Caveni Digital SolutionsSearch Engine OptimizationAnswering The 100 Most Common SEO Questions in 2020

We found the top 100 most asked SEO questions on Google and noticed that many of these are the same we hear from clients. We made a list and tried to answer them all. If we missed anything, let us know!

General SEO Questions:

The basics of SEO and how it works.

What is SEO in marketing? What is search engine optimization with examples?

SEO in marketing refers to search engine optimization. SEO is the process by which someone (normally a search engine marketer or search engine optimizer) will optimize a site to make it easier for search engines to index and rank web pages.

The most common reason to do SEO is to acquire more organic traffic. SEO is a highly dependable way to drive traffic and generate revenue, especially for an online business. So, the need for good SEOs has been growing as every business starts prioritizing their digital customers.

How do you do SEO for a website? How do I search engine optimization? How does search engine optimization work?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a very broad and nuanced field. But, from a very simplistic point of view; SEO can basically be broken down into on-page and offpage. The way search engine optimization is done is by fixing on page issues and adding additional information for search engines using things like meta descriptions. On page SEO can also include things like creating content and adding keywords to the content of existing pages. Off-page SEO includes things like outreach and generating authority for a website by earning links from authoritative websites in your niche.

Does Google do SEO?

Technically from a very literal standpoint google does optimize their own search engine to find better results. However, search engine optimization generally refers to you improving your site -for- Google or for any other search engine.

Who invented Google? How old is Google?

Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin on September 4th in 1998. They are both picture above.  That would make Google 21 years old now! (ThoughtCo 2020)

Which algorithm is used by Google?

Google carefully guards their algorithm. However the common ranking algorithm we know of is called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers aka BERT, which is the AI based system that Google currently uses for ranking. But, there is a veil of mystery over the exact methods Google uses and their frequent updates make it difficult to pinpoint exactly how they determine ranking.  

In general, it is widely accepted that Google uses a neural network to parse all the data they find on the trillions of web pages on the internet. That data is then fed into their AI to look through which websites are the highest quality and have the most authority. Those websites with the best content and highest authority are then the ones that are ranked.

How do I create a search engine like Google? How can I create a search engine?

A lot of hard work and time. Google has gone through so many iterations of their algorithm that creating something as advanced as theirs is still a reach for similar tech giants like Microsoft and Verizon; who own Bing and Yahoo respectively.

How can I do SEO 2020?

SEO in 2020 is very much the same as it has been in the past. Adhere to the Google E-A-T guidelines and create great content, build authority, and drive traffic to your website from other channels. 

SEO is actually easier to do as an everyday business owner in 2020 than it has ever been before. The best SEO is mostly natural and many of the most effective SEO companies these days fill a more traditional marketing role then ever. Get eyeballs on your content, get people sharing it, and make it amazing. Even without the advanced technical side you will see a lot of progress just from those factors!

What does an SEO do?

An SEO will do quite a bit, often depending on the price point of the service providers. These can include:

  • Optimizing content with keywords.
  • Building backlinks to your website.
  • Tweaking your website to make it easier for search engines to crawl it.
  • Creating new content.
  • And much more!

Why is search engine optimization important?

SEO is important because having traffic to your website is important! It is one of the best ways to find new customers. Outbound sales is a tricky process and SEO represents perhaps the strongest inbound sales platform aside from PPC-style advertising.

 With SEO you are slowly building toward the goal of being the most trusted voice in the industry; once you are there you can constantly expand your authority and content to reach even larger audiences.

What’s the difference between SEO and SEM? Does SEM include SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is very closely related to SEM (search engine marketing). Technically they are different, though the only real distinction we commonly see is that SEM will always also include things like content creation; SEO normally does, but not always.

We are often wary of people who say they only do SEM and not SEO. These people are often just content marketers trying to make it seem like they are SEO experts as well. But, in reality they just feed off the confusion between the terms. 

Is SEO paid or organic?

SEO can be both paid and organic. Paid SEO includes the technical side of on-page optimization and the optimization of content. Organic SEO refers mostly to the acquisition of backlinks from having good content. If you have great content people will share it without you even having to ask!

