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When I explain to people that I am an SEO consultant, they look at me blankly and have no idea what search engine optimization is. I have even met business owners who have never heard of “SEO”. It is reasonable for anyone therefore to ask questions on what SEO is.

SEO is a field that keeps changing questions are asked about updates. In this post we are going to tackle the top 20 SEO questions you were too embarrassed to ask.

Answers To SEO Questions You Were Too Afraid to ask:

20) Do I need to know coding to do SEO?

Thankfully search engine optimisation doesn’t necessarily require knowledge of coding. While it is an advantage, SEO can be done without having to touch a line of code. This would be helped by the fact that you were optimising a content management system (CMS) like WordPress. With a CMS like WordPress, you can make changes to a website without needing any knowledge of HTML, Javascript or PHP.

HTML Codeb

By installing plugins like Yoast or the SEO Framework, you can edit your robots.txt file, enable sitemaps and modify meta titles and descriptions easily without having to add any lines of code.

I only have basic coding knowledge, not enough to build a website from scratch, yet I have generated millions of visitors for myself and clients over the past decade.

19) What does indexed mean in SEO?

When a page is indexed in Google, it means that the page has been crawled by Google and can now be found on Google. Just because the page has been indexed, does not mean that it will be ranking on page 1 right away. New blog posts and pages take time to move up the ranks but this all depends on the authority of your website.

To check if your pages are being indexed add site: before your url when using the Google search engine. You can also do this with Bing to see if that search engine is indexing your site properly.

18) Do I need to hire someone to do SEO?

If you have a business and do not have a marketing team then you would generally need someone to carry out SEO on your site to generate new business for you.

You need to be weary of the SEO agency that you choose because many of them do not offer any value to you and can even ruin your business.

Have a look at what they have accomplished in the past and establish goals before paying the agency to do work for you.

17) What are the benefits of SEO for my business?

A business can benefit in many ways from SEO. A successful SEO campaign can deliver the following for a business:

  • Increased leads and sales
  • Perceived value
  • Perceived expertise
  • Brand awareness

If your website is ranking high on search engine positions for your customer’s searches, you can benefit from more exposure, more leads for your services which should turn into sales for your business.

Another benefit to ranking high on search engines is that people perceive you as the best solution for their problem. If you are a plumber ranking in the top spot for your city, some customers perceive the first-place listing on Google as the plumber who offers the best level of workmanship.

You can achieve similar results by resorting to pay per click advertising, however, PPC requires investment. SEO on the other hand, offers the best level of ROI for businesses.

16) What does SERP mean?

SERP or SERPs, refer to Search Engine Results Pages. Search engine results pages are the pages that are displayed to a user after they type in a query. SERPs can refer to results from search engines such as Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and other common search engines.

Google search engine results pages or serps

The search engine results page returns the results from the query searched based on the keywords used and the search intent.

SERPs usually contain 10 organic listings while there may also be paid search results above the organic listings.

Search engines such as Google and Bing also provide results such as knowledge graph information such as business information for searches on companies, team information for sports teams and biographies of famous figures.

15) What is a long tail keyword?

According to hubspot, a long tail keyword is a keyword phrase that contains at least three words.

Long tail keywords are used to target niche demographics such as those who Google a problem. A head term keyword is a broader key term that would target a mass audience.

An example of a head keyword would be: SEO

An example of a long tail keyword would be: What is SEO

Long tail keywords are less difficult to rank for compared to head keywords. The long tail approach is a better one to take if you are starting off with a content marketing campaign or starting a new blog.

14) What is the world wide web?

The World Wide Web is an information space where documents are identified by uniform resource locators or URLs interlinked by hypertext links and accessible via the internet.

The World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee, an English scientist, in 1989.

The World Wide Web is also referred to as WWW, the web and the interweb.

There is a common misconception that the internet and the world wide web are the same. This is not true as internet is a global network that is comprised with computers while WWW is collection of web pages. The internet is required to connect to the World Wide Web.

The WWW uses http protocol to allow access to web pages via the internet from anywhere in the world.

13) What are LSI keywords?

Latent semantic indexing keywords or LSI keywords are keywords that are related to a topic. LSI Keywords include synonyms and related words associated with a core theme of a written content piece.

LSI Keywords

I always use the example of “Apple” writing a blog post on this keyword, the LSI keywords are going to dictate whether you rank for queries around the company Apple for the fruit; apple.

To rank for a search term around the company Apple, LSI keywords to use that would help search engines interpret what the content refers would include; iPhone, Mac, smartphone, iPod, technology, tablets, Apple Store etc.

12) What is a backlink?

A backlink also known as an incoming link or an inbound link is a hyperlink on one website leading to another.

Inbound links can result in higher rankings, quicker indexing of new pages and extra traffic to your website.

Backlinks can be either dofollow or nofollow.

A dofollow backlink can be considered as a “vote” and passes link juice. This backlink would help your website to rank. The more links that you have going to a blog post, the better chance of ranking you have for that page for the keywords that you have optimised your site for.

A nofollow link is a link that contains a rel=”nofollow” HTML tag applied to them. This type of backlink will not influence your rankings as much as a dofollow link would.

A nofollow backlink is not considered as a “vote”. Google treats those links as a mere reference but not to be trusted.

