You may have some questions about SEO+ and SEO in general. To help, we’ve tackled some of the most frequently asked questions below.
Our Frequently Asked SEO Questions include the following topics:
- About SEO+
- About SEO
- About keywords & links
- About blogs & content
- About technical SEO
1. What makes SEO+ different?
The difference between SEO+ and other SEO companies comes down to the value we provide and the results we get for our clients.
We’re an award-winning SEO company. Our aim is to provide high quality, actionable SEO for all sorts of businesses. We deliver measurable improvements that lead to more website visitors, more enquiries and more customers.
Our blog is often praised by people who prefer to do their own SEO but we also offer various packages for businesses who want to hand their SEO to proven experts.
We offer a range of SEO packages to cover different business types and budgets. For example, there are packages for local businesses, national businesses and e-commerce.
If you’re not sure which package would be best for your business, you’re welcome to book a one-off free 30-minute call to find out more.
Our packages start at £500pcm.
SEO prices and services vary dramatically. We’re not the cheapest SEO company around, nor are we the most expensive.
Some SEO agencies take a one-size-fits-all approach to SEO but that isn’t our style. We look at your individual website, your goals, your budget and many other factors to create a unique plan that will deliver measurable results for you.
Our knowledge is current and forward-looking, which means we always follow best practice and stay at the front of the ever-changing SEO landscape.
Above all, we’re transparent about what we do. We don’t go for quick fixes or dodgy black hat techniques. We care about ethical SEO that reflects well on your business.
We use a wide range of SEO techniques to deliver results. We look at on-page SEO, technical SEO, off-page SEO, content, authority, and much more.
What unites our SEO techniques is the belief that you must put your customers at the heart of everything you create. Your website is for humans first, search engines second. We look at how you can build the best possible user experience.
Yes, keywords matter but search intent matters more. What do people want to find when they carry out a search? This is the question we’ll help you answer and then deliver.
We’re very happy to give you some examples of websites we’ve worked on. If you can tell us a bit more about your business and your SEO challenges, we can give you some examples that are relevant to your own situation.
You can also find loads of reviews about the difference our services have made to REAL businesses over on Facebook or when you Google ‘SEO+’.
No, we can’t guarantee you page one rankings and we’d urge you to steer clear of any SEO company that says they can.
Don’t get us wrong – a lot of our clients do appear on page one for their top keywords with our help but it’s not something anyone is able to guarantee.
What we can guarantee is that we follow best practice, deliver outstanding results and use all of our knowledge to increase your rankings as much as possible.
While SEO can sound like a big investment, we’re confident that you’ll recover what you pay and more as a result of our services.
Good SEO isn’t just about keywords or backlinks, it’s about creating a user experience that converts a high percentage of website visitors to customers.
We keep an eye on various metrics to help you monitor and measure the return on your investment.
8. What is SEO and why is it so important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is the process of getting free ‘organic’ traffic to your website via search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are estimated to be nearly two billion web pages on the internet right now. Search engines have the job of having to sort through all of these web pages to show searchers the most relevant ones every time they look for something online.
SEO is important because it helps Google to understand what you do and tell relevant searchers about it. Get it right and you can skyrocket your way up the rankings.
On-page SEO is the process of optimising different elements on a web page to give it the best possible chance of being indexed by Google and ranked highly in searches made by your target audience.
You can read more in our comprehensive guide to on-page SEO for hints and tips.
Off-page SEO (sometimes known as ‘off-site’ SEO) refers to the actions taken outside of your website that affect where your web pages rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). Off-page SEO can include things like backlinks from external sites, social media marketing, guest blogging, influencer marketing, and linked/unlinked citations and mentions of your brand.
Google, like other search engines, uses a series of algorithms to decide which pages to return in response to a search. These algorithms use factors such as:
· Words you use to search
· Relevance and user experience of pages
· Expertise, authority and trustworthiness (EAT) of the source
· User location
· User settings and search history
In fact, it’s believed that there are 200+ ranking signals that influence search results.
The main thing to remember is that Google wants to return SERPs that are as relevant as possible to the search intent behind a search. It also wants the pages it returns to be high quality.
Although Google hasn’t published a definitive checklist of ranking factors, the SEO community collectively explores which actions positively impact on rankings.
Here at SEO+, we measure everything we do for our clients to track what works. We stay up-to-date with search news and Google updates and spend much of our spare time researching SEO trends.
‘White hat’ SEO is a term used to describe ethical SEO that follows best practice. We are a ‘white hat’ SEO company who focus on creating high-quality content that meets the search intent of your audience.
‘Black hat’ SEO, on the other hand, describes dodgy, unethical SEO practices designed to ‘game’ the search engine algorithms. Black hat techniques include things like hiding keywords on a web page by using a white font against a white background, for example; keyword stuffing; spamming the comments sections of third party websites with backlinks; buying links and more.
If you do something on your website that contravenes Google’s guidelines, you may be hit with a penalty that significantly drops your page rankings. Black hat techniques can often lead to penalties.
