Website Marketing FAQ

  1. What are PPC and SEO, anyway?
    PPC stands for “Pay-Per-Click” – the paid/sponsored ads down the right side (and sometimes top) of the search engines. PPC is enormously powerful, both in speed to get a return on your investment, but also to help you learn more about your market now…not after 3 or 6 months of optimization, possibly for the wrong terms or driving people to the wrong offer!
    SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization” is all the things done so that your website can be easily found by internet searchers. More than that, good SEO brings people to your site who actually buy something, or sign up for your newsletter, or do whatever it is that you want them to do. Good SEO gets you “buyers”, not just “browsers.”
    It includes things we can do to your site itself, and things we can do “out in the world” that convince the search engines that your site should be “recommended” to someone searching for one of the keywords (search terms) you want to rank for.
    It’s not conceptually difficult, but in practice it can be tricky and time-consuming. Most companies find it best to outsource their online marketing efforts to firms like ours with the up-to-date expertise and the software tools to do the job efficiently.
  2. I’m not a huge company with a big budget – can your strategies still work for me?
    Absolutely! We can structure a program to fit most budgets, and our goal is always that you realize a positive return (a very positive return) on your investment with us. There are some one-shot things that can cost very little. Of course, the best results will come with a consistent program.
  3. Why isn’t my website showing up already?
    This confuses a lot of people. You can build a beautiful and functional website, but no matter how good it is, it doesn’t matter if the world doesn’t know it’s there. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “drive-by” traffic or good “foot traffic” on the Internet! If your website isn’t showing up on the first page of the search engine results, it’s because you haven’t convinced the search engines that your site has information likely to be highly relevant to someone searching on that keyword.
    That’s what we’re good at—helping you decide what keywords you ought to be ranking for, and then implementing strategies that convince the search engines that when someone searches for your keyword, your site will provide them valuable and relevant information.
  4. I’m ranked #1 for keyword “xyz”, but I’m not getting any sales or leads. Why?
    There is something called “commercial intent” in the world of keywords and searches. Some keywords get lots of searches every day, but those searchers are not buyers.
    For example, let’s say you are a dog breeder in Santa Barbara. You could rank #1 for the keyword “dog pictures” and not get anything to show for your efforts – most of those people are probably looking for something to put in their school book report or email to their friend or use as wallpaper on their computer!
    But what if you ranked #1 for “chocolate lab breeder santa barbara ca”? That is a searcher that is waaayyyy down the buying funnel, and practically has his wallet out already. Does the difference between the “intent” of those searches make sense?
  5. My business is different than most of the others out there. Will this still be effective?
    Sure it will. If you’re in a small niche, you may not be able to get loads of traffic, but the traffic we get you will likely be highly targeted, and convert very well.
  6. I’m in SmallTown USA. Your strategies won’t work here, will they?
    Sure they will. Again, you may not be able to get huge traffic, but you’re very likely to be able to get highly-targeted visitors, looking for exactly what it is you have, and just needing to know you’re there so they can come buy it. How many extra customers every day would it take to make a real difference to your bottom line?
  7. Can’t my programmer or website designer just do all this? Or can’t I do it myself?
    Programmers and website designers almost always have a very different focus and skill set. They may be brilliant people, but they’re usually not marketers. If your website designer was good at Pay-Per-Click or SEO, he would already have implemented the steps necessary to get you a black-and-white return on your investment.
    As the business owner, you could certainly, if you’re a little bit “technical”, learn to do PPC and SEO—but you’re probably better off focusing on your business and letting someone like us handle those tasks. We have the software tools, the experience and the time (remember how much spare time you have??) to do it more efficiently than you probably can. And we’re going to make you more money than you spend with us, anyway!
  8. How long will it take for me to get sales/results/leads from your methods?
    Hard to say. It depends a lot on your budget. The more you can spend, the more things we can do and the more intensively we can do them. Part of the beauty of PPC is that you don’t have to wait for results – you pay for them instead. Sure PPC “costs” money, but when you do it the right way, and you get a positive ROI, do you care that it costs you $1,000 to make $4,000? I sure hope not.
    With SEO, you can usually expect to start seeing some meaningful results within 60-90 days—but part of that depends on your sales process, especially if some part of it is offline.
    In other words, we can get you visitors to your site, but you have to make the sales.
    And by the way, SEO is a continuous project that never stops. The search engines want to see constant, recent activity, so you don’t just mount a campaign that lasts a few months and then fizzles out. If you just initiate one or two flurries of activity, the search engines see that “spike”, and view that more as a news item that was hot and relevant back when you did the activity. But then when they notice that nothing has happened since then, they figure it isn’t relevant any more, and your rankings will start declining.
  9. What if I need immediate results?
    As mentioned above, immediate results can usually be obtained using Pay-Per-Click advertising. This can be expensive if it’s not done right, and if the visitors it brings you don’t buy. We can help you analyze the keywords and the numbers to decide if this approach is likely to be successful. PPC can bring extraordinary results, but it can be like driving a Ferrari—you can quickly get into trouble if you don’t know what you’re doing.
    In our proposal, one of the options you’ll see will likely include PPC, for those businesses who want very fast results, and have larger budgets. Not necessarily huge budgets like Fortune 500 companies, but people that understand that things usually either take time or money.
    By the way, we only charge for our services here – you work directly with Google or Bing for the actual click costs – we don’t act as a middleman and mark up the costs.
  10. What will this cost?
    What does a car cost? What does a house cost? Good, effective PPC set up ad management, and SEO and all the other related things we do can cost from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand dollars a month—or a lot more.

