The search industry has been widely recognised as a developing and ever-changing field, and as a result of these changes, more and more questions are being raised.
Whether you have one years’ experience or ten, there is a good chance you’ve been asked some pretty common, and at times some downright bizarre, questions in the past.
At Alba SEO Services, we receive a large number of questions on a regular basis and so we decided to put the most common questions into simple FAQS. Let us know if you have any others?
SEO FAQS: Frequently Asked Questions
Why are keywords important?
Keywords are important as they provide relevance signals to the search engines. If your web page is relevant then it has more of a chance of being one of the search results for a particular query. For example, if you were a locksmith from Edinburgh and you had the term “Locksmith Edinburgh” on your website, then people searching for this keyword may find your website as one of the search results. Google is becoming more sophisticated with updates including Rank Brain and BERT, so stuffing your website full of the one keyword is not recommended as it looks and is spammy.
How do I pick the right keywords?
Choosing the right keywords is important. It’s not a matter of plugging in a potential keyword into ahrefs or SEMrush and choosing the biggest volume. Choosing the right keywords should be based on user intent – what are visitors looking to do? Find information, buy a product or research a product? Once you understand what your visitors want, you can then craft your keywords accordingly using tools and trawling through search results for ideas.
What is a ‘backlink’?
A backlink is a vote for a website from another website. Physically it is an HTML link that when clicked takes you to another website. In the locksmith example above, if a fellow locksmith (a) were to link to another locksmith (b), this would be a vote for locksmith (b). This is incredibly important as the more backlinks a website has, the better is its credibility and ability to rank. However, the quality and relevance of a backlink is king. So a bunch of low quality links from a link seller is not going to work.
How do you know if a backlink is good or bad for SEO?
A backlink from a very important website is more powerful than loads of backlinks from low quality sites. Websites with lots of traffic are usually a good bet to be credible and authoritative.
How do I build good backlinks?
There are lots of possibilities to get backlinks. From other business owners, local directories, Chambers of Commerce/Networking sites, writing an article which appears on a website, from your social media profiles and lots of other ways too.
How can I view the backlinks to my website?
There are lots of tools e.g. Ahrefs, Majestic SEO but search console will provide you with a list of backlinks that Google has found on your website.
If a backlink is ‘nofollow’, should I remove or disavow it?
No! It’s important to have a natural backlink profile which includes nofollow backlinks. A ‘Nofollow’ attribute means that the link does not pass any PageRank. Whist these won’t help your website to rank per se, having 100% ‘Dofollow’ backlinks looks very odd to Google and would raise red flags.
What matters most: Building links or creating more content?
I’d say that links are more important but in order to get the links you need to build some content. For example a good blog article might generate backlinks as other websites want to link to it. So it is sometimes a chicken and egg situation depending on the industry.
Which is more important: On-site SEO or off-site SEO?
You need to have both in place. In this agency we always start with the onsite SEO in the form of an SEO audit. Without the foundations of good onsite SEO, any backlink effect will be less noticeable. Time and time again, we see this is the case.
Can I do on-site SEO myself?
Yes you can – up to a point. For example, Yoast is a plugin which is highly recommended to improve your on-site SEO (for WordPress websites only). If you follow a lot of its recommendations you will do well. The skill is knowing where to spend time and what really matters. This is something which can be learned over time. Most business owners don’t have the time to learn and outsource it to SEO companies like ours.
What is the best single thing I can do as a local business?
The single best thing that you can do in my opinion is to ensure that your Google My Business page is complete with lots of reviews, photos and accurate information. This is so important for ranking on Google Maps. Having a presence of Google Maps will lead to more traffic to your website guaranteed.
Is my website page loading speed important?
Yes it is very important. Specifically it is important that your mobile site loads very fast. Page speed is a ranking signal and a poor loading time is bad for visitors to your website and they may leave or spend less time on your website. Google likes fast websites. Make sure your website loads fast!
If an SEO company/agency is guaranteeing first place rankings, should I hire them?
Never! It is not something that anyone can guarantee. SEO companies using shady practices might get your website ranking sooner than would be expected but you then run the risk of being penalised by Google and landing a penalty. Choose an SEO consultant who can show you examples of their work, who takes the time to understand your business and is always transparent in their work processes.
How long does it take to see a change in results from SEO?
It really depends on a lot of variables. A long established business which has many natural backlinks already but a poor on-site SEO profile would rank faster once an audit is performed compared to a new business. The variables are the Content Management System being used, the age of the business and website, the size of the website, the on-site SEO, the number of backlinks, whether social media is part of the marketing, whether there is new content being created. Lots of variables but in general, within 3-6 months there would be a positive change and after a year, there will be good success.
What are the main KPI’s that an SEO company/agency/consultant should consider?
Traffic and conversions. Rankings are important but the search page is now a mix of different types of results that ranking number 1 for a keyword might not give you the majority of traffic. It may be that a rich snippet is getting the clicks. The only way to truly measure is to monitor traffic and conversions. Most clients like to see rankings too and in this agency we do report on these as well.
Should a business invest in SEO?
I think that a business without a visible web presence will lose out. Most people search online for anything they want. If your business is found in the dead zone of page 2 you will not survive. Even investing in some on-site SEO would be beneficial to most businesses that don’t have a budget for a full campaign. In this agency we can offer SEO audits without tying a business into a full campaign.
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