What types of clients do you serve?

Higher Power SEO works with a broad range of businesses, from one-person start-ups to organizations with thousands of employees. We’re proud of our ability to adapt to work effectively with clients of all sizes, whether that means communicating one-on-one with a sole proprietor or coordinating with a marketing or IT department. We also provide services across a number of verticals, including healthcare, higher education, construction, and professional services. Rather than specializing in just one niche, we’ve been able to get results for clients in a wide array of sectors.

Do you provide other services besides SEO?

Yes! We may have SEO in our name—not to mention our corporate DNA—but Higher Power SEO offers comprehensive services that go far beyond search engine optimization. In addition to on- and off-page optimization, we provide an extensive range of web development and content marketing solutions. Our website design services include custom design, mobile website design, performance optimization, custom development, and support for ecommerce. We also provide reliable hosting and support with a level of personalized service that you can’t get from a super-sized web host. To further support your business online, we offer professional content services including blogging, email marketing, social media, professional video, and lead generation. Check out the different pages on our site to learn more about our services, or better yet, call us at 760-881-4736 to find out how we can help your business.

What do you charge?

Costs for our services vary depending on what service is being provided, and whether the service is one-time or ongoing. Though we do have set prices for some of our offerings, like our local SEO setup or our site audits, we prefer to provide prospective clients with a customized quote based on their specific needs. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to any aspect of what we do. Unlike development companies that simply provide you with a set menu of packages, Higher Power SEO ensures that you’re putting your website budget where it will have the most impact, and you aren’t paying for extras that you don’t need.

Can you show me what to change and I'll do it myself?

Higher Power SEO offers a la carte consulting services that can provide you with advice about your website and answer the questions that you have about SEO and online marketing. We can help you understand what obstacles your business is currently facing online, and we’ll give you actionable recommendations for what you can change to work toward your goals.

That said, many aspects of website optimization and online marketing require a sustained commitment over time, as well as technical knowledge (how much technical knowledge varies depending on the particular project). Doing the work yourself takes time—whether it’s maintaining a blog or keeping on top of your site’s analytics—and that takes you away from other aspects of running your business. When you’re considering the costs of upgrading or maintaining your web presence, make sure you include an estimate for the cost of your own time.

How do you diagnose problems on websites?

At Higher Power SEO, staying on top of the ever-evolving best practices that lead to online success is a major part of what we do. In order to determine how your business’s website is performing, we use a wide range of diagnostics to assess many different aspects of your site. In addition to looking at your site itself—the user-facing content, the tags and other information visible only to search engines, and the overall user experience—we also look at your competitors. A search engine analysis can help you see how you’re doing relative to the competition, where they may be pulling ahead of you, and how you can chase them down. We also look at how you’re performing in specific areas that match your business goals, whether that means examining local search listings or social media stats. All of this information allows Higher Power SEO to provide you with specific, actionable insights that tell you where your website is underperforming and what you can do.

Can you make me a website?

Yes! Our experienced tech pros, SEO engineers, and designers can work together to build you a new website from scratch or to update your existing site. We can incorporate all of the functionality that you need, including ecommerce, video, forms, site membership, and more. All of our websites are mobile-friendly and compatible with all major web browsers. If your site needs a completely custom solution, we have the technical knowledge to build that, too. Call us at 760-881-4736 if you’d like to learn more about some of the unique solutions we have developed for our clients.

Our websites leverage the different strengths of the Higher Power SEO team members. Our design staff help with images, branding, navigation, and overall style to make sure your site looks great to visitors, while our SEO engineers ensure that all of the hidden tags, page titles, and other properties that search engines use to rank your site are properly optimized. We communicate with you throughout the process so that you’re part of key decisions—after all, it’s your business, and the site will be designed just for you.

Can you make a mobile version of my website?

Yes! The mobile web—people searching on smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices—is getting larger every day, and mobile users have high expectations for mobile websites. Sites that are difficult to use or that load slowly put you at risk of losing visitors, which means you’re missing out on potential customers. Higher Power SEO can update your website with responsive design that “knows” what device a visitor is using, or we can build you a mobile-specific site that maintains the branding, style, and key functionality of your desktop site.

Do you provide hosting?

