Frequently Asked Questions

Have you ever wondered how long web design and development take? How much SEO costs? Or the difference between ‘technical SEO’ and a full-blown SEO strategy? What is ‘content marketing’ anyway? And how does social media figure into it all? If you’ve asked yourself these questions before, you aren’t alone.

Want in-depth answers? Check out our blog which is updated every week with new content, articles, and answers to all of your SEO queries. Want quick TL;DR answers? We’ve got you covered right here on our FAQ page, giving you the bullet-pointed essentials.

Website Design &
Development Questions

I’m new to this, where do I start?

Web design is hugely important, but do you know what else is important? Choosing a web design company you can trust, that listens, responds, and is willing to learn about you before they just jump in making promises and wild claims. Learn about JSL Marketing & Web Design here, our web design process here, or simply contact us to set up a consultation.

Fill out a form here and we’ll get back to you within a business day.

How much does a website cost?

This is a great (and common) question – and unfortunately, the answer is pretty varied.

Do you want a 3-page site? Then your quote will be considerably less than a 30-page site. Are you working in e-commerce, or do you require specializations, extensive custom-coding, multiple forms, portals, and platforms? Then your quote will be considerably higher than a simple informational site.

The long and the short? A (good) website can cost anywhere from $3,000-$30,000.

Check out our resources on the subject or contact us to learn more and receive a custom quote for all the needs of your specific industry and website. Have a number in mind? Let us know and we will work with you.

Can you help me with images and copy for my website?

Yes, absolutely. If you aren’t a natural wordsmith, or if you want the help of a professional, SEO or technical writer, then we can absolutely create copy that speaks to your industry and customers as well as the search engines.

Our content team will research your competition, industry, and utilize our content software tools to find the perfect length, semantically related keywords, linking strategies, and more. Learn more about our SEO, content, and copywriting services here.

Need photos? We can either go mining with our software and tools for relevant images or provide commercial, team, and product photography services for your website, social media, and more.

How long does it take to create a website?

Our web design process takes anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks (think 8 weeks for a smaller site and 16 weeks for a large or fully-custom site).

This includes a prep phase where we get to know your needs, and get the needed copy and images, a research phase where we learn your industry, the first design phase and editing phase, and our testing and launch phase.

Check out our timeline here or learn more about web design and web development here.

What is your web design process?

We noticed that a lot of agencies seem a little shady or secretive when talking about their web design process. But at JSL, we are anything but shady, which is why we made a timeline that shows our process, as well as the client deadlines (in yellow), so we’ll always be on the same page.

Week 1

Fill out onboarding questionnaire
Content and images for website sent to JSL
Onboarding meeting
Sitemap created
sitemap approved

Week 2

Wireframe created
Wireframe approved
Research phase completed

Week 3

Initial website design completed Revision meeting

Week 4

Round 1 edits implemented
Round 2 edits submitted to JSL

Week 5

Wireframe created Wireframe approved Research phase completed

Week 7

Round 2 edits implemented
Website design approved

Week 8

Testing phase complete
Site launched

Search Engine
Optimization Questions

Explain like I’m 5. What exactly is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is a way to make Google (or other search engines) like your site more.

Essentially SEO is the stock market for words that your customers are searching online. We start out by researching phrases and words that your customers are searching (like, ‘best digital marketing agency near me’), you choose the keywords you want (from our researched recommendations) and then we optimize your site around those keywords.

This (plus over 200 other ranking factors that search engines look to) can make your site climb the search engine ranking page (SERP), meaning your site might be #13 for ‘best digital marketing agency near me’ which is the second page of Google’s search results – but after SEO you could climb to #3, which will get you considerably more traffic, more clicks, and more clients. And more clients mean more revenue.

What is a SERP?

SERP stands for Search Engine Ranking Page, and it is the page that pulls up when you search something, or ‘Google something’.

What is Blackhat vs. Whitehat SEO?

Blackhat SEO involves tactics which try to trick Google or Search Engines into ranking them higher. Whitehat SEO is when you truly make a site better so Google, users, and potential customers like it and therefore choose to use it.

Blackhat was easier to do in the beginning of SEO, when the search engine’s algorithms could easily be tricked with keyword stuffing or spammy backlinks. However, now they are so advanced (and updated daily) so Blackhat tactics will ultimately get your site penalized and dropped quickly, even if you see a quick, short-lived climb.

JSL Marketing agrees with your parents – don’t cheat, win the right way – with Whitehat SEO.

How long does SEO take?

SEO is kind of like climbing a mountain, and it can take about as much time.

We recommend at least 6 months with your keywords, and 12 is even better. Let’s say you’re #44 for ‘best digital marketing agency near me’ – do you really think Google, the all-knowing, all-powerful search engine will boost you to that coveted number 1 spot after a week? 3? 6?

No, it will be a gradual climb. You will certainly see jumps right away, and maybe you will even get to that number one spot in 3-6 weeks, but we want consistency, we want to make your site an authority, and we want to get more than just one keyword to that top spot.

