FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on SEO & Marketing
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Organic search is the process by which users conduct a search query in Google, or other search engines. The search engine results pages (SERPS) display the most relevant and authoritative web pages that Google algorithms determine to be the best match to that search query. These are also known as ‘natural’ search results as they are not paid for. If a web page is getting on page 1 or even in the top organic position of Google, this webpage will have a high rank for that particular search term or keyword. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a strategy used to help increase rank and authority of web pages, to achieve greater visibility and more traffic in organic search.
Paid search gives advertisers an opportunity to achieve more brand visibility in Google, and other search engines, than they would naturally achieve in organic search. Paid search is a great strategy to use if a website is not achieving Google Page 1 visibility for keywords that are important to the business. As paid ads are displayed above organic search results, it can give a brand greater prominence and competitive advantage. Paid ads work to drive targeted traffic to a website and each time a user clicks on the ad, the advertiser will pay for that click. The cost per click varies across different sectors, but a paid search campaign can be run from as little as £4.00 per day.
SEO requires a different strategy to PPC. SEO is a long-term strategy. It takes time for a website to gain rank, trust and authority. This builds over time as the website becomes more established and as Google starts to receive signals that indicate the content is trusted, useful and relevant for users. PPC on the other hand is often used as a short-term promotional strategy as PPC can get expensive over time as each click is paid for. For maximum visibility and prominence, the best solution is to create an SEO strategy to complement a PPC strategy. This means you will be creating more opportunities for people to reach your website using different keywords and search terms, which will result in more traffic, leads and conversions.
An SEO Audit is an analysis of how your website performs in organic search results. A comprehensive SEO Audit will provide insight many different factors that may affect the performance of your site. These include insight on the level of optimisation your website and pages achieve, any SEO issues, technical issues such as broken links, page speed analysis and scores, any mobile optimisation issues, traffic analysis, rank analysis, and any gains or losses in the rank of keywords you are tracking, backlink analysis, trust and citation flows and level of domain authority. Your SEO agency should identify any issues and be able to resolve them for you. Once any errors and issues are resolved, it will give your site the best opportunity to gain rank and visibility in organic search results, which will generate more targeted traffic, leads and conversions.
Black hat SEO is bad SEO. These are a set of practices that are used to manipulate search engines. Black Hat SEO practices are pretty redundant now as Google is aware of them all and will penalise sites that continue to use spammy techniques to achieve rank advantage. Black Hat SEO will get your site excluded from Google, so avoid, avoid, avoid! Black Hat SEO techniques include link manipulation, keyword stuffing, hidden text or links, doorway pages, cloaking, article spinning, content automation and many more. If you haven’t reviewed your SEO for a few years, it is strongly recommended, as your site may not be ranking as well as it could if some of these Black Hat SEO techniques are evident on the site.
Good SEO is White Hat SEO. Bad SEO is Black Hat SEO. Google algorithms have become very sophisticated in the last few years. Google now understands the context of web content, and also understands user intent. It uses algorithms to produce accurate results in response to a search query. When good SEO is applied, it will work with these algorithms to help your content achieve more visibility in organic search results. There are many factors that affect the authority and rank of a website and its web pages, so it is recommended that you first conduct an SEO Audit as well as keyword and competitor research so you have the insight you need to make informed decisions that will help you to achieve your goals.
Any SEO strategy should include a content marketing strategy, and for good reason. Google’s algorithms are now so advanced they can understand the ‘context’ of words, which means we no longer need to stuff our websites full of single keywords. This will not be seen favourably by Google anymore. It is much better to use what we call ‘long-tail keywords’, these are search phrases that are much more specific, maybe containing 2, 3 or 4 words. Users are now much more savvy when it comes to searching online. They know that if they type in ‘black patent shoes’ they will find black patent shoes. However, if the user typed in ‘black shoes’ but actually wanted black patent shoes, they will understand that the results won’t be as relevant. So if you have a content strategy where you are writing unique, relevant content that is of interest to your users and which contains a few long-tail keywords, and which also shows to increase the engagement of your users, then this content will achieve more visibility in organic search results.
