Answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a collection of processes, best practices and software tools used to make a website and its contents 'findable' by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. In simple terms, it is the art of ranking high on a search engine in the unpaid section, also known as the organic listings.

Organic search is a term for search engine results that are naturally generated and not influenced by commercial relationships between a business and the search engine. This is in contrast to paid search results, where prominence on a given search engine is purchased, often known as pay per click (PPC).

Typically, web users pay more attention to organic search results, or try to focus exclusively on these types of natural results. 70-80% of search engine users are only focusing on the organic results. Source: HubSpot 2020

SERP is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page and is the page of results that appears after a you type a search word or phrase into the search engines search bar. Depending on what you’re searching for, your search history, your location, and other factors, the search engine builds a results page it thinks will be relevant and timely.

Over 64% of marketers actively invest in search engine optimisation because it has become an essential part of any successful marketing strategy. As the process of improving a website in ways that help it rank in search results when users search for specific words and phrases, it brings huge benefits for all types of business, from start-ups, SME's, non profit organisations like charities and large global businesses.

  1. Targets and attracts quality traffic to a website
    The top positions on search engine result pages receive the majority of impressions and clicks, so ranking in these top positions can result in significant traffic increases for your website. Using SEO to target these top positions and focusing on keywords which form a relevant connection between your web page and the person doing a search can be very rewarding. With highly relevant keywords, and good use of meta titles and descriptions which show in the search results, will help you increase the click-through rate particularly from users who are specifically searching for your type of product or service.

  2. Cost effective
    SEO done well, can be the most cost-effective marketing strategy because it targets users who are actively looking for your products and services via search engines. To attract new visitors to the website who have previously not heard of your brand, SEO is a successful method of generating qualified inbound enquiries compared to outbound strategies which are typically less targeted. As SEO also targets users who are actively searching for products and services like yours, the traffic resulting from SEO is more qualified than many other marketing strategies, resulting in cost-savings for businesses.

  3. Creates awareness of your brand to your audience in the Discovery Phase
    When people use search engines, they’re often in the process of making a purchase decision. They’re learning about the various choices they have, and assessing the pros and cons. This is the discovery phase of the purchase process and its a critical time for you to get in front of your potential customers. A good SEO strategy will ensure you're matching your products and services with the purchasing needs of your target audience at a time when they’re looking for your product or service.

  4. Greater trust and credibility
    The algorithms of search engines like Google, define how websites are ranked on their search results pages, and the people searching will know this. They trust that the first listing on the organic search results is a reputable source. Conversely, searchers also believe (rightly or wrongly) that the further down you are in the organic search results, the less trustworthy you are.

    Achieving a position in the top five results for a keyword indicates that your content is high quality. It means that Google has validated the fact that your site is the top result for a particular topic and this validation gives your site and brand credibility. By practising search engine optimisation, you can take charge of your own brand awareness and, consequently, the credibility of your brand.

  5. Out-performing your competitors
    More people are starting to realise that the benefits of SEO are extremely high. This means that your competitors are likely already taking steps to establish high rankings in search results, or have already achieved good results. With an SEO strategy of your own, you can keep up and move ahead of them to stay competitive within your industry.

Results from SEO efforts are rarely instant, and long term SEO strategies take patience and persistence to finally pay off. The results will also vary depending on what type of SEO you employ, how long you do SEO, what type of site you have, the industry you are in, and the history of the site you’re trying to optimise. There are many factors that determine 'how long?' Which makes it nearly impossible to give a simple answer, other than SEO takes different amounts of time for each site.

At SEO Results, we usually expect to see early progress on month 3, and as a guide, from month 6-9 significant progress and results can be achieved. Progress will be measured and reported each month, and adjustments made to the strategy to continue strong improvement. The ultimate achievement is to reach page one, and the top positions, and once these have been achieved, strategies can be adopted to maintain this position, and start to dominate your competitors.

If you want to boost website traffic, reach more customers, and increase conversions, SEO can help. The monthly costs associated with running an SEO campaign are determined by the extent of the requirement including numbers of keywords, competitiveness of keywords and competitive nature of your industry.

