Seven out of ten people use search engines like Google and Bing to search for what they want. But with millions of websites, how do people find yours? And what intent do they have while searching for the things that bring up your site – do they want to buy what you offer or do they simply want information?
The key to these questions and the larger problem of people finding your website is SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO is the most critical component of any successful long-term digital marketing strategy and forms an integral part of any internet marketing service provider like ClickBiz. However, many business owners are unsure about how SEO works and how they can use it to drive more relevant traffic to their website and increase revenues.
In this piece, we will look at the 10 most common questions that business owners have about SEO and we will answer these questions in some detail. Moreover, we will provide valuable insights into how to implement an effective SEO strategy.
But before all of that, here is the short answer. These are the 10 questions most businesses have about SEO:
- What is SEO and why is it important for my business?
- What are the most important factors that influence SEO rankings?
- How long does it take to see results from SEO efforts?
- How can I improve my website’s content for SEO?
- What is the difference between on-page and off-page SEO?
- What are backlinks and how do they impact my website’s SEO?
- How do I choose the right keywords for my SEO strategy?
- How do I measure the success of my SEO efforts?
- How do I stay up to date with the latest SEO trends and best practices?
- Should I hire an SEO agency or do it in-house?
You can click on each of the questions above to get to the answer.
Question 1: What is SEO and why is it important for my business?
SEO is the practice of optimising your website to improve its visibility and ranking on search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. SEO can drive significant amounts of traffic to your website, increase its online visibility, and ultimately boost your sales. It is a fact that businesses that invest in search optimisation are more likely to see a higher return on investment (ROI) compared to those that do not.
Fun Fact: 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search
Question 2: How long does it take to see results from SEO efforts?
The time it takes for SEO to rank your site for relevant search queries depends on factors such as competitiveness in your industry, the quality of your website content, the effectiveness of your SEO strategy vis-à-vis your competitors, how long you have undertaken search optimisation for your website and so on. The first improvements start to show up within the first 3-6 months but it takes around a year for these results to stabilise. The more time you spend on SEO, the better the results.
Question 3: What are the most important factors that influence SEO rankings?
We will have to write an encyclopaedia to answer this question properly. Here is a 3-word summary: Quite a few.
Some of the more important ones include the quality of your website content, the relevance of your keywords, the number and quality of backlinks to your site, the structure of your site, the overall user experience, the number of visitors you have, the internal linking within your site and so on.
Fun Fact: A study found that businesses that have active blogs generate 67% more leads per month than those that do not have blogs
Question 4: How can I improve my website‘s content for SEO?
Focus on creating high-quality, informative content that is optimised for your target keywords. Keywords refer to the search terms people use to find the things they want on the internet. For example, someone may type in ‘sofa’ to find a sofa for their home while others may type in ‘4-seater sofa’ or ‘cane sofa’. Each of these terms is a keyword or keyphrase. If you sell sofas, then you need to use these terms in the content of your website including the title of the page, its URL, subheadings, and the alt text for your images and videos.
Question 5: What is the difference between on-page and off-page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the optimisation of the content on your site (i.e. on-page optimisation or pages on your site) and its overall structure. Off-page SEO refers to optimisation of external factors such as backlinks, social media activity and reviews (i.e. off-page optimisation or pages that are not on your site). These are rather simple explanations, however. Each of these factors is quite complex in itself and you will need SEO experts, either in-house or as consultants/vendors to take care of them.
Question 6: What are backlinks and how do they impact my website’s SEO?
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. They are important for SEO because they signal to search engines that your website is authoritative and trustworthy. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more likely you are to rank higher in search rankings. This is a loop of sorts. The more you appear on top of search results, the more backlinks you are likely to get, which in turn will help you solidify your dominance in search results.
Fun fact: The first page of Google captures 71% of search traffic clicks and has been reported to be as high as 92% in recent years
Question 7: How do I choose the right keywords for my SEO strategy?
To choose the right keywords, you need to spend some time researching the keywords and key phrases for which you want to rank. Find words that are relevant to your business and have high search volume. Consider the competitiveness of the terms, the difficulty of ranking for these keywords, the search intent of the user and so on. Taking the earlier example, a keyword like ‘sofa’ will be difficult to rank for but something like ‘4-seater sofa’ or ‘cane sofa’ will be comparatively easier. These are good key terms to rank for if you sell sofas but if you provide information on the latest trends in furniture design, then these keywords may not be ideal for you. Instead, something like ‘sofa design’ or ’sofa for small homes’ may be far better to come up in search engine rankings.
Tip: Website keyword analysis of your competitors is a clever way to find the keywords quickly and easily.
Question 8: How do I measure the success of my SEO efforts?
Track key metrics such as your website’s search engine rankings, organic traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, pages that have more visitors and so on. Google offers free tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor these metrics. You can keep an eye on the data and make adjustments to your search optimisation strategy as needed.
Question 9: How do I stay up to date with the latest SEO trends and best practices?
Follow industry leaders and reputable sources of information such as Search Engine Land and Moz to stay up to date with the latest SEO trends and best practices. Read and follow experts like Neil Patel or Brian Dean. You can also attend industry conferences and seminars and network with SEO professionals and stay informed about the latest developments in the field. But here is the flip side of this: all of this will take time. So, the question you should be asking yourself is actually the next one.
Question 10: Should I hire an SEO agency or do it in-house?
Fun Fact: 44% of businesses outsource their SEO services to specialized agencies
The decision to handle SEO in-house or outsource to an SEO agency depends on several factors such as the time you have available to spend on SEO, your budget, the size and complexity of your business, and the expertise of your existing marketing team to take care of your organic online growth. While some businesses may have the resources and knowledge to handle SEO in-house, others may benefit from working with a specialised internet marketing service provider that can provide expertise and proven results.
The cost of the latter may seem more at the outset but is actually less. Here is a quick calculation for you based on our Hero SEO Plan.
The work we do under the plan for ₹50,000 per month will need that you hire at least two people. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an SEO specialist in the UK is around £30,000 to £40,000 per year. In the US, it is higher at around $60,000. Even in our home base India, where we have comparably lower salaries than the UK or the US, the annual salary of an SEO specialist, can be around ₹500,000. If you add the number twice you will get an idea of how much it will cost you to have an in-house 2-member team versus hiring a web marketing company like ClickBiz.
The flip side is that you need to be able to trust that someone who is not in your direct control will work in your best interests. Since most small business owners have a tendency to do things on their own, this leap of faith can be difficult.
Ultimately, the key is to choose the approach that aligns with the specific needs and goals of the business.