Search Engine Optimization: Your Questions Answered

In a competitive digital landscape in which battles are constantly fought over prime SERP spots, a strong SEO strategy is more important than ever. An effective SEO strategy helps bring organic traffic to your website, providing a welcome boost to your paid marketing efforts and strengthening your rankings in the SERPs. 

But what exactly is it, how and why does it work, and is it something that just anyone can master? 

In today’s article, we will be exploring the most common questions concerning SEO strategy.

What is SEO?

SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” refers to certain practices that help boost your website’s ranking position on the search engine results page (SERP) of discovery platforms like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The aim is to get onto the all-important first page for search terms that mean the most to your target audience to increase traffic to your website. 

Do I Need SEO?

With search engines being the first port of call for many interested in both products and services, ranking well on SERPs is crucial for pulling in customers and clients alike. Not only does it get you on their radar, but as users have come to trust such sources of information, it improves your overall credibility as a high-quality brand that people can trust. It also keeps you competitive within your industry as other brands will also be investing in SEO. 

How does SEO work? 

Gone are simple keyword methods of the past. These days search engines employ a highly technical form of web page indexing whereby they cast out web crawler or “spider” bots that collect relevant information from webpages. Complex algorithms then process this to determine your content’s ranking on the SERPs based on predetermined criteria, covering everything from your content’s quality to page loading speeds and backlinks. 

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO, also known as on-site SEO, is the practice of optimizing various elements of your website to make it more usable and valuable to visitors and to improve its understandability for search engines. This includes, but is not limited to, making use of clear URLs, title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and image alt text, as well as writing high-quality page content on relevant topics that is engaging, easily-readable. Target keywords should be used throughout. 

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO is the part of on-page SEO that covers, as the name suggests, a website’s technical aspects that relate to user experience (UX). Page loading speeds are one of the most crucial factors here. Your website also needs an internal linking structure for more straightforward navigation, no 404 errors or duplicate content, a high level of security, an XML sitemap that lists the important pages, and structured data, making it easier for search engine bots to read. 

What is off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO, also referred to as off-site SEO, focuses on actions taken outside of the website to improve its search engine rankings. Attracting mentions, reviews, and recommendations on social media, similar websites, and generally across the web that all point back to your website (and that ideally contain a backlink) all play a part in this. The focus here is on building your website’s authority, credibility, relevance, and trustworthiness in the eyes of the search engines and its users. 

Are backlinks important for SEO? 

Backlinks, in which a link is given from one website to a page on another, are considered to be an essential aspect of off-page SEO. Not only do they bring in referral traffic, but they act as a “stamp of approval” from that other site, signaling that they consider you to be an authority on a particular subject. However, this is so much more than a simple numbers game. The quality of the referring domains plays a key role here, as does its relevance to your brand. 

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO focuses on optimizing a brand for location-specific search queries, which have become much more relevant in recent times. Businesses with brick and mortar locations will benefit the most from this strategy. When done well, local SEO increases a brand’s chance of being included in the local pack – a prominent position right at the top of the SERP for users with local intent. 

Does SEO require coding? 

Knowledge of coding is not considered crucial to SEO in general. However, it pays to understand some of the basics of programming. For instance, it can be beneficial to know when dealing with some of the technical SEO of websites, such as page loading speeds, mobile design, and structured data, which helps search engines better understand the site. 

Is SEO easy to learn? 

Experts are split on just how easy it is to learn SEO. However, many would agree that given enough time and the right roadmaps for doing so, it is possible to pick up. With a plethora of online resources, getting started shouldn’t be too tough. As the world of SEO is continuously evolving, it is important to stay up to date with current best practices and strategies. Additionally, becoming familiar with a multitude of new terms and SEO-based tools can make the early learning curve of SEO feel a little steep for some.

Could I do SEO on my own? 

Your ability to handle your SEO will be determined by several factors, such as the size of your business, your existing skills in this area, and the time you have to dedicate to it. 

One of the biggest issues with this vital digital marketing technique is that it’s in a state of constant flux. Search engines make multiple changes to the algorithms that determine SERP rankings throughout the year, often without announcing them. Systematic research and regular monitoring of your website’s performance are required to keep your SEO effective. For this reason, many often decide it’s something best left to the experts. 

SEO may seem a little complicated to master, but it is an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy and with the right techniques, can mean substantial growth to your business. If you have any other burning questions about SEO or would like to discuss your business’s specific SEO needs with an expert, you should partner with the digital marketing experts at Firon Marketing. Reach out for a free audit today.