Search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing are two essential, yet rapidly evolving fields that have gotten clients interested in learning more about what each entails, and how to best conduct campaigns. To provide more insight and answers about SEO and digital marketing, WebiMax features 25 of the most important questions we receive from clients regarding these topics, all here for you in one blog!
1. How long does SEO take?
Though we would love to provide a specific answer to this question, the reality is that SEO is a never-ending endeavor. Businesses can’t “win” at SEO and then halt their efforts; staying on top by sustaining traffic and increasing conversions will require ongoing efforts and adjustments to Google’s evolving algorithms. Additionally, each business will have different hurdles to overcome to meet their goals. While it may take one business two months to reach certain goals, it could take another twice as a long based on their industry competition, current site design, etc.
2. Why is keyword research important?
Keyword research is generally considered to be the foundation of an SEO campaign. While keyword research certainly isn’t the only approach to improving rankings, it’s fundamentally important. SEO campaigns use keyword research to determine what competitors are ranking for and which words or long-tail phrases should be targeted for on-site optimization. Without keyword research, it’s difficult to know what your target audience is searching for and how to optimize your site accordingly.
3. Why can’t I just add in ranking keywords to my content?
Simply adding a bunch of ranking keywords to your content is considered keyword stuffing, and Google will likely recognize and penalize those who engage in this black hat practice. When sites simply add ranking keywords to their content, they’re not focusing on creating meaningful, quality content, which is what Google prioritizes above all else when it comes to ranking. Instead, keywords should be incorporated naturally and where appropriate.
4. How should I start a social media campaign for my business?
One of the first steps to starting a social media campaign is writing engaging posts on a frequent basis. These posts should be highly relevant to your viewers, but should also be fun and contain meaningful links. In addition to regularly posting on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google Plus, FourSquare and Tumblr, you’ll also want to kick off your social media campaign with ads. Facebook ads and promoted tweets for desktop and mobile users provide nearly 10x the click-through rate that traditional web ads do.
5. Why is mobile SEO important? Is my site mobile friendly?
Mobile SEO is more important than ever, given that a growing number of search queries are conducted on mobile devices. In fact, Google has just announced that there are officially more search queries conducted on mobile devices than on personal computers. Businesses need to get in tune with mobile audiences by optimizing sites and content specifically for them. Creating a responsive site that automatically adapts to mobile settings is a key way to not only improve the experience of your mobile users, but earn Google’s mobile-friendly distinction.
6. How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?
Leveraging social media with posts that include links back to your website is one key way to funnel traffic to your site within a relatively short time frame; posts that include promotions, contests, giveaways, and other engaging, time-sensitive material can be particularly effective. Additionally, generating leads through engagement in online public relations – such as answering a HARO (Help a Reporter Out) query in which you function as a subject expert, or writing a press release for online distribution – are also strong tactics for quickly amassing digital traffic.
7. How can I avoid Google penalties?
The best way to avoid Google penalties is to practice white hat, rather than black hat, SEO tactics. Black hat SEO tactics include things like stuffing pages with keywords rather than quality content, creating duplicate content, featuring irrelevant or poor links, and over linking with direct keywords. If an SEO tactic doesn’t have user experience in mind, it’s likely a black hat practice, and Google will take notice. Additionally, your site could also be penalized for things like overlooked 404 redirect pages, an outdated XML sitemap, and an overuse of anchor text.
8. Why is blogging valuable?
There’s immense value in blogging given that, for years now, SEO practice has revolved around the saying, “Content is King.” This means that what really gives a site authority, and what attracts viewership and generates leads, is frequently publishing content that viewers want to read. Blogs still serve as one of the most effective ways to communicate valuable content to viewers, but only if they’re interesting, informative, and engaging. Consider: 140 million people read blogs in the United States alone.
9. What are meta tags?
Meta tags refer to meta title tags and meta descriptions, each of which provides Google and viewers with information about the webpage in search results. A meta title tag appears at the top of your browser and serves as the title of your page; title tags should be less than 60 characters and, if space allows, include the name of your business. A meta description appears beneath a SERP listing and is a way to entice viewers to visit a page. Meta descriptions should be less than 155 characters, so as to display in-full on a results page, and feature a call to action, such as “Learn more here.” Meta tags should also include a company name and a target keyword that corresponds to the page, as Google crawls meta tags when indexing.
10. Is video important for SEO?
Yes! Video marketing can actually create immediate SEO results; in fact, one study reported that web pages with videos are 53X more likely to rank on the first page of a Google results page. Because searches are blended (meaning that a results page can display a mix of web pages, PDFs, videos, and images when keywords or phrases are queried), videos are definitely in the running to appear in top result spots. Google’s inclusion and seeming emphasis on video results is also reflective of its move away from keywords and towards quality content; because videos are seen as more engaging and favorable to users, they often rank extremely well.
11. What are the best ways to locally optimize my site? What is Local SEO?
To locally optimize your site, you’ll want to conduct keyword research for terms that customers in your local area are searching for. With these keyword terms, which will likely include your store’s location, you can optimize your page titles, meta descriptions, H1s, content, blogs, social media posts and more. If you have more than one targeted local area, it’s a good idea to create separate web pages on your site for each of these locations. Content on these separate pages should be unique, optimized to the specific location, and engaging to customers who live in these areas.
