Understanding Google’s latest Core Algorithm Update (Aug 2018)

Google makes so many updates every year. In fact, they are refining their search algorithm daily to improve and refine their search results. Some changes are barely noticeable but others, like the one we have just had in August has made a huge difference to some websites rankings. In fact this is the biggest core algorithmic roll out this year according to Google: see below from the twitter feed.

Google Update August

For those of you that do not know what a core update is. It’s a change to the core algorithm. The algorithm has between 200-500 variables that go into determining the value of a web page and therefore where it will sit on the results. A core update affects the most important variables. We do not know which ones ( because Google never details it’s secrets) but we can generally take an educated guess based on what websites were affected and which ones survived.

The team here at SEO Sydney Experts believes that the health sector was affected quite heavily. This has resulted in the algorithmic update being labelled the Google Medic update. Other sectors that seem to be affected were: vehicles, personal care, hobbies & leisure, entertainment, electronics & sports to name but a few.

There are a few on page factors that Google is watching and these include:

Website speed – is the website loading quickly? There are far too many websites that still take ages to load and are therefore deemed by Google as offering it’s users a ‘poor experience’. The best way to measure this is to open your website and time how long it takes for the home page to load. If it’s more than 3 seconds this is definitely an issue.

Content and on-site linking – this has been documented heavily where Google wants to see quality on page content and how your site links internally. Poor on page copy is one of the worst things you can have on your site. Google will devalue your sites score if the content is poorly written or is too thin.

Mobile first Index – this means that Google will display results from your mobile site for both mobile and desktop versions in it’s featured snippets. This can be quite confusing so it’s best to give me a call to go over this. For more information from more geeks at Search Engine Land you can read this.

Google has stressed that if your site has been impacted there is not much you can do about this. Meaning they have identified your site and it might be penalised for a while. Obviously, we disagree and if you can see that your site has been adversely affected we would love to hear from you. You have to remember that the first thing you should not do is panic. Keep a cool head as it may be a quick fix and your rankings might be restored in a matter of days.

We have seen algorithm changes come and go and have been able to help many businesses survive this and in many cases get them out of a Google penalty.

The Effect of UX on SEO

As Google’s highly evolved algorithms continues to change and improve ( especially over the last 2 to 3 years), user engagement, the customers journey and their interaction with your website is now playing a huge if not paramount role in how Google determines a websites rankings.

This is why UX (User Experience) and SEO are tied together. UX was once never mentioned, not even known, but today it’s a common term that most marketing agencies and business know to be a CRUCIAL role in how your website performs and ultimately the money or inquiries it will generate.

To see better organic SEO Google rankings you must have a website with a really good UX. It’s got to be better than the next person’s site or you can forget about keeping your page 1 Google rankings. This is especially true with the popularity of free or cheap website templates like WIX where cookie cutter websites are churned out with little or no thought given to the user experience. There are so many businesses that love the idea of these cheap site template because they are in fact cheap, but they do forget 1 crucial point; they lack any type of UX and this will harm your SEO in the future. Basically saving a few dollars now is going to cost your bug time moving forward.

So how does Google know about your websites UX? Simple, they can easily measure your sites bounce rates and if they are high your in trouble. By the way, bounce rates are when people land on your website, hate the look of it and exit immediately without going to any other pages. If too many people do this on a regular basis, an alert will be triggered and you are going to see your rankings plummet. TIP: keep a close eye on your sites bounce rates. You can get all the data you need by logging into your web master tools account. If all this sounds too technical, then it’s best you let people like us examine your site, check bounce rates and help with your UX.

UX and Engagement

You want to keep users who have found your site on your site. You want to make sure they stay there, do their search and hopefully make the inquiry. So how do you do that? It’s not rocket science but best left to SEO experts who have a thorough understanding of SEO & UX.

Your website will need to be:

  • Very Appealing to potential customers browsing the site
  • Easy to Navigable
  • Highly Rewarding Experience

Make Your Site Very Appealing

 It’s all well and good to get people to come to your site but what happens when they get there? You want them to love what they see. Your site has to blow them away with clean, clear graphics and strong messaging with little or no hurdles in the buying process. The aesthetic appeal has to be the best in your niche. I hear horror stories all the time about people complaining that they are on page 1 of Google, they are getting site traffic but they haven’t had a decent sale or inquiry in weeks. This is because the UX isn’t working effectively. Also, you have to make sure the site loads quickly (less than 3 seconds) and it has to look awesome on a mobile phone as well.

