Frequently Asked Questions About SEO
Although the concept of search engine optimisation (SEO) is relatively simple, there are complications that make it difficult to fully understand or implement. What follows are some of the frequently asked questions about SEO, how it works, and what it does to boost the visibility of your website.
What is the goal of SEO?
The goal is to get your website to rank higher on search result pages from interested parties. This translates to an increase in organic traffic which is the best type of garner results. When people find you as opposed to you advertising to find them, you can better grow your audience and customer base.
Is SEO still relevant?
While SEO has changed over the years in terms of what strategies work, it is still quite relevant as the most effective means of passive marketing on the internet. Furthermore, it will remain at the top as long as the current structure exists in terms of searching for information.
It is true that certain businesses may ignore SEO because they are focused on going after their target audience, such as using paid social media or paid searches. But for the most part SEO provides an excellent long-term investment that is inexpensive, effective, and helps people find your online business.
So, SEO is not dead. It’s very much alive and thriving.
What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
Search Engine Marketing consists of several different strategies for expanding the viewership of your website. SEO is one of the several strategies that make up SEM.
Is PPC better than SEO?
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and SEO are two sides of the same coin. Both strategies will compliment each other in terms of building an audience. SEO helps build brand authority, create organic traffic, and a stronger presence online. While PPC targets keywords, expands influence into specific demographics, and targets the behaviors of your most likely customers to help make them aware of your online business.
What does on-page SEO mean?
This is less complicated than it may sound. On-page SEO refers to SEO strategies that are found on the page itself to boost its rankings for search results. This may mean the use of SEO in the content itself, the HTML source code, or both. It does not refer to external sources that boost SEO potential such as backlinks or signals from outside sources.
Where do I start my SEO efforts?
If you are just getting going, then the first step is to evaluate the current status of your site. A good site audit will tell you about any issues such as broken links that need to be corrected, the page load speed of your site, and any meta tags that need to be addressed. You can find several SEO tools designed to locate issues on your site, so you can then start fresh and apply new SEO techniques that will bolster your presence on the internet.
What is keyword research?
This is how you find the right works that will trigger results. A keyword is really the words used in queries on search engines like Google that people use to find the information they want. When you incorporate the keywords into the content and website, then you can boost your chances of bringing people to you.
This takes research into keywords that are the most effective for finding the right target audience. The crucial aspect of keyword research is finding the words that have a high search volume while having less competition.
For example, “men’s shoes” has a high search volume, but you can bet the competition is quite high as well, meaning that you may not benefit from incorporating that keyword into your content. However, if you choose “men’s size 11 wingtips black and red”, you now have a keyword with less competition, but it may not have the search volume you want. Finding the right keyword that balances high search volume and low competition is crucial for your SEO success.
How keyword research works?
There are different tools available that will help you find the right keywords. The Keyword Planner from Google is a good place to start. WordStream also offers their Free Keyword Tool. However, even with the tools, you will have to do much of the work. This means starting with a broad range of keywords and then narrowing them down so that you are left with those that generate the best results.
The tools can help you find keywords that fit your site but are low in terms of competition so you can reap the best results.
Where to put keywords in content?
The most effective method for incorporating keywords is the combination of the main and secondary keywords you want to use. Secondary keywords can be placed most anywhere in the content and often just once or twice depending on the length. Main keywords are far more important and usually appear in the title, the first paragraph, the last paragraph, and perhaps one or more times in the body of the content itself.
Effective use of keywords combined with solid, informative content will generally rank high on search result pages depending on the keywords that are used. However, you will want to avoid keyword stuffing which may have a detrimental effect.
What is keyword stuffing?
You may have heard the term “keyword stuffing” and it means what it says. When too many of the same keyword is used in content, your site will rank lower on search result pages. You may even get a warning and in some cases be removed from Google because of keyword stuffing.
To avoid stuffing keywords, only use them sporadically through your content and make sure they appear natural. This can be an issue since many keywords are designed to stand on their own and not be incorporated naturally into sentences. But for the most part it can be done if you are creative with using the right combination of words.
What type of content works best?
The traditional blog is still quite effective for SEO. You can post content regularly that is solid, informative, and provides real value to readers. There are things you can do to help bolster the chances it is seen by the right audience. Such as adding images, improving the download speed of the page, and providing new content on a regular basis.
You can also use video which is one of the more popular ways to rank content. By using video effectively, more people will see your content thanks to the emphasis placed on it by Google.
Is SEO changing?
