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SEO Company FAQ

best SEO company

Q: Why isn't the company listed on page 1 when I use keywords like search engine partner? It's kind of ironic, but I would think that if a company who is number 1 in this industry to rank on the first page of google for keywords such as Search Engine Optimization? By being on page 1, I think this would be a powerful reinforcement tool to show our prospect customers just how powerful our name is among the hundreds of thousands of competitors! For the keywords, Search Engine Optimization, there are 29,600,000 results on google; to be on page 1 would make it very clear to prospects!

A: SEP is not only on page 1; it is on position 1 for search engine partner.

First, we do not optimize for “search engine optimization” as a term because this is not something that converts to sales. Remember our founder coined three different types of search terms (keyphrases/keywords). Part of what we educate our clients on is selecting search terms that produce an ROI. If we invest, say, $3,000 per month to make only 1 sale, whereas we could invest $300 to make 1 sale, we would go with the latter. In this case search engine optimization is mostly searched in India and not the US.

Second, we do not optimize based on the amount of results in Google. We optimize based on (1) the amount of monthly searches in a specific ZIP code, state, country, and globally, (2) the trends search terms are going through ie graph going up or down, (3) how many competitors are optimizing for a search term, (4) the pay per click price of a search term, and (5) whether their competitions are seeing conversions from a search term.

Here are some search terms we are optimizing for:

Keyword Estimated Avg. CPC US Monthly Searches Global Monthly Searches
search engine seo $5.34 40,500 74,000
guaranteed search engine optimization $7.06 5,400 12,100
guaranteed seo $5.79 3,600 9,900
define:social networking $2.99 2,400 5,400
how to increase page rank $2.08 1,600 4,400
top seo firms $0.05 1,900 3,600
seo 2.0 $0.05 880 2,900
best seo companies $0.05 1,000 2,400
best seo firms $0.05 1,300 2,400
define:web 3.0 $2.50 590 1,900
define: web 3.0 $0.00 590 1,900
define:social media $2.18 590 1,000
define:rss feed $1.11 590 1,000
first page ranking $3.12 590 880
guaranteed search engine marketing $13.38 210 320
define:robots.txt file $2.61 unknown unknown

 

.Q: Would you mind disclosing who your biggest competitors are?

A: Not at all. In fact, some of our clients have actually given us access to other proposals they have received, which we have posted on our SEO pricing page. On the SEO side we have:

Bruce Clay Inc.
SEO Inc.
iProspect
ArteWorks SEO
Customer Magnetism
Portent Interactive
eVisibility, Inc.
Yellow7 Interactive
SEO.com
Reprise Media
SEER Interactive
Inteliture
SEOP

Q: Why is ranking on the first page of Google important?

A: Consider what it would be like if no one could easily find your place of business, or even your telephone number. Most businesses could not continue for long in such a situation. The same thing can happen with your web site if people cannot easily locate it. Traffic volume, if it existed at all, slows to a crawl. Potentially valuable customers never even know you are there. Besides, Google owns about 70% of the market between themselves and other search engines that use their algorithm like AOL. (Nielsen Online 2008).

Q: I understand that my website developer provided us with a template as a website. Why can't it be used?

A: 75% of a search engine's algorithm is dependent on a website's coding. If your site is a template your highest SEO score possible is 25%, and that's considering that sites like Yahoo! and Adobe link to you. Keep in mind that the code of a template has been duplicated hundreds of times over and often times will appear on spammer sites. As soon as a search engine sees your code is the same as a spammer site, and especially if that site was cached before yours, your entire site will be discounted. For the purposes of SEO, you will always need an original site built from scratch.

Q: What about a site that is "built" in php or cfm (cfml) Cold Fusion? I found a web developer that offers to build an original dynamic site with Web 2.0 elements powered by Wordpress and a company that says they build dynamic web sites in Cold Fusion.

