Search Engine Optimization Frequently Asked Questions

SEO FAQ

Search Engine Optimization can be elusive if you don’t work with it on a day-to-day basis. It’s not an immediate fix by any means, but it is the best long-term advertising expense any business can make. The following list of frequently asked questions covers the basics that you otherwise may not know, were afraid to ask, or want to learn more about.

The following SEO FAQ should help pull back the curtain a little bit with a few broad strokes.

What does SEO stand for?

SEO started as Search Engine Optimization, but who really wants to say that over and over again.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is pretty much a leg of digital marketing strategy that focuses on getting a website placed to make it more visible to search engines (ie. Google, Yahoo, Bing) with the aim of delivering organic traffic to a website. It is largely considered one of the best long term marketing investment a business can make.

Why is SEO important?

When search engine optimization is done correctly, it will deliver traffic to a website that is organic. This type of marketing is typically earned as a result of time and resources invested. Search engines have become more refined at identifying website intent.

SEO is most valuable when the strategy finally sets in and website visibility increases. A website will see an uptick in traffic meaning more potential customers and higher earning potential.

It should be stated that it’s not about getting just any traffic. It’s about targeted traffic.

Does traffic affect search rankings?

There are a few case studies out there that suggest there is perhaps a correlation, but it currently remains debatable. We do know that search algorithms tend to determine what users are finding valuable on a site and what causes spikes in incoming traffic.

Why does it take some time before you see SEO campaign benefits?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) takes time because there is nothing simple about “hacking” the system in this day and age. In the past, there were a variety of methods that were used to trick search engines into ranking in the past that no longer hold water anymore. Search engine algorithms have become more advanced and focus on delivering relevant, higher quality results. It’s become increasingly important to build websites and go through the traditional steps vs. taking shortcuts.

What are the most important Google ranking factors?

This isn’t an uncommon question. “How do I rank higher on Google?” or “What affects my rankings?”. The truth is, only Google’s algorithm knows the exact factors to determine page rankings. There are over 200 factors involved in ranking a page and we know what the best practices involved are. It’s a moving target, because SEO evolves in unison with the evolution of how people search.

What we do know: search results are influenced in part by things like device, locations, user search history. A #1 result for a particular keyword search for one user could show up on page 5 for another. Rankings can be a good barometer for keyword performance, but it’s important to consider every aspect.

What are SEO “best practices”?

This subject has volumes dedicated to it out on the web already, but there are generally some high points to increase your chances of ranking well for specific keywords or terms.

In many respects, the saying that “content is king” rings true on many levels. High quality content factors largely. User behaviors usually reinforce this when a user decides to stay on a website for lengthy periods taking in new information. Content alone isn’t the only factor and should weigh in among many others.

Gathering authority for your website is another of the greatest factors. But, how do you get it? It’s really pretty simple. You need other well-established websites to be linking to yours to gather maximum impact.

On-page and on-site optimization is another major factor. We use this to establish a well grounded structure involving title tags, meta descriptions, headings, images and much more. We also include other considerations such as good site architecture, navigation, internal linking. If it works well to communicate to your viewers, it’s usually just as good for SEO.

What is on page SEO?

On-page SEO relates to any action taken to improve a website’s overall ranking performance. There is usually a huge list of things to work though on this such as optimizing content to include specific keywords in your meta tags, headers, and images, ensuring that your site is accessible by search engines, clear navigation, internal links throughout your site, fast page load times, low crawl errors, mobile responsive websites, no duplicate content, thin content, and URL canonicalization. While this list isn’t definitive, it certainly outlines a lot of what we work through.

What is off page SEO?

Performing off page SEO tends to refer specifically to link building. This is particularly important for establishing authority to a website to help it rank higher. This is a major focus for new websites and businesses needing a jump start in early stages. Links serve as important signals to search engines and can amplify your website’s presence substantially if handled appropriately. Unfortunately, not every link is the same. The best links tend to be harder to find and require genuine outreach.

Does traffic affect search rankings?

There are a few case studies out there that suggest there is perhaps a correlation, but it currently remains debatable. We do know that search algorithms tend to determine what users are finding valuable on a site and what causes spikes in incoming traffic.

Why does it take some time before you see SEO campaign benefits?

SEO takes time because there is nothing simple about “hacking” the system in this day and age. There were a variety of methods that were used to trick search engines into ranking in the past that no longer hold water anymore. Search engine algorithms have become more advanced and focus on delivering relevant, higher quality results.