FAQ page headerFrequently Asked Questions

What Does SEO Mean / Stand For?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This means improving a company or brand’s visibility on search engines, such as Google or Bing. An effective SEO strategy incorporates keywords (terms or phrases a consumer will commonly search for) into a website for higher search engine ranking. At 2nd Line Marketing, we focus on two types of SEO for maximum site optimization: Local SEO and Organic SEO.

What is Organic SEO?

Organic SEO refers to improving a company or brand’s visibility on search engines without the use of paid advertisement. Components of this marketing strategy include posting high-quality blog content, incorporating tons of keywords and keywords phrases into your content and web pages, linking within your site, and more. Through these actions, you will have the opportunity to improve your ranking on search engines without spending a cent on ads.

How Does SEO Improve My Business?

Incorporating an SEO strategy into your marketing plan can improve your business in several ways. One huge benefit of using SEO is increased likelihood that your business will be found online. With over 75% of consumers conducting research on search engines prior to buying, it’s critical that your business has high visibility. This will not only improve lead-to-customer conversion rates, but also your company’s return-of-investment.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO refers to optimizing each web page’s title, tags, content, and layout to support your target keywords. In some cases this means incorporating target keywords into the page’s content. It may also call for a new, more organized web page structure. By optimizing each page, your overall website will rank higher on search engines.

What are Key Elements of On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO is vital for completely optimizing your overall site. Regarding each page’s structure, key elements to optimize include the URL, title, anchor text to internal and external pages, and H1 and H2 header tags. You should then consider the following content elements: keywords and image alt tags.

Does Social Media Help with SEO?

Search Engine Optimization paired with a sound social media strategy makes a successful formula for improving organic search results. Basically, social media helps SEO with content promotion, link building, and authority improving. It helps search engines cut search result timing, as well as builds credibility for the site. In other words, likes, shares, votes, etc. on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube help your company rank higher in search results.

Do Images Help with SEO?

Surprisingly, images have a great impact on SEO. On the front-end of the website, images enhance the user experience. They help readers understand your article and give them a visual of what you are discussing. On the back-end, images can boost your site’s ranking on search engines if optimized correctly. Using alt tags and image scaling will particularly help search engines index your web page’s content.

If My Site Ranks Well Now, Should I Still Invest in SEO?

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing. This means that in order to successfully optimize your website, it is crucial to continue updating your site to account for these changes. If your site already ranks well, you should therefore still invest in SEO. We recommend that SEO should be an ongoing effort.

What is a Big Missed Opportunity with SEO?

A big missed opportunity with SEO is failing to focus content and web pages on the problems you solve for your customers. Most search engine searches revolve around a customer’s problem and their need for a solution. By gearing your content towards offering this solution, you therefore show why the customer needs you. It also helps you to create the long-tail keywords commonly used in search engines.

Is User Experience a Factor for SEO?

The user experience is absolutely a factor for SEO. This is due to two things: loading times and site navigation difficulty. More specifically, sites that take longer to load are ranked lower by search engines and show higher customer bounce rates. This means the slower the site, the fewer the number of people to engage with your site. The site’s bounce rate is also determined by navigation difficulty. Your site should be clean, organized, and easy to navigate. Then, with a lower bounce rate, your site will rank higher on search engines.

Can Anyone Guarantee 1st Page Rankings?

Nobody can guarantee 1st page rankings. With constantly changing search engine algorithms and ever increasing online competition, there are too many variables to control who ranks at the top. Some competitors may even pay to rank higher than others. In this case, who ranks first could depend on ad spend, landing page quality, and a variety of other elements. Overall, SEO is an ongoing investment.

What Criteria Should You Use to Select Keywords?

It’s difficult to rank for a highly competitive keyword phrase, so it’s important to focus on keywords you can win. As you create your keyword strategy, make sure to note search volume, relevance, and competition level. Search volume refers to the number of times a user searches the phrase each month. Relevancy then refers to relating your keywords and keyword phrases to the web page’s content. You want to highlight the most important topics in your keywords. Competition level will help you determine whether or not generating content for a keyword phrase is worth your time, so make sure to target keywords you can use to rank!

