Below are some frequently asked questions in relation to SEO:
What is SEO?
At its core, SEO is simply the practice of designing web pages in a search-engine-friendly manner so search engines can easily navigate and comprehend them. The architecture, design and the information on the site should clearly define the service that is being offered. It may sound obvious but it is amazing how often businesses fall into the trap of not clearly defining their business. Making search-engine-friendly websites has a lot in common with making people-friendly websites. Research shows that visitors to a website decide in a few seconds whether a site is useful and hit the back button. So, a well defined and designed site is good for both humans and search engines.
What can I do to increase my rankings?
By far the most important thing you can do is to offer lots of quality information about your niche. First and foremost, website pages are ranked based on the relevant information that they contain. Good SEO can make the difference between appearing on the first page versus the thirty-first page (virtual oblivion). However, if you only have a few lines of content, it is difficult to compete with content-rich sites.
In competitive niches, incoming links (links pointing to your website from third party sites) are also very important. But in order to convince other site owners to link to your site, you need to offer something worthwhile. So again, it is all about great content. Aim to be the most comprehensive source of relevant information in your niche. The better you achieve this aim, the higher you will rank. If you don’t feel that you can write good content, you can hire a professional writer to do it for you.
How long will it take for my rankings to improve?
It depends on how competitive your niche is. In competitive niches, it can take several months for new sites to rank prominently, even if you have worthwhile content. Don’t be discouraged by this as every new website is in the same boat. The faster you get started, the better.
Why are my competitors ranking higher than me?
Look at your competitor’s sites and try to offer more than they have. If your competitor has 10 times more relevant content than yours, then it is unrealistic to expect search engines to rank your site higher. Try to be the most comprehensive and quality source of information on your particular niche. If you can achieve this, you can rank higher than your competitors. If you feel your site has more to offer than your competitors' sites but is still ranking lower, then it maybe the age factor. New sites take several months to achieve optimum rankings (as mentioned above).
Can you guarantee that my site will be number one in Google?
No. Ultimately, it is Google that determines rankings on its search engine. Google uses a number of factors to determine rankings and those factors are constantly evolving. Also, it is impossible to predict circumstances such as how many websites will enter your niche and the extent of their efforts and promotional budget.
Why is Google still displaying old info about my site in the search results?
Google’s robots may not have had a chance to visit your site and update their database. Depending on how often you update your website, this process can take a few days to a few weeks. If you update your website often, Google will visit your site more often.