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Questions and Answers about Search Success from Search Success Engineered

Questions and Answers
from Search Success Engineered

Q. Why should I care about search engine traffic?
A. Marketing through search helps you find the right visitor - you don't just get more traffic, you get the right traffic - READ MORE

Q. There's an App for that... why is it better to hire a specialist when I could just click some free (or not) software?
A. Search success is more than just understanding how search engines work, it's also about understanding how people search, and that's usually where software fails - READ MORE

Q. I'm number 1 in Google, but I don't get much traffic. How can that be?
A. Make sure you're not fishing in an empty pond - READ MORE

Q. My website traffic stats look good, how will a traffic analysis help me?
A. Do you know where your website traffic is coming from? - READ MORE

Q. I can see my site listed in Google, how will a website assessment or keyword analysis help me?
A. Are you indexed for relevant keyphrases used by/in your target market? - READ MORE

Q. Should I research my websites keyword market before I build my website or after?
A. Preliminary research can be very valuable in guiding the development of your website - READ MORE

Q. What are ten questions I should ask when assessing the success of my website?
A. There are a lot of different sources of data you can review to judge the health of your website from a search engine perspective - READ MORE

Q. What's the difference between a website designer and a graphic designer?
A. Just as there are fundamental differences between the printing press and your monitor, there is a difference between a graphic designer and a website designer - READ MORE

Q. Lots of companies offer SEO & SEM services - how do you judge the credibility of a service provider?
A. Determining the credibility and professionalism of a search engine specialist can be challenging - READ MORE

Q. There are so many SEO service providers, what's unique about Search Success Engineered
A. Search Success Engineered focuses on organic search and research - READ MORE


Question about Search Engine Success

Why should I care about search engine traffic?


Answer about success with search engines Well, you might as well ask 'Why am I on the internet' - if you have a website, you have the potential to encounter new customers and website visitors. If you do NOT want new people to find your website, why did you put it online? You can much more easily keep your content private in print. Assuming that you did put your website online to reach new people, readers who haven't heard about your business yet, you'll want to maximize your exposure to new people through search engines.

Consider it this way... why would a writer care about the printing press? That's the publishers job. Well, on the world wide web, you are your own printer, publisher and promoter. It's up to you to find ways to connect your website content to your reader. Fortunately, that's exactly what search engines can do for you. The more effectively, accurately, thoroughly your site is indexed, the more relevant the website traffic drawn into your site will be. Your website, indexed and ranked well with search engines, will draw people who are searching for content like yours - your most qualified website visitor.

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Question about Search Engine Success

There's an App for that... why is it better to hire a specialist when I could just click some free (or not) software?


Answer about success with search engines Search success is more than just understanding how search engines work, it's also about how humans use search tools, and that is where most 'apps' fail. Yes, there are programs that will help analyze your website, your traffic stats, suggest alternative keywords etc. Like any tool, they can be dangerous unless used properly. A hammer seems pretty benign until you drop it on your toe or squish your thumb. Likewise, a keyword suggestion tool that acts like an idiot thesaurus can produce a keyword list as damaging as a hammer to your toe. Say you have a website selling cat toys, and you put 'cat' into a keyword suggestion tool - you may get results that include 'hydraulic equipment' and 'bulldozer', since the keyword suggestion tool can not distinguish between 'cat' as in domestic feline and 'CAT' as in heavy equipment manufacturer. You'll never sell a cat-nip toy to someone looking for an excavator, so your keyword tool is dropping hammers on your toes.

Search success has technical aspects with which software can be helpful, but in the end, search is all about humans and words, so those software/app tools are only as good as the experience and intelligence guiding them.

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Question about Search Engine Success

I'm number 1 in Google, but I don't get much traffic. How can that be?


Answer about success with search engines For what term/key phrase do you have a number 1 ranking? Is it a search term that people are using? Is it a phrase that is being used by a competitor or an unrelated website? What keyword phrases are bringing traffic into your site? A number one ranking in google seems to be the holy grail of search these days, and it's is certainly important, but it has to be the right #1 ranking, for many relevant key phrases, not just for one term or word. If the only search term you have a number one ranking for is your company name, then only people who know of your company can find you... you need to expand your presence so that you have top rankings for a wider range of search terms.

If you'd like to know more about the search engine success of your website, try this simple 3-step check-up for your site.

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Question about Search Engine Success

My website traffic stats look good, how will a traffic analysis help me?


Answer about success with search engines Do you know where your website traffic is coming from? What percentage of your website traffic comes to you via search engines? Do you know what keywords and keyword-phrases people are using to enter your website? Is your traffic coming from geographic areas that are relevant to your business? If you have content in your website that does not 'do it's job' by bringing traffic into your website, wouldn't you want to know about that? I can help you to review your current website stats (or find ways for you to get traffic data) so you can understand your current traffic and plan improvements.

eg. A vintage motorcycle website discovered that a good percentage of the incoming website traffic from search engines was entering the site using the search phrase 'vintage motorcycle'. This was exciting and positive news, since the phrase is so relevant to the content of the site. After the traffic analysis, the client ordered a keyword analysis campaign, and we discovered that the phrase 'classic motorcycle' was more popular in some markets by a factor of 10. Expanding into those markets became possible when the website drew traffic from those geographic areas with that alternate keyword.

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Question about Search Engine Success

I can see my site listed in Google, how will a website assessment or keyword analysis help me?


