What is SEO really, the power of which is being talked about from almost every corner?
If you have ever thought about promoting yourself or your product through SEO, you probably have a lot of questions about it. How long does it take for SEO to bring any results? Is it possible to do SEO for free and promote your product if you have problems with the financial side? And finally, if you just create good content, will it be enough?
In this article, we, together with my team SipkoSeo want to dispel some myths and answer the 10 “stupid” questions about SEO. You’ll learn how this tool works, and you’ll understand if you need it at all.
SEO (search engine optimization) is the optimization of websites for a search engine.
What is its main task? It is needed for Google or any other search engine to show your website above others in the search results by keywords. What does it do? It helps to get more traffic from search engine results, because in general everyone clicks on links from the first pages only, very rarely going further.
Why is understanding seo so important for success? Before trying to optimize your site for a search engine, you need to understand how search results themselves are generated. You can read more about that in our previous article.
In short, the principle is as follows: each search engine has its own robots which, guided by special algorithms, select the most relevant results for each query.
First, they move around the Internet, actively analyzing web pages and collect all the information in a huge database. And at the time when the user is looking for something, the system analyzes the request and gives the most relevant pages.
Isn’t it enough that I just make good content and publish it on the site?
Unfortunately, no. If it were that simple, then at the top of the lists would be all sites mixed up, and seo would be the most useless tool. First, you have to have an offer that will interest the buyer, and people must be interested in your content. If you create good content, but people are not looking for it, or lose sight of it because of bad optimization of the site, traffic from the search engine will not magically appear.
Secondly, our favorite phrase “good content” is nothing more than a subjective feeling of the user himself, and search engine robots operate according to algorithms. Four groups of factors influence ranking in Google: behavioral, technical, content, and external.
Let’s look at each group in more detail.
The first, behavioral – how well the site meets the expectations of users. They also most often fail young seo-analysts and young businessmen. These factors can be evaluated by click-through rate, total bounce rate, the duration of each session and the number of pages viewed per session.
A useful tip: if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on analytics, you can use Google Analytics to see your own site’s indicators for free, or SimilarWeb, for competitors’ sites.
On the behavioral factors mainly affect poor design, unreadable, boring text, irrelevant content, which bears no meaning or failures in the work of the site.
Second, technical – is about how well the site is working from a technical point of view, from the side of his stuffing and internals
These are the factors by which search robots determine the performance of the site. These include the loading speed, adaptation for mobile version, the correctness of the URL, and the performance of link logistics in general, the logic of the structure and the presence of quality site map.
Thirdly, content – these show us whether the content is of high quality and optimized for search engine crawlers
With the quality of seemingly everything is clear – the user should be interesting and useful, no more or less. But what about the optimization? On the optimization affect the use of keywords, user-friendly links and performance of your site in search results.
Lastly, external – they are often forgotten – but they tell us about the authority of the site, whether it has a lot of other sites linked to it.
When calculating external factors robots look at the link mass – the number of links to your site on third-party sites, the rate of its growth, quality, relevance of sites and naturalness of written texts.
I also heard that you have to pick up keywords and do some kind of semantic kernel
Why? We’re not studying physics, we’re learning the basics of SEO, you might say.
The answer is simple – it is necessary so that users can find you.
Remember how the search process works, when people look for something in a search engine, they type in a query. This query contains some keywords. For example, a person is looking for “how to do a competitor analysis.” In the output, he might come across our article you are reading right now, because it also uses the keyword “competitor analysis”.
You need to find out what keywords users are looking for in your product, and create pages for them.
But , you have to take into account that for keywords with a large number of queries is often more competition. Companies see the interest of users and create pages only for popular requests. This is why the same article on competitor analysis may not make it to the first page of results – the competition is too high there. But an article onboarding: why users need it, what kind of ads they have and how to do it will be published. The query is narrower, the keyword is less popular, and the competition is lower.
But how do you figure out which content will get more user attention and where you can handle the competition better? Of course, ask Sipko Seo for help! Or gather all the will in your fist, analyze all your mistakes and finally make this semantic kernel. In fact, it’s much easier than it seems, and not so bad shit, how it draws all you need for this – to collect all keywords, analyze them and combine into groups by meaning.
So it will become clear what users are looking for and what pages should be created.
For example, in the semantic core of the site of language courses can be combined keywords on the following characteristics: languages, age of the student, the purpose and format of training, prices. A separate page is created for each group, which corresponds to the query.
To collect the semantic core, you can use paid SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, MOZ, free tools from Google and tools based on Autocomplete & Suggest.
What you sow is what you reap.
They say that SEO gives results only after a few years, is this true?
With the right approach, you can see improvements only after 6-12 months. This occurs for four reasons:
1. Technical work on the site requires a lot of time. and this is the time when, even with a great desire to not get a week to remake the structure of the site, create new sections and add additional tags, and do it well.
2. To promote through SEO necessarily need to use keywords. To do this, you need to create pages with content, which also requires a lot of time.
3. set the basic reference mass is gradual, and the rest is eliminated over time.
4. Search robots need time to index the site and lift it higher in the lists of issuance.
On how long it takes to get results, affect two things:
1. The competitiveness of the niche. If there are many companies in your area, which move through SEO, optimization will take you much longer than you expect, since these sites are already ranking pages on your keywords.
2. Resource availability. If you do SEO yourself or have one specialist working for you, it will take a long time. If this is done by a separate team, the results will appear faster.
All right, the technical component is sorted out, the terminology is also sorted out. What about the practice?
Let’s say I want to do SEO. With what is better to start?
Well, look, if the site is new, development can begin immediately with the study of our favorite semantic core, if not – you first need to make a quality comprehensive audit. This will help you understand what state the site is in, and where to start.
