Social Media and Site Performance: Here’s How and Why Your Search Marketing Strategy Needs to Include Social and Quality Content, Despite what Google and Others Claim

Social Media and Site Performance: Here’s How and Why Your Search Marketing Strategy Needs to Include Social and Quality Content, Despite what Google and Others Claim

It’s true that search engine optimisation is just one piece of the internet marketing pie and that there’s much more required for online domination than rising to the top of the search engine rankings.  Social media plays a vital role, allowing businesses to interact with existing and prospective customers, popularising their brands and presenting the ‘human element’ that’s necessary for building trust and authority in an industry.

But, as Google and others have claimed, social media activity doesn’t actually have a direct influence on rankings, meaning  their algorithms don’t use social to determine a site’s position in the search rankings. Now, before you jump up and down with excitement, thinking that your days of tweeting and Facebook posting are over,  social media combined with quality content can and will affect your site’s performance. Here’s how:

Social Activity: the Bull’s-Eye Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy Needs to Stand Out

Even though Google and Bing representatives recently reiterated at SMX London that their search algorithms don’t use social media activity, or a lack there of, to determine a site’s place in the rankings, they did say that when content receives several Facebook Likes, is pinned repeatedly or shared in any other way through available social media channels, search engine bots are drawn to the activity like bees to honey. This, in effect, can cause a page on a site to be indexed faster than a page that lacks social media ‘buzz.’  

But that’s not all. If a page is shared repeatedly through social media, it’s not a stretch to assume that people who find the content valuable will link to it from their own sites or make other references to it online. This, in effect, adds to the web of links leading to the site where the content originated. Google and Bing representatives alluded to the fact that the search engines actually use the number of social references to determine if such links are quality, something which is beneficial to a site’s overall performance, especially in a post-Penguin world.

What this Means for Your Search Marketing Efforts

In short, continuing to produce high quality content that’s worthy of being shared with people’s followers and connections  in places like Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will enhance your search engine marketing efforts and help position your website for success online. If you haven’t added a social media component to your search marketing strategy, you’re already behind the eight ball, at least  as far as establishing trust and authority. With confirmation from the search engines that social matters in more ways than one for your site’s online performance, the need for a tailor-made social campaign is just that much more urgent.

For information on how to turbo-boost your search engine marketing strategy with a cutting-edge social strategy, call us on 1300 88 55 57.

Duplicate Content Can Derail Search Engine Optimisation–Here’s How

Duplicate Content Can Derail Search Engine Optimisation–Here’s How

When providing services that include search engine optimisation and internet marketing, you find websites that are in different states of need. What one site requires to be more conducive to successful search marketing will be different from the next.

Duplicate content is something we find fairly regularly on clients’ websites, and although having the same copy in more than one place (URL) isn’t an offense that’s going to get you punished by the web’s equivalent of the firing squad, it does have the potential to derail you from achieving the high rankings and improved traffic you’re working toward with search engine optimisation. Because of this, we always recommend that our clients avoid duplicate content on their sites.

The following is a brief explanation of how duplicate content can affect a search engine optimisation campaign, and specifically, why it’s best not to have the same copy in more than one place on your website, or to even include large sections of text from another’s site (even if referenced properly), on your own website.

Duplicate Content & Search Marketing

Last July, Google’s Matt Cutts said duplicate content won’t get your website penalised unless the content is spammy. By ‘spammy,’ he meant stuffed with keywords, for instance. The problem duplicate content presents is that it forces search engines like Google to choose which URL they rank.  Search engines want to provide their customers (searchers) with the best possible experience, and they don’t think that search results where the same information can be found at more than one URL will satisfy searchers.

Let me break it down for you:

  • Your goal is to achieve the highest rankings possible through search engine optimisation
  • You have the same copy in more than one place on your website, or your site contains a body of text which you have copied and pasted from another website (even if you cited it properly)
  • When Google and other search engines find copy that is the same, they choose which URL they think is the original source for the text and rank that page in their results for specific keyword terms

Where this isn’t compatible with your overall goal for search engine optimisation is that Google doesn’t know which URL they should reward with rankings for the trust, authority and relevance the content exhibits; should it all go to one URL or be split between the two? If you took the time to write content so that it would rank well and bring new visitors to your page, why risk diverting traffic someplace else, right?

