Here at Boostability, we like to think we’re pretty good at this whole SEO thing. As we constantly talk to clients from around the world, we get a lot of similar questions and concerns. We wanted to answer them simply and effectively for anyone who wants to better understand SEO.
Read here for our 11 most FAQ and why they matter in the SEO process.
1. What is SEO?
We’ll start here with a simple one. SEO is an abbreviation for ‘Search Engine Optimization.’ It is the process of informing search engines of what your business does, where you are located, and why you’re the best source of information for the searcher. Search engines like Google and Bing use this data to connect your business with users when they perform a search.
Optimizing for SEO helps consumers find what is most relevant to them.
Search engines are good at indexing websites through SEO that answer a searcher’s query. It’s in Google’s best interest to provide a good experience and answer the question people ask through a search. Users rarely click beyond the first few results on the first page. Optimizing your website for SEO can propel your business to the first search results page.
2. What does SERP mean?
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. When the user types their query into the search bar, the SERP is the web page(s) displayed with your results. The SERP will always look different depending on the keywords you use in your search. On these SERPs, you will typically see organic searches as well as paid advertisements, both types of searches associated with the keywords used.
3. What is a keyword? How do I choose a good keyword?
Keywords are words and phrases in your content and on your website that search engine’s look for to help users find and connect to your site. Keywords are one of the most important aspects of SEO. Without them, users are unable to find your content through online searches.
Always use best keyword practices in your SEO strategy. Use the appropriate keywords for your needs and utilize them correctly to bring the right traffic to your website. Think about what kind of information visitors to your website are seeking and what terms they may use to reach you. Create a list of as many potential keywords as possible that cover all the topics you write about. Find inspiration for keywords in your analytics data, where you will see terms visitors are currently using to reach your website. Integrate your keywords into quality content on your website and your blog. You will see your keywords climb in the rankings by building a good keyword structure.
Avoid blackhat practices such as keyword stuffing, the practice of stuffing a web page, backlinks, and meta tags with as many keywords as possible in an attempt to manipulate ranking on Google’s search engine results page. This tactic is discouraged as it’s a strategy trying to cheat the algorithm versus a strategy to provide a great user experience. Do not pick a keyword and repeat it over and over in your copy. Use keyword research and build a strong strategy to optimize the content on your website.
4. What is good content for my website? How often do I need to update it?
Content is king. Actually, content is the number one factor in ranking on search engines like Google. Content is the words, images, video, and descriptions that drive users to your website. Good content will keep them there longer. Your content needs to be high-quality and highly-relevant to your users. It must serve the purpose of the user. They should need and want what you have to offer. Be authentic and purposeful in your content. Tell your customers where you are, what you do, and how you can help them. Show them why you’re an expert in your field. That’s the fundamentals of content on your website. You need to help the customer, and search engines, understand why you’re the best at what you do.
You need to create both long and short form content. Create actionable content. Understand and anticipate the needs of your customers and answer questions
Update your content often. As information in your industry or your business changes, so should your content. Update any outdated information on your website. Audit your content as needed and stay an authority for your industry. Writing good content will get you the attention of the search engines.
5. What is a search algorithm update and why do they matter?
Search engines like Google update their algorithms frequently. Sometimes a dozen times a day, or hundreds of times in a year. These updates have ranged from minor shifts to dramatic changes that alter the way we search.
Google and other search engines have continually stated that their core goal for search is providing a great user experience. To do this, they must continue you change and update their algorithm to provide better results for their users. Search results can have a massive change on industries, websites supporting those industries, and the very content being created. It is important to stay up-to-date with these changes so you can alter your strategy as needed to stay competitive.
Each update will impact search engines differently. Google doesn’t give full details behind each algorithm update so stay up to date with industry news and follow professionals to get in-depth analysis and changes as these updates occur.
Check out Boostability’s SEO Director Colton Miller’s extensive deep dive into understanding Google’s algorithm updates.
6. Does social media help my SEO?
Social media is not a direct ranking factor, however, it can help influence your SEO ranking and reach future customers quite effectively. Social media is a powerful tool for both your business and marketing strategy. It can help drive traffic back to your site and create authority for your URL and website which in turn will help your SEO.
Manage your brand and content for all your social media accounts. Build a strong authority for your brand on your social accounts. Engage with customers and start conversations with them. As you write meaningful and high-quality content, share your content across all your platforms to help drive your users back to your website. Create new content specifically for your social media with good copy to drive users back to your site.
7. What is a backlink? How do I implement them into my link building strategy?
Backlinks are links from one website that take you to a page on another website. When reputable websites send links back to your website, it signals to Google that your brand or company is a trusted source and that it is important and valuable to the user. Backlinks can help rank you higher on the SERP. When provided by reputable sites, they act as votes of confidence for your website. This is one of the most important parts of an SEO campaign.
Include quality and trusted links in your content with domain authority. The more trusted the source, the more authority it can give to your website. Make sure the links are related to the content you link it in. Search engines want to know that the links are relevant and related. Use “do follow” links as these are the links that are recognized by search engines as a vote of quality and confidence.
8. What is the difference between SEO and PPC?
The short answer is organic versus paid. SEO gets you on first page positions on the SERP organically if your website is optimized for the search engines. PPC, or pay-per-click, essentially means it can get your ad on the first page by paying a higher cost per click. For example, the user searches using a keyword “plumbers in Salt Lake City.” The SERP displays both Paid results and Organic results. Paid results are the outcome of a bidding process where advertisers bid on that keyword to see who gets placed in those dedicated positions at the top of the page. The Organic results are the outcome of a complex algorithmic process that determines results based on relevance, quality, and numerous other factors.
You don’t need to have both an SEO campaign and a PPC campaign to succeed and they can complement each other well. However, you should always focus on ranking organically to build domain authority for your website. Organic links get clicks far more often and bring in 8-times as many leads as paid clicks.
9. Why does SEO take time?
SEO ranks you higher based on your domain authority and how long your domain has been online. Building your domain authority is an Organic process that requires users to test and search for the keywords and search engines will judge how users interact with your domain which will help you grow your domain authority. As you build authority with a good content strategy and using good keywords, you will start to see your website move up in rankings. Although this process takes time, it will benefit your website and business in the long run. SEO is not a one time fix. You need to always stay up to date with trends and update your content to stay competitive on the SERP.
10. What does domain authority mean and does it matter for my website?
Domain authority measures the relevance of a website in a specific industry or subject. If you want to rank higher in your industry, it is very important to have a good domain authority. Search engines are looking for trusted websites to display on their results page. It takes time to build authority for your website. As you follow the E.A.T. guidelines, your website will stand out to search engines and your website will start to see higher ranking results.
11. Do I need SEO?
The short answer is yes! If you are looking to grow your business and website traffic, then you need to consider a strong SEO campaign for your marketing strategy. A solid SEO strategy will increase your credibility and authority in your industry, bring in continual traffic, and rank you higher on the SERP.
Learn more about our SEO products or schedule a free consultation to get started on your SEO campaign today.