SEO basics: Why Being on page 1 of Google is critical

If your just starting out in business or are thinking about opening up an online store or have been around for a long time there is one thing you need to be aware about and that’s the importance of being on page 1 of Google.

If you have no idea why it’s so good for your business to be on the first page of this amazing search engine then following are some basic reasons why page 1 rankings are considered gold.

Before I dive into these reasons it’s probably a good idea that the readers out there know a few facts about Google. The most amazing fact is that there are over 3 billion searches on Google every day. This is an incredible amount and it’s only going to get larger. In fact, the word ‘Google it’ has crept into the English language when someone is referring to looking up something online. We all say: ‘let’s Google it’. This is how popular this search engine is. It’s astonishing how quickly it’s popularity has grown world wide.

In July 2017, Google market share of search engines sites at over 75%. Consider how powerful they are wand what dominance they have in this space when their nearest competitor Bing holds just 7% of the market. Clearly, Google is the biggest player here and this is why it’s vital for all businesses to have an understanding of the capabilities of this engine and how you should utilise it to help build your business.

A common expression among many SEO companies and businesses is when someone says: ‘where is the best place to hide a body’? The simple answer is; the second page of Google. This is so true and if you want to get lost online all you need to do is fall off the first page as no one and I mean no one will search past this page. It’s a common fact and it’s just the way the consumer behaves. The second page of Google is a death zone for any business.

Basically, around 95% of consumers looking to engage with a business will call those on the first page. The other 5% will try second page businesses. Based on these stats I know where I would want to be.

Getting to page 1 is good but it does not stop there. Once your at position 10 the aim is to get to the first position and this requires more effort as the higher you climb the more competitive the space.

I like to use the analogy of climbing Mt Everest. It’s easy to get to base camp, but the higher you climb the more effort is needed and once your at the top where the oxygen levels are thin, you need to put more effort into staying at this position. On top of this once your rivals see you up there they are going to do everything they can to dislodge you from this position. Add into the mix, Google changing algorithm and you have got a really dynamic and shifting environment. This is the reason why SEO is a constant battle. It never ends and it never get’s any easier. You have to be on your game, pushing your rankings 24/7. A slight let up and you will start to see your rankings fall. It’s the battle of all battles and to be victorious you need to be fully aware of the SEO landscape and the nuances involved in keeping Google happy.

So what are the advantages of being on page 1?

#1. You have increased visibility. This is a no brainer. Obviously, more people are going to come to your site through increased traffic which is exactly what businesses need. Think of it like a store front in a busy shopping mall. You want to be right in the centre of all the action. Tucked away on page 2, down a dark, lonely alley is not where you want to position your business in the digital space.

# 2. Te likelihood of you attracting new business sis much higher if your on page 1. People are lazy and they are not going to want to click to another page if they can find what they are looking for when they arrive on page 1. This is the age of instant information so give people what they are wanting and you will be rewarded. The only way to do this is get your website to page 1. Simple as that!

# 3. Increased trust. People trust Google and if it’s placed you on page 1 then your business must be trustworthy. This is an open invitation for people to buy from you as you are deemed trustworthy. There are only 10 coveted spots on page 1 and those that work hard to get there and nurture their online presence will reap the benefits. Google is so sophisticated in providing the best results, that it has eliminated any form of dodgy online behaviour. Essentially, if your not a legitimate and genuine business then don’t expect to rank. This is the beauty of Google and this is why it’s brand has so much trust and confidence with the public.

Being on page 1 is like being given a massive recommendation or tap on the shoulder from one of the most powerful and recognised brands in the world.

In conclusion, if your prepared to put the effort into your SEO campaign and are willing to engage to decent and trustworthy SEO agency that you have found on Google’s page 1 (like us here at SEO Sydney Experts) and pay a proper price for SEO  then and only then will you be on your way to getting more online traffic and business. Remember, the more times a consumer views your site on page 1 the greater likelihood there is of them clicking on your site and getting in touch with you.

4 SEO Elements that make up your Google rankings

Getting a solid Google ranking is not as easy as it would seem. If you speak to SEO firms or digital agencies they will blind you with geek speak and bamboozle you with terms and phrases that is enough to turn you off the whole subject for ever.

But, if you follow these 4 simple and very easy to understand elements you will be well on your way to a thorough understanding of what Google is looking for when it comes to your websites rankings. It’s not that complicated if you can get your head around these four SEO factors.

# 1. Back linking – this is probably the most important element Google uses in determining where you will sit in the search results.

Firstly, back links are links on other websites that point to your website. So for example, have you ever been on another website and you click on a link and it takes you to another website? Well, that’s a back link and Google uses these as a major ranking signal. When it comes to back links it’s not a matter of quantity, but it’s a matter of high quality links. The higher the authority of the back link, the more trust Google will place on your website and in turn, better rankings.

Let’s say for example you are a lawyer and are looking for a high value back link. If you could get some from websites such as the Law Society who might make mention of your website and business in one of their blogs or news articles then this would be considered a high domain name authority back link and you will be rewarded for this.

Please note that getting 1 back link is not the ‘magic bullet’ to perpetual high Google rankings. This type of link activity must be done each and every month from similar high value websites. Hence, the need for an SEO agency like ours that know how to find these websites and get you listed on them. Taking a DIY approach to this and trying it yourself will not work. I’m not trying to give our company a free plug here but back linking is a critical component of your SEO strategy and needs to be implemented in a well thought out, planned and strategic manner. If you don’t know what your doing you will cause more harm than good, even if you think you are doing the right thing – be warned.

If you get the back linking part right you are well on your way to beating your competition. Remember, back linking costs money so if your using a cheap SEO agency they are probably going to take short cuts and not back link. So if your wondering why your website has not moved from page 2,3,4 or 5 in months, this is the reason. Dodgy, cheap, SEO agencies will NOT be doing a proper back link strategy and this is disastrous for your SEO.

# 2. Bounce Rates. A bounce rate is when someone exits your website from the page they entered the site. This means they have not gone to any other pages and have basically left your website when they saw it. Zero engagement like this equates to high bounce rates which Google will notice and take into account when ranking your website. To improve bounce rates and therefore your rankings, you need to have a more engaging website, one that encourages visitors to explore the site and drill deeper. Essentially, you want them to go to your products or services pages, read them, perhaps they will go to your ‘about us’ page, or watch a video, fill out a form or make an inquiry. The aim here is to get them to be more involved with your site and get them to click, call or buy.

The more they do this, the lower the bounce rates and presto, your rankings should start improving. This is where a full service digital agency like ours can help. Not only can we get you the best back links but we also have incredibly talented designers that know a thing or two about bounce rates.

# 3. Time on website. Leading on from point 2 is the time spent on the site. Basically, the longer people are there, the more likely it is they are engaging with the site and enjoying the overall user experience. Google in all their wisdom has algorithms that can tell how long people spend on your website. The longer they are there the better your rankings. Having said that, there’s not point asking a friend to open your website and leave it there for hours as Google is awake to tricks like this.

Point 2 and 3 are really one and the same. Lower bounce rates means more time on your website which would indicate a better customer experience. If your website is the bees knees and gives consumers and shoppers a WOW experience, Google will want to promote your website so other people can share in this as well. It’s simple logic.