Duplicate Content that’s Unavoidable

Sometimes, there will be places on a website where duplicate content is unavoidable. Your site’s ‘Terms and Conditions’ policy could appear in more than one place, for instance. In these cases, our search marketing team would canonicalize the duplicate content with a 301 redirect. SAY WHAT?! This is precisely the sort of instance where working with a professional search engine optimisation company, who knows how to make your website as compatible for search marketing success as possible, is a worthwhile business move.

So even if Matt Cutts says your site will be ‘safe’ as long as you don’t publish spammy duplicate content, we think it’s best to avoid having multiple versions of the same text, all together. When it comes to search engine optimisation, the difference between what’s ‘safe’ and what’s ‘smart’ is high rankings and big traffic.

For more on this or any other search marketing query, call The SEO Company on 1300 88 55 57.

Google’s Gone and Done It; Guest Blogging as a Search Engine Optimisation Tactic is Dead

Google’s Gone and Done It; Guest Blogging as a Search Engine Optimisation Tactic is Dead

In the not-so-distant past, guest blogging was widely used and encouraged by search marketing and online marketing experts. While it was considered somewhat of an honour to be the ‘special guest’ on another site’s blog, guest blogging was also a rather effective search engine optimisation tactic whereby you could write a post for someone else and build a quality link back to your website.

Of course, Google wouldn’t like us to blatantly say this was a search engine optimisation strategy, but when legitimately good quality content was posted on another’s site, a link to the author’s site was like a token of appreciation, which simultaneously benefited their search marketing.

But, overtime, people started to use and abuse guest blogging and it increasingly became yet another medium for spam marketing, a practice viewed as a major no-no by any search engine optimisation team that’s worth its weight. Eventually, people started imbedding spammy links in guest posts on others’ blogs or gave up writing the posts all together and just offered cold hard cash to take advantage of another’s page rank. And, as it always does, Google noticed. Really, the writing has been on the wall for some time.

It’s a shame some bad apples have nearly torched guest blogging as a way for the rest of us to gain credibility in our markets and niches, something which only benefits the marketing we do online. Notice I said ‘nearly torched,’ because this doesn’t mean any guest blogging you do will have detrimental effects for your marketing campaign. As Google’s Matt Cutts said, the search engine’s webspam team will further scrutinise guest blogging going forward, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still use this marketing tactic as a way to popularise your brand and demonstrate your authority through quality content–in fact, you should.

Here’s how to approach guest blogging, going forward:

  • Never offer another site money to be their guest blogger and don’t accept similar offers from others. You’ve probably received emails from spammers wanting to be your guest blogger in the past–just don’t accept guest blogging offers from strangers!
  • If you do decide to accept a guest blog post, be wary of the author. If it’s someone you know well and trust, their opinion or knowledge could be of benefit to your site and add value, something which is a must for sound online marketing, today. Look for opportunities to be a guest blogger for reputable sites, whose owners are your colleagues, friends, etc.

In a nutshell, reserve your guest blogging as a way to provide expert insight on the topics you know best and you’ll be fine. If you’d like to learn more about Google-approved guest blogging or how regular blogging for your own site will benefit any marketing and search engine optimisation you do, call us on 1300 88 55 57.

Common Search Engine Optimisation Blunders

Common Search Engine Optimisation Blunders

As a search engine optimisation provider in Australia, we’ve seen it all. There are two types of mistakes people make that can and likely will damage a website’s chances of ever ranking in a search engine like Google; the mistakes people make when they employ the wrong marketing and optimisation techniques and the mistakes people make when they do nothing at all.

At The SEO Company, we often perform deep analyses of clients’ sites to identify all of the places in which their previous search engine optimisation efforts, once thought to be good tactics but since made redundant or even damaging by search engine algorithm changes, are harming a site’s chances of ranking well for a specific set of keyword terms. The analyses, including Technical Audits and On-Page Reports, can also show us where a site is lacking in terms of optimisation and search engine marketing, which allows us to design and develop a highly relevant strategy for their new search engine optimisation campaign.

