Search Engine Optimization

SEO (search engine optimization) is a very real part of modern marketing. For many companies, this single investment can mean more than any other marketing avenue available. There are people searching for your product or service right now… They open their computer and type in what it is that they are looking to buy in their favorite search engine and then… well, what happens next is up to you. Do they find you? Do they find your competitors? These are the real questions that companies need to ask themselves in today’s digitally driven economy.

FAQ

  1. Does SEO work?
    We have customers who started in SEO as a sort of a gamble, thinking it was not a real part of their long-term plan, who now realize that it is through this single avenue they get over 80% of their new business.
    Yes, it works when done correctly. NO, not all SEO providers are created equally, and NO, it is not easy to do. There are people looking every day for what you are selling, and if they are not finding you, they are finding someone who is competing with you. Whether you sell perogies or penthouse apartments, people are looking and who they find can be up to you…
  2. What should you pay for SEO?

    There are many companies who claim to do SEO. In fact, it seems that nearly everyone under 25 with a computer and an Internet connection believes that they can do it. You will find wild price differences from a few dollars a month to tens of thousands, and it can be nearly impossible to differentiate between what each of them claim they will do.

    Common sense is often the real winner in these decisions as it can be simple to do some rough math and determine what is really possible and what it is worth.

    First you need some key pieces of information.

    • Number of global searches per month for the keyword that you are interested in. Go here to determine what this number is.
    • Modified Net Profit: If the average sale on your site is 3 bottles of carpet cleaner and each bottle costs you $4 and you sell it for $6.08, then the modified net profit on average per sale would be $6.24 ($2.08 profit on each bottle x 3 bottles per transaction)
    • Website Performance Rate: Calculated as an average number of monthly site visitors divided by the average number of sales made on your site… So if currently you have 25 sales on average per month, and you have 625 average visitors per month, your website performance rate would be 1 transaction for every 25 visitors.

    So let’s look at an example:

    Total Global Searches for “Carpet Cleaning Shampoo” monthly: 18,100

    Total Modified Net Profit, on average from sales on your site : $6.24

    Website performance rate: 1 purchase for every 25 unique site visitors.

    Based on the Keyword Analysis Tool located (here) I see that being in the number-one position would mean the following to my company:

    1. Nearly 14,500 visits to my site monthly
    2. My site will have about 580 transactions per month.
    3. This will result in approximately $3,619 in additional modified net profit.

    These calculations are real and will be a good estimator of what is possible when looking at a keyword and understanding what that keyword is worth to your company, but they are also an excellent way to value a keyword and understand what competing in that keyword should cost.
    It seems that the Internet is filled with companies wanting to tell you that they can make you number 1 for only $50 a month or a one-time payment of $399. The truth is that when you understand what that keyword is worth to you or your competition, it is clear there is no way they could really provide real results at that price… if they could, they would sell the product or service themselves.
    It is also interesting to use this tool to deal with more expensive providers as they often will overlook the math when giving quotes well into the thousands for keywords that simply will never pay the dividends that are needed to make them a good return on investment for your company.

