Your Top 10 SEO Questions, Answered.
So, you are considering SEO or are doing it currently, but have some burning questions about the hows and whys of this digital strategy. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked SEO questions.
1. How much does SEO cost?
SEO can vary greatly in price depending on who is offering the service; and there is a large price disparity for a reason. Companies who offer SEO at very low prices usually tend to cut corners, use 'black-hat' techniques or use improper SEO strategy, resulting in penalties, decreases in traffic and spam for unsuspecting business owners. Agency prices tend to run higher, but you are paying for their experience, ethics and effectiveness.
Consider the yearly price it would cost to do SEO yourself:
Pricing for a comprehensive in-house SEO strategy can easily run upwards of $245K per year for small or medium sized businesses. Agencies can offer their resources, expertise and team for a lower cost than it would take to maintain an in-house team and involves less risk than outsourcing to a cheaper company.
2. Once I start SEO, how long will it take to get rankings?
SEO isn't an overnight strategy. The first few months are dedicated to making updates to your site and waiting for the search engine spiders to crawl and index the changes. Depending on your website, the amount of work it requires, and the crawl frequency of the search engine spiders, it typically takes 3-9 months to begin seeing new rankings.
3. How long will it take to see increases in traffic?
Traffic is typically a direct result of an increase in rankings. Once your rankings begin to increase, you will also begin to see gradual increases in traffic to your website. Keep in mind that new rankings and traffic are not instantaneous, it takes a few months to complete the necessary updates and get them indexed before you will begin to see these increases.
4. Should I also do PPC?
Pay Per Click is a great additional strategy to supplement your SEO efforts, and can help enhance relevant traffic. Depending on your particular website, industry and the competitiveness of the keywords you want to go after, a good agency will recommend PPC on a case-per-case basis.
5. Why should I continue SEO once I've gotten good rankings?
Achieving the rankings is only half the battle. Since the search engines are constantly evolving and updating their algorithms, your rankings can fluctuate from one day to the next. Maintaining current rankings is just as involved as getting new ones; it takes constant research, updates and testing to keep your URL ranking in the top positions. Discontinuing SEO after you've achieved rankings will result in a loss of rankings fairly quickly.
6. Can't we just buy links?
Although link building can be an important aspect of SEO, purchased links and links from spammy websites or 'bad neighborhood' sites can actually hurt your rankings rather than help. Search engines are constantly looking out for links like these. In fact, Google's 'Penguin' series of algorithm updates is geared primarily towards penalizing sites who obtain links unnaturally through link exchange schemes and purchasing links, or have links from spam sites. A recovery from a link penalty is not an easy one, and can result in significant traffic losses.
7. Can you guarantee my rankings?
Ethical SEO agencies cannot guarantee something they can't control, and beware of any company that claims they can. There is no way to know 100% how a site will rank because of the search engine's constantly evolving nature and to guarantee rankings would be unethical. Also, beware of companies claiming they have a special relationship with Google or can 'priority submit' to Google to guarantee ranking positions. This is completely false and untrue, and Google itself warns against companies that make these claims.
8. Can you get me ranked for general terms like 'lawyer'?
General terms are highly competitive and would be extremely costly to rank for based on the time and resources it would take to achieve rankings for a term that broad. Another reason we advise against going after terms that broad is relevancy. If you are a lawyer in Wisconsin, traffic from Arizona probably isn't that relevant to your business. It is more cost effective and pragmatic to go after terms that relate to the location of your business.
9. Which Search Engines receive the majority of searches?
Google obtains the majority of search traffic, with about 67% total searches. Bing comes in second with about 17%, then Yahoo with roughly 12% and the remaining Search Engines all total about 4%.
10. How often do the Search Engines update their algorithm or search equation?
Only the techs behind the search engines know this answer for sure, but Google's head of Web Spam, Matt Cutts, has been quoted saying that more than 500 updates are made each year. Since the search engines are constantly evolving and changing, it is crucial to stay on top of the changes, make constant updates on our end, and only use strategies that are ethical and sustainable.
If you have any additional questions that we did not answer in this article, or would like a free SEO consultation for your website, please contact us.
Submitted by Erica Machin, Titan Growth