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SEO FAQs
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  What is a Search Engine?
 
Search Engines, such as Google, MSN, and Yahoo, are software programs that allow computer users with internet connections find information about your product or service from the billions of pages of information that are accessible via the World Wide Web.
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  What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
 
The process of making your web pages search engine friendly.   The main goal of SEO is to get your pages indexed and listed on the first few pages of a Search Engine Page Results (SERPs) for your most relevant and / or profitable keywords.
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  What is a Keyword?
 
A Keyword is a word or series of words that a web searcher enters into their browser to find your product or service on the Internet.  Keyword research is critical to the long term success of your SEO strategy.  Think of the world now as one big pool of information and data that is now accessible and contributed to by billions of humans on this planet.  Keyword optimization allows searchers to find useful information related to your products and services that will trigger actions, sales and inquiries.
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  What Search Engine is the best?
 
Web searchers generally like to use engines that quickly and efficiently find the information they are looking for.  Most web users are looking for information not a sales pitch, hence is the reason why organic SEO produces better results than paid advertising.  Ultimately the consumer decides the value of the information made available to them on the Internet by using the information they find to make a decisions about questions or problems that need solved.
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  Is SEO expensive?
 
SEO rates vary widely in the open market.  As a company that has been in the IT business for over twenty years, we utilize tested and proven methodologies to provide ROI relative to the scope and complexity of your SEO Project.  The old adage “You get what you pay for” is especially true for SEO now that the Internet is no longer a free service available only to university professors and students.  SEO works but does require certain minimum costs which we help guide you through based on your needs and requirements.
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  What is the difference between Pay Per Click (PPC) and Organic listings?
 
PPC ads are paid for by the advertiser and are typically located to the right or above the organic or natural listings marked as sponsored or paid advertising.  Organic listings get four to seven times the traffic when compared to an equivalent listing in the sponsored section.
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  Should we do Organic SEO or PPC advertising?
 
Ideally, it is best to do both to get the highest results but that approach is not always the most cost effective.  Research has shown that if your web page is listed in both sponsored and organic SERPs it will have a synergic effect of providing up to 20% better results that if you used only one.  In the long term, organic SEO is a much better value.  Sponsored or paid on line advertising is often used as a way to jump start or test your SEO strategy.
  What is a visitor conversion?
 
A visitor conversion is when a visitor to your web site decides to take a pre-defined action, such as making an inquiry, buying something, signing up to be on a list, or making a phone call.  This action can take place on their first visit or on subsequent follow-up visits.  Conversions can be defined as any type of transaction related to finding, subscribing or purchasing a service, product or information.  A conversion percentage is the ratio of total number of page visits to the number of transactions obtained from that page during a given time period.
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  Why are conversion ratios important?
 
Conversions can be directly related to revenue and profit.   Selecting, measuring and monitoring your conversion transactions are critical to the success of your SEO program or campaign.
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  What is ethical SEO?
 
SEO like any other profession at its infancy has a tremendous amount of myths and misconceptions (click here to view a our partial list of SEO myths and misconceptions) One thing for sure, the Internet is here to stay.  Whether you do something now or later, the real question is will your efforts produce the results that you want or need for your organization.   There are many different approaches and techniques to SEO.  At SEO Panda, we believe in using ethical, scientific and tested approaches customized for your specific requirements.
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  What kind of results can I expect from Sponsored and Organic online advertising?
 
Based on current research, organic SEO drives 4 to 7 times the traffic to your site versus Paid Advertising.
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  We are getting hits and visitors to our site but we are not getting business, inquiries or new customers.   Why?
 
A business web site has two main purposes:  1) Provide information to your intended audience about your service or product and 2) Provide value to existing customers and potential new customers.  Your SEO Plan has to take into account both conversion of visitors to customers and provide on-going value to your intended audience.  At SEO Panda, we utilize both SEO and Web 2.0 best practices and technology to get the job done.
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  What is Web 2.0?
 
Web 2.0 is the second generation of web technologies and practices that have arose out of lessons learned from last 20 years of using the World Wide Web and Internet as a business development and informational tool.
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  Should I outsource our SEO work?
 
The field of SEO is constantly changing and requires specialized knowledge, programming and skills to be effective.  Most small to medium sized organizations don’t have the time or expertise to formulate, execute and then evaluate the effectiveness of their SEO campaigns.  Most large companies have SEO Professionals on their payroll as paid employees.
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  Do I need to spend a lot of money on analysis before I start SEO?
 
