Natural Search FAQs
Q. Why does my web site not rank very well in the search engines?
A. Getting your Web site ranked higher in each search engine is a science, and the rules for search engine optimization (SEO) are always changing. Plus, rules vary between search engines. The SEO experts at Forthea have intimate knowledge of the technical nuances that will allow your site to rise within the results of all major search engines, especially Google. And with over 30 years of combined experience, you can trust that we know what we’re doing!
Q. What exactly is natural search engine optimization?
A. Natural SEO means using natural techniques or “playing by the established rules”, which help ensure the integrity of the search engine results by presenting relevant search results to users. Optimizing for natural search is the process in which a website is optimized to appear in the natural results (the left column in Google) – where the free traffic lives. Some SEO techniques that can skew the relevance of the results (and are therefore not ‘natural’) are cloaking, keyword stuffing, redirects, duplicate content, text the same color as the background, invisible links, or any other techniques that blatantly manipulate search engine ranking positions. Websites that employ these tactics are labeled as ‘spammers’. Forthea never employs these tactics, and boasts a “spam-free” record in SEO.
Q. How long does it take for natural SEO results to kick in?
A: It can take anywhere from 30 days to a few months to see the results of search engine optimization. This is dependent on how often search engines crawl sites to pick up changes, update their index, and subsequently re-rank sites. Think of SEO as a long term investment where the dividend increases exponentially over time.
Q. Does every page of my Website really need to be optimized?
A: Yes. A common misconception is the belief that only the optimization of a site’s home page is important in achieving good rankings. However, every page of a Web site can be a potential entry point for visitors. One cannot predict which pages will be ranked the best for specific keywords; therefore, every page must be individually optimized in order to maximize rankings. Collectively, all pages of your website reinforce the common “theme” of the site, which will also help boost your site ranking.
Q. I have heard natural SEO services are expensive. Is this true?
A: Natural SEO is a highly-specialized craft requiring much research, forethought, skill and can be extremely time-consuming to implement correctly. For these reasons, natural SEO services can require a significant investment. The cost of SEO varies based on the size of your site and the category you are trying to compete within. “Credit Cards” is a much more competitive category then say “Houston Vintage Clothing” and would require much more time to conquer. SEO is more akin to a consulting service than a technology solution. However, compared to offline and print advertising, natural SEO is quite cheap, and it is a more efficient and measurable method of tracking return on your advertising dollar.
Q. Can you guarantee a number #1 position in the search engines?
A. No SEO company can guarantee a number #1 position or specific ranking for your site for a given keyword phrase. If they do, run far far away. There are simply too many variables involved in determining placement within each search engine’s results. For example, a search engine changing their ranking algorithms, efforts made by competitors, and new sites being added to the Internet are just a few ever changing variables that can affect your website’s placement. Whichever SEO company you chose should be prepared to watch your site and continuously optimize in response to those variables – not simply perform a one-time tune up.
Q. What is the best way to perform search engine optimization on my site?
A. Each site is different – though SEO best practices are largely the same across all site types, there are specific nuances for each category. The best search engine optimization technique is to provide your users with the information that they are looking for. High quality informational content is the best way to attract and retain visitors. Build your site according to the standards that have been set by the W3C. H1 tags (heading tags), titles, and link text (the words you use when describing links) are three of the most important aspects of placing high within search engine results. However, these criteria are constantly changing, which is an excellent reason to partner with a natural SEO expert such as Forthea.
Q. I have heard there are tricks to improve your placement. Why shouldn’t I try these?
A. There are two types of SEO providers these days. Those who use ‘spam’ techniques and those who would like to obtain high volumes of relevant, sustained traffic over a long period of time. We pride ourselves on using only “white hat” natural search engine optimization techniques, or techniques that follow official guidelines published by each major search engine. Sites that optimize according to the latest SEO “tricks” and fads eventually find themselves at the bottom of the results, or banned from a search engine altogether.
Q. This seems like a lot of hassle…why not just by PPC or banner ads for traffic? Can’t I go viral?
A. Natural search engine traffic is relevant, targeted traffic. It’s also free traffic – minus the cost you incur for SEO services. It may require a higher initial investment, but it offers a much higher ROI. It is very measurable, and can create huge impact on traffic and sales if done correctly. Smart marketers always allocate a percentage of their budgets to online search whether it is for natural SEO, social media, or paid search services. Typically, the best strategy is a combination of all three.