SEO Basics: Answering 8 Common SEO Questions
Transcript: Hi there. My name is Dan Varno, a member of our web strategy team here at WebFX. I’m excited today to answer some common SEO questions that we hear all the time, and hopefully this will help provide some context as you’re doing some research. So let’s get started.
All right, so the first one…
1. Does SEO really work?
It’s a great question. We hear that all the time. We are seeing that the industry is growing like crazy. There are so many different things that you can do for your digital marketing strategies, whether it’s paid, whether it’s social, but SEO is consistently driving the lowest cost per acquisition for new customers across the board. So take it from us, we are still very confident in that strategy.
Let’s see what we got here next.
2. How much does SEO cost?
This is another one that we get questions about all the time. It’s really interesting that there are agencies who might charge just maybe a couple of hundred dollars a month and maybe agencies who are charging tens of thousands of dollars a month. In a lot of cases, it really has to do with the quality of the work as well as the level of aggressiveness.
So at WebFX we try to put together everything on a custom basis. We don’t want to have just a total stock position for bronze, silver, gold or anything like that. Ultimately our goal is to analyze the business, what you’re trying to achieve, and then put together a plan that we think will be impactful.
So it can vary quite a bit for a lot of our small businesses, might be around maybe $1000…$1,500 a month. And a lot of cases can be a lot more than that, depending on how aggressive we actually need to be. So no perfect answer on that. It all really has to do with what we’re really trying to achieve and how hard we think we need to work at it.
3. What are the different types of SEO?
So I think in a lot of cases, a lot of people can look at SEO and just think it’s some technical modifications to the website, putting some keywords in some content, maybe making some tweaks to the website itself or the title tags, all those different types of things.
But really there’s like 200 different ranking factors that Google is evaluating when they’re looking at your website compared to some of your competitors.
So for us, SEO really has to do with everything that it takes to drive an organic conversion on a website, whether that’s an ecommerce sale, a phone call or a contact form. So in a lot of cases, there are technical SEO elements. So, as I mentioned earlier there are title tags, there’s meta descriptions, internal linking structure, page speed, I can go on and on.
In a lot of cases there’s also the content marketing aspect, so making sure we have enough information on the page with the right keyword density, blog posting to answer potential clients’ questions.
And the other side of this really link-building, about 40% of what Google cares about at this point, driving high-quality links directly to your site from high-quality sources across the board. So lots goes into SEO, not just some minor tweaks on an ongoing basis. Certainly takes a village to get it done right.
4. How long does it take for SEO to work?
This is another good one. In a lot of cases, SEO can be a little bit of a longer-term play. It’s not one of those things where maybe you turn on an ad campaign and you’re seeing results right away.
It’s one of those things, in a lot of cases, especially if you don’t have a ton of organic keyword rankings, it can take some time, 6, 12, and even 18 months to really see a strong return on investment.
Ultimately, we want to make sure that we put together plans that do have a chance to pay off, give us enough time to actually get to know the business and ultimately drive impactful results, as Google is getting to know you as an organization, as you’re growing, start to see the changes that we’re making.
So ultimately our focus is trying to benchmark how we’re actually progressing at the course of about 6 to 12 months. Sometimes it can be faster, sometimes it can be longer, but that’s typically a pretty good baseline.
5. How does SEO work?
So there, in a lot of cases, can be pretty major misconceptions that SEO is just some pretty quick tweaks that just about anybody can do, adding a couple of keywords to your website and then calling it a day. There are about 200 different things that Google looks at when they’re evaluating who to rank for a website.
You’re compared to all the different competitors vying for similar terms. It has to do with having a strong technical infrastructure, whether that be the right title tags, the right meta descriptions, having an internal linking structure, so Google can see how each page reacts with the other one, having a site that’s mobile-friendly, having a site that doesn’t take forever to load up.
In a lot of cases, it has to do with having the right content on a page, and that’s information for Google to put the pieces together.
If someone’s at the bottom funnel of their search intent, let’s have that category page have enough information so people find what they’re looking for extremely quickly.
People have questions, making sure that we have resource content, so Google sees you as a thought leader for what you have to offer.
And another really big part of this just has to do with off-page SEO, Google sees that you’re extremely authoritative with what you have to offer based on links coming back from high-quality sources.
So again, like 200 things that Google cares about, a lot of moving parts, but ultimately something at WebFX we feel like we’ve mastered pretty well.
6. Why is someone ranked higher than me?
That’s another one. There are so many different variations of what Google might be looking at when they’re starting to respect your competitor compared to yours.
It’s not like we can just look at them and say, “Oh, they have 800 words of copy on their page, and we have 500, we need to get to 800.”
Google might be seeing that they have a higher click-through rate and more people actually clicking on their search results. Google might be seeing that they’re spending more time on their page.
Maybe they have better high-quality links coming back to their website. Maybe it does have to do with the amount of content that’s on their site.
Google seeing that they’re actually serving their user a little bit better, answering that question and having better relevant information.
7. Is SEO dead?
We certainly don’t think so. Based on the data that we’re gathering, we’re truly seeing the customers that are coming through as a result of organic search really are converting just a little bit more highly, have a lot more intent.
And we are seeing the customers that are continuously investing in their SEO strategies are seeing a really high return and beating themselves year over year.
So we’re excited to see how the industry continues to grow over the course of the next three, five and even 10 years.
8. Is SEO or PPC better?
This is another interesting question. In a lot of cases, it really just has to do with your business objectives and goals as well as just how your industry is currently positioned.
So if you’re looking for a little bit of a longer-term strategy where you’re typically going to see the best return on your investment, SEO can be a really great play.
But potentially you’re a little bit more of a smaller business, maybe a startup who really needs immediate results, PPC can be a great way to drive business fairly quickly.
In a lot of cases, they can really work well together.
But ultimately our goal as an agency is to evaluate each specific strategy compared to your very specific stated goals and put together a plan of maybe a combination of both, or one of the other that we think is really going to drive the best business and ultimately meet those goals here long term.
Well, it looks like that’s it for all the common SEO questions. Thanks so much for watching. And if you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to WebFX and we’d be excited to answer some additional questions for you.