- What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how does it work?
- What is a keyword?
2. What is a keyword?
A keyword simply means a search term or search phrase that you put into Google when your are searching for something. For example, is you search for ‘dog trainer’ this is just two keywords or one key phrase.
Within the SEO world keyword is the common jargon, so we’ll often use the term ‘keyword’ to refer to a search term like ‘mortgage brokers’ when in fact this is a key phrase comprised of two keywords.
Because our SEO fees are based on the number of keywords you select, prospective clients often ask us about this. For example, whether a term like ‘landscaping supplies’ is two keywords or one. From our perspective, the term ‘landscaping supplies’ counts as only one of the keywords you will choose as part of your SEO program. If you’re unsure, just ask us.
- How much will it cost to get my website ranking higher on Google?
3. How much will it cost to get my website ranking higher on Google?
Very good question. Your level of investment depends on three factors. One, the less competitive the keywords you want to target are, the easier and therefore lower investment you need to get your website ranking higher.
Two, the higher the ranking you want to attain on Google, the more your investment will be. Three, wanting to rank your website internationally will require a larger investment that simply focusing on the local NZ market. This also depends on how competitive your market is for your product or service. For example, if you wanted to rank highly for three key phrases, ‘dog trainer’, ‘dog training’ and ‘puppy training’ then this would typically require an investment of $797+GST per month because it is in a competitive market. It could be less. Typically projects range between a minimum of $497+GST up to $1497+GST or more per month.
Your website will be individually reviewed prior to your with us to ensure a competitive price is offered that reflects your goals for your website…
- Do you use dodgy tactics that could get my site banned in Google?
4. Do you use dodgy tactics that could get my site banned in Google?
Fantastic question. There are two types of SEO practices known as ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ similar to white and black magic. White hat is the acceptable form of Google optimisation using completely open and transparent ways of getting Google to look at your site more favorably.
On the other hand, Black hat SEO is the devious, spam type method of tricking Google to look at your website. This type of practice can get your website banned from Google where you will be completely removed from searches.
Google employs a huge team of people to look a every possible website and if they find your website to be using ‘black hat’ techniques, it will lower your ranking or eventually be banished from Google’s search engine.
We use the same proven ‘White hat’ SEO techniques on our clients websites that we have tested on our own websites first. This is why our own A+ site and our clients sites continue to rank at the top of Google over the long term. To see the long term results we have helped our clients achieve, view our case studies >>.
- What’s stopping you from doing SEO for all my competitors as well?
5. What’s stopping you from doing SEO for all my competitors as well?
First of all, there’s lots of space on Google for everyone. With an unlimited number of keywords to pick from, you can become the top dog for several keywords and still leave a massive market open for your competition.
However we don’t offer exclusivity and have many clients from the same industries all benefiting from our SEO work. Think of SEO as a form of compound interest for your website, the more time and money you invest into it the greater the results will be. The reality is getting in front of your competitors isn’t hard, it simply requires more effot. That’s why the websites ranking on the first page of Google in your industry are the ones who have committed to that effort.
- Can you guarantee to maintain my top Google rankings?
6. Can you guarantee to maintain my first page Google rankings?
Yes, we can. We offer a very inexpensive maintenance program that guarantees to maintain your top 10 Google ranking for as little as $297 incl gst per month. If for any one day in a calendar month your website is ranking outside of the top 10, we will refund that month’s maintenance in full and work on your website for free until it ranks back up on the first page.
Your website is your best salesperson, working 24 hours a day to bring in more customers for you. Is it worth investing less that $7 to $10 per day to ensure it stays in front of as many prospects as possible?
For more information on how we can maintain your first page ranking, visit our maintenance program >>
- Will the effects of SEO wear off if I don’t maintain the website?
7. Will the effects of SEO wear off if I don’t maintain the website?
In short, yes. Google is changing everyday and your competition is always sniping at your heels to take over your spot. Over time, Google changes what it likes to see in websites and your competition decides to improve their website to knock you off your top spot.
To remain at the top spot, you need people looking after your website who are keeping up with the latest trends on Google and are actively making your website better in the eyes of Google.
For more information on how we can maintain a top 10 ranking for your website, visit our maintenance program >>
- What if I get to the first page of Google, but my traffic doesn’t improve?
8. What if I get to the first page of Google, but my enquiries don’t increase?
If this happens then there are bigger problems in your business, problems that even the best optimised site on Google cannot solve. SEO cannot turn a bad business into a thriving one.
