How Important are Internet Marketing & SEO for Small Businesses? According to a Recent Study, As Important as it Gets

How Important are Internet Marketing & SEO for Small Businesses? According to a Recent Study, As Important as it Gets

A recent study performed by Optimising, a Melbourne-based SEO team, found that of the 350 small businesses surveyed, more than half had not initiated any type of website SEO campaign for their businesses. When it comes to internet marketing, even though those surveyed know the internet possesses a variety of effective avenues through which a business can market its brand, only a small portion of the respondents were making use of the various marketing platforms on the internet.

What the study, entitled 2013 Small Business Online Marketing Report, found was that even of those who did have an active SEO or marketing campaign under way, more than half were not in-tune with where their traffic was coming from or if it was even due to the SEO tactics that were being performed on behalf of their website. Throughout a variety of different sections in the report, including whether or not a small business uses PPC or social media for marketing, the overwhelming majority of responses demonstrated that there are still many small businesses in Australia who don’t fully understand the power of the internet when it comes to marketing their brand, or that going forward a well-designed website that’s properly optimised and marketed on the internet will replace all other methods of marketing—this is already underway and is accelerating as we speak.

How important is website SEO or internet marketing to a small business? If you’ve yet to take the ‘hint’ and heed the recommendations I make in my blog posts on a weekly basis, perhaps mumBRELLA, the Australian media, marketing and entertainment news source put it better when they described the study’s results as proving marketing on the internet was as important to a small business as insurance.

So what insurances are you taking to ensure your small business is still afloat and thriving five years from now, and not like the 35% of responders who sell their goods and services solely on the internet and yet still aren’t taking full advantage of all the proven and low-cost internet marketing tools that are available to them?

Whether your business employs 2 people or 200, the days of putting off SEO or internet marketing are over. Bring your business the traffic, leads and sales you need to thrive, both now and in the future.

To learn more about starting a custom marketing and SEO campaign for your website, call us at 1300 88 55 57.

Time for a Website Re-Design? Give Your Website SEO Efforts the Best Start with These Web Design Tips

Time for a Website Re-Design? Give Your Website SEO Efforts the Best Start with These Web Design Tips

Sometimes, it’s better to toss in the towel and start fresh, from scratch. Nothing could be closer to the truth for some website owners whose marketing efforts, and specifically their search marketing efforts, are doomed before they’re even launched because of poor website designs and structures.

It’s not uncommon for us to see the types of sites that are more like electronic brochures and not at all like the powerful marketing tools their owners need them to be, let alone the sites that get blasted to the top of the search rankings quickly when an SEO campaign is launched and that remain at these top search spots.

Business owners are always shocked when they come to us looking for a website SEO solution only to discover that their website lacks all search and/or marketing capabilities and that no amount of optimisation will get them the results they want and need through SEO. The truth hurts; your site is about as useful as an ashtray on a surfboard and it’s time to build a new one that will make your search marketing and website optimisation efforts a breeze, not a painfully slow and expensive exercise that will only prove just how impatient you are.

Today, in 2013, there are some top trends shaping the SEO world that can and will have bearing for a website re-design. Our advice? Pay attention to what it is that’s relevant with Google and search today and plan your website re-design around the latest best practices.

Improve User Experience

Website optimisation isn’t the only thing determining to whom Google will award top spots in search. More and more, user experiences, and specifically the quality of a user’s experience while visiting and using a website, will determine where it is that Google ranks a site. Google wants those who search to be satisfied with the results they find, and a website that’s slow to load isn’t going to cut it with Google. Make sure your new site loads quickly so as to not frustrate users.

This Year, Content & Keywords are More Important than Ever

With website optimisation and SEO, content has always been king, but now, for top rankings, content and the keywords you use should take top priority in as far as your new site are concerned. The right keywords, discovered through deep market and keyword research, combined with high-quality, informative and fresh content will ensure a website is the fully-functioning tool you need it to be. Regardless of whom it is that’s doing your website re-build, content and keywords had better be a major focus in all your strategy discussions.

