On-Page Q&A SEO

Top 11 Most Frequently Asked Questions on SEO

I have been in the SEO industry for over a decade and I have gone through a lot of questions. It would seem that I have been answering them over and over again so just for clarification and as a resource perhaps I would like to address the top 11 most frequently asked questions on SEO.

1. How soon until my new website starts to rank?

New websites are more stubborn in ranking at first, and that is mainly due to a phenomenon that we call the “Google Sandbox” effect.

New websites/domains usually stay in the sandbox for anywhere between 4 to 9 months, with no or weak keyword rankings.

We would like to think that the main reason behind this phenomenon, is Google attempting to minimize the effect of bad quality websites from getting any initial rankings due to black-hat link building tactics. And encouraging webmasters to avoid building burn-churn websites.

There are many factors in order for your website to rank in the first page of Google and get out of the “Google Sandbox”:

  • The age of your domain.
  • The content of your domain.
  • How many links are being created per day to your domain.
  • What kind of links are pointing to your site.
  • What your target keyword is and the level of competition your niche is.

2. Does it mean that if my we’s niche is under the hardest keywords to rank on I will not be able to rank on Google?

We’ve handled keywords as hard as “outsource” where it has more than a hundred million search results, the website started the virtually nothing until it was able to reach number 3 on Google. The truth of the matter is, it is not as easy as it may sound it took more than a year to be able to rank on that particular keyword.

But the point of the matter is it is still possible as long as the proper changes are put into place, and its not fast either it will take some time to make it rank. Aggressively speaking the shortest is under 6 months while the longest might be under a year or two.

3. What is the best way to do Link-building?

There is really no fixed way of creating links, because if there was one then there would really be no need for SEO’s. But the best way that worked for us so far is the power of contextual links. It always has been and always will.

So make your imagination work on this and check for ways to make it work.

4. Some say that meta description optimization does not work anymore for SEO, is this true?

It does matter for sure. Make sure though not to stuff all your kewords here as well, since this is the snippet that website pops up in search results after conducting a search on Google. A keyword stuffed keyword description will definitely lower down your CTR, so make sure your meta-description is perfectly readable and SEO optimized for your main keyword(s)

5. Is blackhat SEO alive and well today?

I can’t say that it isn’t because if I categorically deny it then I might be marked as one. But I would rather say that Google panda and penguin is a very good case to fight against it along with the disavow tool of Google.

It also depends on the way blackhat seo is used, but I have to say this that the sad reality is it still works albeit on a more subtle level.

6. Among all the SEO guidelines what is it that you consider to be the best approach in doing SEO?

It is a case to case basis, but I believe that the best approach would be to fix the website on a local level and fill it with awesome content regularly. Google LOVES content.

You fix the on-page and chances are you are ahead of your competition. Links will come later but of course you have to work on it.

7. What is the hardest way to get links?

Good authority links from Guest Posts and Editorial links. Some good ones will require proper outreach, maintaining communication, and some good cash.

8. What are your thoughts on guest posting and how it affects SEO?

We love it, and it has worked miraculous results for our clients.

9. What are your favorite SEO tools?

I personally love AHREFS and SEMRUSH. While they might not be very affordable for someone on a tight budget, so in that case you can consider UberSuggest (It’s free to manage 1 campaign)

10. How do you know if an SEO Company is really a good SEO one?

As they say “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” one only have to ask if that person has handled websites that really ranked. My personal criteria is checking how long that SEO company has been in business for, and what their customers say about them.

11. How do you manage to do seo for an ecommerce site and what are the most important things to consider before doing an SEO optimization in ecommerce site?

One common issue that I have seen on 99% of the ecommerce websites on the web is “LACK OF CONTENT”

A common pitfall that ecommerce webmaster fall into, it just uploading their product images and copy the product descriptions from somewhere else. (That is more common with electronics, appliances, etc…)

Make sure you write 100% unique descriptions. If you have to copy the description from someone else, at least rephrase it.

Make sure you have a good 200 word of content at least in each category page of your website. This helps Google understand what your website is all about, and how to rank each category and product.

Make it easier for Google to understand your website & you will get rewarded.

Amongst all the other e-commerce sites I’ve handled the only model I look up to when it comes to satisfying the above is amazon.com.

Now one will ask how do you compete with amazon?

Thing is you don’t compete with other sites you basically have to provide answers that other sites can’t offer. In short you have to identify the needs of your target market and address those concerns.

So if you address everything mentioned above before doing SEO chances are you will rank better in the eyes of Google.

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Joe Fares

Founder of UltraSEOSolutions and a Digital Marketing Consultant, a great advocate of educating beginners on the competency of SEO, and helping small businesses dominate their niche. Joe is known for public speaking on SEO and online entrepreneurship, and has been awarded by Payoneer in 2017/2018, for being the most successful entrepreneur in the MENA region.

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