Have burning questions about search engine optimization (SEO) but no one to ask? We’ve put together a list of 20 common SEO questions and answered them for you.
SEO is a crucial piece of the digital marketing toolkit for any online business. If you’re struggling to make an impact with SEO, you can get a free 30-minute consultation from a GoDaddy SEO expert here.
20 SEO questions answered
Here are the 20 questions tackled in this article. Just click the question you’re interested in to see the answer.
- What is SEO?
- Why bother with SEO at all?
- What evidence exists to show that investment in SEO is worthwhile?
- What's a simple way to enhance my site’s SEO?
- What are the top 5 things I need to undertake on my site to improve SEO?
- Which is the best way to optimise SEO?
- Is SEO something that can be implemented by a small business owner or is it best done by a professional?
- Where is the best place to start when you have finished your website and now optimizing it?
- How long will it take before I begin to see the results of my SEO activities?
- Any guarantees SEO will make my website achieve a number-one ranking in search engines?
- Isn't well written, interesting content and adhering to good design standards the most important thing, before you even think about SEO?
- What one thing could I do to a piece of content to increase its SEO ranking?
- What are the biggest mistakes businesses make in SEO?
- Why do Amazon and eBay seem to be in front of everyone on nearly every search I do when looking to buy a product?
- Does placing outbound links and images in every article improve my site's ranking?
- Does repeating keywords throughout your page help with your Google position?
- Are meta-tags essential to have or just a nice to have, and if so is having greater number of tags better than fewer?
- If SEO is applied to all websites, does it not cancel itself out?
- What SEO strategy returns the best value results?
- Is SEO still relevant in the age of social media?
1. What is SEO?
SEO is search engine optimization (SEO can also refer to someone who does SEO work). It’s ensuring that your website can be accessed and understood by search engines so that it can be included in relevant search results when someone enters a query into the search engine.
2. Why bother with SEO at all?
More than two-thirds of online experiences start with a search engine. If you’re not working on SEO, then you’re missing out on the chance to grab the attention of those people. Plus, your rivals are almost certainly using SEO. If they’re doing it well, they’re taking customers away from you.
3. What evidence exists to show that investment in SEO is worthwhile?
The simple answer is the sheer number of companies that invest in SEO. There are also plenty of case studies out there that show the value of SEO. Here is a selection from Google itself.
4. What's a simple way to enhance my site’s SEO?
If you haven’t done any SEO before, a really simple way to get started is with GoDaddy’s Search Engine Optimization tool. It will walk you through the basics like identifying relevant keywords. You can also check out this post on simple SEO facts, which will give you a grounding in the building blocks of SEO.
5. What are the top 5 things I need to undertake on my site to improve SEO?
It will vary from site to site, but for beginners this is a good plan of action:
1) Make sure search engines can crawl and understand your site
2) Make sure you’re focusing on the right keywords for the right pages
3) Understand what your competitors are doing
4) Make sure you’re tracking the impact of your SEO efforts over time
5) Work on continuous improvements to your SEO.
6. Which is the best way to optimise SEO?
There’s no one “best way” to do SEO, but it is important to start with the basics such as ensuring that search engines can access and understand your website, and that you’re targeting relevant keywords which are being used by potential customers.
7. Is SEO something that can be implemented by a small business owner or is it best done by a professional?
Small business owners can definitely do SEO, especially with the help of a tool like GoDaddy Search Engine Optimization, or our SEO service. Before you start any SEO project, read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines so you don’t accidentally break them and end up damaging your site’s SEO. Even if you plan to hire an SEO, it’s a good idea to get to grips with the basic concepts to help you spot unscrupulous practitioners.
8. Where is the best place to start when you have finished your website and now optimizing it?
The best place to start optimizing is your money pages – the pages that bring you customers. If you’re selling a product, that’s product pages. If you’re selling a service, it will be the pages where people can book an appointment or request a quote. Use a tool like GoDaddy Search Engine Optimization to ensure you’re using relevant keywords on those pages and add any that are missing. You can then follow the tool’s other recommendations to expand your SEO efforts.
9. How long will it take before I begin to see the results of my SEO activities?
At least six months. Maybe even a year. If you haven’t seen any improvement at all after that time, you may need to revaluate what you’re doing.
10. Any guarantees SEO will make my website achieve a number-one ranking in search engines?
There are no guarantees in SEO! Be wary of any SEO who offers to guarantee you number one rankings as it’s likely they’re not reputable. The way search engines rank content is opaque, so although there’s plenty that can be done to help a site rank better, no one can predict when that will lead to a number one ranking.
11. Isn't well written, interesting content and adhering to good design standards the most important thing, before you even think about SEO?
Well-written, interesting content and adhering to good design standards are part of search engine optimization. Search engines want to send their users to quality websites which feature content that answers their queries. Google has recently underlined this ambition by rolling out the Page Experience update, which makes good website usability a ranking factor in its algorithm.
12. What one thing could I do to a piece of content to increase its SEO ranking?
Make sure that it includes relevant keywords, and that people are searching for those keywords. If your content doesn’t include keywords, then it has no chance of ranking. If you’ve got a particularly impressive piece of content, consider sharing it with other website owners you think will find it useful. If they decide to link to it, then that’s also helpful.
13. What are the biggest mistakes businesses make in SEO?
1) Giving up too soon: It takes time to see SEO results.
2) Not focusing on the basics first: If your website’s structure isn’t SEO-friendly, you’re going to struggle to rank well in search engines no matter what else you do. Fortunately, things like WordPress and modern website builders (our included) are designed to produce sites that have SEO-friendly structures as default. You still need to make sure you do keyword research for your most important.
3) Targeting very competitive high-volume keywords: Trying to target a high-volume keyword that is dominated by major brands is probably going to end in dispiriting failure. Focus on less competitive keywords.
14. Why do Amazon and eBay seem to be in front of everyone on nearly every search I do when looking to buy a product?
Put simply, because they’re huge brands with huge reach. They win big in almost every aspect of SEO. They attract links from major websites and they have plenty of pages with optimized content. Because of this, they often top the rankings.
15. Does placing outbound links and images in every article improve my site's ranking?
Outbound links and images on their own won’t be enough to send your site to the top of search engine results, but they can help. Make sure the images you add have descriptive alt text that features a relevant keyword.
16. Does repeating keywords throughout your page help with your Google position?
It’s important to include relevant keywords in any piece of content so search engines can understand what it’s about. However, simply repeating those words several times won’t increase rankings. Aim to have your keywords appear naturally in the content.
17. Are meta-tags essential to have or just a nice to have, and if so is having greater number of tags better than fewer?
Meta tags have a lot of useful applications. However, when it comes to SEO people often use meta tags to refer to meta keyword tags, which were once useful for SEO but are now ignored by major search engines. Try this guide if you want to learn about the different kinds of meta tags and which are still useful.
18. If SEO is applied to all websites, does it not cancel itself out?
Someone has to be number one for any given search query, so there’s always a “winner” when it comes to SEO efforts. For smaller businesses, it’s often a case of identifying less competitive keywords that still get a significant number of searchers and trying to win there.
19. What SEO strategy returns the best value results?
Focusing on keywords with a moderate level of traffic but low competition is a great way to get started with SEO. You can use a tool like GoDaddy Search Engine Optimization identify those keywords. You can then create in-depth content that focuses your chosen keywords. Learn more about website keywords in this guide.
20. Is SEO still relevant in the age of social media?
Social media is a great way to bring visitors to a website, but so is SEO! Most successful websites target multiple channels for traffic generation.
Still struggling with SEO? Don't forget, you can get a free 30-minute consultation from a GoDaddy SEO expert here.