A: First of all, visit php.net; it will explain that php (Hypertext Preprocessor) was never intended to be used to build an entire site. It was intended to be embedded within HTML, the same as Flash, CSS or Java. Wordpress is a free content management system. If a web development company is truly able to code from scratch, there would be no need to use a content management system in the first place. The bottom line is that the company that controls the WWW, the Word 3 Consortium, has not approved languages other than XHTML 1.0 for websites to be built in. Although a web browser will display these sites, a search engine like Google may very well discount their code. Considering that a programmer or backend developer could produce the exact same result using XHTML, there is no reason to use other open-source languages, unless you are running a web application like a shopping cart. Even in that case it is best to start off with XHTML as your home page. Remember it's all very well having an island resort in the middle of nowhere; if no one knows it's there it won't do you much good. The proper approach for designing and developing a website should really be to work backwards from SEO; not to build a site first and then try to optimize it. Chances are, if you do this, you may end up having to redo the entire site.

Q: I had an original web site created, and the address is included in all of our advertising. Why wouldn't people be able to find it?

A: Certainly, existing customers or those who are already familiar with your company should be able to find your site without any great difficulty, but this may not be the case. Can you be sure that every potential customer has been reached by your advertising? What about the people who don't read the magazines or newspapers where you chose to place advertisements? Did they hear the right radio station? Did they watch the right television show? Did they get one of the thousands of brochures you mailed?

Q: So, what about the search engines? Those people could just enter a few words into a text box, click a button, and voila! There is a link to your web site. Aren't search engines wonderful?

A: Yes, search engines can be wonderful, and the scenario above can happen, but not without some work. This is where SEO comes in.

Below are 5 reasons SEO is important:

Absence of risk. In many cases, paid advertising is subject to click fraud and competitor's black hat tactics (such as using software that would click your ads thousands of times without any real profit to your site; however, you pay for each click to the search engine). High-tech pay-for-performance programs (such as Google AdWords) claim to have advanced protection against such behavior (and they do have), however the risk can never be reduced to zero.

SEO is free of any risk. Unless you spam or make obvious mistakes, it cannot damage your business.

Reliability. Banner ads or paid search engine placement work until the marketing budget depletes. Then, the site disappears from the listings, and your returning customers cannot find you any more (new visitors cannot find you either). SEO helps buffer this process, so you can gradually reduce the advertising budget as you're increasing your results obtained from organic search engine listings. Also consumers are more likely to purchase from a site ranked high in the search engine results than from an evidently placed advertisement.

Search Engine Partner

Search Engines

Brand awareness. A web site having a high ranking means more people see the name of the company and become familiar with the company and its products, even if they haven't made a purchase. A surveys show that consumers are twice as likely to recognize businesses ranked in the top three in search engine results than those appearing in banner ads.

Targeted traffic. SEO brings paying customers to your door step. The customers that SEO bring you are long for your products/services as they have entered your websites keywords/phrases into the search engines. SEO will further help you transform visitors into buyers by analyzing their behavior once they find your site. You will learn how to transform these visitors into buyers by utilizing the content of your website in the most effective manner possible.

Affordability. SEO has the highest return on investment out of ANY advertising medium. Did you know, most of the Key Industry Mediums (KIMs) are intended for branding and were never intended to generate actual sales?

Q: Thank you so much!  I am now in the process of securing print media contracts and all the components necessary to fulfill our print advertising- graphics, photography etc. in addition to securing a contract for the development of our website.  However, I am highly interested in optimizing and maximizing our exposure on the web.

[…]Come to think of it, perhaps you can tell me a little more about how the numbers work so I'm able to allocate an appropriate budget for it. […] Tell me what would you say is a great way to start?  I understand it has the greatest ROI […] but I do want them to allocate a fair share of advertising dollars to SEO.  So tell me how would you recommend proceeding?

A: Since [...we're in...] a recession, experts recommend allocating 7-10% for an existing business and 20-30% for a new business. Now, keep in mind that you won't be able to find an SEO company for under at least 5K upfront and $750 per month. If your marketing budget is only 1K per month I would allocate the entire amount to SEO. Think of it, being of the first page is like having your name written on the sky.

