SEO / SEM / PPC Frequently Asked Questions

SEM is a form of Internet Marketing that promotes websites by increasing website visibility in the search engines. It's an umbrella term comprising many activities including search engine optimization (SEO), local search optimization, pay-per-click advertising (PPC), social media optimization (SMO), visitor analysis and more.

If you have a business, your internet presence is the most important business tool you have working for you 24/7. Search Engine Marketing benefits your business by:

  • Increased sales for your eCommerce site,
  • Increased leads to your professional services business,
  • Increased numbers of visitors to your brick-and-mortar business,
  • Increasing whatever action you want the Internet visitor to take.

A search engine marketing analysis helps you to answer the following questions:

  • Who is visiting my website and where are they geographically located?
  • What search terms or referral sites did visitors use to find the business?
  • Am I missing an audience on the internet that might want to buy my products or services?
  • How can my website rank higher in the search engines, like the “top 3″ (Google, Yahoo, Bing)?
  • Are there any websites or directories that my site should be listed in to generate referral traffic?
  • Is Pay Per Click Advertising Right for Your Business?
  • How can my Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign get a higher click-thru-rate (CTR)? A higher conversion rate? Are there ways to lower the cost-per-click (CPC)?
  • Are there search engine marketing opportunities that I am missing for my business because I don’t know the questions to ask?
  • What’s the best way to interact with my customers using social networking?

In layman's terms, SEO is the process that is taken on websites to get higher rankings on search engines, most notably the "top 3" (Google, Bing and Yahoo). Usually, the higher a site ranks and the more visible it is, the more people will visit the site. SEO is not magic. It legitimately works when done well and leads to increased sales and leads. A variety of techniques are used to organically optimize a site. To start with, analysis is required on the website's structure, target audience, keywords and search marketing strategy before moving onto on-page optimization, link building, off-page optimization, SEO copy writing and more.

Organic search engine results are also referred to as natural search engine results. They are website listings on search engine result pages (SERPs) that are not paid for, in contrast to paid and sponsored ads. Many factors affect search engine results placement, including the geographic location of the searcher, longevity of site, website content and on-page keywords, quality of inbound links, competitiveness of the market, social media signals and visitor behavior.

Broadly speaking, search engines aim to provide people with the most relevant information they are looking for. The search engine makes an educated guess based on the search term the user typed into the search box, the user's location, personal preferences and more. The more specific the search string, the more relevant the search results become.

In order to fulfill its purpose to the searcher, the search engine has an application, called a spider or crawler, that walks from page to page through the Web and stores information about every page it finds. It stores all of this information in what is called the search engine's index, which is a huge database of information. When you perform a search on Google, it will search its index and retrieve the most relevant web pages according to its algorithms. Yahoo and Bing will do the same. You often get different listings in different orders in the search results of each engine because each search engine is following its own proprietary algorithms.

Longevity of your site is the first thing to consider. If your site is new or only a couple of months old, it is likely that Google and other search engines have not indexed it yet. Another thing to consider is incoming links. Search engines need to find sites via incoming links to them; just having a site on the web is not good enough. There are more conditions as well. We recommend using Google Webmaster Tools to analyze the site and find any issues with it. Bing also provides Webmaster Tools. It's very informative to see how each search engine views the website.

Absolutely. A PPC advertising campaign can be geographically targeted to specific locations and regions. Geo-targeting is well suited for brick-and-mortar stores and service businesses operating within a specific region, for instance real estate agencies and other professional services. Your PPC ads show only to those within the geographic area that are setup within the campaign. As with a local newspaper, you are only advertising to the target audience who is likely to use your service or buy your product.

Yes. Once we understand your business and objectives, we can setup your Google AdWords campaign and optimize it for your target audience. From there we can either manage the campaign for you or teach you enough about AdWords so that you can manage the campaign yourself.

Yes. We provide a service to optimize existing Google AdWords campaigns. Once we understand your business and business objectives, we will review your campaign, the keywords and ads. There are techniques that can be employed to optimize the campaigns which should increase click-thru rates, lower cost per conversion and increase conversion rates.

While click-thru-rates tell us how many people clicked through to your site, they do not tell us how many people took the desired action. Therefore the number of conversions and cost per conversion/acquisition are the key metrics when analyzing the success of a PPC campaign.

Absolutely. Although Bing has fewer users than its biggest competitor Google, those that use this search engine have statistically taken action more often. For our clients, the costs per conversion are sometimes lower on Bing than on Google. There is only one search advertising platform, Bing Ads, to advertise on both Bing and Yahoo. This enables you to advertise to a wider audience with just one tool.

No, we can't guarantee a #1 organic spot and beware of anyone that does. There are over 200 factors that affect search engine results placement, including such things as location, longevity of site, quality of inbound links, the competitiveness of the market and many many more. We target the best keywords for your business and use strategies to get you on the first page. First page real estate can be taken with local search results and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements, with proper optimization and ad triggering.

Just about anyone can get on the first page for a search term in sponsored ads if they are willing to pay for it and have a relevant webpage and ad. Organic search engine results are a different story. We can't make any guarantees, there are too many factors (over 200) involved. We use professional SEO methods to achieve high rankings for key phrases related to our clients' businesses. Each website is unique and presents its own business challenges. We provide an honest assessment of what we believe can be achieved compared to your competition.

No, there is no need for this. Search engines prefer to find websites by crawling the web naturally and following hyperlinks to other sites. Submitting your site to a search engine does not mean the search engine will crawl and index your site. Using a service like that is a waste of your marketing budget.

There are some top trusted directories that are favorable to search engines. These can be all important to be listed in and affect the rankings of sites. Some have no cost to be listed in, some have a yearly fee. We will make recommendations about which ones make the most sense and will gladly submit your site as part of our services.