Looking for some inspiration for an SEO proposal or report? We've assembled 15 of the most important and inspiring SEO quotes from digital agency leaders and SEO professionals. You'll find a mix of strategy through to tactics and everything in between. We've summarized these inspirational SEO quotes into single-liners, then included the full quote underneath. We hope they will inspire you like they inspired us!
#1 - Inbound outbound
This first SEO quote is from one of the most well known marketers in the world, Guy Kawasaki. While outbound (ie: paid channels) can be effective as long as you have big ad budgets, focusing on inbound channels (ie: content marketing) is best because its comparatively cost-efficient and leverages the domain expertise you have in your field.
If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.
- Guy Kawasaki, Co-Founder @ Alltop
#2 - Site speed and page experience
Google's next significant update in 2021 will be Page Experience. This means, the user's actual experience from the search results page to your website and then on the page itself will affect your rankings. How fast your pages load will be an important ingredient of delivering the best possible experience to the visitor. Using a website load speed tester will help you understand your performance and what you need to do to improve.
Google's mission is to deliver the world's information to users in an accessible and useful way. Page speed is becoming increasingly important in achieving this mission, especially on the mobile web. We're now starting to see strong correlations between fast page load times and higher search rankings.
- Adam Krzywda, Founder @ SEOptimer
#3 - The importance of links
Its common knowledge that backlinks are vital for SEO. But nothing quite beats hearing it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. In this instance, Google's John Mueller provides an SEO quote which confirms that links are key to helping Google find your content. For further reading, we wrote a whole guide on backlinks and how they help your rankings.
Links are really important for us to find content initially. So it’s like if nobody links to your website ever then we’re going to have a hard time recognizing that it even exists. But once we found it and started crawling it and started indexing its content and seeing that it’s pretty good stuff then those links are generally not that critical anymore.
- John Mueller, Search Advocate @ Google
#4 - Go above and beyond
To outrank competitors, you must create content that's better than theirs. In a competitive space, its difficult to achieve. But its not impossible if you sweat every detail. Quality is in short supply on the web so the higher the quality of your content, the more likely it is to outrank your competitors.
Good SEO is paying attention to all the details that most bloggers ignore. From using the Yoast plug-in, to writing for people, to creating thorough resources linking out to trusted sites and linking into evergreen, relevant content. Do what others refuse to do to rank for semi-competitive and even competitive keywords. Spend an extra 1-3 hours to publish an SEO-optimized post. The returns from a targeted traffic, community and brand-building perspective are astounding.
- Ryan Biddulph, Founder @ BloggingFromParadise
#5 - Creative + numbers game
To win at SEO requires both the left-side and the right-side of the brain. Creativity and intuition are drawn upon heavily when starting out. Then the analytical side kicks in with processes to scale the approach over time. This SEO quote from Peter Thaleikis is one of my favorites:
I tend to describe SEO as a creative number game: You need basic skills such as writing, technical analysis, building relationships, and logical thinking. But once you've ticked these boxes off, it becomes a numbers game. It's about productivity: getting stuff done. From there on, you will find the challenges being more your individual limits and priorities.
- Peter Thaleikis, CEO @ Bring Your Own Ideas
#6 - Quality over quantity
When you're time poor (and who isn't?!), focus on creating exceptional content vs trying to achieve a set number of content pieces. Admittedly, its very easy to set KPIs on output (eg: number of articles per month) rather than quality (eg: number of backlinks achieved) but there's no point in creating lots of content if user's don't value it so focus instead on quality and you'll see the results from your investment.
Sadly, much of the content being published is simply not worth linking to. 75% of it is getting zero inbound links. So forget the ‘more is better’ approach to content if you want links. Go with quality instead. Your content will generate links only if it is truly remarkable, as Seth Godin would say.
- Brian Sutter, Director of Marketing @ Wasp Technologies
#7 - Don't treat SEO as an after-thought
SEO methodologies and practices should be at the heart of what you do. These methodologies should inform your approach and be used in decision-making. A simple question like 'what and how are people searching?' is crucial to answer at the start of your client's project.
Good SEO needs to be baked in from the beginning. Whether it's a tricky site migration, a proposed URL restructuring for a site, or even just a single piece of content, SEOs should be involved from the beginning to ensure the best results. Too often I get asked "can you just SEO it?" with clients bringing their own content to us for publication. It's like trying to bake a cake and shove the eggs in at the end. Sure maybe you'll get a cake at the end of it, but it won't be as good as if they were included from the beginning. SEOs need to be consulted from the beginning to offer direction, insight, and knowledge of search engines to maximize the potential of any project.
