Everything you really need to know about us

Our FAQs and Glossary pages are a portal into the wide world of digital marketing. You can find answers to common questions here, or return to home base at Resources.

Curious to discover ioCreative’s own digital marketing services? See our pages on SEO, Branding, Content Marketing, CRO, Website Development, and Web Property Management; they’re full of stars.

What does SEO stand for?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You engage in SEO when you attempt to get a page to rank higher in a search engine’s SERPs (search engine results pages), with the ultimate goal being to increase organic (unpaid) traffic to that page because your website has become more visible in organic search results for the people who are looking for your brand, product, or service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click, which is a way of buying web traffic. Paid (i.e., inorganic) search results appear at the top of a SERP. These are the links that advertisers pay for in order to appear on different search engines. While search engine advertising is the most popular form of PPC, numerous channels like Facebook now offer PPC ad models, as well.

Which is better, SEO or PPC?

Both can be vital aspects of expanding and improving your digital market footprint; however, since SEO provides better ROI than all other forms of digital paid advertising combined, ioCreative employes an SEO-first strategy.

Why do I need SEO for my business?

When properly implemented, SEO allows you to build better branding and positioning for your business, products and services; to increase online credibility and trust for your business; to rank higher in the SERPs; and, ultimately, to increase traffic from potential customers, thereby growing the number of repeat visitors and customers and improving your bottom line.

The goals, project scope, and budget for search engine optimization can vary significantly, depending on your business model and overall definition of a conversion.

Ultimately, a business today needs SEO because most businesses employ some kind of SEO strategy. Without one, your potential customers will simply find your competitors.

How much does SEO cost?

This depends greatly on your current SEO strategy, business model, and overall goals. Sometimes SEO triage is needed to stabilize a website before there can be a focus on growing the business through SEO. So typically a lot of research and analysis is done upfront to determine goals, needs, and any missteps made along the way before a cost can be determined.

That noted, SEO is an ongoing strategy: the Internet is forever changing and evolving, and competitors can suddenly become more competitive when they employ their own SEO strategies. Our goal is to achieve a maintenance mode for our SEO customers where we can address any emerging needs while employing necessary strategies essential to maintaining a strong presence and ongoing conversions.

How long does SEO take?

There are 200 known Google ranking factors. The larger your site and the greater the traffic to your site is a big factor, so the smaller your site, the longer it might take. Furthermore, the SEO needs can determine the time needed. With SEO recovery, it can take longer. Generally speaking, though, we’ve seen it take anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months.

Why are keywords significant and what is keyword research?

In its most basic definition a keyword or keyword phrase is the text a web user types into a search box to find relevant information or content. Keywords connect a potential customer’s search intent with a business’ focus. When synergy between the two is achieved, conversions will increase along with impressions (or online exposure).

To do keyword research well it requires special software tools and experience. It is the foundation of SEO. A deep dive analysis of site content, competitor ranking, and even Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) can be crucial to achieving that synergy.

What is a meta description?

A meta description is part of your presence in search results, appearing just below the URL and title that links to a specific page on your site. It serves as a Call To Action and serves to compel users to click to your site.

Why are meta descriptions so important?

The keywords in a meta description, along with a page’s content, title, and other signals, provide search engines like Google a better understanding of a page’s intent. In combination with user clicks, it plays a role in determining when your site is shown in SERPs and where it ranks. The best meta description will provide a clear keyword focus as well as a compelling Call To Action to encourage clicks.

What are SEO backlinks?

In the most basic way, the Internet is comprised of websites and a web of links that connect the websites. A website’s rank is largely impacted by two types of “votes:” (1) individual searchers clicking to the website from SERPs and (2) links to the website from other websites. These links are called backlinks.

What is Domain Authority?

A simple way to think of Domain Authority (DA) is to see it as the Internet respect a site has earned for its user clicks and quality backlinks. When this site links to others, it passes along some of its DA strength. So the goal is to have a site that has strong Domain Authority as well as backlinks from sites with strong Domain Authority.

What is Link Building?

Link Building is a specific SEO strategy intended to gain better Domain Authority by acquiring quality backlinks, or external links to your site from other sites. Additionally, Link Building can refer to strategic internal linking that helps prioritize content for search engines.

What is anchor text?

Anchor text is clickable text. The keywords of anchor text will become associated with the link it uses, and so anchor text is an opportunity to build an association between specific search terms and the page you’d like the user to visit. It is best to have a combination of specific terms and non-specific terms that create a depth of associated meaning related to a specific landing page’s focus.

What is landing page?

In simple terms, any page on a website is a landing page if it is the first page visited. In SEO, however, a landing page is more than that. It is the page intended to be the first one visited through targeted marketing and SEO efforts. For instance, if your site sells hats along with other clothing, you want someone looking to buy a hat to land at you hat page, not your home page.

Each landing page is an entry into your site and can often be your site’s first introduction to a new customer.

What is Local SEO?

There is no longer one kind of search. The days of all businesses battling in an arena to win ranking on page 1 of SERPs are gone! Now there are different types of search, and Local SEO is one that allows brick-and-mortar locations to compete better for ranking on page 1 if search intent appears to be for local services. For example, a search for beer is unclear and the results will be varied (e.g., definition of beer, history of beer, how beer is made, etc.). A search for beer near me suggests an intent to buy beer locally and those businesses ranking well for Local SEO will appear on page one instead (e.g., local microbreweries, beer at local supermarkets, etc.).

