebot.
In other words, user-friendliness is what makes up SEO-friendliness. The search itself, along with online advertising, are all now focused on providing a better user experience. And if your website is logical, well-structured, has a great navigation, and targets keywords users type into the search box, you may call yourself a modern SEO adopter.
Q 4. How can Local SEO help to attract customers?
Fernando: Local SEO is not for everyone. But if you happen to have a presence in a local space, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar business, local SEO is a must.
If people need to look for a local tailoring shop, they no longer use Yellow Pages or local directories. Instead, they ask Google. And if they need to ask, first, whether you alter leather items, they expect to access your phone number instantly by clicking on your contacts page, or even to call you straight from your business listing in SERPs. And if you aren’t showing up in a specific geographic location and your number is not listed, there it is - you’ve missed a new customer!
Another aspect of Local SEO is mobile search. No one knows when (s)he’ll need to suddenly search for something, whether it’s a local iPhone repair that does the job in 30 minutes or a shoe repair. And mobile search is exactly able to satisfy any urgent or sudden need. Thus, once again, showing up as a local iPhone or shoe repair place will get you that accidental customer. That’s why conversion level from local SEO is incredibly high.
There’s also an influence of reviews. If your previous customers recommend your business, it’s immediately visible to all those who search for your kind of services. Almost any local business is facing a fierce local competition, and those who have great reviews and actually appear in the local search can win that race and attract the customer.
Q 5. Mobile devices and AI are on the rise. Does it mean voice search is the future of SEO?
Fernando: As of today, voice search comprises about a half of all mobile search. So, certainly, it’s something to embrace. It’s always hard to say what the future of SEO is, things change so rapidly, but in foreseeable future, yes, voice search is a force to be reckoned with.
I’d say that it’s one of the biggest SEO challenges for now, for voice search requires so many things to be reconsidered, things that we’ve been taking for granted for years now. Keyword strategy, the appeal of SERPs, search prediction, you name them all. To me, the biggest game-changer in voice search comes with voice responses and rich answers.
With the rapid expansion of these two, our entire “religion” that praised performing well in SERPs and counting CTRs can almost vanish. What people want now, and what Google is already ready to provide, is a clear answer to a specific question that will eliminate the need to even visit a website or go through the list of search results.
Q 6. How chatbots are the great opportunity for eCommerce SEO
Fernando: With time, I’m seeing more and more advanced chatbots. And the more they improve, the more value they bring. Here’s how I see chatbots as an opportunity for eCommerce SEO. First of all, and this one’s the obvious layer, chatbots can and do increase dwell time and decrease bounce rate, and these are ranking factors. The user can get easily caught up in a conversation with a bot, so they’ll naturally stay on the page longer - some chatbots are now capable of tracking your order, or providing you with a quick link to that red dress you’ve been searching for. Now links chatbots provide are also important.
For instance, you can now install a chatbot on your Social Media channel and get the conversation started. And if SM users can easily ignore your posts, they’ll be less likely to disregard a link by a chatbot in their inbox. In that matter, I love CNN’s use of chatbots: their bot offers you to subscribe to receive some headlines (politics, sports, you can choose) and provides daily links to news of your interest right to your messages. So you end up visiting CNN’s website, hence, increasing its traffic and adding yourself up to that sort of a subscribers list.
And that also adds up to customer retention, which can increase the count of returning visitors.
Q 7. What is the best tool which can help us for SEO in any niche?
Fernando: Finding the best SEO tool that fits your needs can be a rather frustrating task. When you think you've finally found the utmost tool that seems like it's made for you, you discover that there is yet another one that works much better.
After using different tools, I have come to two conclusions:
All the information that SEO tools offer to us can be found on our own, but the simple fact that a tool can save your time and reduces the entire process by 10% is already worth it.
If a tool has a very long learning curve, is too specialized, or costs you a lot to make it work, this tool is really high-maintenance and expensive.
So that's why I strongly recommend SEMrush as the best SEO tool: it's very easy to use and it is all-encompassing, meaning you can leverage it to improve various areas of SEO and it can save you tons of time in the digital marketing processes.
Q 8. How can we do internal linking effectively?
Fernando: There’s no need to overcomplicate internal link building. Simply follow some rules: get rid of content with low value and engagement, and create links that are natural. You can certainly put plenty of internal links here and there, but if no one clicks on them, it’s both a bad sign for your website and for Google. Google has once commented on the adequate amount of internal links per page and advised to be reasonable. While we never found out what reasonable was (quantitatively), we all inherently know it. Relevancy is the key here!
Moreover, if you have ten links on a page, the PageRank formula will give each link a tenth of its power, so the fewer links you have, the more juice they receive. However, do not forget that every web page of your site better be no more than three clicks away. Otherwise, very few people will find it. And, yes, try not to link too much to your top-level pages (Home, Contact Us) for they are already available in the main navigation menu.
There’s also an issue of anchor text. Although less significant than many other link building aspects, anchor text is what people see in front of them. And, trust me, a “here” will deserve much less traction than “read this awesome post on 40 technical SEO mistakes”.
Q 9. We are still building citations! Should we keep it or stop it?
As a SEO professional or a business owner what do you think? What did you take this interview? Please drop your views in the comment section below!
Fernando: That’s out of a question! We certainly should keep that work going. For local businesses, citations can make up to 25% of their local SEO power. In Google’s eyes, citations increase your company’s relevance and authority in a given area. Google My Business, Social Media channels, local directories are all sources for citations that include your NAP data. Why is it still important? These three words should suffice: visibility, free publicity, and linking.