Is SEO necessary for ranking a website in Google?

No!  Having good content is often enough alone to rank in Google. However, engaging in many of the best practices as outlined by Google is a good way to make it more likely that your work ends up being clicked on and linked to by other authoritative sources. 

Who invented SEO?

SEO wasn’t really invented, it was a natural extension of the need to rank that came with the dominance of search engines. So in a sense, you could say that the search engine Archie, created in 1990 by Alan Emtage, is the origin of SEO.

Why Is SEO Better Than PPC?

SEO is fundamentally different from PPC, in many ways you sacrifice time to rank properly in search engines but save on your overall cost. 

PPC tends to cost more and also lacks the longevity that organic rankings provide, but you can get results quickly.

Is SEO still relevant in 2020?

SEO is still relevant in 2020, SEO will remain relevant until search engines no longer exist or they completely perfect their algorithm. People need help when it comes to the technical side of showing up in search results and as long as we can help, we will!

Is SEO Dead? Is SEO important anymore? Is SEO a dying industry?

There is a common misconception that SEO is dead or dying because Google made some major changes around 2016 with mobile first indexing and have since focused very heavily on their AI ranking algorithm. 

Now, that’s the reason that many people say that SEO is dead. But really, it has just fundamentally changed from where it used to be. The days of stuffing keywords and other blackhat style SEO is over, now content is king.

Cost of SEO

How to calculate what you should be spending on SEO and digital marketing

Is search engine optimization free? Is SEO free? How can I do SEO for free? How do I increase search engine optimization for free?

Some search engine optimization can be done with only your time. Though, SEO is very complicated and you may want to consult with a trained professional to avoid harming your website by accident while trying to do it yourself. A few tips for what you can do for free that will help your SEO:

  • Get Google My Business reviews
  • Build local citations on services like Yelp
  • Have active Social Media accounts
  • Write great content and put it on your website

Can you do SEO yourself? 

Absolutely, SEO is something you can do entirely by yourself if you have the skills, the will, and the patience needed to make it work. It’s not an easy thing to do, it requires a lot of time and patience to do it properly. So, most businesses would prefer to leave it to a professional SEO company.

How much does SEO cost?

SEO is an industry that shares similarities with the web design world, which we are pretty familiar with; you get what you pay for. SEO can cost millions or barely anything depending on what your goals are. 

The average SEO company will normally start their pricing right around a thousand dollars a month. That number will rise depending on the competition of your keywords and business niche. A small local business can expect to pay in the range $1000 – $2500 per month for a skilled SEO agency. 

But, hiring a single freelancer can cost as low as $500/Month. And believe us, you -will- get what you pay for. 

Is SEO Cost Effective?

SEO is very cost effective. We normally see a much better return on investment (ROI) than any other types of advertisements. However, the timescale is normally much larger.

PPC Advertising is a pretty close second and takes a shorter amount of time to begin working. SEO can take between three to six months to get started for a new company; but the ROI tends to be much higher than more traditional advertising. SEO is also compounding, the more you focus on it the more your traffic grows over time.

How can I do SEO 2020?

SEO in 2020 is very similar to SEO in 2019. Make sure your page is fast, create some really great content, and avoid being spammy or purchasing links from places like Fiverr. While there are a lot of other technical aspects to SEO, that simple advice is enough to get you started!

How do I choose a good SEO agency?

Choosing a good agency requires a bit of research. You should ask them exactly how they would achieve your goals and what they would do to get there. A great agency will give you KPIs (key performance indicators), keyword research, and realistic time frames.

Avoid scammers that tell you they will rank you in a day with a one-time payment. Also, it’s important to be willing to shop around and get to know who you would be working with.

How much do SEO freelancers make?

A skilled SEO freelancer who is entirely on their own can expect to charge roughly $500 a month.

However, agencies will rarely charge less than $1000. Many will charge much more depending on the competitiveness of keywords you wish to rank in. At the upper end, it is not uncommon to have clients pay millions per year to retain a great SEO agency.

