SEO FAQ: All of Your Burning SEO Questions Answered
This post was last updated on January 20th, 2020.
“Google, Google know-it-all, will my site ever get a crawl?”, asked the Evil Queen, after creating her stunning Wix website, of course. We hear you, SEO can be a daunting topic to tackle as most of us don’t own a magic mirror. But no need to fret, as we’re here to provide you with all the answers to the SEO questions you were always too embarrassed to ask. You’ve probably heard that knowledge is power. And this couldn’t be more true for SEO. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to optimize your website, which will lead to a better position on search results, more clicks to your site, and ultimately – more business. Sounds like a good deal to me. So let’s dive right into our SEO FAQ:
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization involves everything you can do in order to obtain a better position on search engines’ (like Google) results and thus get found more easily. SEO encompasses in particular (but not limited to): adding SEO titles and descriptions to your pages, adding alt text to your images, getting backlinks to your site, creating a blog, and more.
What’s the difference between SEO and SEM?
Both SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) involve increasing a site’s visibility on search results. The main difference is that SEM includes paid promotion tactics and SEO does not. In other words: unlike it’s ‘markety’ big brother, SEO won’t cost you a single penny.
Why is SEO important for my business?
Fact: everyone uses search engines. Actually, at this very moment (while you’re reading this blog post) over sixty thousand searches were made on Google. From checking the weather to finding the nearest pizza place, search engines play a key part in our daily lives. In most cases, it’s how your prospective customers are looking for you, or a business like yours. Which means that search engine optimization is crucial to survive and succeed online. Think of the proverbial tree in the woods: If your website is online and no one can find it, does it even exist? Our advice: make sure your website doesn’t have an existential crisis, and work on your SEO.
How do search engines work?
In short, search engines use an advanced set of algorithms in order to crawl, index and pull up web pages.
The first stage is called ‘crawling’, which is basically the process of scanning through or reading your website’s code.
In the second stage, the web pages that were crawled are saved in a huge database. This is called ‘indexing’.
The last part happens once someone enters a query in the search box. The search engine will consult that same database and will show the web pages it deems most relevant for that specific search.
Of course, this is a very simplified explanation. To know more about it, check our SEO guide to find out exactly how search engines work.
How much should I pay for good SEO?
We believe that good SEO is achievable without breaking the bank. The good news is you don’t need to hire an expensive professional service to do your SEO. There is a lot of material online that can help you learn about DIY optimization techniques (the Google & SEO in the Wix Blog for example). But wait, there’s more good news if you’re a Wix user. You can use the wise and trusted free tool: Wix SEO Wiz. The only investment needed is your time, sweat and effort. Trust us, the return on investment is huge.
Do I need to know how to code to do SEO?
Absolutely not. Heck, you don’t even need to know how to code to create a website nowadays. Knowing the fundamentals of HTML can help in understanding web page structure, but you certainly don’t need to enroll in a Computer Science 101 course if you want to rank higher on Google.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO refers to specific actions taken in order to appear in search results when someone is looking for a business in your area, for example “shoe repair in Williamsburg.” Boosting your local SEO is a great way of attracting prospective customers from your surroundings as, ironically enough, most of them are looking for you online. One of the best practices includes signing up to online directories, such as Google My Business. This will allow your business to show up on Google Maps, and you’ll have a better chance of showing up in the so called ‘Local Pack’ (the three results you see below the map on search results).
How to get found on Google?
First things first, you’ve got to make sure your website is crawled and indexed if you want to climb the search engine echelons. Here are the steps you need to take:
Verify your site with Google Search Console Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service provided by Google for website owners. Verifying your website with GSC is considered an SEO best practice and will make it possible for Google to understand you are the site owner. Plus, Google Search Consoles provides you with valuable information about your website, such as: amount of impressions on search results, amount of clicks and your position for certain keywords.If you’re a Wix user, we’ve outlined the process of verification in this step-by-step guide.
Submit your sitemap A sitemap is in simple terms a plan of your website. It shows how your different pages are connected to one another. It’s useful to send a sitemap to search engines so that they can crawl your website more easily and quickly, which will improve your overall SEO. Want to know more? Have a look at this to know how to submit a sitemap with Wix.
Test it out The easiest way to check if your site is indexed is to enter ‘site:yourwebsitemame.com’ in the searchbox of Google and see if anything comes up. If your pages come up in the result, it means that your website is indexed. Don’t freak out if you don’t see results immediately as the indexing process can take some time.
Bonus: If you’re a Wix user with a personalized domain, you can avoid the first two steps, and easily get indexed with Wix SEO Wiz. Just click on “Get Indexed” and wait for the magic to happen. It’s so good that even the folks over at Google approve: “For the Wix users, this [Wix SEO Wiz] is a pretty cool experience because they can see their page in the search results immediately after they have created it.”
Important: Indexation is not a synonym for optimization. Your website can be indexed by Google, but still not rank in the first pages. This is where optimization (SEO) comes in.