12. What’s the difference between organic rankings and AdWords?
Organic rankings refer to those generated as a result of natural traffic to your site; in other words, your site generated traffic based on the services it offers, the appeal of its title and meta description, the brand recognition you’ve built, your implementation of white hat SEO tactics, etc. Conversely, AdWords is an advertising platform in which businesses pay to run ads for their sites. These ads will appear on the top or side bars of a results page and will indicate that they are not organic. However, AdWords shouldn’t be dismissed; AdWords is a good tool for targeting niche audiences based on specific keyword searches, and only operates on a pay-per-click basis.
13. What’s a call to action, and how do I create it?
A call to action is a statement that directs a reader to do something. It could be something as simple as “Call today” or “Find more information about our service here.” A call to action should be direct, succinct, and most importantly, prompt a reader to do something. Calls to action should be included in meta descriptions, ads, email marketing and, where appropriate, blogs and web page content.
14. What is lead generation?
Lead generation is a digital marketing tactic used to create interest in your product or service and establish a pipeline for sales. With lead generation, the focus is on conversions. Lead generation involves the collection of prospective customer contact info, such as a name and email, and these prospectives can then be reached out to via email marketing, the creation of product videos, whitepapers, and much more.
15. Does web design affect SEO?
The structure and design of a website actually can affect its rankings and overall traffic. Web design must provide an intuitive and easily navigable site structure that features a design/content that users are able to understand and interact with. Things like site hierarchy and overall aesthetic can significantly affect your site’s bounce rate and, in turn, the effectiveness of your other SEO efforts. At WebiMax, our team of highly-skilled web designers can help your site both attract more traffic and build your brand.
16. How can I increase my email list?
Email lists can be augmented with opt-in features on the homepage of your site that prompt users to voluntarily provide email addresses in exchange for newsletters and promotions. Twitter and Facebook can also be designed to feature opt-in sections, and requiring a name and email address for access to highly-informative industry content like whitepapers is also effective.
17. How can WebiMax help improve my eCommerce site?
WebiMax can help your business operate a truly effective eCommerce site with a fully-optimized Magento platform, a content management system that provides a top-quality, expansive development network that facilitates easy client customization. Our team of experienced graphic designers can ensure that not only will your eCommerce store front appear engaging and easy to navigate, but that your site will also be optimized for search engines.
18. What is conversion optimization?
Conversion optimization refers to the practice of determining how a site can increase its ratio of visitors to actual customers. A conversion is a site visitor who has taken a desired action (usually making a purchase) rather than simply viewing content and leaving. One way to optimize conversions is to conduct A/B testing, which simultaneously runs two different web pages with altered designs or content to see which yields more conversions, and thus which page a business should implement going forward.
19. Why are image alt tags important?
Image alt tags are a text alternative for those who may have trouble viewing an image or who rely on text-to-audio service when using the Internet. Search engines also crawl alt tags to help determine what an image represents. Alt tags, therefore, not only improve user experience, but contribute to the effectiveness of your SEO campaign.
20. Why does adding my business to local directories help my SEO?
WebiMax can create over 50 local business profiles to add to local directories. Inclusion of profiles on local sites like Yelp and Google + allows businesses to appear more visibly in search results, as these profiles improve their authority. Ultimately, local directories are a proven, effective way to not only build a brand and provide easier access to contact information, but generate site traffic and conversions.
21. What is involved in online public relations?
Online public relations marketing is a digital marketing strategy that we use to help businesses gain authority and generate valuable links. We use media pitches to position a client as an industry expert to media contacts; we distribute press releases throughout the web to announce a client’s newsworthy accomplishment or product launch. By using both, clients can build their brand and generate site traffic, as each piece of published public relations content provides a name mention and a link back to a client’s site.
22. When should I consider reputation management services?
Reputation management is an online strategy that helps clients control what shows up on search engine results pages when users type in a client’s name or keyword associated with their business. While the customized reputation management campaigns we implement here at WebiMax can help to significantly improve a client’s online image, reputation management is also a highly-effective strategy for brand preservation.
23. Why do I need to focus on so many different digital marketing strategies?
It’s important to focus on a variety of strategies simply because opportunities for digital marketing are increasing as target audiences visit more online platforms. Today, a single-minded approach to digital marketing will exclude large portions of an audience, preventing a site from remaining competitive. Digital marketing must be a comprehensive approach that focuses on site optimization, social media, lead generation, inbound marketing, content creation, and much more.
24. How much time will need to be invested each month to help my digital marketing efforts or improve my Google rankings?
You’ll need to invest at least one hour per week for each of the digital marketing/SEO strategies that your campaign will focus on, which should include social marketing, blogging, link building, and pay-per-click advertising, among others. The specific number of hours invested per month in a digital marketing campaign will largely depend on your industry competition.
25. How can I keep track of the progress WebiMax makes with my campaign?
At the end of each monthly campaign, WebiMax will produce a report that details the progress of your campaign over the course of the last month. This report will include actions taken and tasks completed, as well as analytic information that displays how your traffic, rankings, social media sites, link building and more are progressing. Clients can also reach out to their assigned project manager via phone or email throughout the month to discuss tasks and progress.
Have another question about digital marketing or search engine optimization? We’d love to hear it! Contact WebiMax by email or live chat, or call 1-888-932-4629 to speak with one of our experts. We will be glad to answer any and all questions you may have about our services. For those interested in launching an SEO and digital marketing campaign, begin your journey with WebiMax today!