A common problem is that there isn’t a viable market for your product or service, or you website isn’t converting the visitors that come to your site into sales Before we choose you as a client we will do an analysis of your business and market and find out if SEO will really help your business. We can find out how many people are searching for your product or service each month in New Zealand and globally to discover whether SEO will pay for itself in the long run.
- Why not use Google Adwords for traffic? There’s no upfront investment. I only pay as I go.
9. Why not use Google Adwords to get visitors? I only pay as I go.
Correct on both counts. Google Adwords is an excellent way of getting people to your website. This is a great short term solution if you cannot wait for Google to recognise your improving website. The only disadvantages of Google Adwords are the time needed to manage a campaign, the lack of long term value and the rising costs of Adwords.
The other downside to Google AdWords is as soon as you stop a campaign the traffic stops. With SEO you are able to build a consistent stream of targeted traffic to your website and seeing your business appear at the top of the search results is great for building trust and promoting your business.
For more information on Google AdWords have a look at our Article on Search Engine Marketing >>
- What makes Aplus better for my website than any other SEO company?
10. What makes Aplus better for my website than any other SEO company?
Why should you choose Aplus? To be honest, we don’t really mind if you choose another company. Within New Zealand, there’s only two SEO companies that are worthwhile talking to. Micheal Brandon at SearchMasters and the team here at Aplus. No one else has the resources or experience to compete with us. But here’s the seven top reasons that make Aplus the first choice of many New Zealand businesses.
- Experience – Here at Aplus, we’ve optimised 120+ client websites, with all of them ranking in the top 10 for the clients chosen keywords.
- Results Guarantee – We guarantee to get all your keywords into the top 10 within six months or we’ll continue to work on your site for free until they do.
- Scalibility – We currently have over 45 active clients who we work with, and can scale to much higher if we wanted to.
- SEO Programs – We offer a variety of SEO packages to suit all business types regardless of their industry.
- Competitive Markets – We achieve consistent first page rankings even for businesses in the most competitive markets.
- Speed – On average, we take 92 days to get a clients website into the first page, and most often it occurs sooner.
- Stability – Our clients tend to stay in the top 10, if not rising higher even after they have stopped the SEO with us.
- International – We have experience getting websites into the top 10 of Google.com in highly competitive markets.
- How long will it take to get my website on the first page on Google?
11. How long will it take to get my website on the first page on Google?
Your progress up the rankings depends on three things. One, the current state of your website. Two, the keywords you want to rank highly for. Three, how competitive your competition is on Google.
For example, let’s say you have a brand new website, with a new domain name and want to rank highly for the highly competitive ‘Mortgage Broker’. We typically wouldn’t take on this project (for reasons discussed in the previous question), but you’re looking at the tail end of six months to acheive a first page ranking. We have a acheived a #1 ranking for this keyword in October 2010 with a brand new website within 10 months (see mortgagesbroker.co.nz for more).
Another example, let’s imagine you have an established PR3 website that is already on the second page for the keyword ‘computer repair’. In this situation, to acheive a first page ranking you’re looking at 1-2 months. Our client, Ezone Computers did this after ranking 300+ for their keywords. They now rank #1 for ‘computer repair’ at the time of writing this (1 July 2011) with just two months of SEO from Aplus.
In short, you’re looking at anywhere between one to six months depending on where you are in that continuium.
The great thing is, your progress up the rankings is easy to see. Within the first 30 days you’ll start to see results and more people clicking through to your website.
- Is it possible to get a brand new website ranking high from the start?
12. Is it possible to get a brand new website ranking high from the start?
Yes, this is possible. We have taken brand new websites and gotten them into the top 10 within four months, sometimes sooner. One of our clients, JewelleryOnline.net.nz ranks #1 for ‘Jewellery Online’, #3 for ‘Pearl Necklace’ and #2 ‘Handmade Jewellery’. This was with just six months worth of SEO starting in June 2010, with no ongoing maintenance.
In general, we don’t offer SEO to prospectrive clients with new, or soon to be launched websites. There are several reasons for this, the main reason being that the client is not yet ready for SEO. SEO, as discussed in our internet marketing post, is an advanced marketing strategy that is usually taken up after the website is launched and other forms of advertising have been used, ideally Google Adwords.
So if you have a new website, the best idea is to test it with Google Adwords first, then come back to us once you’re confident that Google traffic will be profitable for you.