Not only do the right keywords need to be chosen for your new site, but website optimisation, according to a careful formula that sets out the frequency and location in which those keywords are used, will be a major factor in how your new site performs both in search and its ability to convert website visitors.

Structure & Compatibility Count

Algorithm updates and consumer trends have changed what’s now considered acceptable when it comes to your site’s structure and whether or not it’s compatible with the smart phones and tablets that a huge percentage of the population now use to search the web. Flash and scripting are also big no-no’s because search engines can’t read the pages of a website on which they’re used. If URL canonicalization and mobile sites aren’t something with which you’re familiar, you’d better ensure the people handling your website re-design are in-tune with what will fly in the world of website and search marketing today and what won’t.

This is just a small snippet of the factors that are not only being used to judge and rank websites today but that also have a big affect on the way people use and engage with websites, right now. The SEO Company is unique in that we provide website SEO but we also offer custom web design services tailored specifically according to a website and SEO blueprint that’s created for your business and designed to achieve best results—right away. With a website that’s firing on all cylinders, right from the start, you will be able to generate the traffic, leads and sales you need to dominate your industry online. Call us at 1300 88 55 57 to learn more about our custom web design services and website SEO solutions.

These Internet Marketing Tips are So Simple, You’ve Got No Excuse If You’re Not Implementing Them

These Internet Marketing Tips are So Simple, You’ve Got No Excuse If You’re Not Implementing Them

Who doesn’t love a sure thing? The only thing to love more than an internet marketing tactic that’s proven to work is one you can do yourself, in about as much time as it takes you to take out the rubbish. Okay, depending on your level of internet savvy, these website marketing tips may take you a little longer to implement but they’re well worth the effort. They might seem a little obvious, so what’s been keeping you from implementing them on your website?!

Improve Your Keyword Density

Good website SEO demands that you hit the right keyword density on each and every page of your website. Google crawls the internet, looking for the sites that best convey authority for particular niches with particular keywords. So improve your SEO by quickly going over your site’s content and adding your targeted keyword terms wherever you can, whenever it seems natural to do so. If you’re having trouble nailing the right density for your website SEO efforts, get in touch with us. After all, there is an art to writing well with keyword terms for your internet audience.

Increase the Number of Pictures on Your Products Page

Instead of only offering one image of your product, show it off to prospective customers by adding at least a second image for each product you sell. People are hesitant to purchase goods and services on the internet because they can’t actually see what they’re buying. Show your product from a couple of angles to convince them that yours is a product they want.

A Quick Colour Change Can do Amazing Things for Your Marketing & Conversion Tactics

You’ve done the right thing by adding a big ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Contact Us’ button to your website, but maybe what’s preventing people from purchasing a product on the internet or getting in touch is simply the colour of the button. If your red ‘Buy Now’ button screams ‘stop’ instead of ‘proceed to the checkout area of the website,’ simply switching to green could be all that’s needed to improve your conversions. Don’t underestimate the power of colour in your marketing efforts on the internet.

Check the Phone Numbers Listed on Your Website & Test Out Your Purchase Process

As the visitor to a website, nothing is more frustrating than deciding to make a purchase or wanting to call a company for more information, only to have the checkout process, phone number or contact us form fail to do what they’re meant to do. Don’t laugh. This happens all the time.

To avoid this totally embarrassing situation, do a quick check by calling the phone numbers you have listed and re-testing your contact us form. Make a test purchase and see if your website is buyer-friendly or so complicated nobody in their right mind would waste their time trying to figure it out. Your marketing tactics and calls to action work—make sure your website visitors can actually complete the action you’ve convinced them to take!

I could go on and on listing the quick and easy internet marketing tips you should be implementing to improve your website SEO and marketing success, but we’ll leave those for a post on another day. If you’re feeling impatient and would like to know more of the proven marketing tactics that lead to internet success stories, now, call us at 1300 88 55 57.