Here’s a good formula: Best UX + Quick load times and great SEO = more money for you!

Make Your Site Easy to Navigate

 Users, basically your potential customers need to find what they are looking for very quickly. As soon as people and search engines enter your site they need to see clear pathways to navigate. If a user cannot navigate your site a search engine won’t either and this can lead to a dramatic loss in rankings. Ask yourself this question: why would Google want to promote a site at the top of it’s search results if the buying pathways are hidden or the information is hard to locate. Keep it simple and make it such that it’s child friendly.

Here are a few tips to keep the buyers happy:

  • Big, clear navigation buttons
  • Menu at the top of the page
  • No pop ups
  • Site map at the footer
  • Clear buy now buttons

Make Your Website Rewarding

Make sure you have valuable worthwhile content on your website that the user will want to read. Reward them by getting better copy written than your competition. If a person lands on your site and spends time on there reading and exploring the pages then Google will see this and again, like bounce rates you will see rankings start to rise.

So, How Does UX Affect Google Rankings?

Google is getting more proficient at working out how your site is performing. They can see how long people are on your site, what pages they are going to and also who is linking to your site. The better the UX and the better the site performs, this will have a significant effect on rankings

In the past it’s all been about link building when it comes to SEO but moving forward people better pay attention to one thing: UX! Having said that, UX is only 1 component that goes into the matrix to determine your rankings. There are other on page and off page elements that make up your Google rankings to also consider, but UX is as far as we are concerned a major factor.

For more clarity on UX and how to boost your SEO rankings please get in touch with me Steve at SEO Sydney Experts.

Private Blog Networks for SEO: avoid these at all costs

Many SEO agencies will never tell you that the link building they are doing for you is nothing more than placing links on their private blog network. It’s rampant in the SEO space and so many businesses do not know what is happening behind the scenes. It’s a really terrible SEO method and if your SEO company is building links through their private blog network or PBN all I can say is get the hell out of there. It’s a time bomb waiting to explode and take your website along for the terrible ride. You about to get a Google penalty and it ain’t pretty.

Like most people you have never heard of a private blog network as your concern is just the rankings. So let me explain to you what a PBN is.

What is a Private Blog Network or PBN?

Basically it’s the lazy way of doing SEO. What happens is that a SEO company will buy and group of expired domains that still carry some authority. They may be a 2, 3 or even 10 year old domain that is now expired and on the market for sale. These domain have some Google authority and this is how they integrate it into their PBN. What happens is once they own the domain name they start to build pages and content on the domain and with it they will ad some content relevant to your business and place a link back to your site. This is a back link and they might replicate this dozens of times on the sites they have created.

These SEO companies and there are many out there doing this; will outsource the content writing to India or to a third party for say $5 or so dollars a page and do this multiple times. The profit for them goes like this:

Buy an expired domain = $100 – $200

Place 10 pages of content on the site = $50

Do this 10 times over 10 websites and the total cost is $2000

What they then charge clients is a monthly SEO fee of $500 + per month and all they are outlaying is the $5 to write 1 page and add a link back to your site. They might create 2 or 3 links per month on their PBN and as you can see their profit margin is huge.

The only issue with a PBN is Google. What I mean by this is that PBN’s leave a heavy spammy footprint that Google can easily detect. Once it’s detected the website on the PBN is penalised and so are the sites on that PBN.

Lets say I run my own PBN and I have 20 clients that I do SEO work for. The issue with the PBN is that the same 20 clients will all have links pointing to their sites from the same 20 sites. It’s so easy to detect and any trained eye can pick it up in a minute. Just imagine what Google can detect with their superior algorithms.

Why are PBN’s used?

Because these SEO companies can control the links that goes on these sites very quickly and if you have just signed up with them then they can pop dozens if not more links to your site, giving it an artificial boost. Your going to be happy as you will start to see an immediate increase in rankings and the SEO company is happy because they can show you the good work they’ve done. It’s all a facade built on smoke and mirrors.

The problem is that Google is aware of these types of activities and is clamping down heavily on agencies that still use PBN as their preferred link building method. You will find that this link building will give a small bump in the rankings but you will never get higher than those agencies that practice credible link building techniques like outreaching.

