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THE
A-Z SEO GUIDE

Ready to turn rankings into revenue? Discover everything you need to know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

header-image

THE
A-Z SEO GUIDE

Ready to turn rankings into revenue? Discover everything you need to know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

Chapter 8
chapter8

Must-Know SEO FAQs

So you know the fundamentals of SEO, but you probably still have lots of questions. We get it - search engine optimization is like pandora’s box. Once you open it, there’s always more you can know. 

In this section, you’ll find some of the most common questions we get asked about SEO. If you can’t find your question here, head over to our blog - there are countless articles written by our digital marketing Gurus. They really know their stuff. 

Let’s get the Q&A started.

 

A. Why does SEO take so long?

Like all good things, achieving great organic search rankings through SEO takes time. Getting tangible revenue results takes even longer. There are lots of things that affect your website rankings. One of these is competition. The more competitive the keyword you’re aiming for, the longer it will take you to rank. 

competition vs difficulty

Image credit: Search Engine Journal

Then there’s the content. You need to find the right keywords that get in front of your target audience. Then, craft quality content that Google ranks. There are no shortcuts when it comes to content. In fact, Google implemented its Panda algorithm update to tackle this very problem. It’s the same with backlinks. You need quality backlinks in order to rank highly on Google, but the search engine penalises you if you take any shortcuts. 

That’s the crux of SEO - it needs to be organic. You put all the right things in place, and wait for search engines to notice all these changes and rank you accordingly. That’s takes TIME. It’s not about overnight results. Here’s what you can achieve with SEO in 3, 6, and 12 months. 

As always, the best things take time. But despite this, many companies still invest in SEO because it delivers one of the highest returns. 

Bottom line? It’s worth the wait. 

If you want rapid results, pay-per-click is the way to go. Better yet, use SEO and PPC together for short and long-term results.

 

B. What’s the difference between white hat and black hat SEO? (And does it matter?)

White hat SEO and black hat SEO is the difference between your site ranking highly, or plummeting under the weight of Google penalties. 

White hat SEO refers to all the search engine optimisation tactics that fall in line with search engines' terms of service. In other words, you’re playing by the rules.

Black hat SEO is pretty much the opposite of white hat SEO. Some say it’s the dark side of search engine marketing.

Black hat tactics include everything from keyword stuffing to sneaky redirects. All those things that are considered to be deceitful or harmful to consumers also fall into the black hat category.

Most of the time black hat SEO strategies work. That’s why people still use them. But as astounding as the results may appear, they won’t last.

This is mainly because Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and catching up. 

Which leads us to our next point – if you play the black hat game, expect to get penalties from the search engines. 

This is no small deal. 

Penalties can mean you’re wiped off the face of Google, and it can take YEARS to recover. 

The best way is always the white hat way. 

 

C. What’s the difference between SEO and SEM? 

The difference between SEO and SEM is easy to understand. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the tactics that get a site to rank higher on the search engine results, with the goal of increasing the number of visitors to a page. 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is more broadly the digital marketing that boosts a site’s visibility through organic and paid search results. SEM includes SEO, as well as paid search advertising, such as pay per click (PPC) and display ads. 

The challenge is that many marketers use the terms SEM and SEO interchangeably. But even though they work together, they are not the same thing. 

So do you need an SEO agency or an SEM company? SEO doesn’t work in isolation, so for results that make a real difference to your bottom line and business growth, SEM is the way to go. 

 

D. How much should SEO cost? 

Asking how much SEO should cost is like asking how much a car should cost. It is completely different depending on what you need. But it’s still a valid question.

The fact is, there’s a huge number of variables that impact the cost of SEO.

 

Your Industry.

How competitive is your industry in terms of search engine traffic? The more competitors vying for the same search terms, the more you probably need to invest to see results. 

 

Your Target Audience.

Do you have a broad target audience, or multiple target audiences? Expect to increase your budget to reach them. 

 

Your Goals. 

What are your goals and how quickly do you want to kick them? Typically, the longer and more challenging the goal, the higher the cost. 

 

Your Location.

Local, state-wide, national and global campaigns have varying levels of complexity. If you have multiple locations (such as franchises), you might need to treat each as a separate business with its own links, content, and unique web pages. That will cost more. 

 

Your Keywords.

Keywords will impact how much you need to invest in a successful SEO strategy. You’re looking at more spend for competitive keywords, and less for longer, niche keyword phrases with less competition (long-tail keywords). 

Still want a dollar figure to work with? Okay, at the very least you need to budget $2,000 per month over 6+ months. That’s the minimum investment.

 

E. How to do SEO yourself

There are lots of reasons you might want to do SEO yourself. You might be too short on budget to hire an SEO agency or extra resource, or maybe you’ve been burnt by a previous agency and want to give a shot going solo. As we’ve shown in this SEO guide, you can learn SEO.

With enough time, you can master all the separate components of SEO - backlinks, content, even technical SEO at a push. With enough time and dedication, you can even stay on top of the constant algorithm changes and updates. Our OMG Academy is designed to help you do exactly that. 

But for the real tangible long term results, you need one more thing that isn’t easy to learn: strategy. A rock-solid SEO strategy is what separates the winners from the rest. But it’s not easy to create a sustainable long-term SEO strategy from scratch without any experience. 

Bottom line? If you truly want to invest in your SEO success, you need to invest in a unique SEO strategy. That means finding the right specialists for the job, whether you hire a digital marketing agency or find the right in-house resource. 

 

F. How do I perform an SEO audit? 

Performing an SEO audit means you need to delve deep into the technical and non-technical elements of your website presence. How strong is your backlink profile? Is your content fresh, targeted and well-optimised? Are there any crawl errors or broken links stopping search engine bots from indexing your site? Do you have any Google penalties? Are their content gaps you should be filling? This is only the start. 

Sound overwhelming? 

Don’t stress - there are some brilliant tools out there designed to make it simpler to audit your website SEO. One of these is SEMrush, which has a whole suite of tools to audit your site and search presence. For the full story, don’t rely on only one audit tool. Back up your research using other tools, such as:

  1. Google Search Console - check for broken links, crawl errors and more

  2. Google PageSpeed Insights - check the speed of your site on mobile and desktop

  3. Ahrefs - see what competitors are doing

  4. Copyscape - check for duplicate content 

  5. Google Analytics - audit keywords, metrics and more

Better yet, who says you have to perform an SEO audit yourself? Get a FREE audit from OMG. When you claim your audit, our SEO specialists will assess your website and digital presence. We’ll look at your SEO history, as well as any paid advertising and social strategies you might have, and show you where you can make improvements, and how we can help. 

The best part is our audit and strategy sessions are completely FREE with no obligation. If this is you, lock in your free SEO audit today and put your business on the fast track for growth.

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