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.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of the FAQ in Internet Marketing & SEO

Don’t Underestimate the Power of the FAQ in Internet Marketing & SEO

Most small business owners undervalue the FAQ, or frequently asked question. The truth is, the questions that potential clients commonly ask can be used in many powerful ways in your internet marketing and website SEO. Typically, when a business is about to embark on any marketing campaign, whether on or off the internet, they do some amount of research to determine what it is that their prospective customers want or need. Not only does the FAQ give the small business owner a glimpse at prospective customers’ pain points—for free—but they can also be used to tailor various internet marketing or website SEO strategies so that they’re more effective.

FAQS & Long-Tail Keyword Terms for SEO

If you’ve got a business, you’ve got to do SEO if you want to compete on or even off the internet. Now, while whomever it is that’s doing your business’ SEO should perform some amount of deep keyword research, your FAQs often give you an idea of the types of long-tail keyword terms people are actively using to find products and services like those offered by your company. After all, it’s one thing to pinpoint the keyword terms that have traffic, but it’s another to find the terms people—who are ready to buy—are using to seek out a business like your own.

So, for instance, if your used car dealership often gets calls about whether or not you’ve got luxury used cars for sale, you may find that ‘luxury used cars for sale’ could be a valuable keyword term for which you want your site to rank. Long-tail keyword terms often have greater buyers’ intent than single terms, so choosing long-tails from your FAQs is a great way to ensure your targeted keyword list is highly relevant.

FAQ Targeted Content will Benefit Your SEO & Brand Marketing Efforts

Another way your business’ FAQs can be put to good use is by tailoring your site’s content, including blog posts, videos, how-tos and the like, to answer your customers’ FAQs. If people often ask you whether or not your natural stain removal product is capable of removing ink, you might want to add a blog post on the topic, or create a video that demonstrates how effectively your product removes ink from clothing. By doing so, you’re not only marketing your brand by speaking directly to your prospective customers’ pain points, but you’re also creating great opportunities for using those keyword terms that are vital to your SEO campaign and ranking. There’s really no better way to engage the people who visit your site or who view your content on an external site like a social media network.

And this is just the beginning in terms of what you can tell from or do with your company’s FAQs. To learn more about this and other effective internet marketing and website SEO tactics, get in touch with us at 1300 88 55 57.

Your Brochure-Style Website is About as Useful as an Ashtray on a Surfboard. Improve Your Internet Marketing Results—Ten-fold—with a Rebuild

Your Brochure-Style Website is About as Useful as an Ashtray on a Surfboard. Improve Your Internet Marketing Results—Ten-fold—with a Rebuild

When it comes to marketing, brochures do serve a purpose. If they didn’t, businesses around the world wouldn’t invest their hard earned dollars into the little paper pamphlets that showcase what a business has to offer. Brochures, however, don’t serve a purpose on the internet and your website, therefore, shouldn’t be the digital version of a paper pamphlet.

What is a brochure website? Basically, the internet equivalent of the paper kind; attractive and provides the business’ contact details but that’s about it. Not only does a brochure website provide little value to visitors, but it also doesn’t benefit your website SEO, because the URL structure, domain anchor text, internal link structure, navigation structure, meta data and/or keyword densities aren’t in-line with SEO best practices.

To put it simply, in order to rank quickly and well on the internet, your website, from start to finish, has got to be designed, developed and maintained according to Google’s ranking criteria. If you aren’t using the right keyword terms in the right places or the correct number of times, the backlinks to your site are spammy, or you’re not interacting with people via your blog or on social media sites, you will always be working against the current, as far as your website’s SEO campaign and internet marketing are concerned.

But it isn’t just your website SEO that suffers when you own a brochure site; site visitors have little incentive to stick around when they land on this style of site. For internet marketing to be a success, that is for you to convert site visitors into customers, you’ve got to give them something, such as quality, informative content by way of a blog, or at the very least, convince them to stay with compelling copy. Marketing your business on the internet isn’t far off from marketing a brand offline, in this regard, as people want to feel confident that where they spend their money is legit and the best option available.

The Solution

When people come to us hoping to achieve amazing ranking results and fast, sometimes the only solution to their needs is to re-build their site according to SEO best practices. Designing and building a website that’s SEO-friendly, from start to finish, is the absolute fastest way to become number one in a market, online.