I must admit that I have over the years been tempted to use a PBN but it’s just not worth the consequences. Trust me when I tell you that if your SEO providor is part of a PBN then your going to cop a Google penalty. This is a certainty. They are only using their PBN because they are lazy and are unable to implement a proper SEO campaign PLUS they want to maximise their profit margins at your expense. It’s a horrible cycle. These guys know how to lead you down the path of thinking that they are doing some SEO when in fact they are only hurting your website and any chance of really good rankings.

So how do you spot a PBN?

As your SEO agency to show you a few of the back links they have built for you.

1) If they say they can’t as it’s part of their intellectual property and they don’t want to give this away then you know it’s complete BS and they are doing something shifty; a PBN

Or

2) they show you some links they have built on their ‘supposed websites” and on the page there are links (generally in the right hand column) to other unrelated companies. You have to ask yourself this question: why are there links to totally unrelated businesses on a page that’s meant to be all about your business? This means that you are part of their bigger PBN.

Folks, if your reading this and your rankings are going no where you could be part of a PBN. Give me a call and I will tell you very quickly if you are. I know the Sydney SEO agencies that are using PBN’s so I will be able to let you know fairly quickly if you have fallen into their evil trap.

8 Golden SEO tips that you must know about

seo sydney seo tips

SEO isn’t rocket science but if you follow these 8 golden tips that’s all you really need to know to get a ranking on Google. Generally, you can do these yourself but if you are unclear it’s a good idea to hire an SEO agency to help you with this as well as your digital marketing on a regular basis.

If you’re a entrepreneur or have your own business and want to kick start your way to better Google rankings then simply follow these easy to understand points and watch what happens. So, before you even think about uploading any new content to your website please implement these 8 SEO tips.

1. Make sure you know what keyword your audience is searching for.

If your in the plumbing business and you want to publish a page about ‘hot water system repairs’ then you need to be adding content about ‘hot water system repairs’. To be sure that this is the right area that you want to focus on, you need to see if people are actually searching for that keyword. Take a look at Google Keyword Planner to see how many searches this term is generating.

2. What is your competition doing?

Now that you know they keyword you wish to focus on, you need to spy on your competition and see what they are doing. Make sure you use ‘Incognito’ in your browser. See the top 10 results (ignoring the ads) and note what they are doing and see if you can write and better copy for that keyword search. Also see if you can design a web page that’s better than the ones displaying. A better designed page with more engaging copy should help you rank far better.

3. Make sure you write killer copy.

You might need to get a copy writer to do this for you but what ever happens you need to write really good copy. Basically it’s time to blow your competitors out of the water with the best every copy. It doesn’t matter what your writing; a blog post or article,. But what ever it is it must be kick ass content. Without it no one is going to read it and Google will be far less likely to rank it. I have written articles about this before: Website copy: Always write unique content

4. Make sure you have the right keywords in your page title.

Remember we were writing a page about ‘ hot water repairs’ then you should have a title that reads something like: Hot Water Repairs Sydney – Open 7 Days

Keep it simple, to the point and punchy. This is the first thing people are going to see on the search results so it’s got to be enticing enough to click.

5. Make sure the keyword is in the name and alt-tag of your page image.

If you are using images in the blog or post you can further tell Google more information about the page by adding in:

  1. a) the image name
  2. b) the image alt tag

If you are using a WordPress CMS you can easily add this in through the photo gallery section. So instead of an image being called 56830.jpg you can call it: ‘hot water repairs.jpg’.

6. Add the keyword in the URL

A really good way for Google to tell the nature of the article is to add the keywords : hot water repairs’ in the URL. Again, WordPress is brilliant for this and will automatically add this if you put it in the name of the article. Take a look at the following 2 URL structures and you tell me which one you think Google will like better.

1.abcplumberssydney.com.au/54659

or

2. abcplumberssydney.com.au/hot-water-repairs

If you guessed the second one your absolutely correct.

7. Internal links

Make sure there are internal page links in the article from the page you have just published to other pages within your site. By pointing to other pages within your site your giving your readers more information. If your site is the best in Sydney then your other pages should also have good copy well worth pointing to.

So for example you make want to reference ‘ hot water safety tips’ within the content of the ‘hot water repairs page’ and have a link to it.