What is Google My Business (GMB)?

Google My Business (GMB) is a free online tool through which businesses can manage their presence on Google applications. This includes Google +, Google Maps, Google Search and other Google features. With this page, company owners have the ability to update company information, like work hours and the products and services that you offer. Learn more about Google My Business and Organic SEO here.

What is NAP and Why is it Important?

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone. It is critical information for promoting a business locally, as this is how potential customers will reach you. As a result, you should ensure that this information is accurate and consistent throughout your website, all Google applications, and any other local or virtual listings.

How Can My Business Show Up on Google Maps?

As a part of the Google applications, Google Maps pulls from your Google My Business page to show your business on the web mapping service. In order to have a complete online profile, it’s important to add details to your listing, as well as photos and videos. Overall, a more complete profile has a better chance of showing up on Google Maps.

Why Are Reviews Important to SEO?

A company’s reputation, including reviews, is important to SEO. Not only do better reviews typically mean more clicks to your website, but they also mean higher ranking on search engines like Google. With each search, Google pulls the tops three most relevant companies that match the topic. Therefore, the more great reviews your company gets, the more relevant your business becomes for search engines. Learn more about reputation management here.

How Can I Stimulate Positive Reviews?

Getting more business reviews is much simpler than most business owners expect. You can send emails, make phone calls, or even request a written review while the customer is still in front of you. To begin formulating a plan to gather more positive reviews, it’s particularly important to build a review funnel. Through this funnel, you can select review sites that could have the most impact on your business and create a process to make reviewing your business quick and easy. Learn more about online reputation management here.

Should I Respond to Negative Reviews?

For most businesses, not every review is a good one. However, it is still important to consider responding to each one. Make sure to keep the response appropriate and do not put blame on the customer. You can always make additional follow-up offline. This can be beneficial to prevent a bad experience from occuring again.

Are Testimonials and Reviews the Same Thing?

Although testimonials and reviews may appear similar, they have different effects on search engine rankings. In fact, reviews are the only means of customer feedback that affect rank. Despite the fact that testimonials do not affect search engine rankings, they are still important for building a great online reputation.

How Often Does Google Update Its Algorithm?

Google typically does not update its algorithm at any set time. Occasionally, the search engine will roll out large-scale updates; however, minor adjustments occur on an ongoing basis.

What Review Sites Should Be Considered?

No matter the industry in which you conduct business, you should consider incorporating Google My Business and Yelp into your review funnel. These both have a large impact on SEO. In addition, we recommend that you look into industry-specific review sites. 

What Are Citations?

A citation refers to any online mention of your NAP, or company name, address, and phone number. This also includes inbound links to your site or mention of your company URL. Citations can occur on other websites, local business directories, or even social media.

How Do Citations Help Rankings?

Since a citation is an online reference to your business’ NAP, search engines use these references as sources of credibility. As we have previously discussed, the more credibility a company has built online, the more relevant a company becomes for similar search engine topics. It is therefore worth your time and effort to add company citations on local business directories and industry-related directories.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free website analytics service that records website traffic patterns and statistics. It specifically reports website visitors, web page views, website bounce rates, conversion rates, and more. As such a detailed analytics provider, it’s important to take advantage of this free service and always add a Google Analytics tracking code to your site. This will help you pinpoint where and how you can improve your website to better target your audience.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the secure version of HTTP, which refers to the protocol used to send data between your web browser and connected server. With the secure version, all communications between browser and server are encrypted.

Why is HTTPS Important?

HTTPS is important because it ensures that any transferred information, including credit cards, cannot be intercepted. This is because the HTTPS connection is encrypted through either SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security). As HTTPS is the secure connection, customers typically prefer to use websites with this Secure label. Google also prefers the secure version and typically places HTTPS sites higher on the search engine results.

