If you’ve been thinking about getting promoted through SEO, chances are high that you have many concerns. How long does it take for SEO to generate a measurable outcome? Is it possible to do SEO for free? What if I’ll focus on creating good content, will that be enough?
In this article, we’ll dispel myths and address the most popular SEO concerns. You will get to know whether you need SEO for your online project and how to use this powerful tool.
How are search results generated?
Before trying to optimize your site for search engines, you need to understand how search results are generated. You can see more about this in a video explanation from Google. In short, search engines have their own crawlers that select the most relevant results for every request. These bots first crawl and parse web pages to collect all the information to the database. And when the user is looking for something, the system analyzes the request and returns matching pages.
To select relevant information, the search bots estimate such factors as the keyword density and the site authority. To make your site better optimized for search bots, think about properly completing the robots.txt file. We’ve got a very short but super informative post on how to do it.
1 – Isn’t it enough for SEO to just make good content?
No, it isn’t.
First, people should form a request for your content. If you create valuable content, but nobody’s care, you won’t have any traffic.
Secondly, “good content” is a subjective concept, and search bots operate according to algorithms. Four group of factors may affect Google rankings:
- User behaviour
- Technical issues
- External factors.
Let’s consider each group in more detail.
1. Behavior – how much the site meets the expectations of users. These factors can be assessed by click-through rate, bounce rate, session duration, and the number of pages viewed per session. You can see this data through Google Analytics right from your CS-Cart platform. Behavioral factors are influenced by poor design, inappropriate fonts, irrelevant content or site crashes.
2. Technical – how well the site performs technically. These are the factors by which search robots determine the site’s performance. It may include the loading speed, responsive design, URL issues, site architecture and sitemap availability.
3. Content – whether the content is of high quality and how it is optimized for web crawlers.
As for quality, it is clear enough it should be high. Speaking about optimization, such factors as the use of keywords, their density, user-friendly links and other metadata will define how well the content is optimized.
4. External – how authoritative the site is, how many other sites link to it.
Bots look at the incoming links (the number of links to your site from third-party sites), how fast it is growing, link quality and relevance, and how natural your texts sound.
2 – I need to use keywords and form a semantic. What’s for?
So that users can find you.
You need to find out what keywords users are looking for your product and create content with focus on them.
Highly searched keywords have a high competition as many companies see the interest of users and create content to match the most popular requests.
Therefore, one and the same article may not come out on the first page of Google results.
The narrower a query is, the less keyword popularity, the lower the competition is.
To understand which content will get the most attention from users and where you can outrank the competition, you need to make a semantic core. To do this, you need to collect keywords, analyze and combine them into groups by meaning.
This will make it clear what users are looking for and what pages to create. For example, in the semantic core of the website for language courses, you can combine keywords by: languages, student age, purpose and format of training, prices. For each group, a separate page is created that answers the request.
To collect the semantic core, you can use paid SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush , MOZ, or get the most out of free tools from Google.
3 – You get the results after years of optimization, is that right?
SEO is a long-term job. With the right approach, you can only see improvements after 6-12 months. This happens for four reasons:
- Technical work on a website takes time. It will not be possible to make the site structure, create new sections or add additional tags for a week.
- To promote through SEO, you need to use keywords. This requires creating content pages, which also takes time.
- The amount of links from external resources won’t grow in a day. It also needs time.
- Search bots need time to index a site and get it to the top of search results.
How long it takes to get a result is influenced by two things:
- Niche competitiveness. If there are many companies in your field that are promoting through SEO, optimization will take you longer. These sites already have ranking pages for your keywords.
- How much effort you can put in. If you are doing SEO yourself or you have one specialist working for you, it will take a lot of time. With a team, the result will appear faster.
4 – What is the best place to start doing SEO?
If the site is new, you can immediately start by forming a semantic core, if not – first you need to conduct an audit. This will help you understand the state of things, and with what to start work.
You can hire an agency to do it or use a free trial at SEMrush. The latter will show you what problems there are on the site and even sort them by importance.
After the audit, you need to decide what goals you want to achieve. Determine which pages worth promoting and why. The further work depends on this.
If you have a large site with many pages, focus on the development first to remove any technical problems. In other cases, you can proceed to collecting a semantic core.
5 – Is SEO Free?
No, it isn’t You don’t pay for views or clicks like you do for the paid traffic, but that doesn’t mean that SEO is free. It’s just that there are other expenses.
To optimize the site, you need to work out the technical part, collect the semantic core, choose keywords and pages to promote, create content and get more external links referencing your site. This all requires spendings.
It is impossible to get results from SEO without investments at all. But you yourself decide how much to spend. The result depends on your inputs and your investment.
6 – The site needs to be redesigned for SEO. What for?
Before redesigning a site for better SEO, you need to understand the reasons. The main ones may include bad site structure or an insufficient number of pages.
Search bots may not figure out what information is located and how pages are related to each other. They will consider that the site as not user-friendly and will rank it worse.
Imagine that you are a designer and you have a landing page. The user wants to know the prices for
services. He or she opens the home page, looks at the menu and does not find the price list, because it is hidden in the page “About the Company”. A user will leave such a 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.
If you concentrate most of your keywords on one page, then it is unlikely that it will make it to the top for any of them. For example, if you sell cars, you need a page not only with a description of all brands, but also for each brand separately. If you are engaged in financial consulting, you can add additional pages with expert content. Users will search for information on the topic, read articles, and then go to the homepage with your services.
7 – Is it right to buy links?
Google does not recommend buying links to increase page authority, nor use the services of exchanges for the bulk purchase of links. This will lower the site’s ranking.
To grow the amount of external links to your site, place them manually: choose a site, get in touch with its team, and make quality content for them. Then everything will be fine.
External website optimization is related to the number and quality of links referencing your site.
Your site becomes more authoritative in the eyes of search engines if many people refer to it.
Your site is being linked, you are linking to someone else. Thus, you participate intThe “ecosystem” of the Internet. This process is called link building.
To ensure that link placement is beneficial and does not spoil the reputation of your site, estimate a potential site for link building according to the following metrics:
1. Traffic – the higher, the better. You can check it through SimilarWeb.
2. Domain Rank – the level of trust of the site. The higher the better. To do this, go to Moz .
3. Spam Score – site spam. The lower the better. Moz will help here too.
What is important to pay attention to when self-link building:
The organic nature of the site. It is important to place links on sites where they will look more natural. Don’t place a link to a children’s store on a site for adults.
Lively community. Content should be published every day to build a community and show that your site is alive. Take part in discussions or comment on a social network on behalf of your site on forums and other platforms.
Context relevance. Pay attention on social networks or on the forum not only on their global topics, but also on the topic of a specific nature. For example, on forums for moms, there may be a discussion about where it is better to buy wine and how to choose. Link building of a wine brand will come in handy here, although the site is not themed.
You can also post links yourself for free. For example, on Q&A sites, forums, review sites, video and audio hosting sites or social networks.
Free Link Donors You Can Use:
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn
- Forums: Reddit, CNet Content Solutions, WSO
- Q&A sites: Quora, Yahoo! Answers
- Online media and blog platforms: Upworthy, Medium, BuzzFeed
- Review sites: Yelp, TripAdvisor, GoodFirms, Clutch
SEO is a powerful tool, but not for everyone. If you need traffic now, it is better to buy ads. If you decide to do SEO, there will be results, but it will take time. That’s why it is worth combining SEO with other promotion channels: paid traffic, social media marketing, content marketing, or mobile app development.