SEO or search engine optimisation is often misunderstood with lots of conflicting information and advice available online. In this article, we take a look at some of the questions that we get asked the most by our customers and also delve into some of the misconceptions that surround SEO to bring you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
How long does SEO take?
This is perhaps the question that we get asked the most about SEO and the answer really is it depends. There are so many factors involved in SEO that include your website and how it is built, the industry you’re in, your business location, the keywords you’d like to rank for and how competitive the search results pages are for your chosen terms.
Google alone uses over 200 different signals in order to rank web pages and these signals change based on the type of content, industry, user intent, and other factors. There is not a one size fits all approach to SEO and what works for one business may not work for another, even if they’re in the same industry.
Generally speaking, we’ll normally start to see improvements in rankings in 4 – 6 weeks but the scale of these improvements varies enormously.
Will having a mobile-friendly website give me better rankings?
Yes and no. Yes, Google is putting more pressure on webmasters to make their websites mobile friendly, but no this doesn’t mean that you’ll instantly jump to the top of the rankings just because your website is mobile friendly. Mobile-friendliness is just one of the signals used by Google and at this point remains a minor ranking factor.
From a usability point of view, it makes sense to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly as over 56% of all traffic now comes from mobile devices. This means that if you want to keep those users engaged then you need a mobile-friendly website.
Should I be buying backlinks to help improve my rankings?
Absolutely not! Buying links is against the webmaster guidelines and with recent Google penalties such as Penguin directly targeting links, it is definitely not a good idea to buy links for your website. There are still a lot of companies that offer link building with promises of building lots of “highly relevant” links for your business. Our advice is to stay away from these and any other links schemes as if it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
Asking your suppliers to provide a link to your site, using local chambers of commerce and guest posting on industry relevant blogs are all strategies that we’d recommend if you’re looking to gain more backlinks for your business.
Does posting on social media help to improve website rankings?
Websites that are popular and have a lot of links shared on social media tend to perform well on the search engines. These sharing signals are picked up by the search engines which look at the links being shared to help assess the popularity of a webpage and whether it is authoritative. By sharing content that you post on social media as well as sharing your website content people are showing that your website is a valuable resource that they are happy to tell their friends about. Another effect of this is that people are more likely to link to your content and website if they have been introduced to it on social media.
If I stop doing SEO will my rankings drop?
Yes, but not straight away. In the same way that it takes time to improve your SEO rankings with improvements built up over time, the reverse is true for when you stop optimising your website. At first, your rankings will continue as before but over time you’ll notice that your website rankings will start to drop. Algorithm updates, competitor improvements and loss of links will all negatively impact on your rankings and put you back to square one.
Will Meta tags improve my rankings?
While the Meta keyword and Meta description tags aren’t used as a ranking factor, Meta tags do still continue to have a use when it comes to SEO. The Meta keywords tag can be ignored but the Meta description tag should be used to help entice users to click on your page. A good Meta tag should be under 160 characters in length and provide a synopsis of the content on the page. Think of your Meta tag as a short elevator pitch that you can use to drive people to your website.
What’s the best way to measure the performance of my SEO?
One of the best tools available to help you measure the success of your SEO campaign is Google Analytics. This fantastic and free tool can be used to monitor how much traffic you’re getting to your website and where this traffic is coming from. You can easily identify pages that are working well for your business, as well as highlighting areas for potential improvement.
If there are any SEO questions that you’d like answered get in touch via the comments section below and we’ll do our best to provide you with a relevant answer.