Almost all SEO consultants use tools from Moz, so it should be no surprise that Moz has its finger on the pulse of the industry. But they have taken that to a whole new level with the release of a new survey of SEO tools and practices.
The survey reached out to nearly 4,000 professionals in the online marketing industry, most focusing on search engines. You can see an overview of the survey here, but I wanted to look at some key findings and how they apply to small businesses. Many business owners struggle with their online presence and want to do as much as possible in-house. These tips are based on what the professionals do and how you can do it too:
#1 Google’s free tools are still the favorite
Professional SEO’s use a lot of high end tools, most of which require paid subscriptions. But it turns out that these heavy hitters are not our first preference. The professionals in the survey consistently ranked free tools from Google as their favorites:
- Google Webmaster Tools (recently rebranded as Search Console) took number one for “Best SEO Tools” overall. The number two spot was Google Keyword Planner, part of AdWords.
- Google Analytics came in as the best analytics tool by a landslide
- For coming up with content ideas, Google Alerts and Google Trends took the top two spots.
This doesn’t mean the paid tools aren’t valuable, but it does mean that you can carry out basic day to day SEO with completely free tools.
Nearly all SEO professionals do content marketing
There is simply no way to do SEO without good content anymore. More than four fifths of all SEO professionals say they’re involved in content marketing. And although content marketing can stand on its own, 66 percent of those who do it say it’s keyword focused. The lesson? Start developing your high quality informational content right away. Here are ideas and more ideas for great blog posts.
Bing is under-utilized
This is one where maybe even the SEO’s themselves can learn a lesson. I was surprised to see that while nearly 90 percent of SEO’s use Google’s webmaster tools, less than half use Bing’s. Bing remains a minority of the search market, but it’s a minority with millions of users and it’s poised to gain 10 percent more queries when Windows 10 hits. I’ve said it before, but optimizing for Bing is an easy way to win at a game where there are few other players. In this case, the winnings are traffic.
Search marketing supports SEO (and vice-versa)
When we say search engine marketing (SEM) we mean strategic pay-per-click ad campaigns that appear in search results. That is a different practice from SEO, which drives organic traffic, but in today’s market you need both. Over 80 percent of SEO professionals say they do SEM as well, which makes sense: SEM can supplement slumps in traffic and drive users to content that isn’t ranking yet. In turn, those users generate more links and shares to your content, improving SEO. The two work together.
Most SEO is done by agencies, not in-house.
This is important from a business owner’s point of view. If you feel like there is too much to learn about internet marketing, you’re not alone. And most small to medium businesses do not have an in-house SEO/SEM team, because you probably don’t need full time staff to do this. Your SEO can flourish by having professionals conduct an initial site audit, build the strategies that get you to the top, and then hand the reins back to your staff. Using an agency is cheaper and can be just as effective.
Can you put any of these tips into practice? If you need help, EverSpark Interactive is here for you. We have a team of SEO and SEM experts with a track record of putting our clients on the first page of Google. Call us for your free consultation today.