# 4. Content marketing. Again, like points 2 and 3 if people are on your website and are enjoying what they read through your blogging or content marketing efforts, you will see those pages rise very quickly in the results. More people reading, sharing and liking your content equates again to better overall rankings. I tell all my clients that they should be publishing at least 1 article or blog per month. This will generate interest in the website which in turn will drive traffic numbers and help eventually with revenue and sales.

This is simple math. The more people that come to your website, the higher the probability of someone making a purchase or inquiry.

In conclusion, these are the 4 most important aspects that go in to determining the value of your website. They are all interrelated and they all pretty much have equal value. This is why you really need an expert SEO agency like ours to do this for you. I’m more than happy to go over this with you if any parts are unclear. Call me on 02 9360 8514.

Small Business SEO: All your questions answered

Have you got a small business and are looking to start a SEO campaign with an agency. Have you got lots of questions? Are you unfamiliar with he SEO landscape? Are you confused by all the geek speak and SEO jargon? Following is a helpful starters guide to SEO for all small businesses wanting to get better Google rankings.

Owning a small business is tough work. So many of them fail in the first year and even established businesses go under unless they are able to move along with the times and adapt to changing technologies.

Being competitive online and ranking on Google is one way businesses especially, small businesses  can attract new clients and survive the first tenuous years. Larger established businesses should also take note because their foothold and dominance may be short lived if they are unable to roll with the times and start utilising search engines and the power they have wield to secure new clients.

In this blog I would like to highlight SEO as a very powerful marketing mechanism for small to medium sized businesses and how they must incorporate SEO into their marketing mix. Essentially, it’s do or die unless they are willing to accept the fact that SEO is the most important marketing tool for their business. I will tell you everything I know as I have helped literally hundreds of small businesses with their SEO and ensured their survival and profitability through being dominant on Google.

My aim here is to give you all the artillery and information you need to that when you do decide to choose and SEO company you make the right decision. Whether you decide to take a DIY approach to SEO or outsource it to an agency, this information should be front and centre as a reference at all times. Don’t make the mistake many businesses make by going into this blindly and making some terrible mistakes. I have over 22 years experience in this industry so it should allow me to speak with a certain level of authority.

Firstly its important you know what SEO is.

SEO is so many elements of your business but if you break it down to it’s raw format it’s basically getting your website high on the Google rankings for your main core keywords. Logic being, the higher up for are the more website visitors you will get and in turn the larger volume of sales calls or inquiries you are likely to receive. This is how businesses can use SEO for their benefit.

As I stated SEO is only one element in the equation of business success. There are so many other elements you need to be concentration on such as: conversion rate optimisation, Google analytics, content marketing, user experience and journey as well as bounce rates and being Google compliant. It’s a real mixed bag here with so many pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that really need to come together if it’s going to work effectively for you. This is why we urge you not to take a DIY approach to SEO or see if a friend or relative can do this for you on the side soy save a few dollars.

This approach no longer works as the digital landscape is evolving and change so quickly. The real question you should be asking yourself as a business owner is: ‘do I want to be left behind or do I want to remain competitive in the digital / web space’? I know what I would be saying. Sure, lets go for it and do as much as we can to drive business.
For small business owners you need to understand these critical areas:

1.Website. This is the most important marketing tool you can have and it’s like your shop front to the world. This is the first thing you need and make sure you get it done properly.

2. Website content. Everything on your website needs to be written professionally and be geared towards your target audience. Never ever plagiarise or steal content from someone  else website no matter how tempting this maybe.

3. Blogging. make sure you start a blog on your website and continually publish content – exactly the same way as I am doing on this website

4. On page SEO. This is the term used for all that is visible to the public on your website. You have to be Google compliant with everything that is on your website. This must be dome by and SEO agency. Never overlook this step as you On Page SEO is what’s going to help rank your site.

5. Local SEO. Vital especially for small business as you need to build up a presence online in your local area. Thesis done through a process called citations and is the process of registering your site on all the main vocal business directories. Easy enough to do and should be one of the first things you ever do.

6. Link building. This is related to your rankings and covers what is termed ‘off page’SEO and is really what drives your rankings. This again, like so many aspects of your digital marketing strategy should only be done by professionals who know how to link build in a Google compliant manner. If this is done incorrectly the consequences for your business are dire. Be warned!

7. Case studies. Add credibility to your website through cases studies, image galleries and keeping your portfolio updated.

SEO as you can probably gather is really complicated especially for small business owners who have never even heard of SEO before. It can actually be quite intimidating. But, to break it down all you need is a good website with great copy and a SEO agency working for you that knows how to back link. Simple as that! Well, not really unfortunately. because there are a whole bunch of SEO cowboys out there that are eager to say anything to you and quote dirt cheap prices to get your business. These guys are known as ‘ black hat’ SEO companies and are the very worst of the worst in the digital space. The problem here is that they ave really slick sounding sales people who will say exactly what you want to hear and promise you riches beyond your wildest expectations all for a really cheap fee. Don’t ever get caught in this trap. This is small business quick sand and you can easily drown if you are not armed with the next bit of information.

Choosing the right SEO agency

Before you even contemplate handing an SEO agency the keys to your palace there are some really important questions you should be asking them. If they stutter or don’t know the answer this is a sign that you are dealing with novices alas a bunch of ‘black hatters’.

1. What strategy will you use to improve my organic SEO rankings? That should be answering with words like keyword diverse link building and slow organic growth rates. Complicated I know, but just on the lookout for this. Perhaps even ask them about this and see if they know what your talking about.

2.What area of SEO do you specialise in. There are so many diverse areas that they need to be able to cover off at least; local SEO, conversion rate optimisation and the use experience. Your future SEO agency must intact be a full digital agency that can not only do link building but can also diagnose your website traffic through analytics and make concrete suggestions on ways to improve your overall site performance and customer experience. Even for a small business this is necessary. After all, you want people who come to your site to buy from it or make a simple inquiry. The customers experience and how they interact with the site is now really important. Your SEO agency should have answers to all of these questions. make sure they give you examples as well.

3. What type of jobs will you be working on each month and what type of reporting back to me will you provide? Also, who will I be dealing with? Is there an allocated account am manger or will I be dealing with a different person each and every time?

4. What are your link building strategies and how do you intend to get links from other high authority sites back to my site? This is a really important question as many SEO companies will skim over this part as this is really the meat in the sandwich. Why? Because the best way to get a sustainable and high Google ranking is by having other trustworthy websites link back to your site.

This is the BEST WAY to outrank your competition and a lot of companies will not do this as it can get expensive especially if it costs money to obtain these links. Remember, SEO costs money and can be expensive if your in a competitive small business niche. This is includes, lawyers, doctors, cosmetic surgeons, plumbers. electricians, rubbish removals, gardeners, asbestos removal, packaging, clothing, food etc. All these are small businesses and are seriously competitive spaces especially on Google. Therefore, to rank effectively you need to have high domain websites linking to your site and this will cost. Paying next nothing for your SEO will not reap the type of results you were promised over the phone. This I can guarantee you. I see so many people who have gone down the path of trying to save a penny or two only to wind up being in a worse off position than when they started.

5. Make sure they can provide you with case studies of past successes. Go and test this out by doing your own search and see if they are telling the truth.