Useful tip: an audit is the kind of thing that is better to order from an agency or a specialist. A quality audit is not just an assessment, but also a quick service on a level with a quality guarantee, which specialists Sipko Seo provide 24 to 7. If you are not ready to pay for the service, you can do it yourself by taking a free trial in SEMrush. It will show you what problems there are on the site and even sort them by importance. But you should understand that the tool works in a template, so you won’t get a complete picture of the state of the site . After the audit, you need to decide what goals you want to achieve. Determine what pages are worth promoting and why. This determines the further plan of work.
If you have a large site with many pages, first focus on the study of technical problems. In other cases, you can proceed to the collection of the semantic core.
Is SEO free?
No. You do not pay for views or clicks, as in paid traffic, but that does not mean that SEO is a completely free way to promote. It’s just that there are slightly different types of costs.
Should I do it myself then? Or is it better to go to an agency?
Of course, the best thing is to go straight to one of the agencies, such as our Sipko SEO.
But if you want to understand SEO and optimize the site for search engines yourself – you’ll get invaluable experience. In this case, you will be limited in growth – SEO requires as much time as a full-time job.
In that case, it’s worth at least a consultation with a specialist. He will help you determine whether you have realistic goals and what the budget is necessary to achieve them. You will not be given an accurate prediction, but you will be able to understand whether SEO suits you.
If you decide to contact the agency, choose it responsibly. Be careful if the agency:
1. Promises quick results. Do not believe promises like “Top 5 in a month” and “an increase in traffic of 500% in a week. SEO does not give quick results.
2. Doesn’t brief you. SEO specialist must understand the product – to understand its value, the target audience, how people find it, what role in monetizing the site, who the competitors are and what they do. If the agency doesn’t try to dive into the product, you shouldn’t trust it. Template setup will not produce results.
3. Doesn’t give you a work plan. The agency should give you a work plan broken down by hours. So you’ll understand what makes up the cost of services.
4. Does not explain the reasons and consequences of decisions. You should be told what each step is for, what it will lead to and what will happen if you don’t take it. For example, you are willing to pay for the collection of the semantic core, and the money to redo the structure of the site is not enough. The agency should explain that without the right structure, search engine robots will rank worse.
5. Another problem you may encounter is agencies.
For example, you have already completed all of the above items and stopped at the selection of a successful agency, but at some point the agency said that you need to redo the site. You have in your mind immediately a question, but why? And so is everything beautiful.
Before you redo the site, ask the agency why it’s necessary. There are objective reasons for this. The main ones are the wrong structure and not enough pages. But if your agent can not give you an idea about the changes – look closer to him better, maybe he is not a better specialist than you are?
You must remember that search robots can just banal not understand which page has what information and how it is connected. They will consider that the site is not user-friendly and will rank worse.
Example: imagine you are a designer and you have a website. The user wants to know the prices of services. He opens the home page, looks at the menu and does not find the price, because it is hidden for example on the page “About”. He reads the text about your experience, goes to the portfolio with cases and leaves the site. Search engine algorithms will give preference to a site with a more logical structure, which has a separate tab with prices in the header.
Your site has too few pages
If you focus most of the keywords on one page, it is unlikely to reach the top for any of them. Will win those pages that focus on one or two keywords.For example, if you sell cars, you need a page not only describing all the brands, but also on each brand separately. If you are engaged in financial consulting and you have a business card site, you can add additional pages with expert content.
Users will search for information on this topic, read the articles and then go to the home page with your services.
Useful tip: as I said above, if the agency can rationally justify its proposal, it is better to listen to the recommendation. If not, then perhaps you are trying to impose additional services, just to make more money on you.
One day in our agency SipkoSeo came a client who was terribly afraid of the link system. As soon as he crossed the threshold of my office, instead of saying hello, he immediately asked me a simple question: I am offered to buy links. is it normal? What will happen to me for this? I will not be blocked anywhere for this?
Traffic. The higher the better.
Domain Rank – the level of credibility of the site. The higher the better.
Spam Score – spamming site. The lower the better.
If you have read the article to this point – I hasten to congratulate you, you have just in a few minutes absorbed the experience that I collected for months. Along with the main part, this is almost a scientific study of the world of SEO, I would like to tell you about another important part of link building.
What’s important to pay attention to self link building:
Site organization. It is important to put links in places where they will look appropriate and will certainly be useful. Do not give a link to the children’s store on a site dedicated to the nightlife of your city or yours.
A vibrant community. Content updates should go out every day, in discussions and comments should involve people, not clickbots. You shouldn’t leave a comment on an ad three years old.
The relevance of the context. In social networks or on a forum, you should pay attention not only to their global subject matter, but also to the topic of a particular discussion. For example, in a forum for moms, there may be a discussion about where it is better to buy wine and how to choose it. Link building brand wine will be helpful here, although the site is not thematic.
You can also post links yourself for free. For example, on Q&A sites, forums, review sites, video and audio hosting, or social networking sites. In general – it all depends on you and your desire.
You can ask me, so what are the main benefits? Link building, you can get traffic and positive mentions of your site on the Internet. But it is important not only to add links yourself, but also to monitor the mentions that other users leave.
Sometimes they can leave negative feedback about you on a forum or write a fake article. Such moments are important to keep track of and properly handle.
SEO is an incredibly powerful tool that gives you a lot of opportunities, but it’s not for everyone. If you need traffic now, it would be better to buy advertising.
But if you did decide to do SEO, the result is sure to be, but you must be prepared for the fact that it will take time. Therefore, it is worth combining SEO with other promotion channels: paid traffic, SMM, content marketing, ASO.