We know you have a lot of questions about SEO. That’s why we’ve put together answers to some of the most common ones we get from clients. Just click one of the questions below to view the answer. Don’t see the information you need here? Contact us for a free consultation.

How long does it take for SEO to work?

If you’re starting with a blank slate and a brand new website, expect SEO to take about six to 12 months to produce good results. Why does it take that long?
Because search engine algorithms are engineered to only allow the most consistent and most vested brands to succeed. That means since you already have a lot of competitors who have done marketing consistently, have been on page 1 of Google, are performing good SEO, and have many authority links pointing to their site, you’re playing catch up. You need to provide brand signals – consistently over time – to Google that they should trust your site enough to rank it on page 1.

That doesn’t come easily or overnight. It’s something that happens over many months…and only with consistent effort. So be patient.

Should I hire someone to do SEO, or can I do it myself?

There is nothing proprietary about SEO. If you have the time and inclination to learn it yourself – and you’re prepared for a huge learning curve and all the costly trials and failures that will come with it – then you can certainly do it yourself. Just keep in mind that it takes a lot of time and experimentation to get it right. But, if you learn to do it yourself, then you’ll be experienced in SEO, which is a powerful asset for your business

The problem, though, is that there’s a lot of bad information and advice about SEO out there. Someone may teach you how to produce winning results in the short-term with methods that can actually harm your brand in the long run. In addition, with changing algorithms, most businesses have a hard time getting a handle on the right approach.

Bottom line? If you don’t have the time to become an SEO expert – and you want to make sure it’s done right – then hire a company like Towering SEO.

How do I use keywords to improve SEO?

The same is true today that was true 20 years ago. Google is a search engine. That means people are typing in keyword searches and Google is producing results. That’s not changing. The way people type keywords in may have changed a little. For instance, they might ask long form questions or audio questions. But Google is still parsing all that data for keywords to deliver the best results.
That’s why, as a business, you need to understand what people are searching for when they’re looking for the services and products your company offers. Then you need optimize your website for those keywords.

Usually, it’s as simple as creating multiple pages around multiple keyword themes. It also involves making sure keywords are in the title and the content, but that you’re not overdoing it, either. It’s also important to create quality, interlinking content around those keywords.

What are backlinks and why are they important?

Backlinks are the lifeblood of search engines. It’s how search engines figure out who’s an authority, who’s most relevant, who’s high quality and who’s low quality.
Before Google existed, people were relying on human curated directories to get online results. But then Google figured out that if one website links to another website, then that’s a signal that a) Website 1 trusts Website 2 enough to link to it and b) whatever Website 1 was talking about when they linked to Website 2 within that context, then Website 2 is probably also about that topic. And so they created their backlink algorithm.

Here’s an example of how it works:

Say you’re a dog training website and the Huffington Post produces an article about dog training. They link to your website within their article with branded anchor text. Then that’s an authority signal for Google. Google counts that as a high quality backlink because it’s coming from the Huffington Post. They also count it as providing you with relevance because the article is talking about dog training and you’re in the dog training services.

If you get enough of these high quality backlinks over your competitors – and you maintain a quality website without looking unnatural – then you’re going to rank highly with Google. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that a consistent flow of backlinks is key. Thirty links in 30 days won’t produce the same results as 10 backlinks over a period of six months. Google wants to see consistency.

What’s a meta description and does it matter for SEO?

If you type in “dog training,” for instance, and you see the results on Google, each one has a blurb underneath it. That’s the meta description.
The jury is still out on the true impact of meta descriptions for SEO. At Towering SEO, we do recommend including keywords and variations of keywords in meta descriptions. This probably does not have a profound impact on actual rankings. It does, however, have a positive impact on click-through rates, which are vitally important, as well.

Do directory listings help SEO?

The way it used to work is that if you had a dog training company, you would list your company in online directories with the anchor text “dog training” linking back to your website. But that’s a dated strategy because it looks unnatural to Google.
Today, we recommend using directory listings for anchor text diversification and branding instead. In other words, we list and link the name of your brand using branded links in directories. This strategy helps you get IP diversity. It also helps you grow your general brand and general domain authority, all without spam triggers.

If Google doesn’t publish its algorithm, how do you know which strategies work best?

Most of Google is still pretty simple. It’s about high quality content on your site and high quality links off your site.
No matter what Google does with rank brand, IP, or Panda or Penguin algorithms, you should focus on these two strategies and you will rank. Until Google changes their algorithm completely – which would totally alter SEO and the online marketing industry – then don’t worry too much about algorithms. Simply focus on good content on your site and great backlinks off your site.

Why is my competitor ranking above me?

For multiple reasons:

  • They might have more content for Google to crawl, digest and create internal links with.
  • They might be an older site.
  • They might have more links, and therefore more trust and authority.
  • They might be better optimized then you.

Ninth question

How can I achieve higher local rankings for my business?

What’s the best tip for boosting search engine rankings?

Whatever you do, do it consistently.

Whether you have $500 a month to invest in SEO, or $3,000, do it consistently for a year. Do not dip your toes in the water for three months and then expect great long-term results. SEO takes time. It’s better to invest $500 a month in SEO for 12 months, then $1,000 a month for three months. Consistency is the only way to get high-quality results and a high probability of page 1 rankings on Google.