January 8, 2016

11 Things Business Owners Need to Know About SEO

Uncovering the Dirty Secrets of the SEO Industry Mini Series

SEO plays a pivotal role in any online marketing campaign. Because SEO is so vital to modern marketing campaigns, it is important that business owners have a firm understanding of key SEO concepts. With that in mind, here are some common SEO questions and answers:

  1. What is SEO?
    SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Specifically SEO forms part of the technical requirements to ensure your website appears on search engines.
  2. What is the difference between organic search results and paid advertising on Google?
    The fundamental difference is that the organic search results are websites that have their position. Paid advertisements have bought their way to the first page of Google.
  3. What is a meta title and description?
    The meta title and description is the behind the scenes coding your SEO company has embedded on your webpage. It tells search engines what your web page is about and if done correctly, will appear on search results.
  4. Do I need an SEO domain name to get on Google?
    Ever since September 2012 when Google released the Exact Match Domain Update (EMD Update), have keywords in your domain name has not been an important factor in ranking. It is recommended that business owners focus on building a brand as opposed to trying to please Google.
  5. Is there a magic number of keywords I need to have on my web page?
    There is no magic number of keywords that you need embedded in your website content to get found on the first page of a search engine result. It is recommended that content marketers and business owners focus on creating unique content with unique value.
  6. What is a backlink?
    Technically speaking, a backlink is a connection from one website to another in the form of a text link or banner. Broadly speaking a backlink is a way that other websites can endorse yours. The higher the quality the endorsement, the more highly you are favoured by search engines.
  7. Should I learn SEO myself?
    While it is not feasible to learn all the ins and outs of SEO as the requirements as constantly changing, it is recommended that business owners are engaged in the SEO process. SEO requires all key stakeholders from the CEO down to be committed to SEO and by extension, content marketing.
  8. What is the robots.txt file?
    The robots. txt file is a way that you can communicate to Google what pages you want to appear on public search results and which pages are off limits. It is important that this file and related settings are audited on a regular basis.
  9. What is an XML sitemap?
    The XML sitemap is the online equivalent of a table of contents in a book. It is an important way to show site architecture and to demonstrate hierarchy. All modern websites should have an XML sitemap.
  10. How long will it take to see results from my SEO campaign?
    If you are looking at a newly created domain name, it is realistic to say that you will not see results in terms of search engine visibility until well into the new year. For established sites, a good timeframe is around the 4-6 month mark.
  11. Why do I need an SEO agency?
    Google and the other search engines make a number of changes to their algorithms on a regular basis. Google in particular makes some 500 updates to it’s underlying architecture. Because of this, it is not feasible for business owners to be across every single requirement the search engines make. It is always recommended that business owners use a reputable SEO agency that uses ethical SEO strategies.