Q: Is there an equation for showing ROI on that percentage allocated to SEO and how does that yearly figure breakdown? Is there a suggested formula? For example if I were to allocate 12k for the year for SEO advertising then how would I break that down? Would I do an even 1k per month spread over the year or should it vary from day to day? Is there a way to forecast the ROI based on the distribution of the SEO expense? I know the answer to this may correlate with the reports generated but if I were to piece it together how would I? Furthermore if I were to contract this out- how does that work?
 
Our marketing budget is over 100k, if I were to allocate 7-10% to SEO; that is feasible?

A: This is a complicated one; it really depends on your industry. I know I probably sound like a lawyer :). Usually it'll cost about $5K up front for a very basic campaign and then a monthly maintenance fee to keep your site on page 1. There's actually a lot of work that goes into SEO.

Q: What are activities you would be performing as part of the Initial SEO Set-up Fee?

A: The main thrust of what we'll be doing in our SEO 2.0 approach is proprietary and patented, so I can't discuss that, but what I can tell you is that no matter what package you sign up for, we'll also be doing the following:
Copy/Content Rewriting
Google Analytics Mgmt
XHTML Website Revisions and Repair including W3C stds, tags and attributes
Image to Text Conversions
Dynamic Content Building
Inbound/Backlink Building
Directory Submissions
Search Engine Submissions
Google and Yahoo! Sitemap
Blog Installation
Social Media and Networking Strategies including: Myspace, Facebook, Linkedin, and affiliate pages
Social Bookmarking including: Digg, Reddit, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon etc.
Interlinking and Link Bait Strategies
301 Keyword Domain Redirects
Subpage Renaming
Favicon
SWOT Competitor Research and Analysis
Anchor Text Link Conversion
Royalty Free Image Insertion into Site and Tagging
SEO Press Release Writing and Distribution
Local Search Engine Marketing including Google Maps
Syndication: RSS 2.0, ATOM”

and whatever else it takes... Remember, because of our guarantee, we're pretty much required to have a "whatever it takes" approach.

Q: Speaking of your guarantee, I hear that a guarantee on services is something to be weary of. How do you respond?

A: You know, we actually get that all the time? Our guarantee works a little differently. Any SEO company that guarantees RESULTS is simply not being accurate. There are so many factors that go into Google's algorithm that no one (even Google) will know if and how a site ranks. As such, our guarantee is simply a money-back guarantee. If we can't rank you, you get a refund. In a way it's a loss for us if we can't rank a site, but it is also a very important lesson in analyzing Google's algorithm, so we're willing to take the loss if the situation does arise.

Q: What are activities you would be performing as part of the monthly maintenance?

A: Same activities as above and more if necessary to maintain our guarantee.

Q: How does your monthly plan offer work? If there are less than 10 keywords (of the 30 optimized) in the top 10 of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Bing search results, then we don't pay anything to you for that month. Is this correct? And this applies from the first month itself, right?

A: Yes, that is correct. At SE Partners, our word is our bond!

Q: Now tell me what the 5K upfront cost is and what does the monthly cost get applied to?  Personally, I would like to allocate 12k for the year with a breakdown of 1k per month.  However, there is the question of web advertisers that no matter what based on content and associated links would always optimize- Do I piggy back on their site by buying ad space on their pages?
 
Please let me know what I could get for a 12- 15k budget a year just for SEO?

A: Unless you're a medium to large sized company, I would stay away from search engine marketing like banner ads completely. Search engine marketing has a negative ROI at any rate - it is used only for branding - not for any type of conversion. That is why I said to focus on SEO.
 
Depending on the company the 5K would go toward reprogramming your website and/or rewriting the content/text on the site with keywords. The monthly cost would be maintenance to keep your site on page 1 of Google. You could get about 5,000 qualified views per month to your site for a budget of 10K, so that's $.17 cents per qualified lead as opposed to the industry average of $50. In the second year you're looking at $.08 cents per lead since you would only need the $750 monthly and views per month would increase by 1.5; it's an exponential growth curve.

