You’ve asked and we’ve listened! In today’s Q & A session, we have compiled our top SEO questions in a easy to use list. We tend to write a lot about search engine optimization aka SEO because it is one of the most frequent website subjects that we get asked about. A lot of clients come to us asking to get “on the first page of Google; however, there is no magic bullet or formula to have your website pages rank on the first page no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary. Through our diligent research and numerous client case-studies, we can tell you the answers to the top SEO questions we receive. Hopefully, this information will get you started on the road to higher visibility for your website.

Q. How do I get on the first page of Google

A. I’ll tell you but it will cost you a million bucks. No, not really, but anyone who tells you that they can get your page to the top of Google should be avoided at all costs. The only answer to this question that we will give is “lots of hard work, strategy and study.” Google changes it’s ranking algorithms constantly and if that wasn’t bad enough, you have no control over the numerous other sites that are also trying to rank highly in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). We do have some tried and true strategies that work across numerous websites but there is no golden ticket when it comes to SEO.

Q. Can we buy a lot of links to help our SEO?

A. While link-building is one of the top ways to improve your SEO, Google and other search engines place the highest value on authority. For example, if you have a dog training business and have a link or article from Cesar Millan, this would hold more authority than a link from your local coffee shop. Backlinks are great and you should try to get as many as you can to help your SEO; but get them from relevant, authoritative sources in order to receive the most SEO bang for your buck.

Q. How long does it take to see improvements in SEO?

A. We like to say that SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. It generally takes 3-4 months to see any sort of a boost from SEO efforts. This isn’t including any prep work like researching keywords or competitor analysis. The reason it takes a few months to see SEO results is that search engines first have to “crawl” the pages on your website, index them and then rank them according to a number of factors. While this process is happening, we like to install Rankie on our SEO client’s websites to start tracking keywords. We have found this to be a great plugin that can keep detailed records on a large number of search terms.

Q. I’ve gotten good rankings, that’s it right?

A. Nope. While it’s great that you are ranking highly for your keywords and content, SEO is not a one-time thing. Chances are that your competitors are also doing some of the same SEO tasks that you are and are trying to rank for the same keywords. We suggest that you spend 15-20 minutes every day looking at your Google Analytics account to see how your keywords are performing. You can also use tools such as Moz to key track of your competitors ranking as well.

Q. We’d like to rank for the term “coffee.” How do we do that?

A. Keyword ranking for very general terms is an exercise in futility. Why? Well, because it’s hard and very expensive. 3Circle Media recommends ranking for longer-tail keywords in your given market over trying to rank for a general, broad term. Local SEO is quite achievable if you follow some basic steps. We’ve outlined a few of those steps in our blog post, 5 Ways to Crush it in Local Search. We are also #1 in the Google Local 3 Pack for the term “Washington DC website design” so we know a bit about Local SEO 🙂

Top SEO Questions

Q. I thought all of this SEO stuff would be handled with my new website?

A. 3Circle Media builds search engine friendly websites. What that means is that we “bake in” quite a few SEO features into our websites. For example, we only build WordPress sites because they are extremely SEO friendly. We also take URL, title tags and meta descriptions into consideration when creating a website. Finally, Google Analytics and Search Console setup are included with every 3Circle Media website.

That’s it for today’s Q&A session. Next week, we’ll talk with 3Circle Media founder, Bev Lynch,  about how she got started in the web design business.

Happy Wednesday!