Knowledge is power and that certainly applies to SEO. The more you know, the better you can optimize your website hunt, which will lead to a better ranking in the search results and more clicks to your website. So let's dive into the most frequently asked questions about SEO.
SEO and your business
What is SEO
SEO or search engine optimization is everything you can do to rank better in search engine results (such as Google). SEO includes adding SEO titles and page descriptions, adding alt tags to images, getting backlinks, starting a blog, and more.
What is the Difference Between SEO and SEA (SEM)
Both SEO and SEA (search engine marketing) increase the visibility of a site on search results. The important difference is with SEA people have to pay for these promotion techniques and with SEO not. In other words, SEO is much cheaper than SEA.
Why is SEO important to my business?
Everyone uses search engines, from checking the weather to finding the nearest pizzeria. Search engines play an important role in our daily life. That's why search engine optimization has become crucial to be successful online. Think of the proverbial 'trees in the forest', if your website is online and no one can find it. So work on your SEO so that you are found well.
How do search engines work?
Search engines use advanced sets of algorithms to crawl, index and retrieve web pages.
The first stage is called 'crawling', which is basically scanning or reading through your website's codes.
In the second phase, the web pages searched are stored in a huge database. This is called 'indexing'.
The last part happens when someone enters a search query. The search engine consults the same database and displays the web pages it considers most relevant to that particular query.
Do you need coding knowledge for good SEO?
Absolutely not. Knowledge of HTML basics can help you understand the structure of web pages, but you certainly don't need to be a programmer if you want to rank higher with Google.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO refers to specific actions taken to appear in the search results when someone is looking for a business in your area, for example 'shoe store' in 'Tilburg'. Boosting local SEO is a great way to attract potential customers from your area. Therefore, always register your company with Google My Business. This allows your company to be displayed on Google maps and you have a greater chance of appearing in the so-called 'Local Pack' (the results that you see below the map in search results).
Improve your SEO
How are you found on Google?
First of all, you need to make sure that your website is crawled and indexed. These are the steps to take:
Verify your website with Google Search Console.
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service from Google for website owners. Verifying your website with GSC is considered an SEO best practice and will allow Google to understand that you are the site owner. In addition, Google Search Consoles provides you with valuable information about your website, such as: number of impressions in search results, number of clicks and your position for certain keywords.
Submit your sitemap
A sitemap is simply a plan of your website. It shows how your different pages are connected. It is helpful to submit a sitemap to search engines so that they can crawl your website more easily and quickly, which improves your overall SEO.
Test it out
The easiest way to check if your site is indexed is to enter "site: yourwebsitename.com" in the Google search box and see if anything comes up. If your pages appear in the result, it means your website is indexed. If you don't see results right away, don't panic as the indexing process can take some time.
Important: Indexation is not synonymous with optimization. Your website can be indexed by Google, but is still not on the first pages. This is where optimization (SEO) comes in handy. If you want your website to be properly indexed by Google, please contact the By Marko team.
How do I improve my SEO?
Good SEO starts with planning and curiosity. You should know that every aspect of the website, from content to design, can impact your ranking in search results. There are over 200 signals in Google's algorithm that can help you determine the fate of a site's ranking. The most important elements to consider are the following:
Is the content of your website of high quality? Did you choose the right keywords? Is the content easy to use on mobile devices? All of these elements affect the way bots perceive content and rank your pages. This is why working on good content is crucial if you really want to improve your ranking.
Links from other websites to your website are a form of approval for search engines and are highly regarded by search engines. These (back) links will certainly provide a positive boost.
Ensure good 'crawlability' by properly structuring the pages of your site using headings and subheadings and make sure your website is safe.
What are SEO Keywords?
Keywords are two to five word phrases that your potential customers would type into a search engine when they search for your business. Choosing and inserting the correct terms in the content is crucial as it helps Google's bots better understand your website and identify you as a relevant result for a specific search query.
How do I find the right keywords for my website?
To find the most relevant keywords, include all possible words that potential visitors or customers would use to find your business online. Don't think about how you would describe your business, but what people would search online. For example, while you might describe yourself as a "garden designer", your potential customers are more likely to be looking for a "landscaper".
How do my SEO texts optimize? What is great content?
As soon as your keywords are known, it is important that you put them in the right places on the website. such as the SEO title, page content, image descriptions and of course your blog posts.
In order to be properly assessed by search engines, they look at the quality of the content. It must meet the following requirements:
Valuable: the content should be informative and useful to the reader.
Unique: You can't find this information anywhere else.
Fresh: the content is regularly updated.
Starting a blog is usually an excellent way to feed your website with content that is useful, unique, and updated.
Do images affect SEO?
Yes, they sure do. When your images are fully optimized, they can be found in Google Images, which means more traffic to your website. How do you achieve this? First of all, you want to make sure you add alt texts to the images. Google and other search engines can't see images like we do, so you need to add text to help them understand what's in your photos, charts and other photos. Remember, it's important to add unique and descriptive alt text to all of your photos.
