SEO Techniques and Trends

MarketingSherpa have just released their 2012 Search Marketing – SEO Edition report, outlining past and future trends in SEO.

As a teaser to the report, they have also released an excerpt, highlighting several key SEO findings within over 1500 organisations.

Main reasons people Engage in SEO

The top reason people are investing in SEO is to increase traffic, which in a way is what you would consider to be the most important element of a website. In reality the most important reason to engage an SEO firm is to increase the leads and conversions through your website.

Even if your site is only attracting a few 100 visitors per month, if your campaign is highly targeted within your industry and you’re getting business through your website, then I would call that a success.

We recently started SEO’ing a site that attracts over 50,000 visitors a month, but the conversion to lead or customer was very low. By implementing a few on-page conversion strategies, we are slowly converting their traffic to leads to customers.

SEO Tactics to Rank

If you are new to SEO or you are considering DIY SEO this will give you an insight and may help you to understand why you should outsource this service. The graph below indicates the SEO methods in use and the level of difficulty through the use of each technique.

Keyword research is the second most commonly used tactic and rightfully so. Your keyword research will determine the success of your overall strategy.

A point of interest is that content creation is the most commonly used strategy and considered to be the most difficult strategy. This really does hit home that ‘content is king’, especially in light of the recent Google Panda updates.

SEO growth over the next 12 months

The following graph is broken down into 3 different sections; Trial, Transition and Strategic. It shows the level of investment expected in SEO over the next 12 months. Businesses within the Trial phase using SEO are generally run in-house, spending money on wages and staff salaries, with Transition and Strategic outsourcing either all or components of their SEO.

Further more, Transition and Strategic companies are continuing to increase their SEO budget, understanding the solid Return On Investment (ROI) in relation to dollars spent.

This also rings true with a number of our clients either previously performing the SEO tasks themselves or assigning the task to one of the members of their staff. Due to the nature of SEO, many of these tasks can be performed on a larger scale and with more consistency at a lower dollar investment.

ROI for SEO – Do the Maths

Really think about this last point and do the maths. Consider assigning an admin person with 10 hours a week of consistently performing SEO tasks (article writing, link building etc). If you are paying this person $45,000 per annum based on a  40 hour week, then you’re essentially investing just under $12,000 a year on SEO.

For a similar (or lower in many cases) level of investment you’re able to outsource this service, and have a dedicated team of people working on the strategic direction of your site working close to double that amount. They are also specialised in the art of SEO and have their finger on the pulse of all current and future trends. Hmmm… A No brainer?

As you would expect, a large number of our long term clients sit within the Strategic section and are constantly looking at increasing their ROI through other mediums like email marketing campaigns and social media.

SEO and the Wild West

This report shows that SEO is still in it’s infancy, with a lot of opportunity and growth available for many small to large business. It’s still the ‘wild west’ online and this report shows SEO’ers are taking positive steps towards standardisation.

The investment for the report is $397 for the .pdf version and is a good read for anyone that has an interest in SEO trends.

To download the report for a $100 discount, download the excerpt and fill out the form on the last page. You can download the excerpt from here –

SEO and Social Media – Is this the Missing Link

For the last 2 years, Google have pro-actively integrated social media (especially twitter) through ‘Google Realtime search’.

It shows the strength of social media, especially when comments are re-tweeted and in certain circumstances, shown in the Search Engine Results Pages.

Sounds like a good idea for a person searching on a certain topic? If a particular subject is trending at any given time and the social world is interested then Google will tell you about it in their results. This is great!

On the 3rd of July they decided to stop using Twitter as a factor in social media trends with no real explanation. As you can read in this post by Cyrus Shepard in SEO Moz the theoretical intention is to start using Google+ as the social medium to replace twitter. Here’s the article here –

In Cyrus’ article it shows a few examples of social media and its direct influence to the Search Engine Results Pages. The image below from this article demonstrates an example of pre 3rd July.

Will this impact my SEO and should I panic?

While this certainly demonstrates the importance of social media in any online campaign it doesn’t mean you should go out and set up a million campaigns and get a tonne of Google +1’s to your homepage. Aside from the fact that this is ‘black hat’ you’ll eventually get caught.

What it does demonstrate in some instances the importance of a solid social media profile and that it can potentially influence your position in the search engines. If you are serious in your online presence should you ensure you have a solid social platform? Maybe… in reality it could be overkill and you could end up spending a lot of time and money with your BDM or team member performing tasks that won’t actually give you any real measurable results.

Truth told, we are certainly recommending to certain clients that they look at their social media presence, especially if their SEO competition does the same and is doing it well.

Take a look at your competitors and see what they are doing. Like most Search Engines, in order to rank you don’t have to ‘do it all’; you simply have to do it a little better than your competition. By ensuring you’re keeping an eye on your competition (using social monitors) you’ll understand if now is the time to react, or if you should invest your time in other activities that offer a better return on investment.

