SEO can seem like a confusing and overwhelming world if you are just getting started. You can find thousands of articles that have been produced by Google, Bing and other search engine optimization experts that detail how exactly websites are ranked in search engines and what can be done for ranking higher. Due to conflicting sets of data, some experts end up going in different directions, which creates a conflict. You need to have a different level of technical expertise for every move and if that wasn’t enough, Google has the habit of changing the game after every couple of months with a new update.
Newcomers are often unaware of the purpose, nature and qualities of search engine optimization and have plenty of SEO questions they want answered. Discussed below are the questions that are asked by most beginners and their answers too:
Question 1: How much does SEO cost?
The cost can depend on the approach you wish to take. If you are sticking to the basics, it is possible for you to do most of it within 10 to 20 hours in a week. But, if your goals and niche are bigger and you need to use some advanced tactics, then you have to have an SEO team. Igor Lav SEO Consultant advises, “You can set up a reasonable budget for your campaign, depending on what you require and hire skilled SEO experts to do the task for you. As long as it is done properly, you will get a good return on investment from the campaign, regardless of the budget level.”
Question 2: How long does your SEO efforts take?
Again, it depends on the approach taken. If you are investing the minimum and writing content once a week, it could be months or even years before you notice any progress. Regular link building, multiple weekly blogposts and content promotion can give you results within weeks. The results are dependent on the duration of the SEO campaign and the extent of your efforts.
Question 3: Do you need coding experience?
When you are getting started with SEO, you don’t necessarily have to have a coding background, but you do need a bit of technical knowledge, such as meta descriptions, robots.txt file, etc. Luckily, you can easily find instructions on how to go about these things so you don’t have to be an expert in coding.
Question 4: What strategies to use if you don’t know the algorithm?
This is a major problem in SEO; Google does not publish its algorithm so you don’t know the factors that it will consider in ranking. Then, how will you rank? One word; experiments. The SEO community shares results of tests and also anecdotal evidence about fluctuations in rank. Then, you can draw conclusions about the factors that can have the strongest impact on ranks.
Question 5: How to choose the right keywords?
Previously, search algorithms had simply mapped the keyword phrases entered by the users to similar or identical phrases available on the web. These days, they go for semantic search i.e. understanding and appeasing user intent. Hence, your job is to choose good keywords for your topic, preferably dedicated pages and consider the commonly asked user questions within your industry. You can also think about the trending topics or areas that aren’t being covered by your competitors.
Question 6: How to know what is ‘keyword stuffing’?
The process of adding too many keywords on a site or page is defined as keyword stuffing. Again, this was a recommended practice when the concept of SEO was very fresh and new. These days, shoehorning a specific keyword in your content i.e. stuffing your content with that keyword is going to get you penalized and you will end up out of the rankings or at the bottom. Don’t just stuff your page with the keywords; use them carefully because stuffing is bad for user experience and for SEO.
Question 7: How will I end up on Google’s blacklist?
The concept of Google’s ‘blacklist’ is often misunderstood. Rankings tend to move up and down and this is completely normal. It doesn’t mean that you have been given a penalty. Nonetheless, there are several things that can draw Google’s ire such as link building schemes, engaging in spam, illegal practices or other black hat techniques. Avoid them and you stay off the black list.
Question 8: Is link building risky?
Link building is not dangerous or risky if it is done correctly. If you post links everywhere and anywhere you can, then yes, it can get you in trouble. However, if you opt for content-oriented and legitimate link-building tactics and your strategy is diversified, you shouldn’t face too many problems.
Question 9: What is local search engine optimization?
Local SEO is defined as the process of ranking for geographically local search queries. The national search results algorithm is used for these. The considerations for local SEO are quite similar to that of national search engine optimization such as inbound links, domain authority and on-site content. However, a couple of extras such as the quantity and quality of online reviews and local citations in third-party directories are involved in local SEO. As opposed to national SEO, local is not as competitive and it is crucial for brick-and-mortar stores that cater to local customers.
Question 10: How do determine the returns?
Most businesses that give search engine optimization a proper shot end up enjoying the benefits. The only problem is the amount of time needed for it to show its value. In the initial period, you will probably experience a loss on investment, but you stand to gain more if you continue to spend time and effort in improving and enhancing your SEO strategy. In simple terms, if you are strategic, patient and you comply with the best practices, search engine optimization will offer you a positive return on investment.
While there is no single guide you can find to SEO, knowing these answers can help you in grasping the basics and moving ahead.