Q: Would there be any additional charges payable apart from the setup fee and monthly maintenance fees? There should be no surprises and extra charges for any additional work like writing contents for pages etc.

A: Yes, that is correct. There are NO hidden fees!

Q: I understand that you have a 100% money-back guarantee, but will my credit card honor this if let's just say you can't rank me on the first page of Google and I dispute the payment?

A: Besides our 100% money-back guarantee, we accept all major credit cards through Google checkout, which is the most stringent merchant account on the web. As such, not only would you have Google's guarantee, if you did not feel comfortable that we were performing as agreed you could simply dispute the transaction with Google. Keep in mind we have never had an unsatisfied customer and have never had to go back on our money-back guarantee. Also, if this statement was not true we would not be allowed to state it under Federal and State law, and you have this in writing. We do not accept PayPal unless there are extenuating circumstances for your protection as they only insure a transaction for a maximum of $200.

Q: I'm ready to sign up. Send me a proposal with a list of keywords you could rank of the first page of Google and the prices for each.

A: The keywords would actually be the crux of the whole campaign. We don't recommend selecting them beforehand because most of the time our clients end up choosing the wrong package for their budget and end up with a poor return on investment. The chances of a campaign failing goes up exponentially if you're ranked for the wrong keywords. Yes, you'll be on the first page of Google, but for keywords that no one would ever type in. In the long run, this'll put you in the same position you were to begin with.

There are several keyword suggestion tools out there like Wordtracker, KeywordDiscovery, Google Keyword Suggestion Tool, and so forth, but the problem is that they do not take in any psychological approaches to why those keywords are being used, how long they will last, and as such, if they're just a trend. Part of our approach is have our programmers and Search Engine Optimizers sit down with marketing analyzers and figure out exactly what keywords would generate the highest return on investment for your business, but this would be once the campaign is underway. The problem with selecting keywords before-hand, is you may end up with what we call buzz or trend keywords; keywords that you optimize your entire site for, but by the next month no one is typing them in. This happens all the time with keyword suggestion tools.

For more on keywords see our long tail vs. short tail keyword explanation.

Q: I received your proposal, but it is a very long read. Could you summarize it in a couple of short concise paragraphs?

A: Our patented SEO 2.0 approach is specifically targeted towards Google's new formula and we are also the only SEO company in the world that has a former engineer from Google working for us that we know of, so we should be able to help you out.

Besides those ranking reports we sent, what they don't tell you is that Google is an ever-evolving machine. The algorithm changes on a daily basis. What we do is charge an up-front fee to get your site initially ranked for the level keywords you or we choose. There is a money-back guarantee on this fee, so if we are unable to rank you, you get a refund. If we are able to rank you there is a pay for performance monthly fee.

The way this works is that you only pay per month if we rank over 10 keywords. Anything less and that month is free. The monthly fee basically covers the constant work we'd need to perform to keep the site ranked.

Q: I've tried a few different keyword suggestion tools, including the seobook one ( which uses wordtracker ) and the Google Adwords tool. The problem I've been finding is that they all seem to contradict each other on search numbers. I'm not just talking about small differences in numbers either.

In general do you guys cross reference the different keyword suggestion tools or is there a source that you find more accurate than others?

A: The first stage of the campaign is choosing the right keyword phrases. If a SEO company ends up using keyword suggestion tools, it becomes sort of a trial and error process, which you may end up paying for. Wordtracker is reliable but only uses a small % of the overall data out there ( it gets its data from Dogpile ). Google is giving you its data, which is the main source. It's like a club owner telling you how many people come in through the doors every day, but they can't possibly predict how many people will come in the next day or when a new club opens up across the street. Don't get me wrong, Google's tool is great for Adwords because you can readjust your campaign on a daily or even hourly basis, but the same approach can't be applied to organic or natural SEO. It needs to be done right the first time.