8. Lastly and this is a really important tip. You have to build back links pointing to your new page. This means your either going to have to contact other website owners to link to your site or get an SEO company to do this for you. Google relies a lot on these types of citations and it’s really the foundation of SEO. Yes you can have great copy and get natural links by people referring to it, but without any external links pointing to the site it will not rank as high as it could.

The above 8 points are just a start to better SEO and do not include everything. This would require a much larger article but for the sake of this piece follow these tips or contact us and I will be more than happy to address any ranking concerns you may have.

10 SEO buzz words that you should know

If your new to the SEO field and have spoken to a few companies to try to get a better understanding of what they hype is all about you may be left feeling somewhat confused and frustrated by all the new words. In fact these SEO guys have a language all to themselves. In order for you to get a clearer idea of what there talking about following are 10 buzz words with easy to understand descriptions.

SEO : stands for search engine optimisation and it’s the main buzz word that everyone says on a daily basis. It’s basically the process of improving your websites trust and authority so that Google and other search engines start to rank it. SEO is divided into 2 parts; ‘on page’ and ‘off page’ and both are critical in helping your website gain more trust and SEO rankings. The logic behind SEO is that the better the rankings and online visibility of your website, the more traffic you will receive and this will drive sales and revenue. Google make it extremely difficult for companies to achieve best SEO rankings as they manipulate their ranking criteria daily. No one knows what they do or when they are going to do it. So, SEO is a kind of guessing game. Having said that, there are rules and guidelines that most SEO companies should follow and this is termed white hat SEO.

White Hat SEO : stands for best practice SEO. This means that any form of link building or ‘on page’ SEO is going to abide by Google’s best practices. The opposite of white hat is black hat SEO.

Black Hat SEO : this used to be a common method employed by SEO agencies in the past to try and rig or manipulate SEO rankings through the use of over optimising websites with dodgy back links or keyword stuffing on the website.

Over Optimisation : A termed used to describe the purchase of hundreds if not thousands of backlinks over a short period of time to over inflate the importance of your website. It’s part of black hat strategies used by many SEO agencies in the 90’s and early 2000’s until Google rolled out algorithms to detect this type of activity.

SEM or Search Engine Marketing : is a type of pay per click also known as Adwords where you pay to be on the top 4 search results of Google. SEM is based on a bidding system where the more your prepared to pay for a certain keyword the higher your ad will appear. There is a technique behind the bidding strategy and there are a few factors that combine to produce better results.

Google Analytics : is a code that is placed into your website which will give you a whole range of tools to measure your sites performance, number of visitors as well as a whole army of data to work out who is coming to your site.

User Experience: this refers the way your customer engages with your website. Do they land on site and leave (known as bunce rates) or do they drill further into the site to see other pages? Do they click on designated buttons such as: newsletter sign ups, inquiry forms or contact us fields. The better the user experience (UX) the easier it will be for a potential customer to navigate your site in a seamless experience. This will in turn make it easier for them to buy from you.

Bounce Rates: Google has a term in their Analytics called bounce rates. A bounce rate means when someone lands on an entry page on your site and immediately leaves the site. High bounce rates are not good and shows that the user is leaving your site quickly. This proves that they are not enjoying the user experience and will look elsewhere or your site does not have the product or service the user was searching for.

B2B Business to Business : refers to businesses selling to each other and not consumers.

B2C Business to Consumer : refers to businesses selling to consumers and this is probably the biggest market that needs SEO.

SERP’s Search Engine Results Pages: These are the pages that appear on Google when you conduct a keyword search. These results are ranked 1 through to 10 and are positioned according to the most relevant results. This is where SEO comes in handy. The better quality SEO the better your SERP’s. If you can get your head around that last point then your well on you way to a better understanding of SEO.

Still confused? It’s best to speak to us in person at SEO Sydney Experts. If you ever want a terms explained or want to know how well your website is performing on Google, we can help. The digital marketing landscape is really confusing and if you don’t understand the basic fundamentals then you need to talk to a SEO professional.

Google Analytics: Make sure you utilise these powerful SEO tools

One of the best ways to understand who is coming to your website, how long they have spent there, website bounce rates and what pages they have visited is through Google Analytics. Overall, you get a much clearer idea of how the consumer is interacting and engaging with your website and you can fine tune your site off the data & metrics you obtain here for a much better performing site.

