12 SEO Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

If you’re shopping around for an SEO agency, chances are you’re going to hear a lot of technical SEO terms during your search. Agencies want to show you their SEO expertise, and it’s easy for them to become a little jargony.

At the end of a pitch, any good SEO agency will ask if you have any questions. It’s often hard for many of us to raise our hand and ask a question, especially if no one else in the room is doing so. Hiring an SEO agency is a big deal, and we want to make sure that you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

To that end, here are the answers to 12 SEO questions you should know but were too afraid to ask.

  1. What’s SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. These techniques can happen on your website or off your website (more on this later).

  1. What’s the difference between organic vs. paid results?

Organic results appear in search result pages for free based on different algorithms. Paid results appear at the top of a search results page. Advertisers pay to have these links appear on different search engines.organic vs. paid results

  1. What’s the difference between organic vs. direct traffic?

Organic traffic occurs when someone types a search query and finds your website on a search engine result page. Direct traffic occurs when someone goes directly to your website URL.

For example, if I typed “advertising agencies in philly” into Google, found Stream Companies’ website on the search result page, and clicked the website link, that would be organic traffic. If I opened a web browser and went directly to StreamCompanies.com, that would be direct traffic.

  1. What’s on-page SEO vs. off-page SEO?

On-page SEO refers to changes that are made directly to your website to help you rank higher in search engines. Examples include adding keywords and title tags to your webpages.

Off-page SEO refers to changes that happen on other websites to help you rank higher in search engines. Examples include link building and citation optimization.

  1. What’s Domain Authority (DA)?

Domain Authority is a calculated metric from 0 to 100 that predicts how well a website is likely to rank in Google’s search results. The higher the Domain Authority, the greater the potential for that website to rank well.

  1. What’s Page Authority (PA)?

Page Authority is like Domain Authority but for a specific page on your website. For example, Stream Companies’ website has a Domain Authority of 36, and the Services page on our website has a Page Authority of 22.Domain Authority - Page Authority

  1. What’s a conversion?

A conversion is when someone takes a desired action on your website. For example, filling out a Contact Us form or downloading an ebook.

  1. What’s a conversion rate?

Conversion rate is the number of people who visit your website and convert. For example, if 200 people visit your website and 120 of them convert (fill out a form, download an ebook, etc.), your conversion rate is 60%.

  1. What’s a call to action (CTA)?

A call to action is text on your website that encourages people to complete an action. Examples include “Click here to download our checklist!” or “Fill out this form for more information!” The goal of a call to action is to increase conversions and conversion rates.

  1. What’s a bounce rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit a page on your website and leave the page almost immediately. A low bounce rate is better than a high bounce rate; if your bounce rate is low, it means people are staying on your website!

  1. What are inbound links vs. outbound links vs. internal links?

Inbound links are other websites that are linking to your site. Outbound links are links on your site that lead to another website. Internal links are links on your website that lead to other pages on your site.

  1. What’s the difference between crawling and indexing a site?

When a search engine looks through the content on your website, it’s crawling your site. As a search engine crawls your site, it indexes content that will appear in the search engine. Not all content that’s crawled is indexed.

These questions only scratch the SEO surface, but hopefully they provide a nice jumping-off point to learn more about SEO. If an SEO agency ever uses a technical term you aren’t familiar with, ask them what it means. Knowledge is power, and chances are there are other people in the room with the same question.

Put It in Drive:

Take some time each day to read at least one SEO article. The more you read about SEO, the more comfortable you’ll become with common industry terms. Blogs such as Moz, Search Engine Land, and Search Engine Journal provide great information about SEO. Read one of their articles every day during your lunch break, and you’ll become an SEO whiz in no time.

Still have questions about SEO? No worries, we’re happy to answer any of your questions! Let’s talk.

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All the best,
—Kate Nolen is a Digital PR Coordinator at FullThrottle

Kate Nolen

Kate Nolen is a Digital PR Coordinator on FullThrottle's SEO team.

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