SEO FAQ

Does my site need SEO? Why does SEO have such a bad rap?
What is organic SEO?
What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
What is No-Follow/Do-Follow?
How important are Title tags and Meta tags?
What about search engine submission?
What is Keyword Density?
What is Link Bait?
What are Reciprocal Links?
What is the connection between SEO and social media?
How can I get on the first page of Google?

Does my site need SEO?
Search engines easily find and assign value sites that are already popular and command authority. So how does a new website become popular? Marketing. With so much web traffic coming in from the first page of search engine results to specific keyword queries, competition for those top spots is fierce. An expert SEO can help the search engines see the quality of your website, it’s products/services, and the value of your brand.

Why does SEO have such a bad rap?
Search Engine Optimization does not require a degree or a license. This means that virtually anyone can call themselves an “SEO expert” and not be a real authority on the subject. Needless to say, the industry can attract all kinds, and some SEOs resort to manipulative methods to get their sites ranked high in the search engines. These “black-hat” SEO techniques are the equivalent of a Get Rich Quick Scheme: they promise results and even if they do deliver, the results aren’t likely to last. Good SEO requires time & patience, clever marketing and knowledge of the industry. These “white-hat” or honest SEO techniques are encouraged by Google and other search engines and are the best path to long-term success.

What is organic SEO?
Organic SEO is an umbrella term for search engine optimization that helps get a site ranked in Search Engines via natural, unpaid, algorithmic techniques. This differs from the paid search results found at the top of the first page of the SERPs (search engine results pages), which are from Google Adwords and Sponsored Results/Ads on Yahoo and Bing. Organic SEO involves a combination of honest, or white-hat, practices for obtaining backlinks and creating content that boost rankings in the Search Engines.

What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization while SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. SEM is a broad term for methods & techniques used to improve a website’s visibility on search engines. This can include PPC (pay per click) advertising, traditional advertising, paid inclusion (on directories, for example), Google AdWords, and Social Media Marketing. SEO is often considered a subset of SEM, as a way of utilizing back-links, content creation, web design and numerous other methods to improve ranking in the unpaid or “organic” search engine results. Experienced Internet Marketing companies will utilize both SEO and SEM to maximize the amount of visitors brought to a given site.

What is No-Follow/Do-Follow?
No-Follow/Do-Follow is a tag used within a link’s code to tell the search engines the value of that link. Basically, using No-Follow is a way for websites to list links, but at the same time tell the search engine robots “I’m not endorsing this link.” No-follow links are often used on blog comments and certain advertisements. While they usually do not pass the much coveted “link juice” on to websites (thus improving rankings) they are used as a way for search engines to find new pages.

How important are Title tags and Meta tags?
Title tags are arguably the most important part of onsite SEO. They are found in the source code on web pages and manifest as the title of search results and on the webpage itself (at the top of the browser window). Meta Robot tags can be used to affect how a search engine crawls a page, while meta description tags become the description in search results (below the title). From a marketing perspective, description tags are very important. Meta keyword tags are the remnant of a bygone era when they were used to by search engines to determine relevancy. While once valuable to SEO, they are no longer held in such esteem.

What about search engine submission?
Search engine submission is a fancy, seemingly useful term that some SEO companies like to use to entice potential clients. At the dawn of SEO (way back in the late 1990s) search engines would require webmasters submit their site on the search engines, along with keyword information, to build their index with information relevant to the site. Due to the unreliability of those submitting, this methods is no longer used by search engines in their ranking methods; they now crawl websites via web links to build their index and determine authority and relevance which is the basis of modern SEO. The Google, Yahoo and Bing search engine submission pages are like a vestigial organ in the overall system; the practice is archaic and no longer useful for search engine optimization. Know that anyone offering search engine submissions is either a terrible optimizer or they’re praying on those that don’t know any better.

What is Keyword Density?
Keyword density is the percentage or ratio of keywords to all terms on a web page. For example, if there are 5 keywords on the page and 100 terms total, they keyword density will be 5/100 or 5%. The notion of using keyword density as a tool to analyze keyword use on a page is outdated because it shows nothing about the distribution of the keywords, the proximity of the keywords to each other or the relevancy to the content. At ARankAbove, we don’t consider keyword density a worthwhile SEO tool.

What is Link Bait?
Link bait is a powerful tool used by SEOs to build organic backlinks, and therefore, improve search engine rankings. Link bait can be an article, a snippet of text, and image, video or audio clip that is of interest to visitors on a particular site. The media/content must be unique enough to attract attention and interesting or helpful enough to encourage sharing. This sharing aspect is the reason why the quality of content created is so important. When using link bait, it’s a good idea to keep the content related to the site it is coming from.

What are Reciprocal Links?
Reciprocal links are links to a webpage that have a link back to the originating site. Reciprocal linking used to be a widely used and very effective method for search engine optimization. Since this time, Google has changed their algorithms, devaluing these kinds of links when they appear to be solely for SEO purposes. This means that “natural” reciprocal links, or links that a site actually endorses leads to a site that actually endorses the original site, aren’t a bad thing. Search Engines have a clear idea of what bad reciprocal linking looks like (a large amount of unrelated links, for example) and will devalue and sometimes penalize the more blatant violations of this rule.

What is the connection between SEO and social media?
There is debate as to whether social media affects SEO, but there is no doubt that these various sites and networks can help the build overall presence of a website, thus having a real impact on search engine marketing. Facebook and Twitter, for example, can help build a community and publicize original content. Review websites such as Yelp or Epinions are important for local search marketing and reputation management. Social Networking sites can, in turn, affect the organic SEO of a site because of the content created and advertised there. It is important that social media marketing is handled by someone who understands the niche industry and is capable of very regular updates and check-ins.

How can I get on the first page of Google?
High rankings require knowledge of what market you’re competing in, time and patience. Like any other kind of marketing, search engine marketing requires real effort and unique problem solving abilities. Think of it this way: if it were quick and easy to get consistently stable high rankings, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?


by Barry Oliver on
A valuable member of our team

Although technically a consultant, Chris has been an important part of our team for nearly 8 years now. During the his time with us he has kept us on the first page of Google for some very competitive keywords including our highest prirority target, Nicaragua real estate, and has continued to drive high quality referrals to our business. Unlike many in the search industry he has been able to keep up with the changes and has worked closely with us to stay on top of both social media and local search as both have become increasingly important factors in our industry.

Barry Oliver
Century 21 Nicaragua
http://www.c21beachfront.com

by Willie Franklin on
Highly recommend

As a locally focused small business I feel like Chris and his team were the perfect resource to help me get my business launched on the web. Chris was very knowledgable, straight forward and spoke simple English through the whole process, and within a few weeks I had a great looking site that was already driving business and literally paid for itself within the first couple of months. He helped me set up a low cost but effective local advertising campaign on Google that sends me business without costing me a fortune and also made helpful suggetions on other places I can advertise with a limited budget or for free. Business is going great and Chris and his team played a big part in that.

Willie Franklin
Owner
Frankstyme Home Services
http://www.frankstyme.com

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