Yes! Higher Power SEO offers full-service website and domain hosting. We have dedicated servers, which gives you the peace of mind of knowing your hosting is reliable and secure. Unlimited bandwidth and disk space is included in our plans, so you don’t need to worry about running out of space for uploading images or about how many email accounts you have. We also can give you a level of personalized service that you can’t get from one of the many “mega” hosts, so if you encounter a problem you can be sure we’ll fix it—and you won’t waste time stuck on hold.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses a wide array of tools and tactics all of which have one goal: boosting the online visibility of your website. To make sure that new customers have the best chance of finding you, SEO takes into account the different variables that impact where your site shows up on search engine results pages (SERPs). On a macro level, that means keeping on top of the changing algorithms that search engines use and the best practices for site content. Both what your visitors see, like blog posts, and what they don’t see, like the page titles and tags that searchbots use, make a difference here. There’s also a micro level, looking specifically at what matters for your business and reaching your specific goals. Strategies like competitor analysis and keyword research can help you understand where your site is currently “fitting in” online, and provide insight into changes that could help improve your online visibility.

What's the difference between paid results and organic search results?

When you search for something on the Internet, whether it’s the answer to a trivia question or where to find the nearest 24-hour Mexican restaurant, search engine results pages (SERPs) will give you two kinds of results. Organic search results are the main list of results that show up and that you can page through (though to be honest, few web users go past the first page of results). These results are surrounded, most often on the top and right, by paid search results. How different the organic results look from the paid results varies; Google in particular regularly tweaks how the different kinds of results appear.

Placement aside, the biggest difference between the two kinds of results is where they come from. Organic results are what the search engine’s algorithm determines are the most relevant to the web user’s search. These algorithms are both notoriously complex and highly opaque; though we know most of the elements that algorithms tend to favor, their weight relative to one another is a closely held secret. Additionally, the algorithms themselves are updated frequently as the search engines work to stay ahead of spammers and websites trying to “game” the system. One of the main objectives of SEO is to make sure that your website is in line with the best practices and latest updates so that when a web user is searching for the kind of product, service, or information that you provide, your website will show up in the organic search results.

Paid search results are, as the term implies, paid for—they’re most often part of pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. The amount you pay is based on how many other websites are also trying to have their sites show up for the same keyword or phrase. You don’t pay when someone sees your result, just when a web user clicks on it. Paid results do get prominent placement on the results pages, but web users tend to trust the organic results more. That said, the clicks you get on a paid result tend to be “quality” clicks—potential leads that are interested in what you have to offer. If you have a small business, it’s more likely that you’d use a PPC campaign to drive traffic to a landing page (a single webpage that’s designed to get visitors to do one specific task, like fill out a contact form) rather than to simply have visitors go to your site.

How long will it take for my rankings to change?

Remember the old ketchup commercial tagline, “Good things come to those who wait”? That definitely applies to good search results, too. We generally recommend that clients hold tight until around six months to accurately assess the results of our SEO efforts. Why does it take so long? Well, there are a couple of aspects to consider.

First, SEO is a long-term commitment. There are some areas that can be changed once and then left until there’s a major shift in the web landscape (for example, adding a dynamic site map). But most aspects of SEO require more regular upkeep, whether it’s adding new blog posts to your site or creating new backlinks.

Second, it takes time for the different search engines to crawl and index your site. Even if your site is submitted to the search engines, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will appear instantly. The bots will come back from time to time, too; it’s not a one-time visit. How your site changes over time can have a further impact on your search rankings, but again, this takes time to take effect.

How long do I need to spend on SEO?

An effective SEO campaign essentially never ends. It’s important to remember that having your rankings improve doesn’t mean you won’t face a downturn later. Too often, businesses will reach their SEO goals and then basically stop—drop their PPC campaigns, give up on blogging, and let social media accounts dry up. It’s a huge mistake! You can’t “coast” for very long before those rankings you worked so hard for will begin to decline. While it may have seemed like a cost savings to stop your SEO plans once your initial goals are met, you’re likely to wind up spending more to get your rankings back up again.

Does my business need to have profiles on social media?

The short answer: yes, it’s a good idea. The longer answer: if you’re a small business, you don’t need to have profiles on every form of social media, but if you can be actively engaged on one or two platforms, it can help you maintain relationships with existing clients, get new ones, and potentially better understand your market.