In general the more accurate and complete your analysis the better will be the results from your SEO efforts.  However, Rome was not built in a day, so breaking your SEO project into phases with discreet, definable and measurable units is the best approach.  At SEO Panda we use common sense Project Management principals and practices together with SEO to insure a successful SEO Campaign.
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  Do I need to continue to engage and pay for SEO consulting after the first few months?
 
Our minimum SEO Plan is for 6 months.  We do however provide an SEO Jump Start option that gets you off to the right start with professional consultation, analysis and recommendations.  Jump start SEO usually also includes the baseline work that needs to be done initially to a site for proper optimization.
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  I have a dynamic or database driven site, can it be optimized?
 
Search engines cannot directly read a database, such as Access, Oracle, and SQL Server.  Special techniques are required to make sure pages that are generated from a database can be seen by search engines.  SEO Panda provides both database and application development experts as well as graphical, design and marketing professionals.
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  How do I know that my search engine rankings are as a result of your SEO work?
 
Once we analyze and get your acceptance of an SEO plan customized for your requirements and budget, we can produce SEO reports on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis that track your specific desired outcomes.
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  When will I start seeing results from SEO work done for our company?
 
It takes the search engines anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks for engines to start indexing your site.  There are many factors involved in getting your site indexed some of which are not always predictable.  SEO Panda strives to get your site indexed as soon and as frequently as possible.
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  Should I pay a submission company to get my web site listed in hundreds if not thousands of search engines?
 
90% or more of search engine traffic comes from the top three Search Engines so it does not make sense to get them into 1000s of engines.  Mass automated submissions can do more harm than good.  Best practice SEO is a much more targeted and scientific process with checks and balances along the way.
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  When will I start seeing results from SEO work done for our company?
 
It takes the search engines anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks for engines to start indexing your site.  There are many factors involved in getting your site indexed some of which are not always predictable.  SEO Panda strives to get your site indexed as soon and as frequently as possible.
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  When will I start seeing results from SEO work done for our company?
 
It takes the search engines anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks for engines to start indexing your site.  There are many factors involved in getting your site indexed some of which are not always predictable.  SEO Panda strives to get your site indexed as soon and as frequently as possible.
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  When will I start seeing results from SEO work done for our company?
 
It takes the search engines anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks for engines to start indexing your site.  There are many factors involved in getting your site indexed some of which are not always predictable.  SEO Panda strives to get your site indexed as soon and as frequently as possible.
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  Can I use a Content Management System (CMS) to self-manage SEO for our site?
 
This depends on the features, functions and capabilities of your CMS software.  SEO Panda has proprietary technologies that uses a self-maintainable database to drive the production and optimization of your web pages.
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  I have an all Flash site, can it be optimized?
 
Flash sites can be optimized however search engines cannot directly read Flash or any other compiled program for obvious reasons they are not in human readable format they are in machine readable format.
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  How does a Search Engine Index our site?
 
Each Search Engine uses bots to spider your site for the purpose of gathering information and then uses a proprietary algorithm software program to index and retrieve that information for your searches done via Internet browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Firefox.
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  What is a bot?
 
Also known as web robots, they are specialized software applications that gather or harvest information from the Internet.  A bot’s job is to efficiently and effectively gather the information that is used by the algorithm to index your information for searching.
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  What is an algorithm?
 
An algorithm is a procedure or formula for solving a problem. It is mathematical in nature and uses a set of programmed rules that have been programmed in software by a search engine to rank the listings contained within its index to store and retrieve information gathered from the Internet.
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  What is a metacrawler?
 
A metacrawler is a software program that searches and compiles results from other Search Engines, such as Google, Yahoo and MSN, into a format that can be searched by humans.  Metacrawlers provide useful information to SEO Professionals such as finding related and profitable keywords.
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  Can documents such as PDFs be optimized?
 
Yes, Search engines can find and index PDF and Word documents.  Search engine and software companies do research and development to find better and faster ways to gather information from all types of documents and stored information, including images, video and other non-text based documents.
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  What are the most used Search Engines?
 