6. What type of metrics do you use to track my websites performance? Ideally you want to know what software they are using to measure your keywords rankings. Make sure they also tell you the number of organic search results and traffic you are getting your site for each individual keyword. So for example if they are spending a whole bunch of time focusing on 1 keyword that’s delivering small amounts of traffic it’s probably a good idea to ditch it and look for others that are more highly searched. After all, you want quality visitors to your site and this can only be determined though your SEO reports. So many agencies will ignore this fact and boast that they have 100’s of keywords on page 1 for you. This is not always good as these are not you main core ‘money’ keywords. If your a plumber in Manly, you want to be ranking for the local keyword search plumbers in Manly. Anything else is simply superfluous  and fluff!
Can small businesses do SEO themselves?

Absolutely! But, there is a downside. If you haven’t a clue about SEO or you have done a bit of reading and feel that you are now equipped with enough information to tackle it yourself; watch out!

SEO is difficult, in fact it’s really tough. Google is forever shifting it’s ranking algorithm so unless you are up to speed on the latest changes (most likely you won’t have the time for this as you running your business etc) then my advice is leave it to the experts. Once they have you ranked you will be getting so much business that you will be tankful that you spent the time researching for a credible and trustworthy SEO agency and you have been prepared to pay them accordingly for their invaluable service.

That’s about it. If you have managed to read through this and fully get what I’m trying to say then full kudos to you. If you are still as mystified about SEO as when you started reading this blog give us a call anytime and I would be more than happy to explain the nuances and intricacies of SEO. Remember, this is your livelihood. It’s your business and you want it to be successful so make the right choice here and now.

How to Ditch your SEO agency without it affecting your rankings

There are so many people out there worried that if they ditch their current SEO agency then all their rankings will disappear.  This unfortunately may be the case as the back links they have acquired over the duration of the campaign will most likely be terminated or not renewed. This will have the effect of hurting your Google rankings, unless you follow these important steps.

Most people are likely to get rid of their current SEO agency for a number of reasons; they are not able to perform and rank the site on Google, they lied in the beginning and over promised on the likely results they were able to achieve, they charged too much and you are not seeing a return on your investment, or you are simply unhappy with he reporting and customer service.

If any of the above points sound familiar and you are wanting to take the next step and ditch your SEO agency then do it. The longer you wait, the more you put it off, the longer you hold off and procrastinate, the worse it will get. But here’s the catch and i hear this all the time because clients tell me that their SEO agency said this when they threatened to leave. They basically said that they will rip out every link they have ever created which in turn is going to have a seriously bad impact on your Google rankings.

These businesses panic when they hear this and fear that whatever rankings they do have will disappear overnight. But I’m here to tell you don’t worry or stress about this.

Why?

Because if your not ranking and not seeing the kind of results you were expecting then the links they have created were probably worthless and they are doing you a big favour by removing these. So if they start rambling on and threatening you that your Google rankings are going to tank if you leave them, just go along with this, let them have their rant and simply move on. Worthless links built by dodgy SEO agencies are in fact doing more harm than good to your website.

But what happens if you are leaving for other reasons and your rankings are not bad? well, this is another scenario and in most cases they will rip out the links they’ve built and this may have an impact on your rankings. To minis the negative impact of this the best thing you can do is move on very quickly and sign up with another SEO agency who can implement their back linking strategy. This will minimise the effect of loss links as new ones are being immediately created.

Think of it like a glass of water with a hole in the bottom. As the water drains out it must be replaced if there is going to be any water left in the cup. Only, quick and immediate action will mitigate any damage caused by loosing links.

The trick here is to get on board with another company that can perform a back link profile to determine the value of the links you will be loosing. I think it’s always best to plan a couple of weeks in advance and get them to do this before you break the bad news to your current SEO team. This way they won’t have touched or removed any links.

What any credible agency will do is to immediately start link building and creating their own solid SEO strategy. You will find that this is the very best approach and you may even find that your rankings will improve very quickly.

I know so may businesses that are simply stuck with their current SEO provider for this 1 main reason. They are petrified to move because they are so fearful that they will loose their rankings. Pointing the above fact out should alleviate some of your fears and trepidation about moving but there is also 1 really important point to make. If your website is a few years old and you have been blogging, content marketing and active on your social media building your brand, then in most cases Google will not penalise your website for lost links. Remember, your sister is aged and has a certain trust value when it comes to rankings – so loosing a few links will likely have little or no impact.

If you are feeling paralysed and unable to move due to being threatened by your SEO agency then sit back relax and let another more hands on and credible team look after your internet marketing. Don’t feel pressured or stressed by the loss of links as these can be easily replaced and done very quickly. Pls we know how to get Google to index these newly built links so you get the authority to your website very quickly.

Hope this helps alleviate the worry but if you are about to jump ship and are having second thoughts please give us a call here at SEO Sydney Experts and I will show you that this is really a simple process.

It’s not all about back links. You need quality over quantity

When I speak with clients and I do this all day a common misconception is that their SEO campaign is all about the number of back links they will receive. A common statement usually goes like this: ‘I’m currently on page 2 of Google and have been stuck there for many months, can you I pay you for some back links?’

Herein lies the issue and the problem surrounding most SEO campaigns. It’s not all about the back links. Far too many SEO agencies will simply go about building back links and think that this works, well it doesn’t and the proof of this is through the number of phone calls I get every day from people that have gone down this path and suffered the consequences. Thai is, terrible rankings!

For an effective SEO campaign, link building is only 1 component. To rely purely on this will have a detrimental affect on your site, especially if it’s left in the hands of one of the scores of thousands of dodgy SEO companies that have no idea about SEO. There are a number of other variables that need to be taken into account.

Your Back Link Profile is Vital, but there are other variables…

Let me start by clearing the air and stating that your back link profile is seriously important. It is probably one of the most effective ways to get your website ranking and we have proved this many times over in the past. Link building tells Google that you are an authority website and they should trust you which is a massive ranking signal. The more trust and authority you have, the higher your going to rank.

A great, high quality back link profile is one thing but most businesses get hung up about this and this is all they want to see. This is ‘old school’ SEO and is no longer the magic bullet. The logic behind this is simple; the more the better? Right, no this is wrong!

Google will only reward your website if it sees that your back links have been built naturally, slowly, methodically and over a gradual time period. Mass link building is not on and is a sure way to get your website flagged by Google as an attempt to spam the system and fraudulently try to manipulate the results. It’s a huge no-no and is still widely practised by a huge percentage of SEO agencies throughout Australia. Google wants to see back links that come from high authority, industry relevant websites that also have strong trust. This is what counts.

Simply put 10 000 back links from low authority sites is not as valuable as 1 link from a high authority website. You do the math and see what you need to do to create a strong link profile. If you want thousands of spammy links you better watch out for the pending Google penalty as it will hit you and boy o boy it will hit hard! Get out of the mindset that quantity is better than quality. It’s a fools dream and one perpetrated by SEO agencies that rely on these ‘black hat’ tactics as they do not know any better and do not have the resources or knowledge to attain high authority links.

What is the Google Algorithm?

