As SEO consultants, we meet with clients in a vast range of industries who are naturally more focused on running their business than the somewhat confusing world of SEO. In fact, on their first visit or call with us, many of our clients are not clear on what SEO is but have come to us because a friend suggested we could help with their business’s online presence. On the other hand, we have enquiries from business owners who know what SEO is and may have hired search professionals in the past, but they are not convinced their company can benefit from SEO in 2021.
Here we look at some of the most common SEO questions we get asked, and, at the same time, shed light on some widespread SEO myths and facts.
Popular SEO Questions
What Is SEO?
SEO. stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is fundamentally a group of activities you can take to get your website noticed by Google and the other major search engines and ranked higher than your competitors. The higher a page ranks, the more likely it will be that a visitor clicks on your site when they enter a relevant key phrase. To get the click, you really should be on the first page, preferably in the top three results. The bottom line is ranking higher in search engine result pages means more visitors will find your site, get to know your business, use your service, or buy your products.
The steps taken to optimise your site include:
Using appropriate keywords in your page’s text.
Giving pages relevant titles and descriptions.
Making sure your site loads quickly.
Creating great content.
Getting other sites linking to yours.
Tagging images correctly, and much more.
With over a billion websites online, competition in many sectors is tough.
If you want searchers to find your company website, investing some time or money in your website’s SEO is necessary.
Is SEO dead?
No, SEO is far from dead, but many aspects of SEO that were successful for marketers and business owners in the past are no longer relevant or successful and can be described as dead.
Nowadays, using outdated SEO methods could get your site penalised in the rankings or dropped altogether. These techniques include but are not limited to:
Using PBNs (Private Blog Networks) to gain backlinks.
Creating a page for every keyword variation.
Having many reciprocal links.
If you are thinking of hiring an SEO agency that uses any of these methods, you should run for the hills!
Can I do SEO as a one-off thing?
Unfortunately, no. SEO is an ongoing process that is continuously evolving. You really should be prepared to give an SEO campaign at least six months before you expect to see significant results.
Do Social signals help rankings?
There are plenty of misunderstandings around social signals and SEO.
Social signals are the engagement your content attracts on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Every time someone likes your image or comments on a post; they are engaging with your content. This is especially important in social media marketing. Still, SEO professionals often don’t think social signals are of value for SEO purposes, as Google claims they are not a direct ranking factor. However, “direct” is the keyword here, as social signals can help your ranking indirectly.
The more your content gets liked and shared, the more probable it is that people will see it and link to your site. These actions can end up having a significant impact on your Google rank.
Furthermore, Bing does count social signals as part of its ranking algorithm. Although Bing accounted for only 6.18% of the global search market in 2020, while Google had a market share of 88.14%, Bing can still be a decent traffic source.
Will PPC help me rank higher?
PPC, or Pay Per Click can be expensive. If you use Google AdWords to drive traffic, Google will not reward you by placing your site higher in its organic results. Still, as with social signals, PPC can help your site indirectly by generating clicks, shares, and interest.
Is SEO really necessary?
Paid ads, social media, and other forms of advertising can generate traffic to a website, but Google drives the most business.
Organic search results appear more trustworthy to searchers and receive many more clicks than paid adverts. It is estimated less than 3% of users click on paid ads. In other words, for every keyword entered, at least 97 out of every 100 times, the prospective buyer will click on an organic result.
Furthermore, once a page ranks well with SEO, depending on the topic, it can continue to send you traffic for many years. Using paid ad platforms requires continuous investment.
However, depending on your available time and willingness to learn, you can implement some basic SEO by yourself.
So, while SEO is not absolutely necessary and can be at least partially done by a site owner, in the long run, not optimizing your site correctly will lose you money.
My company needs results fast – can SEO help me?
SEO is not an overnight process. Creating great content, getting other sites to link to yours, and optimising a site both front and back end takes time.
If you need immediate traffic, paid advertising is a better option than SEO, but only recommended if you know what you are doing.
Why is my competitor X places above me in the search engine?
To find out why site A ranks higher than site B, we carefully analyse the competition.
There are many reasons why Google will rank a site above another, and it is rarely (if ever) for one reason alone, but usually a combination of the following:
The authority and standing of the sites linking to a site.
Keyword relevance and consistency.
Usability of a website, including layout and structure.
Quality of content.
Traffic metrics, including how long visitors stay on your site, and more.
I want to rank for this incredibly competitive keyword. Can I do it?
In 2021 ranking for extremely high competition keywords is tough but not impossible. Someone must rank for them, and using the right strategies and plenty of patience, your site could be the one. But you need to understand unless you are a leader in your industry, the likelihood is very slim.
Can you guarantee me page one results?
This is a very common SEO question, as around 75% of SEO companies worldwide guarantee page one results on Google. It is an appealing proposal for businesses – after all, who doesn’t want to show up on the first page?
However, the SEO agencies that do not make these promises will often get better results. Some companies insist they can guarantee page one rankings when the only guarantee is they could get you ranked for a too obscure keyword with few or no searches.
Some keywords don’t have enough searches to make it worth your while ranking on the first page. Being number one for a keyword without searches won’t bring you visitors.
Reputable SEO agencies will not make this promise. Search engines are becoming more complex to dominate; guaranteeing the top spot for a keyword is impossible.
Here the bottom line is, a successful SEO campaign will bring you free traffic from the search engines and generate leads and customers. If an SEO strategy achieves this end goal, it is more important than ranking number one for a keyword that may not convert to sales.
We hope our explanations of these common SEO questions have helped separate the myths and facts. If you have any questions we have not addressed or want to find out how our SEO services can improve your online business, please contact us.
We are digital professionals with over 15 years experience in the field of website development and SEO (organic, PPC & Social Media). Specializing in e-commerce platforms, we offer professional services for the discerning client looking for a personalized custom solution.
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