Here's a not-so-brief list of frequently asked
questions about SEO.
Warning: An incoming wall of text is coming your way.
But, in our defense, this is a FAQ page.
Many of these questions are things clients, friends or family have asked us over time. Other times, it's parts of blogs we haven't gotten around to writing about. Either way, all of this falls under the bracket of SEO.
You should also know that the topic SEO is a broad topic, which means some of these QnA's are going to overlap a little bit with other FAQs we've created.
Lastly, go here if you're interested in our SEO services.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's the task of optimizing your website so search engines can better understand it. And the goal is to rank organically high (first through the third page) for your products or services.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases we type into search engines, such as Google. They can be as little as one word, a short phrase (short-tailed keywords) or a long question (long-tail keywords).
Does My Business Need SEO?
If you want to rank organically on search engines such as Google, yes. Your website needs SEO.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO is a combination of efforts. It includes content marketing and copywriting for products, services or ideas in general. The created content needs to line up with questions (called search queries) that people are asking on the internet in search engines. The other side is called Technical SEO. This covers technical website aspects, such as page load speed, image sizing and how your website's structure is laid out.
How Do I Find The Keywords People Are Searching For?
There are a few different ways we recommend. My first recommendation is to use Google Search Console to see what's already being associated to your Google website. I also suggest you start typing different search terms (ways of phrasing your product, service or idea) into other search engines and seeing who's ranking for what and what word (keyword) alternatives are given to you.
Why Isn't My Website Ranking on Google?
It's ranking somewhere, but probably not where you want it to be. I can't answer that without auditing your website, but it typically has to do with a poorly performing website, a lack of relevant content, or something in between. One last oddity is when you've tried (knowingly or not) something called Black-hat strategies which Google sees and manually removes you from their search engine altogether.
Why Has My Organic Traffic Dropped?
For many industries, organic rank fluctuates throughout the year. For example, water damage queries tend to spike during the rainy season. If it has little to do with trends, it could be that your competitors are now focusing their efforts on their SEO, which might mean they're receiving the traffic you once had.
What Is A Google Penalty?
A Google penalty is a form of manual or automatic action given to websites that break their rules knowingly or unknowingly. This can include people who are caught using black-hat SEO or people who have unfortunately have a virus on their website.
How Long Until My Website Ranks On Google?
It can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more to rank well on Google. How much time and effort you place into your SEO strategy and how much effort your competition has placed into theirs influences this. Also, some products or services so niche that they don't receive much traffic because they're not a lot of traffic to receive.
What Are Google's Most Important Ranking Factors?
All of them. This is a lot like asking what part of my car's engine is the most important. While there is a list of what I look out for first, such as what the content on the website is and page load speed, those two factors have many factors within them. Therefore, it's best to dive into in-depth SEO tutorials or hire a professional to discuss what's important and how to execute it.
Should I run a PPC Ads Campaign, an SEO campaign, or Both?
The answer depends on your budget and goals. Some argue that a PPC campaign is an excellent place to start until your organic SEO campaign catches up and starts to generate your leads. Others feel both should be run at all times. And others argue that only one of them is best.
Will Posting on Social Media Help Increase My Website's Rank?
Sort of. Social media platforms can provide traffic to your website, which positively affects your SEO rank. However, social media platform links themselves offer no benefit. In short, it's a good idea to share your content on those channels, but a link from one is only as good as the traffic it generates to your site through clicks.
What Is The Difference Between On-Page SEO and Technical SEO?
On-page SEO is the content on your site that the visitor sees, such as the written words and images. Technical SEO refers to page speed, interactive time, the hosting platform you choose, etc.
What PageSpeed Score Should I Aim For?
Google recommends a PageSpeed Score in the Green, which is under 3.0 seconds total time.
How Do I Find Technical SEO Errors on My Website?
We have purchased software to help us with this. We also make sure to minimize those errors in the development process itself.
How much content should my Page have?
A webpage, at minimum, should be long enough to answer whatever questions the user on it might have. Sometimes, that's very short, like an answer in a FAQ such as this. Other times, long.
How Do I Create SEO-Friendly Content?
Write for people, even you know that, odds are, people won't be reading it. Many people are really good at discovering the right keywords but only write for robots. The result is often a website that ranks well and receives traffic but doesn't convert because it wasn't written for people.
Will Duplicate Content Harm My Website's Rankings?
No. Duplicate content doesn't have a penalty associated with it. However, it's inefficient because you risk a search engine splitting your score between two pages. So instead, it's best practice to provide canonicals to duplicate content to help search understand that while the content is similar (or the same!), 'this is the page you want the traffic scoring to go to.
What Is A Link Building Strategy or Campaign?
Link building is a practice used by many businesses and individuals to boost your organic rank. This is a grey area. Using a PBN to mass-produce links can get your website penalized by Google if it's gregarious enough. But more often than not, Google will ignore those links because it's rather good at discovering them, meaning you get zero benefits from it. A better way of looking at link building is to create content people will want to link to naturally, not content you have to pay them to look at.
How Do I Get other websites linking To Mine?
Create content that's worth linking to, content worth reading.
Should I Focus On Getting More Links To My Website?
If you have developed some staple (sometimes called evergreen) content already, it's a good time to start sharing it with others in the hopes of getting more links. If not, begin creating evergreen content!
Can I Buy Links to my website?
Yes. It is. This is an outdated, black-hat SEO tactic that Google will penalize at worst, ignore at best. Unfortunately, there are still people who swear by this tactic, and, in all honesty, there are probably cases where it still works. However, our company will never knowingly perform black hat tactics under any circumstances.
What Is PageRank?
Pagerank is an older formula Google used to judge the value of a page. The value of each page was determined by the quantity and quality of the pages linking to and from it. For example, if you have a page on sockets, and many people link to your page because it answers all their socket-related needs, that page will be judged as having high value or high PageRank. But this is a two-way street. Your outward links also contribute to your Pagerank.
How Do I Analyze My Competitor's Link Profile?
There are free, paid, and subscription-based tools to do this for you. The most popular being AHRefs for links. Others include Screaming Frog, SEMRush and Moz.