This is Google’s way of sifting through the billions of web pages online and giving you the user the information you require when searching. This algorithm is designed to display the most relevant and trustworthy information so you ( the consumer) have all the information you ever need at your finger tips. It’s sophisticated, highly complicated and best of all, always changing. For us SEO companies this is what keeps us on our toes and awake at night, trying to figure out what Google is up to when its changing it’s algorithm. This algorithm is made up of thousands of individual ranking components and is designed by some of the best minds on the planet. After all this is Google and they can recruit the very best people.

Although this algorithm is diverse it can be broken down into some major components that go towards establishing website rankings.

The Hummingbird Update: this is all about the search and Google will look at keywords and phrases as well as your web page relevance to deliver results. Google will take factors like location into account as well as other on page factors on your website. So for example if your looking for ‘best surf villas in Bali’ from your desktop in Sydney you will get a list of all the villa agencies in Sydney with generic information. If your in Bali doing this same task you will get information about individual villas. It is quite specific and was a game changer in terms of delivering search results.

The Penguin Update: looks at your back link profile and will determine what links are valuable and what are spammy. If your profile is deemed to spammy then you have 2 options; prune those unnecessary invaluable links or face the consequences of the penguin. The penguin will also look at the way in which you have been building these links. Are they all pointing to one page with an emphasis on certain keywords or is there a diversity? Links from so called ‘grey hat’ or sites that are not exactly bad but are also not good, will also get an eye cast over them. If you have been over reliant on PR postings or directory websites then this will go against you. Remember, with linking it MUST be from high authority sites – anything less will be targeted by the Penguin algorithm.

The Panda Update: is the content filter and will weed out any websites for punishment that have little or no relevant copy, duplicate content or are keyword stuffing ( writing for the search engines by repeating your main core keywords in the hope of improving rankings). Poor quality on page content is not what your website visitors are looking for and Google knows this so be warned. Make sure every word written for your website is designed for the consumers engagement and not Google’s.

RankBrain is the newest kid on the block and is designed to rank websites according to what it feels that humans are searching for and delivering these results.

A point to note here that these are the main ranking updates, there are heaps more ( pigeon, caffeine and pirate) but you really should be aware of these; linking, content and on site technical specifics. These Google updates that are happening more often and these trends that started years ago are set to continue well into 2016 & 2017.

As you can see if you are only focusing on link building you are ignoring the other core ranking elements as listed above. Links are just one facet, the others are as important and need to be addressed throughout your SEO campaign.

Here’s how they all apply:

Links ARE vital and it need to be implemented a slow organic fashion. Natural link building is all about getting another website to endorse your site via a link and this has to come from a relevant source that’s in your industry. This is the difficult part and can take a long time to achieve this. This is why they are so valuable. You actually have to put the effort and hard yards into getting g these link endorsements. I know how hard I have to work to get some of these and it can take ages. You need to build online relationships with people from all over the web and nurture these. This is why SEO and rankings is time consuming as you then need to know what to do with these. A scatter gun, mass link building approach is no good and is not the way to go. Look at it this way, the harder it is to get the link, the more valuable it becomes.

Content is king and is one of the BIG 3 when it comes to Google rankings. Ensuring that your site has valuable, worthwhile, rich content is going to remind Google that you are the best in your industry and they will keep on coming around to your website to look for other interesting tit bits of information. The more Google crawls your site, the more chance you will have of getting your web content ranked. Key here is to write articles, blogs and keep on adding pages to your site. Same as I am doing here with this blog – it works, you have to trust me on this. Also, for heavens sake, don’t ever plagiarise from any other sites and pass it off as your own or try to stuff as many keywords as you can on the page. It just looks silly and will turn off customers.

Technical ‘on page’ elements are the third critical element. Your website is like a racing car and it needs to be running at peak performance the whole time if Google is going to rank it. Make sure you look at things like: page titles and descriptions, page load speed, missing or broken links, flash animation, mobile friendly (responsive sites), correct implementation of 301’s ( from old websites to new websites) as well as images and graphics. All of these must come together nicely if your site has any chance of ranking.

In conclusion

The big thing that you should get from this is that link building is only one essential part of a balanced and ethical SEO strategy. Whilst it is a good thing and over reliance on this will tip the scales against your site. Try to be as diverse and legitimate as you can be when it comes to getting on Google and building your brand or business online. This is the only way you will ever rank. Never try to game or beat the system. Google is just far too sophisticated and advanced for these trivial measures. They have seen it all before and they know every trick in the book.

Small Business SEO guide – Black Hat vs White Hat SEO

If you are a small business owner you want to get as many people through your door as possible. It really doesn’t matter which industry your in or what services or products your selling. The aim here is to get traffic through your front door and you need to be focusing on this all the time. Day in and day out, your objective is to be focusing on ways to increase revenue and profits through generating as much traffic as possible. In the past the best way to do this was through traditional, old school methods such as the Yellow Pages or newspaper ads, but now it’s all about being in the digital space.

In this arena, it’s all about Google and search engine optimisation or SEO. Advertising patterns have radically shifted and the only real way of getting those juicy new sales leads is through SEO. Anything else is simply background noise and won’t cut it. SEO is the end game. It’s proven to work and if done effectively it will generate an enormous amount of traffic to your website. But how does it all work and with the multitude of sites out there how on earth are you going to stand out and be noticed?

So What is SEO, and Why Does it Important?

SEO is probably the most important marketing tool for businesses large and small, local and international. It has usurped all other forms of marketing and is now normal business practice. Put simply, SEO is the process of building trust for your website so that Google places authority on it. The more trustworthy a website becomes, the higher it will rank on Google. The higher you rank the more web traffic you are going to get and in turn more sales leads and inquiries. The main search engine that everyone wants to rank for is Google. This is GOD in terms of search engines and nothing else on the entire internet comes even remotely close. It is the messiah for businesses that know how to harness it’s power and this is where SEO is so very crucial. Without it, Google is useless and you can forget about competing online.

Google will place trust in a website based on the amount of backlinks that it has pointing towards it. NOTE: these links have to be relevant and from another trustworthy site. Google has an algorithm that is forever changing and forever on the look out for these backlinks to index. Once Google has indexed enough of these top quality backlinks your site will start to gain trust and in turn zoom up the rankings.

This is how SEO works and it’s the aim of all SEO agencies like ours to learn what Google’s rankings algorithm is up to and make sure that your website complies to these ranking factors.

So the next step here is to ask what are the best ways to help with your websites ranking? There are hundreds of ranking triggers and signals that you can send to Google and they can be divided into 2 camps or schools of thought; ‘black hat’ and ‘white hat’. There is also the forgotten grey hat area which (I will also discuss here. A point to note here and this is how I like to write my articles is that since the algorithm is constantly changing and refining for better search results, it’s important that business owners gear their website up for the consumer and not the search engine. Writing streams of irrelevant content to appease the search engines doesn’t work any more.

It’s got to be all about the user experience or the customer journey and how they interact with your website. Remember, your customers are the ones parting with their money and not Google!

Past History & Changes of Google’s algorithms

SEO has radically matured from it’s infancy in the 1990’s. The metamorphosis has been incredible. From simple back links that were effective enough to rank your site to complex algorithms that can detect the slightest non compliant behaviour Google’s algorithm is now a sophisticated mathematical incredibly powerful tool. Some say it’s almost human like.