Q: We would like to sign up, but we're still redesigning our website. Should we wait or is there anything you could do now?

A: There is really no reason for us to start the on-site SEO process now. Instead, we could start with the off-site SEO and by the time the site's completed, if you would want to rush it, we could do the on-site SEO at that time. From the time the site's launched it should take between 1-3 months to achieve top ten rankings for all the keywords as they're all “piggy-backing” off of your main keyword phrase. The way Google's new algorithm works is that it's like a matrix that cross references common usage terms like what would follow your main phrase. Keep in mind, however, that, if you're missing W3C attributes like properly nested tables, % instead of pixels, missing alt and img tags, spaces and/or symbols in subpage names, etc.  it would have a detrimental effect.

Q: Is it mandatory for us to provide you the FTP details? Can you make the changes and provide us the files to upload? We would prefer not to give out the FTP access.

A: FTP access in mandatory; however, we have a non-disclosure agreement that was drafted by our attorneys, which we will provide.

Q: I just got off a call about Social Networking and the power of using it for exposure (I know I am dating myself) and I was wondering what we can do to maximize these. I know you mention MySpace, Linkedin and Merchant Circle, but what about all the rest? FaceBook, Twitter and Linkedin seem to fit the profile of our target market the best. How can we maximize these but also use:

AIM, Ask, Backflip, BallHype, Bebo, Blogmarks, Buzz, Delicious, Digg, Diigo, Email, Facebook, Favorites, Fark, Faves, FeedMeLinks, FriendFeed, Google, Kaboodle, kIRTSY, Link-a-Gogo, LinkedIn, Microsoft Bing, Mister Wong, Mixx, Multiply, myAOL, MySpace, Netvouz, Netvibes, Newsvine, Propeller, Print, Reddit, Segnalo, Simpy, Slashdot, Spurl, StumbleUpon, Stylehive, Tailrank, Technorati, ThisNext, Twitter, Yardbarker, Y Bookmarks

A: Most of the sites you mentioned were big several years ago, but have been dying down since around 2007 :)

There are two separate Specials for social media; social networking and social bookmarking.

Social networking is made up of sites like Myspace, Facebook, Plaxo, Bebo, LinkedIn, and now Twitter. Myspace, Plaxo, and Bebo are now populated with people aged 10-21 and 45-60. Facebook and LinkedIn are populated with people 21-35. So, depending on your demographic you'd want to lean towards one of these. We chose Myspace and LinkedIn for you. However, please don't expect any leads to come through any of these. They are simply intended to come up in the search engine results and drive traffic to your website. In fact, I have literally never heard of anyone making a sale on any social media platform.

The remainder of the sites are probably in a category of social bookmarking. If you've ever bookmarked a webpage or placed it in your favorites (depending on your web browser), this is the same concept. The only difference is that social bookmarking is public, so you post your bookmarks on the WWW for everyone to share. For SEO, this is very important because spiders can see the amount of bookmarks for a website and take this into consideration within their algorithm. They don't count as much for inbound links, however, because of the low page ranks.

Twitter is a new one that simply allows users to post updates about their life and for people to literally follow these updates. It uniquely combines both social networking and bookmarking and has the benefit of a page rank, so I would definitely recommend creating an account.

Ironically, we were the first company to ever begin doing either of these when we did business under SEO Treo in 2001.

A couple of the sites you listed are instant messaging programs which allow you to send and receive text-type messages through your internet connection or cell phone (AIM).

Q: There seem to be some basic things lacking on the search engine friendly website you built, like how the copy is laid so plainly that it reads like a book. I really thought when we started that there would be creative input and suggestions to make even just the copy have more creative appeal. For example, as in a magazine, if you look through it and notice the layout of the copy, this is what I thought your guys would suggest for the site - that never happened unfortunately and what we now have lacks creativity. I'm not complaining, YOU HAVE BEEN AWESOME and I know going forward we are going to make money together I was just hoping however that the creativity of the site was going to reflect the kind of work we will do for our clients.

