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In Answer to Your Questions

Recently a business owner emailed us with some good questions about us as he was obviously searching for a new SEO company to hire. We felt we should share these with everyone as these are the types of questions (and more importantly answers) that will help you find an ethical and experienced SEO provider. You can find more information like this on our complete FAQ page as well as our brand new eBook “14 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring an SEO”.

If you still have questions we’d be glad to help! Send us a quick email to contact@1stonthelist.ca.

How will you determine which keywords will be the target of your optimization efforts?

This is a great question. You can check your main keyword now with our Instant Site Evaluator tool. It gives you a quick overview of the URL you provide (usually your home or index page), with an analysis of your keyword ranking, your content, your popularity and technical health. For a full site review, we perform Keyword Research which investigates what your website(s) already has credit for with the Search Engines, what your potential customers are actually searching, search volumes and competitiveness of different search terms, all while considering your target areas and what is achievable within your budget

Will the optimization program include an analysis of site’s design, navigation, coding, content, and incoming links?

All of these items are addressed in our detailed Site Audit. The Audit is the very first thing we do on any SEO project. We believe our thorough analysis (most client’s audit reports are 60+ pages and include a prioritized list of recommendations) allow us to achieve the best results possible for our clients. Many times we can find issues that have gone unidentified by previous SEO companies.

Do you have a link strategy for your site and the ability to promote the site through content on appropriate third-party sites (i.e. article directories, blogs, video, images)?

Backlinks have changed dramatically in the last few years with Google’s strong stance against artificial links. This includes any links you personally pay for or hire an SEO company to build for you. Our approach to help our clients develop unique, useful content that others will naturally link to.

Are your techniques White Hat or Black Hat?

We follow 100% White Hat SEO that you can read more about on our SEO Ethics page. As a side note I don’t think that any shady SEO would actually admit to you that they use “black hat” or questionable techniques.

Can you please provide with some references or samples of successful results in the major search engines?

You can read both our Client Results page and our Client Testimonials page. We will gladly provide some relevant testimonials based on the type of project you are interested in once we have determined what your project needs will be.

Kindly tell us how long have you been in business?

Our company was founded January 1997. Take a read through our Corporate introduction which covers our background in the business and our philosophy.

Kindly tell us the price and the pages and the words optimization?

Each website and SEO campaign has its own specific needs and we develop a custom strategy to help each client meet their goals. Because each site and campaign has its own timeline and focus we gladly provide custom pricing once we have had a chance to discuss your project in more detail. In the meantime, here is an overview of our general pricing.

What is your Google Places strategy?

We highly recommend Google+ Local for locally-based businesses who serve customers within their own city. This said we help all clients by claiming the listing, writing optimized descriptions, coaching the client on how to get more reviews and so on.

What offerings do you have in traffic generation or conversion rate optimization? 

Traffic generation and conversion rate are part of the strategy we build with you. We have several options and a Conversion Optimizer on staff. Once we know more about what you are looking for we can provide more details.

How will you take care of Panda and Penguin Algorithm?

Panda is Google’s algorithm regarding Content on your website. Our optimization services focus on quality, onsite updates including unique and relevant content. Since the last Panda update on May 20 we have seen several of our client’s traffic increase because of how we have helped them build great content.  If you feel you have been penalized because of Panda we can help strategize on how to generate new, unique content for your site.

Penguin is Google’s algorithm regarding Backlinks. Over the years we have avoided link building and focused more on the quality of your own website. As a result our clients have not been affected by Penguin because of linking from our end. If you have a Penguin penalty (you can see a Manual Penalty applied in your Webmaster Tools) we have several different approaches to helping you clean this up, depending on your budget.

What question are you itching to ask?

We are here to help. For the past 17 years we have worked to find the solutions to helping businesses like your find their niche in the online marketplace. Whether you have an existing website that needs updating, a new business just launching into the marketplace, or are reaching out in new directions into social media, we have the team that will help you define your strategy, tweak your content to its optimum potential, or even build your site. You can find many of your answers in the Resources section of our site or just drop us a note at contact@1stonthelist.ca

Targeting Web Pages for What the Searcher Needs

There are two things that people use the major search engines for;

  1. Research (finding information)
  2. And making purchases (finding products or services)

These two concepts are driven by two distinctively different types of search phrases and mindsets.