While choosing to have us perform a Technical Audit or On-Page Report is always money well spent, today I’m going to share a few of the most common mistakes we see in websites:

Inadequate Off-Page Optimisation

Whether you hired another company to handle your site’s search engine optimisation campaign, or you’re doing your best to handle your site’s search engine marketing needs, what many websites lack is high-quality backlinks. Even a website that has impeccable on-page SEO will still flounder in the search engine rankings because they lack the right number of  quality backlinks. This is definitely one of the many areas in which it pays to work with a reputable search engine marketing team, because Google algorithm updates have made the old practices of building backlinks from just about anywhere to your site a punishable offense.

Using the Wrong Keyword Terms is the Antithesis of Optimisation

Shoddy keyword research performed by people who aren’t 100% in-tune with what works for search engine optimisation today will always work against you. Targeting keyword terms that don’t have buyer’s intent or receive zero traffic is a waste of time. Ideally, your marketing strategy includes optimising your site for 120 highly relevant, high buyer’s intent keyword terms.

A Site Design that’s Not Compatible with Any Search Engine Bot

When there’s little text or Flash is used, it’s difficult for a search engine bot to crawl a site, which is part of the process through which your rankings are determined. What’s more is that if there’s little text on a page, optimisation will be much more difficult or nearly impossible. When we analyse sites for their on-page SEO value, we often recommend that site owners beef up the word counts on their pages, using a very specific ratio of keyword terms as well.

Some Content Management Systems are Not Search Engine Optimisation Friendly

There are many, many reasons to choose a team that includes web developers and SEO gurus to build your new website, one of which is so that you can get your site off on the right foot with the search engines by choosing a search engine-friendly content management system or CMS. Not every CMS will allow you to make quick and easy updates to content (search engines love fresh, optimised content), nor will they allow you to employ your keyword optimisation tactics to the title tags, URLs, meta data and text links.

This really is just a small glimpse in terms of the search engine optimisation errors that are commonly made. Choose the most efficient and effective way to move your site up the search engine rankings. Elect to have us perform a technical audit and on-page analysis of your website and let’s get your site properly positioned for a successful search engine optimisation campaign. Call us at 1300 88 55 57 to learn more.

Google’s Latest: What You Need to Know About Keyword Optimised Links in Press Releases

Google’s Latest: What You Need to Know About Keyword Optimised Links in Press Releases

In the not-so-distant-past, I wrote about the importance of website owners taking advantage of press releases. Not only are press releases a great way to spread the word about what’s new and exciting with your business, but it’s also a great strategy for your search engine optimisation campaign. There are a plethora of things you can and should be doing to benefit your website SEO efforts and press releases are one inexpensive yet potentially powerful tactic.

Google Changes the Game, and Your SEO Strategy, Yet Again

Google, however, recently announced that they had updated their link schemes, a move which affects the strategy of those who were used to infusing their press releases with keyword optimised anchor text links, in an effort to benefit their search engine rankings. In Google’s eyes, press releases are like paid advertisements, meaning that instead of being a golden optimisation opportunity, anchor text links within press releases should in fact be nofollowed, or else the website is at risk of penalty.

Here’s an example of what you should no longer do, if you wish to protect your website’s reputation with Google and your search engine rankings:

“The new location for Pawsitively Precious will be the only one in Brisbane to sell the Pure Raw organic dog food and pet supplies.”

Press Releases Can Still Benefit Your Website in a Big Way

All is not lost; there is still a way for your website to benefit from press releases, even to the benefit of your search engine optimisation, or SEO, strategy. Even before the Google update, the aim of any press release was, or at least should have been, to get someone in the news media to pick up your story and to write about it on another website. This, in Google’s view, is the best way to build that powerful network of links to your website, boosting your site’s search rankings in the process. When another person writes about your business on another website, those keyword optimised links no longer have to be nofollowed to be considered safe.

So, What’s it Going to Take?