A: It may seem like we're doing things backwards as compared to some “web design” companies, but we must adhere to the W3C and Google who call for this to be done in this exact manor.

What you are talking about is the design or aesthetics of the site. That only comes after development. Once the site's developed it needs to be launched for server-side testing. Only then does the design begin. If all of those images and additional context were entered into the site from the get go it would seem as though the code to text ratio was too high. That combined with the size of the pages would cause Google to devalue the entire site, which is what happens with flash sites.

Take phoresitedesign.com as an example. They are probably the second largest advertising agencies in Florida next to Zimmerman. Yes, the site looks very fancy and matches all of their collateral; however, the site will never be ranked. We built the site this way because, for one, they insisted upon it, but they also have several other sites that we did build correctly like phoresite.com and thephoresitegroup.com.

Feel free to look through the SEO guide at http://www.seotreo.com/seo-blog/seo-practice.html
Specifically, "Step 15: Redesign the site.
Now that you have a Page Rank and you're showing up for some of the keywords you selected, you can begin redesigning the site in the form you originally intended it to look; PHP, .NET, and so forth. A perfect example of this is a client Winnie Couture. They ranked on the first page of Google with keywords such as:'couture wedding gowns,' 'designer wedding gowns,' and simply,'couture designer,' with a site that is now completely built in Flash, a language that is basically a web-based cartoon."

Q: Now that I have a grip on what SEO 1.0 is, what is SEO 2.0?

A: SEO 2.0 is the next generation of SEO. Google recently changed how their algorithm works by discounting inbound links, which were previously the most influential criterion they used to evaluate and rank a website. No one knows what criteria they are using now, but we believe that with a former engineer from Google working for us who helped develop the new algorithm and a VP who worked with Rankdex when the original algorithm was developed, we have figured out how their new algorithm works and, in fact, are the only company to have filed for a patent on manipulating it.

We were also the first company to begin optimizing social media content such as bookmarking websites like Digg and Delicious and networking websites like Myspace (until they blocked inbound links) and Facebook, which was recognized by TopSEOs in 2002 before we began competing against them...

Q: Whenever someone types in our Company's name or certain keywords a Rip Off Report, Consumer Report, Blogs, and such come up on the first page of Google. We did not do anything wrong and as such submitted rebuttals contesting the reports; however, they only moved a couple ranks higher on the page once we did. We're worried that if we say anything more they'll end up as the first result on the page. What should we do?

A: Search Engine Partner coined the term, Reverse SEO. Reverse SEO is essentially lowering the ranking of websites that are either competing with your site or are negatively associated with your site such as Rip Off Reports and Bad Press. The process is 100% ethical under Google's Webmaster Guidelines and we have successfully been doing lowering the ranking and suppressing negative press since 2001.

What sets us apart from our competitors is that the press releases we distribute, the blogs and forums we write and the dummy websites we create in the process are all optimized; so, even if new content is added to those Rip Off Report pages, it will be too little for Google to move them up in the rankings to compete with the amount of additional content we have produced.

Q: What's the difference between web design and development?

A: Web development refers to application/code/programming creation or modification. You would need web developer to create a web system to which you login, post articles/pictures/etc, add other users and save that information into a database. The development process does not include designing the actual front page. Web development is typically used to describe the programming required to construct the "back end" of a website. The back end is the area of the site that isn't seen by visitors, but which does the work required in order to present the right information in the correct format to the visitors.

Web design is the front end - the page your visitors will see with all the shiny whistles and bells, dynamic menus, flash banners and so on. It is purely a visual presentation of the data the development process passes to your front end.


Our SEO 2.0 approach is a long term strategy. We hope that at this stage if we can deliver these results, you will come back to us for all of the other additional services we offer.

Why don't you fill out our website analysis from and we'll tell you exactly where you stand and how much it will cost, since our prices are really dependant on the amount of work we put in. One thing we do NOT do is artificially inflate our prices like some other top SEO companies out there.

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