Google is always tinkering with its algorithms but, every once in a while, it rolls out a bigger algorithm update designed to tackle a specific issue. People often notice a spate of Google penalties hitting after an update takes place.
As we’ve mentioned above, a significant, noticeable drop is rankings is often the result of a Google penalty.
Is there something you’re doing with your on- or off-page SEO that doesn’t follow best practice? This could be the cause of the problem.
Sometimes, a drop in rankings can also happen if a competitor has done a major push on their own SEO efforts, leapfrogging over you in SERPs for your top keywords.
At SEO+, we often help new clients work out why their rankings have decreased and put a plan in place to recover.
Meta data (sometimes known as ‘meta tags’) is special information that describes the content of a web page to search engines.
You can find loads more about meta data in our guide to on-page SEO.
Although search engines stopped using keyword tags as a ranking signal a number of years ago, other meta tags are still important. Heading tags, for example, highlight headings and sub-headings to readers and search engines, signposting what a web page is about.
SEO title tags and meta descriptions appear in SERPs and act as a call to action getting people to click through to a website.
Alt tags help search engines and visually impaired visitors understand non-text elements of a web page.
The jury is out on whether adding new pages to your website will improve your Google rankings. One advantage is that you’re able to rank for more keywords than with a smaller site.
However, Google has stressed time and again that content matters above everything else. If you carefully optimise every page you do have using best practice, this should have a far greater impact on your rankings.
The secret is quality over quantity.
Of course, if you’re providing high-quality content written for your target audience, new pages on your website can make a positive difference.
A sitemap is defined as a directory or guide that holds information about web pages that are contained on a website. In simple terms, it’s a file that contains all of the individual URLs for your site.
Sitemaps help SEO by telling the search engine spiders all the places they can crawl and index on your site. This ensures that Google doesn’t miss any pages that might be useful to searchers.
Local SEO is about making your business as prominent as possible in online searches with the aim of bringing people to a physical location.
If you run a bricks and mortar business where you see customers face-to-face, local SEO will be very important to you.
We’ve put together a guide to the differences between local SEO and organic SEO (and how they overlap), which you might find useful.
About keywords & links
21. How important are keywords to SEO?
As you’re probably already aware, keywords are the words and phrases that describe what your online content is about.
People type or speak keywords into a search engine to find information.
The job of search engines is to understand the intention of the searcher (i.e. what information are they looking for?) and match it with the web pages that are most likely to answer this search intent. Keywords help the search engines to do this.
Although voice searches and artificial intelligence are changing the way we use keywords, they’re still important to SEO.
There are many different tools and tactics you can use to pick good keywords for your website.
As this is such a huge topic, we’ve put together a keyword research guide to help you. We can also conduct keyword research on your behalf.
Keyword stuffing is the act of excessively repeating the same keywords on a web page. These days, this is viewed as a ‘black hat’ SEO technique.
Search engines have evolved and they not only understand keywords but also words and phrases that mean the same as or are related to your keywords. This means you can write more naturally and still rank well.
The best approach is to have a single topic in mind for each web page and to write the content with a view to the search intent that would bring someone to the page. Write with the audience and the topic in mind and your keywords should appear naturally without having to be crow-barred into the page.
If in doubt, read things out loud. If the page sounds repetitive and unnatural, you’re probably keyword stuffing!
If you have a WordPress website, a plugin like Yoast will flag up concerns about keyword density.
Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites to your own. Way back in the late 1990s, Google started looking at the number of backlinks leading to a web page as a sign of quality. Pages that were linked to from lots of sources began to rank higher in SERPs.
Unfortunately, this lead to people trying to game Google by spamming third party sites such as web directories and blogs with backlinks. At this stage, Google began penalising sites with over-optimised, low quality links.
That being said, backlinks remain an important part of any SEO strategy. They are still seen as a vote of confidence. This is because the third party site is essentially saying, “We think this content is good enough for us to want to be connected to it and for our audience to see it”.
However, good backlinks need to come from high authority, reputable sites with relevant content.
There are a number of strategies you can adopt to attract high quality backlinks to your website. You can download a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Backlinks and How to Get Them, which is packed full of white hat strategies.
Our SEO services include a robust backlinking approach. We also clean up low quality and broken links, and work on improving your domain authority to attract interest from other high authority sources.
Google wants to know that, if it sends a person to your website, you’re only going to forward them on to third-party sites that will enhance their search, not damage it.
Therefore, if you link to a poor quality website from your own, it can potentially harm your rankings.
Absolutely. Internal links are a powerful tool for tying related content together. This makes it easier for website visitors to navigate your site, which enhances their user experience.
Internal links can also encourage people to read multiple pages on your site, increasing the average dwell time (i.e. time spent on your site per visit) and lowering the bounce rate (i.e. the percentage of people who leave your site from the page they landed on, without viewing any other pages). These are both powerful signals to Google about the relevance and quality of your content.