Should I hire an SEO Company?

It depends on your budget! SEO is a long term investment so you need to have the money to pay for 3-6 months before you really see a significant ROI.

But, if you have the means, absolutely yes! SEO is an extremely powerful tool and organic traffic is where almost all of our traffic has come from across the hundreds of businesses that we’ve had the pleasure of working with.

SEO Tools

What are Google SEO tools? What are search engine optimization tools? What are the SEO tools? What is an SEO Test? Which software is used for SEO? What is the best tool for SEO? What are the SEO tools?

The two main tools that SEO use are Google Search Console and Google Analytics. However, they aren’t exclusive to search engine optimizers. You should be using both for any website. Luckily, we actually have a great tutorial on WordPress plugins for Google Analytics!

Additionally, there are a number of private tools that are marketed to help with SEO. The most trustworthy are Moz, Majestic, Semrush, and Ahrefs. Moz is famous for their “MozBar” which helps you assess the strength of competitors websites with a very convenient Google Chrome plugin. Majestic created the “trust flow” metric that measures how trustworthy your site appears to search engines like Google. Semrush and Ahrefs are great competitor research tools and they each have their own domain strength scores like Moz; though Moz’s seems to be the most comprehensive.

But, if you have the means, absolutely yes! SEO is an extremely powerful tool and organic traffic is where almost all of our traffic has come from across the hundreds of businesses that we’ve had the pleasure of working with.

How do I evaluate my SEO? How do I audit my Website for SEO? How can I check my SEO ranking? What is a good SEO score?

There are a number of tools that can give you a general score for how likely your website is to rank. This is based on the old Google PageRank algorithm which used to give pages a score out of 100 on how likely they were to perform well in search results. Page rank itself fell out of use but a number of tools replaced it with a similar function; like domain and URL rating from Ahrefs, Moz’s domain authority, and many others. These scores can give you a general sense of how authoritative your website is.

Be careful, they aren’t associated with Google so they will never give you 100% accurate results!

SEO Specifics

Learning about the specifics of being an SEO

How do I start SEO? How do I get search engine optimization? How is search engine optimization done? How can I improve my SEO ranking? How is SEO done? How do we do SEO? How can I create SEO? How do you rank higher on Google? How can I improve my Google SEO? What are SEO strategies? What is basic SEO? How do I optimize my website for Google search engine? What are the techniques of SEO? How do I make my website SEO friendly? How do I SEO my website?

We saw a lot of different ways to ask this same question, here is what we came up with:

SEO can be quite complicated at the highest tier. However, it is very easy to get started even as a small business. Google wants to rank highly authoritative websites which have great content and follow their webmaster’s guidelines.

Your first steps as business owner are making sure your website conforms with their guidelines and hiring someone to help if it does not. Your next steps would be creating highly valuable content for your users and getting your articles shared and posted around on the web. Continue to create great content and you will be well on your way to having an SEO friendly website!

How long does it take for SEO to work?

If you have a well-established site that only needs some fixes and to add come content… SEO might start working within a few days.

But, if you are starting from scratch the process of creating content, getting authority, and ranking in search results can take between three to six months. If you’re in a highly competitive space ranking can take years without a large enough budget. This range essentially depends on the competitiveness of keywords you are targeting.

What effect does SEO have on your search? What are the advantages of SEO?

SEO just makes your website and content more friendly to search engines. This generally translates to a better result and higher position in rankings for your desired keywords. Higher positions for your desired keywords then tends to result in more traffic.

How do I use Google SEO?

Google SEO is a bit of a misnomer, most Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is done with Google in mind since they control the largest market share in the search industry. But there is no such thing as “Google SEO.” SEO is a catch-all term for all search engines. Some may differ in how they rank certain content, but they all share the same fundamentals.

How can I master SEO?

Hard work, study, and practice. There is no magic trick that will make you an SEO master. You will have to spend the time learning the fundamentals and putting them into practice on your own website to see what works and what doesn’t.

If you want resources on SEO we have plenty here at Caveni. Moz, Ahrefs, Semrush, and SearchEngineLand all have great articles as well if you want to learn more in-depth.