In the early SEO days it was easy to rank a website. The theory behind it was that the more links you had the better off your were and the higher the rankings. If one company had 1000 in bound links and you had 2000 then you were better off. Google in these ‘wild west’ days was not concerned about the quality and quantity of content ONLY the number of back links.

This led rise to industry wide spamming techniques where you could buy as many links as you liked online for as little as a cent a link. The end results were websites that ranked that had absolutely no value or trust. Basically, I could rank a website in a week on any keyword. All I needed was links. Thank heavens those days have ended. Thos early days are long gone but it did give rise to the birth of what is known as ‘black hat SEO’ and like some forgotten tribal voodoo it’s still practiced nowadays by some SEO companies. If you are reading this and you feel that your SEO campaign is ‘black hat’, watch out! Black hat SEO is practised by agencies that like to pretend they are doing some SEO by showing you some cheap and nasty linking. In fact it’s way more common than your think and I often see the end results of those poor businesses that were duped by some SEO companies because they though they were getting a great deal and a cheap price. IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY ANY MORE!

What is Black-Hat SEO?

“Black hat” is the term we use to describe the way in which some dodgy SEO companies work. All their SEO work is non compliant and fall foul of Googles strict rules and guidelines. It’s messy, ugly and never ever works. Businesses only cotton on to this activity once their website rankings start to seriously slide or in some worse case scenarios get ‘penalised’. Black hat SEO is usually characterised by speedy, fast rankings (usually done by companies that promise page 1 rankings in 90 days and guarantee this), only to be followed by a massive plummet. All too late as you are probably locked into a nasty contract. Many SEO agencies in order to secure your business will make these unrealistic ranking promises and in order to fulfil their part of the deal MUST implement spammy ‘black hat’ techniques.

Example of Black-Hat SEO

Let’s say for example you were looking to find an SEO agency and were not sure who to go with. The first thing you do is go online and do some searches and come up with a list of agencies. You end up speaking to 3 or 4 of them and they all seem to say the same thing. However, there is one agency that differs from the others. They are telling you that they will guarantee your SEO page 1 position within 90 days and if they don’t hit this goal they will do it for free until your main keywords are right at the top. This sounds so sweet. These guys are actually going to back their work up with a written guarantee. Plus they will work free for you until you are ranking.
So you sign up for 12 months with this company ( and I might add they came in much cheaper than any other quote you received – you are on a real winner here) and they commence their work. What you notice is an immediate spike in your rankings and most of your keywords are on page 2 or 3 from no where last month. You think to yourself, what an incredible result, can’t wait for more good things to follow. The next month you notice 1 of your internal website pages on page 1. This is for a service that you offer but it’s not your core business and it’s not what you were expecting. You think to yourself, why isn’t my main pages climbing?

What has happened here is a primed example of ‘black hat SEO’. They have spammed your website so that there was a spike in the rankings and a page of yours has magically appeared on page 1. What happens next is even better. Your rankings have all disappeared. Gone – vanished! This is all within90 days. A sudden rise then a massive drop. This is all the result of dodgy SEO practices and the worst part about this is you are only 3 months into your 12 month contract. And boy o boy, if you threaten to rescind the contact just wait for the lawyers letter to follow the next day. These guys know what they are doing and have you trapped. You have been suckered in because you fell for the con and they are going to take you and your website to the cleaners and in the process do everything ‘black hat’.

Black-Hat SEO Techniques

When people practice ‘black hat’ techniques they feel invincible and feel that Google will never catch up with them. What a fools paradise. It always works out for the worse. Any form of black hat ‘ practices WILL BE DETECTED. Google will punish your website without impunity. It doesn’t matter what type of site you have. Imagine you have an eCommerce site and rely heavily on your SEO rankings. Think about the damage this can do to your business, your livelihood, your staff, your stock etc.

Let me show you some really bad ‘black hat’ practices:

1. Lots of Keyword Stuffing

If you think that repeating your main keywords over and over again will help with your rankings think again. Repetition is good if you are practicing swimming laps but when it comes to your website you will only end up doing more harm than good. Basically, your web pages will sound illiterate and will end up turning potential customers off who get fed up with reading gibberish stutter like copy. If it makes no sense to your customer then Google will detect this and penalise this page. Do it throughout your website and you can kiss your rankings goodbye.

Many folks place a whole bunch of keywords at the bottom of the website thinking that if no one is going to read them, then it should be OK by Google. Again wrong and if you try to manipulate your rankings by fraudulent activity then expect to be punished. Another beauty is to have black on black writing so that no one sees the keywords being stuffed onto the page. Basically, you are making it invisible to the human eye. This is a huge no-no and if you think that just because you hide it from the public this does not exempt your from punishment. Be warned! If you write normally and naturally without trying to defraud Google you will be rewarded.

2. Link Farms

A link farm is where you own or have the control of a large number of websites and all intelink these in the hope of gaining authority. They are all on the same IP address and they are all owned by one person. This looks unnatural and is a real lazy way of doing SEO. Lets say you own 1000 sites and you have the ability to have 1 link on each site pointing to a site you hope to rank, Google will pick this up and you will be busted for unnatural link activity. You will initially get a sugar rush rise but this is quickly followed by being smashed hard. The biggest sugar comedown of your online life! Totally ‘black hat’ and a common way to dupe unsuspecting businesses into thinking that you are actually doing some work.

3. Doorway Pages

Let’s say you type a search term into Google for a particular service and you see 3 or 4 results that look interesting on the home page. But when you click on the website it takes you to another site and this happens when you click on the other links as well. Basically, these are pages designed to trap your into going to another page and is another fraudulent activity. Some companies create hundreds of separate sites all linking to 1 main website. These doorway pages have been outlawed for years but here are still agencies that do this in order to manipulate rank. When will they learn??

4. Article or content Spinning

Another example of black hat SEO techniques is article spinning where copy is written en masse by some cheap offshore copywriting firm. What happens is that they look for articles written by your competition and rewrite these. The only issue is that the content is written to fool the search engines and has been written probably in a hurry and really badly. Google’s algorithm is smart enough to detect these articles and will penalise the site they belong to. If there are links pointing towards a site as well then the value of these links will also be devalued. Rehashing old articles by a semi illiterate wordsmith is as bad if not worse than dodgy SEO backlinks.

What is the Florida Update?

In 2003, is all happened. Google decided to crack down on all this illegal ‘black hat’ shenanigans and penalise everything that had to do with: spammy link building, doorway pages, article spinning, keyword stuffing, basically anything that looked or smelt dodgy was dealt with harshly. Overnight millions of websites suddenly vanished off the face of the earth. This spelt the end of the ‘black hat’ industry or did it??

The answer is not so simple. In a way it slowed down these malicious practices, but because there are always gullible and vulnerable people that this practice appeals to. If it’s chap and comes backed up by a guarantee then they are going (no matter what anyone says) to partner with ‘black hat SEO’ companies. You can plead and beg then to wake up and know what they are stepping into but cheap prices are a great blindfold. We still see so many people that have been penalised by Google and will still go down the path of employing another SEO company cause they came in 50% cheaper. It is so frustrating how they never learn from their mistakes!