It’s pretty easy to set up and all you need to do is as your web design agency to install the Google Analytics code that you will get off Google. Once installed give it a few weeks for the data to pile up and then you can start your analysis. The most important data overall is the KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators. The best part about analytics is that you can choose which KPI’s you want measured. You can also personalise the reports and add these to your Google dashboard which makes it so much easier to understand. Basically, these can all be at your fingertips whenever you need to collect any data.

To help you understand Google Analytics better following is a outline of the types of reports you can get to help monitor the performance & health of your website. Use these regularly and get your SEO Sydney Agency to implement changes based on these reports.

Traffic Numbers – also known as site visitors, this report is probably the most popular and will detail the number of people who have visited your site, what pages they go to, how long they spend on each page and which geographic area they have come from. The advantage to your business of this metric is you will get a clear idea of the internet browsers who are interested in your site as well as the popularity of the site. You can compare traffic numbers month by month and see if they are on the increase or the decline. If your SEO strategy is working ideally you should see a steady increase in unique site visits.

Goal Conversions – this is also a very popular KPI and you can easily set this up in Google Analytics to monitor specific targets and if you have achieved them. You can have certain goals like number of visitors who come to your site daily, weekly or even monthly as well as the time your customers spend on your site.

Social Media Conversions – If you are an active social media user and you rely on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Google + to generate traffic then this metric is fantastic. With social conversions you can monitor the success of any social media marketing campaign and immediately see site statistics based on traffic flow from your social media accounts to your website. If for example your running a social media campaign promoting a product or service on Facebook you can easily tell the success of this campaign through Analytics. Is Facebook performing better than Twitter or is Instagram driving the leads? With Analytical tools like this at your disposal you can easily vary campaigns depending on the immediate data your viewing.

These are just the very basic analytical tools that you can use to improve the overall performance of your website., Individually, they might not seem like much but when you combine them all together you get a very good snapshot very quickly of how well your doing online. Obviously, your SEO agency will be able to explain these statistics to you in more detail but Google has made this fairly simple to understand even for the non internet savvy small business out there.

Website copy: Always write unique content

Google will immediately know if you have stolen copy from another website. Make sure anything you publish on your website is unique and written by you or a copywriter. The temptation we all know is there is replicate or take content from a competitor but you have to resist the urge. Fight it if necessary but what ever happens taking content directly from the website of your rivals will not do you any good. In fact it will just hinder, harm and hurt your SEO rankings. One tip we do recommend here at SEO Sydney Experts is to write exclusive copy.

You may think that taking a sentence from here and a paragraph from there isn’t going to do any damage. After all, if they won’t notice it why should it be a problem? Well, the issue here is that Google has very sophisticated tools to note any websites that have been actively engaging in plagiarism and will penalise those sites. What may to you seem like a harmless copy and paste will to Google be noted as fraudulent website activity designed to cut corners.

Why does Google want unique copy?

The real estate on page 1 of Google is limited. You have 4 spaces for ads at the top of the page, there is a maps area and then there are only 10 positions available where your website can rank. In short Google will put it’s top 10 websites that are related the the specific keyword search in those positions and rank them in order of website quality and trust. The reasons that go into determining your websites trust and overall quality are far too numerous and complex to mention her,  but one of the main factors is not the main is the websites copy. If it’s really well written with lots of brand new information that will help users, then Google will rank this. Rehashed copy simply won’t rank above those websites that have spent the time and effort in writing quality copy. There are many businesses that simply don’t have the time, inclination or skills to do this job so they employ industry specific SEO web copywriters that will be able to write user friendly readable content to satisfy not only the demands of their clients but also the Google spiders.

Quick tips to writing great web copy that Google will rank

Always write copy that’s related to the topic of the page. If your going to write about a specific topic as I am writing about here ‘ website copy’ make sure it’s all about this one particular subject. Never deviate or start to far from the subject as your readers are here for a purpose and want particular information. If you go off topic, they will exit your website leaving you with higher bounce rates which Google will see. Google notices everything and all activity when it comes to consumer behaviour patterns on your site. If they like what you have to say and start exploring your site then it will be rewarded with better rankings.

Internal linking is good when you write an article or blog. Google likes to see pages within your website linking to each other. Internal link structures will help users be able to navigate between pages easier given them a much better user experience. You can even link externally if your referencing another article or website. These links, if done properly will add weight and trust to what you have just published and Google will gladly reward the site for these links.

