Frequently Asked Questions

SEO

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is refer to designing, writing, and coding (in HTML) of your web site so that there is a good chance that your web pages rank well of search engine queries for particular terms, especially with crawler-based search engines.

Why is SEO so important?

Search engines are extremely important for any online business. Over 85% of Internet users use search engines to find products and services. SEO ensures your website has all of the necessary criteria to rank high in search results. Without high rankings, your website has little chance of gaining search engine traffic. A professional SEO campaign from ECAT can offer you the best ROI (return on investment) by delivering fresh, targeted traffic to your website that’s both free and effective.

Why are your services better than other SEO companies?

At ECAT we stand behind our work and our results. Our team is the best in SEO having years of experience in the industry. We know SEO and our record speaks for itself.

Do you provide any kind of guarantee?

No SEO company can guarantee a number #1 position or specific ranking for your site for a given keyword phrase. There are simply too many variables involved in determining placement within each search engine’s results. For example, a search engine changing their ranking algorithms, efforts made by competitors, and new sites being added to the Internet are just a few ever changing variables that can affect your website’s placement.

We will provide our best efforts without any SEO guarantee to obtain high rankings for your selected website(s) with the major search engines and directories.

Are your services safe for a new website?

Completely our services are performed definitely for your site. Whether your site is new or old, our experts will execute strategies that are 100% safe and ethical and will help to promote your business locally and globally.

What is a ‘Search Engine Friendly’ design?

Web design is the most important factor for the success of any business. Website should be optimized so search engine index can crawl the website easily. A SEO friendly website should be responsive so that users can access your website on multiple devices.

Can I get top ranking in single keyword?

With the growth in the number of websites, getting high search engine rankings with single keywords is very difficult. You are much better off targeting keyword phrases. Keyword phrases are two- or three-word phrases that your target market is likely to use to search for your site. “Home Business” is better than “Business” and “Home Business Software” is better still. Remember that single keywords usually return the least targeted leads.

Some keywords or keywords phrase are going to be much more competitive than others and it takes time to get in the top ranking.

How do I know which keywords I should target?

Not to worry, when you sign up with us, we do in-depth research on your industry related keywords. Using this research, we can set out an entire strategy for your company/website. We also are able to strategies around any particular keywords you want to rank for.

When should I begin seeing improvements in my rankings?

Improvements can be seen after a few days, weeks or even months. There are several factors which we need to consider before starting SEO, such as the current state of your website, responsiveness, content, crawl rate, keywords competitiveness, competitors’ position and so on. SEO is usually a long term strategy that can take months.

I am number 1 in Yahoo, but not in the top 1,000 in Google. Why?

Yahoo and Google use two different algos to come up with their SERPs – Yahoo favours on- page optimization such as H1 tags, keyword density, etc while Google favours off page like inbound links. If you have done more on page then Yahoo will rank higher and vice versa. As part of this if you are now addressing your off page then you need more backlinks and time for these links to age.

Particular keyword, will be related to links, i.e., how many/how good/how optimized are the links that point to the pages that currently occupy the top spots for that keyword.

Do I need SEO and AdWords?

AdWords allows a company to get immediate results, whereas SEO is a long-term strategy. It’s important to dominate as much of the 1st page as possible for the best results. So, if you want both immediate and long-term results, you can do both SEO and AdWords.

Do you do Google AdWords?

Yes. we can write your Google AdWords Marketing, even manage your entire pay per click campaign (including keyword analysis).

How do I ensure that I stay ahead of my competition when it comes to online visibility?

Search engine marketing is not a one-time project. It must be seen as an ongoing strategic business process if you want to continually stay ahead of the competition. To that end, part of our consultative process is to assess the activities, strengths and weaknesses of your major competitors’ sites, and devising appropriate strategies for netting superior visibility for your site.

eCommerce

Are you a reliable eCommerce Web Development Company?

Just check our portfolio and you will be able to get an idea. Our work should give answer to your question.

Do you use templates to design my store?

No. Your business is unique and deserves a unique design concept, not to be put in the same old box. That's why every eCommerce package includes your own design concept. The design department at ECAT will work with you to refine a unique look and feel necessary for your online success.