Some new product, service or company event described in a well-written press release.  Press releases are great marketing tools and can still be of benefit to your search engine optimisation strategy. But now, more than before, there is a right way of doing things so as to ensure you reach the largest number of people possible. If writing killer copy isn’t your strong-suit, get in touch with us. Our team of professional writers will help you craft the press releases, properly structured for maximum results, that will appeal to the media and reach your target market. Call us at 1300 88 55 57 to learn more.

Does Your Website ‘Stick?’

Does Your Website ‘Stick?’

From a search marketing standpoint, one of the most important things you need to focus on when it comes to your website is whether or not your site ‘sticks.’ Now, sticky sites are important in more ways than one. Not only does Google use visitor satisfaction to determine where it is that your site deserves to be ranked, but sticky sites are also those that tend to do the best job at marketing a product or service and, therefore, convert the most site visitors into paying customers. When we perform search engine optimisation, or website SEO, for clients, we’re always thinking about the stick factor. Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating your website and its stickiness:

Google likes Sticky Sites

When it comes to search engine optimisation, it’s a continuous effort to stay ahead of the search engine giant that is Google to determine how it is that websites will be evaluated and ranked from one day to the next. Despite all of the search engine algorithm changes, one thing holds true: Google loves sticky sites. In other words, if few people who select your website from the search engine results hit the back button, go back to the search results and try to find what they’re looking for elsewhere, Google sees this as a good thing, determines that you’re satisfying their ‘customers’ and rewards you with good rankings. If people fail to stick when they land on your website, however, a high bounce rate will work against you.

Search Engine Optimisation Tactics that Stick  

So how can you develop one of these coveted sticky sites? Website SEO or search marketing always comes back to the quality of the keyword terms you’re targeting for your niche. So, for instance, if you’re not optimising your site with the right keyword terms, the wrong people will land on your website, hit the back button and exit. Perhaps one of the most important things you can do is invest in high-level keyword research, because the right keyword terms will produce the targeted traffic that will stick to your site.

Marketing Your Brand

Sticky sites not only employ the right keyword terms in the right ratios, but their search engine optimisation tactics also include quality content that immediately persuades visitors into thinking they’ve found the best option to satisfy their wants and needs. Successful search marketing includes landing pages that inform, persuade and prompt visitors to take an action, whether it’s to call for more information, sign-up for a newsletter or buy a product or service. You’ve got about 30 seconds to convince visitors that you are the authority in your industry. The longer you can get visitors to stay on your site, the better it will be for your search engine optimisation campaign and, more importantly, your business’ sales.

A website that doesn’t satisfy visitors is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. There’s no point owning a site and doing search engine optimisation if it isn’t tailored in a way that will most efficiently achieve your end goal: get more customers and make more money. If you’re a small business owner, you owe it to yourself and the future of your business to invest in the best possible search engine optimisation strategy. Owning a sticky site is the way to success both on and offline. Call us to learn more: 1300 88 55 57.

Google Updates Algorithms Daily: Staying One Step Ahead with Search Engine Optimisation

Google Updates Algorithms Daily: Staying One Step Ahead with Search Engine Optimisation

Even if you don’t work in search engine optimisation but own a business with a website, you’ve likely heard about the major algorithm changes Google rolls out every now and again, changing the way the search engine evaluates and then ranks websites. Unless you own one of the millions of sites whose optimisation efforts and previous search engine rankings were obliterated by a previous algorithm change, the change in your traffic may have been so minor that you didn’t even bat an eye. Lucky you. Next time you might not be so lucky…

The thing about Google’s algorithm updates is that many people, in and outside of the search engine optimisation industry, only hear about the big, earth-shattering updates and aren’t even aware of the fact that Google makes one or even two algorithm updates every day. This means that on a daily basis, the search engine makes changes that could make your previous optimisation tactics redundant and virtually destroy the progress you’ve made thus far in terms of ranking your website. Now, it’s likely these daily updates won’t wreak the kind of havoc that the big Panda and Penguin-style changes can and do, but unless you’re in-tune with the industry, constantly researching and adjusting your optimisation strategy, you may never know when it is that your site is ‘safe’ or when it’s next on Google’s hit list.

