If you’ve listened to your marketing team talk about how they’re optimizing your new site for search and felt lost in a sea of jargon, this post is for you.
When you’re not familiar with SEO, it can be hard to understand or see why it’s worth investing in. From understanding search basics to defining industry terms such as meta description, get the answers to all of your frequently asked SEO questions here!
Your Frequently Asked SEO Questions, Answered
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. This refers to various techniques used to help your website rank higher in search engine results. SEO helps make your site, and thus your brand, more visible to people who are searching for products or services like yours.
What is organic traffic?
When we refer to organic traffic, we’re not talking about healthy veggies. Organic traffic is unpaid traffic. If someone finds your website by clicking on one of your ads on Google, Bing, or another search engine, that’s paid traffic. If they find your site in their search results naturally, that’s organic traffic. With SEO, you’re working to increase your organic traffic.
How do you choose a keyword?
When people search on Google, they use keywords to find results they’re looking for. Incorporating keywords in the content on your site relating to your customer’s questions and the services they’re looking for tells search engines, and thus your users, what your site is about.
We take a lot into consideration when choosing keywords, including:
- The journey your customers go through when deciding to buy your product. We want to make sure we’re picking keywords that target users throughout that process.
- What your competitors are optimizing for. We want to target keywords that don’t have a lot of competition to give you the best chance of ranking well.
- How many people are searching for that keyword. Generally speaking, the more people are looking for a keyword, the better. However, we don’t want to prioritize quantity over quality. A lot of people may be searching for “restaurants,” but if you have a sandwich shop in Midtown, then “lunch spots in Sacramento” is the better bet, even if it has less traffic.
We use tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer to aid in our keyword research process.
Is SEO just picking and using keywords?
Picking keywords that your ideal customers are searching for to work into your site’s copy is an important aspect of search engine optimization, but it’s not the full story. SEO is an ongoing, long-term strategy. How many different SEO techniques you use depends greatly on how much you’re willing to invest in it. Here are a few other things search engines are looking for that can impact your ranking:
- Internal link structure, or links between the pages on your own site.
- Inbound links, aka backlinks, from other sites linking back to yours.
- Image tags or alt text. You’ll read more on this later!
- Site structure
- Visitor behavior
And that’s just to name a few!
How much should I be investing in SEO?
With so many different strategies available, how much you should invest in SEO directly depends on how much you want to get out of it. The cost of SEO and how much you can expect to get out of it depends on a few things:
- Where does your site rank right now? Developing an SEO strategy for a brand new site takes a longer period of time and more investment than continuing optimization for a site that’s already established.
- How much are you willing to do? Including targeted keywords in your copy is just the first step. If you’re looking to rank in a competitive industry, for example, you can go further by investing in link building campaigns where your SEO team reaches out to bloggers and other content creators asking them to link to your content.
- Are you willing to invest in ongoing content marketing? Uploading regular blog posts and other engaging content to your site can really make an impact on your search traffic.
If you’re interested in SEO, reach out to us for a quote based on your goals.
What’s a meta description?
If you work with Tytanium, you may have noticed a few things included with the blog posts we write for you. One of these is a meta description! This is a description of the page designed to tell search engines what it’s about. This description will show up in search results and will serve to entice searchers to click through to read your site.
The example above shows the search result for our web design page. The meta description here is the text below the URL, reading “Learn all about Tytanium Ideas’ Growth-Driven Website Design philosophy, and why you should consider growth-driven design for your new site!”
What is a slug?
When we write your blog posts, we also assign each post a “slug.” A slug is the part of the URL that identifies that specific page on the website. It appears at the end of the URL. In our example, the slug is growth-driven-website-design-development.
What is alt text?
We write alt text for the featured images in your post, but unless you’re really looking around on the backend of your website, you won’t see it once the blog is published. So why is it important?
Alt text stands for alternative text, and it serves two purposes. First, it makes your site more accessible. If a visually impaired user is using your site, their screen reader will use the alt text for an image to tell them what the picture is of. Second, it tells search engines what the picture is of, which gives them a better understanding of what your post is about thus improving your ranking.
How long will it take until I see results?
Everybody loves instant results, but it’s important to remember that SEO is a long-term game. The longer you’ve been working to optimize your site, the better results you’ll see. It takes time for search engines to index your site and understand what keywords to rank it for. It also takes time to start driving traffic to your site, giving your team a better understanding of what is working and what doesn’t, and earning you backlinks from other sites.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll start seeing results after 4-6 months of focused SEO work.
Are you ready to start generating leads from your site? Investing in SEO can help.