If this sounds like a wise investment to you—and it is—contact us to learn more about how we develop the SEO blueprints that rank websites faster and more effectively. Put your business’ best foot forward in SEO and internet marketing by banishing your brochure-style website to the abyss. Call us at 1300 88 55 57 today!

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.

Local Search Marketing & Mobile Sites More Important than Ever for Local Businesses

Local Search Marketing & Mobile Sites More Important than Ever for Local Businesses

The results of a recent study performed by Local Search Association in the U.S. shows that it’s now more important than ever for local businesses to do some amount of local search marketing, specifically for the mobile sites that consumers are increasingly using via their smart phones and tablets.

If you’re at all in-tune with website SEO or internet marketing, you know that even small-scale, local businesses need a powerful online presence if they hope to grow. No matter how incredible your service offering or your charming personality, you will never be an industry leader—even in your local area—if you aren’t doing some amount of local search marketing for your website. Your local surf shop might have a small loyal clientele, but if your competitor is the only one appearing in the search engine rankings when local surfing enthusiasts are looking for the types of products and services you provide, they will reap the rewards of a well-marketed brand and you will, well, still be waxing boards for the same small list of locals.

Online Directories + Location-Specific Keywords + Your Mobile Site

We’ve talked at length about the benefits of giving your website and your business a presence in online local directories, but the Local Search Association’s research, Local Media Tracking Study, found that it’s now more important than ever to optimise your mobile website for local search. Don’t have a mobile site? Going forward, this will likely be one of the best investments you can make for your business. More and more, local people are searching for the products and services they’re ready to buy from their mobile devices, like smart phones and tablets. If your website isn’t compatible with these devices, those locals will likely move on to your competitor, whose site they can search quickly and easily when they’re on the go.

Mobile Users Who Visit Online Directories are Ready to Buy

So what does local search marketing for your mobile-friendly site entail? Optimising with the right location-specific keyword terms and marketing in all of the relevant business directories, for starters. The study also found that the people who visit online directories from their mobile devices are ready to buy—makes sense. This means that when your mobile-friendly site ranks well for those local search terms, you will be set to dominate in your local area. And if you thought having a mobile app for your site would be enough to satisfy this growing group of searchers, the study also found that users prefer mobile websites over apps.

Now’s the time to establish a powerful local presence not only for your business’ main website but also your mobile site. Local search marketing, including optimising with the right location-specific keyword terms and creating profiles on online business directories is a must. Invest in the future of your local business today—get in touch with 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.

Either Disclose Advertorials or Be Prepared to be Penalised by Google

Either Disclose Advertorials or Be Prepared to be Penalised by Google

Last week, Google’s Matt Cutts sent a message, or rather warning, to those website owners and webmasters actively using Advertorials as a way to give sites or business’ products and services perceived credibility. The message was that they either openly disclose the fact that they were paying for content that endorsed their business, products, services, or other offering, otherwise wind up on Google’s naughty list and face a penalty.

What is an advertorial? Advertorials are an internet marketing tool or strategy that a growing number of people have been employing, for good or ill, in the hopes of making themselves look like more of an authority in their industry. The problem, in Google’s eyes, is that many who are using this internet marketing strategy unsurprisingly fail to tell their site visitors that the people writing and posting the articles or reviews on their site were paid to do so and don’t actually represent real site visitors or customers. Basically, Google wants to prevent businesses and sites from pulling the wool over visitors’ eyes.

Cutts isn’t saying that advertorials can’t be used, but that when they are, there must be a clear and obvious disclosure accompanying the content. What’s more is that it’s important any advertorial-style content is appropriately ‘no follow’ so that their corresponding links don’t go through PageRank. This is the best practice for any paid links that you use.

While some were likely under the impression that advertorials were a rather cost-effective means of small business marketing, a Google penalty will definitely affect your future internet marketing and website SEO efforts. In our opinion, it’s best to stick to the methods that get your site and business results without blurring the lines. For search engine marketing that can and will stand the test of time, website SEO best practices, like those performed by our team at The SEO Company, is always the best way to go. Get in touch with us to learn more about the internet marketing and website SEO services that don’t get your site penalised.