Since the first massive Florida update Google continues to roll out big algorithm changes designed to refine it’s ranking criteria. These include the famous Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates. The Panda update was all about content whilst the Penguin was there to clean up all those dodgy back links. Hummingbird looked at the quality of your website copy. What you can see here is a trend by Google to ensure they deliver results based on websites that have great web copy and that are trustworthy. For example it will rank the website of a well known and trusted orthopaedic surgeon (with lots of informative content about knee surgery or hip pain) over some medical website that has just been created to drive leads. For the consumer this is great news. Now they orthopaedic surgeons they pick that were on page 1 of Google have been vetted first by the search engine for their authenticity. It adds a level of security, a layer trust. I mean, if Google places this surgeons website on page 1 , he/she must be worth visiting.

What is “White-Hat” SEO?

White hat SEO (which we practice here at SEO Sydney experts) is the practice of optimising the website for humans and not the search engines with the best copy, graphics, user interface, site speed and of course the best and most relevant back links. Basically, you have to forget about Google and do everything for the user and in this way you will rank. Genuine websites offering the best customer experience that have a level of trust will win at the end of the day. Whit hat’s emphasis is on organic natural linking practices. The philosophy is simple. If you write great copy then people are going to want to share this around and link to it; hence the trust factor.

Most businesses will not know how to do this and will not know the art of getting your content shared and this is where we step in and facilitate the ‘white hat’ SEO process. For those of you just a bit curious of ways we implement our strategy following is just a taste of what we do in order to get Google to love your website and give it all the trust in the world.

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White-hat SEO techniques for Small Business

1. Keep Your Main Keywords Local

Make sure the keywords you use are all locally based in your content. So for example think about words like ‘knee surgeons in Sydney’ or ‘St Vincent’s hospital, Darlinghurst knee surgeons’. This add a layer of authenticity to your copy and this is what Google is looking for. If you only focus on 1 word ‘knee surgeons’ and plaster this all over your site it will start to look a bit like keyword stuffing. These are known as long tail keywords and this is what you need to be focusing on. If your in doubt about what you’ve written we find the best thing to do is read it out aloud to a friend and see if they cringe. If they like what you are saying then chances are very high hat Google will too. Content is a great first step now you need to look at building the trust factor that leads me to the next step; natural link building.

2. Build Links very naturally

All links pointing towards your website have to be from trustworthy websites and these links have to look natural. If they are all coming from unnatural sources that look ‘spammy’ this will reflect poorly on your website and cause you harm. Just imaging our orthopaedic friend having hundreds of links pointing to his website from some eastern European sites that have little or no relevance to his practice in Sydney. If it looks dubious it probably is and Google will suss this out very quickly. The role of our agency in developing ‘white hat’ links is through creating quality content and ensure that it gets shared and liked by the right type of websites that can only enhance your reputation online. The huge difference between black and white hat SEO link building is that we make sure all links are organic and not bought cheaply in some off shore Persian bazaar for a mere penny. Anyone moron can do this and this is what differentiates the good from the bad.

Some of the credible ways we attain links is through:

“Editorial Links”

Editorial links are created naturally if you ca write compelling copy – this trick here is to know what to do with it and how to get people to like and share it. This is our little secret and if you work with us we will be happy to share it with you.

“Blooger Outreach” Link Building

We know who to contact and who to speak to when it comes to generating authentic content and having it linked to your website. Just imagine you have a travel related website and want a well known and well respected travel blogger to write a gripping article about a destination you are promoting. If they include a link back to your website then this is a seriously great ‘white hat’ linking technique. I can show you how 1 simple link on 1 article can bounce your rankings better than anything you have tried in the past.

3. Make sure your website is Mobile-Friendly

25% of all local searches are done using the mobile phone. Make sure your website is compatible on all platforms this way you wont be penalised by mobilegeddon the Google update which slammed websites that were not mobile friendly. Whilst most sites we understand are optimised for iphones and tablets there is still a percentage of them out there yet to take up this new technology.

4. Build Strong Citations

Citations are where we mention your website on other pages. Citations can be put anywhere as long as they are n reputable sites. Building a strong core set of citations on well known directories will prove to Google that you do actually exist and that you should be trusted. The trick here is to know when to stop and how far to go and where to place these citations. Do it improperly and it will appear like you are trying to game the system and you know what happens then.

These citations are a great way to get your business listed on Google maps and the better quality citations you have the more prominent will be your maps listing. We get heaps of people begging us to help them get listed on maps and I always tell them that we have to build a core base of proper citations. Like with all ‘white hat’ SEO strategies it does take time and you have to be doing this slowly and gradually over time if it is going to be sustainable and effective.

Why White Hat SEO is Important

If you want you business to grow online and be competitive against the exiting companies that seem to dominate your space or niche then you must think long term and this means to have a proper ‘white hat’ strategy in place. Nothing comes quickly online in terms of Google rankings and if you want quick wins then it’s best you avoid all types of SEO. If you are prepared to be patient, stick it out and take the attitude that you will only implement SEO the right way then you are going to gain huge benefits with this tactic.

White hat is really the only way you are going to survive online especially if you’re a business that relies heavily on Google and getting new leads from this search engine. You now have to play by their rules as they are the dominant and only player in this space at the moment and until another search engine comes along and dethrones ‘king Google’ then it’s ‘white hat’ all the way.

What is Grey Hat SEO?

Sometimes you need to live life a little on the edge and this is where the term ‘grey hat’ SEO comes into play. Whilst you may not be 100% squeaky clean there are things you may be doing that push the boundary ever so slightly. If you are prepared to risk it a little bit then it will push your rankings a little quicker. Not optimal but you need to hold your nerve here. Let’s say you are paying a company to publish a guest post for you with a link back to your site (without referencing that this is a paid post) this may constitute grey hat SEO. Anything that is remotely unnatural and is not pristine white is deemed grey. Be careful as skating on thin ice in the online world can lead to a cold watery splash.

A good rule of thumb with grey hat SEO is it’s ok to do it once or twice BUT never make a habit of it. Google is unforgiving.

Are you serious about your SEO?

If your really serious about improving your websites rankings then the only way to go about this is with an agency that lives and breathes ‘white hat’ SEO. I know it’s a long haul campaign but trust me when I tell you it’s so worth it. You will end up thanking me once you are on page 1 and you are there for the long term.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that this type of strategy is not the type where you can get it off the shelf for a pittance. It does costs and in some cases quite a bit on money but if your keen on growing your business this is the ONLY way.

For more information on this and other ways to get more out of Google please call us here on 02 9360 8514 –  I am more than happy to spend some time with you over the phone going over this.

Fast SEO Tips in under 5 MINUTES.

seotipsfastIf you have a small understanding about SEO and even better how to use your WordPress CMS, then following are some very quick tis that are going to help with your rankings. If you don’t know how to use WORDPRESS or have some other CMS platform,  please call us here at SEO Sydney Experts as we can definitely point you in the right direction. Those lucky enough to have WordPress read on as these tips are gold.

A quick note before we do start: While all these tips are fine and great, they will not make a big difference or have that much of an impact on your rankigs if you do not have top quality on page unique content and if there is not a proper back lining campaign in place. These are the foundations of SEO, the bedrock or building authority and this MUST be simmering in the back ground for these SEO tips to work effectively.

