SEO FAQ

Frequently Asked SEO Questions

Can’t Find Your Website on Google, Bing or Yahoo?

If you search on Google, Yahoo and MSN using a keyword phrase that you would expect your site to rank highly for, but cannot find your site on page 1-3 of results, then you definitely need to optimise your site for the search engines, or secure some professional SEO services help. The keyword phrase is not a broad, general word or term, but one that you in particular should rank for, e.g; if you sell a particular product or service in a set location such a a motel based in Riccarton, Christchurch, your search should be a specific “motel accommodation riccarton christchurch” and not a general “motel accommodation.” Equally, it could be your “motel name+location.” If your site does not appear in pages 1-3… contact The SEO Guy!

How to Tell if Your Website Fully Indexed?

If you wonder why it does not appear in a search on Google, check that it is actually being indexed… try the following search; site:www.yoursite.co.nz” and of course, replace “yoursite” with the URL or YOUR site! This should produce a list of all pages that Google has found and decided were worthy of indexing. If no pages were founds, contact us for an seo audit!

How long does it take for results of SEO work to show?

Sometimes quite quickly. If your site has been around a while and has good incoming links, search engine optimisation can deliver very rapid ranking improvements. However, if it’s a new site with no links, it can take several months. This is especially true of Google rankings, due to the “sandbox” tactic Google employs. New sites seem doomed to suffer a “probationary” period of 6 months or more before Google allows them to rise up in search engine rankings.

How to do some of the SEO work yourself

I can write all the changes for you, and you can then insert those amendments onto the correct locations on the site, following the instructions I will supply.

How Do We Get the SEO Job Done?

Q.1.) How Do You Actually Do The Work On The Site?

A.1.a) For a static HTML site,ZIP the site and send it to me, I work it over, send it back for review and you upload it when happy with amendments (I keep a backup of original for at least a few weeks)

A1.b.) Client supplies me FTP access login ID and PWD, I download and work on it, publish it when finished. (Again, keeping a backup of original for a few weeks.) Where I do this, there will be an additional 2 – 3 hours work (at $85 per hour) in inserting all the changes. From my point of view, I really do not mind who does it – me or you!

Do You Offer Monthly SEO Maintenance?

A.) Yes. A.1.) In terms of site changes, this maintenance would usually be things like minor edits, search engine ranking reports, checking latest links found in Webmaster Tools responding to link enquiries from a variety of SEO practitioners, link builders, and site owners.

A.2.) In terms of enhancing SEO, this would usually be checking incoming links and trying to remove any that may count against you. This usually amounts to another hours work. So, most of my clients who want ongoing SEO site maintenance will budget for 2-4 hours ($160 – $320) per month. More details on SEO management services

How the Domain Name / URL Impacts Rankings

Q.1.) Is the Domain Name important?

A.1) Yes, the selected domain name is very important, as the search engines assign some relevance / importance to the keywords used in the name. When starting a new site, it is important to maximise the advantage this gives you!

Q.2.) Do you believe it is best to have a .co.nz address or a .com  does this effect in any way the search engine ratings?  We have been selling to a lot of American clients, do you think they would remember a .com address easier than a .co.nz address.

A.1) If its a global deal, not marketing a specific NZ product, then a Dot.Com URL is arguably a better option. My view is that with the increasing trend of search engines towards “Local” content, explicit in the Google.Co.NZ, Google.Com.AU,  Google.Co.UK, it will become more and more difficult for a non-country-specific site to dominate within a specific country. To put that in context, a Dot.Com site might struggle to out-rank a .Co.NZ site in Google.Co.NZ…

Google, Yahoo, Bing all expanded their country-specific indexes. These do (kind of) get incorporated into the main index in the parent Dot.Com site, but you would need to be more specific in your search for a country-specific product. E.g. if you were on Google.com, and search for “mats” the results would be different to carrying out the same search on Google.Co.NZ (having specified NZ only). However, if you searched on Google.Com for “mats new zealand” the result might well include sites which ranked highly on the Google.Co.NZ search.

However, if I was going global, a Dot.Com site would be a prerequisite…

You CAN have the two URL’s pointed at the same site… but I would not advise any attempt to actively promote both! There is a danger that the SE’s could could punish you for that. It is completely legitimate and common practice to point multiple URLS at the same IP address;

  1. To prevent competitors pinching your domain name/s on .com, .biz, .info etc etc.
  2. To prevent confusion e.g. the client types the “wrong” URL, but still finds you – e.g. a miss-spelled version.
  3. Having a longer keyword-rich URL to maximise Search Engine ranking gains, and a shorter (easier) one for people to type in to get to the site.

