SEO Frequently Asked Questions
General SEO FAQs
Google Analytics, or any web analytics platform for that matter, is invaluable for SEO and marketing in general.
At Digital Meal, we use web analytics to help find pain points in organic traffic, as well as monitoring and improving current website performance. Using real life data to help businesses maximise their traffic and conversions.
Definitely! As part of our SEO audit, we comb through a site the way a search engine would, looking at it through the eyes of Google or Bing as we optimise it.
That leaves you with a site fully tuned and ready to vault ahead of the less prepared competition in the search rankings.
We even provide a free SEO audit to get you started!
Internal links in your content link to other pages on your website. External links send traffic to other websites — and also include links from other websites to your own.
Both contribute to SEO. As well as building your external links, you should also focus on internal links to strengthen your website’s structure.
When you link to something from your website, the anchor text is the clickable text visible to your audience.
This provides both the user and the search engine with information about the link. For best results, you should make sure your anchor text is relevant to the page it’s linking to and not too heavy on keywords.
To do SEO, you need to focus on three areas:
- Your website’s technical capabilities (e.g. how fast does it load? How well is it structured?)
- Your website’s content (e.g. informative blog posts. solving your audience’s biggest problems)
- Link building to get backlinks for your website (e.g. providing guest posts for other websites)
A SERP — or Search Engine Results Page — is what a user sees once they’ve submitted their query to the search engine, such as Google or Bing.
It contains a list of websites relevant to their search — including both organic results and paid advertisements. This is where we want to see your website after implementing proven SEO strategies.
How much time do you have? This is a tricky question to answer, as there’s always more to do.
But, generally speaking, you should be able to get results from just a few hours per week, as long as you commit to it consistently.
Meta tags include important information that helps search engines such as Google and Bing categorise your business website in their search engine results pages. The most important are page titles and the meta description tag.
These are also visible in the results pages. Well written title tags and meta descriptions on your website landing pages can therefore increase click-through rates.
It’s no secret the structure of your website can help SEO — and the inclusion of blog categories is one way to do this.
They help Google learn what your website is about. On top of that, each category page is another opportunity for your website to rank for that particular topic.
You’ve heard the story of Hansel and Gretel, right? They left a trail of breadcrumbs to help them find their way back home.
This fairytale is the premise of breadcrumbs on your website. They help Google learn more about the structure of your website and improve user experience.
Link building is an essential SEO technique — but how you do it matters.
Avoid any black hat techniques that prioritise quantity over quality. Instead, focus on white hat techniques like:
- Writing guest posts for high-quality websites,
- Capitalising on brand mentions,
- Finding broken links that can be fixed with your content.
Google — and other search engines — use a variety of factors to determine your website’s authority.
To improve your authority, focus on activities such as:
- Link building,
- Creating high-quality, expert content,
- Combining SEO with your PR efforts,
- Encouraging existing customers to leave reviews.
No! This is one of the worst things you could do. Be wary of any SEO companies that encourage you to purchase links.
This used to be an effective strategy — until Google realised people were doing it. There are no safe ways to cheat the system, so make sure you play by the rules.
Relevancy is one of the key measures used by Google to determine your website’s position. To ensure search engines view your site as relevant, make sure you do the following:
- Take time to understand your customer,
- Find the right keywords,
- Spend time on your meta descriptions.
To learn how people are finding your website, you need to set up analytics on your website.
This will provide you with a list of referral sources. For any traffic coming from search engines, you will also be able to uncover the keywords they’re searching for to find you.
How much time do you have? If you’re willing to put in the time and learn how to do your own SEO, there are plenty of resources to help you get results.
But outsourcing can be a great solution for business owners who lack time but have the budget to pay someone else to do it for them.
To start with, focus on getting your website set up correctly. If it’s a new website, this starts with the domain name.
For an existing website, learn about technical SEO and optimise what you already have. From here, you can conduct keyword research and start building content.
The number of people using Google is increasing. If you notice a sudden drop in traffic, it’s usually an indication your website’s ranking has dropped.
Google is always changing its algorithm to ensure it displays the best results to users. Review the latest algorithm changes to figure out what’s changed for your business.
So you’ve heard the term SEO a lot — but what does it even mean? It’s an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation, and it relates to a variety of techniques you can use to market your website.
It’s pretty self-explanatory — optimising your website so it can be found in search engines.
SEO — or search engine optimisation — is a way to market your website, focusing on your position in search engines like Google.
You can break it down into the following types of SEO:
- Technical SEO.
- On-page SEO.
- Off-site SEO.
The best SEO strategies include all three of these.