  3. What is black hat SEO and do you do it?
    Black hat SEO is a term that used by industry people to define tactics used to promote a website. The definition can be found here, but basically there are 3 categories of online marketing techniques.
    Imagine if you went to dinner with the folks from the Google search team…
    White hat marketing is something you would happily tell Google you are doing and ask for clarification and guidance to get it exactly how they want it.
    Grey hat are the techniques you would probably leave out of what it is you are doing, but if you did let it slip, you would probably get some raised eyebrows from across the table and perhaps a comment or two which would probably include some warnings or chastising.
    The black hat techniques are a bit different. In this case, if you found out that Google was going to be joining you for dinner, you would say you have to go to the bathroom and sneak out the back service entrance hoping that they did not see you before you made your escape!
    Black hat is more than sneaky, it is prohibited by Google, and there are floors of people who go to work every day to launch new and exciting ways to penalize those who do it, the latest iteration of which was an update to their algorithm called Penguin which smashed those who had been using these techniques and washed them out of the first 10 pages of search results.
    The web is FILLED with companies who claim not to be using these techniques but are still trying to charge $75 a month to compete in competitive keywords… They are using these tools and they will get caught… and unfortunately when they do, your site will be penalized back to the age of Atari, at which point you will stop paying your $75; the company will disappear overnight and will reopen the next day under another name and sell the same services to other unsuspecting customers, leaving you to sweep up the nuclear scale disaster that is your web presence, alone, scared, and with no recourse whatsoever.
    We do not employ black hat strategies for our customers’ websites, and we have a very powerful insulation technique for our more aggressive strategies. We want to have long-term customers. We have been in business for years, and we will be years from now. We are a safe bet and a safe provider of SEO services.
  4. I get 5 emails a week about SEO. WHY?
    For many SEO providers, the last 4 months have signified the end of an era. The changes made to the Google algorithm techniques that worked before have not only stopped working but have reversed course and have started damaging those sites that were using them. This has caused a MAJOR shakeup in most companies where they are losing most, if not all, of their customers. This is resulting in a real push to get new customers before the money runs out.
    Not only will you see a major increase in email traffic, but you will also see an uptick in telemarketing and direct mailings. Many of these people will claim to be with Google or say they have a special way to guarantee your position or something of the sort. This is not true. In fact, it is so not true that we have created an entire ebook, which you can download here for free, focused on the scams they are using.
  5. How long does it take to get where I want to be?
    I know this is not what you want to hear… but it depends. Every keyword is different, and because of this it is impossible to say how long it will take for ANYONE! There are those companies who will tell you they can guarantee you will be in the number-one position in 60 days, but they will not mention that this keyword will be some obscure long-tail phrase leading to a dark corner of the Internet found only by you and the company who you are paying. Like any advertising avenue, it is important that you choose a provider who can provide a service you can afford for much longer than you believe it will take to get to where you want to be. SEO is no exception. Signing up for a program that you can only afford if the results are delivered in 60 days is a bad idea; don’t do it.
  6. Can I stop once I get where I want to be?
    SEO is can be an incredibly valuable part of a company’s marketing strategy…. It will be for yours and it will be for your competition’s.
    Think of SEO like those stupid word problems they used to make you do in grade school….
    If a car leaves Seattle on Tuesday and drives at 60 miles an hour, and another car leaves Seattle on Wednesday, how fast does it need to drive to catch up with the first car, and how far ahead will it be a week from Friday if it continues that pace?
    The answer is… you have to go faster for longer than your competition, and then you have to keep it up so they don’t pass you. The top 3 spots on any Google search are very valuable real estate, and everyone knows it. When you pass the competition they will notice. They will do their own inane equation, and they will speed up… and so the game will go.
    There is no way to get there and stop. We have had customers who have tried only to find that they passed the competition, who then stepped on the gas, and when the customer “quit for a while”, the competitors left them in the dust and only made it harder and longer for them to once again catch up.
  7. What is a click equation?

    A click equation is a simple mathematical formula that uses historical data to determine what any keyword is worth to those competing in them. Below you will find a link to a page that has a powerful tool that will show you what to expect as well as give you a firm idea of what it is worth to go after.

    Here is an example of a click equation.

    First you need some key pieces of information.

    • Number of global searches per month for the keyword that you are interested in. Go here to determine what this number is.
    • Modified Net Profit of the product you would be selling if you were going after this keyword. Calculate this by taking only the cost of goods sold from the sales price.
    • Website Performance Rate: Calculated by an average number of monthly web sales to number of visitors.

     So let’s look at an example:

    Total Global Searches for “Carpet Cleaning Shampoo” monthly: 18,100

    Total Modified Net Profit, on average from sales on your site : $6.24

    Website performance rate: 1 purchase for every 25 views.

    Based on the Keyword Analysis Tool located (here), I see that being in the number-one position would mean the following to my company-

    1. Nearly 14,500 visits to my site monthly
    2. My site will have about 580 transactions per month.
    3. This will result in approximately $3,619 in additional modified net profit.

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