At SEO Results our SEO prices up based on the total search volume of your chosen keywords. We use data from Google to identify monthly search volumes for all keywords, and the collective total of these volumes will determine the monthly SEO package most suitable for your requirement. This means you will know exactly what you're paying each month to achieve your requirements.

Contact our SEO experts on 0121 726 3861 or email for further information on our pricing structure.

Search volume is the average number of times a specific search query is entered on a search engine per month. Average monthly search volume represents the number of times the query was searched over the past twelve months divided by 12. For seasonal and trending keywords, this number could be higher or lower than the average in certain months.

Short tail keywords are search phrases with only one or two words. Their length makes them less specific than searches with more words, and their often generic nature means they will deliver less relevant traffic to your website.

'Coffee Shop' is an example of a short-tail keyword.

Long-tail keywords usually consist of 4 of more words and are typically more specific in their query, like 'Coffee shop near Birmingham New Street station. Individual short tail keywords are searched more often than individual long tail keywords, but highly specific phrases make up the vast majority of search volume.

Domain Authority is a score out of 100 that predicts how well your website will rank on search engines. When you have established a strong domain authority search engines like Google will automatically trusts your new content more than they trust other websites without that built-in trust. This enables your work to rank higher on search engine results pages.

Also referred to as incoming or inbound links, a backlink occurs when one website mentions your website and links back to it. Whenever backlinks occur (particularly quality backlinks), it is like receiving a vote of confidence for a webpage. The more votes you get from sites with authority, the more positive an effect on a site’s ranking and search visibility.

Backlinks are the foundation of SEO. Without them, you won't have any real chance of rising above your direct and indirect competitors in search engine results pages. Backlinks are the foundation with which you should be building your online visibility and one of the main methods we use across our SEO strategies.

When a search engine's crawler goes through your website to determine the overall relevancy of your web address, pages, and everything else that's being displayed on it - it takes a close look at the number of backlinks and the quality of these backlinks pointing back to your website. Google for instance, gives a lot of credit to websites that have a decent number of quality backlinks. It considers them far better than those which don't have as many similar references, and as a result automatically earns them higher positions in search results. That's why we always focus on acquiring high-quality, "natural" backlinks in all our campaigns.

The number of backlinks required to rank on the first page of Google totally depends on what you're trying to achieve and the type of keywords you are targeting in an SEO campaign.

If you're planning to target low competitive keywords, you won’t need as many backlinks to rank on the first page. Focusing on the quality of the backlinks and building up authority will enable Google and other search engines to identify your website as a trusted source of content and subsequently rank you higher than competitors that have less authority.

But the number of backlinks needed to rank on Googles' first page, just simplifies a situation out of context. Google gives great emphasis to the quality of the backlinks but will consider other factors too, like page speed, relevance of content, accessibility, and on-site SEO to mention just a few. If you're targeting the first page of Google, in a highly competitive sector, there isn't a specific number of  backlink required to guarantee this position, but an SEO strategy which considers all elements which are considered by Google to achieve high ranking is the key to balanced SEO.

Trust Flow is a metric we use to help analyse our SEO progress and specifically the trustworthiness of a websites' domain. Out of 100, Trust Flow scores a website’s perceived trustworthiness from the quality of the backlinks.

On-site SEO (also known as on-page SEO) is the practice of optimising web page content for search engines and users. Common on-site SEO practices include optimising page speed, title tags, content, internal links and resolving broken links.

This is different from off-page SEO, which is optimising for signals that happen off of your website, like backlinks.

Off-site SEO, describes optimisation methods that can improve your ranking in search engine results pages. These methods happen outside of your website and involve attracting backlinks from other websites, shares on social media, and mentions across the internet.

Off-site SEO is very valuable to a website owner, because it tells search engines like Google that your website is important to users who are searching on the web. The process of setting up backlinks from other website has the most impact on search result ranking, and every link that you receive acts as an endorsement from another source that your website is credible, trustworthy and relevant for specific keywords.