Can I design my own site?

Yes. Already have a design concept in mind? Let ECAT’s design team work to incorporate your completed design or design ideas into a fully implemented and functional website.

How many products can your platform support?

The platform can support unlimited products: from a boutique store to an online shopping mall.

Can I have a search box for the customer should they wish to search for items?

YES, we provide a search box facility for the web site.

In addition to the product name, what kinds of product description fields do you support? Do you allow merchant defined fields?

ECAT e-commerce supports unique title tag, keyword, meta tag, and product description fields to help you get search engine visibility down to the product level. If your product catalog has unique parameters, the system can easily accommodate them.

Do you have a mass emailing / newsletter module?

Yes. Our back-end tools include an email / newsletter module so you can keep in touch with your customers and reach out to new ones.

Do you offer payment gateway services?

Yes, ECAT has partnered with secured payment gateway service providers for your convenience.

Can all credit cards be accepted? Ifs not please tell me which ones cannot be accepted and do you have pay pal?

YES all major Credit Cards can be accepted.

The ecommerce software integrates can integrate with a number of different payment systems e.g. paypal, protx, nochex, worldpay, google checkout, Barclays epdq – you can only choose one of these to use for the website

When a customer has finished shopping can I send an invoice confirmation receipt?

The invoice receipt is automatically sent via the ecommerce software.

What kinds of statistics and reporting are available to the merchant?

ECAT e-Commerce offers robust reporting features and the flexibility to create custom reports. Complete web statistics are included as well.

I have a unique business that requires a complex, customized site. Can you help me?

Absolutely. ECAT specializes in designing and developing complex, custom eCommerce solutions and Web sites. We’d be happy to discuss your unique needs and provide you with a tailor-made solution.

How many customer maxim can be on my site at any one time when shopping?

There is no limit as far as I am aware.

What kind of customer support do you offer?

We offer live phone, email and forum support Monday to Friday 7:30 AM- 4:00 PM CAT. You can contact our Pretoria office at 012 993 2870. We also offer ongoing support outside office hours; your assigned technician will give you his / her details.

I have a large catalog; does ECAT have bulk product and image uploading capabilities?

Yes. We over the years we have developed a flexible backend product catalogue system which takes your unlimited product catalog with support for multi-tier pricing, categories and more.

What type of training do you provide?

ECAT provides standard training with every e-commerce implementation to give you the tools and information that you will need to maintain a successful store and utilize all of the ECAT e-commerce features that will serve your unique business.

Mobile App

Why should we use ECAT over another agency?

Our clients use us because of our broad capabilities to successfully deliver complex app and online portal development projects. We have over 22 years of experience in solving all kinds of problems, such as working alongside existing development teams, working with legacy systems to support new app developments, building technically complex features, and bringing together systems, processes and applications with seamless integration.

If you have big ideas, find yourself with complex problems and want the very best from an agency, then ECAT can help.

Can you give me a fixed-price quote?

Yes, we can. Before we begin your project, we work with you to write a detailed project specification and then provide you with a fixed-price quote to deliver the work. This fixed price and specification protects you: you can hold us accountable to deliver exactly what has been put to paper, for that exact cost. No hidden charges, no sneaky fees, everything is clear and concise.

I’ve got an idea, where do I start?

Talk to us. If you share your idea via this form, one of our team will respond within one working day by email or phone.

If you’d prefer to speak to us right now, call 012 993 2870 and one of our specialist will talk through your ideas and project.

Can you build apps for both iOS and Android?

Yes, most of the apps we make support both iOS and Android mobile platforms. It’s common for people to want their applications to work across web and mobile devices, so we use development frameworks such as React and React native that enable us to quickly support both platforms.

Do you build web applications too?

Yes, in fact nearly every mobile app that we build also needs a web-based application behind the scenes to drive it. Ever logged into an app? There is a web server in the background, serving the app with data that is checking whether you have permission to log in, or not.

How do you make sure you build what I want, and don’t get it wrong?

We don’t just blindly begin building your requirements; we start by having a meeting to understanding the commercial factors that are driving the need for your project. Once we understand your business, we go to lots of effort at the start of a project to work with you, and scope out your requirements in detail. You don’t just want us to tell you that we understand your project, we need to prove it to you.

