Developing and implementing a strong SEO strategy for your business can generate a lot of questions.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions to help you gain a better understanding of how digital marketing and search engine optimization can help your business build a stronger presence on the Internet.
Use the frequently asked questions links below to quickly navigate to the question of your choice. If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
Web Presence Solutions is here to help your business improve its online visibility and web presence. We are also interested in input for expanding our frequently asked questions list.
Frequently Asked Questions – SEO & Digital Marketing
2. What is SEO
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is meant by “web presence”
The web presence of a business is the complete digital footprint of a business found on the Internet. While the website and the written, video and graphical content it contains is the cornerstone of a company’s web presence, there are quite a few other digital locations where a business might have a presence. These include, but not limited to:
- Links to pages and content on the company’s website from other places on the Internet.
- Social media properties such as a Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn (business and personal), and a company blog.
- Mentions of a business or website in social media – posts, links, tweets, +1’s, likes, etc.
- Video content created and posted on video sharing sites such as YouTube.
- Local business pages such as Google My Business
- Listings in business directories like Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Merchant Circle, YellowPages.com, Whitepages, CitySearch and others.
- Email communications with customers and prospects.
- Press Releases to news and media outlets.
- Content a business has created and shared on other websites.
2. What is SEO
Definitions of SEO can vary but many of the core concepts are consistent. According to Wikipedia:
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.”
“As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.”
In a somewhat shorter description Search Engine Land, a well-regarded search-focused website, explains:
“SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have such results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment is not involved, as it is with paid search ads.”
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3. Why Does My Business Need a Growing Web Presence
Building a growing web presence will your business help reach more new customers and prospects while increasing contact with existing customers. Your competitors are growing their web presence, so if you aren’t growing yours then you are falling behind.
People search the web for a business, product or service in different ways. Some people use familiar search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo). Some people will utilize social media such as Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. Other people may use business directory services like Yelp, CitySearch or FourSquare.
There are numerous additional ways Internet users find businesses and these methods continue to evolve at a rapid rate. The more places your business has a presence, the more likely your business will be found.
A growing web presence also helps develops trust and authority for customers and prospects. The more places people see you the bigger and more familiar you are in their minds. In addition, a broader web presence will also frequently enhance search engine rankings for many of the same reasons.
4. Why Do I Need SEO for My Business
Another frequently asked question in the marketing and business world.
Search engine optimization is an essential component of a business’s marketing and sales strategy. With the rise and rapid growth of the Internet and the demise of many traditional (offline) channels to reach customers and prospects such as the Yellow Pages, having a web presence has become increasingly important if not vital.
- Develop and implement a clear SEO and web presence strategy to:
- Optimize your web presence and visibility.To build better branding and positioning for your business, products and services.
- Increase the online credibility and trust for your business.
- Identify a business’ most effective keywords.
- Rank higher in the search engines.
- Increase traffic to your website from potential customers.
- To increase the number of repeat visitors and customers.
- To Grow Your Business – $$$
The goals, project scope and budget for search engine optimization and growing a web presence can vary significantly for different businesses. However, the need and importance for having an optimized web presence will only grow over time. At the end of the day, if your customers and potential customers are not finding you on the Internet they are finding your competitors.
5. What are Keywords
Keywords and keyword phrases are a central element of search engine optimization. In its most basic definition a keyword or keyword phrase is the text a web user types into a search box to find relevant information or content.
Phrased another way, keywords are descriptions of the information people are searching for and can bring targeted traffic to your website.
Choosing the best keywords for your website and SEO optimization is very important for getting targeted traffic to your website with the greatest chance of converting them to customers and repeat visitors.
Effective use of keywords is essential for ranking well and being found on the Internet. Keyword research is focused on locating the optimal keyword phrases for drawing targeted traffic to a website.
Keyword research can frequently be dry and very detailed oriented. To do it well it requires special software tools and experience. However, this type of research and the information it provides is the cornerstone of any successful SEO effort.
Many people also consider the optimal use of keyword phrases to be essential for creating and maintaining a successful website. This is due to fact that keywords will appear in the website’s page content, in the off-page meta data and frequently in page titles and descriptions.
Moz is a well-known and well-respected website for SEO information, tools and services. Part of their perspective on Keywords includes:
“It all begins with words typed into a search box. Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking for the “right” keywords can make or break your website. Through the detective work of puzzling out your market’s keyword demand, you not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.”
“It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. The usefulness of this intelligence cannot be overstated.”
6. What is a “SERP”
The acronym SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. This is the page you see displayed after conducting a search. The SERP lists the results that the search engine (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo) return after a person enters a search phrase in the search box.
Contents on a search page can vary from tens links with a title and a description to a page that also includes ads and other forms of information related to what was entered in the search box
7. Why do Search Engine Rankings Change Frequently
The Web is a dynamic place and the search engine results pages (SERPs) can change on a frequent basis. This can be frustrating to website owners as one day they may rank number 2 for an important keyword phrase and two days later they may rank number 5.
There are a number of factors that affect the rankings for a given web page and a given keyword on any given day. These can include:
- New sites, web pages and content are discovered by the search engines on a daily basis and may jump ahead of existing pages in the rankings and search engine results.