How does UX (user experience) relate to SEO?
The way users perceive and experience the content of your website matters and it is actually a well-known rating signal. It is calculated in several ways, such as: time on page, number of pages viewed and bounce rate. That is why it is so important that your website not only looks great, but is also functional and easy to navigate.
SEO en bloggen
How many keywords should I include in my blog post?
When starting a blog, adding keywords to the content is a great way to attract a more niche audience from search results. The key here is balance. You want your keywords to appear at least once in the title and first paragraph of your text, and twice or three times in the rest of the article. Of course, when your article is about a particular topic, the keywords will show up effortlessly in the lyrics. Search engines are getting better at understanding certain topics and the words related to each other, so you don't have to limit yourself by just using that one keyword.
What is the ideal length of a blog post?
While the ideal word count has not been technically proven, many studies claim that 'long-form' content performs well in search results. That said, it is not a general rule and you should consider the standards for your target audience and your industry first. Plus, height isn't all that matters. The quality of the content, whether it contains valuable images and videos, reader satisfaction and engagement are all factors that determine your ranking. The most important thing to remember is that anything you can do to make your target audience want to stay on your website longer will have a positive impact on your SEO.
How often should I publish blog posts?
Blogging helps your website stay fresh because the more content you publish, the more Google bots will come back looking for more. You definitely don't have to publish a blog post every day. Try to find a rhythm that suits you and your workflow. The minimum would be once a month, but if you're really committed to SEO, we recommend doing it once a week. Of course, more is always welcome - if you have valuable information to share.
SEO and promotion
What Are SEO Backlinks?
Backlinks are links from external sites to your own website (or one of its pages). They are an important part of your SEO strategy. Indeed, the more links you can get, the more your website is considered reliable and leading in the eyes of Google. Getting them is not an easy task, but you can start by connecting with bloggers, websites, and online magazines and trying to be named by them.
Remember, it's important to stick to Google's guidelines and not participate in so-called "link schemes," which is definitely a sin of SEO.
Does Social Media Affect SEO?
This has been discussed for quite some time, but think about it this way: the more people engage with your content, the more they want to share it online. This increases the amount of traffic to your site, which is great for your SEO. So, while not a proven ranking signal, social media performance can have an indirect impact on your ranking.
Does my domain name affect my SEO?
Yes it sure does. Your domain name is one of the first places a bot goes to understand the topic of your website. That's why it's a good idea to do some research beforehand to understand which keywords are most relevant to your business before choosing your domain name. Need more help? Please contact By Marko.
What are meta tags?
When we talk about meta tags, we're essentially referring to your meta title or SEO title plus the meta description. Together with your URL, these make up the snippet that appears in search results. That's why it's so important to pay attention to these textual elements because bots will scan them to understand the content of your web page. You can even completely customize your search appearance (in other words, how your web pages are displayed on SERPs like Google).
What are heading tags and why do I need them?
Heading tags (from H1 to H6) are the 'SEO terms' for titles and headings and are great for giving your pages structure and hierarchy. Think of it like a newspaper: the main headline is the most important and the other article titles are less important. That means your H1 tag will be used for your prominent title, H2 tag for the lower level one, etc.
What does 301 redirect mean?
A 301 redirect is used to change the flow of all traffic from one page to another. Basically, it tells search engines like Google that a page's URL (web address) has changed and lets them know what the new page is. This helps the new page maintain the SEO power gained from the previous page, and is necessary to avoid duplicate content issues, which Google really doesn't like.
How long does it take to appear in search results?
Patience! It usually takes some time for a search engine to display the pages of your website, especially if it is brand new. We cannot give a specific date as it depends on many factors such as the competitiveness of your industry and keywords, the quality and freshness of the content you publish and the optimization of your site.
You need to give Google's bots time to think about the changes you've made. Plus, SEO is like a marathon, not a sprint. It's an ongoing process, meaning you can (and should) regularly update your website with high-quality content that's original and fresh so you can rank higher. Need more guidance? Ask By Marko.
How can I measure my organic traffic?
A great way to measure your organic efforts is to use Google's tools. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are meant to give you more insight into how well your website is performing online.
1. In Google Search Console, go to "Search Traffic" and click "Search Analytics" to find the top queries and top pages that get you clicks from Google.
2. In Google Analytics, go to the "Acquisitions" section and click "Overview". There you can see how much organic traffic is reaching your site. When you click on it, you will see a graph. You can play with the data here and see the changes in organic traffic by comparing a specific time period with a previous one. If you are not sure how to use Google Analytics, ask the experts at By Marko.
How do I optimize my Wix website?
SEO sounds scary, but it definitely doesn't have to be. Especially if you are a Wix user. First of all, you don't have to worry about any technical aspect of your site. You can trust that your Wix website code will be easy to read by bots, your site will load quickly, and you'll have a mobile-friendly website right from the start.
Second, you can always contact By Marko's WIX SEO experts. They have more than 10 years of experience in Wix and SEO.