Matter SolutionsSearch Marketing Agency

Search Engine Optimisation

We’re flexible so the SEO Campaigns aren’t completely walled off from custom SEO, but it makes a neat table. Campaigns become more custom as the budget increases so they can link up with Content Marketing and Online Advertising.

    • SEO Launch Pack – One Off

      From $1.5k - $4k AUD

      We perform a key issues audit, identifying the most important aspects that are stopping your website from ranking higher. We then present them in a document and dependent on budget action them in order of priority.

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        Onsite Optimisation

      • Link Building / Outreach

      • Tracking – Analytics (Traffic, Goals & Conversions)

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        SEO Technical Audits & Actioning

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        Local Rankings Actioning

      • Full Report

    • Ongoing SEO Campaigns

      From $800 - $4.5k AUD/Month

      Our small to medium sized campaigns focus on the most important SEO aspects. Smaller packages don’t include content marketing.

      • browser

        Onsite Optimisation

      • Link Building / Outreach

      • Tracking – Analytics (Traffic, Goals & Conversions)

      • magnifying-glass

        SEO Technical Audits & Actioning

      • map-pin

        Local Rankings Actioning

      • Content Marketing

      • Monthly Reporting & Insights

    • Custom SEO Campaigns

      From $5k AUD/Month

      We are very flexible with the variety of services we can provide outside the scope of SEO. For larger campaigns, we link up with Content Marketing, Online Advertising, and many other digital marketing activities.

      • browser

        Onsite Optimisation

      • Link Building / Outreach

      • Tracking – Analytics (Traffic, Goals & Conversions)

      • magnifying-glass

        SEO Technical Audits & Actioning

      • map-pin

        Local Rankings Actioning

      • Content Marketing

      • EDM’s (Electronic Direct Mail)

      • Any custom requests

      • Monthly Reporting & Insights

    • areas we service

    • Located in Brisbane, Australia these are some of the areas we service:

      • Brisbane
      • Melbourne
      • Sydney
      • Perth
      • Sunshine Coast
      • Gold Coast
      • Adelaide
    • Get a Quote Now

    • SEO FAQ’s

      Search Engine Optimisation can often be a complex topic and as an experienced digital marketing agency we often get asked a lot of questions from our clients & prospective clients.

      We have created an entire page based on our SEO Frequently Asked Questions:

      View All FAQ’s

      This page includes questions such as:

      • How long does it take to see results from SEO?
      • What’s a realistic goal to set with SEO?
      • What results can I expect?
      • How can you get me to the top of Google if you’re working for a competitor?
      • How much does SEO cost?
      • PPC or SEO?
      • Do I need a new website for SEO?
      • Do I only need to do SEO once?
      • Why is SEO important for my business?
      • Can I do SEO myself?
      • Should I hire someone to do my SEO?
      • Can you guarantee the 1st position in Google?
      • How will I know if SEO is working?
      • Do I need to know how to code?
      • Is SEO safe?
      • Can you work with my current Website Designers?
      • Should SEO be my only Digital Marketing activity?
      • Backlinks; Quality or Quantity?
    • SEO Fundamentals

      Skip this if you know SEO, if you’re getting started for your business have a read so you know what to look for in a provider.

      Find Out More About Our Digital Marketing Breakfast

      Well, the fundamentals of SEO; like the real foundational building blocks of how it works, they don’t really change there are different ways of implementing, there are different things that are prioritised, one thing is more prioritised or valued by Google over something else. Those things do change all the time but if you’re just a regular ordinary business and you’ve got a pretty straightforward kind of operation.

      Google vs other search engines

      So let me begin. A couple of basic things you really need to know is that SEO is driven by Google really, I mean they’re the big player, they do all of the search. Yes, people ask us about Yahoo, don’t worry about them what works for Google also works for them and really Google has got the whole market sewn up.

      There are only a couple of small niches where you want to target all the people who are just using the default browser that’s included in Microsoft, you would go and really try and target Bing for that but I’ve only ever had a couple of clients who are even interested in that market and even then, the volume of people still using Google was still worth focusing on Google. So if the decision came to either ranking in Bing or Google or, Google is a no-brainer because that’s where the traffic is.

