Here are 5 common SEO questions – and answers;

Q. How do I get on the front page of Google?
A. This is a question that involves so many factors it is very much like asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’ These factors include (but are not limited to) competition, budget, time, and content. I will break these down for you;

1. Competition: The success of optimizing your site for specific keywords, and the success in gaining first page rankings will depend on the competition in your market. If you have a site, and wish to be optimized for a keyword(s) where there is fierce competition (such as ‘multi vitamins’) then you will find gaining first page rankings will be a long term goal, which will require considerable time and budget. If you wish to be optimized for a keyword with little competition (such as ‘custom cathedral design’) then getting on the first page of Google will be a formality.

2. Budget: There are 10 sites listed in the organic search results in Google. If there are ten competing sites on the front page of Google, and they are spending $1,000 per month each to retain or climb the rankings – you will have to spend more than them to dislodge them. You cannot spend an equal or less amount than your competition, as your expenditure will be surpassed by them. Think of getting into those first ten results like an army laying siege to a castle. The army on the outside has to use more force, and have more troops, and more resources to break the castle walls and over run the place.

3. Time: Like the siege of the castle noted above – in many cases an SEO campaign can take on the same characteristics. Without time your competition cannot be overcome. I have seen sites instantly go to the top of the search results in a market with little competition, but in markets with intense competition it can take on many of the characteristics of a war of attrition.

4. Content: Without some contextually relevant content for Google to get its teeth into, you are not going to be considered an authority on the subject you wish to be optimized for. If you have one page about your specialized field (250 words) and your competition has 10 pages (250 words each) then they are indicating to Google that they can provide 10 times more value to a visitor who may be interested in that subject.

Q. What is ‘link juice’?
A. Link Juice is a term first coined by Greg Boser (an SEO consultant) who used it to describe the transfer of authority (Pagerank) between various websites. I have written about Link Juice here – and this article explains in detail ‘what is link juice?’

Q. What is the difference between SEO & SEM?
A. This is an interesting question. SEO is search engine optimization, and SEM is search engine marketing. SEO would be one part of a SEM campaign. A SEM campaign could involve the purchasing of paid traffic though Google AdWords, or MSN’s AdCenter (or other paid advertising search engine platforms). Other SEM components could be map listings, link building, content creation, social media usage, and other various elements designed to drive traffic and interest to your website through various search engine platforms. SEO is the optimization of certain elements on your website to correspond to popular search terms.

Q. Which is better, PPC or organic traffic?
A. PPC is ‘pay per click’ traffic that is purchased from search engines. PPC ads are displayed traditionally at the top of the search results for a keyword, and are displayed according to bid price, the sites quality score, and available budget. Organic traffic is the hits you receive from search engine results that list your site in the regular or natural search results. Both have advantages, and PPC has a definite disadvantage. The main disadvantage of PPC traffic is that without continued funding the traffic goes away (instantly), whereas organic traffic is a much longer term prospect. Once a site has climbed high enough in the search results, it will most likely send traffic as long as it maintains its position in the results and people continue to search for terms associated with the site. PPC advertising is best suited for very definite search results, such as a definite product or thing. To make the traffic perform well, you should ideally send the traffic to a conditioned landing page about that product or thing – not a general page including other products and things.

Q. What is the conversion ratio for organic traffic?
A. Another interesting question. According to published reports, the conversion ratio for organic traffic is around 3%. This would mean, that for every 100 searches for products or things 3 sales, leads, or actions occur. This would be an average conversion ratio of 1 in 33. Have a look at your site’s conversion ratios and if they are better than 1 in 33 then congratulations! If they are substantially higher than this then action will be required to adjust something on your site. If you have no idea what your conversion ratio is – then read this article about installing a thank you page and conversion tracking.

I hope these answers have helped you – and if you require more information please contact us.

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