What is on page SEO? What is onpage SEO and off page SEO?

On page SEO is the strategy of optimizing your on page elements and code to include best practices for search engines.The actual details of on page SEO are very nuanced and it includes everything from title tags, page meta titles, to how you organized your code, and beyond.

Off page SEO generally refers to the creation of links and the social sharing of content to show Google that your website is a trusted source of information in your niche. If someone links to an article you’ve written, that is off page SEO.

Do videos help SEO? How does video Affect SEO?

They do, pages with videos tend to increase the time users spend on the page, which is a confirmed positive ranking signal for Google. Otherwise, they are just good for your website in general. Users are much more likely to engage with video content.

How do you rank up in SEO 2020? How does Google rank SEO? How can I increase my SEO content? How do I increase my organic ranking on Google?

How you rank is highly dependent on the authority of your website and the quality of content you produce. Improving both of these factors will help you improve your position in search engine rankings. A great way to do this is to produce additional compelling content that encourages social sharing and linking.

Do Google ads help SEO?

Google has said officially that they do not. Google Adsense on your website can actually hurt your SEO because of the reduction in overall website speed.

However, Google ads can help when using their “Matched Content” option. Matched content can help you reduce your overall bounce rate and get more eyeballs on your newer posts that have less traction.

What is the most important SEO factor?

At the moment there are two factors that make up the vast majority of all SEO; authority and content quality.

Having a very solid, informative, and dense collection of content will show Google that you are an expert that is qualified for a high search position. In the same way, being trusted by other organizations as an expert is another great ranking signal that comes in the form of links to your website!

There are actually over 200 known ranking signals. You can see more details HERE.

What is Video Optimization in SEO?

Video Optimization is essentially SEO for video content on YouTube. Video SEO is extremely similar to regular SEO though it has more to do with specific keywords than with the depth of your content. Oftentimes there are pervasive gimmicks that YouTube prioritizes; a recent one is having a video that is longer than ten minutes.

Video SEO can be very finicky and doesn’t really follow the same trends that traditional search engines do.

How do you measure SEO success?

SEO success is measured in the value of a campaign over a period of time. Some of the best KIPs for SEO success are traffic increases, position, and impressions. You should see a fairly obvious trend of growth for a good SEO campaign.

*Be wary of any campaigns that are solely focused on arbitrary scores on third party tools!

Keywords

Researching the best keywords for your SEO campaign

Do keywords help SEO?

Keywords not only help SEO, they are a totally essential part of any SEO strategy. Your keywords determine where your website will rank. For example, picking the right keyword for your area can be the difference between ten visitors a month and a hundred. Keywords are a cornerstone of good SEO!

How do I find SEO keywords? How do I find SEO keywords for my website? How do I find the best keywords for SEO? How do I find good keywords? How do I research Google keywords? How do SEO keywords work?

Finding keywords can be very difficult and our best advice is to use a combination of Google Adwords keyword explorer and a third party tool like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Moz. Using those third party tools you can explore the keywords your competition ranks for and attempt to target those with your superior content!

Finding new keywords is a bit more legwork. A great method is to assume the persona of your desired customer and try to figure out what they may type into Google. Once you have an idea you can use those aforementioned services to check your hypothesis and find other related keywords at the same time.

What are good SEO keywords?

Good SEO keywords will depend entirely on the niche you are in. A good keyword for one website will not be a good keyword for another. For example, a water filter website might do very well with the keyword, “top ten water filters.” However, a boating site would not want that same keyword even though it is slightly contextually related.

What makes a good keyword?

A good keyword will be highly relevant to your niche/product and provide the most obvious way for your potential customers to find you. Often this means that the best strategy for targeting keywords comes from targeting many related long tail keywords instead of a single broad keyword.

Another factor is user intent. If you are selling something, targeting related keywords that are unlikely to result in purchases can often be a waste of your time and effort. So, consider your targeting!

What is keyword optimization?

Keyword optimization is just the process of finding good keywords from a range of keywords that you think might be good. Getting the exact data and changing your content based on those numbers is the best way to understand keyword optimization.