      GoogleBot

      First of all, I’m going to teach you a couple of things about SEO, so I’ll start by introducing you to GoogleBot, there is actually a sort of a robot software that crawls the web in some cases you might hear of it called a “Spider” but they call it GoogleBot like a robot. It basically reads web pages, it decomposes it, pulls it apart, does things to it, so it can look at the keywords, what keywords you have in your pages and then it indexes what you’ve got in your website and the web address of your website against the keywords that you’re using.

      It also does some other things, discovers web addresses and uses those to come back and find other places to index, so if your website is linking to other places, it might not necessarily follow those links but it’ll note them down and say well I need to go and visit those places later on. So as it crawls around the web it does this decomposing thing and it pulls apart the web pages and puts them in an index, then when somebody comes along and searches for the products or services you’ve got to offer, they’re not really searching the web, they’re searching an index of the web.

      Google has got a trillion pages or something in the index now I remember the big feat was that they had over a billion pages in the index.

      It was quite magnificent really at that time and I had an awesome ranking and they used to announce it there on our page. We would go and have a look and be so proud because we ranked well in Google for “London Web Design” and it was pretty special back then. So that’s the basics about how Google crawls the web and indexes websites.

      The Basics of SEO

      1. SEO used to be really simple and to some extent some of the things that were really fundamental, they’re still there, so you don’t have to over complicate it. What you need is somebody who’s got some experience and knows what they’re talking about to look after it for you but you could also learn it yourself if you have enough time.
      2. It used to be simpler than it is now and that’s always true, it’s always getting a little bit more complicated day by day, it does get a little bit more complicated but if you learn the fundamentals, you’d be very informed and you’ll actually be one of those kinds of clients who will see through the spin that some agencies tend to tell you, so let’s just do a little story here about SEO and its history.
      3. How did Google change the world? Well, for starters why is one website ranking higher than another? If you did a search for one of the target keywords that you think you should be ranking for, for example, if you are a plumber in Brisbane then you’d probably want to rank for that keyword., Or something probably more relevant would be blocked drain Brisbane or emergency plumber in Brisbane, if you’re that kind of plumber those specific keywords they’re actually a bit more valuable but I can talk about that another time.

      Before Google

      Have you ever wondered why one website is higher ranking than yours? Well, let’s go back in time and have a quick look at the world before Google so all right, way back, let’s go and have a look at it.

      Before Google came along, let’s pretend there’s another search engine and what it’s doing is its crawling all over the web. The same thing as today, there were robots spiders back then and they were crawling through the web and they were trying to find websites and what they were doing is they were looking for the phrase, the thing you want to rank for in the website.

      You’ve got three websites here (A) (B) and (C) they all have the same phrase in there who should be at the top? or who should rank? All three of them should rank but who should be at the top?

      In what order because there’s nothing really to distinguish these websites, they all look the same, there’s nothing. Maybe the colors are different, maybe the logos are different, maybe the brand name is, but the search engine doesn’t know that. So what is it about these websites that help you distinguish? Well there’s nothing, so let’s put them in alphabetical order but then you end up with this silly situation that you’d have in the yellow pages, where you have triple (A) four (A) five (A) plumbers and so on and everybody’s like chasing some kind of weird optimisation by tricking the alphabet.

      1. That’s rubbish but there were other things that could be done. So today with time, when was the website last updated? Also, when did it first appear like, were you first in the market, do you have a better website and how frequently are you updating? So there are blocks of paragraphs and things that you could change around and have little bits of software doing it. So people start to trip this stuff way back in the day, so we’re talking way before Google right, we’re talking sort of ninety-eight and maybe before.
      2. Who should rank? well (A) has put more text on their website, so they got a phrase in there a bit more, it’s even jumbled up there and includes the phrase. (B) they have a bit more but not too much more than (C) but both websites have less than (A). Now way back in the day, some of these techniques really worked right. So putting white text on a white background that included the keywords you wanted to rank for, search engines would actually let some of these websites rank, not Google right, so we’re still not talking about Google, so don’t ever do this and I’ll show you why.
      3. But the results were poor quality because if you did a search for your business and you got a look at the search results and you looked at the competitor and you went “whoa they’ve got white text on a white background here”. What’s the first thing you’re going to do? You’re going to go back to your website and you’re going to put white text and white background but you aren’t just going to copy and paste what they have because you want to beat them. So you put even more text because you think well that’s working, then you get to the top and then they see that and then they do it and everybody is just chasing each other down the drain.