A Google penalty is what you’ll get if Google believes you’re violating its terms and conditions. This includes the use of blackhat techniques to improve your search position.
A true penalty is different from the drop in rankings experienced following an algorithm change. It sometimes means your website no longer appears in any search results — unless you take action to fix it.
There are a few ways you can check your website to find vulnerabilities that put you at risk of a Google penalty.
Your link profile is the most important. Monitor external links to your website to ensure they are of high-quality, relevant links. Links that look like spam put you at risk.
This is completely up to you. SEO doesn’t have to cost anything — you can get results for free, as long as you have the time and inclination.
If you want to outsource, expect to pay anything from $100 to £10,000 dollars per month.
Finding out your competitor is using blackhat techniques to your disadvantage is frustrating.
When this happens, you have two options:
- Carry on using whitehat strategies and wait for Google to catch up with them.
- Speed up the process by reporting their dodgy links in Google Search Console.
Two words: keyword research. We can’t stress the importance of this phrase enough.
The key thing to consider here is user intent. What will your audience be looking for? What types of questions are they asking — and answers are they looking for?
The sooner you make a start on SEO, the better. When you consider it before you build your website, you start in a strong position.
Ideally, you should even consider SEO when you choose your domain name.
There are so many amazing websites and communities that can answer any question you have on SEO.
The Moz community is one of the most popular and is available to anyone that subscribes to Moz Pro. Search Engine Journal also has a weekly “Ask an SEO” advice column.
A meta description is a short snippet (maximum 160 characters) of text that describes your content. They help search engines categorise your website and provide information to the end-user.
For these reasons, they are absolutely still important.
Imagine Google as a spider, crawling from one page to the next. If a link to a page doesn’t exist, Google can’t find it.
Instead of focusing on individual pages, think about your internal link structure as a whole.
Robots.txt is a file you upload to your website that helps search engines figure out which pages to list for you. You specify the pages you don’t want them to include.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to code — it’s simple to create one with the help of a plugin.
There are lots of tools out there to help you check this.
But the easiest way is to open a google browser yourself and type the following: “site:yourdomain.com”. This will return a list of your indexed pages.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) refers to activities you (or a company) do to increase organic visibility and get you more website traffic from search results such as Google or Bing.
They focus on getting your website a higher ranking in the search results for relevant keywords and generating a positive return on investment for your business. Online marketing strategies with a solid foundation will help you scale up your business, generating more leads & increasing business.
That depends — what is your goal, and when do you want to achieve it by?
The more time you invest, the faster you will get results. We recommend aiming for somewhere between three and 12 hours per week.
SEO is a marketing technique that increases website traffic and conversions from popular search engines.
We do this by understanding exactly what the algorithms are looking for. Using this information, a strategy can be developed to ensure your website performs well.
Some agencies might not require you to sign a contract — but it is always a good idea to do so.
This provides you — the client — with a level of protection. Otherwise, how will you determine the agency is delivering what they promised?
That depends — what are you looking to focus on?
If you want to improve your organic search performance, then SEO is the answer. If you want immediate results and happy to pay for your clicks, then a Google Adwords campaign is go.
Luckily for you – we can do both.
Whilst coding and programming experience isn’t necessary to do SEO for yourself, having this knowledge is very helpful.
A lot of high level technical SEO requires a certain level of experience in coding.
Keyword research is complex — but here are our top three tips for getting started:
- Think like your customers. What are they searching for?
- Think like your competitors. What keywords are they using?
- Think like the experts. What do keyword research tools suggest?
It can be hard to know. But if you read back your copy, all uses of your keyword feel natural and make sense.
You can use a keyword density tool to check — but nowadays, this isn’t usually necessary.
Link building can be dangerous if you’re using outdated or unethical techniques.
But, when it’s done right, link building is an integral part of any SEO campaign. Take time to understand how you should implement this in your business, without breaching Google’s terms.
The terms SEO and SEM are often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing.
SEM refers to the use of paid strategies to get traffic from search engines. And SEO refers to the use of organic (unpaid) strategies to boost your website up the search rankings.
Each year, you’ll come across some marketing expert warning you against investing in SEO.
But is it really dead? The answer is no.
Search engines are still the most common way people find information online. As long as people are using Google, it will be worth the effort.
Keyword research helps you tap into popular search terms to get your content discovered.
It helps you understand what your audience is searching for, how popular the search terms are, and how much traffic they generate.
This provides you with a list of keywords to focus your content on.
Backlinks are links to your website from another website. When done right, getting high-quality links back to your website is one of the best ways to demonstrate your authority to Google.