If you are just starting out think about having a Keyword In The Domain

This has to be thought about before you even start design or building a website, let alone commence any SEO campaign. A great idea is to have your main core business keywords in the domain. The root domain keyword if it is similar to the search has some bearing on the SEO rankings. Let me give you an example. If you are in the rubbish removals business and you are based in Sydney, then an ideal URL or web name would “rubbishremovalssydney.com.au’. But I can bet anything that this has been taken so you need to be a bit creative when searching for your domain name. There will be a lot of trial and error but overall getting it right from the beginning will pay dividends in the future. Again, have a look at our domain name ‘seo sydney experts’. Yes the rankings are extremely high ( this is because of our great SEO efforts), but the name has marginally contributed to this. I will place an emphasis on the word marginally here. It’s not the be all and end all of SEO rankings.

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Make sure the web semantics are correct by having a Keyword In The URL

A URL page structure will not only let users know where they are on the website but it also gives Google a good indication as well. This can be complicated but lets say you are a plumber and you have a service called ‘hot water repairs’. Then the word ‘hot water repairs’ should be in the URL like: ‘acmeplumbing.com.au/hot-water-repairs’.

WordPress is great for SEO

This means that that page will be all about hot water repairs and this will also be in the title. If your business has a lot of services then they need to all be on individual pages with their own separate URL. This is the very best thing you can be doing for cleaning up and making your website more Google compliant. Look at you website do a full audit and WordPress will allow you to change the URL structure very quickly. You could probably do 10 services in less than 5 minutes. It’s super easy once you get the hang of it.

Google will then reindex the site and the page about hot water repairs will be the one that you want to see ranking.

A note here: make sure that your services page ( hot water repairs) has been designed for maximum conversion. After all, it’s a serious waste of time and effort if the page is doing well on Google, but looks terrible. No one will buy or inquire from you and this is ultimately what you want them to be doing. Make sure you get a web design agency with great SEO SKILLS to design up these main landing pages for you. Even better get in touch with us and we will handle everything for you including the design!

Add Relevant Keywords In The Content of the individual web pages.

Your page copy has to be rich with relevant keywords related to your services. If you are repairing ‘hot water systems’ make sure there are at least 2-3 references about this throughout the copy of the page. These include

Header Tags – 1 x H1 tag only please on the page – WordPress will have a drop down for this and make this towards the top of the page

Title Tags – Title tags are seriously important and they reflect how Google indexes the site. These titles should be about 55 characters and be all about the page subject. Do not keyword stuff here. Remember this is what people will see when they land on Google so you want it to be fairly sales focused. For example: “Hot Water Repairs, Sydney Wide. Fast”, is a great example of a title. It’s straight to the point and tells customers exactly what they can expect.

Meta Description – Right under the title area in WordPress is the description area. This is where you can elaborate a bit more about your business as you have about 155 characters. Try to really sell your business here. Make sure that the content is all about your 1 particular service. Do not make it generic.

Do not keyword stuff – Repeating you main keywords will not have any positive effect on your SEO rankings. It will simply annoy people and increase your web bounce rates and reduce the number of potential sales leads you should be getting. Plus Google will detect this and penalise this page, where you will completely loose your rankings. Write naturally, let the words flow organically as you would normally do. This is the best way to approach any type of content publication.

In conclusion

You can try as hard as you like to make all you pages 110% absolutely perfect BUT it won’t stack up if you are working with a sub standard SEO agency. I see far too many websites that have ticked all the boxes and look absolutely stunning but they still do not seem to get anywhere near their competition (whose sites look appalling)  and they can’t figure out what the problem is. Well, it’s their ‘off page’ SEO that is being done perhaps offshore of by some dodgy company back here in Australia. For SEO to be effective the on page and off page must work in harmony. It’s a marriage and if 1 partner is not pulling it’s weight then it will fall apart. There are too many scams out there online and far too many SEO agencies that simply want to take your money by offering guarantees and pay on performance offers. These are stunts and are designed to rip you off. Watch out folks!

Moving forward you need to get your on page perfect and then find an SEO agency that can compliment all your efforts. To make things easier for you…why not call us here at SEO Sydney Experts on 02 9360 8514

7 Quick SEO Wins for any Website

seowinsSEO takes time and is not as easy as it looks. It’s not as simple as writing content in the hope that that page will rank. Nor, is it simply popping a few links on a couple of websites and think that this will somehow miraculously get you to page 1 of Google. SEO is in fact a science where all factors must fit nicely together, like a puzzle in order for it to work. This includes your website. If it is not Google complaint, then simply put, your SEO will not work. All external efforts will go to waste if your website fundamentals are not in place. So following are 9 quick wins or fixes that will have an effect on your SEO. Implement these now and see what happens.

1. You must fix up 404 pages with inbound links

There is nothing worse than having a 404 error pop up when someone is on your website. This means that there is a broken link and it needs to be addresses. The best way to do this is run your website through tools like MAJESTIC SEO which will identify any broken links. Once you have this list, you should then point these broken link pages to relevant pages within your site, through a technique known as 301 redirects. This will have the effect of not annoying your user as well as passing on any link juice that your old page had. This is quite common and happens when new websites are built and the old web pages are not re-directed to the new ones. It can get technical if you don’t know what you are doing. So, the rule here is if in doubt get professional help.

2. Boost all pages within your website.

You may not know this but there are probably many important keywords that have high volumes of traffic ranking on page 2 or they are about to hit page 1. Get a list of all your keywords that are ranking (through tools like SEO rush) and spot the ones that need a bit of a boost. Show these to your SEO agency and make sure they focus their efforts on these juicy keywords. Ideally, they should already know this but it’s good to be on top of things to keep them on their toes.

3. What about your Google places listing?

Many people forget about this and if you want to show up in Google places for a local listing then this is really a golden nugget. It takes a few seconds to do; write a brief description, wait for Google to authorise this and then see what happens. If you can get a few customers to write some positive 5 star testimonials then even better. It’s a very quick win and all businesses should have a Google place listing.

4. Do you know what a title tag is?

It’s the blue writing on the search results and it’s the first thing people read. And yes, Google reads this as well. Make sure you have carefully looked at all your titles on each individual page within your website so they are fully optimised. Never over spam this with keyword stuffing. Try to be as natural sounding as possible. Because your title is the first thing potential customers see, it must have a slight sales edge to it. Bear in mind each page on your website ( and it doesn’t matter how many you have) must have it’s very own unique title. Painful I know, but this is something that is very important if your site is going to rank.

5. Are your Robots.txt file active as well as no-index pages

Review your robots.txt file or no–index files to make sure that your website is being indexed by Google. Yes it does happen. Sites go live without the ‘no index no follow’ still active. This means your website is telling Google NOT TO index and rank your website. This is done generally during testing phase before a website is launched and developers sometimes forget to take it off.

Think is can’t happen. I get people calling me asking me why there site is not showing on Google after 3 months of it going live. Once these are gone and Google indexes your web pages – see what happens then to your rankings BOOM! Up they go. You have to tell Google you exist – its a basic SEO strategy.

6. Sites ranking but no one is clicking

Like your title, the description on the search results needs to be very sales focused and scream click me. You have about 25 words so make each and every one count. Most CMS platforms will allow you to manually change the description – I know that the WordPress plug in Yoest is great for this. Try testing the description for a month or so. See if the number of inquires increase. If not, change it again. It’s a valuable marketing tool and one that you should be very aware of.