      The Google Revolution

      The Original Ranking Algorithm

      The worst results ever, so along came Google and they said two things right, so if you do something bad on your website, don’t be evil, actually when they said that it was to do with ads but it was their motto. Number two, this is the gold right, I can’t stress this enough, what other people say about you is more important than what you say about yourself. Now that is absolutely essential and if you really think about that it’s just like your day-to-day ordinary offline world right.

      Keywords and content

      The land before the internet, if somebody says yeah you should go and talk to that guy, he’ll mow your lawn and he’ll do a great job, yeah, well that’s the guy you’re going to hire because that’s what you want. You want someone to do a really good job and having a referral and somebody saying that’s a good person to deal with, that’s absolutely what you want.

      What others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself.

      So Google had to find a way and they did, they found a way of working out other external factors outside of your website. So these three websites again (A) they stuffed all the keywords in there, that’s pretty egregious right, you can just tell that they’re doing something wrong there. So well let’s just say they’re responsible and they’re banned okay, next.

      The second website (B) they’ve got the keyword in there a bit too much as well but not to the point where it’s spam. The former head of the webspam team Matt Cutts said the first time you mentioned a keyword it’s about that, second time maybe a little bit more, third time, not so much, it’s still just about that keyword.

      Every time after that you add the keyword it doesn’t add to the meaning, it doesn’t mean that it’s more about it. So anybody who’s telling you to write oodles of text and repeat the keyword over and over it’s rubbish and I’ll show you why.

      External Ranking Factors

      Google looked at links, so clickable links from one place to another, normal clickable text and then they start counting them okay.

      Well so here we’ve got (B) and (C), (B) has links from (D) (E) and (F) and (C) has links from (F) (G) (H) and (I) well so (F) is splitting their votes because they’re linking to both (B) and (C) and you can look at it and say well okay, let’s just count them well (B) has two and a half (C) has three and a half okay.

      So who should rank? We’ve got a way to distinguish now, so we can say okay well (C) should be higher ranking in Google great, that’s easy, that makes sense well when I do a presentation I will talk to people, I usually get people to fall into a trap, so I say “Yep, does that make sense?”. Well, hang on a minute because (E) has some links of its own and that link from (E) to (B) is now actually much stronger and it could be stronger than all the other links put together because (E) actually has some of its own kind of value and it accrues.. So they’re looking for all these links, they’re trying to count them but they’re also trying to weigh them and that’s at the heart of Google’s algorithm.

      Links Are Like Coins

      When I do presentations and, I also talk to people about the idea that they’re a bit like coins. So if you’ve got like a little kid, there’s sort of a transition point about the sort of four, five or six year old where you can hold out a handful of coins and say yeah, pick two coins and they’ll pick the big shiny one, so they take the fifty cent piece or cent pieces. But there’s an age at which they realise that the little gold ones (here in Australia), are actually worth a lot more and they can get more stuff with that.

      Understanding which links are more or less valuable is very important and that’s a major part of doing SEO because these links don’t just transfer strength and strength isn’t really what it once was before 2012. There are all sorts of ways of doing SEO and “building” links and that was really quite bad.

      Google Penguin Update

      Then a famous Google update came along called Penguin and changed a lot of things.

      The thing is, these links, they transfer meaning, strength, trust – effectively you can talk about it in terms of authority and if you look on some of the industry blogs and stuff about SEO you’ll find people talking about relevance and authority. That’s effectively just a combination of strength and trust or meaning and just transferring through these links.

      So what other people say about you is really important but it’s also more than just links. So other websites that point to your website are really good to have, but you want good ones right, you don’t want to be in a bad neighbourhood. You don’t want bad websites to link to you because if they’re linking to you then you’re kind of seen as being one of them.