White hat SEO is the recommended route when it comes to growing website traffic and improving search engine rankings. White hat SEO starts with user experience in mind. While your aim might ultimately be to improve your search engine rankings and draw in more organic traffic, it’s done by improving the content and usability of a website so that more users come to your website, and they stay longer.

With white hat methods achieved on the website, our approach remains the same for off-site SEO activities. To give more authority to your website, finding authentic back-linking opportunities is good white hat practice. In fact, a website’s backlink portfolio is a major ranking factor for Google. Strong backlinks will not only boost a domain’s authority, but also has the potential to drive traffic - both of which will help improve your search result rankings.

White hat SEO, is doing SEO the right way. No short cuts, no trying to out manoeuvre Google, its about following best practice and achieving the best results. For us, using ethical practices gives credibility to our achievements for our clients and removes all possibilities of being penalised for doing things in the wrong way.

Never work with organisations who don't implement white hat SEO methods. Your website can be penalised and your rankings will suffer. 

Regardless of whether you’ve got an existing website, or are launching a new website, SEO will have a significant impact on its visibility on search engines.

It is never too late to start SEO, and for existing websites that are struggling for visibility and losing out to competitors, our SEO strategies are designed to audit your site, identify where you need to make technical and content adjustments to improve onsite optimisation, and then there is the process of off-site SEO to build up credibility, authority and trust.

For a new website, the best time to start SEO is before you launch. We can help you identify the most effective keywords for a campaign which will help you focus on the right content for each of your pages. We can help identify where you need to improve on-site SEO on a technical and content basis ahead of launch, and then after launch we can focus on the off-site SEO activities of an SEO campaign.

Page Speed is the amount of time that it takes for a webpage to load. A page’s loading speed is determined by several different factors, including a site’s server, page file size, and image compression.

Page speed matters for both users and search engines. Visitors to your website are less likely to stay if it takes ages to load and if Google detects that the site is slow, it will certainly penalise the website which will affect ranking performance on search results.

Most websites perform poorly when it comes to page speed, and that has a direct negative impact on their revenue. At SEO Results we place great importance on page speed and identify ways to improve it, and will encourage you to make these adjustments. By completing speed optimisation and continuing to monitor it, you can achieve a great advantage over your competitors.

Keyword research is a crucial part of our SEO strategies because they're an important SEO ranking factor that Google uses when it’s deciding where to rank your content in search results. Get them right, and Google will understand what your content is about, making it easy for your pages to appear at the right time in response to a search.

When we select keywords for a campaign we have to take into consideration the following:

  • relevance to your industry
  • relevance to your products and/or services
  • keyword grouping
  • competitiveness of individual keywords
  • monthly search volumes
  • reverse engineering the keywords competitors are targeting

For the right choice of keywords, we consider the target user at all times, which means it's also important to think about the search intent behind each query. By giving emphasis to search intent it enables us to plan content, keyword groupings and keyword strategies in such a way that it meets the needs of the people doing the search on search engines.

Using SEO techniques that closely follow Google's guidelines is the only way to guarantee your site will not be penalised by Google.

All our SEO techniques and methods are ethical and are closely aligned to Google. They take time, effort, creativity and huge amounts of measurement and adjustment. Attempting to use shortcuts to speed up the process or to out-manoeuvre potential weaknesses in Google’s algorithms is high risk and can expose clients websites to large penalties.

Your business is too important to you, so don't risk it be using black hat, or shortcut solutions which Google will see as cheating. Contact one of our SEO experts about your requirement and we'll put together an ethical, white hat SEO strategy to get your website to the top of search results.

Once your SEO strategy enters the implementation and measurement phase, we give you full access to tools to see the progress of your campaign. Providing good transparency is important to us because it helps our experts to show you the achievements, trends and required adjustments to keep the campaign on track.

Access to your own SEO dashboard will provide huge levels of detail showing the performance of individual keywords, ranking trends and highlighting areas of weakness and strength. Customised reports can be created and exported from within the dashboard, and further reporting can be arranged with our SEO experts.

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