SEO & Digital Marketing / Advertising FAQs
As you might imagine, we field a lot of questions here. Below are some of the most common, but if you have a question not answered below, feel free to contact us.
We have a no-pressure policy to fielding questions - you will not be chased with phone calls, door knockers, or email. No pressure, we're just here to help; it's that easy.
Q: Do You Make Websites?
A: We do not make websites. However, we do work with some wicked talented local web design firms that do, check them out HERE. If you already have a web design/development firm, that's awesome too - we would be glad to work directly with them; this is how most of our work is done.
Q: Do You Work On Any Website?
A: Absolutely! (See above)
Generally, custom HTML sites like Drupal and Joomla; as well as CMS platforms like WordPress and Squarespace websites (like ours) are most common and offer great SEO options & capabilities.
Low-cost or introductory sites like those from Wix, GoDaddy, Web.com, and others offer the least amount of options for deep SEO - so results for these types of sites are different than ones made with a higher grade platform, like those noted above.
TIP: If your website is on WordPress, check out our favorite list of plugins HERE - we've done the hard work for you.
Q: I had my website Professionally built, isn’t it Already Optimized?
A: Maybe - maybe not. With an average of 2,500 changes to just the Google Search Algorithm every year, SEO has become very specialized. That said, many website firms do apply some degree of SEO to their work, and maybe that’s all your site needs. But if you had your site professionally built and you are still looking for more leads - you might benefit from a more advanced action plan.
To see how optimized your website is; you can use our free SEO grader tool and print the SEO audit report.
Q: What’s the Difference Between Technical and Organic SEO - do i need both?
A: I’ll start by answering “Do I Need Both?” and the short answer is; most of the time - yes you do, but not always for every page. Many of the technical changes we commonly work through are site-wide changes, but there are several situations (like META Tags) that do impact individual pages of a website or blog. A proper SEO audit will identify which (if any) changes are needed.
In a non-technical and simplistic answer - Technical SEO relates to the elements that control the ability for search engines to “see” and properly index and display pages of your website or blog. Things like mixed content issues, canonical selections, robot tags, redirects, status codes, URL formatting, META formatting and more need to be reviewed on a page-by-page basis.
Organic SEO pertains to modifying the elements that directly impact where you rank for certain keywords within a search query. These changes are both visible and not-visible to a visitor of your website and could include the words on your pages, the title and descriptions that display for search results, filenames for images and videos, navigation links, secondary (alternate) file names for persons with disabilities (yea, disability compliance has ranking benefits!), and many more. Most of what needs to change for organic compliance does not appear in an SEO audit; they need to be identified one page at a time in the cognitive sense. This is where experience pays greater dividends than book-knowledge (or blog article knowledge).
In my university SEO classes, I refer to discoverability and visibility as they relate to technical and organic SEO respectively.
Q: Does Every Page of My Website Need Search Engine Optimization?
A: Nope. In most cases, only the primary pages of your website like your homepage, services, product, and contact pages require optimization. Focus on the pages that have the potential to drive new leads before deeper pages. For some websites that's only a few pages, for others that could be lot more. We can help you pick which ones will give you the biggest return for your investment.
Q: Should I match Google's new META Character Length limits?
A: Probably not - read this to learn why keeping your META Description short and structuring your opening paragraph carefully might be the best option.
Q: Do You Offer SEO Packages or Menu Pricing for Your services?
A: Nope again – and the reason is quite simple. Your business isn’t like any other business, so why would you settle for a cookie-cutter offering that isn't unique to your specific business needs?
Some of what goes into SEO pricing include businesses past internet marketing actions (failures & successes), the number of locations, marketing radius, current asset collateral, goals, and required work to attain those goals. We offer sustainable strategies custom tailored to each client need - nothing we do is cookie cutter.
When comparing SEO quotes, look past the bottom line and make sure you are getting exactly what you need - look at the details and ask questions.
A good agency will be accommodating in showing you ways to make their work more affordable while at the same time letting you know how the change in services might impact the time you will see results. Some firms (ours) will even amortize payments; spreading the entire project costs over a period of months instead of paying for services in lump amounts. Amortizing typically lets our clients afford a larger scope of work then they expected!
Q: What Are the Things Most Likely to Move the Needle for My Business?
A: Local internet marketing is hyper-competitive, regardless of the size of your business. For most businesses, a combination of Keyword Research, Website SEO, Citation Building, META-optimization, and Schema structured data typically provides a solid digital marketing foundation. PPC advertising services on Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and social media advertising would be the next objective. This is the typical strategy for our clients.
Q: How Long Does SEO Take to Work?
A: This question is the one we get most often. And the answer isn’t simple; there are many factors that come into play - but an overly simplistic answer is that it takes from 9-12 months on the average.
In our 20+ years' experience, we have noted that the time frame most businesses see any action for their efforts has depended on common factors regardless of their industry. Some of these include: how much work is needed, is the site currently penalized, how many technical SEO errors need to be sorted out, how responsive the client is in performing any requested due-diligence, and the scope, quality, and activity of other-than-website assets and activities.
In addition to being a solid marketing strategy, Google AdWords advertising is a great way to boost online visibility in the short term while waiting for SEO changes to take root.
Q: What Is meant by “Search,” “Organic Search,” and “Paid Search”?
A: “Search” and “organic search” are the same, and they refer to the results page for a search engine query (called the SERP – Search Engine Results Page). You do not pay for organic search visibility. In addition to your website showing up on the search engine results page, citations (see below), blog posts, images, video, news, documents, maps, and some social media could also populate on the page if the optimization is done correctly.