As of July 2007, Google, Yahoo and then MSN (now called Live Search) are the top search engines.  AOL search uses Google indexing to obtain its results.  Specialized vertical search engines and information portals can produce better traffic with higher conversion rates than general search engines.
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  What is a typical conversion rate?
 
The generally acceptable conversion rate is between 1 to 3% of all eyeballs viewing your information and then taking some action.  Anything lower or higher than that should be investigated as useful information on what works and what doesn’t.
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  What is Geo-Targeting?
 
Getting your products or service seen by your chosen audience for your specific geographic locations.  Geo targeting can be done for any geographic location across the globe.   Keep in mind that customers are becoming more and more mobile in terms of their locations.
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  Why is Geo-Targeting an important part of an SEO Strategy?
 
Because of the increasing competition for the internet business dollar, users and consumers are using location parameters to narrow down their searches.  SEO Panda customizes our proprietary geo-targeting technologies for your specific needs and audience.
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  Does SEO come with a guarantee?
 
Some SEO companies offer across the board guarantees others do not.  The value of a guarantee depends specifically on what is being guaranteed.  Just getting your site to show up on the first three pages of a search engine for certain keywords is not necessarily the best guarantee.  Our guarantees are customized based on both your search engine positions and desired outcomes.
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  What is the cost of your services?
 
The cost of our services varies depending on your specific needs and desired outcomes. From a quantity perspective, the cost of SEO depends on the number of keywords, links, competition and one-way back links that you want over a given period of time.
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  What is a one-way backlink?
 
A one-way backlink is a link from another web site page to a page on your site.  Use of backlinks are best when strategically planned, obtained and maintained based on your overall SEO goals.
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  Can I do SEO myself or delegate it to persons within our company?
 
Most small and medium sized businesses do not have the expertise nor can afford to hire a full time expert to develop and implement a cost effective SEO Plan.   Large companies often have SEO experts on their IT, Marketing or Business Management staff to perform this function.
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  Can our web hosting, design or advertising company optimize our site?
 
SEO is a specialized area of expertise that goes outside the bounds of most hosting, design and advertising companies’ core competencies.  At SEO Panda, we often work with a company’s hosting, design, or advertising / PR firms as a team to consult and develop an cost effective SEO program for our clients.  We can also provide hosting and web design services.
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  How do I know if my site has been properly optimized?
 
Most web sites are not designed from the beginning to be search engine friendly.  SEO Panda can provide a free evaluation report of your site’s level of optimization.
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  It seems that our competitors’ web sites are ranked higher than our site for our products and services.  How can I reverse that situation?
 
SEO Panda recommends the use of our gap analysis between you and top competitors to determine what and how to improve and increase your SEO positions relative to your top competitors.
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  Can I manage and take over the upkeep of our SEO once it is setup up properly and producing results?
 
Yes, SEO Panda can provide you with the tools to maintain and monitor your own SEO Program.
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  Why do I need a customized SEO Plan for my company, why can’t I just buy a pre-built solution off the shelf?
 
There is no one product or methodology that does it all.  The job of SEO Professionals is to determine the best approach and tools for accomplishing your goals and objectives.  Companies should also set up some way to monitor and measure their ROI for their investments into SEO.
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Partial List of SEO Myths and Misconceptions in no Particular Order:

I can get my site optimized by stuffing a page full of keywords.

I can get my site ranked by using hidden text on my web pages.

Some people know the secret formula for search engine algorithms and they can manipulate the results returned by a Search Engine.

Submit your site to as many search engines as possible.

Converting visitors to customers will automatically happen as part of your SEO work.

SEO is not a part of Web design.

Wait until your site is up and running before you do any SEO.

SEO is easy; anybody can to it with a basic understanding of the Internet.

Once you get ranked you pretty much will stay in that position.

Keywords are not important, only links to external high ranking sites gets you to the top.

The more you repeat a keyword on a particular page the greater chance of getting indexed for that keyword.

The position of your keywords on a page ultimately determines whether you get indexed for those keywords.

H1,2,3 tags are the key to SEO.

Meta tags are the key to SEO.

There is software that can do SEO for you with little or no work.

Working with Social Media like Twitter and Facebook have the biggest return on your SEO investment of time and money.

Blogging and newsgroup postings are the single most important factor for SEO.

The more links to your site from other sites the better.

You cannot get indexed for single keywords.

The more words in your keyword phrase the more likely it will bring in results for your web site.
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