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Commonly Asked Questions About SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

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Updated August 19, 2019
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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

Search Engine Optimization is a confusing topic for some, but it doesn’t have to be! In short – SEO is the art and science of getting more website traffic by making sure a website is easy for Google to crawl, has good content, and has signs of being ‘respected’ around the web. Here are some important questions we get all of the time – and the short version answer for each!

For quick reference – these are the questions we’ll be covering in this article:

– Why does content matter for SEO?
– How do backlinks work / help?
– How long does SEO take?
– How do I pick good keywords to target?
– Which is better, SEO or PPC?
– How do I track my SEO efforts?
– What is the best article length for SEO?

Commonly Asked Questions About SEO

Why does content matter for SEO?

Google respects websites that have fresh content + if you do ‘keyword targeting’ / write articles for questions you know your ideal prospects care about, people often find your content by searching for those topics, become aware of your company, and sometimes even become customers!

Why Does Content Matter for SEO?

How do backlinks work / help?

Every backlink is like a vote for your website. Authoritative sites links count for more – let’s call those the ‘super delegates’, and sites that have no traffic or authority are discounted completely. We use Mozbar to measure the authority of a website, and often outreach to do guest posts on sites in the niche that have authority.

Links Matter in SEO Infographic

How long does SEO take?

If you do it right, SEO can take 3-6 months to show ‘leading indicators’ like increased keywords (we use Ahrefs to measure this) and traffic, and 6-9 months to show ‘lagging indicators’ like more leads and significant ROI.

That being said – the wrong SEO provider might take 2-3 years to get a result, and an aggressive SEO could get you more leads in 5 months – but as in many things in life, slow is fast – and fast can actually bring a negative effect if your SEO team is being haphazard.

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SEO is a delicate thing – that yes, should be pursued aggressively, but not carelessly.

How do I pick good keywords to target?

We love the tool Ahrefs, but you can use SEMRush or Google’s Keyword Planner. Look for keywords with a high ‘volume’ or monthly searches, and a low keyword difficulty (in Ahrefs.) We often look at competitors in this process to get ideas, and use a method I call the ‘backwards searching’ method – where we creatively brainstorm on a topic we think the ideal customer would search, Google that, and look at what the top results are ACTUALLY ranking for using Ahrefs.

There are many ways to do keyword research – these are just 2 of the ways we often use the most.

Which is better, SEO or PPC?

Wooooo-eeee. This is a big’un.

PPC people cite the ease of getting quick results– PPC being the method of paying to be the ads above search results.

The problem is that 85% of people skip those results, and it doesn’t take a genius to realize that some of the savviest / biggest spender customers might be the most accustomed to skip them.

But the long and short of it is – we love both:

  • We love SEO for it’s ability to get long-term results and even after a cycle of work is done, it produces results 6 months past the time it was done.
  • We like PPC because it’s great for getting brand awareness, for taking up more of page 1, and for ‘remarketing’ on display networks in particular. (This is where you show up to people that were on your site previously, and has a much higher click-through rate, and a much lower cost per click than other display ads, as well as being much more likely to convert a visitor into a lead.)

How do I track my SEO efforts?

We use Google Analytics, Search Console, and Data Studio to do this in a way that’s easy to check at a glance. These are very common tools that many SEO’s use.

We also use Ahrefs for tracking the movement of specific keywords over time, as well as the number of backlinks to your site, and the amount of keywords you’re ranking for.

What is the best article length for SEO?

Articles should at least be 750 words long, while the ideal is closer to 1,200+ according to many experts – and 1,800 if you’re able to muster a more comprehensive piece. The real answer is actually ‘it depends’ – meaning you should write the correct amount of words, that the topic sincerely demands to satisfy the searcher.

We often think about ‘the intent’ of the search – and aim to fully and completely satisfy that intent.

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

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