Frequently asked questions about SEO - Search Engine Optimization

What exactly is SEO?

Generally, people who visit a search engine will choose one of the top listings, or maybe go to the second page (in rear cases though). The goal of SEO is to rank your website on the first page of search engines so that potential customers will find your website before that of your competitors.

Simply put, SEO is a website optimizing process so that search engines will score your site and place it well within the rankings. When you start doing SEO, it may take time before you start seeing positive results, but after some time, your website will move closer to the first page of Google. Remember, consistency is important.

Note: Most of your competitors are also into SEO, some of them even have departments set aside for just SEO. So not only are you up against search engines, you’re up against your competitors as well. With the right strategies and consistency, your site will surely do well on search engines.

How is SEO changing?

SEO is evolving all the time. The latest and biggest change is the shift towards mobile. In the US for example, mobile digital media time is now significantly higher (61%) than desktop digital media time (32%), and that number will certainly continue to grow. Recently, Google made mobile page speed a ranking factor. You should investigate Accelerated Mobile Pages as it is becoming more and more paramount to improve mobile usability on your website.

How much does SEO cost?

SEO can vary significantly in price depending on who is offering the service, and there is a large price difference for a reason. Agencies who offer SEO at exceptionally low prices usually tend to cut corners, use ‘black-hat’ techniques, or use improper SEO strategy, resulting in penalties, decreasing traffic, and spam for unsuspecting business owners. Agencies with a good reputation tend to be more expensive, remember you are paying for their experience, ethics, and effectiveness.


Think about the annual price it would cost to do SEO yourself:


Pricing for a full in-house SEO strategy can easily run upwards of $245K per year for small to medium businesses. Agencies can offer their resources, expertise, and team for a much lower cost than it would take to maintain an in-house SEO team and involves less risk than outsourcing to a cheap agency.

Once I start SEO, how long will it take to get rankings?

SEO is not a instant fix and definitely not an overnight strategy. The first few months are dedicated to updating your site and waiting for the search engine spiders to crawl and index the changes. Dependent on your website, the amount of work it requires, and the crawl frequency of the search engine spiders, it typically takes 3-9 months to begin seeing new ranking results.

How long will it take to see increases in traffic with SEO?

An increase in rankings usually is a direct result of increased traffic. Once your rankings begin to increase, you will also begin to see gradual increases in traffic and conversions. Just remember that new rankings and traffic are not immediately, it takes a few months to complete the necessary updates and get them indexed before you will begin to see these increases.

Should I also do PPC?

(PPC) Pay Per Click is a great supplementary strategy to enhance your SEO efforts and can help increase relevant traffic and conversions. Depending on your website, and specific industry, the effectiveness of the keywords you want to go after and most agencies will recommend PPC on a case-per-case basis.

Why should I continue SEO once I’ve gotten good rankings?

Attaining good rankings is only half the battle, search engines are constantly evolving and updating their algorithms, your rankings can fluctuate from one day to another. Keeping your existing rankings is just as involved as getting new ones; it takes constant research, updates, and testing to keep your URL ranking in the top positions. Stopping SEO after you have reached rankings will result in a loss of rankings quickly as the search engines consistently updates their algorithm.

Can’t we just buy links?

Link building can be a valuable aspect of SEO, purchased links and links from spammy or ‘bad neighborhood’ websites can in fact hurt your rankings rather badly. Search engines are continually looking out for links like that. Google’s ‘Penguin’ series of algorithm updates is geared towards penalizing sites who obtain links artificially through link exchange schemes and purchasing links or have links from spam websites. To recover from a link penalty is not an easy one and can result in significant traffic losses.

Can you guarantee my rankings with SEO?

No SEO agencies can guarantee something they do not control and be careful of any agency that claims they can. There is no way to know 100% how a website will rank because of the search engine’s constantly evolving nature and to guarantee rankings would be unscrupulous. Furthermore, beware of companies claiming they have a special relationship with Google or any search engine to guarantee ranking positions. This is totally misleading and untrue, and Google and other search engines all warns against agencies that make these claims.

Can you get me ranked for general terms like ‘lawyer’?