“Paid search” refers to paid advertising that is seen on the search engine results page, like Google AdWords or Bing Ads. This is also called pay-per-click (PPC) advertising because you only pay for ads when someone clicks on your ads (You could also pay for ad impressions by the thousand using different settings - each tactic has its own merit).
Q: SEO Or Social Media – Which will Drive More Leads to My Business?
A: SEO, hands down will drive more new lead-gen traffic to your website, and if your website is optimized to capture lead conversions – generate more measurable prospects.
Social media though is a much better tool for storytelling than your website and for engaging with prospects and clients, but it typically has a very low return-on-investment (ROI) quotient than organic search and paid search.
Think about the last time you searched for something to purchase online or locally – did you use a search engine like Google or a social media channel like Facebook for your search query? For most people, the answer is Google (search engine).
People are actively searching for something when using a search engine - they are typically not in the search-to-buy mode on social media.
Q: How Can We Run A Successful AdWords Campaign?
A: We chat with a lot of businesses who keep adding money into their AdWords account expecting it to yield a return with little to show for a return. How to make an AdWords campaign (or any other type of pay-per-click campaign) generate leads is a frequent conversation for us.
A successful Google AdWords campaign requires three things to make it all work. Geographically targeted keyword research, keyword rich ad copy (the actual ad text), and contextual/synergistic relevance between these two things on the actual website page the ads are pointing to. We therefore often recommend making changes to your website page to complement the focus of your AdWords campaign.
Beyond those basics, there are a lot of settings that need to be considered. An AdWords Audit can show you where you're doing well, and where you would benefit from changes. Call to schedule one today.
Q: Is Posting on Social Media A Must-Do Activity for My Business?
A: Maybe not, even though the media sure makes it sound like it's mandatory for all businesses.
The deciding factor for investing (time/money) into social media (SM) postings should be directly correlated to where your buying audience is. If your prospect audience isn't likely to be on SM, spend your marketing resources where you’re likely to gain a lead. That said, pay-per-click advertising on social media could be targeted to find people with interest in what you sell (service or product). There’s huge market potential in social media advertising, don’t wait until people find your SM page – reach out to them actively through targeted social media marketing (SMM).
Q: Is Advertising on Google AdWords And Facebook Expensive?
A: It doesn’t have to be. “Expensive” however, is a subjective term – what’s costly to some is affordable to others. As an example – a daily budget of $3-$5 is a great starting point for most small businesses. Few advertising firms work with smaller budgets like that, but we do!
The typical business will see the greatest amount of website traffic from Search Engines (non-paid/organic traffic), Paid Search Advertising, Referral Traffic (citations), Paid Social Media Advertising, and Content Marketing (which includes social media) – in that order.
A pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign, by definition, means you only pay for advertising leads when someone clicks on your ad. Working with a firm who understands how to properly set up a local, regional, national, and international marketing campaign is vital as the settings alone can make all the difference of looking at advertising as an expense or investment. Experience pays dividends here, and with 19 years under our belt, we’ve got more of it than most Rhode Island advertising firms.
We manage over $1 million in PPC advertising budgets.
Q: How Do I Know All This Stuff Is Working?
A: Short answer – reporting & analytics (and knowing what those numbers mean).
We offer an integrated dashboard that can be accessed 24/7 that integrates Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools (aka Search Console), Google AdWords, Bing Ads & Webmaster Tools, and Social Media reporting on one screen.
Better still, this tool converts often confusing and complicated numbers into easy to understand charts and graphs that experienced as well as novice users rave about.
If you do not measure it – you cannot manage it. We’ve got reporting covered.
Q: I Already Know the Keywords for My Business - Will You Work with Those?
A: Absolutely, but only after we conduct our internal keyword research.
All internet marketing/advertising hinges on your website, digital asset, or ad showing up for a searcher's query. As long as that query remains word-concentric, keywords will continue to be the foundation of all digital marketing.
To deliver the highest level of service and performance, we always start each project by conducting comprehensive SEO keyword and competitive research.
As for mobile searches, those word searches are translated into text for search engines to offer solutions for. So yes those too require keyword research.
Q: How Important Is Having A Mobile Friendly Website?
A: If your prospects are searching for what you sell (products & service) using smartphones and tablet computers to find you (not so much the latter) - having a website that will scale to the user's device will provide the best user experience (UX).
For mobile users, the better the experience, the more likely a visitor is to convert from a viewer to a lead.
From a search engine visibility perspective, there's little data to show that having or not having a mobile site will impact your rankings on search engines. But as mobile usage continues to grow, it's only a matter of time before search engines only display mobile-friendly sites for mobile device searches. Kind of makes sense doesn't it?
As for mobile marketing, pay-per-click campaigns can be set to also target users on mobile devices in addition to a PC. You can even only target mobile users if that's the strategy that would work for you.
In addition, targeted citation building which includes map optimization is a must for any brick and mortar business. To that end, we have the geek distinction for being Google, Waze, Foursquare, Facebook map editors. We can also edit Apple and GPS maps as well (we're just not in their editor's group).
Q: Do You Work With Other Design/Marketing/Advertising/PR Firms?
A: Yes! In fact, about 70% of our workload is for other firms - outsourcing and collaborating is a big part of what we do.
Partner and white-label options available - call today to discuss your needs.
NDA is mandatory - we've got an easy-to-approve one for you if you don't have one. It's easy to do business with us!
Typical outsourced services include keyword research, on-page SEO, citation building, custom schema code creation, and PPC management.