Use a Page structure that makes sense. Start with an introduction followed by your main content. The use of headings and bullet points to highlight copy is also a good idea. Basically you want the reader to be able to sift through the information and if they want to contact you easily they can. Most people land on your web page because they were researching something or were looking for a product or service. Satisfy the demands of these users by providing easy to read content that serves information quickly.

Use images throughout your text especially if your trying to promote a product. The use of images should be front and centre particularly if you have an eCommerce site. Which leads us into the area of whats called the user experience or conversion focused landing pages. That is, content and images combined together to give the user the best experience possible. Create pages that are not only a good read but are also visually stimulating. Like anything online if users like what they see they will be more inclined to engage, buy or call you. This is really the end game and what your trying to achieve with your site.

Reward people for coming to your website will a dazzling display of your companies abilities through creativity and words. This is the very best way to ensure that your fresh new unique copy gets the best ranking possible.

High Converting Web Landing Pages, what you need to know

What is a landing page?

Commonly known as a squeeze page a landing page is a specific website page design purely for one purpose and one topic. Most businesses use them for Google Adwords but nowadays they are becoming more common as conversion rate optimisation becomes a hot SEO topic for 2018.

Most businesses haven’t put too much thought into their landing page design and until recently as the competitive nature of the digital space grows. Having a strong landing page will help your customers find what they are searching for and to add to that will help Google index your page leading to better rankings. So, following are the essential ingredients that should go into your next landing page.

Why make a landing page?

Because it’s the best way to generate direct qualified sales leads to your website. Google will index these individual landing pages and rank them according to the page title and content. Basically, it allows you to narrow which customers are viewing your page and this is all done through their search.

Important Landing Page Points: Above the Fold

I bet you’re the type of person who hates waiting around while a website loads. I can also bet that you are fairly impatient and want to see what the message is on the page you just clicked on. Statistics show that most people want to have this information at their finger tips within 2-3 seconds. Known as your unique selling point, this has to be above the fold so that people can quickly grasp what your selling or offering. As you can see below, the message is clear, to the point with absolutely no mixed messages.

Inquiry Box

This is probably one of the most important landing page elements as there are many people who prefer to send and email and wait for you to call them back. This should be above the fold as per the above example. Don’t make people look around your site searching for this. Position this box on the top left or right hand side on the top banner so they can fill it out quickly. Once done, they should be notified that their email was sent and a time frame that you are likely to respond.

Large phone number

This is fairly self explanatory but you should be adding little bits of information to compliment this like: having a 1800 or 1300 number so if people are calling you from interstate it’s free. Even add the words; Free Call to entice them to ring. You should also include precious snippets of information like: free delivery, free shipping or open 7 days, right at the top above the banner so people can clearly see this.

Simple navigation

Your landing page should be as simple and straight to the point as possible with little or no navigation. Landing pages are all about getting people to fill out a form or call you and not to navigate to other areas of the site. Restrict this to perhaps a testimonials or gallery page. If however, you landing page is extensive with loads of information you may like to pop a menu bar halfway down the page make it easier for people to skip to relevant sections.

Strong and powerful headlines

Keep this simple and to the point with no more than 1 primary sentence as the lead in point and a secondary sentence to back this up. What you say here can make or break the whole landing page so you have to know what your customers are looking for and appropriately address this in the copy. Look at how this page is going to benefit the customer such as:

Save money and time using our hot water system

Having trouble finding the right lawyer? We can help

Is finding the right SEO agency difficult?

Why you’re the best choice clearly articulated

Just below the fold you have to clearly explain to people why you’re the best choice for them. Having it near the top of the page will reinforce this point. Using infographics or clear hot boxes is a great idea as most people really want to skim over this and digest the information quickly. Keep it to 3 or 4 points maximum. No point boring people or over selling yourself as they have probably already completed the inquiry form and are now just browsing the page, waiting for you to contact the, A good point to not before we move further is don’t leave it more than 24 hours as most customers want their inquiry handled promptly. Delaying this sets a bad example and puts you in a position where you have to apologise. Not a good look or start to the relationship.

Great Graphics

All the above are fairly cut and dry, but it’s important to have the page looking good. Consumers want to be dazzled with graphics and clear images. This will set the tone and personality for the business they will be dealing with. The image should be relevant to the landing page and the message your trying to convey. Simple enough! For example, if you’re a real estate agent agency, have a lovely image of a happy couple who have just sold their house for a terrific price.

