Top 10 SEO FAQs Answered by Bruce Clay
You’ve got SEO questions, we’ve got answers. In this article, I summarize the answers to 10 of the most popular SEO questions from our monthly live Q&A sessions at SEOtraining.com:
- What Is the Most Common Mistake People Make With SEO?
- Does NitroPack for WordPress “Trick” Google Into Thinking a Site Is Faster?
- Do Backlinks From Sites You Own Count Towards SEO?
- Do Search Engines Prefer WordPress Sites?
- What Should We Look for When Hiring an SEO?
- What’s More Important – Optimizing Old Webpages or Creating New Ones?
- Should We Prioritize Our SEO Efforts for Voice Search?
- What Legal Requirements for Websites Should We Be Aware Of?
- Is the Ultimate Metric for SEO Traffic or Conversions?
- If Most of Our Users Are Desktop, Why Focus On “Mobile-First”?
1. What is the Most Common Mistake People Make With SEO?
The most common mistake in SEO is that people believe what they’re told about SEO from someone who doesn’t know how it actually works. This is a very slippery slope.
Think about it: You hire an SEO agency or consultant to lead your SEO program. They don’t have the experience or wisdom to fully diagnose the problems your website is having. Or they stuff you into a box with some sort of generic “packaged” SEO service.
Now you are on a course of action that is disastrous in the long run. Not only does it not address the unique problems your website faces, but it is taking you further off path. Meanwhile, your competition is passing you.
For more, check out our live Q&A on this topic from SEOtraining.com:
2. Does NitroPack for WordPress “Trick” Google into Thinking a Site is Faster?
The NitroPack plugin promises to “skyrocket your PageSpeed score instantly.” So does it actually trick Google in some way? The short answer is no.
It would be very hard for Google to punish a website that is using a tool to make it faster when one of Google’s primary goals is to serve fast webpages in its search results. Google doesn’t care if you use software to make a website faster so long as it is a legitimate tool.
And NitroPack is legitimate. In fact, we use it on our website at BruceClay.com. This plugin existed before Google’s page experience update, yet it has proven to be very handy in helping with core web vitals.
What NitroPack does is optimizes your pages for a faster experience. Put it on your site and the performance will be like night and day.
We talk more about this in the following live Q&A video:
3. Do Backlinks from Sites You Own Count Towards SEO?
So you have a bunch of sites, and you think that a link from Site A to Site B will be an easy way to boost SEO between your web properties. Generally speaking, this is not a strategy to count on.
In many cases, Google will know that a set of websites is managed by the same owner. Practically speaking, Google might expect one website to link to other websites under the same owner, for example, when there are different brands under a parent company and each brand is linked to in the main navigation of the parent company website.
But don’t expect this strategy to boost SEO. If Google understands the brands are interlinked, then links from one website to another will not hold a lot of weight.
Watch this video from our SEOtraining.com live Q&A on this topic:
4. Do Search Engines Prefer WordPress Sites?
WordPress is the most popular content management system and there aren’t any signs of that changing. One question people often ask is: Does Google favor WordPress sites?
For many reasons, we believe WordPress is a better solution over a homegrown website for SEO purposes in most cases. Among the reasons is that WordPress embraces features that are good for search, you can enhance it further with countless plugins and the maintenance is much less.
Keep in mind, though, WordPress is not a perfect solution for SEO. However, Google is committed to working with the platform to improve its websites for search engines and users.
That said, does Google somehow give WordPress sites a boost in the search results? It depends on how you look at it. The reason why WordPress sites may tend to rank better is due to WordPress’s SEO-friendliness.
We have converted all our sites into WordPress over the years, in fact. (We even offer an SEO plugin for WordPress to elevate your SEO to the next level.)
Watch this for more on this topic:
5. What Should We Look for When Hiring an SEO?
A great SEO strategy gives you a seat at the table on page one among millions of search results. A bad one? It can kill traffic and revenue.
With all the SEO consultants, agencies and services out there, it can be hard to know what to look for and which to pick. First, you have to know what you are looking for. Without a clear idea of your SEO goals, you won’t be able to match with the right SEO.
With goals in hand, one of the most important things you can look for is SEO expertise. This can make or break your results. In a sea of professionals that “do SEO,” you need to be able to discern who really knows what they are doing.
For more, see our article on the one and only thing you need in an SEO agency and the live Q&A video below from SEOtraining.com:
6. What’s More Important – Optimizing Old Webpages or Creating New Ones?
With content being a main focus of SEO, it is easy to fall into the trap of creating new content and forgetting about the old. But that strategy can hurt you.
A good SEO program will spend about half the time creating new pages and half the time updating old pages. Maintaining your content is the key to a quality, relevant website.
I wrote more about this in an article on Search Engine Land, and talk more about this here:
7. Should We Prioritize Our SEO Efforts for Voice Search?
By Q1 2019, 42% of the worldwide online population had conducted a voice search via any device within the past month. This number is only expected to grow.
So that may leave you to wonder: Do you put all your efforts into ranking for voice search? Well, no. But you can start optimizing for it now.
Start thinking about things like:
- How you can answer voice search questions in your website content
- How you might optimize for voice assistant devices
Read the following articles for more:
And view our SEOtraining.com live Q&A video:
8. What Legal Requirements for Websites Should We Be Aware Of?
There are several requirements for websites today that if ignored, can end up in litigation, fines and penalties.
Some to consider include:
- Compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Compliance with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Compliance with state-specific data protection laws and any other acts that have been signed into law (and there are quite a few)
The kicker in the U.S. is that there is not one set of regulations that impacts all states and websites like the GDPR. However, the ADA is one that impacts everyone, and it is not to be ignored.
Watch this Q&A video for more:
9. Is the Ultimate Metric for SEO Traffic or Conversions?
It is the job of SEO to drive qualified traffic to the website. After that, it is the job of the website and business to convert those leads through various marketing techniques.
A good SEO can certainly give general recommendations on how to improve a website for conversions, but SEO is not responsible for sales. Will targeted traffic typically increase revenue? Yes. But SEO cannot be responsible for conversions.
I talk more about this below:
10. If Most of Our Users Are Desktop, Why Focus on “Mobile-First”?
This is a great question – in fact, more than 90% of our website visitors at BruceClay.com are desktop users.
Google has decided that the future of Google Search (not your website) is mobile. Now, the entire index has been rebuilt using a mobile search engine spider. If you want to rank, you have to cater to the search engine.
Fortunately, you can generally comply using responsive design. However, the user experience is impacted if your website is not optimized for mobile. And that can impact your rankings.
Further reading: Page Experience Matters: The Mobile-Friendly Site
I hope this article helped you understand the answer to some popular SEO FAQs. If you liked what you saw in the Live Q&A videos, we do this every month with our members at SEOtraining.com.
For more insights to SEO questions like these, be sure to sign up for SEOtraining.com membership where you can ask your burning questions and get live guidance from me.