If there are broken links on your website, it can stop search engine spiders from properly crawling your site. It can also stop visitors in their tracks, causing them to navigate back to their original SERP.
A handful of broken links shouldn’t affect your SEO but you should beware of too many 404 errors on your site as it could cause a drop in rankings.
About blogs & content
29. What is the best word length for articles for SEO purposes?
There is no hard and fast rule for article word length. Our advice is that you should use as many words as you need to talk about your focus topic.
We do know that Google views pages of 300 words or fewer as ‘thin’ content. With a word count that low it’s hard for search engines to fully understand what the page is about.
According to recent research by the blogging platform, Medium, the ideal blog post is typically around 1,600 words in length and takes about seven minutes to read.
Forbes has also stated that blog posts containing over 1,500 words are 68% more like to be shared on Twitter and 22% more likely to be shared on Facebook than shorter posts.
Our advice is to write with your audience in mind and to concentrate on providing high quality, relevant content that they’ll want to read because it matters to them.
When writing blog articles, you need to remember that your audience are reading off a screen. In reality, this means that a lot of people skim read content rather than taking in every word.
To help them take in as much information as possible, it’s advisable to break up your content with:
· Short paragraphs
· Bullet points/lists
· Sub headings
· Important text in bold or italics
· Images that reflect the topic of the article
· Links to more information
Our SEO packages include creation of content such as blogs.
Again, there’s no definitive rule about how often you should publish new content. Your editorial calendar will depend on a number of factors such as your business, your audience, your budget and who’s writing the content.
Many smaller businesses find it manageable to create a new blog once a week or once a fortnight. Larger organisations with a bigger budget and in-house marketing team or support from freelancers might be able to post several times a week.
Naturally, the more content you publish, the more opportunities you have for link building and indexing.
Whatever you decide, the key is to post consistently. If you’ve promised your audience one blog a month then make sure you deliver it. If they expect content weekly then make this happen.
Above all, ensure your content is always written to a high standard.
Duplicate content is content that appears in more than one place online, i.e. on more than one URL.
The problem with duplicate content is that Google has to decide which URL to prioritise in SERPs. This can cause both URLs to drop in rankings and, subsequently, traffic.
You can also lose ‘link juice’ from third party sites that want to link to your content. Instead of every site linking to the same place, links could go to several different URLs, diluting the impact.
Generally speaking, duplicate content happens by accident.
There are several methods you can use to address this. For example, you could apply a 301 Redirect from the duplicate page to the original page that you want Google to index and rank.
You can also apply a canonical tag to the original URL. This tells search engines which page is the master version that should be indexed.
Other methods for dealing with duplicate content will depend on your site structure and why the issue has occurred.
If you need advice about how to best deal with this, we’re happy to help.
Yes. Despite a flurry of posts a few years ago proclaiming that guest blogging is dead, allowing guests to write an article for your website can still pay dividends.
It’s about taking the right approach.
Any guest blogs you publish should come from someone who has knowledge and information to share with your audience that they would find relevant and helpful.
Guest blogs should be unique to the host site and written to a high standard.
Although Google doesn’t use the amount of likes, follows or shares you have on social media as a ranking signal, your social media presence can indirectly affect your SEO.
Social media marketing creates opportunities for your content to reach a new audience and attract new backlinks. It’s also a tool to show Google that you offer content that’s relevant to searchers for specific topics.
About technical SEO
35. Do I need to know coding to do SEO myself?
Some of the most famous SEO experts in the world openly admit that they don’t know how to code.
While coding knowledge isn’t essential to SEO, it can be helpful to understand basic HTML tags and what they do.
Knowing the tags below, for example, means you can look at the source code of a website and understand some of the on-page SEO elements at a glance.
· <h1></h1> ===> used for largest heading (h1 to h6)
· <title></title>===> used to give the title of the page
· <a href=” “></a>===> used to create hyperlink (hypertext reference)
· <img src=” “ alt=” “>===> used to upload image; alt tag is used to give alternative text (title) of that image
However, there are plenty of tools that can give you this information too. The free MozBar SEO Toolbar is one.
Yes. Google has confirmed that the speed with which a web page loads up is one of the signals looked at by its ranking algorithms.
The fact is that people spend less time on pages that are slow to load. Google says that faster sites improve the user experience and lower operating costs.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are used to establish an encrypted connection between a browser, the user’s computer and a server or website. This connection protects sensitive data, such as credit card information, from being accessed by non-authorised parties.
You can spot when a website has a SSL certificate because you’ll see HTTPS instead of HTTP in the web address bar.
Back in 2018, Google confirmed that it would be prioritising HTTPS sites in searches.
HTTPS is a signal to users and to search engines that your website is to be trusted. It shows that the user’s data and information is safe. With Google prioritising expertise, authority and trustworthiness, having an SSL certificate can set you apart from competitors with non-secure sites.
If we’ve missed any questions you might have about SEO or you’re interested in finding out more about how SEO+ can help bring more customers to your website and business, then get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.