8 Signal’s Favorite SEO Blogs, Resources, & Tools

Back to School: SEO

“Space: The final frontier”

screen-shot-2014-11-10-at-7-11-45-amI confess I’m a bit of a science geek, and outer space fascinates me. I grew up watching sci-fi movies and TV shows like Star Wars and Star Trek, and I always wondered about space travel and exploration, to “boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Naturally, I was very excited when I first heard about the movie Interstellar, a film that Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator, had praised. I just had to see it, and let me tell you, I loved every minute of it.

It’s about a team of explorers who travel through space in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival by finding a new home planet that has the resources needed for mankind to survive after the future planet Earth has been riddled by disasters, famines, and droughts.


The scale of the universe is so awe-inspiring that movies and TV shows are constantly made about it, about a universe so big we can’t even begin to comprehend it, which, according to NASA, keeps expanding at a very fast rate. The universe and the internet have that in common:  they are both unimaginably large — although on very different scales — and they keep expanding.

Take, for example, WordPress, the most popular content management system in the world. It is used to power over 25% of the world’s 10 million largest websites and over 59% of all websites that need content-management services.

According to their website, during the month of August people published 65,353,863 blog posts using their system. Since WordPress owns a 59% market share of content management, we can calculate that there were around 110,769,259 posts created in just one month.

That means around 950 people have published something in the time you read the last two paragraphs. Just as there are countless stars in the sky, a huge amount of content is being generated every second.

Overwhelming, isn’t it? This might make it a bit hard to stand out. But it’s absolutely necessary to do so. If you want to make your website a success, that is. And I’m sure you do.

So, how can you make your content shine brighter than the rest? How can you make sure your website survives and reaches the success you want?

Search Engine Optimization

In a world where 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine, the importance of SEO is pretty obvious. Showing up among the first results of a search query could make the difference between a prosperous business and filing for bankruptcy.

What does SEO even mean?

You know what it stands for — Search Engine Optimization — but what is it that gets optimized?

Design? Content? Links? Social media posts?

All of the above, and more.

As intimidating as all this info may sound, you can do it. I believe in you, and 8 Signal believes in you! That’s why we’ve been working hard to provide you with the best content on SEO, and this week is no exception. We’ll be sharing with you our favorite search engine optimization resources and tools so your website continues to “live long and prosper.”

Let’s get started7546440028_02fe6a6ec7_o

First thing’s first: our step-by-step guide to setting up your business on Google will help you list your business online. Remember, 93% of all online journeys start with a search engine, so if you own a business, Google is now an essential part of it and its online presence. Google is the leader in its industry. It started the year with a 64% market share, according to comScore, so taking advantage of Google resources is a no-brainer.

Why isn’t my website on the first page of Google? This article explores and answers one of the most common questions any business owner is bound to have about their website. Think about SEO like making a good, hearty soup. You need a bunch of quality ingredients, and each ingredient will enhance the others. Each batch will have its own unique characteristics, and it needs to simmer to reach full flavor. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Moz is one of 8 Signal’s favorite resources for all things SEO. It’s a company specializing in content about search engine optimization. In their own words, they are “making the web a better place.” The Moz blog has some of the best content on search engine optimization. Just take a look at their comprehensive beginner’s guide to SEO, and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Feel free to follow their posts closely.

16210559169_41ab1d03b2_zHave you ever played golf? I remember the last time I did. It was with a friend of mine and, well, let’s just say I lost money, hair, and the game, all in the same day. Keep in mind that I don’t play that often, so almost every time I did hit the ball, I would end up losing it somewhere in the green or among the trees, and finding it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. If you don’t know what you’re doing you’ll be wasting shots, money, and stressing yourself out. Knowing what you’re doing will make all the difference in both golf and your SEO efforts.

In Google’s headquarters, there’s a group of people in charge of making sure SEO is used correctly. It’s called the Webspam team, and it’s under the management of Matt Cutts, who also works in search quality at Google and has a blog about SEO. Cutts once said about business websites:

“The goal should really be to make a fantastic website that people love, and tell their friends about, and link to, and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings.”

That’s one of the ways you can optimize your website. Small businesses in particular need to focus on their local SEO efforts. Read all about it in our article: What everybody oughta know about local SEO.

Now that you know the importance and basics of search engine optimization, how about a couple of blogs you can follow? They’ll definitely help you keep yourself up to date on the latest trends with tips and tricks you can apply to your own business.

SEMrush has an amazing blog on digital marketing. It is an innovative resource with over 230 pages of posts on content strategy, marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, social media, and more.

Search Engine Watch is an online guide to search-engine marketing and optimization. They have forums, reviews, articles, ratings, and frequent newsletters. Their blog on SEO is updated daily and sometimes several times a day.

5249327029_93c2508d2c_zI feel like we’ve been getting to know each other in these blog posts, so you should know by now that I never get tired of saying this — I love me some free stuff. To compete with SEO, it’s essential to have the best tools at your fingertips, and that’s what we’ve gathered.

To ease your pains, I have put together some of the best free SEO tools that will add efficiency to any strategy you have now. These are all free, so you won’t have to try to convince your boss to add these tools to the budget, and you won’t have to spend a cent if you own a business. Everybody wins!

SEMrush – Gain a competitive advantage today with SEMrush. Your competitors have been investing in their marketing strategy for years. But with the help of the guys from SEMrush, now you can find out exactly where they rank, pick out of their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they develop.

Explore the ranking profiles of your competitors in Google and Bing today just by entering a domain, keyword, or URL.

Small SEO tools – This is an all-inclusive tool suite. Think of it as a free toolbox with everything you might need to improve your SEO efforts. From a grammar and plagiarism checker, to a website SEO score checker, you can find almost everything you need on this website. The best part? It’s free!

And those are just a couple of the thousands, if not millions, of resources and tools that you have at your disposal. There’s a universe of information, knowledge, resources, and tools out there. All you have to do is look.

Are you using these tools already? Do you have an ol’ reliable go-to that I may have missed? Let me know in the comments! 8 Signal is always working for you, so that you can outsmart, not outspend, the competition. If you have questions about SEO or feel like your website could use some optimization, feel free to fill out our contact form or give us a call at (915) 585-1919 to talk to one of our experts. 8 Signal: your marketing department — without the overhead.

Photos courtesy of: Ryan Hallock, FindYourSearch, Doug Beckers, Christian Schnettelker, velacreations.