Landing Page Points, below the fold

Once your customer has seen all of the above they are probably committed or at least very curious about your business, if you have designed all the on page elements correctly. If they are still keen to learn more and they are just a little bit uncertain, you need to add a few points and hot buttons to gain further trust.

4 ways to earn customers trusts below the fold of your landing page

1) add testimonials from legitimate customers

2) you might like to add some images of work you have done or clients you have worked with in the past. Big brands that everyone knows with a testimonial will ramp up the trust factor

3) add a large local phone number with the words: Call us now

4) Add one more juicy call to action such as: First 20 callers receive a 50% discount or Free deliver Sydney wide. Make sure you don’t blow it here and turn people away with a poorly worded ‘action box’.

In summary

Your landing page is a strong weapon you can use anytime to generate new business leads. It’s one of the most powerful marketing tools when used in conjunction with your SEO or Adwords. If you have all the elements implemented properly then your going to have the best chance of grabbing the attention of anyone who lands on this page. Making the page sticky and hard for people to leave is the name of the game here. Like the venus fly trap once they land on it, make it hard for them to leave.

If you are having trouble designing or coming up with ideas for your landing page, the team here at SEO Sydney Experts are experts in this area. All you have to do is call us on: 02 9360 8514 or contact us here.

5 Easy Ways to Keep your Website Content Fresh

If your website is not evolving and changing with the times then it’s simply a liability. Basically, it’s doing your business no good. In fact, it could be hurting your business. The second you stop refining, retuning and tweaking your website is the time it stops loosing it’s competitiveness. The only inevitable outcome is a slow and steady decline in the search engine rankings. Ouch, this is going to hurt.

Your website copy is no different. Old blogs, articles and web pages that have been left lying dormant for years without the slightest copy change will not only be putting clients off but will also be hampering your websites overall web score and in turn rankings. You have to ditch old copy and replace it with new and engaging content. So following are 5 quick and simple ways that you can clean out the dusty old cupboard of your website and replace it with shiny new exciting copy that resonates with your audience. I know your thinking that all of this sounds too hard. After all you went to all the trouble to write the content years ago now you have to replace it all again. What a nightmare. Well, this is the internet and we can’t do anything about it except suck it up and do what we have to do. So start tapping on those keyboards and get cracking.

# 1. Optimise your website content. Make sure that your web page is optimised correctly for your main keywords. Look at the titles and descriptions to make sure they are still relevant. Perhaps you have forgotten about a special you have on last year and it’s still on the site. Things like this can really bring a web page down so you need to keep the keywords updated. This is all ‘on page’ web stuff but it will keep the page fresh.

Say for example you’re a plumber is Sydney and you have a page on your site all about hot water systems. Perhaps it’s time to revisit this page and add some new copy about your latest energy saving hot water system. You only need to add a few paragraphs and this will have a dramatic impact.

# 2. Add some links. Let’s say you have written a blog 4 years ago and your really proud of it. Unfortunately this copy will get buried in the rankings as more newer fresh content gets published over time. You will notice that traffic numbers will drop over time to this blog as less people are able to find it, however good a read it is. A cool little trick is to write a new blog that is somehow related to the old one and put a link on it directing viewers to the old blog. This will not only let Google know that there is a ranking signal to this old blog but it will also direct people back there. If it’s as good as you say it is then people will link to this article and this should reenergise it in the search results. I will often write a blog and have an internal link pointing to something I wrote 6 or even 7 years ago.

# 3. Redirect it. In some cases a blog or page is so old that it has to be deleted. In fact it’s just plain embarrassing. Before you hit the delete button think about the traffic going to that particular page and the keywords it’s ranking for. To be on the safe side what you need to do is perform what’s called a 301 and this will redirect people from the old page to a more relevant new page. This is the safest option. Never delete, always 301. This is standard web practise.

# 4. Do 1 page per week. If the task sounds too large I suggest do this in small steps at 1 per week. Don’t look at the whole picture rather take 1 blog or page at a time and spend say 20-30 minutes on it. Once you get the hang of it you will find that some pages only need a couple of words updates. It may be easier than you think.

