As an expert in her field, Cheryl is often asked questions about SEO. To help answer questions you may have, she has compiled a list of the common questions she is asked.
1. What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and involves improving the visibility online for your business. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for searchers to find you on places like Google, and easily find the information they are looking for.
2. Why is SEO important to my business?
A website that is well-optimised will help bring in new customers as more people find you online. People also have a tendency to make a quality judgement on your website. They assume that because you are ranking on page 1, you must therefore be good at what you do. This all helps to raise awareness for your products and services to boost the number of leads that you get.
3. Do I need an expert to help me with my SEO or can I improve my SEO myself?
There are a few basic steps you can take to kick start your SEO. Start with identifying what your users’ intent is – what are they wanting to know and how are they searching for it? Once you have identified keywords, you can integrate these into your site using title tags and meta descriptions. This is the information that is displayed on the search engine results page (SERPs). Other things you can look at yourself to improve your site’s rankings include: high quality content – rich content that answers the users’ queries; site speed – how long does each page take to load?
Researching into what your users are searching is a fundamental part of SEO. There are many tools and resources that SEO experts use to identify specific phrases in order to maximise potential.
In an ever-changing industry with multiple Google algorithm updates a year, it is really important to stay up to date with the latest insights. Companies such as Wagada, are experts in their field and can monitor Google’s algorithm updates much easier than in-house staff. However, there are still lots of things that you can do as a company to boost your search engine ranking, such as adding comprehensive content to your website on a regular basis.
4. How long will it take to see results with SEO?
You won’t see results immediately, as a large part of SEO is about boosting the authority of the website and gaining trust from Google. Typically, the time it takes to start ranking can vary, dependent on a number of factors including how long your site has been live and the number of links that you have from other websites. Consistency is key when it comes to SEO – you may start seeing good results after six months for example, however these results are likely to diminish if the work is not sustained and regularly analysed and updated.
5. Does it cost a lot to improve my SEO?
In short? No. There are a whole host of ‘quick fixes’ that are easy to identify and carry out. There are levels of SEO suitable for all budgets – from fully integrated SEO strategies to top level training, so there are a number of ways SEO can help improve your website no matter your budget.
6. Do SMEs need to worry about their SEO?
SEO is really important for SMEs. If you have a brand-new website that looks great, its important to make it as easy as possible for your potential customers to find it, after all a business isn’t a business without customers! Search Engine Optimisation for niche phrases can help you gain that all important competitive advantage over a potentially larger competitor, where you might not be able to compete with otherwise.
7. Is SEO related to pay-per-click?
Pay-per-click refers to the paid advertising that appears at the very top of your Google search page, marked with ‘Ad’. SEO is the organic side of Search Engine Marketing – the natural results that appear under the paid ads.
8. What are the best ways to improve SEO?
SEO is all about user intent – what is the searcher trying to find out? Working out what your customer is searching for and making sure this information is easy to find is vital. Helping Google to see that you are authoritative, credible and knowledgeable can boost your search engine ranking – so adding fresh content, along with some online PR can be a powerful combination.
9. What are keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases that users put into search engines to answer the questions or find the information they are looking for. A big part of SEO is researching into these search queries, and ensuring they feature on the relevant pages in order to give the user the best chance of finding your content and web page amongst other results.
10. Does blogging and guest blogging help SEO?
Regular blog posts can help boost your SEO for a number of reasons. Google likes seeing fresh content being added to your website, and it is an essential part of any link building strategy. Blog posts are a great place to optimise for long-tail keyword phrases; these are the phrases which are long and more specific and often answer specific questions. These types of articles give you an opportunity to showcase yourself as an industry thought leader, giving your customers valuable insights whilst improving your credibility.
Guest blogging is a brilliant way to raise awareness for your business online. It can be quite powerful, driving traffic to your site, increasing your online brand awareness whilst boosting your domain authority. The benefit isn’t limited to the article writer, but to the host too as they get good quality content for their site.
11. Where should I guest blog to improve my SEO?
Ideally you want to be guest blogging on websites in a similar market or a compatible one to the industry you are in. Make sure the target market is right for you so the readers will enjoy and value your content. Ideally the host will be active on social media and already have their own following. That way their readers are more likely to engage with your post.
12. Does HTTPS affect SEO?
Switching your website over from HTTP to HTTPS will make your website more secure. It could also give your SEO rankings a boost. HTTPS is the secure HyperText Transfer Protocol. It makes exchanging information safe as it automatically gets encrypted. This is not only a benefit to the user, but also the reason Google prefers the HTTPS version as it shows the site is certified and trusted.
Article authored by Cheryl Luzet, SEO Resident Expert at The Outsourcing Way.