How’s that saying go? Ah yes, if it’s easy, it won’t be worth it, and if it’s worth it, it won’t be easy.

What do people mean when they say “Keywords”?

These are the words you choose (after we send you a list of researched words with high search volume, low competition, and industry relevancy) that your campaign will focus on and optimize your site around.

Keywords are the things your clients are searching for in order to find you, and therefore, they are the roads that lead to your site via search engines. The better the keyword, the better the road, the more traffic you’ll get and the more revenue you’ll gain.

Why is SEO important?

Even if you have a wonderful website, great services, or amazing products, you won’t be successful if no one can find you online.

SEO makes you easier to find (higher on Google’s results page) and therefore more likely to be chosen by your customers. After all, they can’t choose a company that’s buried beneath the thousands of other companies online.

Think of Google as a competition and we are the trainers who will whip your website into shape so that you can win that race and be seen and known by your potential customers.
So, yeah, SEO is pretty important.

How do you “do” SEO?

Ah, this question always comes up – and that’s okay. SEO is something that didn’t exist as it currently does just a few years ago. But instead of going through the over 200 ranking factors that SEO takes into consideration (which are constantly being updated and tweaked), let’s just go through a few of the heavy-hitters:

  • Keyword placement and semantically related keywords
  • In-depth copy and content length with no duplicate copy
  • Domain registration length, domain authority, age, and trust
  • Title tags, alt tags, meta descriptions, H2 and H3 tags
  • Keyword density, LSI, full topic coverage due to Google Hummingbird update
  • Loading speed, image optimization, and multimedia
  • Content age and updates, regularly refreshed content, images, and posts
  • Outbound and inbound link quality, backlink web, and internal linking strategy
  • Mobile-friendly and mobile-usability, with no hidden content on mobile
  • Technical fixes for website errors and warnings
  • URL length, paths, strings, and tags
  • User-friendly layout, usability, sitemap and breadcrumb navigation
  • Low bounce-rates, high on-page times, site reputation and reviews
  • SSL and security

And that’s just a small fraction of some of the more powerful ranking factors. In a nutshell, that is why SEO is so difficult to explain, but that doesn’t mean we expect you to just ‘trust us’ – instead, talk to us and we’ll explain any question you have. Or, check out our blog where we tackle different ranking factors every week!

How much does SEO cost?

We have SEO packages for (just about) every price point.

Don’t have a huge budget? Try one of our technical SEO packages which will provide fixes for errors and warnings, as well as minor monthly content edits. Want blogs, social media, copywriting, and more? Talk with us and we’ll find the perfect SEO + Content Marketing package for you. Have unique needs? We can custom-create a proposal for your desires and work within your budget.

From 5 keywords to over 30, our packages and custom SEO proposals can meet you where you are, anywhere from $500 to $5,000+ a month. Beware the SEO packages that some offer for pennies, as they will likely do nothing for you and simply collect their check each month.

Digital Marketing

What is Digital Marketing?

This is any form of marketing that lives online – anything from social media ads and Google ads (SEM and PPC) to SEO, blogs, content marketing, email marketing, etc.

Think of the progression of advertising and marketing – it started with word of mouth, then signs, then newspapers, ads, and fliers, then radio, television, and now it’s online (digital).

How often should I update my website?

The short answer? Often.

First, you don’t want your website to be outdated looking, or have outdated content on it (like Christmas lights in June) and second, you want search engine to see your site isn’t stagnant. This means blogs, GMB (Google My Business) posts, social media posts, content updates at least monthly, etc.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is when you use content creation to help your marketing efforts.
For example, if you create blogs, videos, or social media posts that are meant to be seen and shared, then you are technically working with content marketing.

However, creating content that will ultimately help your digital marketing plan is where it can get tricky. This is why having a content strategy is important and understanding your keywords, semantically related keywords and the voice and mediums your audience prefers.

Learn more about our content marketing or content strategies here.

Other Services &
Business Questions

I need help with branding and logo design. Do you do that?

We sure do! We have a team of creative geniuses who can help create your ideal branding, naming, messaging, colors, fonts, and more. Check out our branding services here.

Where are you located?

We have offices in both Dallas, Texas, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, but we have clients from all across America. From New York to New Mexico, California to Georgia – we can work from anywhere and we can work for anyone.

What other services do you offer?

Here is a full list of our services. We really are your full-service digital marketing and web design agency.

Everyone says they’re “good,” how do I know you’re really the best?

We recommend you check out reviews and meet with every company you consider, whether in person or via an online meeting. Make sure they are willing to answer your questions in plain words, and are transparent about their pricing, services, and results.

Also, it stands to reason that they should be able to do for themselves what they claim to be able to deliver to you – such as being on the first page of Google for many high-volume searches, queries, and keywords – which we are. In fact, we bet that’s how you found us, and that’s how we’ll make your customers be able to find you.

Grand Rapids Web Design team working on a project

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