General terms are highly competitive and extremely costly to rank for based on the time and resources it would take to achieve rankings for a term that broad. Another reason we advise against going after terms that broad is relevancy. If you are a lawyer in Wisconsin, traffic from Arizona probably is not that relevant to your business. It is more cost effective and pragmatic to go after terms that relate to the location of your business.

Which Search Engines receive the majority of searches?

Google obtains the majority of search traffic, with about 67% total searches. Bing comes in second with about 17%, then Yahoo with roughly 12% and the remaining Search Engines all total about 4%.

How often do the Search Engines update their algorithm or search equation?

Only the techs behind the search engines know this answer for sure, but Google’s head of Web Spam, Matt Cutts, has been quoted saying that more than 500 updates are made each year. It is important to remember that search engines are constantly evolving and changing, it is crucial to stay on top of the changes, make constant updates on our end, and only use strategies that are ethical and sustainable.

Why do my Google ranking fluctuate?

Certainly, ranking fluctuates, but try not to be the one causing the fluctuation. What do we mean by this? It is a known fact that in the past few years search engines and especially Google has been working towards Personalized Search Results (PSR) this means that they try to tailor the results to your fancy, rather than showing the same results to everybody. 

There are other factors at play and not only PSR. If you search “best SEO company Jacksonville”, you may get a completely different result from someone who searches that exact phrase in another location. Search engines take countless factors into consideration including who you are, your past search history, your location, your browser history, and tons more.

This is one of the reasons why your rankings are not stable, also note that there are normally ten results on every SERP (search engine results page). Meaning there are ten people fighting for that number one position. Consequently, in most cases, your site might be fluctuating because your competitors are influencing the SERPs pushing your website up, or down.

Should I start SEO before my website is built or after it?

The best time to start SEO is during the designing and development of your website. It is much easier to build SEO into your site during development. Remember the first time you went out on a date. You made sure you smelt very nice, be on your best behavior and look stunning. 

SEO is similar, the first time your website reaches Google you would want to make sure the right keywords are implemented, error-free, and look completely spotless. You do not want the first impression of your site on Google to be a flawed one.

Basics of SEO
Simply put, SEO allows your website to be discovered by anyone searching for specific things online and most customers, around 63%, start their journey by looking for a specific product by typing the keywords into a search engine. 

Search engine ranking is especially important as 75% of all users never go past the first page of a search engine result. Getting answers to SEO questions and familiarizing yourself with SEO tips should be your top priority to ensure your website does better than that of your competitors and is critical due to the huge level of competition as well as white noise that can get in between you and your customer base.
SEO Tips

Now that you understand what SEO can do for you, it is time for some general SEO tips:

 - Build a well-functioning website

Having a well-designed and developed website forms the basis of every online transaction. It as the digital version of your brick-and-mortar store and should represent your brand and make the shopping experience easy and enjoyable for customers.

 - Use keywords carefully

Website content is the key to SEO. It should be relevant, focused, and make sure anyone searching online can find what they need easily. Many people think using many keywords and using them often will improve rankings. That is simply not true. Keyword usage needs to make sense, and you must use them in the website’s URL, the meta descriptions, header tabs, and alternate attributes.

 - Keep content current and make sure it satisfies user intent

One of the most important SEO tips is to remember that it is always a work in progress. Having a high-ranking website is not enough, as rankings are being revised all the time by search engine algorithms. 

A very general SEO question is why your website no longer ranks high even though no changes were made to it. The answer is easy: the lack of change itself. 

Content needs to be updated and kept current to satisfy user intent. Keeping your website familiar yet fresh strikes just the right balance and helps maintain SEO rankings.

Surviving SEO

Getting SEO correct is not as easy as it sounds. You may have all the SEO tips and still struggle to make any progress because of all the competition. Everyone is trying to outdo everybody else at the SEO game. You may need extra help answering your SEO questions to enable you to improve your website’s ranking and may require speaking to a professional SEO, like Best4SEO. We are experts at strategizing a winning SEO action plan for you. Remember most big companies use SEO professionals and experts to achieve high SEO rankings.