As an interesting side note, there is a general rule within search engine marketing, which says: “If you can’t make money from paid traffic, then you aren’t going to make money from free traffic”. This one statement requires a whole post to explain fully (which we might write one day), but this one tip will help you immensely if you have a new website right now.
- I’m already quite high on Google. Can you get me higher and keep me there?
13. I’m already quite high on Google. Can you get me higher and keep me there?
Yes. Getting your website to rank higher on Google is only a matter or time. To keep it there requires continual maintenance and tuning to ensure your website is exactly what Google wants.
You see, Google is changing all the time. It wants to continually offer better search results for it’s users and weed out badly optimised websites using ‘tricky’ or deceptive tactics to get there. This means you need to stay on top of the changes that Google is making and ahead of your competitors that want to knock you off your top ranking.
The good news is, we offer a very inexpensive maintenance program that guarantees to maintain your ranking for your keywords. If you see your ranking drop outside the top 10 at the end of the month, just let us know and we will get your website back into the top 10 before restarting the maintenance fee.
The investment in maintaining and improving your website is dependant on several factors such as your keywords and the competitiveness of your market. The minimum maintenance fee is $297+GST per month, so it’s not worthwhile for everyone. It can range up to $997+GST a month depending on how competitive your market in and how many keywords you want to maintain. The benefit of a maintenance program is that you often get higher rankings than expected at no extra cost.
- I want my website to be at the top of Google. Can it be done?
14. I want my website to be at the top of Google. Can it be done?
Yes, it can be done. The only question is what keywords you choose and how long it will take to get to the #1 spot. No one can guarantee your website a #1 ranking, except Google itself.
We have several clients who are currently ranked #1 for their keywords and continue to stay there. If you desire that coveted #1 spot, we can get you there, the only question is the amount of time it takes for it to happen.
Internally with our own websites, we aim for a 12 month timeframe to acheive a top ranking. This is a slower, more methodical approach to SEO rather than the intense SEO clients are usually after. There’s several reasons we take the slower approach.
One, SEO conducted over a consistent long term basis (at least 12 months) is of higher quality and a more natural way to go about search engine optimisation. This has many benefits over the long term in relation to PageRank, authority of the site, long tail traffic and stability of the website ranking.
Two, we don’t care where our website ranks on Google. We care about traffic, especially targeted traffic. A top ranking is of no value is it does not bring a significant amount of traffic. Even with a high volume of traffic, this is only valuable if incoming visitors are targeted and want to buy, rather than browse. That’s why we focus on long tail (long search phrases) traffic as this is relatively uncompetitive and often the best traffic. Not every visitor to your website is made equal. Some are worth more than others. Much more.
- I need customers right now. How long until I start to see real results?
15. I need customers right now. How long until I start to see real results?
Depending on your website, the market you’re competing in and the words you want to rank highly for on Google, it can take anywhere between one week and six months. You will see an improvement within the first 90 days (if not the first 30). In time, you will come up against stiffer competition in the first page of results, particularly in the top five.
Getting into the top three and to #1 takes longer and there can be a wide gap in the relative scores Google keeps for your website compared to your competitors. In general, the more competitive the market and the more general the keywords you choose, the longer it will take to get to the top.
- I didn’t realise the investment SEO required. How can I afford it?
16. I didn’t realise the investment SEO required. Is It right for my business?
Since SEO is a big investment you want to make sure you will be getting a good return from it. If you run an online store for example you can’t afford not to do SEO since your business comes from customers purchasing your products online. It makes sense that the more targeted visitors you get to your site the more money you will make.
The most important thing you need to look at is how many sales it will take you to make an SEO investment pay for itself. Here’s a simple formula you can use to find this out.
Sales x Net Profit Margin = Net Profit
So the question is, how many sales do you need at your net profit margin to make your website pay for itself? Go through the numbers before our meeting to ensure SEO will make money for your business…
If you need customers right now…
Then maybe SEO isn’t the best strategy for you. SEO is a long term and advanced marketing strategy that is usually used once you have tested your keywords, website and business with paid traffic, usually Google Adwords. Google Adwords is a fantastic way of getting customers in the short (and long) term as you can be up and running within one hour and getting targeted people to your website.
Once you’re proven Google or search engine traffic is profitable for your business, then it’s time to contact an SEO professional to move your website up the organic rankings.
A+ search engine marketing can also use our unique SEO strategy to provide online reputation management service.