A nice Niche for Search Engines – Google’s, What Do you Love?

I recall reading a book discussing the fundamentals of Google. The book was
written by Mark Malseed in 2005, and was called ‘The Google Story’.

One of the main points of the book I recall was discussing the structure of a
Google employee’s week and how they are encouraged to develop their own projects
one day a week.

Over time if you project was interesting enough it would be integrated into
Google’s overall offerings.

I have no doubt Google Maps, Froogle (now Google product search) and a multitude
of other offerings from Google were as a result of this method of encouragement
and development.

One of the latest projects just released is ‘What Do You Love’ (can be found at, which is a cool way of showing many different online mediums in
one summarised area on a particular topic.

You can see the full story on their blog here –

They explain it to say ‘A while back, a few of us wanted to make a little tool
that we could use to show just about anybody more of what Google makes. That led
to some simple ideas, and then a few more ideas and ultimately, to a challenge:
how we could connect people to products they might not know about and may find
useful, but make the discovery relevant to them and keep it fun.

Playing about with that challenge produced a website—What Do You Love?—that we
hope meets at least some of the challenge by demonstrating how different Google
products can show you different things about any particular search query.’

This tool reminds me of iGoogle, which is the tool that you can customise to
bring back specific information when you are signed into your Google account.

The difference with this site though is it’s offering of other interesting
snippets of information including Blogs, Patents, Images, 3D, Books, latest
news, and many other cool features.

A useful add-on? From an SEO perspective, visit the site and type in your
business name. This will give you a nice cross section of what’s out there in
relation to your business. Even better, type in your product or service and see
what comes up.

Could you could use this as a cool tool to track your competitors. Hmmm

Resource – Official Google Blog –

SEO and World Peace!

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as getting a client in the top spots for their keywords, especially when we hear how well their business is fairing during economic downtimes.

Not only does it prove you know what you are doing as an SEO professional, but more importantly, you’re making the online world a better place by ensuring people browsing Google are finding the most relevant results. It’s sort of like you’re assisting in creating a Search Engine Results Utopia.

As I write this I can picture the comment from the movie Miss Congeniality when they asked each of the contestants ‘What does the society needs most?’ as each entrant replied with the same cliché line ‘World Peace’. Although world peace would be great, imagine an online world where people searching for their keywords are presented with exactly what they are after, first time round. This in my mind would be the online version of world peace.

World Peace Can’t Happen Overnight

Just as I understand world peace doesn’t happen overnight, I also understand creating a ‘Search Engine Results’ utopia also takes time and persistence. Google are constantly updating how they measure website rankings and although the basics are still the same, it’s safe to say the easiest way to get your website to the top and to stay there is through good old fashioned elbow grease.

This elbow grease I mention is in the form of a consistent series of repeated actions that you implement in a most boring repetitive fashion. At times it’s as exciting as watching grass grow, yet if you complete these steps you will slowly see your site emerge at the top.

These steps are the important and ensure the industry continues to grow and the Search Engines are able to refine their processes to give the end user the best result possible.

Can I Just Snap My Fingers And Appear At The Top Spot ?

In simple terms, there’s no magic pill when it comes to SEO. You may have heard that you can just waive a magic wand and appear at the top, but in all seriousness anyone who promises that kind of tom foolery will end up causing more long term damage than good. In other words; when on holiday you may experience a brief oceanfront visit as your concierge takes your bags to your room, but ultimately you’ll end up with the crappiest room at the back of the resort. Make Sense?

It simply takes Time!

How Long is Too Long?

Any good SEO company will explain the process they follow to achieve your desired result. The tricky part is whether you feel confident that they’re not just pulling your leg and telling you what you want to hear. For more information on what to look for, check out Eva’s post titled – Beware of Dodgy SEO Companies.

Putting that aside, we always say to clients not to expect any results for the first 3 months. When I say results I mean a good level of traffic and an increase in rankings. After all… we’re mixing together a fine selection of ingredients to bake a website that sits at the top of the search engines.

6 months and $470,000 on the bottom line

To protect the names of the innocent I’m not going to mention names (take a peek at our testimonials page… hint, hint) in relation to one of our clients that experienced a healthy return on investment when we worked together on their SEO campaign.

This was a property management business that engaged our services as SEO specialists. Their campaign (as with every campaign) involved a lot of foundation work and took a healthy amount of time before they dominated the Search Engines.

There were a massive number of little tasks that needed to be performed and once these tasks compounded the end result was an excellent return on investment. A $470,000 return to be accurate.

As you would expect this result wasn’t immediate but once everything lined up the site took off and the rest is history.

SEO and World Peace

Although SEO can’t fix world peace it can bring us one step closer to more relevant search engine results and ensure businesses that are proactively updating their website with quality content will emerge at the top.

