SEO FAQ: Commonly-Asked SEO Questions

SEO can seem confusing to those who are new to the concept.  It’s also been around for some time now, so newer SEO’s may not be aware of ‘ancient’ SEO trivia (like the fact that it was once possible to rank higher by stuffing your meta keyword tag.  Here are list commonly-asked SEO questions.  I will be updating and adding to these on occasion.

Are SEO services worth it?

SEO “done right” is almost always worth it. There are some companies/organizations who are positioned in a way where SEO isn’t worth it (ie. a private company whose entire revenue comes from government contracts that are awarded through bids…a company like this may gain no value in SEO), but in general SEO is a worthy practice to pursue and if done right, will provide a positive return.

Are SEO companies worth it?

When it comes to good SEO companies, yes! Unfortunately there are plenty of companies who will happily take your money without having any realistic plan to ensure you make a positive return on your investment. There are also a some instances where SEO might not be a viable option (though these are generally an exception to the rule). Any SEO company/individual worth their weight will analyze your situation in advance and inform you if they don’t believe that SEO is a profitable channel for you.

Can SEO keywords be phrases

The short answer is: yes. The longer answer is: In SEO, “keyword” is a catch-all term which includes phrases. In fact, “longtail keywords” are often phrases.

Can SEO be automated?

The short answer is: yes. The longer answer is: Yes, but that’s often  a bad idea. There are certain aspects of an SEO campaign than can be automated, especially in low-competition industries. Automation certainly has a place in SEO and it can allow SEO’s to cut costs and pass those savings into their consumers, but you certainly can’t automate like it’s 2010. Those days of ‘simplistic SEO’ have long-since sailed.

Can SEO help your business?

With very few exceptions, yes (assuming it’s done right and the services aren’t marked up to an unreasonable rate). A good SEO plan will make the most of available resources to help ensure a positive return.

Does SEO cost money?

Not every aspect of SEO requires money, it just requires a person who knows that they’re doing. So a business owner or company employee with some knowledge of SEO can implement some SEO without paying anyone (though you’d want to consider the cost of owner/employee time being allotted to SEO as a cost). The more competitive the industry, the more money it’s likely to cost as your campaign is likely to require a highly skilled technical SEO and content outreach program.

What are some must-have SEO plugins for wordpress?

First and foremost would be Yoast SEO, as it will handle many aspects of your installation’s SEO. For site speed matters, WP Smush and W3 Total Cashe are indispensable plugins. The redirection plugin is great for handling 301 redirects. YARP (yet another related post) is a great way to distribute link equity from related on-site content.

Must have SEO tools 2017

At this point there are so many SEO tools out there, many with overlapping functions. For example, Moz, Ahrefs and Majestic are all great tools but they provide overlapping functions. Arguably, Ahrefs and Majestic provide better link reporting than Moz, but the Moz tool comes with so many other features you could argue you get a better ROI. I’m more of an ahrefs guy myself.

For site crawling you have desktop tools like A1 Website Analyzer, Screaming Frog SEO Spider. You also have more expensive counterparts like Deep Crawl, which is online and therefore can crawl larger sites since it’s not running on your desktop.  You’ll also want Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

How has SEO changed?

SEO has changed drastically over the years. Hard to imagine (especially for newer/younger SEO’s) but there was a time when stuffing your meta keyword tag would boost your rankings. Since then Google has come a long way. Links started being counted as “votes” and to a certain extent, they still are, though in a much less democratic nature (a ‘vote’ from WSJ.com counts more than a ‘vote’ from an ezine article site or a blog comment).

Some people mark the 2012 Penguin roll out as the year SEO changed but as far as I can tell, that’s when the obviously ‘spammy’ sites went under. It’s the 2013 Penguin update where legitimate sites began falling to the wayside. This is the point where many people consider SEO to be ‘dead’ but in reality it’s just 2010-style SEO that died. Content creation and marketing simply requires better planning these days.

What should SEO include?

At the very least, SEO should include relevant content, some sort of link building/outreach and technical audits/implementations to ensure a website is search engine friendly.

When was SEO invented?

The first webmaster to implement changes to improve rankings would technically be the first SEO, and this would make when SEO was invented. Some SEO’s claim to have started in the mid-late 90’s. This would of course, pre-date Google. Attempts at improving rankings would have been occurring for other search engines, like Yahoo! and Alta Vista.