Many of our clients have a confusion about SEO and how does it actually work, so we thought to create a blog post which can answers their SEO questions in a the simplest manner. We have tried to put 42 important SEO questions and have answered them. If you think we’ve missed any of the important SEO question, please put it in comments box below this post. We will answer your question without any hesitation 🙂

Our clients receive many emails from “SEO Companies” that guarantee 1st page ranking through their “so called strategic” Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services.

SEO is “the race without any finishing line”. Like in business, ethics are very important the same applies when doing an SEO for a website. “White hat SEO” also known as “Organic SEO” or “Ethical SEO” is quite important to achieve a long-term success online.

Acting as a little black book for those newbie to SEO and how crucial it is to their business websites or individual blogs, we’ve put together a nice list of 42 SEO Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers for everything you should know before and while running a SEO campaigns for your business.

1. What does SEO stand for?

This acronym itself stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO includes series of steps which needs to be taken to make the website more user-friendly and search-engine friendly. In theory, SEO means ranking high on all search engines, in practice SEO = Google.

2. What is SEO?

The process of making a website, blog, minisite or a landing page and its content highly relevant for both search engines and searchers. SEO includes technical work to make a web page easier for search engine spiders to index and rank it properly.

3. What are SERPs?

SERPs is an acronym for Search Engine Results Pages. When you type a keyword in any search engines and see the search results, they are called SERPs.

4. What are Meta Tags?

Meta tags help search engine to display information about your website in search engine result pages. Out of many Meta tags, Website Title, Website Meta Description and Website Meta Keywords are the most important. If you want to improve you knowledge on Meta tags, check this website: http://www.metatags.org/all_metatags

5. Are Meta tags still important?

Yes, they are. Meta tags are still important and should be used on all the web pages on your website.

6. How to enter Meta tags information?

You can either do it manually using HTML code or you can install a plugin on your website if you are using a CMS like WordPress or Joomla. You may ask your website developer / website designer to help you out with this.

7. How much time does it require to enter Meta information on a web page?

Not more than 10 mins. You know your content on that web page, you can just describe it briefly in a Meta description, give an appropriate title for your web page and add relevant keywords. Boom! It’s done.

8. How many keywords should I use for a web page?

Not more than 5-6 keywords per page. If you think you would require more keywords to use, we would recommend that you divide your main page into subpages.

9. Which are the most important areas to include keywords?

Following are the major areas where you would include your keywords for a web page:

  • Title – unless you are brand like Nike – start your title with keyword.
  • Meta keywords
  • H1, H2 and H3 – All headings on your web page should have your chosen keyword.
  • First line of the first paragraph
  • Last line of the last paragraph
  • ALT tags – Image tags
  • Body content – put keywords in Bold, Italic and Underline
  • Anchor Texts on the web page to link it with your other web pages

10. What is Google Webmaster Tools?

It’s a free service provided by Google for web masters. It has many important tools. You can create Google Webmaster Tools account using your existing Gmail account. You need to integrate Google Webmaster Tools code with your website. We recommend to check Google Webmaster Tools’ official YouTube channel for all kinds of tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleWebmasterHelp

11. What is Google Analytics?

Simply put, it is another free service from Google which helps you to understand “traffic” to your website or a blog. It’s an outstanding tool which gives you detailed analysis on how your website is performing. To learn more about Google Analytics and how to integrate it with your website, please check their official YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/googleanalytics

12. What is an XML sitemap?

The simplest definition is “sitemap created for search engine spiders”. It’s being written in an XML computer programming language and it’s a collection of all the published web pages of your website.

13. Why aren’t my website #1 on Google?

Any SEO company or consultant that promises you the #1 spot on Google is trying to cheat you. Google and all other popular search engines have developed their own algorithms to rank web pages. These algorithms are a nothing but a smart programming work which takes many factors into considering when ranking a page high on search engines. Ethical SEO practices takes into those factors into consideration and help your website gaining targeted traffic. If you’ve not done an SEO for your website, have no good website content, no backlinks and developed a website using Flash, your website can never rank high on search engines. SEO is a long term strategy – not a child’s play.

14. When can I see results from SEO?

Some web pages are indexed in a few hours and some take a few months. This time period depends on the search engine’s processes, your content and age of website as well as the level of competition.

15. Can we rank for Windows?

Our question is can you beat Microsoft. If yes, you can surely rank high for a keyword “Windows”. We recommend that you should choose a long-tail location specific keywords to get the best traffic from your local community.

16. How to find which keywords to use?

We recommend that you use Google Keyword Planner Tool – You can search with this keyword on Google. Click on the first link, use your Gmail ID and Password to log in and you are good to go. With this tool, you can find out most relevant and profitable keywords for your business. You can get keywords exported in an excel sheet format.

17. How much does SEO cost?

There is no perfect answer for this question. It really depends on how much SEO work you want to get it done for your website. We have created some of the simple small business SEO packages. You can refer them here: http://threesite.com/small-business-seo-packages/

18. What is Page Rank?

PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. You can read detailed article on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank

19. What is Off Page SEO?

It’s combination of activities which you do outside of your website. It refers mainly a link building. You build links with other web pages / blogs / forums / video sites etc.

20. What is SEM and what is the difference between SEO and SEM?

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. SEO is a part of SEM. SEO refers mainly about on page and off page activities while SEM refers mainly paid advertising on popular search engines.

