SEO Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 SEO Questions That We Are Asked
The following is a list of the top question we typically receive from our customers, potential customers, and interested parties.
Q. 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 aspect 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 ranking positions are:
- Content – Do you have excellent, comprehensive content on your site? An example would be in-depth pages, articles or blog posts. They should be authoritative and highly useful. If you have great content, you might get a pass on some of the points below. Nevertheless, this is where you should start. Google loves great content.
- Web Site Optimization – Is your site optimized correctly for your relevant keyword phrases?
- Inbound Links – Do you have many relevant, high Domain/Page Authority 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 bots and prevent indexing?
- 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 Domain/Page Authority. Established sites that rank at the top generally have higher domain authority. Authority is gained by building inbound links from authoritative and credible sites. You can check your site domain and page authority and backlinks at Moz and other sources. Note: This is not Google DA or PA but an approximation measurement based on Moz’s algorithm.
- 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 Ethical SEO techniques.
- Have you submitted press releases for Web/News syndication, set up a YouTube channel with your videos, set up social media accounts, Google Local Business? All of these are important aspects of modern SEO.
- Are you keeping your content fresh by adding new content, articles, blogs 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 of the factors that will affect 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 a matter of weeks. That should raise a huge red flag. See our AWSP blog post on how to spot a Fake SEO firm.
Q. Should I participate in the PPC (pay per click) or Sponsor links at Google, Bing/Yahoo or focus strictly on organic optimization?
A. Organic optimization alone is not a true “Marketing Plan”. A comprehensive online marketing plan should include 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 top listings in Google still keep their sponsor links enabled.
Q. 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 and Bing Ads, which deliver sponsor results to many search engines and Websites, 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: AWSP 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.
Q. Google is the only search engine my customers use. Why should I submit to the other search engines?
A. While Google is overwhelmingly the #1 search engine right now, you cannot discount the traffic you will receive from Yahoo and Bing. These are still very viable search engines that are used by millions of loyal followers. Current Stats break down something like this:
(Estimates as of 2021)
(Source: Stat Counter)
Consider this, Yahoo is still one of the Web’s top portal, and Bing is owned by the top OS software developer (Microsoft), and searching with IE or Edge using the Address bar defaults to the Bing Search 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 comparing analytics on multiple sites.
Q. Do I really need to submit to any directories?
A. It depends. If you have a new site with few or no inbound links, limited directory inclusion is important to get some links built to start your inbound linkage profile. Targeted Directory inclusion builds inbound links that increase your credibility with Google. We limit inclusion to only a few of the oldest and trusted authoritative directories.
On the other hand, if your site is older and already has a good linkage profile, directory inclusion is typically not needed or recommended.
Q. Will you optimize our site without including us in the directories or doing any link building?
A. Yes. However, it will be up to you to perform your inbound link building.
Q. 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.
Once you stop worrying about your great organic placement, your competitor hasn’t and is still working to overtake you.
We monitor the organic placement of our customers and continually make recommendations that will help them maintain good organic positioning for their phrases. We also maintain the inbound links, making sure they are renewed and not dropped. In addition, we perform code tweaking, keyword phrase additions, page additions, and ongoing consulting on the latest algorithm changes that affect your site. Optimization is not a “submit and forget” proposition. It’s an ongoing process to stay on top.
Q. 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 a 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.
Q. 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 Page Rank has dropped. What Happened?
A. You have probably been penalized by Google. Most of these “Link Builders” will list your site using linkage schemes that will include “Bad Neighborhoods”, Link Farms, Blog Comment spam, Directory spam, or just pages that offer no real benefit. Make sure you know upfront where and how you will be listed. Also, beware of low costs services. These are generally automated processes and will not produce any results and will most likely have a negative impact on the placement of your site in the search engines. As a general rule, we do not recommend ANY link-building companies.
Q. I receive a lot of email requests for reciprocal linking. Should I participate in this?
A. Generally speaking, no. 95% 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 the 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. We generally don’t see much of this anymore.
Keith Hickman, Director of Marketing and technology, has been working in the field of Web design and search marketing since 1995 when he was active in the online game development community.
In 1997 Keith founded Advanced Web Site Publishing, which is a full-service Web Design and search engine optimization/marketing company. In 2004, Keith brought Houston’s Host under the AWSP umbrella featuring hosting and additional web services.
In 1999 Keith earned his MCP and MSCE network engineering credentials to further understand networking and server-side management and development.
Keith is now at the forefront of the search engine optimization industry and is highly effective at SEO marketing techniques. He also consults with customers concerning Online marketing and SEO.
Houston’s Host is celebrating its 19th year as part of the AWSP family in 2021.