How Does SEO Work?
Focus Internet Services is an online marketing company that provides numerous different services to clients. These services include but are not limited to:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Design
- Social Media Marketing
- Paid Search Marketing
- Reputation Management
- Layout And Design
- Photography and Videography
Any of these services is available to our clients as part of their monthly retainer or as a standalone project. If the service is offered as part of an ongoing monthly retainer, the amount of time spent on that project will be deducted from your time that has been purchased for the month.
So how does Focus Internet Services provide work for clients and how much does it cost?
This is the most common question we are asked, and it requires a bit of explanation. Most of our clients hire us on RETAINER for search engine optimization or social media marketing, and on a PER PROJECT basis for web design, photography, videography or graphic design. This is because certain services we offer will have a start and finish time where we produce something specific during that period. Here are some examples:
PER PROJECT WORK
WEB DESIGN (Project Basis): A client wants a website designed. They do not want any search engine optimization or any other services, and do not need photos or videos produced for that website. This type of project can be quoted for a fixed price and can be given a timeframe that we will complete it within. The price will be based on the number of pages that we need to produce for the website, and if we need to write the content for those pages. If the client can provide the written content and photos, the price will be less per page. If we have to provide writing or search for stock images for the site, the price will be more per page.
LAYOUT AND DESIGN, PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEOGRAPHY (Project Basis): These services can be offered and quoted per project because we can quote an exact amount of time that it will take to produce the content. For layout and design, we can quote based on how many hours we believe your project will take once you provide us with specifics. It will take far longer to design a box that your product will go into than it will to design a flier. For photography and videography, we charge for the amount of time it takes to capture the content you request, and how long it takes to edit that content for use. If you need a video produced for Youtube, we will charge for the time it takes to film at your location, and the time it takes to edit that content into a video that is uploaded. We need to know what you need in order to provide you with an estimate on these types of projects.
Many of our clients hire us on retainer (a fixed monthly fee that is paid in exchange for a fixed number of dedicated work hours.) A retainer is useful for projects like SEO (search engine optimization) or social media marketing. This is because these types of projects do not have a fixed end date, and are ongoing.
Social media marketing is the creation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest or Snapchat accounts, and the regular posting to those accounts on your behalf. These posts are created in order to entertain and inform followers to your social media accounts, and mix entertaining aspects of your business field and specific information about your business in particular. A social media strategy will need to be planned out so that we know what you want us to say, but after that point we will dedicate a fixed number of hours each week to creating posts on these accounts for you. The number of these posts will be decided by the monthly retainer, and how many hours we are hired to work for you. If you want us to post twice per week, it will cost less than if you want us to post every day. We can give suggestions on how many times per week businesses in your industry will typically post in order to get results, as well as the messaging they put forth.
Search engine optimization is the manipulation of website information in order to move Google rankings higher for targeted search terms. This gains customers for businesses who are then presented on Google when a potential customer searches for their type of business or specific service. The amount of work that is necessary in order to move the website higher for targeted phrases can only be estimated, as your rankings are based upon both your own website but also the websites of your competitors. Because rankings are a COMPARISON between your website and theirs, the positions that you have will constantly be moving up and down based upon the work you do, and also the work they do. Search engine optimization is about doing as much as possible to convince Google that your website provides better information on a certain subject than your competition does. As you can easily understand, not all searches involve the same amount of competition, and as a result the EXACT amount of work necessary for you to be on the first page for one phrase is not the same as another phrase that is less competitive. For example, ranking on the first page for the word “dentist” in your area is harder than ranking for the word “pediatric dentist.” This is because every dentist in your area is not a pediatric dentist, so the competition for that word is easier to overcome than the larger term. While there is more generic searches for the bigger term, the conversion rate of clicks to customers will be far less than if we address a very specific service you offer. This is why (in most cases) we will first attack the easier to achieve rankings then shoot for the harder ones. We believe in progressive gains over ones that have less ability to be achieved. Of course, the aggressiveness of the strategy depends on conversations with you about your goals.
It takes time to achieve rankings on Google, and there is no way to predict exactly how long it will take to achieve a #1 ranking for a specific term in your area. That number #1 ranking depends on the work we do compared to the work all of your competition does, and if they are currently #1 you can assume they are also working at keeping that ranking. This is why we estimate the amount of time that is necessary each month to work in order to gain rankings for your terms over a period of time. Rankings take more time to develop on new websites than ones that have been established for a while, and a typical SEO program aims to produce good positions within 6-12 months of average competition terms and 12-18 months on highly competitive terms. If there are restrictions on the amount of work we do each month by the budget, it will generally take a longer timeframe to achieve the rankings desired.
So what does Focus Internet Services provide in an SEO program?
There are specific things that we know influences rankings on Google. The single most important aspect of rankings is CONTENT. What this means is that we need to write about subjects that are within your business genre and post them into your website. Google reads this content and compares it to your competition to see who has provided the best information. These articles must be well written, informational and useful for customers. In a nutshell, they need to be BETTER than your competition, and there also has to be more of them. Google is not considering the volume of text on your website exclusively, but more is better. Generally speaking, the more content you provide on different aspects of your business over time, the better you will rank. All of this content MUST be unique and cannot be copied from somewhere else, or you will be penalized in your rankings. This is a common mistake that people make when they believe that “I just need a bunch of articles on my site and then I will rank.” If you take the easy way out, Google sees you as stealing from other websites and penalizes you. It is VERY difficult to recover rankings once you have been penalized.
Our SEO strategies also involve offsite content and linking. This means producing content on your subjects that is posted on other websites. This is called “article marketing.” This content is then linked back to your website in specific ways that Google favors. The more links from good quality websites, the better you will rank. The more links from low quality websites, the more chance you have of being penalized.
The last aspect of SEO is onsite SEO factors like titles, descriptions and “ALT DATA” for items like images. This just means creating unique and well written elements for every page on the site, as well as every article that is posted. We then create an interlinking between pages the way that WIKIPEDIA does, in order to allow website viewers to jump from subject to subject within the site easily.
Our SEO programs will generally have no end date, as we attempt to expand the keyword target list over time. As we achieve rankings for something like “pediatric dentist” we then move on to targeting different terms like “emergency dentist.” This gives us the ability to continually build more and more traffic to the site, and get new customers who are looking for different things. We continually assess where the rankings are for each term we target, and adjust our work to address the needs of each. If one important term had good rankings and then starts to fall, we will adjust to provide that term with extra attention. This is why our strategy is re-assessed each month based on the current rankings.
If we are working for you in a RETAINER situation and you are using us for multiple services, we will make decisions on the best way to allocate the hours each month based upon your goals. If you want us to concentrate more on social media, we will take time away from SEO. If you want photography done, we will take that time away from other services we provide. This is why we like to keep in continual contact with our clients in order to assess their goals and provide them with what they want. In many cases, the client lets the decisions up to us and we will allocate the workload toward the types of services that provide the best exposure and gets the most conversions to new customers. In other cases, the client will make the decisions as far as how we spend the time.
This overview into our business and how we provide excellent results for our clients over time is meant to inform and educate you on not only the way SEO and online marketing works, but the ways that Focus Internet Services is different. Our number one priority is the success of your business, and we want to use everything in the toolbox to make that happen. We hope you choose us, and if you have any questions about our services we can be reached directly at 702-997-1252.
-Raymond Santopietro (President)