Protecting Your Site Against Total Ranking Destruction

The first thing you absolutely must do is align yourself with a proven search engine optimisation company. The SEO Company, for instance, dedicates a significant amount of time and money to research and staying up-to-date and ahead of changes in the industry that could affect our clients’ rankings and traffic. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you can get the best possible rankings, traffic, leads and conversions for your business online if you aren’t an expert, 100% totally committed and invested, in this field. We’ve successfully predicted and adapted our optimisation strategy BEFORE the last major algorithm updates even took place. Our clients have experienced nothing more than small waves while countless websites around the world have had their rankings battered by the tsunami equivalent of Google’s updates.

Whether you’re actively investing in or doing search engine optimisation for your site, one of the only ways to safeguard your rankings is to always strive to make your site the best possible resource it can be, for your industry and your prospective site visitors and customers. Google will always work to provide their users with the best possible experience, which means you, too, have got to work to make your site the best option in search.

To learn more about Google algorithm updates, how to keep your head above the water when they take place, and how you can improve your site to ensure it’s always a favourite in search, no matter the search engine giant’s algorithms, get in touch with us. Helping clients succeed online through search engine optimisation best practices is our specialty!

Give a Boost to Your Search Engine Optimisation Efforts with Guest Blogging

Give a Boost to Your Search Engine Optimisation Efforts with Guest Blogging

There’s a lot that goes into search engine optimisation for a site; with the right search marketing tactics, frequency and formula, you can edge your website up the search engine rankings to those coveted top positions. While search engine optimisation may not be your forte and you’ve therefore entrusted this difficult and important task to a team of website SEO experts, there is one very important thing you can and should do to give a natural boost to your search engine optimisation efforts: Guest Blogging.

Guest Blogging is Beneficial in More Ways than One

There are a number of benefits your website can and will derive when you guest blog, or that is write and post an article about some topic you know a lot about, on another’s blog. The other website could belong to someone who has a related business or even a friend with a blog whose target readers could very well be interested in your expertise or opinion on a certain subject.

What guest blogging does for your search marketing efforts is that it simultaneously boosts the number of people who are talking about your business’ site and increases the amount of web traffic you receive, by way of a link from your guest post, straight to your website. When Google and other search engines are deciding where to rank your site, they consider both the volume of traffic you receive and the number of references people or other sites make about your website. Guest blogging puts checks in the right boxes on both those fronts.

But that’s not all guest blogging can and will do for your website. It’s also a great internet marketing tool because you’re increasing awareness about your website. Hopefully, the content you write or the perspective you share will be interesting or helpful enough that readers will want to share it with their friends, colleagues and the like. Before you know it, one guest blog has allowed you to reach dozens, maybe even hundreds or thousands, of people you likely wouldn’t have made contact with otherwise.

Seeking Out Blogs for Posting

While you can and should take advantage of every opportunity to guest post, choosing to write for blogs with great rankings will do good things for your search engine optimisation as well as help you to build readers’ trust. Especially if yours is a new site, those who read your guest post on a site they already trust will see that you know a lot about a specific topic and will come to see that yours is a site or business worth checking out. Everything you can do to build a loyal following, you should.

Be sure to include carefully researched keyword terms, a catchy title and get a good idea of who it is that will likely be reading your guest post, before you write it. This is your chance to market your website and your business to a whole new group of people—do it right!

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of guest blogging for search engine optimisation, or the importance of blogging in general, contact us.

Search Engine Optimisation Alone Isn’t Enough: Juice-Up Your Site with These to Boost Conversions

Search Engine Optimisation Alone Isn’t Enough: Juice-Up Your Site with These to Boost Conversions

You’ve got a blog and you’re publishing a couple of fresh pieces of content every week. You’re doing what you’ve been told will boost your search engine optimisation efforts and bring more loyal followers to your brand. You’re right! Well, at least partly right…

Blogging is undoubtedly one of the most important things every website SEO strategy must include today if they wish to make it to the top of the search engine rankings. Not only that, but blogging is a great internet marketing tool in that it shows site visitors—your potential customers—that you know what you’re talking about and that yours is a business they should pay attention to. The thing is, blogging on its own will win you some favours with Google, but it might not be enough to convince your visitors to become your paying customers.

