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Search Engine Optimisation Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Google will show website pages in its search results based on how much it believes that the page relates to what the visitor is searching for. SEO allows us to make it clearer to Google how the search keywords relates to the services or products that you offer. Relevancy is critical to a higher position in the search results.
Receiving a visitor that clicked on a search result will cost you nothing per click, but it does take time and money to improve your website’s ranking within those results. It is important to continuously prove to Google that they should recommend your website.
How long will it be before I see any results?
It will take a minimum of around three to six months before SEO changes will impact ranking. You cannot be too aggressive with SEO optimisation as Google may see it as an unnatural process and may penalise your website for it. Search Engine Optimisation is a long term process of improving your organic results. If you need quicker sales results then combine it with a Google Adwords advertising service.
Search Engine Optimisation is also not a once-off process, but a campaign to improve the position of web pages in search results and to keep those rankings. You may stop with your SEO strategy, but your competitors would not and your website would eventually be pushed out to the sidelines.
Can you guarantee that my website would be number 1 for specific keywords?
No. Unlike certain SEO ‘specialists’ (AKA SEO Scammers) that spam you with promises of instant #1 spots, no one can guarantee any type of specific performance from the campaign. You cannot guarantee a specific ranking because ranking changes occur over a long period. There are a lot of SEO Factors that influence the position and the Google ranking algorithm changes all the time.
Your competitors are likely running their own SEO campaign so their activities will also influence ranking. If they go up a position, then someone else goes down a position. Beware of ‘black hat’ or illegal SEO practices that could get your website banned or severely penalised by Google. We follow Google’s guidelines and use tried and tested methods to improve your website’s ranking.
I’ve been using Google Adwords and it works. Why should I also use SEO?
Google Adwords suffers from pay per click inflation. The more competitors that join the Adwords system, the more they are willing to bid for keywords on page one. This leads to steady increases to cost per click. It is estimated that cost per click increased around 25% across all industries in the last two years.
Since SEO is a long process to gradually build a robust online presence, it is better to start it now than trying to catch up later. You always need a multi-channel approach to your digital marketing. You may also look into social media content marketing as another channel.
How does Google decide which page of my website to show?
A visitor to Google will search for a specific service or product. For example, your company might be into Facilities Management, but you also have pages on your website for Waste Management, Office Cleaning and Office Plant Care. These individual pages would then only talk about the topic of that page.
Your home page might have “Facilities Management” as the focus keyword for its content. Office Cleaning might talk about “Office Cleaning Services”. Assuming that both pages are equally optimised, if someone searches for “Facilities Management” then your home page is likely going to show up in the results. If they search for “Office Cleaning Services” then the Office Cleaning page will show in search results.
Google will have indexed your complete site, making notes on the topic that comes through the strongest per page. It matches the search query with the information it has and then show the most appropriate page. Here is where SEO comes in. Your Office Cleaning page is one of possible hundreds of other Office Cleaning pages of competitor websites. SEO aims to prove to Google that your page deserves to be shown near the top since the visitor will get what they are looking for quickly and have a good experience. Google wants to show the most relevant pages to visitors so that they come back and click on more Adwords adverts, where Google makes a big chunk of their money.
Why does my Google ranking change all the time?
Google will show your web pages at different positions by considering a lot of different factors. Your position can change based on the search engine used (.co.za or .com), device (mobile, desktop or tablet) and location (how close you are to that business). The actual Google Search Results pages can also change in structure per search, even if everything you used is the same. Google shows different layouts to test different user reaction and to also balance out Organic Search Rankings and Adwords Adverts. Don’t overthink the exact position, just focus on tracking the ranking overall across devices and search platforms.
How many keywords should I try rank for per page and how are they chosen?
Keep it to 1 to 3 closely related keywords or key phrases. It is important to do keyword research to see which keywords relates to your products or services and if they have lower competition and higher search volumes. If the competition for your keywords are high, then the SEO difficulty increases. If the search volume is low then it means that not a lot of people are searching for it.
You want to sidestep the obvious keywords and look at long tail keywords (more than 2 keywords i.e. “buy fishing pole durban”). You also want to look at sales life cycle keywords such as ‘buy’, ‘suppliers’, ‘vendor’, ‘price’, ‘quotation’ etc. Adding purchase-intent keywords into your web page will assist in ranking better for those that are searching for places to buy it at. Geographic targeting is also critical if you only sell to a specific suburb, city, metropolitan, province or country since you would not be interested in ranking high in places that fall outside of your service area.