But make sure you focus on high-quality, natural backlinks to avoid getting penalised.
Using follow and nofollow links let Google know which links should influence rankings.
A nofollow link does not contribute to rankings. They are a necessary part of SEO — helping to minimise spam and stop people paying for their rankings by buying backlinks.
Domain authority is a measure developed by SEO giants, Moz. It gives your website a score — between 1 and 100 — that helps predict the ranking power of your website.
The higher your domain authority, the more likely you are to rank well in search results for your industry keywords.
Link building is the process of getting external websites to link back to your content.
There are many link building techniques to choose from. They will help you build the link profile of your website and let Google know your content is worth linking to.
Broken link building is a link building strategy that makes use of existing links to boost your rankings.
It involves finding broken links on other people’s websites. You then create a piece of content that fills the gap, before contacting the owner of the broken link to let them know about it.
This is difficult to quantify as it depends on a variety of factors unique to your business.
But you should ensure you can calculate the return on investment for your SEO efforts — especially if you’re outsourcing.
Make sure you have analytics set up to track conversions and where they come from.
In the early days of SEO, it wasn’t unusual to see people using unethical strategies to increase their position in the search results.
These violate the terms set by Google — and you should avoid them at all costs. Black hat SEO techniques include:
- Paying for backlinks to increase your backlink profile,
- Keyword stuffing in website content (using the same keyword too much on one page),
- Using invisible text in your website content to trick the search engine.
Digital Meal recommend only using white hat SEO services & optimisation techniques to ensure your website won’t be penalized by Google.
So how much does SEO cost? SEO prices differ and although low-cost SEO services and packages exist, it’s important to remember you get what you pay for.
As SEO & search engine marketing are unregulated industries, it’s possible for anyone to set up and call themselves experts. It’s important you verify the credentials of any company before you hand over the cash — but cheap packages should be one of your red flags as they usually involve black hat techniques.
The short answer: money!
But there’s also a difference in how the SERP displays the results. Paid results appear at the top.
Whilst this may sound like a good idea, it’s not always simple to get paid results featured either. And evidence suggests consumers trust them less than organic results.
This depends on the age of your website, how your website is ranking — and the impact this would have on other aspects of your business.
But if your website is new, this is definitely something to consider. Try to balance keywords with a user-friendly domain name.
Keyword density isn’t an exact science. SEO ‘experts’ will often give you a percentage to aim for. But this isn’t supported by information provided to us by Google.
Just focus on using the keyword a few times naturally throughout the copy, and make sure you don’t overdo it.
Inbound links are those your website receives from other relevant websites. Internal links are those you include on your website, linking to other individual pages of your own website.
Both are important – so don’t neglect inbound links when creating a new piece of content.
This (“|”) is known as the ‘pipe symbol’. It is often used to separate different elements of the title tag.
On a standard keyboard, it can usually be found on the right-hand side, next to the return key, on the third row up.
You do not need to know how to code to do your own SEO. Some of the leading SEO experts don’t know code, and it doesn’t seem to affect their results.
Some basic knowledge can help — but you can always work with a developer to plug the gap.
A sitemap is another file that helps search engines discover and list your website. It contains links to all your website’s pages, ensuring the search robots don’t miss anything.
This should always be an XML file — and it’s easy to create one using a WordPress plugin or similar tool.
Crawling is what the search robots do when they take a look around your website. The pages they crawl may then get indexed (added to the search engine) — or they might not.
For example, if the bots crawl the page and find a “noindex” tag, it’s unlikely they will go on to index that page.
This question is impossible to answer without a full analysis of your website and niche. It depends entirely on your chosen keywords, how competitive they are, and the volume of traffic you can expect to receive.
Although SEO is never “done” — most people do start to see some results within a few months.
If you can afford to outsource your SEO, it’s a great way to get results faster — without taking up too much of your own time.
Make sure you do your research first and choose someone with a proven record for getting results.
It’s important to set realistic, achievable and clear goals to help you on your SEO journey. A good place to start is your website traffic flow.
How much traffic are you currently getting from organic search and how much would you like to see it increase by?
One of the biggest SEO changes in recent years has been the shift to focusing on user intent.
Algorithm changes are improving Google’s ability to understand what users actually want to know when they type in a query.
Many people ask how long does SEO take before you start to see results? After six months of consistent marketing efforts, you should expect to be seeing some return on your investment and some of your key performance indicators being reached.
Your website might not be ranked #1 on the first page of Google search results by this point — but if you’re seeing increased relevant traffic and sales from organic search, your SEO service is working.