11) How do I get backlinks to my site?

There are many ways that you can generate backlinks to your website.

You can build backlinks in many different ways including but not limited to;

  • Social media profiles
  • Blog comments
  • Business listings
  • Niche directories
  • Forums
  • Niche classified websites
  • Editorials
  • Resource pages

The better the quality of backlinks that point to your website, the better your content will rank on search engines such as Google.

10) What are image Alts and why do I need them?

Image alts or image alt tags, image alt description, alternative text or alt attributes are used to contextualise images that may be on your web page. Alt tags are required to provide alternative information for an image if a user cannot view the image because of a slow connection or other error.

One of the main reasons for adding image alts is to help search engine crawlers understand what the image is and its context.

9) Why do I need to use keywords?

Search engines produce results based on Keyword phrases people type to look for an answer to their query. As a result, content must be based around keywords in order to rank on search engines and get views by readers/customers.

Keywords for SEO

Keywords for content creation can be classed as head keywords or short tail keywords. This was already discussed in question 15 above; what is a long tail keyword?

There are a number of different keyword research tools that you can use to find keywords for your business. There are paid tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush that will help you find keywords, while there are also free options like Ubersuggest and the Keyword Planner to provide you with ideas for upcoming content marketing campaigns.

8) How can links be blocked from appearing in programs like SEMRush and Ahrefs, but they are still being counted by Google?

SEO software such as SEMRush and Ahrefs crawl websites to pick up data such as links, keywords use and collate traffic estimates. If you are worried about your competitors spying on your website and finding out your links etc. you can set your robots.txt file to block these crawlers.

You can simply set a disallow rule for certain crawlers not to access your website, but you can allow the important search engine crawlers such as Google or Bing.

The following rules for your robots.txt can block SEO software tools:

User-agent: SemrushBot Disallow: /

User-agent: AhrefsBot Disallow /

However, do ensure that you allow Googlebot and Bingbot to access your website and index your content.

Crawlers do not follow the robots.txt rules 100% of the time however you can block access to these bots through your .htaccess file.

7) Where I can find good high-quality backlink directories

Directories are usually the first type of website that people go to in order to build links. There are lots of web directories out there are the moment but very few actually impact rankings today.

For years these type websites have been exploited by webmasters as a fast track way to manipulate search engine rankings. Google has, however been penalising these websites for over 20 years and with them, websites with lots of inbound links from these web directories.

Today there are only a few high-quality directories that you should use including;

  • Yelp
  • Googlemaps
  • Linkedin Companies Directory

Only spend time building backlinks from the top-quality directories and diversify your link building campaigns. If you spread all your link building activities your website will rank better.

6) what is a domain name?

A domain name is an identification string for an internet property. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the domain name system.

A domain name can also be referred to as a subset of the internet with addresses under the control of a particular organization or individual. They are used in urls to identify particular web pages.

You can register a domain with a domain registrar such as Google Domains, Namecheap or Hostgator.

5) What is a sub domain?

A subdomain is a third level hierarchy of a domain. A domain has the following structure:

The regular use of subdomains by businesses is to create a blog;

Or to create a shop, separate to the main business website;

While other uses are to create a careers section or to create a subdomain for international targeting.

If you own a domain, you can make up to 100 subdomains.

4) Are metadescriptions important?

Metadescriptions are important for SEO, despite the fact that many SEO’s down play the value of the effort. The fact is, Meta descriptions affect click through rates which, affects rankings after the Google RankBrain update.


Meta descriptions influence CTR’s as it provides webmasters with an opportunity to create an enticing description for people to discover your page on SERPs.

It is critical to be descriptive, persuasive and spark curiosity to with your meta descriptions to improve the CTR.

3) What is the difference between Organic & Paid search?

The difference between organic and paid search is that traffic that comes from organic search is free traffic while paid search will cost you money for each click that comes to your website from a search engine results page.

A search engine results page consists of paid listings at the top and the bottom of the page while the organic listings are in between.

There can be up to 6 paid listings on each SERP while there are no more than 10 organic listings per search engine results page.

Organic searches also contain featured snippets and People Also Ask answer boxes.

2) How do I rank in another country?

There are several ways in which your website can rank in another country. If you have generic top level domain like a .com you can potentially get ranked in any country.

If you are looking to rank for your services, it is likely that you will have to employ a local SEO strategy. You could choose a subdomain, a subdirectory or purchase a country level domain.

International rankings are also influenced by the level of authority of your website, trust signals such as international office details such as address and phone numbers.

1) What is SEO?

SEO is search engine optimisation, the process of improving the visibility of a website or web page on a search engine such as Google, Bing, Yandex, DuckDuckGo or similar.

Website visits that come from SEO are referred to as organic traffic.

What is SEO

As a rule of thumb, the higher a website is ranked, the more traffic a website will receive.

SEO activities include optimising a website to get ranked for keywords, image searches, video searches, news searches and more.

Local SEO is focused on primarily ranking a website in a local area or for search terms than include locations.

SEO is an internet marketing strategy that takes advantage of searches made by people looking for solutions to their problems. As mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop users in recent years, search engines like Google are prioritising websites that perform well on smartphone and tablet devices.