      1. Don’t Buy Links

        Links to your website are known as backlinks, so there’s some jargon there but backlinks are really quite a useful thing to know about and understand. The danger is that you can go out and just pay somebody offshore to build fifty links to your website. Great but if you were Google and you were looking for people that were trying to game the system, you would look at websites with not many links, that have suddenly got a burst of 50 links then now they’ve flatlined again at fifty, well that little peak that you’ve got over the next week or two when you’ve ordered that thing, you would just call that rubbish, you would just say yeah, I’m not going to trust that if you were Google and that’s what they do.

      2. They might not catch on straight away, you might actually see a big increase in your rankings for a short period and then you’ll be carrying this legacy of having bad links pointing at your website and you will start getting penalised for it. Then you should really get them cleaned up which then costs you money, which is a pain and a hassle. So be careful where you get your links from, really the best links are good quality ones that you’ve gone out and you’ve earned because you’ve put something great on your website.
      3. Linking Out to Reputable Sources

        Links from your site they’re known as forward links, so your website shouldn’t really be a dead end, if you’ve got other businesses and services that you deal with that would be useful for your visitors and you trust them then it’s good practice to add relevant links into your content., Now your website is supposed to be about generating leads. I understand that the vast majority of businesses want to keep people on their website and want to convert them into leads/sales.

      4. The thing is when people are browsing the web, they really want information. As an example, if you’ve talked about something that you don’t have in a blog post, you might as well link to it because they’ll then treat you with a bit more respect. If you are the one sending them somewhere else they’ll likely come back. If they want what you’ve got and if you’re the kind of person that’s giving away a little bit maybe they’ll want to deal with you. But the thing is if you’re the kind of person that writes about this great thing but doesn’t link to it, that means that you’re like a dead end and that’s not a good thing. With the Google ranking Algorithm I can absolutely see, well I have seen a history of making some changes with forward links having quite a positive impact.
      5. It’s the same thing with your “website neighbourhood”, you don’t want backlinks that are poor quality pointing at you and absolutely, you don’t want to be linking to poor quality websites. One of the most important things to do if you’ve got a link from something important on your website out somewhere, it should be linking to something really authoritative such as an industry leader and something really useful that’s going to add value. If you can put that on your website, if you can do something really useful on your website, do it, but second to that, if you want to link to something that’s really useful then that is the next most valuable thing.

      User Experience In SEO

      User experience is what people do when they visit your website. When people visit your website, they could definitely signal to Google that your website is a good place or a bad place and this is very dangerous for a really bad SEO service. If your website is poor quality and you find it hard to rank then you can go out and buy a poor quality SEO service and they’ll get you ranking initially. But when people visit your website, if it’s terrible then those people will leave your website immediately and they will teach Google that your website is poor quality and indirectly, they’ll then be teaching Google that those links that you’ve got are probably not to be trusted.

      I actually have a video that you can see here.

      So when this video was made this was all referred to as pogo-sticking. So the idea of pogo-sticking is where the user hops down the search results. Going into the first result, the second result, third result, back and forwards and then they finally kind of settled on the one that was most satisfying. So Google can tell because all those clicks on the links actually go into a little tracking system in Google and then across to your website, there’s quite a lot to the way Google works.

      So when Google can aggregate all of that data and put that together, they were able to work out what people did and didn’t like.

      For example, we had a guy who ranked really well for some luxury homes and things like that and he was a really nice guy with really great quality items, really good work. But his website had been made by his like sister-in-law so he wouldn’t let us change it. The website was pretty poor and we told him a whole lot of things that he should do to improve it but what happened was we got him ranking right at the top. Then one day it just fell off the results completely and were pretty surprised, it just disappeared.

      Obviously, he was annoyed and we were frustrated and we pushed pretty hard, did some link building and tried to make some changes. Then he had some good links from some good local businesses, some local charities that he worked with and that alone should have really got him right up to the top and really doing very well in the search results. When we got him back up again, we looked at it and we checked how his bounce rate was. Bounce rate is the way that you see this effect of pogo-sticking on your website, you would see that your bounce rate is really quite high.