- Older sites, web pages and content can be taken offline (removed from the web), or decrease in relevancy due to content that is unchanged or seldom visited over a long period of time.
- Older sites and web pages are upgraded or enhanced (SEO) to make their content more attractive to visitors and to the search engines.
The search engines can change how they evaluate websites, web pages, content and links, which can result in the rank of a given page for a given keyword falling or rising without any changes by the website owner.
While these changes can be disconcerting to a website owner or business, they should be taken in context. By having a broader web presence that is not solely dependent on the rank of a given keyword in the search engines results pages a business lessens its dependency on any single source of web traffic. Diversity is important.
Related Article: “Reasons Google Search Results Vary Dramatically”
8. What is an SEO Audit
An SEO Audit examines and measures a wide range of factors that impact the performance of your website, its rankings in the search engines, and its ability to attract and retain visitors. These areas include on-page SEO, off-page SEO and a number of technical SEO elements.
A professional SEO Audit provides a clear process for measuring and assessing your online visibility and performance. Plus it provides clear, actionable recommendations and next steps for improvements.
9. What is Technical SEO
Technical SEO refers to technical website optimizations that enhance the abilities of search engines to crawl, index, and display your site more effectively. SEO is frequently divided into three segments: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
Technical SEO focuses on the back-end elements of your website that include: Page Speed, HTTP Error Codes (4XX & 5XX), XML Sitemaps, website crawability and indexation, Redirects, Robots.txt files, Canonical Tags, and Schema Markup.
These elements can impact your website, web page and keyword rankings within the SERPs. This aspect of SEO often requires more web development support to implement correctly.
10. What is a Sitemap
A sitemap for a website is a file where you can list information about pages, videos, images, and other files on your website. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo read this file to crawl your website efficiently and index the files on your site.
The sitemap file is in the format of “mywebsitename.xml”. While not crucial for small sites with a clear architecture a sitemap can be very beneficial for improving the crawling of larger or more complex sites.
11. What is Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool from Google for analyzing and measuring website performance. It was originally launched in 2005.
The latest version, Google Analytics 4, is a completely new version of Google Analytics that captures, stores, and displays data in new and more effective ways.
In addition to capturing data from a website Google Analytics 4 can also gather analytics data for Android apps and IOS apps. This allows your business to collect data from your website and apps under one property and analyze the visitor journey across devices.
12. What is Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a powerful, free collection of tools from Google for monitoring and improving your website health and performance. It provides both high level overviews and a wealth of detailed data on how your site is performing in Google Search.
Originally known as Google Webmaster Tools, Search Console provides data on a range of website health, marketing, and performance elements based on how Google sees your website.
The Search Console application is made up of a number of different tools and reports that are useful for identifying and fixing website errors and problems, enhancing website performance, and strengthening SEO efforts.
13. What is Local Search
Local Search is the use of a geographic tag, such as a state, city, or zip code as part of the search phrase when performing a search. Local search is an efficient way for a search engines to deliver relevant, results for businesses, products and services within a limited geographic area.
An example of a local search, also referred to as Local SEO, would be entering “italian restaurant chicago” into the search box on Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Businesses with a physical location such as restaurants, repair businesses, contractors, dentists and plumbers, can derive significant benefits from optimizing their web presence for local search opportunities. There are a growing number of online directories and locations where local businesses can develop a presence.
Google, Bing and Yahoo all have services that allow local business owners to create a business listing online with the most accurate, up to date information about their business, products and services. These listing will generally include a link to the businesses website, their phone number and a map showing the business location.
14. I have a local business do I need a web presence
This is a very valid question for small businesses. Especially if budget dollars are tight. One way to answer this question is to look at what your competitors are doing. In evaluating competitors be sure to look at both online and offline (brick and mortar or retail) competitors.
If the products or services your business provides can be ordered or delivered via the Internet then your online competitors may be as important or even more important than your local offline competitors.
This is a good example of where, if your potential customers are not finding you, they are finding your competitors. Therefore, a good place to begin in answering this question is to determine how your customers and prospects are currently finding your business.
If your business does not currently have a web presence then this could be an opportunity to reach many more potential customers and significantly expand your business. If your competitors have a web presence and you don’t, then you could be losing a lot of business to them now and in the future.
15. How much do SEO and Web Presence services cost
Another frequently asked question. Our normal answer is “it depends.” While not trying to sound cute, we do not offer specific “canned” packages of service. The cost of our services will depend upon the needs of a client. We work with a wide range of businesses and the needs, requirements, desired results and budget can vary. A few of the parameters that are evaluated as part of a business engagement include:
- How large is your website?
- How competitive is your business niche or market?
- Where do you currently rank for your most important keywords and where do you want to rank?
- How many keywords would you like to target?
- What is your existing web presence?
- What platform is your website built on?
- Is your website an eCommerce site?
- What is the commitment level?
- How active has your business been in social media? Email marketing? Content creation? Video marketing?
SEO FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
We hope these answers to frequently asked SEO questions are helpful.
If you have additional questions or would like to discuss how Web Presence Solutions can help you with your digital marketing, email marketing, SEO, eCommerce, Amazon selling, and web presence management needs, please contact us today!
Also be sure to check out the excellent information we have on our blog.