How long will it take to build and launch my app?

Many factors contribute to launching a successful project, and some requirements may result in the project taking longer to develop than others. However, for estimation, a good guide is that a project will typically take one month of development work.

Do you provide ongoing support, maintenance and updates?

Yes, we offer full ongoing support from the day we start your project. We offer live phone, email and forum support Monday to Friday 7:30 AM- 4:00 PM CAT. You can contact our Pretoria office at 012 993 2870. We also offer ongoing support outside office hours; your assigned technician will give you his/her details.

Can I make changes to my app or website after its launched?

Yes, in fact, we highly recommend that you begin by launching the simplest possible version of your vision first and continue to adapt it over time. This staged approach is called launching a "minimum viable product" (MVP). It reduces engineering waste.

Are you be able to work with our existing technical / design / marketing team?

Yes, we specialize in highly bespoke projects, and it is common for us to work with existing systems and teams. When working closely with other suppliers that are relevant to your business, we aim to build a strong collaborative relationship with a focus on cooperation and support for all of those involved.

We already have designs; can you work with those?

Probably, yes. We prefer to follow our own design process if possible, as it allows us to deliver the best quality and consistency, but we can be flexible with this. If your designs are strong and we are confident they will be effective, then yes, we will be able to work with them. If, however, they do not meet our high standards, then we will be honest and recommend that we create the designs for you instead.

Can you provide hosting for our website or app?

Yes. If you have a site or app with small resource requirements, then we can host your project on our managed servers. If you have specific hosting requirements, intensive resource demands, or require something more specialist, then we can set you up with your own dedicated, cloud, or load balanced hosting environment.

Do I need to test my app or website?

Yes, we will need your support with testing the project, please.

We have processes for testing and quality assurance, but the way that we think and use your app, is different to how you will. You defined the project, and you know what you want better than anyone, so you’ll probably use and interact with what we’ve built in ways that we couldn’t have predicted.

Even if everything works 100% perfectly when we hand it over to you, you will need to check that everything works as expected to sign-off on the work with confidence that we've delivered the project to meet your specification.

What if I want to switch supplier later, or bring development in-house?

We recognize that there are many scenarios where you may grow to a point where you no longer need us. We are okay with that - In fact, we plan for it. Our code is built upon popular frameworks used by lots of the best teams in the world.

Google AdWords

What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is a PPC advertising platform (we would argue it's THE PPC advertising platform). Those who advertise with AdWords reach their targeted audience both through the Google Search Network, and through the Google Display Network.

PPC campaigns are created through AdWords, as well as launched, measured, and tracked through the platform. While anyone is able to create an account and run campaigns through AdWords, to get the most out of your investment it's wise to partner with a PPC advertising agency who can help optimize your campaigns.

How does PPC advertising work?

AdWords works under a bidding system. Companies advertising on AdWords pay the quoted amount only when people click on their ad. Because PPC advertising is so highly targeted, it’s more likely to yield a conversion of some sort versus other marketing and advertising methods.

Is Google AdWords only search adverts?

No. Google AdWords is an advertising platform giving you a vast network of advertising locations and campaign types ranging from Search ads (the most commonly referred to), Display ads (banners you see on websites), Remarketing to different people who have been on your website, YouTube (banners and video), and Gmail ads.

As well as this there are many different ad formats from text display ads, through to static banners, animated banners, videos and lightboxes.

What is the difference between Google AdWords and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

SEO is a longer-term game and involves the correct set up of your website and online presence, ultimately to bring you more organic search and referral traffic. You don’t pay for this traffic, but you’ll pay with time and money getting it right.

Google AdWords is a fast way of bringing in targeted traffic to your website. It is fast to set up, and a far faster way to generate the traffic than SEO (generally). Both are ongoing investments, but you’ll only pay for AdWords clicks when people are interested in your product (generally).

Do I need SEO and AdWords?

AdWords allows a company to get immediate results, whereas SEO is a long-term strategy. It’s important to dominate as much of the 1st page as possible for the best results. So, if you want both immediate and long-term results, you can do both SEO and AdWords.

Isn’t AdWords a waste of money?