Ever heard the saying “content is king”? Although other factors play a role, SEO is massively influenced by the quality of your content. Think about it — if you don’t have much content, how will Google know what you do?
No. Copying someone else’s content would be a big mistake.
Not only does this infringe copyright laws, but it will also see your website penalised by Google. Duplicate content is a big red flag for them — and they will always give credit to the first publisher.
There’s a time and a place for both paid and organic search.
On the whole, though, SEO is often a better choice. Once your website ranks well, less investment will be required to maintain results.
Paid search will always require a financial investment.
One of the easiest ways to track SEO results is to keep an eye on Google Analytics.
At Digital Meal, we also provide monthly reports that give you the important metrics for following SEO results; including detailed analysis of organic traffic and leads, as well as keyword ranking movements
SEO specialists make it their life’s work to understand Google algorithm changes.
Although Google doesn’t publish the algorithm, experts can use data to interpret what those changes mean for businesses who want to rank well.
Local SEO is used by local businesses to enhance their rankings within their geographical area. This ensures results are targeted towards potential clients in your area — maximising profits for your business.
Google and other search engines want to give their users the best experience. This is why they update their algorithm regularly.
This means SEO is always evolving. It’s no longer about finding ways to trick Google into boosting you up the rankings. Instead, focus on high-quality, authoritative content.
Once you’ve completed your market research, make a list of topics you know to be relevant in your industry.
Next, you should use a keyword research tool to develop a list of keywords for your business. Use the search volumes and competitiveness to determine which you will focus on.
Make sure the keywords appear in the page title tags, the URL and the meta description. You should also use them in the first paragraph of your content — and a few times throughout your page content.
Don’t overdo it however. Google recommends your website pages and landing pages use relevant/engaging content and are written for a human audience, not for the Google search bots. This means too many keywords can hurt your organic rankings in search engines such as Google and Bing. Just use enough keywords in your content to let Google know what product or service the page is about and let your excellent content to do the rest.
Not all backlinks are equal. Link equity refers to how much a link is worth to your SEO efforts. How much “link juice” do you get from it?
To get the most from your SEO efforts, you need to focus on getting backlinks with good link equity.
A better question to ask is this:
Do you need people to find you online?
If the answer to this question is yes, you need SEO. With over 5 billion searches on Google each day, you’re missing out if you don’t include search in your online marketing strategy.
When people look for information online, they use search engines like Google. They can ask any question, and Google will find a bunch of websites that answer it.
If you want to see your website in one of these lists, SEO helps you put it there.
There are pros and cons associated with both SEO (search engine optimisation) and PPC and as a business owner it’s important to know the difference.
Short term – PPC/AdWords such as Google Adwords is the best way to go and one of the easy ways to get quicker results.
If you’re looking at a long term strategy, then SEO is a must-have investment!
On-page SEO are the activities you carry out on your own webpages to boost your search rankings and create an SEO friendly site.
It includes things like:
- Choosing an SEO-friendly URL.
- Keyword placement.
- Optimising your images.
- Reducing page load times.
- The quality of the content and the content length found on the page.
- Indexable Sitemap
- Technical SEO optimisations
The best SEO strategies start with a thorough understanding of the audience. Who is your ideal customer? What are their biggest problems and challenges? What keeps them awake at night? Why would they be searching for your product or service?
Get inside your audience’s mind to figure out what they’re looking for when they use Google.
There are many other popular techniques to include in your strategy:
- Keyword research,
- Creating high-quality content,
- Increasing site speed,
- Link building,
- Optimising images,
- Creating a mobile-friendly website.
The key is to focus on “white hat” SEO techniques and avoid “black hat” SEO techniques that may harm your organic rankings.
If your website puts search users at risk, this could put you on Google’s blacklist. This includes:
- Websites that contain malware,
- Websites with suspected phishing scams,
- Illegal content,
- Buying or selling backlinks.
Do you want more people to find your business online? Do you want to increase website traffic without having to pay for advertisements? Do you want to maximise conversions from your traffic?
If you answered yes, it’s absolutely worth it.
There are so many incredible SEO software options. The right choice will depend on what you want to use it for.
If you’re on a budget, start with the free tools offered by Google. Then move onto some of the more powerful tools like Ahrefs, Moz and SEMRush.
A few years ago, Google announced it was now taking the security of your website into account, with HTTPS websites getting a slight boost in rankings.
It’s unlikely to make much difference on its own, but it will contribute towards everything else you’re working on.