If you approach SEO with the intention of making the online world a better place and put in a lot of elbow grease you’ll find your website will be in it for the long haul. You never know… maybe one day when we create Search Engine Utopia you’ll to enter ‘World Peace’ into Google and the answer will show up first time.


To get a free SEO and Google Places Analysis for your website and find out where your site is currently positioned in Google then…

click here now and simply fill in the short form at the top of the page.

Internet Marketing Tips For Local Business

Internet marketing Tips

The Internet has now become an important medium for showcasing product and services. Almost every company that can afford print, radio and TV advertisements have also ventured into using the Internet as one of the main marketing strategy’s to drive business growth.

But with thousands of websites out there being visited by thousands of local browsers each month, how can you make sure that your website can be found by your target customers? Here are a few Internet Marketing Tips.

1. Make sure your website is optimized for visitors and search engines. The process that is most commonly known to achieve this is called SEO (Search engine Optimization). The fact is that unless you know how to make your website highly popular on the internet it will float around in cyber-space, not being seen or visited by anyone, except for a few die-hard browsers who like to do hours of research on a product or service. However, 90% of people won’t look past the first page of Google and out of those 90% on average they’ll only look at 3 websites before making a decision. That’s way it’s SO important to get found fast and frequently on the internet and SEO is the best way to make that happen.

2. Claim your Google Places listing. Google Places is another way to get your website found on the front-page of Google by local visitors. It’s free, anyone can claim one and will help drive a truck-load of targeted free traffic to your website. The other option is to get an Internet marketing company to help you with setting it up. The reason being that if you don’t do it the right way, it may not appear in Google for months, whereas an Online Marketing Specialists will make sure it get’s set-up properly.

3. Pay-per-click (PPC) is also a good method in Internet Marketing. You will only need to pay for the ad if the link is clicked. If you prefer this method of advertisement, make sure that you are using services that set limits on daily expenses. There are also services that help you determine effective keywords and monitor the PPC results.

4. Choose your domain name wisely. It is still being debated if domain names matter when it comes to search engine placement. Whether it does or not, having product related domain names help consumers remember your domain, that they can go back to your site even without the links.

5. Make sure you have useful content on your sites. While keyword density is important in search engine placement, having useless information or annoying repetition of keywords will not increase your customer’s confidence in your site. It may even affect your sites traffic and can get your site removed from search engines. So make sure that keywords are used strategically.

6. When thinking of keywords, think like your target customers. What do you think are they going to search so they can get to your site? Also, use specific keywords or key phrases. Submitting a single word or a very general phrase to a search engine will not get you to the top of the search results compared to submitting specific keywords that describe your product and services perfectly.

One final tip on marketing products and services is to sell the benefits.

It will help your marketing strategies a lot if you highlight the benefits of choosing your products and services instead of merely discussing the product specifications. Product specifications may not mean much to customers, unless they know what these stand for (how these specifications affect the quality of the product or service).

Many people say getting to the top of search engine results is difficult since millions of websites exist, which can be using the same keywords. While this is true, this doesn’t mean that your website has to stacked under your competitors’ websites when presenting search engine results. Just by using the strategies above your website can dominate the search results, leave your competitors in the dust and build a solid source of highly target leads day-after-day to your business.

These are just a few of the key internet marketing tips that will help your business to be more successful on the Internet.

To get a free SEO and Google Places Analysis for your website and find out where your site is currently positioned in Google then…
click here now and simply fill in the short form at the top of the page.

How Do I Get My Website To Perform

Getting your website out there is very similar to setting up and running your own business. Like any successful operational business, you need some form of ongoing marketing. There are a number of different marketing options available including word of mouth, referrals, newspaper ads, direct mail, radio advertising and a range of other effective methods.

Any business that wants to move forward through the internet needs to have more than just a website … they also need some sort of Internet Strategy, whether it is SEO, PPC, Video or Social Media.

Let me back that up with an explanation …

Why aren’t I getting any enquiries through my website?

The ‘Numero Uno’ comment I hear from business owners today is – “When my web designer built my site I thought it would instantly bring in visitors and make me money”. Not only do web designers need to be more upfront about what the result (and lack of) will be from their web design, it can be very disheartening for a business owner that has already gone through all the struggle of building their website only to find no-body knows of its existence or is even using it.

Many website owners end up loosing interest and push it aside. When the rare visitor eventually stumbles on the site it lacks the true feel of what your business has to offer and could end up sending the wrong message to your potential client.

My Own Embarrassing Experience

Like Michael Jordan, I’ve made more mistakes than I’ve had successes. Fortunately; every mistake I’ve made has lead to an even greater success. My first journey into self employment was in hospitality; more specifically I purchased a restaurant.