    For example, if you want to rank #1 for “iPhone”, it might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, and you still might not get there. If you want to rank for “jeweled iPhone covers in Coto de Caza”, it probably could be done pretty inexpensively. (We’ll give you a solid, guaranteed, proposal after we know you and your business and your goals, and after we’ve analyzed the project.)

    One thing to keep in mind here is that cheap online marketing usually isn’t going to bring you great results. If you are thinking about spending $300 per month to have somebody “do SEO” for you and manage your PPC campaigns, and do some online tasks, the only way they can possibly do that profitably is to use automated, junky (spam) tools, with untrained, inexperienced personnel. To do it right, it takes time, effort, and skill.

    There are certainly many “SEO guys” that charge a bunch of money and don’t get results, but most of the horror stories you’ve heard from your peers about throwing their money away was when they spend $200 and the strategy should have cost $2,500 to do correctly, or they spend $1,000 to do what it would take 40 man-hours for a competent company to execute. Expert, effective website marketing companies make far more than $25 per hour – they just do! Many of them make several hundred or even a thousand dollars an hour – so if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Last thing on this. At the end of the day, the return on your investment is all that matters, right? If you had a crystal ball and could be guaranteed that the $500 per hour company would deliver a 4:1 ROI, would you even consider the $500 per hour fee? Of course, “guaranteed” is the operative word in that sentence, but I just want to frame this in the right way.

  11. Why have I heard so many bad stories about this industry?
    You’ve heard of “Low Barriers to Entry?” Any yahoo can call himself an SEO expert, especially since there isn’t a main SEO standardization and certification body out there. There is a much higher barrier to entry in PPC, and it is smart to work with a company that shows certification directly by Google – the 800-lb. gorilla in PPC. Please feel free to view our current PPC certification.

    In every field of endeavor, there are good guys and bad guys. Website Marketing is no different. Some firms will take your money, and accomplish nothing, or very little, either because they don’t even do the things they promised, or they don’t do them well. Other well-intentioned firms may not really understand your business, or marketing, and they work hard at the wrong things. Ask for references, and check them.

  12. One of the businesses I know “disappeared” from the web after they started using a service claiming to get them highly ranked. Why?
    There are SEO strategies that work well if done in moderation, but if done to excess the search engines think you’re trying to game the system. In that case, they may move you way down in the rankings or “blacklist” you completely.
    Sometimes smart programmers have found and exploited loopholes in the search engines’ algorithms, which works for a while, but the search engines quickly figure that out, fix the loopholes, and punish the websites. Good SEO builds website authority naturally, using tested, logical, proven strategies.
    Also, there’s something known as the “Google Dance.” Often, when the search engines detect enhanced activity and traffic, a site’s position in the search rankings can jump all over the place for a little bit, while the search engine tries to figure out just exactly what your site is all about. If you’re doing things the right way, this will clear up in a few weeks, and your rankings will stabilize at a higher level than before.
    Finally, it isn’t as common because there aren’t nearly as many low-quality PPC consultants out there, but if you do Pay-Per-Click wrong, especially if you push the envelope in any way, you can get banned from Google AdWords – for life.

Let us know any other SEO questions you might have. Just shoot us an email from our Contact Page. We’ll respond to you personally, and post questions of general interest here, maintaining confidentiality, of course.