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Frequently Asked Questions

What separates you from other SEO companies?

StepForth works closely with our clients to develop a package that not only fits their needs, but also their budget. Some companies provide cookie-cutter services with limited flexibility. We have the flexibility to get you exactly what you need and want. We are also very accommodating to meeting client schedules and are available whenever we are needed.


  • We aim for both short term and long term results because we fully expect to create a long term relationship with our clients; even if our expertise is only required occasionally, we want to be your partner in marketing.
  • We are certified by Google in both Google Analytics and Google AdWords to provide the best quality, cutting-edge services possible.
  • We are industry veterans with our own world-renowned podcast called SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM. This show is downloaded approximately 30,000 times per month and has been on the air since 2009.
  • Although it is not something we trumpet, we offer incredibly affordable services with excellent results and the happy clients to prove it (references ARE available).
How long have you been doing SEO for?

Ross Dunn, our CEO, entered the SEO industry in its infancy in 1997. Senior SEO Scott Van Achte has been doing SEO with StepForth since early 2003.

Why is ranking on the first page of Google important?

Approximately 90% of people searching on Google will not continue on to page 2 of the search results. So while being on page 2, and page 3, will deliver some traffic it will only be a fraction of what you may receive if listed on page one.

What is Optimization? How can it help my web site?

Optimization is the act of aligning a websites content and online marketing with search engine guidelines. By following the best practices set out by the search engines your website will stand the best chance of obtaining top organic rankings.

What sort of monthly budget do I need?

Budgetary requirements vary greatly depending on a number of factors; end goals, industry competition, market size, and the current state of the website. It is impossible to give an accurate number that applies to all scenarios. That said, in most cases budgets will need to be at least $500/month. Book a free consultation with a StepForth representative today to discuss your marketing needs.

We would like to sign up, but we're still redesigning our website. Should we wait or is there anything you could do now?

If you are in the process of redesigning your website, it is critical that you have an SEO involved in the process. There are many important factors to consider prior to launch that if ignored can result in catastrophic failure for your future rankings.  Not only will an SEO help ensure that your old rankings and traffic are preserved, they will also help ensure that the new site is search friendly and following SEO best practices.

Is it mandatory for us to provide you the FTP details? Can you make the changes and provide us the files to upload? We would prefer not to give out the FTP access

While FTP is not required it is highly recommended. By having full access to your server it will allow us to make timely updates to the website without delays and allow us to be sure the job is done correctly. In situations where the client refuses to provide FTP access we can send files back and forth with you posting them to the server. This often results in some delays and additional expenses as it adds otherwise unnecessary time to projects.


It is important to note, that these days most websites utilize content management systems. In this situation FTP access is often not required.

How is SEO different from SEM?

In its simplest form, SEO is the optimization of on and off site content for the sole purposes of obtaining higher rankings in Google . SEM expands the reach to include other factors such as social media, paid search advertising, and other facets of online marketing. SEO is essentially a component of SEM.

I already do PPC, do I need to do SEO? What's the difference?

PPC stands for “Pay per Click”. It is a form of paid advertising where you are charged for each individual that is sent to your website. PPC offers the chance to be #1 in the paid ads shown on a particular search engine, but at a cost.  Bing and Google offer PPC platforms as do some other networks. SEO is the act of optimizing your website so that it appears naturally, for free, in Google results.  PPC and SEO can work very well together to help boost your sales and branding.

What is black hat SEO? (And what's white hat SEO?!)

Black hat SEO is the use of techniques considered spammy or illegal. Black Hat SEO comes in many different forms ranging from hidden content all the way up to illegal methods like hacking websites. Google frowns upon many different strategies, and those strategies are referred to as ‘Black Hat’. White Hat SEO is the act of optimizing a website and managing an SEM campaign while falling within Google’s Guidelines and best practices. White Hat SEO is safe and will stand the test of time whereas Black Hat SEO almost always catches up with you and can result in a permanent banning of your website form search results.

How do you find the best keywords for my business?

Finding the right keywords for your site involves first consulting with the client to determine their goals, market, and target audience. Some of the keyword selection is then chosen simply based on common sense, while various tools can be utilized to help track down additional targets. Search frequencies for the various terms help to determine which targets are the best bets to focus on for your SEO campaign.

What is the difference between SEO 1.0 and SEO 2.0

SEO 1.0 is often referred to as the earliest and simplest forms of SEO. It involve the basic fundamentals such as the optimization of the main website, images, and some external factors. SEO 2.0 includes the addition of many modern factors such as social media, local search marketing as well as some new onsite factors like page speed, usability and mobile responsiveness.