All of Your SEO Questions Answered in One Place

More traffic translates to more sales.

Every business owner understands this basic principle. But what most don’t understand is how search engines work and how to rank their website for their keywords. To clear up any confusion, we answer some of the most common SEO questions here. These are the same ones we regularly get asked by our newer clients.

1. What is SEO?

SEO is short for search engine optimisation.

It encompasses a set of marketing strategies to improve your rankings for target keywords on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The process involves conducting keyword research, fixing technical issues, optimising your content, building quality links, and measuring the results. It all comes together to boost your search engine traffic.

2. How long does it take to rank my site?

It depends.

If your site is newly registered or the keywords you are targeting are extremely competitive, it can take months or even years to rank. We generally tell our clients that it can take up to six months to see some results but we are often able to much sooner. SEO requires a long term approach and taking any shortcuts will only result in penalties.

3. What is the difference between organic and paid results?

Organic results are the listings that appear below ads. Both are completely separate from each other. The paid results are all from AdWords, Google’s paid advertising platform where business owners can bid on certain keywords and display ads. The organic results are not paid and these are determined by Google’s ranking algorithm.

4. What are the best ways to optimise my site?

On-page factors are easily one of the most important ranking factors. These factors include title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and the body. Optimising each for your target keywords helps Google know exactly what your pages are about. But you also need to be careful not to over-optimise your content as it can lead to a ranking penalty.

5. What is a ranking penalty?

Google ocasionally releases major updates to its ranking algorithm that affect the search results in significant ways. These updates are primarily designed to combat spam and reward high quality sites. If you spam your site with low quality links or stuff your content with irrelevant keywords, your site will likely get hit with a penalty.

6. How many links do I need to rank?

Not all links are equal. A link from a relevant source carries far more weight than a link from a blog comment or forum thread. Too many of the latter could get your site penalised. The key to ranking for your keywords is to focus on building quality links to your pages. There is no exact number of links required but generally the more you have the better.

7. Do I need to know how to code?

Not necessarily. There are many content management systems such as WordPress that make it incredibly easy to build a site without having to write a single line of code. But if you want to completely revamp your site or change certain aspects, basic knowledge of coding will be sufficient.

8. What is robots.txt?

This is a file on your site that gives instructions to search engine crawlers on whether to crawl and index certain pages. If you are blocking access, then Google and other search engines won’t be able to index your content.

9. What is the difference between crawling and indexing?

Google deploys bots that are constantly crawling the web for new information. As your site is being crawled, it gets added (but not always) to the index where it can be found in the search engines. Ideally you want all your pages to be indexed otherwise visitors won’t be able to find it online.

10. How do I know what pages are index?

Go to and type in “site:” (without quotes) to see what pages are indexed. Be patient as it can take some time for all your pages to be indexed. Focus on building links to your pages and Google will eventually find your pages.

11. What is a sitemap.xml file?

This is a file with links to all pages on your site. It is similar to a table of contents and helps search engines crawl your site. Once you have a sitemap.xml created be sure to add it to your Google Search Console account.

12. Should I hire an SEO agency?

You may not have the marketing experience to implement an SEO strategy for your business. In this case, it would be beneficial to hire an SEO agency. This allows you to focus your efforts on more important matters. Be sure to do your research ahead of time to find the right agency.

13. What is a good goal for SEO?

Oftentimes business owners get caught up on rankings that they overlook the bigger picture: Sales. Even if your site is ranking, it won’t matter if that traffic isn’t converting into customers. Rankings are important but you should also be paying attention to other metrics such as leads generated and sales acquired.

Have any other questions?

SEO is a vast field and there is simply too much to cover here. Not to mention that the industry is constantly changing with new algorithm updates. If you have any additional questions, get in touch and our marketing team will be more than happy to help.