Why is Local Web Page Content Important?

Local web page content is important because it allows potential customers to easily find your website through specific search phrases. In order to be found, you must incorporate local keywords and keyword phrases, including geographic terms, into pages and posts on your site. This will allow search engines to recognize and rank your site based on this content.

What is Link Building?

A large majority of the Internet’s websites contain spam. For this reason, search engines like Google take link building into consideration when ranking a company for expertise and trust. Link Building is when another website links to yours as a reference. The more links from high-trusted domains, the higher your website will therefore rank on search engines.

Does Linking to Other Sites Help My Website?

Although linking to other sites does not directly help your website, it is still important to incorporate other sites into various web pages and posts. Not only will this add value to your content, but will also inspire other companies to link to your site. As you assist others in building their credibility, other will likely help you in return.

What Is Structured Data?

Structured data refers to a website format that has highly organized content and data. Through this type of format, search engines can easily scan and index each page for search results.

What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is the measurement of an entire website’s quality based on a wide range of elements, including root domains, number of inbound links, and overall popularity. Search engines rank sites on a scale from one to 100, with 100 being the best ranking possibility. In addition, scores are based on a comparison to other sites, as it must determine who is more of the expert on specific topics.

What are Title Tags?

Title Tags are metadata elements that let search engines know the title of each web page. Strong title tags use an important keyword or keyword phrase. Although they are only visible when you hover over a browser or tab, title tags are important for SEO and social sharing purposes.

Does Google Penalize Websites That Are Not Mobile Friendly?

Without a mobile-friendly site, Google will lower your overall SEO ranking. So, make sure your website uses a responsive web design. This will allow your site to modify based on which device is used to view it.

How Important is Page Load Speed?

Page load speed is now an important factor for search ranking purposes. This is because the slower the load speed, the higher the site’s bounce rate. Basically, it impacts user experience, especially on a mobile device so it’s vital to keep your site working quickly and smoothly.

How Many Words Should a Web Page Have to Rank Well?

The number of words you should use depends on the type of page you are using. More specifically, industry experts typically recommend that web pages have at least 500 words. Blog posts should then have between 500-3000 words depending on your link building strategy and keyword competition. For example, if keyword competition is high, you will want to have a higher word count with more use of the word or phrase.

How Does Blogging Help My Website?

Blogging is an easy way to start improving search engine ranking. It allows you to improve your site’s credibility, as well as provide relevant content for potential customers. Blogging can also help boost your link building. In fact, companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than those that do not and 434% more indexed pages than non-bloggers.

Can My Blog Be on a Different Website?

For SEO purposes, it’s important to properly integrate the blog into your website. If your blog has a different domain in its URL, then you will not receive the SEO credit you deserve for your site.

Do Page URLs Matter for Search Rankings?

Yes, page URLS matter for search rankings. Although they have a minor effect in overall ranking, page URLS help search engines determine the relevancy of a web page’s content. For this reason you should incorporate a target keyword or phrase into the URL to ensure that search engines index the page properly.

What are Ranking Signals?

Ranking signals are website characteristics evaluated by search engines to determine a site’s rank in search results. Content, link building, SEO, and user experience are four key ranking signals, or ranking factors. Together, they determine where a site stands compared to its competitors.

What Does Local SEO Mean?

Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an efficient way to grow a company’s online visibility and attract local customers. This marketing strategy includes improving your site’s search engine ranking, listing your site on local directories like Google My Business and Yelp, localizing website content to appeal to local customers, and collecting more positive online reviews. Together, these improvements will build your company’s credibility locally, as well as make your business easier to find online.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing refers to paid marketing on search engines like Google or Bing. This type of marketing typically refers to cost-per-click campaigns. In other words, the company marketing their product or service pays a specified cost each time a customer clicks their ad. Search Engine Marketing is therefore considered a lead generation, rather than SEO, strategy.