SEO has undergone numerous changes since it was introduced and will continue to change. For example, the biggest change over the past decade has been the greater emphasis on mobile searches. As more people use their smartphones and tablets to find what they need, SEO has shifted towards serving this community.
Today, mobile page speed is a ranking factor for SEO. That means you must ensure that your web pages can be downloaded quickly onto mobile devices for the highest possible SEO ranking. And in five to ten years, there will be more changes that cannot be foreseen today.
Another big change is the use of voice searches where people speak the query instead of typing it in. Voice searches have jumped nearly 180% over the past five years and will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. For those who want to improve the ranking of their website, emphasizing voice search will be a big part of your SEO strategy.
If you are struggling to understand SEO, contact us today.
A detailed SEO glossary with descriptions of each term.
Here are the most common terms you might need to know during your website optimisation.
A permanent redirect of one page address to a new page. The best way to replace or update page names on your website
The error code given when the web browser cannot find the page you are looking for.
Google’s advertising portal, where you can bid on advertising space and jump the listings with paid for ads.
Complex code written by the search engines that takes all manner of things into consideration when deciding where to rank websites.
Hidden text that describes an image, useful for SEO purposes as well as helping blind people know what’s on the page.
Google’s free tool that allows you to monitor stats and visitors on your website, which is extremely useful to monitor SEO progress.
Business to business marketing.
A link from a site to your site. Building up back links is an integral part of SEO.
A technique which is considered illegal by the search engines. Using these techniques will likely get you banned from Google and it’s almost impossible to get back on.
Also known as a robot, spider or crawler, these algorithms travel the web and report back to search engines.
The percentage of visitors to your site that left straight away when reaching your home page.
A small and easy to use navigational menu that displays the ‘path’ you went down to get to the current page.
Clicking on your competitors adverts to cost them money.
Stands for content management system. These allow you to edit and update your own content.
Robots or people adding junk links to your comments section.
Advertising that is relevant to the website it is placed on.
Also known as a goal. If the aim of your website is to get bookings, then a completed booking would be a conversion.
The percentage of visitors that complete the task above.
Stands for cost per click, and is the amount that you are willing to pay per click to advertise on Google.
A website that lists links to other websites. Directories can be a useful way to get good quality backlinks early on in your websites life.
Identical content that appears on two separate pages. This is usually a bad thing but is fairly harmless on blog pages for example as it is unavoidable. Copying content from another website can be disastrous for your ranking.
An online shop, where you can buy things direct online.
A visit to your site.
Stands for hyper text markup language, and is the code that websites display in.
Similar to hit, an impression is a visit, or a view of a particular item / page.
In bound link
A link that is coming from another website to yours.
If a page is indexed, it means it is listed on Google and can be found in the search engine results.
An integral part of SEO, a keyword is a word that describes your business. The goal of SEO is to use keywords to make sure that when people search for things on Google, your site is displayed at the top.
The ratio of keywords to non-keywords in your page content. This shouldn’t be too high or too low.
Researching keyword popularity before starting SEO work will give you the best list of keywords to use on your website.
The homepage of your website, or the page designated as a destination for an ad.
A link from one website / page to another.
Building up backlinks to your site so that your site is ranked higher on Google.
Paying for junk links from non relevant websites can decrease your ranking.
The text that appears as the link to a page / website. Ideally the text should be relevant to the page.
Hidden tags that tell search engines what the page is about.
To make money from your website / page by placing relevant ads in the content.
The top ranked listings on a search engine that have not been paid for.
This tag tells search engines not to follow this link.
This tag tells search engines not to add this site to their results.
A natural link that links to a page / website that has not been paid for.
Stands for pay per click. The advertising that appears at the top of the search engine results after you search for something.
A text file uploaded to your site that gives commands to search engine bots / crawlers.
Automatically taking content from one site and displaying it on yours.
Stands for search engine marketing, a combined approach of SEO and advertising.
Stands for search engine optimisation, the process of trying to naturally increase your ranking without paying for ads. Considered much more sustainable in the long run.
Stands for search engine results page – the page you see full of links after you search for something online.
A complete list of all the pages on your site. These are helpful to the search engines as they give a complete list of pages for them to index.
Someone, or a robot, that spams comment boards or forums with links to cheap shoes etc.
A homepage that displays an animation, or a severely minimalised block of content. You usually have to click to enter the site. This is now considered bad for SEO.
A page that displays information that has been created manually and that does not come from a CMS, database.
Submitting your site to a directory, or to be listed on a search engine.
Stands for uniform resource locator, a URL is the page address.
SEO practices that are considered safe, and that will not get you punished by the search engines for trying to manipulate the results by cheating.