Before I opened the doors I did the hard yards. I chose my menu, fixtures and fittings, hired a team of people and all the other fun tasks in setting up your own business. I spent literally hundreds of hours getting everything ready, squeezing every ounce of my heart and soul into small details of the business. I was very excited on my very first day when we opened the doors, expecting a horde of people to come piling in to order meals and coffees.

Within the first day reality kicked in as I stood there for most of the day to make a cracker sum of $50.00 (most of which was my family coming to visit). I truly felt sick by the end of my first day when the impending embarrassment kicked in. I honestly thought I would just build it and they would come.

Why You Need To Market Your Website

My ego was hit like a tonne of bricks when I realised the hard work I had invested meant nothing without marketing activity.

My first experience in business mirrors the harsh reality for a lot of website owners. The reality is unless you have some form of Internet Strategy in place, you’ll end up with an underperforming website that could have the potential to bring in a large majority of business… that is, if people knew of its existence and were able to locate it.

How Can I Let Visitors Know About My Website?

Whatever your strategy if you would like your website to supply you with sales and/or leads it’s critical to have a strategy in place to achieve that result. Like my naïve restaurant story, if you build it they simply don’t come.

Obviously I am biased and am going to say an SEO company is the best way to achieve that result, yet there are times when SEO isn’t necessary the best solution. Seeking advice of an experienced professional will ensure you are on the right track and will assist you in the construction of a solid online presence to rake in those visitors to boost that bottom line.

What is SEO?

With the inception of the Internet the world is definitely smaller than it was 15 years ago. You can Skype (video conference) with friends on the other side of the world, hear about the latest breaking news as it happens and learn a lot more about a certain subject where you used to browse through an encyclopedia Britannica to find the answers.

The popularity of the internet has also paved a new horizon for businesses. Gone are the days when you’d grab your Yellow Pages and scour through, looking for the right business to fulfil your needs. So what is the new medium of today? Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’d understand it’s … Search Engines.

Please Note – In this article I am going to discuss Google as they are the main search engine that everyone wants to rank in right now (with an 86% global share).

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (also known as SEO), is a method that uses a series of different factors to achieve a high rank in the Search Engines. When you adhere to these different factors you can build credibility and influence a websites position in the Search Engines.

These factors are broken into 2 key areas:

  • Foundation factors
  • Evolving Factors

Let’s explore these 2 factors and gain a better understanding on how each one works.

Foundation Factors

These are a series of key factors that remain the same and are a major component of how your site ranks. If you’ve never actually heard about SEO till now than this may seem a little confusing, but I’ll try to explain it in a way that makes sense.

  • On Page – These are adjustments you can make to your physical website that change the way Google sees it. When you make these changes Google can hone down to a particular topic or keyword you’re trying get them to notice. In other words, it let’s Google know what category your site fits into. If you look around you can find out many of these factors, but I’ll share them anyway. These main factors are – The Title, Description, Keyword Tags (this is very, very minor), Use of headlines, body text, bolded text, number of words on the page, domain name and descriptive Url’s. As I mentioned earlier, when you align all of these the right way you are effectively letting Google know what your site is about.
  • Off Page – Once you complete the On Page factors it’s generally time to start working on Off Page. If the On Page factors tell Google what your site is about, the Off Page factors determine how credible your site is in comparison to the millions of other sites on your topic. This credibility factor is usually determined via a series of links (or endorsements) back to your site. The more reliable these links determines (in combination with your On Page factors) where your website should rank.

Evolving Factors

These factors (as the name would suggest) keep changing are determined by search engines and where / what they consider to be the best way to rank a site.

Over a decade ago in order to rank a site well on the search engines you would jam a whole lot of keywords on the bottom of your webpage and keyword tag and that would push you up to the top. As you would expect, people took advantage of this and started keyword stuffing their sites to rank well. In reaction to this the major search engines at the time changed and they began to dismiss (and sometimes penalised sites) when they keyword stuffed. This has evolved where Google now uses algorithms (a series of Formulas) to determine how a site should rank.

As of right now a few of the evolving factors Google are using to rank a website include:

  • Social Media – links back from Facebook and twitter. These are called mentions
  • Geographical Location of your website – If your website is hosted in the city you service, it will add credibility to your website and as a result your ranking
  • Aged Domains – Old websites that have been around for a long time that have certain trust factors associated with them
  • Style of Link – The way Google measures the type of Link or Endorsement you send back to your site is constantly changing.

Evolving factors usually occur as a reaction to the marketplace and to stay ahead of the dodgy people that try to cut corners or find the loophole.

So SEO important? It depends on how you look at it. If you’re looking at finding new clients and growing your business then you need to ask where you can go to get that business. The Internet is more used than Television, Radio, Newspapers and any other medium of communication available today.

More people use search engines than Yellow Pages, or any of the mediums mentioned above to research and find a product or service. Also, SEO gives the little and medium sized guys a chance to compete with big guys.

Well … You Decide.