Conduct a Competitor Analysis to gain insight on how you are positioned in organic search results compared to your competitors. This analysis will also provide insight on what keywords your competitors are ranking for, the level of traffic they generate and what keywords may present more opportunity to outrank your competition. Once you have analysed the data, you will have a better understanding of what you need to do in order to gain competitive advantage and start outranking your competitors for keywords that are important to your business.
A cross-channel marketing campaign will help to drive more traffic to your website quickly. We recommend initially conducting some keyword and competitor research, and this insight will help you to determine how much budget you may need to invest in order to achieve your goals. Great traffic-generating strategies include Google display campaigns, paid social campaigns, email campaigns and video campaigns. If you are looking to generate more traffic long term then investing in SEO will help increase brand visibility in organic search results, and this will generate more traffic, increasing leads and sales.
Local SEO will help your brand achieve greater visibility in organic search results when local users are looking for the products and services you offer. If you want to attract a local audience you will need to create a Google My Business profile and a Bing profile. This will put your business on the map. Further profile optimisation can then be incorporated into your SEO strategy, as well as applying location-targeting through your website content to make your site more relevant to the local target area.
Backlinks are incoming links to your site from a third party site. The important thing to remember, is quality over quantity. Google assesses the quality of your backlinks based on authority, trust and relevance of the link to your website content. Building backlinks from high authority, relevant domains is a great way to enhance your SEO and increase your own domain authority. The strongest ranking signals Google receives is the level of authority and trust a domain has accrued, and this is why quality backlinks are such an important part of an SEO strategy.
SEO is an important element of the marketing mix. A company needs to invest in SEO if they want their website content to be found by people searching online. Unless your business has very strong brand awareness and authority, your web content is unlikely to attract much traffic without applying an effective SEO strategy. A good SEO strategy will help your site to gain more visibility in Google and across other search channels for a variety of keywords that are important to your business. This will increase traffic to your website, resulting in more leads and conversions. SEO will make your website work harder for your business and will help to increase ROI.
How long SEO takes does depend on a number of factors. The level of competition is always going to dictate how easy or hard it will be to achieve your business goals. It will also depend how much authority and trust your site has already accrued. New domains will take time to gain trust and authority with Google, and until your domain is a bit more established, it is unlikely to generate a lot of organic traffic in initial months. However, if you implement an SEO strategy from the moment your site is launched, follow Google Best Practice guidelines and work at generating positive reviews, building quality, relevant backlinks and driving engagement with your users via social channels and content marketing, then you will be helping to accelerate the process and you will see results a lot more quickly. If you have an established site, and you have just implemented a new SEO strategy, you should start to see results within 3 months.
There are many different SEO strategies used by agencies across the World, but the reality is that some work, and some sadly don’t. Best Practice SEO Guidelines are produced and revised by Google on a regular basis, so if you follow the best practice principles you should feel confident that you will get results from your investment in SEO. Google algorithms change frequently, and some updates have a dramatic impact on search results. Some websites may make some gains following an algorithm update, whilst others may be penalised. Google search is a constantly evolving marketplace, and there are many external factors that SEO agencies and webmasters have no control over, such as algorithmic changes, competition, economic climate, seasonal fluctuations, and Covid-19, which has resulted in a great deal of volatility in search indexes due to changes in user search behaviour and demand. Any good SEO agency will work to optimise your website in line with current best practice principles and in response to recent algorithm updates. This will give your site the best possible chance of gaining increased visibility and traffic through organic search results, and will help your brand to gain competitive advantage.
Keywords are words or phrases that people use to search for products and services online. Keywords help your website get found in Google and other search engines. You need to get smart with keywords and optimise your website with keywords that will present the most opportunity for capturing the attention of your target audience. Researching target keywords and establishing how easy or difficult it will be to achieve results with them is key to creating a successful SEO strategy.
There are many benefits to investing in an SEO strategy for your business. Implementing best practice SEO will help your website get found more easily by people searching for the products and services your business provides. This results in higher volumes of targeted traffic landing on your website, increasing leads and conversions. There are many factors that correlate to page rank, which will result in increased brand visibility and traffic to your site, but the main factors to work on as part of an SEO strategy is site speed, mobile usability, gaining credible and relevant backlinks, creating useful and relevant content and optimising your site with focus keywords that are important to your business.