That noted, local businesses that rank well nationally will often rank well locally, too.

What is robots.txt?

This is a page that gives search engines information about the pages a company wants indexed or crawled. You can find this page by doing to YOURDOMAIN/robots.txt.

What is the sitemap.xml file?

This file is an index of all the pages on your site. It’s a quick reference for search engines of content that you want indexed.

What is the difference between indexed and crawling?

When search engines look through the content on your website, they are crawling your site. As they crawl your site, they index content that will appear in the search engine. However, the important thing to remember is that not all content is indexed. Search engines pick what content they will and won’t index as they go through the crawling process.

Why do you need alt text on your images?

Search engines cannot read images, but they can read text. The alt text helps them figure out what the images are all about. Plus, if a page doesn’t load for some reason, people can still find out what the image is by reading the alt text. And it can be helpful to those who are visually impaired.

How often should I update my website?

Websites that go for long periods with no updates and new content are unlikely to perform well or support any useful digital marketing objectives. Though a static website technically qualifies as a website it’s bound to be more than a digital brochure.

Also, technology tends to move faster than business, and it is essential to keep up; otherwise, your website will be woefully out of date with regard to design, technical features, and the overall user experience. If you haven’t updated your website in 5 years, you’re long overdue.

What is user-centered design?

User-centered design is a process or set of tools used to design a service which focuses on what users need at the very beginning and continues throughout development until launch. Typically services are designed from a technical and business perspective, with consideration for users added in later. Instead, User-centered design ensures the service focuses on what users need before balancing this with the technical and business requirements.

What is wireframing?

Wireframing is a way to design a website service at the structural level. A wireframe is commonly used to lay out content and functionality on a page while taking into account user needs and user journeys. Wireframes are typically used early in the development process to establish the basic structure of a page before visual design and content is added.

What content should we create?

There can be no all-encompassing answer to this question except to say you should create content buyers will find relevant and useful. Leading candidates include blog posts, articles, ebooks, infographics, microsites, videos, courses, case studies, newsletters, visuals and various forms of interactive content.

How do I get people to read our content?

Great headlines are the key to getting people to read, watch or listen to your content, followed by relevant and quality content that supports great headlines. Over time, your reputation will become a factor, as well. The goal with content, though, is to engage visitors, which in turn improves the overall site ranking.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing involves marketing to people using Internet-connected electronic devices, namely computers, smartphones and tablets. Digital marketing focuses on channels such as search engines, social media, email, websites and apps to connect with prospects and customers.

Would my business benefit from digital marketing?

Almost certainly. Very few businesses enjoy success without some digital marketing. Though companies in many business categories continue to approach digital marketing with skepticism, avoiding digital marketing denies your business access to the media the majority of consumers turn to first and at all hours of the day.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of conversions from your digital property, typically a web page. CRO involves executing tactics to improve the elements on your site (or app) through testing. Relative to your marketing funnel, CRO focuses on propelling prospects to the next stage by creating a fluid and seamless user experience.

How long does it take to see results?

Paid digital marketing programs should create results immediately. On the other hand, programs such as content marketing, email list building, and search engine optimization require persistence and patience. You might see results in a matter of months; however, it’s likely to be six months to a year before you realize some of your traffic and conversion objectives.

How is SEO changing?

As we discussed earlier, SEO is always changing. But the biggest change continues to be the shift toward mobile. Mobile digital media time in the US is now significantly higher than desktop digital media time, and that number is set to continue to grow. In fact, Google recently made mobile page speed a ranking factor and has begun to privilege the mobile crawler over desktop. While mobile engagement historically involves few clicks to your site, it is often your first introduction to new or potential customer.

What is a brand?

A brand is a set of identifiers that represents your company. By using visual, emotional and practical standards, brands create the psychological connection that customers feel towards your company. Without this connection, there is no customer loyalty.

Also, in order to be effective, a brand must be unfailingly consistent. By creating rules for your company to follow, branding ensures that everything your company does—big or small—keeps the same look and feel, so potential customers can recognize you instantaneously

Is there a difference between a logo and branding?

Yes! Although your logo acts as the business’s key identifier, it means nothing without a brand to back it up. When people see a logo, they are reminded of everything the company has done, said, and produced. If a company has successfully branded itself, then the majority of people will have a similar strong reaction to the logo. Likewise, if a company has been inconsistent with its messaging, their logo will fail to bring any emotional response.

How much does branding cost?

Traditionally, branding services are priced based on their inherent value to the business. This means that cost is determined by the number of materials you need, your company’s size and revenue, the scope of change your brand is undergoing, and several other factors.

How do I differentiate my brand?

The simple answer to this complex question is to create value. You need to identify and communicate a promise to your customers that resonates on an emotional level. It may help to consider how your business or service will improve the lives of those served.

How often should I update my brand identity?

That really depends on how well it’s performing for you. Most major companies will refresh their brand every 5-10 years, when their target market shifts and/or their marketing approach changes. Even so, these updates generally stick with a similar visual style and only minor tweaks to the logo. It’s more of an evolution than a revolution.

Why pay for a professionally designed brand?

Branding is a psychological science. It determines how your company is perceived, as well as how customers emotionally interact with your products. Trying to do a brand DYI will cost far more in the long run since it is easy to make mistakes without years of expertise working in brand development.


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