If you’re new to the world of SEO, you are probably encountering terms you don’t know and explanations you don’t understand. While SEO is a multifaceted process that involves a lot of variables, the basic goal is simple—use techniques to make a website appear at or near the top of a Google search, where it will be seen by potential customers or clients.
If you’re just dipping your toe into SEO, this post will address some of the most basic and frequently asked questions about search engine optimization.
What is SEO?
SEO—or search engine optimization—is a set of techniques used to increase a website’s ranking in a Google search. By ranking higher, websites will be found and seen by more people, resulting in more leads for a business.
What are the benefits of using SEO?
By using SEO to get your website seen by people who are searching for the goods or services you provide, you are not only gaining visibility, but attracting very warm leads in the form of people who are already in the market for what you offer. The fact is that in today’s market, most people begin their quest to purchase something or hire someone by doing a Google search, so if you are not showing up where customers are looking, you will lose business to companies that are.
How does Google determine rank?
Google uses over two hundred publicly known criteria to rank websites, but keywords remain one of the most important. First, you must research the words and phrases people are using to search for businesses like yours, and then you will want to concentrate your efforts on optimizing your website to target those keywords.
Besides keywords, what other factors can affect ranking?
Though Google uses hundreds of points to rank websites and decide which to show to its users first, some of the most crucial are content, links, mobile-friendliness, search intent, and on-page SEO.
How long does it take for SEO to improve rankings?
While every situation is different and there are a lot of factors to consider, SEO generally takes four to six months to produce a noticeable effect. It’s a process, an investment in your business, and something that requires constant effort and monitoring.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click and refers to ads that the business pays for each time a user clicks on them.
What is SMM?
SMM is an acronym for social media marketing, which is the process of using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on to promote your business.
What is PageRank?
PageRank is one of the earliest algorithms developed by Google, and it is still used to access a site’s value based on the number of quality links it has from other high-authority sites. Based on this algorithm, sites with more backlinks will ranks higher, but only if those links come from quality sites. Links remain one of the top ranking factors,
What is link juice?
Link juice is a slang term used to how much power a link transfers to another site. For example, a link with a lot of “link juice” is one that comes from a high-authority site and improves the rank of the site it links to.
What are the types of links?
Links fall into four categories: dofollow, nofollow, ugc, and sponsored. Dofollow links pass on link juice while nofollow links do not. Ugc are user-generated links, and sponsored links are paid—things like advertisements. Nofollow links previously did not affect rankings at all, but in 2019, Google announced that nofollow links are going to be used, though not exactly how. They are still not direct ranking factors.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO refers to the optimization of website features such as meta descriptions, title tags, alt texts, headings, and so on.
How does content contribute to SEO?
SEO-friendly content is content that is written specifically to rank in Google for a certain keyword or phrase. It is created in such a way that Google recognizes it but it still reads naturally and provides information to human users.
What is search intent?
Search intent is the term for why a user performs a search, and it is one of the most important ranking factors, so it should be considered when creating content. Search intent falls under one of four categories: informational, commercial, transactional, or navigational.
What is E-A-T?
Expertise, authority, and trust are the criteria used by Google’s quality raters to evaluate a website.
How does a website appear in Google?
Google first discovers a website when a crawler works its way through all the pages and links. It then indexes the data, and the website is available to users via a Google search.
What is a sitemap?
This is a file that contains all of the website’s important URLs. It can be submitted in Google Search Console to encourage Google to prioritize the crawling and indexing of those URLs.
What is Google Search Console?
GSC is a free tool that allows you to submit your sitemap. It also allows you to see the pages Google is able to crawl and index, along with errors that could prevent your pages from appearing in a Google search.
In summary, the main steps a business can take to improve SEO are: optimizing on-page SEO, researching keywords and creating content that will help the site rank in those keywords, and building a portfolio of links from high-authority sites. This is a simplified summary, but taking these first steps can lead to an improvement in Google rankings.