The internet is a tool that can be used to learn. In this same concept, in your search engine optimization efforts, you need to understand that there is a learning process visitors go through before making purchases for your products or services.

Pleasing Searchers Will Make Your Pages More Relevant

Let’s say you own a mechanics shop and you sell car parts. You open an online shop and have uploaded all of your parts, pricing and information into a shopping cart and you’re ready to start selling online.
If making money on the internet through search engine optimization is your goal, you need to “target what the searcher wants”.

Pleasing Searchers – Targeting what the searcher actually needs is paramount to online success and can significantly increase your profits (more so than targeting what you think is important).

Pleasing the Search Engines – The search engines will find your web pages more relevant and rank them higher if your web page content targets what the searcher is looking for.

Stages of Internet Searching

There are two separate stages of the Internet search cycle.

  1. Information and research gathering
  2. Comparison shopping and buying

Stage 1 – Information & Research Gathering Using Topical Keyword Phrases

This searcher is quite simply trying to gather information on a topic. This could be a college student writing a term paper or someone who has a thought about buying something and just needs to understand the options available to him or her.

The keyword phrases used by searchers in the information and research gathering stage are usually generic in nature and specific to a topic. Some examples are:

  • Car parts
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Online Shoe Store

As you can see, though the terms are related to a topic and you can understand what type of information the searcher is looking for, you can’t really narrow it down to anything specific.

This is the beginning of the search cycle; and not a place to target organically if you want to get the most out of your search engine optimization campaign.

If these types of searchers are actually interested in making a purchase, they will generally move into stage two of their Internet search efforts…the comparison and buying stage.

Stage 2 – Comparison & Buying Using More Specific Keyword Phrases

Searchers who enter stage two of their Internet search efforts often visit a few other related sites and narrow down some additional, more specific phrases that will provide them with more relevant results.

It may take 3 or 4 search efforts and comparing the information on various sites before making a keyword specific search that would actually produce a sale. The comparison shopper has educated themselves through previous research and is actually prepared to make searches that may result in a purchase.

The keyword phrases used by searchers in the comparison and buying stage are usually more specific in nature. Some examples are:

  • 2007 Nissan Murano brake pads
  • Book on flipping houses as an investment
  • Women’s Red snake skin high heels

The key here is that if you are going to target keyword phrases where someone is looking for information, you have to provide the information.

If you try to target phrases that are not sales related and send them to a sales related page, your web pages simply will not rank.

Google’s algorithm looks at the search queries intent. Google can tell if the searcher is looking for information or a product (or service).

If the search is for information, Google removes the sales related sites to ensure they deliver information related web pages to the searcher.

With this algorithm it doesn’t matter what type of search engine optimization campaign you may have in place, you simply cannot reach these visitors without providing the information they are looking for.

The bottom line is that targeting these phrases within your campaign will be in vain; resulting in missed opportunities.

Driving Traffic to Your Website

A lot of search engine traffic can be driven to your website by broad phrases and topic phrases.

If you sell car parts and you simply want a lot of traffic, set up a PPC account and buy the words like; car parts, auto parts, new car parts, Nissan car parts, ford car parts, etc.

PPC advertising can be quite expensive but you can attract more traffic than you may have thought possible.
If you want traffic from these broad phrases, you will need to ensure that your site is seen as a topical, industry related authority site. This is not accomplished overnight. It may take some time, planning, content creation, site restructuring, inbound link campaigns, etc.

Attracting Traffic to Drive Your Sales

If making sales in the most cost effective way is your goal then you must think about your visitor and what it is that they want.

Again, if you sell car parts and you want to attract natural, organic search engine traffic, then your search engine optimization efforts must target specific phrases such as makes, models, part numbers and part names.

These keyword phrases would be more specific such as:

  • 2007 Nissan Murano break pads
  • 2007 Ford Mustang ball joints
  • 2007 Chrysler Pacifica white touch-up paint

In the end it all boils down to knowing the type of searcher your want to attract;

do you want more traffic or more sales?

Is your site more suited to the information and research gatherer or for someone who wants to compare products or services and make a purchase?

You can then target your search engine optimization efforts to target what the searcher is looking for in order to give the searcher exactly what he wants, thus improving how relevant your pages are to a searcher’s request.