Answer about success with search engines You can rank well for some keyword phrases and still not be getting the traffic you want. Are you fishing in an empty pond? If you are targeting keyphrases that no one is searching for, it won't matter how many #1 rankings you have. Everyone wants a number one ranking for their business name and their domain name, but how many people are searching for you that way? Which keyphrases that relate to your product or service are people using? Assessing your current website traffic can tell you what phrases are already bringing traffic into your site, but you also need to analyze keyword popularity to know what phrases might increase and expand your traffic.

eg. You run a carpentry business building custom bookshelves. Your service area is about 100 km's from your shop. How do people in your geographic area find businesses like yours? Are people searching for 'bookshelf builders' or 'custom shelving' or 'bookshelf installation'? Which of those terms and keyphrases are your competitors using, and which terms are being dominated by larger companies that market nationally or internationally?

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Question about Search Engine Success

Should I research my websites keyword market before I build my website or after?


Answer about success with search engines Researching your relevant keywords before you build your website is very valuable - it will help you plan your content as well as your initial keyword strategy, and you'll gain a deeper understanding of your websites competitors too.

Eg. Your business sells eco-friendly clothing for full-figured women. Would it be useful for you to know that the search term 'plus size' is used far more frequently that the expression 'full-figured'? Or that the term eco-friendly is used by Canadians much more frequently than by Americans? Market research amongst your existing clientele may suggest that they find the term 'full figured' more palatable, but you might benefit from discreet use of additional keywords. Your marketing strategy might be different if you know that 'eco-friendly' is more in demand in some markets than others.

If you already have a website, it's not too late to research your keyword market, but if you plan to launch a website soon, that's the perfect time to start your research.

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Question about Search Engine Success

What are ten questions I should ask when assessing the success of my website?


Answer about success with search engines Data abounds on the internet, but finding answers to your questions can be challenging despite the rich resources of data available. To assess the search success of your website you should able to answer these ten questions:
  1. How easy is your website to find?
  2. How many of the top 20 search engines are you listed on?
  3. What position does your site rank for your most critical keywords?
  4. How widely is your website content indexed? Can you find all sub-pages, or just your main page?
  5. What percentage of your website traffic is entering your site through search engines?
  6. How are the other types of website visitors reaching your site?
  7. What are the people who should find your site looking for? What's your target demographic and what search terms are they using?
  8. What keywords do you rank well for currently?
  9. What keywords are actually bringing traffic into your website?
  10. What keywords could you target to find more of the right traffic?
If you would like help finding answers to these 10 questions about your website, I'd be pleased to help.

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Question about Search Engine Success

Can you explain the difference between a graphic designer and a website designer?


Answer about success with search engines In the olden days of the printing press, you wouldn't have blamed your graphic designer if the printer smudged the ink on your posters - the design and output were two clearly separate processes. Now your graphic designer can upload your website files to the internet, and there is no ink to smudge - but the role of a website designer is analogous to the role of the printer and the publisher. The design of a website has to be made to work on the internet in the same fashion as a design for a document previously had to be prepared for the presses. What has changed is the degree of functionality that can be obtained by the process of preparing your files to be published on the web. A printer could get good clean copies off the press, but they still had to be distributed to readers somehow. On the internet, a website designers role includes that of the publisher too, the web analogy of the distribution network. Connecting your website content to interested readers via the medium of the search engines. That 'searchability' is really what distinguishes between the capabilities of the internet and those of the printing press. An understanding of the entire process of web publishing, both appearance and functionality, is what (in my opinion) distinguishes a website designer from a graphic designer.

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Question about SEO providers

Lots of companies offer SEO & SEM services – how do you judge the credibility of a service provider?

Answer about steps to select a credible SEO provider This is about the most difficult question I get asked on a regular basis. Occasionally a client will forward an email offer they've received by email, and ask for my opinion of the services offered. Here are a few of the steps I take to judge the credibility of an offer from an SEO provider.
  1. I review their website. If their email offer does not include a website address, I wouldn't personally consider it a credible company, but I might google the company name to find out more. An email offer without a website or company name is spam.

  2. If their website appears professional and outlines their services clearly, I'll read further and see what aspect of SEO or SEM they specialize in, then I check for customer reviews of that company for the specific service I'm interested in. I might also check with the Better Business Bureau http://www.bbb.org/canada/ or Scam Busters http://www.scambusters.org/, depending on what I find. You can also verify the domain ownership and company information via the 'Who Is' database. http://www.whois.com/

  3. Email the company and ask questions – this can be time consuming, but you should not invest any money without asking questions, particularly in the field of SEO. If you're dealing with a large company it can be tricky, but try to talk to the person who will be providing the services. Ask them what aspect of SEO they specialize in – I've found this to be an excellent litmus test question – the scammers will invariably tell you they are expert in everything. A sincere professional will have some particular area of focus or expertise. If they've spent five years mastering the management of pay-per-click campaigns, they will have a different skill set than someone who's focused on link building. By asking the right questions you can weed out the scammers and find the SEO professional that's right for your website's needs.

Articles from other sources:
From 'Women in Business' - 12 Signs of BAD SEO http://womeninbusiness.about.com/od/internetmarketingandseo/a/12-bad-seo.htm

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Question about selecting an SEO provider

There are so many SEO service providers, what is unique about Search Success Engineered?

What is unique about Search Success Engineered Search Success Engineered focuses on organic search and research

I focus primarily on organic search, the process of fine tuning your website to draw attention from search engines and ultimately attract specifically targeted traffic to your website. To make that possible, thorough research is the key. Search engine rankings are volatile; they change frequently. Researching your search market is critical to your ultimate success with search engines, and it's an ongoing process. Current information is critical for any decision making relating to your website, not just to planning your SEO campaign.

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