It is better to have a robust presence on a couple of social platforms than to have empty or abandoned-looking profiles on many sites. The key is to understand what platforms your target audience engages with the most and will be the most appropriate for your business. For example, if your focus is B2B, you’re going to want a strong LinkedIn presence, and Twitter might be a good secondary way to leverage that content. On the other hand, if you run a daycare center, Facebook and Pinterest—both of which are heavy on visuals and especially popular with young parents. Choosing just one or two platforms keeps you from being overextended, ensuring that you’ll actually post, share, like, tweet, pin, and so on, just like a regular user of that social site. Being able to maintain a regular frequency keeps your online followers engaged, and on sites like Facebook—which limit the amount business pages appear in users’ feeds, even if the user is a fan—it gives you a better shot at appearing organically in feeds. Similarly, on a site like Twitter—where constant updates are the norm—regular tweets mean your followers are more likely to see at least some of your updates.

If you have questions about setting up business profile, which platforms would be a good fit for your business, best practices for different social sites, or creating engaging content, we’d love to talk! Call Higher Power SEO at 760-881-4736 to learn more.

What are backlinks, and how do I get them?

Backlinks are links that point to a certain webpage—essentially, they’re just links. What makes them backlinks is simply a matter of perspective: links that point to your pages on your website are your backlinks. Of course, that means that these links are coming from other websites—what are inbound links to you are outbound links to those sites.

How do you get other websites to link to pages on your website? There are several tried-and-true ways to build quality links. Content marketing is an obvious choice. That can mean widely distributed content like press releases, guest blogging or commenting on other sites, participating in online Q&A forums, or increasing your presence on social media. These all involve effort on your part to get a link back to your site put on other websites.

The best way to get other websites to link to yours without having to add the link yourself? Have useful, entertaining, valuable, or otherwise share-worthy content on your website. A great infographic, an easy-to-follow tutorial, an interesting blog post—these are all examples of content that other website owners (not to mention bloggers and social media users) will want to link to and share. Creating this kind of content takes time and talent, but it’s a solid foundation for a strong link profile.

It’s also important to round out your link profile (and pick up links in the process) by claiming all of your relevant listings on legitimate directory sites. Industry- or niche-specific directories, local directories, and large-scale general directories vary in their usefulness, but all are places where you can pick up links. The key here is to avoid any spam directories: Not all backlinks are created equal, and if a site that’s been flagged as spam is linking to your site, it could drag down your rankings.

I paid a company for link building and my rankings dropped. What happened?

If you’ve started a business, it’s a virtual guarantee that you regularly find pitches from “SEO professionals” who say they can give you a giant bundle of links for a low price. Beware: you get what you pay for, and in this case, you’re paying for spam. Search engines want to discourage paying for links, and they heavily penalize the “link schemes” that companies offering this type of service use. Though if you’ve bought into one of these offers you likely did receive a rapid boost in rankings, it’s more or less inevitable that once your site was “caught” by the search engines your rankings were penalized. To start to dig your way out of the rankings hole, any toxic links will need to be removed or disavowed as a first step to rebuilding your link profile and show the search engines that your website is legitimate.

What are bad links, and how can I get rid of them?

It’s good to have links, but not all links are good. Bad links are links that take web users to spam websites. (That can mean a range of things, from websites that simply aren’t at all useful to sites that are maliciously trying to steal information from visitors.) Both inbound links and outbound links can be bad. If you bought a link-building package from a less-than-sterling firm, you likely have backlinks from spam sites. That means your site runs the risk of being flagged as spam and penalized in search engines. It’s also possible to wind up with outbound links from your website to spam sites. One common way that this can happen is from comments, which generally allow the commenter to include a link to his or her website. If you aren’t running a spam blocker or using extra security (like including a captcha in your comment form), you can wind up with links to highly unsavory sites buried in the comments beneath your webpages or blog posts.

If spam links are dragging down your search options, there are a few options for getting rid of them (or at least for letting search engines know that you didn’t ask for them!). If you can find contact information for admins or owners for websites that are linking to yours, you might send a request asking for the link to be removed. (This strategy is known as manual link removal.) A legitimate site will generally honor that type of request, but spam sites are likely to ask for money—don’t pay a dime, just move on. If that doesn’t work or does not remove all of the links, you can use an advanced option in Google Webmaster Tools that allows you as the site owner to disavow the links. This lets the search engine’s bots know that they should ignore these backlinks. Though removing your bad links might cause a drop in traffic initially (because there are fewer total backlinks), it’s the best thing for the long-term health of your site.