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Recently, we demystified SEO by sharing the top secrets firms don’t want you to know. Today, we’re tackling all those nagging questions people have about SEO (which the pesky marketing agency always dodges). We’re covering a lot of ground, so buckle up and get ready to dive in.

1. What The Heck Is SEO Anyway?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization — believe it or not, a lot of people simply don’t know what SEO is. They know the general idea and they know they need it, but if you asked them about the nitty-gritty they probably couldn’t tell you the first thing about the grunt work that goes into SEO. In layman’s terms, it’s the art and science of demonstrating your value, relevance, and authority to search engines. You demonstrate this through posting high-quality content and spreading it via social media, while ensuring you’re following SEO best practices.

There’s really not much else to it. You don’t need to understand coding or be a tech guru. You can even learn it all online. After reading this, you may be thinking: if it’s so accessible, why doesn’t everyone do their own SEO? Well, let’s move on to question two to answer that.

2. How Much Time Does SEO Take?

Your time investment depends highly on your business needs and level of SEO expertise. An experienced strategist knows all the shortcuts, and has nailed down their process. Unless you’re an SEO prodigy, there’s going to be a significant learning curve.

After you optimize your site’s landing pages for SEO (which takes about a work week to complete), you move on to maintenance and content creation. Depending on the frequency of posts, and the type of content you want to create, the total time investment could easily be over 50 hours a week.

3. About How Much Does SEO Cost?

Once again, this varies greatly from person to person. However, Moz polled hundreds of SEO strategists about their rates. Rankpay derived a few insightful averages from Moz’s data, such as:

  • Hourly SEO rates range from $80 – $130
  • Monthly SEO retainer rates range from $750 – $1500
  • Project based SEO ranges from $1000 – $7500

Of course, there are always going to be exceptions to these broad generalizations. Some strategists who are just starting out may accept pay rates well below these. However, if they’re offering you too-good-to-be-true rates, they’re probably up to something shady, or vastly incompetent/inexperienced.

4. How Quickly Does SEO Change?

We can’t exaggerate how fast SEO evolves; Google’s algorithm changes each day. SEO strategists have to keep constant tabs on these updates or they risk falling behind the competition. To make a comparison, this is like physicists having to deal with an ever-shifting law of gravity.

5. How Long Does It Take To See Results From SEO?

It depends on your goals, skills, and budget, but you can generally expect to see results after about six months. We know that’s not exactly what people want to hear, but it’s the truth. There aren’t any quick fixes. Effective SEO is the culmination of months of dedicated work.

6. Can I Stop Caring About SEO After I Rank Well On Google?

As much as we wish this were true, you can never rest on your laurels. SEO is a competition, with every online business clamoring to reach the first page. If you’re not on top of current best practices and consistently creating high-quality content, your rank will suffer.

7. Should I Care About Search Engines Not Called Google?

Sort of… while Google is undeniably the king of the search engines, you can’t ignore the significant traffic flowing from the other engines. Essentially, optimize your content for Google first. Then, if you have the time/budget, update the content for other engines.

8. How Can SEO Be “Organic?” Is It Non-GMO Or Something?

It’s called organic because it doesn’t rely on paid ads and grows naturally instead. Organic SEO is driven by:

  • Keywords
  • Backlinking
  • Content Writing

Less savory methods like keyword stuffing and link spamming can also improve organic SEO, but you’re likely to get penalized by Google. Instead, most strategists aim for steady and continual organic growth using white hat methods.

9. How Do You Write Online Content For SEO?

Blog-based content marketing currently reigns supreme in the digital marketing scene (although video is the next big thing). Check out our guide for writing non-boring SEO content, and make sure you have an SEO optimized company blog up and running on your site.

10. So, Should I Hire An SEO Expert Or Do It Myself?

Honestly, we can’t answer this for you. Only you can analyze your situation, determine your needs, plan a budget, and assess whether or not you have enough time. If you’re considering using a team, we’d love to have a conversation about it.

Here at FEAD MEdia, we eat sleep and breathe all things marketing. So if you have any additional questions or want a more detailed look at how we do SEO, get in touch. We’d love to talk.

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