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Website Design, Content Management and E-Commerce Solutions since 1997
We have recently started moving some of our more often asked questions to this FAQ page. Look for more information as we expand this section.
If you have questions, please use our FAQ form.

    Online Sales

  • What is PCI Compliance?

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements set up to ensure that any company that processes, stores or transmits credit card information maintain a secure environment. This environment includes your business network and your website, if you accept credit card payments through your website.

    Your merchant company and it's related service providers are responsible for enforcing compliance. In most cases, this generally includes a self assessment questionnaire for your local business network and a website scan for your website.

    Any company or organization that accepts card holder data is subject to the PCI DSS requirements. How this effects you depends upon your merchant account organization.

    We provide PCI compliant servers for our customers who require the service. PCI compliance restricts access and requires enhanced security. This means that some components you need for your website may not be available on a PCI compliant server. In those cases, we often recommend a standard server for your website and hosting only the payment process through the PCI compliant server.

    For more information on PCI compliance, visit pcicomplianceguide.org.


  • Do you recommend any specific merchant account provider?

    No. What we do recommend is that you do your homework. Merchant account providers vary greatly. Depending upon your average sale, volume of sales and relationship, fees vary. You should look at least look at several different providers to see which best suits your needs.

    And don't forget your existing bank. Most banks, even small home town banks, now offer merchant accounts. If you are going to accept credit card payments locally as well as through your website, this may be one of your best options.

  • Do I have to have a merchant account to sell online?

    It depends. If you are selling one or two low volume products you probably want to choose a payment setup through Google or PayPal. Both offer a way to accept online payments without having a merchant account.

    Generally speaking, we suggest setting up a merchant account with an online payment gateway only if you expect gross profits from your online store to amply cover the costs of a merchant account. These costs vary greatly from business to business. Merchant account fees include the monthly bank account fees, transaction fees, credit card discount rate for sales, payment gateway and accounting fees.


    SEO Services

  • Is it possible to get a top 10 ranking for a single keyword such as leather?

    The question should be do you want to be in the top 10 for a single key word.

    For instance, there are right at 700 Million competing pages for the keyword "leather". There are only 50 million competing pages for "leather jacket" and only 23 million competing pages for the key phrase "leather jackets for men". Obviously, it will be less time consuming to get to the top 10 for "leather jackets for men" than to get to the top 10 for "leather".

    More importantly, how likely is a person searching "leather" to be a potential customer for a man's leather jacket. How likely is a person searching using the key phrase "leather jacket for men" to be a potential customer for a man's leather jacket?

    Remember the basic tenants of search engine optimization. Who is your market? What key phrases do they use to find businesses like yours? Which of these key phrases will bring you the best return on investment? Always order your key phrase list based on potential ROI from highest to lowest. Focus on the highest ROI first and work your way down the list.


  • How can I know my SEO efforts are working?

    Analytics, analytics, analytics!

    No SEO project should be started unless you have two things clearly defined and in place.
    1. You must have a clear understanding of your SEO goals...what you want the search engine optimization to do for your business and your website.
    2. You must have a clear definition of what defines success. This is generally measured in things such as number of visitors, bounce rate and conversion rate, increased sales, etc.

    In fact, you should have both well-defined before you start any changes to your website.

    Once you have the goals and a sound definition of success it will be much easier to determine what measures you need.


  • Can you guarantee top placement for all of my search phrases?

    Can you guarantee top placement for all of my search phrases?

    Simply put, no!
    There are no guarantees for natural search engine results. If a guarantee is involved, you are either dealing with someone selling a pay-per-click program or black hat SEO techniques. Pay per click is a viable method for generating traffic but it can be expensive and it misses a good portion of your audience. Upwards of 50% of searchers do not click on pay-per-click listings. The number for under age 35 users drops considerably.

    SEO is a process… you do the research, change the content, submit the new content, measure the results, plan additional changes and repeat. All good SEO consultants follow the same procedure.


  • I need results fast. What is the minimum time required for SEO to really start working for me?

    If you need fast results pay-per-click is your best bet.

    The SEO process takes time. In most cases we begin to see results within a couple of months. However, since SEO is a circular process the initial results are just the beginning. You should look at SEO as a permanent part of your website management.

    Each step of the process is necessary to maximize the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. Each step of the process takes time.

    Pay-per-click will bring you visitors quickly. It is also temporary and those visitors will be gone as soon as you drop the campaign. Organic SEO will be around for months and even years.


  • How many key words should I optimize for?

    It's not how many keywords you optimize for...it's how often are they used in searches.

    Below is a list of keywords specific to the self storage business:

    Keyword Searches
    self storage 7844
    storage units 1952
    self storage units 1033
    self storage units 1033
    mini storage 655
    storage facility 442
    self storage facilities 423
    mini storage rental 363
    mini storage unit 360
    self storage facility 109
    self service storage 101

    As you can see, there is a big difference in the number of searches for each key phrase. As you can see, "self storage" is going to produce upwards of twelve times the searches and "mini storage". In keyword optimization you want to focus on the keywords that will bring the highest traffic for the least optimization effort.

    Sometimes, this means you need to focus on lower frequency keywords that have less competition. For instance there are 113 million competition pages for "self storage" and only 11 million for "mini storage unit". Obviously you have a better chance of getting to the top 10 results for "mini storage unit" than you do for "self storage". And, if you do get to the top of the results for "self storage" it will take a great deal more work and fine tuning your content.

    So, it's not the number but the results...how many visitors do you get with each key phrase.


  • How do I locate the primary keywords for my industry?

    There are a number of key word research resources. All of the major search engines have key word research components in their pay per click accounts.

    While we sometimes make use of these free resources our base research is done through wordtracker.com. Wordtracker does offer a very limited service for free their paid resources are excellent. They use a database consisting of hundreds of millions of recent Internet searches. Combine this database with cross site research on keywords used and keyword use gives you an in-depth understanding of which keywords you need to focus on for maximizing ROI in your optimization efforts.

    Wordtracker is available for as little as $90.00 (base plan with up to 1000 keywords).


  • I only have a few pages in my website. Will optimization help me get to the top of the search engines?

    The short answer is YES!

    Every website will benefit from search engine optimization. Even a one page web site will benefit. However, search engines use the text on your web page to determine which words your site will be indexed under and where you will fall in the results based on the words on that page. So, the less content you have the harder it is to rank high in search engines for any great number of keyword combinations.

    Small web sites do make optimization more challenging because of the restricted content. However, because of the restricted content it is absolutely necessary for your optimization to be carefully planned.

Web Transitions, Inc. | 109 Main Street | P.O. Box 638 | Boones Mill, Virginia | 24065 | sales@webtransitions.com | 540-334-1707