Between inbound SEO questions sent through my agency’s website to private messages on forums I’m active on and across social media, I receive a lot of questions related to SEO. While some are very unique, a large majority of them are asked multiple times by many people.

Over the past few months, I have kept a list of the most frequently asked questions related to search engine optimization and decided to publish a blog post to address them. Since so many people reach out and ask these I figured others might have the same questions, and I wanted to provide answers that were very direct and fluff-free — those that have followed me for a while or are regular readers of my blog know that’s my style and the only way I know how to present information about SEO.

So, with that being said, let’s jump right in and cover fifteen of the most common questions I’m asked regarding SEO.

If you have any seo questions that are not listed make sure to read the last paragraph — I’ll give you a very easy way to ask it.


1. How Long Does SEO Take?

This is one of the most frequently asked seo questions, and there is no single answer. The best response is, “be prepared to invest as much time required to achieve long-term results,” and if anyone gives you a cookie-cutter response along the lines of “30 days” or “60 days” they are pulling that number from where the sun doesn’t shine.

After doing adequate competitor research, auditing the current link profile of a site, diving into link opportunities, etc. — then and only then, can an educated guess be made. Sometimes keywords that you think will be difficult to rank for pop sooner than expected and sometimes low competition keywords will take longer.

SEO done right takes time, and you have to be willing to let it run its course, and commit to letting the results come naturally as a result of strong fundamental on-site optimization and off-page link building.


2. How Can I Get My Pages Indexed Faster?

Once your website has built up its authority and has published quite a bit of content Google will begin to crawl it more frequently. But for a new site or one that isn’t highly authoritative, you can do something to get Google crawling it sooner, and therefore indexing your pages in the SERPs faster.

Every time you publish a new page or post, open up your Google Search Console and enter the URL you just published into the URL inspection bar. It will return a message saying the URL isn’t indexed. Click on the “Request Indexing” button and Google will quickly crawl the page and it will show up in the search results.

Years ago social signals and “pinging” the URL would work, but now none of that is necessary. Simply request Google index it through Search Console. Larger websites, like Forbes, for example, don’t have to do this as Google is constantly crawling them, and new posts are indexed automatically within seconds of being published.



3. Do I Need an Exact-Match Domain?

Simply put, no. Also, a dot-com domain isn’t required to rank. A poorly optimized dot-com domain can easily be outranked by any other extension as long as its link profiles and on-site optimization is superior.

Also, exact match anchor text link building is not the main focus any longer, as it’s been proven time after time that strong on-site optimization along with high authority links — both brand mentions and naked URLs — can rank pages for the keywords they are optimized for.

I’d focus on finding a highly brandable domain over an exact-match domain ten times out of ten.


4. Should I Block Crawlers in My robots.txt File?

I would never suggest blocking Google or any search engine from crawling your website. You want them to crawl it, and often, as that is how they determine what content on your website is shown in the search results and in what position.

Blocking link tools is another story, and for some websites, it’s advantageous to block them so competitors can’t peek at your link profile. There are always going to be ways to see your links, and not all SEO tools discover all links anyway, but if you do want to prevent Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic, and SEMrush from crawling, this code will need to go into your robots.txt file:


User-agent: Rogerbot
User-agent: Exabot
User-agent: MJ12bot
User-agent: Dotbot
User-agent: Gigabot
User-agent: AhrefsBot
User-agent: SemrushBot
User-agent: SemrushBot-SA
Disallow: /


Now, if they change their crawler name (or have other ones) you will need to add them to this, but that code snippet is a good start if you do indeed feel keeping your links as secret as possible will help prevent your competitors from duplicating your profile.


5. How Do I Monitor My Website’s Heath Related to SEO?

Looking at your Google Analytics daily is something you should do regardless, but it’s also going to be where you will first notice something is off. If you see a major dip in traffic that is a good indicator that there is a problem.

Maybe a URL is broken, or maybe a page lost several positions, etc. Once you see traffic drop off you will want to investigate. Your Google Search Console is also where you will be alerted regarding technical problems, as well as manual penalties.

I make it a daily habit to check Google Analytics and Search Console multiple times a day. The sooner you spot a health-related problem the sooner you can patch the hole and fix the problem.


6. Is SEO Worth it When Paid Results Are on Top?

I’m a big fan of SEO for long-term results, and if you are planning on turning your online business — whether it’s a blog, affiliate site, e-commerce website, or a service business — into a long-term business then you need to invest in SEO.

There is nothing wrong with paid ads. Facebook and Google Ads can both be very effective, and if you have the budget you should run them along with SEO. But paid ads alone will end up being costly and dip into your margins over time.

Also, some people automatically skip over the ads. It’s no secret they are ads any longer, as Google and Facebook mark them as being so. You will always have some people that automatically go straight to the organic results for the information they seek.



7. How Often Should I Submit My sitemap.xml File?

These days creating a .xml file is simple. If you are running a WordPress site, for example, the Yoast SEO plugin will automatically create one for you and then update it each time you add a new post or page.

Once you create it, submit it through Google Search Console. You only need to submit it once, and then as you add new pages to your site, request that each new URL is crawled quickly by using the URL discovery tool in Search Console.

Outside of that, you don’t have to resubmit your sitemap. The only time I would suggest doing so is in the event of a full website redesign, if it results in new navigation options or huge layout and content changes.


