The digital marketing age has brought new buzzwords and jobs to the mainstream. You can’t talk about a serious marketing strategy without bringing up SEO, organic traffic, keywords, or search intent.
But what exactly does an SEO expert do? How do they help your business? Check out the answer to these questions people want to know about SEO.
1. What is SEO Anyway?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It is the practice of regularly using specific tactics to increase your exposure on the internet. SEO helps to improve your business’s visibility and ranking on search engines like Google and Bing.
Another way to look at it is the manipulation of your website’s content and structure to get more traffic. Since Google changes the algorithm for its rankings, SEO experts have to stay up-to-date on changes.
2. What’s the Difference Between SEO and PPC?
PPC, or pay-per-click, is another way to direct traffic to your website that differs from SEO. With PPC, you are paying for temporary online advertisements.
In most cases, PPC costs a company an agreed amount of money every time someone clicks the advertisement.
This is a good option if you want to generate leads quickly, as it can be turned on and off relatively easily. However, it can be expensive over time.
SEO is the practice of increasing your visibility on the internet through organic search results. This means that you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) without directly paying for traffic.
When you get traffic from a search engine that didn’t come from a paid ad, it’s called organic traffic. PPC is considered non-organic or paid traffic.
SEO doesn’t cost a company any money on a per-lead basis, which is why it’s a better long-term option.
3. Will SEO Guarantee the Top Spot?
First of all, the goal of SEO is not to rank for one term. It’s all about ranking for multiple search queries that have buyer intent (somebody wants to buy something).
It’s true, SEO can help improve your rankings in search results. But don’t expect an expert to propel your site into multiple number one positions overnight.
In fact, anyone that promises this doesn’t fully understand SEO or they are trying to scam you out of your money. Some less than reputable marketing agencies may lie about knowing the secret formula to cheat the algorithms.
The fact is, SEO takes time and it can’t be rushed.
4. Can a Company DIY SEO?
Like anything in the business world, it’s entirely possible for a company or organization to do SEO on its own. However, you wouldn’t want a car mechanic to do your taxes.
It takes years of experience to become proficient with SEO. Some people might think of SEO as a new field, but it’s been around for over 20 years.
If you try to do SEO on your own, there’s a good chance you’ll fail and make things worse for yourself. There will be a lot of trial and error.
If you really have your heart set on DIY SEO for your company, we recommend running tests first-hand and learning from them. You can also study up on the proven strategies SEO companies use to get results on websites like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, and right here on our SEO and marketing blog.
You might benefit from reading our article on how to get the amazing search engine results you need.
However, we highly recommend that you work with a professional company that has the right systems in place to handle all your digital marketing.
5. Why Are Keywords Important?
The whole concept of SEO revolves around keywords. If you want to find SEO for a massage therapy business, you’ll search for something like “massage therapy SEO”.
“massage therapy SEO” is the keyword that might connect us with our first massage therapy SEO customer. (And we’d be thrilled to help!)
Back to the point – anyone who owns a local service business will want their keywords to be relevant to what a person may search for. Some keywords are obvious, but an SEO expert is going to know how to find the best ones to use.
For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that an expert has the right tools in place to find profitable keywords for your business. Not every keyword will be a winner, but you should expect to eventually see 10-20 new customers per month from your website to get your money’s worth out of an SEO expert.
6. What Is Google’s Algorithm?
You may have heard about Google’s famous algorithm. It’s an extremely advanced formula for determining which search results should be shown for a keyword.
But what does the algorithm look for specifically?
If you figure out the answer to this, you could be a billionaire. Unfortunately, Google does not release the specifics of the algorithm and they change it frequently. They only release guidelines and dates for major changes.
Many marketing experts spend multiple hours a week trying to figure out what factors help and hurt rankings. In some cases, two marketing gurus will disagree on these factors. That’s because SEO is essentially a process of trial and error in finding what works and what doesn’t. To make it even more complicated, techniques that worked perfectly for some businesses may not work for others!
The algorithm is fed by software robots known as crawlers that go through your website and add its data to the search index. Do not try and trick these crawlers by cramming popular or trending keywords into your site. If you get caught, Google will penalize your website with reduced rankings or completely remove your page or site from search results.
Another point to consider about Google’s algorithm is that rankings can fluctuate from day to day. This can be very frustrating for small business owners who just want to know what they need to do to achieve long-term rankings.
Bottom Line: The algorithm is constantly shifting to improve the quality of search results for users. You can’t get too attached to any specific SEO techniques. It’s better to cast a wide net with tried and true tactics that appear to be natural human behavior.
7. When Can Results Be Expected?
It’s important to note that an SEO campaign is a long-term play. No matter what you do, don’t expect to see your website jump to the top of the search results overnight. Most of our customers start to see noticeable results within 3-6 months.
Spend your time and effort creating original content, posting often, and staying within the SEO guidelines that are publicly posted by the major search engines.
If you want to get quicker results, try using SEO and PPC at the same time. PPC can help you get quick results while you wait for your SEO campaign to take effect. It can also help you test different keywords and landing pages to see what works best for your business.
8. Do Reviews Have an Impact on SEO?
The short answer is yes. However, the impact will vary depending on many factors including how many reviews you have, how frequently new reviews are posted, if you respond, and your star rating.
It’s important to keep in mind that Google uses “user-generated content” (such as reviews) to help determine rankings. Be careful! If the majority of your reviews are one-star, this could hurt your overall rating and in turn, lead to lower rankings for your business.
One of the best ways to keep positive ratings is to simply ask your most satisfied customers to post an online review. You can also solicit reviews from happy customers through email, text messages, business cards, or your website.
9. Does Every Business Need SEO?
It depends. The first step in determining the likelihood of a successful SEO campaign is to take a look at the average monthly search volume for the most lucrative keywords. The second step is to find out what the competition has done to boost their rankings. It’s worth the investment if you can at least get back twice as much as you put in.
There’s no point in making a large investment if you can’t generate a lot of customers from the internet. If you can’t, you might want to try other marketing strategies first.
A true SEO professional will be honest about what kind of results you can get.
10. Does an SEO Expert Need College Education?
The good news is that no degree is needed to be an SEO expert. Many SEO gurus were once in other careers before getting into digital marketing.
The field is full of computer programmers, engineers, and salespeople. These people might not even have bachelor’s degrees, but it doesn’t make them any less of an authority on digital marketing.
Recent marketing degree programs almost always dive into digital marketing and SEO, but they’re almost always behind the curve on the latest techniques. That means regardless of their education, an SEO expert will need to subscribe to reputable groups and publications to stay on the cutting edge in the field.
Do You Need an SEO Expert?
Now that you have all the answers – does your business need an SEO expert? Working with somebody who understands SEO can bring your organization to new heights.
Are you ready to take the next step in building your business? Make sure you contact us to get started.