The following is meant to give you some ideas as to how you can easily and inexpensively juice-up your website so that it’s not only employing a successful search engine optimisation strategy but it’s also working as the conversion machine you need it to be.

  • Highlight What it is that Makes Your Business Unique: tell site visitors what it is that your business sells or provides that they just won’t find any place else.
  • Press Coverage that Features Your Business: If your business, you, or the products or services you sell are worthy of news coverage, it’s worth it for your site visitors to stay and check out what it is that you’ve got to offer. Press coverage shows you’re legit, something even the best search engine optimisation tactics can’t always do.
  • Customer Testimonials: Having current or past customers share what it is that they love about you or your business gives your company authenticity and shows new visitors that they can trust you.
  • Pictures & Videos: People can be a little hesitant to make a purchase on a website when they can’t actually see that yours is, in fact, a real business. Provide lots of pictures and even videos that feature you, your employees, your products and services or some aspect of your operations. The more proof they have that you’re not going to take their money and run, the more confident they’ll be to buy from you.

Search engine optimisation, including the use of keyword terms and blogging, is a great and necessary first step for any business with a hope in heck of making it online today. But don’t forget that backlinks and blog posts may not be enough to give your business the credibility it needs to actually make sales or even convince people to sign-up for your newsletter. When it comes to SEO, Australia business owners need to ensure their online strategy will not only put their brand out there, front and centre, but that people like what they see, when they see it, and are convinced that they should take a little time to get to know your business better.

Call us at 1300 88 55 57 to learn more about the search engine optimisation and conversion optimisation strategies you can and should be employing now.

Your Slow-to-Load Mobile Site Won’t Win You Any Favours with Google: Upcoming Changes in Search Engine Optimisation

Your Slow-to-Load Mobile Site Won’t Win You Any Favours with Google: Upcoming Changes in Search Engine Optimisation

For the last few years, one of the factors Google has been using to judge where it is that a site should rank is how fast it loads. This means those sites that move at a glacial pace not only frustrate those trying to see what it is that a business has to offer and undoubtedly encourages them to hit the back button, but they’re also penalised by Google and given poorer rankings. It’s safe to say that despite your best search engine optimisation efforts, if you’ve still got one of these painfully slow loading websites, it’s time you did something about it.

Mobile Sites No Longer Immune to Loading Time Penalties

Google’s Matt Cutts recently announced that mobile sites will soon be judged by the search engine on their load times as well. While taking the step to create a mobile site for your business is a wise move from an internet marketing standpoint, a mobile site that loads slowly kills your search engine marketing efforts and just doesn’t make sense; why would someone take the time to look up your business on their smart phone when it takes the same amount of time to get from the home page to the contact us page on your mobile site than it does for them to get home, start up the ol’ laptop or desktop and surf their way to your regular website?

Mobile sites are meant to make it more convenient for users to find businesses when they’re on-the-go, not to test their patience. Considering this, it really isn’t surprising that Google is getting ready to introduce this new site speed ranking factor for mobile sites. Take this as a word of caution now, before the new factor comes into play and you kill what progress you’ve made to rank your mobile site via search engine optimisation.

Not Having a Mobile Site Doesn’t Win You Any Favours Either

If you’re among those business owners who have yet to get with the times and to create a mobile-friendly version of their websites, your lead and conversion rates are suffering as a result. The search engine optimisation you’re doing to rank your business’ main site is great, but you’re missing out on the chance to reach a potentially huge market of new customers; those who are increasingly using their mobile devices to search for the products and services they want and need. Studies have shown these mobile device searchers are usually more ready to make purchases than those casually surfing from the comfort of their laptops and desktops at home. When it comes to successful marketing and SEO, Australia businesses have got to have mobile-friendly sites.

To learn more about this upcoming Google update and how it will or won’t affect your search engine optimisation campaign, or to find out how you, too, can bring your business into the 21st Century with a fast-loading mobile-friendly site, contact us.