Frequently Asked Questions
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Broadly speaking, it is the process of making changes to your website's code, structure, content, and overall web presence to make it easier for search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to find, read, index, and rank your website. There are thousands of techniques related to SEO, ranging from converting Flash and image files (which are currently difficult for search engines to read/interpret) to plain HTML files to creating reference content and encouraging other websites to link back to it.
How does SEO work?
SEO works by making it easier for search engines to find your website, and recognize your site as both relevant and authoritative (given the search query). One of the number one complaints business owners have about SEO, and SEO companies, is the lack of clarity with respect to what work is actually being done for the fees charged. Blue Corona has a proven SEO process that is both straightforward and transparent.
How much does SEO cost?
One of the most common questions we get - particularly from small business owners - is, "what does SEO cost?" Blue Corona's SEO process starts with a website audit - an ongoing SEO campaign may or may not follow (ongoing SEO occurs approximately 85 percent of the time). Website audits are customized for individual businesses, so the prices vary, but the typical range is $2,500 - $3,500 (audits for larger "enterprise" websites can be considerably more). Ongoing SEO ranges from consulting to "do it for me" SEO services where Blue Corona's team acts like your own in-house SEO department (for a fraction of the cost of having your own SEO team). Ongoing SEO ranges from $1,000 per month on the low end to $10,000 (or more) per month on the high end.
How does Blue Corona track SEO success?
If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. You can't win the game if you don't know the score. Despite a million quotes which suggest that you can't maximize your business success unless you track your results, most business owners and marketers are still not accurately tracking their advertising, marketing, website, or SEO. Most online marketing companies treat tracking and reporting as an after thought - the last step. At Blue Corona, it's the first step in every SEO engagement.
How do I choose the right keywords?
Choosing the right keywords is a critically important aspect of an SEO campaign. Typically, it starts during the website audit process and continues through the duration of an ongoing SEO campaign. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks about your business the same way you do, so choosing the right keywords can be more difficult than you think! Blue Corona has developed a number of special, proprietary keyword research and selection tools that, combined with our experience, make intelligently choosing the best keywords much easier than any alternative method we've found (and we've analyzed A LOT of keyword research frameworks!).
What are Backlinks?
When one website links to another website, it's called a link. Other terms commonly used by SEO companies and online marketers include: backlink, linkback, inbound link, incoming link, inlinks, and inward links. Links are important for SEO because search engines like Google use them as a gauge or measure of a website's relevance and authority.
What are top-level domains?
Technical jargon aside, in the domain www.bluecorona.com, .com is the top-level domain (note: top-level domains are NOT case-sensitive). Created in 1998, The Internet Corporation for Assign Names and Numbers or ICANN, a nonprofit private organization in California, oversees a number of Internet-related tasks. One of these "tasks" is the management of top-level domains or TLDs. Recently, due to the growth of the web, there has been a big push to create new TLDs such as .google or .bluecorona. This proposed change could have a MAJOR impact on how businesses market and represent themselves online.
Does Google index .co domain names?
In the past, .co domains were used for the country of Columbia. Recently, domain registrars like GoDaddy have begun pushing them to webmasters and business owners from all countries as an alternative to .com. If you're wondering whether a .co domain will rank well on Google, the answer is, "yes." Major companies like Overstock.com have even started using .co in their traditional advertising and marketing (go to O.co as a shortcut to Overstock.com); however, .co domains don't seem to get the same weight that .com domains get, so if you're a small business you should definitely first try to get a .com address.
Which search engine gets the most traffic?
comScore (NASDQ: SCOR) tracks data relevant to the digital world. On June 13, 2012, they released their monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace which shows which search engine gets the most traffic. As you migh expect, Google remains the big dog with close to 67 percent market share (which is up slightly from comScore's last report). Microsoft is in a distant second place with 15.4 percent and Yahoo! is falling behind with 13 percent. So, if you're optimizing your website or reviewing your search engine rankings, in most cases, you should focus primarily on Google, then Bing, and then Yahoo!
What is Google Panda?
Periodically, Google updates their organic search ranking algorithm. When they do, the updates are often given nicknames. On or around February 23, 2011, Google made a major update to their algorithm dubbed "Panda" by some and "Farmer" by others. According to Google, the update impacted roughly 12 percent of the organic search results, and the goal was to reduce webspam (low-quality sites ranked highly in the Google search results).
What is Google Penguin?
When Google makes a major change to their algorithm, they often give it a name. In April 2012, Google made a major update to their organic search ranking algorithm dubbed "Penguin." The target of Google's Penguin update is... wait for it... webspam! The likely targets of the update - sites violating Google's Webmaster Quality Guidelines.
What is duplicate content?
Why XML Sitemaps are important for SEO
What is an XML Sitemap and why is having one important for SEO? Good question! Think of your website as a house and each page of your site as a room. You can think of an XML Sitemap like a blueprint for your house and each web page were a room, your XML Sitemap would be a blueprint—making it easy for Google, the proverbial home inspector of the web—to quickly and easily find all the rooms within your house. XML Sitemaps are important for SEO because they make it easier for Google to find your site's pages—this is important because Google ranks web PAGES not just websites.
Does linking to other websites help or hurt SEO?
There's a common belief that has spread through the SEO community faster than a cold in a nursery school that linking to another website will negatively impact your website's rankings and SEO. But is it true? Can linking to another website hurt your website's organic rankings? Is this always the case or are there times when linking to another website can actually improve your site's rankings?
What is NAP and does it help SEO?
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. NAP is critical for businesses wishing to rank well in the local organic search results, because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches. What can businesses do with their NAP to boost their local search rankings?
What is Co-citation and Co-occurrence?
Co-citation and co-occurrence are an alternative to traditional link building for SEO. While definitions vary, co-citation happens when website A links to websites B and C. In this scenario, websites B and C are said to be related through co-citation because they both are linked from website A. Co-occurrence refers to the text before and after a hyperlink.
Should SEO be done in stages?
If you've never invested in search engine optimization (SEO) and your website is more than three years old, chances are you have a lot of things that need to be fixed. While it's tempting to hire someone to fix everything at once, rapidly implementing some elements of SEO and/or doing too many things at once can cause issues. Depending on the number of changes you need to make, you may want to think about rolling out your SEO efforts in stages.
What is Google Hummingbird?
On September 26, 2013, Google announced that it had revamped and updated it's search algorithm, the formula it uses to sort through all the information on the web and return to you what it believes to be the most relevant and authoritative results. The nickname for the new update is Hummingbird, which is said to be because it allows Google to return results quickly and precisely.
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