Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses many elements, and based on the nature and volume of questions we get from new and prospective clients – ranging from how it works, whether their business needs it or if it’s worth it, to the meaning of specific organic marketing terms – we thought that you might find this FAQ helpful.
1. How important is SEO?
Well, when you consider that it’s one of the most effective forms of advertising, with most businesses investing their marketing dollars online, those who ignore it are very likely getting left behind. In order for a website to be found on the search engine results pages it must have a well-executed search engine optimization strategy that comprises a smart-designed, optimized site, and high-quality content – and that’s just the beginning. If someone is searching for your products or services and can’t find you online, this means less traffic to your site, and ultimately lost opportunities for sales.
2. How long does a website need SEO for?
Search engine optimization is a long-term, ongoing strategy – that’s the simplest answer. Once your website gains rankings and is positioned on page one, if the work is discontinued, it’ll just be a matter of time until you start losing positions for the keywords it once ranked for. Organic positioning on Google is constantly changing, depending on the competitiveness of the niche, efforts that your competitors are making, and many other factors.
3. How long does it take to see results from Search Engine Optimization?
Everyone wants to have their website ranking at the top of the results – which is why this is the most frequently asked of all questions. As mentioned, there are many factors that come into play when determining a site’s ranking, and many techniques to get it there. The short answer is that on average it takes about two to three months before some of the selected keywords or phrases start to gain positions. The encouraging news is that once the primary keywords (which have the highest volume of searches) start to rank, then this results in more traffic and momentum starts to build from there.
4. What are “Robots”, “Bots”, “Spiders” and “Crawlers”?
This question often immediately follows the one about “how long before I see results?” These various terms are given to the software that is used by the search engines to scan through the millions of old and new web pages. As pages are found they are indexed, categorized and ranked according to a complex set of criteria. It can take anywhere from four to six weeks for a new website to be indexed by the Google “bots”.
5. What are Keywords or Keyword phrases?
Keywords are the basis of any online marketing campaign. They are the words that reflect your business’ products and services, which people use to search when they go online to find anything and everything. These keywords are the links between what users are typing into Google and actually finding your website. For this reason it’s essential that the various pages of your site contain the correct density of these words or phrases.
6. How are keywords selected?
Keywords are selected after a thorough analysis that determines their competitiveness and usefulness, and most importantly, the volume of searches being done for each word. If you don’t have the budget to hire a Google certified digital marketing agency to manage your online marketing campaign, then Google Trends is a fantastic SEO tool that will help you select the best keywords. According to Search Engine Watch “Google Trends is one of the best and most versatile tools available for SEO. It is the marketing equivalent of the Leatherman or Swiss Army knife“.
7. What is the biggest kept SEO secret?
A not-so-big secret is one that you’ve likely heard before, but we’ll say it again – “Content is king!” The search engines are hungry for fresh, new, compelling, search engine optimized content. On its own, content is not the be-all-end-all, but as part of a comprehensive online marketing strategy, it will go a long way towards helping you achieve the search engine rankings that you want.
Now for the real, biggest kept SEO secret…We believe it’s to have a great digital marketing plan! This is a plan that considers all important elements of online marketing – organic advertising, paid advertising, re-targeting, social media marketing and video marketing. A great plan will include research, information and facts specific to your company and industry. It will determine where your dollars are best spent to bring you the biggest return on your investment.
The beauty of online marketing is that it is quantifiable and progress can be tracked and efforts tweaked accordingly. If you’re considering making the investment for your business, think about this for a moment: if nothing’s ventured, nothing will be gained.