How do you target keywords?

Targeting keywords is very simple, just use them in your content. These days, you can even just use semantically related keywords.

Your keyword targeting is mostly down to using your desired keyword, associated synonyms and adding context clues in your content!

Learning SEO

Learning how to become a master at SEO

How can I teach myself SEO? How do I learn search engine optimization? How can I learn SEO skills? How can I learn SEO for free? How can I improve my SEO for free? What is the best way to learn SEO? How do I do on page optimization SEO?

You’re in a great place to start!

But we aren’t the only ones out here trying to help people better understand. A good place to begin would be to look over the Google webmaster guidelines and then go through the many webmaster chats that Google has on their YouTube channel.

Once you’ve heard it straight from Google themselves, you can delve into some of the amazing studies on ranking factors that are available out there on the web. Once of our favorites is this article from Moz.

What is the SEO process?

The SEO process generally begins in stages then becomes a cycle of re-optimization over time.

This normally starts with a technical audit, moves onto the fixing of onpage elements, then comes the creation and promotion of content; then finally, the generation of authority. After around a 6 month cycle of this it is common to come back to the start and reassess the website performance, skipping steps if they aren’t needed in the next pass.

But, the process will depend very heavily on the individual and the website.

How do I check my SEO ranking?

Head over to google and look at your desired search term, wherever your website appears that is your ranking. For a more precise measurement you can head over and sign up for Google search console to see the juicy details.

Do RSS feeds help SEO?

According to our data they do not. RSS feeds are currently not as heavily used on most modern websites. They can help certain news aggregation websites, but likely won’t have a large impact for a small business.

How do you rank first on Google?

Time, good content, and high authority. There is no easy way to rank at the top of Google. Many of the people in the number one position are massive companies that have dedicated huge amounts of time and resources to being there.

You can only hope that if you continue to make good content and promote it; it will be shared among the web and you can eventually take their place.

How often does SEO need to be done?

SEO really needs to be a continuous process, which is why almost every reputable SEO company charges a monthly retainer.

Is more content better for SEO?

More high quality content is generally better. But, content for content’s sake can actually hurt your rankings if Google thinks you are not providing valuable information.

How often does Google crawl your site?

It will depend on the website, for anyone getting a decent amount of traffic, Google will crawl most of your pages daily. However, you may notice your less popular pages not being crawled for months at a time.

How does a search engine find results?

Search engines will scrape the web using an online crawler. They will pull these results and display them to their users based on factors like content quality, authority, page speed, and many more.

If you want an idea of how crawling works you can download Screaming Frog and test one out for yourself.

What do search engines see?

Search engines see the code and content of your website in a very basic form, however most advanced search engines can also infer the end result with basic understanding of website code. Google did have issues with Javascript until relatively recently, so be careful using excessively uncommon development languages or formats.

How do I make SEO backlinks?

Making backlinks is bad practice, instead you should work on earning them by creating great content and encouraging other platforms to share that content. A better way to look at it would be to try “earning” backlinks.

What is the fastest way to rank a keyword?

The fastest way to rank for a keyword is to have a highly relevant and authoritative website and create new content that targets that keyword. Otherwise, you will need to take the time to increase the authority of your entire domain before ranking for any keywords. Once you’ve done that you can drill down and focus on promoting the one piece of content you want to rank. SEO is a naturally long and slow process.

What skills do you need for SEO?

Some great skills for SEO are patience, technical understanding, and good written communication abilities. Being a capable developer can also help a lot, but it isn’t strictly necessary.

Which SEO techniques are in trend?

There is really one rule to SEO in 2020 and that is: “Content is King.” If you want to do well, create great content. There has recently been a combination of content marketing and SEO which has resulted in a much stronger field of search engine marketers that aren’t spammers like the SEOs of the past.

How can I practice SEO?

The best way to practice is with a website. You can find loads of great domains from providers. Buy one and start filling it with content, then you can practice SEO to your heart’s content!

Other Questions?

Submit additional questions here or over at our contact page. We will try to answer everything!

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