Questions You Should and Should NOT Be Asking Yourself About SEO

By: | October 21st, 2012
SEO questions

SEO questions

Getting started with anything new comes with a lot of questions, and the SEO industry is no different. In fact, getting started with SEO is more complicated than many realize, and so the questions are one of the biggest parts of the process. SEO is always changing, so even experts are constantly questioning strategies and practices.

The biggest problem with asking questions in SEO, however, is knowing which questions are worth your time.

Top 3 Questions To Ask Yourself before Starting SEO

First and foremost, it’s important to make sure you’re asking the right questions before worrying about if you’re asking the wrong questions. There are many different things you should be questioning before you get started in the industry, but below are a few of the most important questions that you should be asking first:

1.  Should I hire in-house or hire an agency?

There are many different SEO agencies out there that want to help you complete your SEO goals, but this isn’t the right choice for everyone. It is usually best for a small businesses just starting out to hire an SEO expert to work in-house. This will allow the small business owner to understand SEO and always keep one hand in the projects. You can visit Higher Visibility to learn about how to make sure you’re really hiring an SEO expert and not someone trying to rip you off (which is unfortunately common).

2. Do SEO and social media work to together? Does it even matter?

The answer is yes, and from this question stems quite a few other important aspects of SEO. Usually when you hire an SEO expert or an SEO agency, they will be in charge of your social media efforts as well. You can certainly manage your social accounts if you’d like, but understand that you will be working closely with SEO. The success of an SEO campaign depends largely on the efforts of the SEO team, and so they often work together. This means that you should not only be asking SEO related questions in an interview, but social media related questions as well.

3. Is my website easy to navigate and understand?

It’s not worth trying to optimize a website that is not finished. If there are a few tests you want to do and a few things you want to try that’s great, but do not bother with SEO if you still need to add content and create a readable layout. Search engines like Google want your website to be easy to navigate and full of content that will help readers. Not only will Google not want your website at the top of their search engines, but users will simply click on and click off.

To see a longer and more detailed list of questions to ask yourself, visit Search Engine Land. They compiled a list directly from Google that explains what to do if you were hit by a Panda update, or an update that Google made to their algorithm. In essence, these questions all refer to SEO.

Top 3 Questions to Avoid When Starting SEO

You will quickly learn that SEO moves fast because results often come to you so slow. It can take weeks to months to see any change in your search engine ranking position, so you’ll want to get started right away on the right path. Below are a few questions that will only slow you down:

1. Shouldn’t SEO be free?

In theory, organic search results are the “free” results when compared with the PPC (pay-pre-click) type of Internet marketing. However, you should not bother wasting your time looking for a free way to earn those “free” rankings. SEO is not free because it involves quite a bit of work in optimization, analytics, and promotion. Even if you don’t spend the money to hire someone, you’re still going to want to pay for tools and software to help you get those results and complete that promotion. Not to mention your time is a big price to pay—and SEO is a hefty tab.

2. Will I lose customers and readers if I get started with SEO?

In general, SEO has nothing to do with users. SEO is all about the search engine bots and how they are going to rank your site. You want your site to rank well on a search engine results page (SERP) so that users can find you, but that is the extent of it. Users will not see most of your SEO efforts because most of it is behind the scenes. If anything, SEO helps the user’s experience and will certainly not hurt it.

3. Is SEO going to take up a lot of my time?

If you’re asking this question, you’re probably not yet ready to being your SEO campaign. If you feel like you have too much to do to focus on SEO, then your SEO likely won’t be successful. It takes quite a bit of work and quite a bit of time to prepare your website for SEO, so make sure you’re ready by making sure you have your website in order.

Now in reality, no question is a bad question. If you’re wondering about something, make sure to seek out the answer and determine if it is worth your time. Hopefully some of the above questions gave you enough of an answer to realize the question wasn’t crucial in the first place!

What questions have you found to be a waste of time when you got started with SEO? Were there some questions you found extremely important? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Image credit: oberazzi

Amanda DiSilvestro Google+

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

7 thoughts on “Questions You Should and Should NOT Be Asking Yourself About SEO”

  1. Sarah M Lavoie says:

    I totally disagree with your lower #2 and the entire philosophy behind it. “In general, SEO has nothing to do with users.” Simply untrue. SEO has EVERYTHING to do with users. Google wants to please the customer (searcher) so if your site is providing everything they need in a clear, concise manner, that is the foundation of all good SEO. Without the on-page stuff, the off-page stuff won’t be effective. If you are not focusing on what the user sees, you are not doing good SEO.

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    1. Okay I think that maybe that was poor writing on my part. Yes of course SEO is all about the users. Google wants businesses to optimize their websites for users, not for the Google bots. However, it is Google who makes these rules. It is Google who dictates how a site should be optimized for users–so indirectly SEO for a small business is about the Google bots.

      In other words, the ultimate goal should be users, but sometimes companies have their own idea about what is good for users and do something different to please the bots–what Google thinks is correct. I’m not saying this is the right move, but it was my thought process behind that comment.

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  2. Alex says:

    Interesting insights Amanda!

    I would like to add another important questions that everyone should ask before starting SEO “do I really need SEO?”

    Not every business should invest in this marketing channel, sometimes it won’t get the expected ROI because the type of the business.

    What do you think?

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    1. I agree Alex!
      Sometimes businesses want SEO just because it’s a kind of a buzz word, something that everybody does so why not me…But the fact is that they don’t really need it since their customers doesn’t search for their products in Google.

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      1. Great point Alex. You’ve inspired me to write a post on that very idea and I’ll let you know where to find it soon!

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        1. Vianey says:

          In my opinion, SEO is a great irsudtny to be in right now. Businesses are becoming more Internet savvy which means budgets are moving online, and the result is irsudtny growth. With growth comes competition, so if you’re new to the irsudtny, expect jobs to be harder to come by than previously expected.In SEO irsudtny is just starting to enter into a mainstream life phase. Which means it’s growing quickly, but traditional SEO is threatened by automation through technology, especially when it comes to smarter content management systems. Take wordpress for example, most on-page SEO can be accomplished through plug-ins without much manual intervention. There is also more and more of the US business going off-shore. There are a lot of smart people in India, China and other markets who can do your job at a faction of the cost.If you want to get into SEO, be aware that traditional SEO is all but dead, and the new world of SEO will look like the following:- SEO will more-so focus on authority building, not indexability issues- SEO will include social media understanding and management- SEO will also focus on in-site optimization, in-platform optimization (facebook, amazon, etc) and in-app store optimization- SEO will be about providing search engines with optimized feeds, as opposed to them crawling- SEO will extend to other digital assets videos, pdfs, images, audioHere’s the big one:- SEO will move away from tactical execution to QB’ing the activities of other channels for an integrated approach.In conclusion: SEO is hot right now, but it’s evolving quickly. It’s a great field to get into, but pay attention to where it’s going to see if that’s really what you want to be doing in the next 3-5 years. -13Was this answer helpful?

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