- Max Allegro, Digital Strategist @ Intuitive Digital
#8 - Optimize outreach
The temptation to automate link building outreach is high because its partially a numbers game. But quality rules here too. By focusing on quality and crafting bespoke outreach that doesn't sound automated, you can increase your success rate on each outreach.
SEO outreach and collaborations have become such a robotic, impersonal process over the last number of years, but we've done everything we can to break that trend. When sending emails, we try our best to be personal, fresh, and interesting. In return, the results are improved and bring about new opportunities for us and our clients. In a field that has become so boring and impersonal, try to break the trend and reap the benefits!
- Sean Chaudhary, CEO @ Alchemy Leads
#9 - Optimize old content
This is an often-forgotten strategy that can pay dividends by tweaking old content to help it climb up the search rankings. In fast-paced industries that evolve quickly, this is even more important and should be included as add-on services in client proposals for ongoing monthly or quarterly content maintenance/optimization. Showing examples upfront of rankings "before and after" content optimization will help your client see the value in investing in this approach.
Revisit old content and optimize or rewrite it. Content teams can often get so caught up in the 'always write new content' mindset, that they will sleep on existing articles that aren't top quality, but are good enough to appear on page 2 or 3. These articles are hidden gems that can very quickly shoot up the rankings if they are rewritten properly, with more information and/or better explanations. While not a replacement to new content, this approach can sometimes have a greater short-term ROI than just publishing a brand new article.
- Paul Bonea, Founder @ Perfect Data
#10 - Match content with search intent
You'll be running uphill if you try to compete on terms and deviate from the way competitors are addressing the search intent.
Focus on searcher intent. This should underpin all of your activities—research, creation and distribution. What is the searcher really trying to achieve and how is your content helping them reach this goal?
- Simon Ensor, Managing Director @ Yellowball
#11 - Don't chase the algorithm
Google have been saying this for years but its true - you'll never outsmart the algorithm so focus instead on your audience and their needs.
Only a user-centered strategy is future-oriented. That is exactly what search engines want: Get the user the best search results. If it is useless for the user, it is useless for your business. Instead of trying to be smarter than the algorithm: Focus even more on creating awesome and useful content for your customers.
- Nina Baumann, Founder @ Linkspiel
#12 - Give up the hacks and build a brand
SEO quotes about content quality never get old but this one from Skyler Reeves speaks to the power of building a strong brand. Its easy to just think tactically and short term, but don't forget, every interaction your audience has with your organization affects and informs their perception of your brand.
SEO gets a lot easier when you approach it with the goal of creating the best damn piece of content on the web for a topic. That means putting in the work, understanding people, and legitimately wanting to help them. That means giving up the hacks, the spam, and the corner-cutting. If you want to build something sustainable, you need to build a brand. And you don’t build a brand by cutting corners.
- Skyler Reeves, CEO @ Ardent Growth
#13 - The gap between user and Googlebot is closing
Thinking about Googlebot as a real user instead of a robot is a good mindset for designing content that's user-centred.
Google is evolving into thinking more and more like humans do. This is great for two main reasons: a) When you’re writing for people you’ll be also writing for Google; b) If you help your visitors by answering their questions or by offering a solution to their problems, it will make your site become a more reputable resource that people will appreciate and, thus, so will Google. Point being: write and optimize for people, you’ll gain Google’s love too.
- Louie Luc, Founder @ BuzzNitrous
#14 - Give the people what they want!
Never stop researching how your users search. As new trends in search terms appear, jump on those trends early while competition is low.
The beauty of SEO is that, instead of pushing a marketing message onto folks who don’t want to hear what you have to say, you can reverse-engineer the process to discover exactly what people are looking for, create the right content for it, and appear before them at exactly the moment they are looking for it. It’s pull vs push.
- Cyrus Shepard, Founder @ Zyppy
#15 - Optimize for relevance
Our final SEO quote comes from content marketer, Matt McGee. Usually, 'niching down' is the best place to start because not only will the competition be lower, but you'll also have the opportunity to be more relevant. Growing a long-tail of target search terms around local, sub-industry or other specific niche areas is one of the best ways to build SEO success progressively.
A real estate agency in Wichita has no shot at ranking for the phrase “real estate;” a lawyer in Fresno has no shot at ranking for the word “lawyer.” Optimize for relevant, specific keywords that will bring targeted traffic.
- Matt McGee, Content Marketing @ HomeLight
We hope you were inspired by these SEO quotes. Sometimes quotes like these can be highly effective to set the scene in client meetings and presentations. Saying what you want to say, via an industry professional is a great way to land a message with credibility.
If you have any go-to SEO quotes, we'd love to hear them! Tweet us @seoptimer.