Understanding Search Engine
Even though Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been around for a long time,
many people do not understand what SEO is and are often taken
advantage of by high pressure salespeople. Here are some
facts to help you weed through the hype and find what really
How long will it take before my site shows up on Google? There are no guarantees
that your site will show up on a search engine.
There are a number of factors that search engines use to
determine when and if a site will appear. How well your
site is optimized, how competitive your market is, and the
size of your market area all affect this. There is no set time frame, since
each site and industry is different. However, I have
found that a brand new site will take, on average, 6 months to a
year to appear on the first page of Google.
How important is my Google PageRank? PageRank is the numeric value given to your website based
on its relevance and importance according to Google. It used
to be a major factor for Google's
algorithm, however, that is no longer the case. You
can check your PageRank at
Which search engine is more important? According to
comScore as of December 2010, Google had 69% of all searches
while Bing had 24%. Keep in mind that Google supplies AOL
its search results, while Bing supplies Yahoo!. It is
best to optimize for both Google and Bing and review your
ranking on both sites. Don't assume that if your site is
doing well on one, it will do well on both.
How long do I have to do SEO for?
SEO is not something you do once and then you are
done. You must be continually tweaking and updating search
terms and site content and submitting the site to search
engines. We recommend your site is submitted every 4 to 6
weeks. The web is
expanding and changing and you need to keep up with those
changes. The SEO of yesterday is not the same as it is
today. In order to grow your online presence, you have to be
prepared to invest time and money into SEO.
Who should handle my site's SEO? You can do it
yourself, hire someone on staff, or outsource it.
If you do it yourself you may
save some money but you will spend time learning and then doing
the SEO work. Not to mention potential loss of income
while you are getting up to speed. Keep in mind that SEO is an evolving process... prepare to spend time every month reviewing new tactics and procedures, since what worked even 6 months ago may no longer work.
Hiring someone - this person
should have a marketing background and work with your other
marketing leaders, not your IT department. Any offline
marketing can be used online to improve your SEO.
Outsourcing is generally your best option but do your
homework. You want to work with a
reputable, "white hat" firm. They should be US based and
speak English. A lot of SEO focuses on creating and
publishing content and you need someone who understands
English and the
US market. Any company who promises to have
your site ranking number one in Google by the end of the
month is probably a "black hat" firm and should be
avoided. If you are unsure of a company, go to Google
and search for the company name plus "reviews".
How do I measure SEO success? There are a few
ways to tell if your SEO is doing well.
- Is there an increase in site
traffic? Traffic should steadily
increase over time.
- Track how your site is
ranking for your top search terms. Did your site move
from page 7 to page 2? There will be some movement in
your ranking, but overall it should increase.
- Conversion rate. Determine
what a conversion is for your business. It might be a
phone call or someone using a coupon. A higher conversion
rate means that more targeted traffic is being sent to your