How do I improve my SEO?
Great SEO starts with planning and curiosity, so you’re already on to a great start. You should know that every aspect of your website, from content to design can have an impact on your position in search results. There are over 200 signals in Google’s algorithm that help decide the fate of a site’s ranking, but the most important elements that are taken into account are the following:
Content Is your content well written and of high quality? Did you choose the right keywords? Is your content easily consumed on mobile? All of these elements impact the way bots perceive your content and rank your pages. This is why working on content is crucial if you really want to improve your ranking. If you keep on reading, you’ll find out how.
Links In SEO, links to your website are like votes of approval from others and are extremely highly regarded by search engines. Getting these will for sure give your web pages a nice boost.
Technical SEO Crawlability, on page SEO and other technical aspects are factored in here. This includes, but is not limited to the optimization of meta titles and descriptions, how well your page is structured with the help of headlines, if your website is secure and more.
Start by checking out our efficient and free SEO tool, the Wix SEO Wiz. It provides you with a comprehensive and easy checklist to make sure you don’t leave out any important SEO steps and best practices.
How do I stay informed about important SEO updates?
By following the Wix Blog (#whatelse), where we regularly publish fresh and complete guides to answer all of your SEO questions. If you’re super keen on following the day-to-day SEO news, you can check out Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and the Moz blog. Finally, for more in-depth knowledge, check out our Wix SEO guide. It’s like an SEO bible that will provide you with the most advanced and up-to-date documentation about search engine optimization.
What are SEO keywords?
Keywords are two to five word phrases that your potential clients would type into a search engine when looking for you, or a business like yours. Choosing and inserting the right terms in your content is crucial since it will help Google’s bots to understand your website better and identify you as a relevant result for a specific search.
How to find the right keywords for my website?
To find the most relevant keywords, list all the possible words that potential visitors or clients would use to find you online. Don’t think about how you would describe your business, but rather what people online would be searching for. For example, while you might describe yourself as a “garden designer”, your potential clients are more likely to be looking for a “landscaper”. Guess what? We’ve got a complete for beginners on how to find the right keywords for your website.
How do I optimize text for SEO? What is ‘great content’?
Once you’ve got your keywords, the main places where you want to put these are: your SEO title, your URL, your page content, image descriptions (if possible) and don’t forget your blog posts.
To evaluate the quality of a text, search engines look at specific criteria. To be well-ranked, your content has to be:
Valuable – informative and useful for the reader
Unique – you can’t find this information anywhere else
Fresh – regularly updated
Typically, a blog is an excellent way to feed your website with content that is useful, unique and updated.
Do images have an impact on SEO?
The short answer: yes, they certainly do. Having your images fully optimized will make it possible for them to be found in Google Images search, which means more traffic to your website. How do you achieve this? First of all, you want to make sure that you add alt text to your images. Google and other search engines can’t “see” images like we do, this is why you should add text to help them understand what’s on your photos, graphs and other pics. Remember, it’s important that you add unique and descriptive alt text to each one of your photos.
Then, you want to make sure that the images on your website load quickly, and still retain their high quality. Luckily, by using the power of the Wix Pro Gallery, your image quality won’t be harmed while loading your content at a very high speed. Check out the full guide on how to optimize images.
How does UX relate to SEO?
The way in which users perceive and experience your content matters and it’s actually a known ranking signal. It’s calculated in multiple ways, such as: time on page, amount of pages viewed and bounce rate. This is why it’s so important your website not only looks stunning, but is also functional and easily navigable.
How many keywords should I include in my blog post?
When you start a blog, adding keywords to your content is a great way to attract a more niche audience from search results. The key here, like most good things in life, is balance. You want your keywords to appear at least once in the title and in the first paragraph of your text, and two or three times in the rest of the article. Naturally, when your article is on a certain topic, the keywords will effortlessly emerge in your texts without you having to force them in. However, if you feel like you’re getting too repetitive, feel free to use synonyms. Search engines are getting much better at understanding certain topics and the words related to one another, so you don’t need to restrict yourself by using only that one keyword.
What is the ideal article length?
Although it’s not technically proven what the ideal word count is, many studies claim that ‘long form’ content performs well on search results. This being said, it’s not a general rule and you should first take into consideration the standards for your target audience and your industry. Plus, length is not the only thing that matters. The quality of your content, whether it includes valuable visuals and videos, reader satisfaction and engagement are all factors that will determine your ranking. The key thing to remember here is that everything you can do to make your target audience want to stay longer on your content will positively impact your SEO.
How often should I publish blog posts?
Blogging helps your website stay fresh as a daisy as the more content you publish, the more Google bots will come back looking for more. You certainly don’t need to publish a blog post every day. Try and find a rhythm that fits you and your workflow. The minimum would be once a month, but if you are really dedicated to your SEO we recommend once a week. Of course, more is always welcome – if you have valuable information to share.
