“Thank you so much for your willingness to help and for your time supporting the beginners”. (Michael from Australia) Over the last few weeks I have received several emails like this – from interesting people with inquiring minds all over the world. They have a broad range of experience, from beginners to advanced in their knowledge base of search engine placement and optimization. Each are seeking, in as layman terms as possible, answers to many basic and fundamental questions. To wit:

Q. Is it really important for visibility to have my own domain name?

A. Absolutely. To maximize impact, consider a domain name including your specific keyword(s). As well, you should develop a keyword-enriched title for the page.

Q. Please shed some light regarding keyword phrases?

A. Keyword phrases are particular combinations of relevant or unique words that users search on. What is the wording you want to promote? Focus on this. For example, a few unique and descriptive keywords for StepForth Placement would be: search engine placement, seo services, sep, sem, S.E.O., search,engine, optimization, StepForth, ranking, optimisation, optimize, top10, website,marketing, etc.

Q. For my site would it not be better to have three instead of four pages by combining two pages in order to increase the size of the small Home Page?

A. It all depends. Certainly you want the Home page to offer sufficient enriched keyword text. The text used in this section should be descriptive of your business, its products, and your potential customers. In addition, for each page, remember to use unique and descriptive titles, Keyword and Description META Tags. Also, consider creating text-based navigation map and Site Map at the bottom of each page.

Q. I can understand the importance of links to my site, however, why should I offer my link to other services that my potential clients may go to.

A. It is good practice to develop a link page on your site. To increase site relevance, popularity, and visibility, link your site to complimentary business, service, or information sites. As a rule, obtain meaningful reciprocal links with related and relevant associations, on-line publications, manufacturers, suppliers, etc. Search engines would consider this link as a vote of confidence that the target web site is about your keywords or keyphrase and thus your site would have a better chance of achieving a top placement under that phrase.

Q. I have a limited budget. What can I do to get the best return for a minimal investment?

A. Everyone has a different concept on what is ‘a best return’ and ‘a minimal investment’. How fast do you need it and how much work needs to be done? And who is going to do the work? Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Our small company package starts at $2000. To many business owners this is viewed as a small price to pay for marketing their business. Many companies setup an annual budget for web design yet remarkably they neglect to set aside funds for necessary search engine placement, optimization and maintenance.

Sometimes there is a relatively quick fix. If you have a advertising or promotion line in your financial statement appropriate some the funds from there. Many SEO companies can offer flexible payment plans, spreading out the payments. See your finance department for advice. Depending on your fiscal year-end he/she may suggest monies could be used from the current fiscal year with the balance paid from the next annual budget. Another route many of our technically minded clients lean toward is our $150 per hour consultancy fee.

If you depend on a successful Christmas/Chanukah selling campaign the only way the reap the benefits of marketing your site now may be to just bite the bullet and set aside the necessary financial resources. Or wait until next season’s campaign.

Q. Should I put into my Meta Tag “Keywords” my selected keyword phrase, which may be exactly the same phrase a user might type into a search engine box? Also, should they be in the same order in the text body AND as in the SE user’s box

A. For an excellent explanation of Meta Tags, please read “10 Minute Search Engine Optimization”, by Ross Dunn, StepForth CEO. The link is https://news.stepforth.com/2003-news/ten-minute-optimization.shtml