9 Beginner Friendly FAQ’s related to SEO.
SEO has been around for a while, but it’s still a new concept to many who are just beginning to dip their toe into online web development & digital marketing.
The following is a curated list of 9 Beginner Friendly Frequently Asked Questions regarding SEO, and how they are all related to help improve your Search Engine Ranking.
This content will be structured as followed:
- What is SEO?
- What is Organic Traffic?
- What is Keyword Research
- Why are Keywords important?
- What are important Google Ranking Factors?
- What are important SEO Practices?
- What is on-site SEO?
- What is off-site SEO?
- What is Link-Building?
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
SEO is a process that focuses on optimizing a website, to make it more visible in search engine results pages (i.e. in Google search results), with the goal of driving organic traffic to the website.
What is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic is driven to a website from clicks on these search results.
Organic traffic is natural in the sense that it is earned rather than paid for.
Search engines have gotten better at identifying the intent of search queries, which makes choosing the right keywords to drive traffic even more important.
Because organic traffic is not paid for, once an SEO strategy takes effect and visibility increases, a website will see growth in this channel. More visibility = more traffic = more potential customers = more potential revenue.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines with the goal of using that data for a specific purpose, often for search engine optimization (SEO) or general marketing.
Why are Keywords important?
Without the right keywords, you’ll really struggle to drive valuable traffic to a website!
However, choosing the right keywords can be difficult, especially if your business operates in a competitive niche. This is why keyword research is so important. Any SEO agency worth its salt will use multiple tools to identify target keywords, assess how competitive they are, and make suggestions of which pages target keywords should appear on.
Not all keywords are created equal. While a high volume, generic term like ‘books’ might seem like a good keyword if you sell books, realistically, it’s going to be very difficult to rank for a keyword like that, especially when you’re up against e-commerce giants like Amazon. ‘Buy books online’ might have lower search volume, but it’s far more relevant to your offering.
Now, ‘buy books online’ would be one of your ‘money’ terms (the search intent of the user is to purchase a book), but consider how many other searches users might make when researching what kind of book they want to buy.
This is where ‘long tail’ keywords come in. Made up of a number of keywords, often in a phrase or question, these keywords can be useful in driving traffic to deeper pages of your site, including FAQ pages, or a blog post. A good example of this would be ‘best selling horror books for 2019’ with all of your recommended books from this genre on a landing page, or a blog post ‘top 10 horror books’.
What are important Google Ranking Factors?
People often ask ‘how do I rank higher on Google?’ or ‘what affects SEO rankings?’
Only Google algorithms know exactly what factors determine how well a page ranks (how visible it is and what determines its position) in search results – in fact, there are reportedly over 200 ranking factors!
Keep in mind, search results are influenced by things like device, location, and a user’s search history, so what one user sees ranking in position one (the very first search result), another may see in position 5, and another may not see it on the first page at all!
While rankings are a good barometer for how well a keyword is performing, it’s important to take these considerations into account.
What are important SEO Practices?
In general, there are a few important practices to follow to boost your Search Engine Visability.
Quality content which contains your target keyword (and variations of it) and satisfies user intent is strongly correlated with better rankings.
Backlinks (links that point from third-party domains back to your domain) are also an important ranking factor, but it’s the quality and relevancy of the link and the domain it’s linking from that counts, rather than number alone.
For example, if you sell seeds, one link from BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine in an in-depth article about the best tulip seeds would be more valuable than thousands of links published in the comments on low-quality blogs that have nothing to do with gardening.
On-page optimization: This involves making your website search engine friendly by using optimized meta content (title tags, meta descriptions) heading tags, and images.
Technical considerations: Making sure a site has good structure, through clear navigation and internal linking is important, not just for search engines, but for users, too.
What is on-site SEO?
On-site SEO relates to any action taken on the website itself to improve performance. This includes:
- Using optimized content that contains target keywords (including meta, headers, images)
- Making sure that the site is accessible (can be crawled and indexed by search engines) and can be easily navigated by users
- Using internal links (in menus, body copy, and breadcrumbs to aid navigation)
- Ensuring the website loads quickly
- Keeping crawl errors to a minimum
- Having a site optimized for mobile
- Not having duplicate or thin content (low word count)
- Using clean, descriptive, URLs with a structure that follows the same structure as the site (for example, JessicaHayesDesign.com/what-is-SEO would be a better URL than JessicaHayesDesign.com/post3
What is off-site SEO?
Off-site SEO primarily focuses on links.
Links are important for SEO, and probably always will be as they act as a signal that people are finding content interesting enough to vouch for by linking to it.
All links are not created equal. And good links are not easy to come by.
What is Link-Building?
Linkbuilding is the process of actively seeking opportunities where a link back to your website could be placed. This could be:
- A directory website (Google Business Listings)
- Local business directories
- An association you or your staff are members of (SLCC)
- Companies that you partner with (as a supplier or reseller, for example)
- A blog post or guest article on a site in your niche (Informative Blog Post)
- Local press coverage
- Forums and Q&A sites (THIS Blog Post)
Linkbuilding used to be about quantity over quality – now the opposite is true.
Link-building takes a lot of time and planning to be done properly, and has become PR focused as more emphasis is now placed on creating high-quality content and sharing it with those who will find it interesting enough to link to.