Frequently Asked Questions
We receive a lot of questions about Search Engine Optimisation. On this page we've tried to answer the most popular ones. If you have a question you feel belongs here, please reach out to us and we'll be happy to add it to the list!
Search engines (and in Australia Google has a 94% market share, so it’s pretty much the only search engine we use) utilise small pieces of code called “crawlers” to effectively “crawl” the internet and build a giant index of whatever they find out there.
Then, when you search for something, Google scours it’s enormous index and returns the most relevant and popular results. And this relevancy and popularity is exactly what SEO is meant to influence.
Search Engine Optimisation, as the name implies, is the process of optimising the website for the search engines. This usually includes on-page optimisation (selecting the right keywords and using them in the right places, optimising website speed, building the correct site structure and internal linking scheme, etc.) and off-page optimisation (first and foremost, building backlinks, but also citations/mentions and other things that you do outside of your website).
The most common answer you will hear is around 4-6 months. Some SEO agencies even say 9 to 12 months.
In reality, it can take from several weeks (for a well-established website that just needed a little push) to 7-9 months or even more (for a brand new website in a highly competitive niche).
Other things that influence how soon you will see the results are:
- Website age
- Overall market competitiveness (how long have your competitors have been around and how actively they’ve been investing in SEO)
- Budget (and, therefore, the amount of SEO work done on the website)
That doesn’t mean you won’t see any rankings movements during the first months. You will most probably see you rankings go up and your traffic grow, but it usually takes at least 4-6 months of ongoing SEO efforts to see substantial results.
We care about your business and want to see you succeed online. SEO is not that difficult to understand and implement properly.
Being a small business also allows us to be very agile and provide personalised approach to every client.
Give us a shout and we can talk through what are you trying to achieve online and how we can help you do it.
SEO price is usually determined by three things:
- where you are right now
- where do you want to be
- how fast do you want to get there
Your website’s current standing plays a major role. Google uses your Domain Authority to decide which of several similar pages should go to the top of search results. A new website is unlikely to have a lot of incoming links (the basis of domain authority), and, therefore, will have a harder time beating the more established competition.
Your goals are important too. In local SEO, for example, if you’re targeting a smaller village or town, you will rank faster, easier and way cheaper, than if want to be on the first page for “lawyer”-type broad keyword.
Finally, how fast do you want to get to the top? If money is not an issue, you can start a full-blown SEO campaign, complemented by a strong social media push and powerful link-building and content marketing efforts. If, however, your marketing budget is limited, as it usually is, we can look for those small “quick wins” first and then come up with a plan of action that provides the best ROI for your marketing dollar.
SEO is not better than AdWords/Pay-Per-Click.
It’s just a different way to generate traffic and visibility. Each has it’s own advantages and drawbacks.
+ Once you stop paying, the traffic doesn’t stop. It can in fact grow with time, as your website authority increases
+ Being on the first page of Google for your target keyword boosts your authority in the eyes of your customers
– SEO takes time – from several weeks to several months before you start seeing substantial results
– No one can guarantee you will be ranked on the first page of Google
– It might be harder to calculate clear ROI for your SEO efforts (though absolutely possible)
+ PPC brings you immediate traffic
+ With proper analytics and tracking in place, it’s quite easy to calculate the ROI on your AdWords spend
+ If you’re launching a new product or service, or want to test a change on your website, PPC makes it easy to quickly put it in front of the target audience
– PPC can get VERY expensive VERY quickly
– Once you stop paying, you stop getting traffic
In an ideal world a business should be using a combination of SEO and PPC techniques.
SEO takes longer, but can bring traffic for years to come, while PPC brings you leads right here and right now, albeit at a cost.
The line between traditional SEO and local SEO has been slowly dissipating throughout the last few years.
Still, when we talk about Local SEO, we focus on location ranking signals. The ultimate goal of a local SEO campaign is to make sure your business appears in the so-called Google 3-Pack (right underneath the map) and is highly visible for local searches (e.g. “laptop repairs Wollongong”).
Backlinks are only one piece of the ranking factors, albeit a very important one. It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact number of backlinks you will need to get a 1st page spot, but you can get an estimation by looking at how many backlinks the websites already ranking on page 1 have.
If they all have hundreds of quality backlinks (quality is important! Not all backlinks are created equal), then you might want to consider choosing a different keyword to target.
If they only have between 5 and 10 backlinks, then you should be able to eventually grab a spot on page one once you obtain at least that many links to your website.
You’ve probably heard the saying “content is king”. And while some might argue that other factors are coming into play more and more, quality content is still something Google looks for and rewards with top rankings.
If your website only has 5 pages with 200 words each, there’s only so much value it can provide. Google has been penalising low-content websites (called “thin” websites) for the past few years and is very likely to continue to do so.
No matter what industry you’re in, you simply can’t go wrong with creating timely, useful and in-demand content. It’s no surprise content marketing gets between 26 and 30% of total marketing budgets.
In today’s connected world, your online reputation is of paramount importance.
If the first thing that people see when they Google your business’s name is a trashing review by a disappointed customer or a 2 star Google rating, they are very likely to take their business elsewhere. Same goes for potential employees doing their research before applying for the job.
Building your online reputation can take long months, but it can be ruined very quickly. That’s why a good Online Reputation Management system constantly monitors the internet, identifies issues and suggests immediate actions. Even the worst negative review can often be mitigated by a timely and professional response.
Google’s job is to provide the searcher with the most relevant and useful results. To do this, they are constantly tweaking their algorithms, reviewing current results and testing things.
Couple that with the fact that your competition is also investing in SEO, optimising their websites and creating new content.
Rankings are rarely steady. Similar to stocks, they should be analysed within a longer time frame, when you can clearly see any trends and act accordingly.
If your website is new, you will most probably experience something called “Google Dance”, when within the first few months your rankings will fluctuate wildly all over the place. This is normal and your rankings will eventually stabilise.
Organic traffic are the visitors to your websites coming directly from Google search results.
Other popular sources of traffic are PPC, when people click on your ads and get transferred to your website, and referral traffic, when people click on a direct link to your site on another website.
We can’t think of a situation where starting a blog would be a bad idea. In fact, we strongly encourage our customers to blog regularly. This way you not only build your website’s authority, but you also get a lot of long-tail traffic along the way.
Make sure you blog about relevant topics that your target audience is interested in, though! Talk to us today if want a bit of help on coming up with blog post topics.
Anyone guaranteeing the rankings is lying. No one but Google can guarantee a certain website’s rankings.
SEO guarantee is often misused by shady SEO companies using black-hat techniques, which work in the short-term, but may severely damage your business in the long run.
You can also ask them to show you the keywords they “guarantee” you will be ranking for. It is highly likely these will be obscure long-tail keywords that won’t bring any significant traffic.
As we said before, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. By creating new content and building new backlinks you keep growing your website’s authority and enjoy higher rankings in the process.
Your competition is out there trying to get to the first page of Google. Those who already are there, do their best to keep the lucrative spot. It is the nature of the game.
We wish SEO could be a one-off job, but, sadly, it’s not. Nothing stops you from taking a break every now and then, but if you’re really serious about dominating the search results, you have to treat SEO as an on-going investment. Good thing is – you won’t regret it.