      You can just filter by traffic that’s come in from organic search engines and you can see how much of that traffic bounces and by definition a bounce is somebody who leaves after 30 seconds having just looked at one page. Now the truth of it is that people who are bouncing, most of them actually leave within probably 10 seconds. They go in, they look at it, decide it’s not for them, then they are gone. So you’ve got to get people’s attention very quickly and you’ve got to then encourage them to read on and stay on the page.

      Reducing Bounce Rate

      Well, how do you do that? You have to get them in and give them what they’re looking for, they’ve got an intent. So if they are looking for a luxury home builder and they arrive on this guy’s website and the website is a bit ropey, the phone numbers not in the right place, they just want to phone him. They just want to see some examples of beautiful homes, they don’t want to scroll through the entire website to get there. They don’t want to have to go through a minefield of blurb or even when they do look at the photos they need to be big and clear.

      That’s pretty hard because it’s going to slow the website down, so there’s a bit of a trade-off and a bit of hard work there for the web designer to make sure that the website looks really good but gets people into the right bit of content very quickly So that was a very tricky situation ultimately we couldn’t help him because he simply wouldn’t change the website because of his family situation. It was a wonderful blog but stuck, it couldn’t rank, horrible. Now in the meantime, Google has come out and actually said they’re using machine learning for this.

      Google & Machine Learning

      This happened around 2014, we discovered some of this stuff and then in 2016, they announced that they were using machine learning, they called it RankBrain. people were talking about them using AI and this too but anyway machine learning it’s not quite the same as AI. But they’re using special algorithms that basically say are these websites good or not, are these links legit or not. I can see them using this kind of behaviour to work out which links are poor and then work out the websites that link from those poor quality links.

      The days of real hardcore black hat SEO (performing very dodgy SEO), they are a bit numbered really.

      So be careful especially for big brand websites and proper businesses, it’s not worth running the risk. If you are or have been, you need to be looking at what’s your risk profile look like and what kind of strategies do you need to go through to mitigate that risk. If you currently have an SEO company sorting out this stuff for you and you aren’t sure their strategy then I would highly recommend checking.

      How to implement effective SEO

      In summary what I really want to get across is in terms of search engine optimisation, what other people say about you is more important than what they say about yourself. Well great, how can you use this for your SEO? Well, you need links that say you’re really good and trustworthy and your business is really worth dealing with. You also need to have an entertaining and satisfying website that means the people who land on your website actually get what they’re looking for.

      1. Keyword Research

        Now that may well mean that we have to analyse and work with the keywords you’ve already got and work out which keywords aren’t right for you. If you’ve made the assumption that people are looking for you and they want you out of a set of keywords, it could well be that people are landing on your website and you’re not quite right for them. This could be that because have a different intent, maybe they’re looking for a recruiter and you’re assuming that they are a company looking for a recruiter. It might be the case that the people who are looking for recruiters are candidates and if you talk to them as if they’re a company, they’re just going to leave immediately.

      2. Your Intent Portion

        You need to decide which intent portion it is, candidates or companies? Once you’ve made that decision, you need to create your content and actually in some instances really design your website around that user journey. That user’s experience can really inform what it is that we want to do and you’ll find that naturally, you’ll start to rank better for those terms. Well, firstly you need some links to get in the game, to get up in the results. But once you get there, you will find that a really good user experience will help you jump up the results.

      3. Higher Opportunities

        Google kind of game’s you against other websites and when they find out that you are providing a better user experience, they’ll keep you there and maybe they even reward you with a higher opportunity. We see this a lot with most search terms where websites will move a lot on the homepage until Google works out what people are most interested in. We had one company that we looked after quite a competitive term, really pretty fierce actually in Brisbane and we got them ranking on the bottom of page one with link building and we thought well link building wise we probably can’t do much more for them.