You could easily use the Dot.Com for advertising purposes, letterhead, business cards etc, and even use it as Google Adwords “display URL” but be careful to only use the .Co.NZ URL for all search engine promotions, link building, search engine and directory submissions.

Site Construction & SEO

Q.1.) I want a really fast loading site!

A.1) The important thing is to avoid a site constructed in Flash format – these can look really great, but are both slow to load, and impossible to get good Search Engine rankings for at present. I only build CMS-based sites (HTML/CSS) for those reasons, and I would never use JavaScript or Flash to build menus etc…. It is a good rule of thumb to ensure pages load in less than 10 secs on standard ADSL or WiFi internet connection.

Q.2.) Loading speed is such a key for us, we looked at a friend’s site but thought it was a little slow to load.  We are on dial-up so really notice the different loading speeds.

A.2) Dial-up does not always give you a good platform to judge speed. With so few people on dial-up these days, speed is steadily becoming less of an issue. My guess is that your potential clients will be upper socio-economic bracket, and will certainly have ADSL (broadband) regardless of country of origin. In some ways its a trade-off – you could reduce image quality on advertising material to make it load faster, but lose customers because it does not not look good enough!

Q.3.) I am also aware that the more fancy the graphics the slower the site will load so don’t mind having a plain looking site.

A.3) Yes and no – there are ways to streamline this e.g. segmenting images, file compression, lazy load etc. With availability of cheap broadband access, this is no longer much of an issue.

Q.4.) I know that the speed of your site can depend partly on which Web Hosting service you use and that it can be difficult to change your host after you have built your site so I know how important the right host is.

A.4) Well, this is probably not the issue it once was – most hosting companies have plenty of bandwidth these days, and relocating is a relatively minor issue – I’ve done it with my site/s several times! Important thing is to make sure you can remember your domain registration access details etc!

Q.5.) Disk Space – Do you think that 100MB of space is enough for all the photographs we will have in the shopping cart part of our site?  What happens if we need more, do they just not let us load anything else until we upgrade?  Is the 4 GB per month traffic enough – I have no idea about that sort of thing but does it just not let anyone else view your site if you have reached that limit?  How much does your site use on average per month?

A.5) I think 250mb is a good start point! If space becomes tight, you start getting auto-generated “Warning, Disk Space Low” messages at at about 85% full, and its just a matter of emailing your hosting company that more is required – which they allocate, and change you an additional $1 or two per month. One of my sites received 11,000 visitors last month. It has a total content of 90 MB of files and images, and used 1.77 Gigabytes of bandwidth last month.

Q.6.) We also want to achieve really good search engine listings.

A.6) Years ago, some old database-driven sites were problematic as far as search engines are concerned, as it was often difficult to exercise control over some elements of page construction. A good example is the use of generic page titles and descriptions across an osCommerce site. Build a site with lots of good informational content, properly optimised for carefully researched keywords, and with text links that point deeper into the Shop portion of the site. That way, you get good ranking on the Home page and informational pages, and individual Shop pages should rank well for specific search terms e.g. “photograph of Queenstown” etc.

Q.7.) I Want to get this up and running as fast as possible, what would your time frame be to get our site built?

A.7) Usually I can make a start within a week, completion within 15 – 30 days, depending on how quickly you can  assemble the required material;

  • Business Name, your Name, business address, phone, email etc
  • Logo – if you’ve got one?
  • Brochures etc – if you’ve got propaganda (ooops, promotional) material, especially in text form
  • a bunch of images in digital format e.g. on CD
  • A list of Products / Services with full explanation of them
  • Profile details – qualifications, experience
  • References, testimonials

Give me a bunch of stuff like that, I will create a miracle with it!

Q.8.) In what form do you want  the files for the photographs, or would you prefer if we supplied the original sizes and you reduce them to the sizes needed.

A.8) Provide me with 20-30 original images, in JPG format. I will resize / crop as / if required to fit the space available.

Q.9.) We are really aware that we need to protect our work online so would want to some kind of strategy for this.

A.9) Because PC screens can only display 72 dpi, all images should be at this maximum resolution – which immediately reduces their usefulness. By following a strict rule of image size – e.g. absolutely no bigger than required for the page, there are limits to what anyone can do with them.

Overall, a determined thief can steal content as they wish, but you can make it irritatingly awkward to do so!

 

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