No matter how many answers you get, new SEO questions keep popping up.
It happens. What works for SEO today may not be as useful tomorrow, and what is good today can be overcome by something else that we will have to adapt to next year. That’s how we’ve been rolling for 20 years.
We’ve seen mobile-first and not Voice search optimization Let’s take 2014, for example. Bit by bit, Google announced algorithm updates over the years, and we waited on the edge of our seats. Tons of questions piled up. We got answers. We have adapted. And here we are.
However, there are these “basic questions” that never go away. I’ve rounded up the ones I see the most and answered each one for you.
How does SEO help your business?
SEO helps your business gain online visibility by increasing the likelihood that your website will appear in higher search engine positions.
Competition is fierce, so keep in mind that no matter how well developed an SEO strategy is, it doesn’t guarantee a website’s 1, 2 or even 3 rankings. And that’s okay. Positioning in the top 10 websites for your focus keyword is what you should aim for.
(Searchers don’t always click on the first result!)
Which is Better for Ecommerce: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or SEO?
It depends on your goals. If you want instant visibility and traffic, budget for ad spend. But remember, PPC is no good without a solid campaign.
Now, if you want to generate organic traffic to your website while getting a lasting return on investment, SEO is the way to go.
Note that the ROI of paid ads doesn’t last as long as that of SEO. Organic ranking, while a longer process, increases brand awareness by placing your web pages higher on search engines without spending a dime on ads.
Is SEO Dead?
No, SEO is not dead. Far from it.
It is easy to fall prey to these types of messages. But ask any seasoned SEO professional out there and they will assure you that they have been hearing this type of horror story for 20 years.
As long as Google is ready to create a better user experience for searchers and marketers have access to updates to algorithms and best practices, SEO will be very much alive. In addition, it will continue to be the most reliable process for creating online visibility for your business.
So, yes, SEO is still relevant in 2021 and beyond.
Is Keyword Research Still Important?
Yes. Keyword research is arguably the most important part of your SEO strategy, especially if you’re in e-commerce.
It is true that Google is getting exponentially smarter when it comes to figuring out a searcher’s intent. While Google is smart, it is not humanly smart.
Keyword research using platforms like SEMrush and Moz is still the most effective way to get your strategy right. By doing keyword research, you’ll know the exact terms that users use to find products like yours, as well as those that aren’t as relevant.
It will lay the foundation for your strategy. They use both long tail and “head” keywords to create SEO-optimized content that connects with prospects at every stage of the funnel.
Skip the keyword research at your own risk.
Can SEO Keywords be Phrases?
Yes, SEO keywords can be phrases as well as single words.
“Cashmere sweater” is a key word, but also “how to wash cashmere sweater” and “cashmere sweater price”.
In essence, a keyword is any term you type in the search box. Because of this, some marketers may refer to them as “Keywords” or “Keyword Phrases”.
Which SEO Tool is Best?
There is no such thing as a “best” SEO tool.
Each SEO software has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as price differences and feature availability according to the goals you are aiming for.
Filtering your SEO tool selections is easier when you consider:
- The number of clients you will be working with. It doesn’t make sense to pay for a subscription if you don’t use it consistently as the average platform starts at $ 99 a month. In this case, opting for free SEO alternatives is better for your pocket.
- The size of your company. Prices and features vary based on company size and business goals. Starting prices also vary from solution to solution. So dive into comparisons before making a decision.
If we want to talk about the most popular tools instead of “best,” start your research by comparing the following tools:
What is considered duplicate content in SEO?
In simple terms, duplicate content is any type of content that appears on more than one page.
Regardless of whether the content is exactly the same or nearly identical, it is considered duplicate content. Google won’t penalize websites for this, but it could hurt their ranking. So be careful.
In ecommerce, it’s pretty easy to create duplicate pages without even realizing it. So pay special attention to your product pages. Make sure to create original content for each page whenever possible, and avoid copying and pasting pre-written content onto new pages.
What does technical SEO mean?
There are three types of SEO: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
Technical search engine optimization refers to the optimization processes that web crawlers use to easily scan and index your website, increasing your website’s chances of getting higher rankings.
Technical SEO optimization makes crawling smoother by removing the “bumps” from your website. Best practices include:
- Optimize your website for mobile phone friendliness.
- Install an SSL Certificate for Secure Communication.
- Enable AMP for fast mobile page loading.
- Speed up your website loading speed.
What is considered “bad” SEO?
“Bad” SEO, also known as black hat SEO, involves practices that are frowned upon by the industry Google Webmaster Guidelines. While black hat SEO isn’t illegal, your website could get banned from search engines.
In Google Search Central, website owners should “avoid tricks to improve search engine rankings”. Such tricks include:
- Keyword filling.
- Paid links and link manipulation.
- Hidden text or links on the page.
Are these quick ways to rank higher? Possibly. But the results won’t last long.
Can SEO be automated?
SEO can be automated in parts. However, it cannot be fully automated (and that’s a good thing).
Certain SEO activities like generating related terms for a particular keyword, analyzing a competitor’s rankings, and managing your backlinks can save you hours of work with automation. This is the job that most of the SEO tools out there do very well.
Still, creating a starting keyword list, analyzing a searcher’s intent, and creating great quality backlinks through great content creation boosts human brain work.
Does SEO need programming skills?
SEO doesn’t require particularly advanced coding skills.
Basic HTML knowledge is useful for SEO professionals, but no additional skills are required to develop a solid SEO strategy.
Is SEO Free?
SEO can be done for free, although there are paid SEO tools with automated functions. These can save you a lot of time and provide you with more detailed analysis to work with.
Online tools like AnswerThePublic and even Google itself can provide free keyword research insights as it gives you access to exact matches of terms that are searched for when searching for your product. When using Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP), don’t forget to read the “People Also Ask” and “Related Searches” sections of the SERP.
Remember, free search engine optimization doesn’t provide data like keyword density or search volume, or allow you to analyze multiple competitor websites at the same time. Unless you’re using a free trial version of a subscription-based SEO tool.
Can all SEO questions be answered? That’s impossible. SEO is always changing, which means new questions pop up every year. Don’t worry – we’ve adjusted so far and can do it again as long as we need to. In the meantime, let’s stick with the answers we know.
Do you have any questions that I haven’t mentioned?
Let’s hear them in the comments below!
Author: Matt Janaway
Matt Janaway is a successful digital marketer and entrepreneur based in Nottingham, UK. He started his digital career during the e-commerce boom in mid-2000 with the development of more than 10 ecommerce stores that had great success with a successful and evolving SEO formula. Matt is now CEO of Marketing Labs, one … Show complete profile >