21. What is Black hat SEO?

It’s a malicious activities an SEO expert does to rank your website high on search engines within a short period of time. It is also known as non-ethical SEO. This may be good for a short term but in a longer run, it is very dangerous. You can ask many website owners around the world whose site rankings went down immediately after Google’s algorithms’ changes happened. We do not recommend that you use Black Hat SEO for your website or a blog. You may be permanently banned from search engine listings.

22. How many backlinks do I need for my website?

There is no “thumb” rule for number of backlinks. We recommend that you get backlinks from a reputed websites within your niche. Why to get a backlink from a computer shop website when you are selling clothes?

23. Why is SEO so expensive?

No, SEO is not expensive. High quality SEO always pays for itself. SEO is a combination of art and science. SEO can bring lots of clients to your business. Still not convinced? Check our SEO package: http://threesite.com/small-business-seo-packages/

An ethical SEO company will always focus on your ROI (Return on Investment).

24. How long does it take to get indexed by Search Engines?

Each search engines indexes different sites at different times. It could take minutes or weeks depending on your site. Without SEO, your website or blog may never be indexed.

25. How to submit my new website or blog to Google/Bing/Yahoo etc.?

You can manually submit your website to popular search engines using their form available on their websites. It does not take long to submit a website to popular search engines.

26. How many types of search engines are there in the world?

Web search engines, Meta search engines, selection based search engines are just name a few. You can get the long list of search engines here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_search_engines

27. What is link bait?

It is also referred as click bait. Any content or a feature in the website which encourages website visitor to share it with his or her networks. You can consider this article as link bait tooJ. Read this article of few extraordinary examples of effective link bait. http://moz.com/blog/10-extraordinary-examples-of-effective-link-bait

28. Can’t my daughter who is a graphic designer do the SEO?

SEO is not everyone’s cup of tea. As mentioned earlier, SEO is an art and a science. Like graphic designers are not coders, they are not SEO experts. SEO experts are passionate about ethical SEO strategies and possess certain quality and experience. The reverse is also true – SEO experts may not be good graphic designers!

29. I’ve a sales person in my company. Can he not do SEO?

SEO is a full time process. Unless you have at least one experienced full time SEO in-house it is strongly advised to seek assistance from an external SEO agency or an SEO consultant.

30. Does my website speed matter in SEO?

Absolutely, Page Speed is important for offering a pleasant user experience. Google knows this and ranks fast sites higher than their slow competitors. If you want to know more, check out this infographic and article to learn exactly Why Does Page Speed Matter.

31. What is 301 redirect?

Say, you created a web page: www.yourwebsite.com/about-us.html and later on you changed it to www.yourwebsite.com/about-companyname.html. You should use 301 redirect on the server to intact your link juice. If the answer is complicated, you may contact us for free consultation.

You may refer to this article: http://forty.co/how-to-keep-your-seo-juice-while-overhauling-your-website

32. Is HTML sitemap necessary for my website?

Yes, it is. HTML sitemap is not only useful for search engines but also very useful for website visitors.

33. Do domain extensions (top level domains like .com, co.uk) matter?

Yes they do. Especially when it comes to country-based domains like .fr, .de or .es – for local results in respective countries you should use preferably a country domain to get a better ranking on respective local search engines like Yahoo.co.uk, Google.com.au etc.

34. Do no follow links count?

Yes, search engines don’t rebate no follow links completely but it decreases the trustworthiness of the link and therefore its link “juice”.

35. My website ranking on #1 place on Google.com for a keyword, but I hardly get any traffic, why is that?

You may have chosen a keyword which actually does not carry a traffic. As suggested earlier, use Google Keyword Tool and find out profitable keywords related to your business.

36. What is URL rewriting?

URL structure is quite important for SEO. URL like www.yourwebsite.com/product-name.html is always better than www.yourwebsite.com/productid1013.html

It’s important to use hyphen (-) in your long URL with proper keyword in the URL.

37. Is it good to use automated tool to build 1000s of backlinks in just 1 day or may be in 1 week?

No, it’s not good to use an automated software which can build thousands of links in a very short period of time. Too many backlinks are being considered as spam by major search engines.

38. How can I get backlinks in the right way?

We recommend that you first focus on the content on your website. Make it appealing so people like to share. Once you have done that, we recommend that you build links with various external websites like Business Directories, Local Directories, Yellow Pages, Article Directories, Video Sites, PR sites, Image sites etc.

39. I’ve hired an online reputation management consultant recently. Do I still need to do SEO for my website?

Yes, you need SEO guy work on your website. SEO and Online Reputation Management are two different domains. They are related in some ways but not completely. You may refer this insightful article for more details: http://memeburn.com/2013/09/think-orms-just-about-seo-youre-seriously-missing-out/

40. Does domain age help in SEO?

Yes, it does. In SEO, old domains are more trustworthy. Simply put, you would trust a comment from an expert compared to a fresh college grad.

41. What is canonical tag?

If you have 2 different web pages with the same content. You should use rel=”canonical” tag on one of the web page to inform search engines that it’s a duplicate page.

42. Is SEO dead?

SEO can never be dead. For a quite simple reason, Spiders of search engines needs to provide correct information about your website with ethical SEO so they can index your website properly. SEO along with Social Media Marketing activities gives the best results online.