Running an AdWords campaign without knowing how to use the platform can be a recipe for burning money fast. However, with the help of an AdWords management agency like ECAT, this becomes an investment and major boost of sales and profits.

How much do Google Ads cost?

The good news is that it’s up to you. Costs can vary depending on factors such as advertising goals, target location and the industry competition for your placements and keywords. We work with you to determine specific costs for your campaigns and stay within your budget.

How much should I spend on AdWords?

This is entirely up to you. We suggest investing as much as you can as AdWords when managed correctly held great results.

What if we don't have a large budget? What's the best way to proceed?

That’s not a problem. Contact us and we’ll work with you to figure out a comfortable budget for your Google Ads success.

Why does a campaign need managed & optimized each month?

Your campaigns need to be managed and optimized regularly to make them work better over time, and allow you to expand on them. This involves creating new ad groups and keywords, pausing ads or keywords that aren’t working, making suggestions about new campaigns, checking if the budget is adequate and making suggestions around where to increase it, ensuring your ads aren’t being shown for irrelevant keywords and lots more.

Why do I need an agency to manage my AdWords account?

There are some great staff at Google but when you call the main helpline you are unlikely to get the same person. If you do, they have to help many people and will not be able to help with more detailed elements like tracking return on investment and discussing the best goals to set up in Analytics to measure.

You can run your AdWords with the help from Google. They are not out to sabotage your account, and there are some great people on the end of the line, but you will never get as much input and expertise as you would from a good agency.

How do you charge for Google AdWords management?

We charge you a fixed management fee, it doesn’t matter how much money you want to spend or how many campaigns you want us to run for you.

How will I see my campaign statistics?

Each month, you will receive an emailed report of your Google Ads stats highlighting cost and top performers (ads, keywords, etc). Our clients with previous account access will have the ability to log directly into their Google Ads accounts to view all data as often as they wish. Every one of our clients can log into our Client Dashboard, to view the relevant data they need as well.

When do I pay?

Monthly services are paid upfront before work commences for the month or we send you an invoice at the end of every month.

Web Development

I don’t know exactly what my requirements are. Can you help me?

Yes of course we will help you and it is for free! Let us know and we’ll be glad to help within 24 working hours.

Why is it so important to have a good website?

Two words – trust and credibility. If you want colleagues and prospective clients to take you seriously, you need a modern, professional website. In addition, if you want to use any type of digital advertising or marketing to promote your business online, you’re going to need a good website.

Do you redesign existing websites?

Yes. We can redesign existing sites and retain your organization's style or give you a completely new look. ECAT also can provide a free website evaluation. We will show you how your site can take advantage of the latest Web technologies

How does the web development process work?

Building a website is a lot like building a house. There are multiple, well-defined steps. Here’s how our website development process works:

  • Discovery. What media and assets do you currently have for your new site? What’s missing and still needs to be gathered or created?
  • Design. In the design phase we draft the blueprint (i.e. mockup) for your new website so you can see what it will look like before it’s actually built. This is where you request changes or modifications to your site's design.
  • Develop. At this point your work is done. We now take the blueprint from the previous step and actually develop and code your site.
  • Launch. Once your site is built and thoroughly tested, it’s time to go live on the internet.

How much will a website cost me?

The cost of a website varies depends on its complexity. We are happy to discuss your requirements and provide a quote at any time.

Are there any hidden costs with Web design services?

No. We discuss your website requirements and price accordingly. Once you have placed your order with us, we will adhere to our quoted price.

I’m on a strict budget. Do you have any low-cost options?

A custom website can be a big investment and not all small businesses have the budget for you. We offer a budget package which will help get you online with a nice-looking website fast.

How long will it take for my website to be designed?

The time it takes to build a site depends on the complexity of the site. If you have a deadline, we will work hard to meet it. Start to finish, our website projects typically take 20-40 days. The most common cause of delay is the content (text/images) from the client that we need to build their site. To get an accurate timeline for your project, contact us with your requirements.

What do you need from me to create a website?

If you do not currently have a website, we require details about your company, what you are looking for in a design, any graphical elements that you would like included, a list of pages that you require, a description of your services and your company, as well as any other relevant information that may be beneficial to the creation of the site.

