Some Common SEO Questions
I was sent an email with a link to a LinkedIn question, ‘What are the Top 3 Questions You Want to Ask about SEO?’ The specific post would like others to post their questions, so I didn’t want to answer them there. Instead, I would like to touch on the questions myself, in this post, to help some of my new designer friends.
Answers To Some Common SEO Questions
What is SEO and why does it matter?
Actually, I already answered these 2 questions (2 questions in one…pfft…can’t trick me!) with the start of the eBook. You can find it at: Search Engine Optimizaton (SEO)
What do you do in your SEO-related field of work?
What do I do? SEO work varies from provider to provider. I can speak for myself on the way I live my SEO life. By day, I am an SEO for Vizergy.com, where we provide services to the hospitality Industry. I can’t tell you how fun it can be (read: “challenging”). With my free time, I offer mySEO services on a freelance basis. For Vizergy I handle the on-page optimization, link building, and social profiles for our clients. For my personal clients, I offer it all…except design.
How much should the average blogger know about SEO?
The average blogger should know of the basics, and grow from there. Blogging is unique in that you learn a lot as you go. It also offers different challenges than a static website with the issues of pagination, canonicalization, etc. Blogging also offers a whole new world of link-building opportunities. This post isn’t really long enough to cover Blog SEO, but know that quality, fresh content will help a great deal. Get the basics, and be open to learning as you grow.
How does SEO apply to businesses?
Greatly. I also covered this in a page from the SEO eBook, ‘What Can SEO Do For My Business’ (seems like I’m pushing that thing too much, eh?). To answer simply, having a website without an online promotion plan (be it SEM, SEO, SMM, whatever) is like having a car without gas. It might look great, but it’s not going anywhere.
How does Singapore measure in terms of SEO familiarity and utilisation, as compared with the rest of the world?
I have absolutely no idea. There are guys in this industry that could answer that with more integrity than I could, so I’m not going to make a fool of myself.
For most bloggers who may not appear in the first page of a Google search’s results, what basic steps can we take to improve that ranking?
Keep the content fresh, make it good, and network with your peers. Build quality inbound links to your site (you can do the directory thing, but it’s a dying methodolgy. Can’t hurt though). Try gues blogging at someone else’s blog for a link to yours.
What other factors affect search rankings besides SEO?
Well, that’s the essence of SEO. We are talking semantics here. Some would say link building has branched into it’s own niche, but it all started as SEO, and I probably won’t call it something else. The deeper you get into SEO, the more you see what drives rankings up, and realise that SEO is the only way. Even if you do it yourself, it’s still SEO.
What are the ways people abuse SEO, and how do we look out for them?
I could start a blog in and of itself about the abusers. I would like to keep clear that “SEO abusers” are often mis-understood as black hat SEOs, and this simply isn’t true. What are some ways? SEO realies heavily on the content on the site, and the links pointing to it. I would say that, other than the escalations that come across my desk, those two factors take up 75% of my SEO efforts. I’m sre you can imagine the creative ways people try to spam the content on their site by hiding it, or serving different versions to the search engines that they would a human visitor. Or the clever ways one would attempt to get tons of links pointing to a site.
Google changes it’s search algorithms from time to time, does that mean my previous SEO efforts have gone to waste?
Not at all. A lot of us charge a downpayment, and then a monthly fee for upkeep for a little while. I like to work with my clients in 9-month incriments. If I feel things are well at that 9 month mark, I usually let the client let me go for a few months. The site will likely carry itslelf for a bit, and then I can be, and usually am hired again a few months later. So you see, there are times when you just don’t want to keep poking around. Let the site roll for a second.
Please note that this isn’t always the case. The more competitive the market, or higher the goals of my client, the more attention it will require. Most of the time though, I usually let it roll for a few months without me, or with a much lower fee just for tracking and reporting.
What is the biggest, most common misunderstanding of SEO?
There are a few unfortunately. SEO is a mystery to a lot of people, so there are a great deal of firms and individuals using that cloud as a means of taking advantage of new business owners. It’s sad, and a big part of the reason I want to reach out to those outside of my immediate community.
There is a misunderstanding that we as SEOs can guarantee rankings. I’m sorry, but this just isn’t the case. Either you are being lied to, or you are getting involved with a black hat. Black hats usually let you know what they are doing and warn you accordingly (if you can even find a black hat to take a job on, they are a secretive bunch). I get to communicate with a black hate every once in a while, and he tells me that he can’t remember a tactic that lasted more than 30 days. Those methods are meant for rank fast and get out situations where you don’t care if you lose rankings after a week or so.
There are people at Google that don’t know what it takes to rank exactly. So nobody can guarantee a certain ranking or amount of traffic. We work heavily on our experience and research.
Finally, and the most important, the idea that SEO is the magic bullet. I wish it was, becuase I would charge way more than I do for my services. SEO is a piece of your marketing puzzle. You still want to consider real-world marketing, you still have to have a wanted product or service, you still have to run your business, etc. SEO can be related to advertising, just with a new, modern twist. All the rankings in the world won’t help if you are selling a poor product or service. Being number 1 for a search term is no good if people don’t even know of your product or service. You still have to get the other parts in order, we just happen to be able to help in a large way.
Well, that was all in the list. I want to thank Andreas for sending me this, and everyone at FreelanceSwitch for playing along for me, and creating a pretty neat community for us freelancers. Good on ya.
Oh. And as always, if you every have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I leave ways to do so all over this site, so you have no excuses.