What are SEO backlinks?
Backlinks are links from external sites to your own website (or any of its pages). They are an important part of your SEO strategy. Indeed, the more links you are able to get, the more your website is considered trustworthy and authoritative in Google’s eyes. Getting them isn’t a simple task, but you can start by connecting with bloggers, websites and online magazines in your sphere and try to get mentioned by them. Check this post for to get some top outreach marketing tips.
Does social media impact SEO?
This has been debated for quite some time, but think about it this way: the more people engage with your content, the more they’ll want to share it online. This will increase the amount of traffic to your site, which is amazing for your SEO. So although it is not in fact a proven ranking signal, social media performance may have an indirect impact on your ranking.
Does my domain name affect my SEO?
Yes, it certainly does. Your domain name is one of the first places a bot will go to understand the topic of your website. That’s why it’s a good idea to do some research beforehand to understand which keywords are most relevant for your business before picking your domain name. Need some more assistance? Here are some top tips for choosing the right domain name for your website.
What are meta tags?
When we talk about meta tags, we’re essentially referring to your meta title or SEO title, plus your meta description. Along with your URL, these form the snippet that shows up in search results (as in the image below). That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to these textual elements, as bots will scan them to understand your web page’s content. In fact, you can completely customize your search appearance (in other words, how your website pages will show up on SERPs like Google) for all of your pages within your Wix site’s dashboard. This includes titles, descriptions, social appearance and more. And this is all possible thanks to these advanced and intuitive SEO tools.
What are heading tags? Why do I need them?
Heading tags (from H1 to H6) are the “SEO terms” for titles and headlines, and are great for giving your pages structure and hierarchy. Think of it as a newspaper: your main headline is the most important, and your other article titles will be of less importance. Which means that your H1 tag is used for your prominent title, H2 tag for the one of a lower level, etc.
Adding heading tags makes your content easily readable by site visitors as well as by Google’s bots, which means better SEO for your website. Wix makes it very simple to add heading tags to your pages.
What does redirect mean?
A 301 redirect is used to change the course of all the traffic from one page to another. Basically, it tells search engines like Google that the URL (web address) of a page has changed and lets them know what the new page is. This helps the new page to maintain the SEO power acquired by the previous page, and is necessary to avoid content duplication issues, which Google really dislikes.
How long does it take to appear in search results?
Patience, young grasshopper. Usually it takes some time for a search engine to show your website’s pages, especially if it’s brand new. We cannot give any specific date, since this depends on many factors, such as the competitiveness of your industry and keywords, the quality and freshness of the content that you publish, and the optimization of your site.
Then, remember that a better ranking surely doesn’t occur overnight. You have to give Google’s bots time for them to consider the changes you’ve made. On top of this, SEO is like a marathon, not a sprint. It’s an ongoing process, which means that you can (and should) regularly update your website with quality content that’s original and fresh, in order for you to rank higher. Need some more guidance? Check out these SEO tips to help improve your ranking.
How can I measure my organic traffic?
A great way of measuring your organic efforts is by using Google’s tools. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are meant to give you more insights about how well your website is performing online.
1. In Google Search Console, head to the ‘Search Traffic’ and click on ‘Search Analytics’ to find the top queries and top pages that are getting you clicks from Google.
2. In Google Analytics, head over to the ‘Acquisitions’ section and click on the ‘Overview’. There you’ll be able to see the amount of organic traffic that’s reaching your site. Once you click on it, you’ll see a graph. You can play around with the data here, and check the changes in organic traffic by looking at a specific time period comparing it to an earlier one. If you’re not sure how to use Google Analytics, we’ve got a guide for that too!
How do I optimize my Wix website?
SEO sounds scary, but it definitely doesn’t need to be. Especially if you’re a Wix user.
First of all, you don’t need to worry about any technical aspect of your site, as we’ve got you covered. You can rest assured that your website’s code is easily read by bots, your site loads quickly, and you’ve got a mobile-friendly website from the get-go.
Secondly, working with the Wix Editor allows you to easily make changes on your website, without having to touch any code. You can effortlessly change your texts, your SEO title, descriptions and headings, add alt text to images straight on your website and more.
And lastly, if you didn’t catch the hint back there, we think Wix SEO Wiz is a pretty awesome and advanced tool. It helps you optimize your website every step of the way, and includes a handy checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Is Wix good for SEO?
We can’t lie, we’re pretty biased when we say that Wix has the best SEO. But don’t solely rely on one opinion. Have a look at this Wix web design expert, who uses the Wix SEO Wiz for all of her clients and quickly obtained an 80% growth in organic traffic. Or this amazing user who got to page one on Google using Wix SEO tools – and ranking on Google’s first page for super competitive keywords. And last but not least, check out the review by this Website Builder Expert. Convinced yet? We thought so.
Can you think of any other SEO questions you may have? Just leave us a comment below.
By Ruth Eschenheimer SEO Content Specialist