If your website isn’t ranking, don’t despair. There are a few possible explanations, such as:
- There’s a lot of competition for your keywords,
- You’ve chosen the wrong keywords,
- You’re missing a piece of the SEO puzzle,
- You haven’t given it long enough.
The good news is you can work through all of them and identify the ranking factor(s) that is stopping you from getting the results you desire.
It’s natural for your rankings to fluctuate slightly. The search rankings in engines such as Google and Bing are constantly changing as the websites around you work on their SEO (either intentionally or unintentionally).
These natural variations should reduce as your page ranking gets closer to the top.
Google can’t view your images when it’s crawling your website. If you want them to ‘count’ towards SEO, you need to help the search bots understand what they are.
Adding alt text to your images is one way to do this.
In short: yes.
Once you’ve found the right keywords, blogging is the perfect way to enhance your website’s SEO. It helps SEO in a few key ways:
- Establishing your website as an authority in your niche.
- Providing opportunities for both internal and external linking.
- Giving you more pages to rank with.
The answer to this question isn’t clear cut. Generally speaking, redirects will not harm your SEO efforts. But care needs to be taken to ensure they’re set up properly.
When they’re done right, redirects can help you preserve and protect your rankings when you make URL changes.
Absolutely! Local SEO services are a great way to reach an audience nearby your business. Whether you are located in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, or any other city in Australia; contact our team of local SEO specialists who can help you get the organic visibility you need in your local area.
No reputable marketing company will provide a warranty on search position. Google rankings are changing all the time — and vary according to location (especially when focusing on Local SEO).
Besides, there are more important metrics to consider. What really matters to your business — Google search position or an SEO friendly site that generates more traffic, increased sales and lasting results?
Yes. One of the most important elements of SEO is to stay on top of Google algorithm changes.
Google updates its algorithm several times per year. While Google do not usually make the details public, we know how to interpret what they mean for our clients and how to best update your strategy. This means Google algorithm updates won’t affect your SEO campaign objectives.
Each online marketing company has its own method of communicating results to their clients. You may be assigned an account manager, have one point of contact or communicate with the SEO project team directly.
At Digital Meal, you will be able to communicate with the specialists working on your website or marketing strategy as a direct point of contact and get honest answers for any questions you may have.
Whilst keywords are a key component and play an important role in SEO marketing, the ultimate goal is organic growth, visibility, user interaction and leads (or sales) to help scale up your business and your online presence.
For this reason, we don’t focus on “choosing a certain number of keywords”, but rather on “how much more traffic and leads you’d like?”
Only a highly out of touch company would charge their clients based on a “number of keywords” basis.
A successful SEO campaign & online marketing strategy should give businesses the following measurable results:
- More website traffic from organic search.
- A higher conversion rate from website visitors.
- A better position on relevant SERPs (search engine result pages).
- More high-quality backlinks.
- Increased revenue.
- Greater Local Exposure
- A Competitive Advantage
- A higher Domain Authority Score
After you sign up, our team of specialists will begin the research phase of the campaign. As part of your personalised quote, the timeline, list of actionable tasks and campaign objectives will be outlined so you know exactly what we’re doing with your online marketing strategy.
From there we will work on improving your visibility, user interaction & domain authority through in-depth keyword research, building quality links back to your website from relevant websites through a link building strategy, improving the technical performance of your on page SEO, providing user experience recommendations and increasing your visibility.
Every month our clients receive a detailed report showcasing data and statistics of how their organic traffic & site SEO is improving. Utilising popular analytics data tools (like Google Analytics), these monthly reports will explain and present the data in an easy to understand format, allowing us to make informed decisions and providing recommendations on any areas that require improvement. This method of transparent reporting allows you to keep up to date with the results of your marketing strategy.
Most marketing agencies require you to sign contracts or lock in contracts. However at Digital Meal, we don’t have any lock-in contracts for our clients.
Here at Digital Meal, what we guarantee is an increase in valuable organic traffic that increases visitor engagement and generates more business over the medium to long term.
Due to the nature of SEO services, it’s impossible to guarantee first-page #1 keyword results in the major search engines.
And you should be extremely wary of any company that makes promises like this.
We like to think so!
With many years experience, a big part of what makes us SEO experts is that we believe in data-based testing. This means that any strategies, page optimisation or technical SEO performance recommendations we make for your SEO campaign have already been backtested by us to ensure a positive return. With a heavy focus on white hat proven SEO services, we work with our clients to develop a long term SEO strategy that guarantees results from your online marketing, turning your website into a lead generating machine!
We also don’t need to resort to cheap tricks like buying exact match domains to rank.
If you’re interested in getting professional SEO help, check out our SEO services page.