Do I need to provide all the content, and if so, in which format?

It would really do us good if you are able to provide images and text via an electronic form. We use images and videos from a digital format and text in typed out digital documents like MS Word or PDF.

Do I own the website that you create?

Yes. Once the design is completed, you own all aspects of the website, unless otherwise specified during the website development process.

What exactly is website hosting?

In order for your website to be live on the internet, it needs to be hosted on a web server. It’s kind of like if you want to build a house (i.e. website), you need a piece of land (i.e. web hosting) to build your house on.

What's the difference between website hosting and website maintenance?

They sound similar, but they're very different.
Website hosting is merely renting space on a web server. It's where all of the files for your website reside. Website maintenance involves the ongoing technical things you have to do to keep your website up/running and secure.

Do you provide hosting too? Can I use my preferred web host but have the site built by you?

Yes of course! Nevertheless, only to clients who hire us to develop or modify their websites. We do not provide “pure hosting services” and yet we can certainly guide you or eventually help to setup your hosting, email accounts, database, etc.

How many pages can I have on my website?

You can have as many pages as you'd like. In fact, the more the better from a search engine's point of view!

Who writes the content for the site?

Usually that is you. You are the expert on your business, so it’s usually best if it comes from you. If you need help, we have a copywriter on our team who can help clean up or write original content for you at an additional cost.

How much input do I have in the process?

A lot! Your input and feedback is crucial to this process. We’ll start with a lot of questions about your needs, your likes, your wants and work with you to develop just the right look and functionality.

Do you optimize websites for search engines (SEO)?

Yes, we do and we are extremely good in that. Actually, all our packages include FREE basic search engine optimization (SEO).
We can execute advanced SEO too. For advanced SEO we have different packages depending on your targeted keywords, your current web site code, etc. Let us know and we will be happy to explain in detail!

What exactly does responsive web design mean?

A responsive website means that it “responds” and automatically adapts to the size of the device it’s being viewed on. Specifically, that means a responsive site is easy to read and navigate whether you’re viewing it on a desktop, tablet or phone.

Will my website be mobile-friendly?

Absolutely! Having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever! We work hard to ensure your website looks great on a variety of devices.

Will everyone see my website the same way?

Your visitors will see some things differently depending on their browser, screen resolution settings and their computers. We design sites with that in mind and preview them in several browsers and resolution settings before publishing. As technology evolves, all websites need to be re-evaluated.

Will my website have technology that will last for several years?

Yes. Unless some new technology unexpectedly comes out of nowhere and takes the world by storm, WordPress technology will be good for years.

Do you design websites in Flash?

No. Flash is not search engine or mobile friendly and several modern browsers do not support Flash.

Will I be able to update the site myself when it’s finished?

Yes! We love it when our clients take control of their website and learn to manage it on their own. We’ll provide you with a set of comprehensive tutorials to help you learn your way around, as well provide you with a training session to help get you on your way. (Note: We love to answer your questions!)

What if I do not like the design?

If you are not satisfied with the initial design, we will work with you further and come up with another design. Our aim is to design a website that you are completely happy with.

How about the legal side – Non-Disclosure Agreements, Contracts, etc.?

Yes, naturally both are available and even more. This helps to keep our business relationship transparent, safe and organized.

With every project we take on there are always:

  • Detailed proposal incl. deliverables, scope of work, time and cost
  • Invoice
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • Project site map
  • Layout cut
  • Visual draft

Why should I choose ECAT for my website?

ECAT is an established hosting and Web development company that has been delivering projects at all levels of complexity to clients across South Africa. Our clients range from small business to large enterprises. We have developed a sophisticated style and a deep understanding of website requirements since our founding in 2002.

What if I need help on my site down the road?

We are only an email/ phone call away! We’re here to help you as much or as little as you need, and we won’t disappear once the site is launched. We’ve been doing this for 18 years, so we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

How can I review your work samples?

Simple and easy. We welcome you to have a look at the ECAT portfolio and then contact us and we will show you our recent projects that are related to your industry.

SEO
Google AdWords
eCommerce
Mobile Apps
Web Design
Web Development
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