SEO Basics – SEO Frequently Asked Questions
Isn’t it a one time fee?
If you want to scream “I’m an easy target” let providers know you expect to pay a one-time fee for SEO. Most reputable SEO firms won’t even bid on these type of proposals, as they know the education curve is too great and the questionable providers over hyping their services will win the bid. SEO is a recurring process over time. Usually SEO requires a six month or annual campaign, an initial fee, followed by a monthly subscription fee. It requires work on your actual website in addition to work within the web community over time.
Shouldn’t I get a guarantee to get on the top page?
Actually most guarantees should be a sign to run from a service rather than run to it. These guarantees are usually not performance based. They are simple guarantees that let you out of a contract or offer some other token, but regardless you lose time and money. My experience has shown me that SEO experts stay away from guarantees because NO ONE know the “magic recipe” for any given business.
Shouldn’t I buy SEO from a business that specializes in my business niche?
In essence, the thought is if an SEO company does a good job optimizes “church sites”, then you should hire them for services on your “church site” as well. There is a fundamental problem with this concept. If an SEO company is serving two businesses in the same area for similar keywords, they have a conflict of interest. They can’t serve both of you equally. It’s much better finding an SEO firm that will offer you exclusivity for your keywords in your geographic service area.
One company promised me a 30-60 day top page placement. Shouldn’t I do this?
This is just scary. To promise top page placement in 30 days is even more improbable than guaranteeing top page placement. Why? Because for a site to be “ranked” on a search engine, it has to be crawled (means a search engines looks at the site-this is not instant). Initial crawl rates can take up to a month for a new or static website. So basically this means a service would have to guess correctly your configuration and build your reputation for competitive keywords within the first crawl. In other words, it doesn’t happen barring the anomaly. SEO minimally should take 3 months, but can take a year or more of recurring work depending on a business’s needs.
Won’t my site make it to top of Google by itself eventually?
Although the sentiment is true, the actuality is 99% false. Why? Because SEO is competitive and with so many websites intentionally making an effort to get on the top page, it’s highly improbable that accident can outperform professional intention. Could it happen? Sure. Will it? Don’t bank on it. Do you see it already? It’s because your keywords probably have minimal traffic.
Shouldn’t I choose keyword phrases with the most SEARCH volume?
No. Keyword phrases with the most clicks are often ambiguous and lead to little actual sales. You should focus on keyword phrases that are at the “point of purchase”. In other words, look for keywords that are specific enough where it looks like the person is looking to actually make their purchasing decision.
For example, being on the top of a search for “shoes” will take years (if at all) and is not at the point of purchase. Sure it has millions of searches every month, but its too vague and too costly. While a keyword phrase such as “basketball shoes Asheville, NC” is a person that knows what type of shoes they want and they are looking for a location. These niche keywords are not as competitive (i.e. less expensive SEO Plan) and yield a nice return.
Should I expect to be listed #1 on Google if I purchase an SEO program?
No. SEO can’t guarantee the #1 position, just as much as it can’t guarantee top page placement.
SHOULD I PAY TO HAVE MY SITE SUBMITTED TO GOOGLE?
No. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Some “companies” sell website submission services and website indexing services. These are worthless services. Your website is much better off being found naturally. A good SEO provider recognizes this.
Can you elaborate on what it meant by SEO Snake Oil?
SEO snake oil, is labeled after the worthless tonic sold by traveling salesmen years ago that promised everything from hair growth to cures for hepatitis. You see search engine optimization is driven on keywords and keyword phrases. A keyword is basically what someone types in a search engine when looking for goods or services. So “Nashville Hairdressers” or “Plumbers in Nashville” are keyword phrases. It’s much easier to get a website on the top page of Google for a keyword phrase that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. SEO service providers know this. So some will choose keywords that appear to be good phrases, but their search traffic is almost non-existent.
So they will intentionally get you “on the top page of google” for a keyword phrase that yields very little business, but from the outward appearance to the average small business, great things are happening.
There is also an accountability to you, the business owner. Remember the example of the “Atlanta Apartment Rental Company”? Well its based in reality. He originally chose a certain set of keywords for his business. In time, we gained momentum. One day, he was talking to a local competitor and they were on the top page of Google for a keyword he never gave my organization as a strategic goal.
He thought the services we offered were no good because he wasn’t on the top page for that particular keyword phrase. Of course, we could change the emphasis, but it would take time as SEO is a gradual process (3+ months).
That’s why its important to carefully choose your keyword phrases for your business. I also recommend running a Paid Ad campaign within your geographic outreach to get an idea of the most viable keywords for your business.