Frequently Asked Questions about website design and search engine optimization (SEO)

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results for targeted keywords.

What are the most popular search engines?

The most popular search engine by far is Google. Two other very popular ones are Yahoo and Bing.

What do the terms “white hat SEO” and “black hat SEO” mean?

SEO techniques are classified by some into two broad categories: techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design and those techniques that search engines do not approve of and attempt to minimize the effect of, referred to as spam indexing. Industry commentators have classified these methods, and the practitioners who employ them, as either white hat SEO, or black hat SEO. White hats tend to produce results that last a long time, whereas black hats anticipate that their sites may eventually be banned either temporarily or permanently once the search engines discover what they are doing.

What are RSS feeds? How do they help my website rankings?

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It is a type of web feed. A web feed (or a news feed) is a data format used for distributing frequently updated content to outside websites. Content distributors syndicate web feeds, thereby allowing other websites to subscribe to them.

RSS feeds help your ranking because they connect your website to other website that are interested in your website and want to stay updated on your content updates. When search engines see that your other websites are interested in what you offer, they assume that your content is valuable, so they raise your website ranking.

What is SMO?

Social media optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites. Methods of SMO include adding RSS feeds, adding a “Digg This” button, blogging and incorporating third party community functionalities like Flickr photo slides and galleries or YouTube videos. Social media optimization is related to search engine marketing, but differs in several ways, primarily the focus on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful SMO.

What is a Directory Submission?

Everyone is familiar with the telephone or yellow pages directories. They contain lists of people or businesses, sorted alphabetically or by category. An internet directory is basically the same, but they are known as web directories or online directories and they list websites by category.

To have your website listed in one of these web directories, you have to first submit it to the directory. If you don’t submit your website to various directories, users will not be able to locate your site unless they come across it by accident or enter the full website URL. Submitting your website details to an online directory is called directory submission.

Will my links ever expire or are they permanent?

If your links are approved and put up, they should be on the directory for as long as the directory exists.

Will I see my website ranking increase quickly?

Your ranking will not increase as soon as you receive links from a directory. The search engines will take some time to locate and index the links and the process can be slow. Once you have made some submissions, keep on submitting to new directories and continue building links. If you stop making submissions, your ranking could go down. Link building is not the only method of building relevant links, but it is the most efficient and reliable.

What is viral marketing?

Viral marketing is a marketing trend that helps and gives confidence to people to pass along a marketing message willingly. There are viral promotions coming in the form of video clips, interactive flash games, ebooks, brandable software, images or text messages. The basic form of viral marketing is not considerably sustainable

Do you recommend using both PPC and SEO?

We recommend what is best based on your business goals. In many cases the optimal solution would be to use both PPC and SEO because one or the other may not satisfy all of your business needs. SEO will always provide you with the highest ROI, but PPC can produce traffic to your site immediately.

How long will it take for my SEO strategies to take effect?

It varies based on the nature of your site and the competition in the online space in which you choose to target. Generally we advise that SEO strategies may not take effect for 6-12 months.

Do you guarantee top ranks in any engine?

We do not guarantee top ranks because it is simply not a promise we can keep. We will adjust strategies accordingly to achieve the best results possible, but the online space has tons of competition and the engines secret algorithms are constantly changing. So, although we do not promise top ranks, you will find that no legitimate SEO firms will.

Do I need a website?

A website is not a luxury in today’s competitive markets. It is simply a must. Without a good website your business will always be a step behind your competition.

What constitutes a professional web layout?

A professional web layout is not simply a layout that looks good. It also has to use proper color schemes, be functional and increase the awareness of your products or services as well.

How much will this cost and what guarantees do I get?

The key to building an effective website within budget restrictions is good planning and a great developer. We can assist you from the beginning of your planning process to the completion of your website in order to maintain solutions that strictly adhere to your budget restrictions and to avoid any surprises that could come up in the future.

What Pagerank should I expect?

That depends on how much you market, retrieve backlinks, submit to directories and promote your site. Whats the PR of the top 10 sites for the phrases youre targeting? I’d hope you’d be somewhere in that range.

How long will it take to be in the top 10?

Depends how old your site is compared to the top 10 sites? How many backlinks do you have compared to them? How is their quality of backlinks compared to yours? What’s the history of people linking to you (what words have people been using to link to your site?) How good of a resource is your site? Can your site attract natural backlinks or are you 100% relying on your SEO for backlinks? How much unique content do you have? Do we need to pay everyone to link to you, or do you have a natural reason why people might link to you? Keep looking at that tool with the phrases you’re targeting, and keep asking yourself these questions. An SEO is only part of your solution how much are you helping?

Google’s Starter Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

If you have any other questions, please contact us.