The following is a list of the top question we typically receive from our customers, potential customers and interested parties.
#1 How long will it take to get my site listed in Google's natural or "Organic" listings?
A. This depends on many factors. Be aware that getting "listed" and getting good positioning in the search engine results pages (SERP) are two entirely different things. Getting listed is fairly easy but the most important issue is getting good organic positioning so we will discuss this here.
In short, it could take anywhere from several months to up to several years to achieve favorable positioning in Google.
Some determining factors on achieving good position are:
- Web Site Optimization - Is you site optimized correctly for your relevant keyword phrases?
- Inbound Links - Do you have many relevant, high PR (PageRank) links that point to your site? This is as important as the optimization itself!
- Search Engine Friendly Site - Does your site have any barriers that would block search engine spiders?
- How long has your site been online? The newer the site, the longer it will take to achieve good positioning due to all the factors listed here.
- New sites generally have a zero or very low Page Rank. Established sites that rank at the top generally have a higher page rank. PageRank is gained by building inbound links from authoritative and credible sites.
- Download the Google Toolbar to check your PR. /toolbar/ie/index.html (For I.E Only)
- How much competition do you have? New sites in highly competitive categories have an uphill battle. There are no quick solutions so settle in for the long haul. With perseverance, proper execution, and lots of hard work, good results can be achieved.
- Use "White Hat" or in other words, Ethical SEO techniques.
- Have you submitted press releases for Web/News syndication, participate in social networking, submitted video? All of these are important aspects of modern SEO.
- Are you keeping your content fresh by adding new content, articles, blog posts on a regular basis? Search Engines love fresh, original content.
- Have you built an XML Sitemap and submitted to Google correctly?
These are only some factors that will effect how fast your site will get good positioning in Google.
Beware: There are many unscrupulous SEO companies out there that will tell you they can get you front page positioning in two weeks. That should raise a big red flag with you. See our SEO FAQ for how to spot a phony SEO firm.
#2 Should I participate in the PPC (pay per click) or Sponsor links at Google, and MSN or focus strictly on organic optimization?
A. Organic optimization alone is not a true "Marketing Plan". A true online marketing plan includes sponsor link setup and management.
There may be a time when you can take your Sponsor links offline but if your positioning drops in the organic listings due to algorithmic changes, you still have a backup plan that can be quickly enabled to drive traffic to your site.
Many of our customers that have a top listing in Google still keep their sponsor links enabled.
#3 How much will it cost to participate in the Sponsor link programs (pay per click)?
A. Cost to participate in Sponsor link AKA Pay Per Click plans such as Google Ad Words, which provide sponsor results in many search engines, Websites and directories, is based on several factors.
We must determine the number of phrases you wish to promote, the cost per click of the particular keywords you wish to promote, the position you wish to maintain, the competition for the phrase and the frequency of the clicks. Therefore, it's virtually impossible to determine the exact budget amount you will need initially. However, we can we can work within just about any budget you set.
Note: Sitebuilder SEO does not charge any Agency Fees for managing your PPC/Sponsor link accounts! Many SEO agencies charge a 15-20% agency fee for all your PPC activity. If your budget is $10,000 a month, the SEO agency could charge you 2000.00 just in fees on top of the other marketing fees.
AWSP charges a flat monthly fee for managing your account.
#4 Google is the only search engine my customers use. Why should I submit to the other search engines?
A. While Google is currently the #1 search engine right now, you cannot discount the traffic you will receive from Yahoo, Bing and Ask. These are still very viable search engines that are used by millions of loyal followers. Current Stats break down something like this:
(According to ComScore 2013)
- Google: 66.9%
- Bing: 17.9%
- Yahoo: 11.4%
- Ask: 2.6%
- AOL 1.3%
Consider this, Yahoo is probably the Webs top portal and Bing is owned by the top OS software developer (Microsoft) and searching with IE using the Address bar defaults to the Bing engine.
Therefore, If you are not in these search engines you are losing market share.
We have always been surprised to see the traffic from Yahoo and Bing when running log file analysis on multiple sites. Another way to look at it is "Don't put all your eggs in one basket".
#5 Do I really need to submit to the directories you mention?
A. It depends on your current inbound link structure. If your linkage profile is weak, we do recommend it. Directory inclusion is a great way to get some juice flowing to your site. Directory inclusion builds inbound links that increase your credibility with Google. Without this credibility or Page Rank your site will not have a chance to gain position in Google's competitive environment.
We only link to directories that are still respected by Google.
#6 Will you optimize our site without including us in the directories or doing any link building?
A. Yes. However, it wil be up to you to build your inbound links. If SEO is the rocket, inbound links are the fuel. They go hand in hand. It can take many years to build a great inbound linkage profile for your site.
#7 Why should I pay for an organic optimization plan once I gain good positioning?
A. Good organic placement is a moving target. It is not like a static "Yellow Page Ad" that never changes. Organic positioning is never guaranteed and always subject to change with the next algorithmic update.
Once you stop working on your SEO, your competitor that never stopped will soon overtake you.
- We monitor organic placement and performance in our Moz interface. Here we can:
1) Monitor rankings for your keyword phrases across Google, Bing & Yahoo
2) Monitor Social Visits, Brand and Mentions
3) Monitor inbound links
4) Monitor your Google Analytics ( linked in to interface)
5) Monitor Page Crawl Errors, Warnings and Notices
6) Check on-page optimization results
- We continually make recommendations that will help you maintain good organic positioning for your phrases.
- We maintain the inbound directory links, making sure they are renewed and not dropped.
- Perform ongoing optimization to all of the new pages/products that you add to your site.
- Work throgh any new Google Algorighm changes that may have effected your rankings
SEO is not an "optimize and forget" proposition. It's an ongoing process to stay on top.
#8 Can you optimize my page for my top 20 keywords?
A. No. A single page cannot be optimized correctly for that many keyword phrases. The general rule of thumb is one keyword phrase per page and the maximum of two. We generally optimize sub pages for your other relative keyword phrases. If a page does not exist that's relevant to the phrase, we may create a new page specifically for those phrases.
#9 I know inbound links are important so I hired a linkage company to build additional links for my site. However, I have not noticed any results and my rankings have dropped. What Happened?
A. Be very careful when hiring linkage companies. Many will list your site in linkage schemes that will include "Bad Neighborhoods", Link Farms or just pages that offer no real benefit. Make sure your know up front what where you will be listed. Also beware of low costs services. These are generally automated processes and will not produce any results and could have a negative impact on your sites placement in the search engines. Google now penalized for links it considers "Spam" or trying to "Game the Index"
#10 I receive a lot of email requests for reciprocal linking. Should I participate it this?
A. Generally speaking, no. 99% of all these requests are SPAM. Furthermore, the pages that will actually link to your site are typically buried deep within the linking site and offer no benefit to you.
Another tactic that link spammers use is to remove your link at some point in time leaving them with only inbound links which is the most favorable.
The exception to the rule is exchanging links with an industry relative site that is legitimate. Do they have a phone number? You may actually want to call them and discuss the exchange and negotiate for position.
Link exchanges should also be equal. If their link is one click off of the front page, yours should be too, not buried 5 pages deep in a site directory.