# 5. Ditch it. Some articles are just so old they need a complete overhaul. Like some bad clothes you have from the 80’s or 90’s they just need to be thrown out. What was fashionable in content back in 2010 for some industries (especially ours in the digital space) are definitely no longer relevant. I say get in there with a jack hammer and start again.

The advantage of reviving new copy is that you really don’t have to think of new topics to write about. Finding new blog topics can be really hard work (the more you write the more they all seem to sound the same and you end up becoming very repetitive). They are already there and have worked well for you in the past so why not just revive it with a bit of TLC and save yourself a lot of time at the computer.

Creating a Combined SEO & Content Strategy

I often in our line of work as a digital marketing agency come across businesses that completely ignore the fundamentals of what’s deemed a current digital strategy, that is the cohesive and intertwined relationship between SEO and content. Like salt and pepper they go nicely together and one does not really work effectively without the other.

I often and to the detriment of their business often sight people engage agencies who have a foot in one or the other camps but not both. In today’s Google centric landscape this is absolute madness. This is old style SEO and it no longer works.  Google wants to see how creative you can be in terms of web copy and then they want to see just how you go about optimising this copy.

If your in Australia and you Google the words ‘content marketing’ you will find the following results:

wikipedia

forbes and copy blogger

You have to ask yourself what do these sites all have in common and the unifying word is: trust. Yes that’s right they all have an enormous amount of trust with Google and this is why they are sitting up there on page one for this very competitive and much sort after keyword. Now we all know that not everyone wants to rank for these 2 words but if you want to drive more traffic to your website then you really need to look at the types of topics that are trending right this second on social media, how they relate to your business or industry and how are you going to craft copy to attract people to read these articles or blogs?

The following article will clearly she you how to find the perfect set of  keywords that will attract the right type of ‘eye balls’ on your website which in turn will earn your freer in bound quality links. Thesis what will help rank your copy.

# 1: Where are you ranking on Google? You need to see what keywords re brining in the highest amount of traffic as well as customer conversions

There is a little nifty tool in your webmaster tools account that will show you exactly the metrics you need. See below:

The issue here is that Google will only show you the landing pages data. You really need to know what your status is on Google for your main keywords and where your laying pages are for these coveted keywords. This is where you need tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. Here you will be able to search for a keyword ( say your a cosmetic surgeon in Sydney and you want to know where your liposuction landing page is on Google for the keyword ‘liposuction sydney’.  These tools will show you where you are ranking really quickly.

# 2: You need to find similar keywords that you have found in point # 1 to target. Let me elaborate. Say, for the ‘liposuction sydney’ keyword you were already on page 1 or that it was far too competitive for you to even contemplate to tackle. What you need to do is use a tool that Google provides called’ Google’s Autocomplete or a really fun website called answerthepublic.com and they will give you the next best thing. answers such as : ‘how much is liposuction sydney’ will appear and hey presto you have your next blog topic that you can focus on which will drive sales leads. There are heaps of other variations like: liposuction specialist sydney, liposuction without surgery sydney, but once you find the results you can see the huge potential for content marketing around a group or core keywords. I absolutely love this website. Give it a try and you’ll immediately see what I mean and Ill bet that you’ll be off and tapping those keys on your laptop with your brand new topic. It’s so easy and really effective.

Another great idea is to use a tool called keywordtool.io to assess the amount of web traffic a certain keyword is likely to bring in. If your new blog topic has minimal search then perhaps use this website to assess the highest volume of traffic and target your content around these.

# 3: How are your competition doing in the SERP’s?

Use SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Tool to gauge how difficult it will be to get these new topics based on the important keywords high in the search results. The outcome for this is really useful it will tell you exactly the ranking difficulty for that particular keyword with he number of monthly clicks. With this tool you will see what your up against and just how tough it will be to rank. Note, if there are Government websites on this page or a lot of education sites this might be a bit too tough to try to outrank. I would definitely look for another yogic if I saw these.

Basically, it’s up to you how much visibility you want to have online. I always tell my clients the more the better but you have to have quality coy that will attract clicks in a highly searched space. This is not easy but hopefully with he above tools you should be well on you way to mastering the art of content marketing and SEO.

The golden rule is to work with everything you have at your disposal and really learn these well. Look at your keywords that are doing well then start the search to look for more diversified keywords that will bring in even more traffic. Do this slowly, evaluate the outcome and then modify with each step of this process.