7. Look at your long-tail keyword opportunities

Don’t ignore the low hanging fruit. Known as long tail keywords these are words whilst not your main money, high traffic keywords, still produce a number of decent monthly searches. Identify these and ask your SEO company to target them. For us an example would be : SEO prices in Sydney’. Whilst the majority of online browsers will not be typing this into Google, there are still a few keen people eager to know this and if you r website is ranking for this you should get the inquiry.

Sometimes, very competitive keywords are difficult to rank. They can take years and most businesses cannot afford to wait this long. Hence go after those long tails and see the inquiries improve. After all, it’s better to get some quick wins and sales than have to wait months.

If you really think about it, you can go after branded names instead of the main terms. For example; optimise ‘4wd Toyota cars’ instead of ‘4wd cars’. Then all you need to do is create a dedicated landing page for this long tail and you can start optimising it.

If you are going to succeed online you are going to have to have a serious strategy in place. SEO is a long haul, process and any quick wins should be nurtured and celebrated. So the best plan of attack is to have an SEO agency working on those big keywords whilst you make sure that you have done everything possible to your website so it is 100% compliant. The above points should steer you in the right direction.

5 Effective Strategies To Get Your First 10,000 Website Visitors

10KVisitorsThe aim of any website is visitors, simple as that. There is no point at all, it is a complete waste of time, trouble and effort in getting a website designed and built if there is no online traffic. In today’s online obsessed world it’s all about getting as many website visitors as you can and converting these into actual clients. It might seem like an easy task, but in fact, it’s harder than you think. Getting people to click on your website is a monumental task, a huge effort and in some cases nearly impossible. But there are solutions. If you follow these you should be fine. This is a list that you can easily implement to get as much web traffic as possible. In no time at all you will find that you will have well over 10,000 visitors.

This may seem like a huge number to start with, but believe me when I tell you, it is totally achievable and after a while this figure may in fact seem quite small. Next on the list 100, 000 website visitors.

1. Tell Google you are there.

Google is the biggest search engine in the world, and accounts for over 90% of online searches in Australia. So, it is vital that you let Google know that your website is launched. If there is one thing you do not want to do, that’s hide from Google. It’s simple and very easy to do. Just login to your web master tools and submit your URL. Once indexed, (this may take a couple of weeks), you will be there for the world to see.

2. Become social and work your social media.

Think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Learn how to use these social sites and be on there constantly. I know this is going to be a headache for some time poor people but this is rally the only way you are ever going to get real traction in this space.

The more active you are on these platforms, the more content there is out there about your business being shared and spread around, the more likely it is you will get noticed when it’s time to buy or inquire. Some platforms may be better suited to your business so make sure you are active in the right space. The beauty about social media is it’s free. The only thing that costs money is your time. If you are seriously time poor and won’t have the man hours to get around to this, it’s best to look at engaging a social media company that can spend a few hours a week promoting you online.

3. Write unique and valuable content

You have to blog. There is no way around this and you have to be doing this regularly with fresh unique content. This is known as content marketing and is a very powerful marketing tool if used correctly. Your website should have a blog page and I recommend posting 1 well written blog article per week. Once you get the knack of it and you have posted a few blogs, you will soon see what a valuable tool this is in getting your message out there to your audience. It is even better if your blog is picked up and shared by people. This will have a massive impact on your Google rankings.

Again, like with social media, if you are too time poor and can honestly say that you do not have the time to write blogs frequently, then get a professional copy writer to do this for you.

4. Get started on your SEO.

The best way to get serious, quality website traffic is to engage an SEO company. If they know what they are doing then they should be able to rank you for your main keywords and this in turn will bring in site traffic. If you want to hit the 10,000 mark, then you will need to engage an SEO firm. Simple as that. Never do it yourself and its best to leave it to the professionals.

5. Make sure your website looks attractive.

If you have a new website, make sure it stands out and looks inviting. If this is going to be the centrepiece of your marketing for all the world to see, then it must look decent. I have seen some aweful websites in my time and these are a sure way to kill of web traffic. Look at what your competitors are doing and make sure your website is better than theirs. Remember, you need lots of honey to attract the bees. If you have a new website and you have gone down the cheap path of a do-it-yourself style website that looks the same as everyone else’s, I suggest ditching it and starting again.

To succeed online you need to have that spark, that certain individuality that is going to set you apart from the herd. Being different online is a good thing. As same as attitude is a recipe for failure. Once you can understand this and once you know the value of a great Google ranking, then and only then will your web visitors start piling in by the thousands!

Local SEO for restaurants

Sydney is a huge city and guess what? People enjoy food and absolutely love going out to restaurants all the time. Whether for business, pleasure, entertaining friends or relatives it doesn’t matter; Sydneysiders are obsessed with eating out. This is where local SEO is necessary.

restaurants-seo-sydneyQuestions like, what’s new, what’s fashionable, what is in my area for a particular cuisine all pop to mind when thinking about where to go out to dine. Well, the best thing to do and the only thing one can really do for a quick answer is get onto Google and start searching away. This is where local SEO is so important for the restaurant industry. Why? Beause if your establishment is no where to be found you can forget about attracting all those new customers. They are going to go down the road and eat at your competitors restaurant. People, especially those with families want to eat locally. Travelling distances can be a hassle so finding the nearest pizzeria, Japanese restaurants , health food bar or cafe is what most of your customers will be looking for. Google delivers these results in their maps area.

Google clearly explain how to add or edit a local maps listing here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/6174435?hl=en

So it is vital that all restaurants in Sydney’s CDB and suburbs get an understanding of how SEO can have a massive impact on their business.

Standing Out Is Going to Really make a Difference.

How are you as a business owner going to stand out among the throng of restaurants trying to compete for the same local customers. If you are in the city or in a crowded suburban area you need to grab as many customers as you possibly can who are searching online for that night out to eat. There are only 10 spaces available on the first page of Google. So if I am searching for Italian restaurants in Sydney CBD, your restaurant better be on that first page in the maps area or else you are going to loose out. This is where SEO is so critical. A maps listing is perfect for attracting loads of local customers.

Think About Other Areas of Your Business You Want to Expand.

Do you offer catering? Does your restaurant have the space and the ability to handle corporate events or weddings? If so you need to start actively promoting this side of the business. Through SEO you can target these specific keywords to designated landing pages within your website and push these hard for you online. Relevant pages such as a corporate event page can be easily designed and added to your websites navigation. This is why SEO is such a great marketing tool.

Have you thought of Social Media?

Getting a great local listing is one marketing avenues but there are other ways to attract hungry customers. There are some fabulous social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook that are just ripe for marketing your restaurant. Do your research and have a look at what other popular, well known establishments are doing and follow their formula. These social media platforms are fantastic at promoting special offers, new dishes, new chefs, anything you want to tell your local customers quickly can now be done.

10 Local SEO Citations for restaurants

Following are 10 quick and easy websites that are perfect for local SEO. Simply log into these sites and register your restaurant:

  1. Yelp
  2. Urban Spoon
  3. Trip Advisor
  4. Yellow Pages
  5. Reach Local
  6. Local.Yahoo
  7. Google Plus
  8. Open Table
  9. Hot Frog
  10. White Pages