8. Should I Link Out or Just Link Internally to Preserve Link Juice?

This is an old school SEO mentality, and some people are still worried about “losing juice” by linking out. Look at the biggest and most authoritative websites in the world. They link out to websites multiple times in every single piece of content, and it doesn’t hurt them one bit.

You want to make sure you don’t link out to low quality or spammy (penalized) websites, but linking out to points of reference are what links were invented for in the first place. If you don’t link out at all it’s very suspect.

A simple rule of thumb? Link out to at least one authority reference per article, and interlink at least 2-3 times per article as well.


9. How Much Internal Linking Should I Do?

As mentioned above, interlinking is very important for a couple of main reasons. First, it helps your SEO, and second, it helps to keep your visitors on your website longer. If you reference multiple other articles in a post there is a high likelihood that the visitor clicks-over and continues to engage with your content.

This lowers your bounce rate and increases your average visitor session time, both of which play favorably in terms of your SEO. The longer someone is on your website, the greater the chance is that they convert into a lead or make a purchase decision.

So, how many interlinks per post? Do as many as you need to make each article better. You don’t want to just interlink to random pieces of content, but if you can do 3-5 interlinks per post, go for it.


10. Are Meta Descriptions Important Even Though They Don’t Contribute to Google’s Algorithm?

While it’s true that the content in your meta descriptions doesn’t help you rank, they play a much bigger role than many think. We often see huge improvements in click-through rates and overall traffic number after optimizing meta descriptions on clients’ websites.

Many people don’t manually edit their meta descriptions and allow Google to display what they see fit. This is a problem, as they will just take a random snippet from the page and it may not have any relevance, causing the person to skip over your site in the SERPs.

By writing meta descriptions that relate to the keyword and also include a CTA, you can attract attention and more clicks, even if you aren’t in the top position. This is a highly underrated optimization technique.


11. Are the $299 and $499 Packages Capable of Delivering Quality SEO Results?

If you enter the search term “SEO services” you will see a lot of paid ads offering low monthly cost SEO services, from $199 to $499. Rather than just say “Nope, they are trash” let me explain why.

Google PPC costs are very high for any SEO related terms. Let’s assume they are paying $10 per click. Let’s also assume they have a VERY high conversion rate of 5%. That means they are spending $200 to score a $299 sale.

They then resell a Fiverr service that costs them $10 and make $80ish profit, while sending pure trash to their customer’s website. Avoid this garbage at all costs. It’s sad business owners fall for this low-level service. Effective (and safe) SEO cannot be done for a few hundred dollars a month. End of story.



12. Will SEO Change in 2021?

This is one of the most common seo questions, especially during the holiday months and toward the end of the year. Will SEO change? Yes and no. Links are still going to be the number one ranking signal, but there will always be things you need to adapt to if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

We have seen Google’s search results go through some big changes, and I think a lot of businesses are relying too much on just their main website to attract business. If you notice, Google is starting to show a lot more social content in the SERPs — namely YouTube and Twitter.

I’ve also seen TikTok content in some test markets. While ranking your website is important and should be priority number one, don’t sleep on using the other platforms Google features in its results to get more eyeballs on your business.


13. What Are the Main On-Page Optimization Factors?

On-page is something many still put little effort into, but it can make the biggest impact. There are a few main factors that I see contributing the most currently:


  • Main keyword in the first sentence. If you look at the top results for some of the most competitive terms you will see the main keyword is used immediately.
  • Multiple long-tail variations are used in headings (not exact-match).
  • Content length exceeding 1,500 words. This seems to be the minimum sweet-spot these days.
  • Speed. Tops SERP results seem to be 98+ on Google’s PageSpeed test tool.


If you are new to SEO, use a plugin like Yoast to help guide you through the basics of on-page optimization. Make sure you have a strong base for your link building efforts.


14. How Many Keywords Should I Optimize For On Each Page on My Website?

I would highly suggest only focusing on a single keyword per page. This allows you to fully optimize every on-page element for that specific term. This will help you rank for it, and you can also craft the content and call-to-action around that main keyword as well.

While this requires publishing more pages on your website, the long-term results will be much more favorable. Also, Google loves websites with a lot of pages. Look at the SERPs — the days of thin sites ranking on top are ending.

This also allows you to track the SERPs easier — each URL has one keyword you are trying to rank for. When you get your on-page SEO perfect you will see a much better return on your link building efforts.


15. Should I Hire an SEO Agency?

SEO used to be this very dark mystery and agencies would claim to have “top secret methods” and the “secret sauce recipe” to get you ranked. Now, SEO is pretty cut and dry in terms of what you need to do to show up in the SERPs and move up in the results.

The real question you need to ask yourself is this: Do you have the time and experience to successfully acquire new links and perform the on and off-page optimization required? Most business owners don’t, so in that case, yes, hire an SEO agency.

You not only free up time to work on your business, but you also benefit from their expertise and the knowledge they gain by working on multiple campaigns. The testing and strategy development advantage is something you won’t receive by doing it on your own.




These are the most commonly asked questions I have seen directed at me throughout the last few months. With world events related to the pandemic, more businesses are focusing on SEO than ever before.

Many have been forced to close their brick and mortar doors, and shifting the focus 100% to online has been the only way to survive. As we start 2021, one thing is certain: competition for top organic positions on Google is going to be more competitive than ever before.

I hope these frequently asked SEO questions helped clear up some of the questions you may have had, but if not, you are more than welcome to drop your question below in the comments. I will do my best to answer them for you and help clear up any SEO-related questions you might have.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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