Answers to The Top 25 Most Common SEO Questions
June 17, 2013 - SEO
SEO Frequently Asked QuestionsAs leaders in the Marketing world we are constantly being asked so many questions about SEO that we decided to start writing them down. We hope to answer and appease as many people as we can with these top 25 most commonly asked questions. The questions that were too generalized, such as, “How Does SEO Work” will not be answered, as that would take a very, very long time. The world is filling up with people logging on to the internet and vying for a top spot in the rankings. That is the wonderful thing about the world in which we live now. So many people now have the opportunity to be heard, seen, and experienced. Whether you are a new eCommerce website owner or a blogger with something worthwhile to say, we hope that this post helps to answer many of your SEO questions. You are on your way to being seen and heard by many.
What is SEO?SEO is an acronym. It stands for Search Engine Optimization and includes the methods employed by which a blog or website prepares to the best of its ability to be found on an algorithmic search.
Do I really need SEO to have a website?Absolutely not, as long as your sole intent is to have a website for close, personal friends and family. If you are only inviting the people to whom you give your website address, you do not need to optimize your site for searches.
What is the most important aspect of SEO on a website?We actually see this question quite often. While no single aspect can bring great results, when used together, they can. Almost every aspect of SEO depends upon the other. They work in tandem or as a team. However, if pressed for an answer, Keyword Research is the most important aspect, followed by content. The reason is easy: Those are the two things that you must do before you even build your website. Research the possible keywords of the website you want to build and then populate that website with interesting, original, and informative content using those keywords and phrases.
How do I use keywords?The best way to ensure you are using keywords that bring results is to research keywords using a keyword tool. Google has an entire suite of free webmaster tools and there are several others which are free or for purchase.
What are backlinks and how do they help me?When other websites and blogs link to your website, those links are called backlinks. They help with SEO because Google and other search engine algorithms see them as “signs of approval,” or votes for your website. It is important to remember that Google and other search engines hold diversity of links in high regard. They see it as a broader way of reaching more people.
Do I really need a site map?A sitemap links your pages so that web crawlers can view your entire website. Site maps are only important if overall higher-ranking status is important to you. Without a site map, all of your websites pages will be indexed eventually. We suggest creating a site map and also submitting an xml sitemap to Google for the best SEO results.
How do Google and other search engines see my website?Search Engines use web crawlers which are tiny spider bots that “crawl” over your web pages and gather information. The information is used to index your website pages.
Should I hire a company that guarantees first place ranking?Please be wary of anyone who claims that they can guarantee the first ranking on an SERP. No one can guarantee the top rank, in fact, no one can guarantee the first page, although there are many good “White Hat” SEO specialists that can achieve a high rank for certain keywords and phrases. With search engines, there are no guarantees.
What is White Hat SEO?White Hat SEO is honest SEO that goes by the rules set by Google and other search engines. It can increase your ROI the right way and it is the only type of search engine optimization that will not get your website banned from search engines for life.
What is Black Hat SEO?Black Hat SEO is the opposite of White Hat; it breaks the rules to achieve a high ranking, and you definitely want to avoid it. Black Hat SEO can get your website banned from the search engines for life. Back Hat SEO tricks are underhanded tactics that are not fair to anyone. Do it right.
What is ROI and what does SEO have to do with it?
How long will it take my optimized site to improve?First, SEO is an ongoing process. It is not something that you do once and it will work forever. If you have just started improving your website with SEO, you could see results in a few weeks to a few months, depending upon when the spider bots crawl over your pages. Adding fresh content on a regular basis can also help.
Why doesn’t my company website change rank even though it is optimized?There could be any number of reasons. We will list a few of them here for you to check.
- Have you cleared your cache? The cache is your computers way of speeding up a search by showing you a page you have already visited.
- Keyword research is one of the most important steps in SEO.
- Does your website have plenty of inbound links from high-ranking websites?
How can I keep track of my website in the Google ranking?Tracking your position in the SERP is as easy as downloading the Google toolbar. (Search Engine Results Pages) For more information on ranking with Google, visit this link. http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=34397
Do I have to use SEO on every article I write?If you are writing an article, keywords are enough. The most important thing to remember in article writing is fresh content that is interesting and informative. Take special care to avoid duplicate content. The more original it is, the better it will rank. Article directories will typically provide SEO for you.
How can I achieve a higher local ranking for my business website?A good start would be to register your website with Google Local/places and Google maps. Check out Google’s guidelines for more information. http://support.google.com/places/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=107528
Why do I keep seeing the code 404 page?404’s usually mean a broken or untrue link. Check your links by typing it into your browser. Remember to clear your cache for a true view. You can incorporate a link checker for your website, like Xenu link Sleuth. It is free and gives you a ton of useful information.
Why are my links not being indexed?Links buried under several layers of pages in the site map hierarchy may never be indexed. Web crawlers do not like to go deep. This is a problem with websites that have deep levels. The location of the link on an actual page plays a small part as well. If a person would not find it easily and click it, a search engine, which is built to think like a person, may not index it. Bring deep links up and place them prominently.
I read about Google’s Webmaster tools. Do I need them?Google is like a kindly uncle with all the money in the world; that they do not need to charge you to use the free set of tools that they developed to make SEO for their particular search engine much easier. You can do many things with Google Webmaster tools, like optimize your website, view crawling stats, check up on the status of your website’s indexing and much more. We highly recommend it.
Do I need special SEO tools for every search engine, like Google?No, Google’s technology is a little different in many respects, but most search engines look for the same SEO as they follow Uncle Google’s example. The only three you really need to worry about are Google, Yahoo, and Big. Many people think that YouTube’s Search engine should come right before or right after Yahoo, but since YouTube is owned by Google we left them out of the list for arguments sake. Concentrate on Google and the rest will follow suit.
What is Page Rank?PageRank is the search engine algorithm Google uses to index your website. Not many people know exactly how it works but it uses a formula of age, backlinks, and content among other things to rank pages. Each element has a numeric value attached and the sum places you in the search engines by keyword search… in theory. It is somewhat ironic that it was not named for what it does. PageRank is named after its inventor, Larry Page.
What does a robot.txt file do?The robot.txt is a file that tells the web crawlers if the page they want to enter is either private or closed to the search engines. Some websites close lower levels to help increase rank. Some closed pages are being worked on. Keep in mind that any private information should be protected in a secured website.
What are organic and Paid results?Organic SEO results are achieved through white hat SEO. Some businesses choose to pay for top, first page rank and are placed on the top right of the search engine listings. Most businesses prefer organic as it carries more weight with browsers.
What is Panda update?Google Panda is a new learning algorithm by Google that eliminated over optimization by keyword flooding and duplicated or stolen content among other things. It also made webmasters realize how much duplicate content could hurt their websites by holding them down the ranking. Unlike PageRank, Panda, which Google runs quite regularly, ranks the entire site or a big section of the website so all pages must be optimized and free of duplicate content. Panda likes to read original content.
Will I need to learn code or meta tags and things of this nature to get ranked?While it is a good idea to learn these things for complete optimization, right now you should focus the most on links and content. They rule planet SEO.
What is the best and fastest way to get my company website back on track?Everything we mentioned here is important. Dynamic Search can certainly help get you back in the marketing game for a fair price. In the meanwhile, feel free to browse our website or contact us.