      4. We thought that would be it, that would be at about the peak but they had written the website really well, the copywriter, they had their own person who had written knowing their business really well. They had written some really good stuff and the way that we laid out the text, we built the website as well, laid out all the text, laid out the content, it was in nice groups and blocks. The information gave some good case studies about what they were doing, what happened was that people landed on the website and they would stay. The bounce rate of that new website was much better than the old website and people would go around the website and find all the things they wanted to know and then they’d get in touch.
      5. The conversion rate was very good on the website but most importantly Google was able to detect that behaviour. People would go into the website and then they were lost to Google they wouldn’t necessarily come back for ages, come back hours later and search for something completely different. Now, what happened was they were at the bottom of the search results and over time actually, only a couple of months, they started moving up in the results and we didn’t think that they had enough link strength to really get up there.
      6. There were some very strong websites in the results but Google was effectively gaming them off, racing them off against the other websites that were in there and we saw our client actually get right up to number one. Quite frankly we didn’t think that they would get there and it was a real shock, this is again around 2014 and it was a real eye-opener for us that user experience was a huge driver for SEO. If you aren’t thinking about the whole picture then you’re missing out, you really are missing out., I’ve got another video where I talked about the SEO triangle and it’s worth watching.

      We don’t build a huge amount of websites these days but we definitely work with some good web designers who can build damn good websites. The reason for that is there is no point really pushing a poor quality website up to the top because it won’t stay there.

    • SEO – A Deeper Dive

      What you need to know when you already know enough to be dangerous 🙂

      Find Out More About Our Digital Marketing Breakfast

      Part two of the making SEO work for your business, I really want to talk to you about how some of these fundamental things Google is paying attention to, can help you rank better and get better results for your business.

      Some of the stuff that we really need to think about is just to recap that Google said don’t be evil, but most importantly what others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself. Now how does this apply? Well links, people linking to your website is a very good way for them to signal to Google that you’re a very good website, they’re willing to sacrifice visitors, give up visitors to their own website to send them across to you and that’s a very good thing.

      User Experience In Depth

      Now the other thing would be user experience. When people have a poor experience that’s worth thinking about as well, so people that experience bouncing in and out of websites and when they find one that’s satisfying, in they go and they have a good experience and then when they’re done, they’re searching for something else. So one way to think about this is the SEO triangle.

      Just like the fire triangle to simplify this so that you’ve got rankings in the middle and if you miss out on any one of these three sides, the rankings are going to be very hard to achieve, if not impossible.

      For example and obviously, this is a simplification, there are two hundred ranking factors but ultimately Google is trying to make their customers happy (the searchers using Google). So they are evaluating the links that point at your website, meaning you’re categorised into a good or bad neighbourhood. They also check if the website is of good quality mainly based on the user experience.

      What are you providing to people?

      Why are they coming to the website and thinking this is dreadful and leaving. Is your website repellent? I’ve definitely seen a few of those. Or is it good?

      Are they finding what they’re looking for? Do they think to themselves yep, actually this aligns with what I want and part of that is also the content and having the right keywords. If I’m using a certain set of terminology when I’m talking about the services that are on offer, then it’s worth thinking about them and discussing them in the way that those people searching are talking about them.

      Well what’s the actual words? So for example children’s parties, they’re pretty popular, people search for those all the time. Now you need to consider what keywords people are searching for, in this example often it will be the mum of a kid looking for children’s parties, and they are often on a mobile, when they click through, they want to know:

      • What’s the availability?
      • What’s the cost?
      • How do they book here?
      • How far in advance they need to book?
      • How many kids are going to be there?
      • Is it a flat cost or is it a cost per child?
      • What are the options? – Can they have a room? Do they just have a table in the room?

      They have these indoor play centers and they have all sorts of different options. Now depending on how easy or difficult it is to navigate around and work out what the options are, can really determine the user experience of the website. But also if you were to say these are the birthday parties, that may well be something that comes up in the search but children’s parties may be the thing that really comes out in the keyword research.

      The most relevant or most common way that people describe that is a “children’s parties” including the location, or “children’s parties” and then the brand. These things you can analyse and you can see which one is a good way to describe what you’re saying and not just SEO. You can even go back and look at AdWords data and see which ones are the right terms and AdWords data is even better because you get to see that click right the way through into the website and then even from the website through to the enquiry. You can see which keywords actually turn into enquiries, and you can put some more emphasis on those in the ads of course but also you can put emphasis on those in the SEO because those the ones actually transact into sales and money.

      Fixing Your Website Content

      We’re going to fix the website content, how do you do that? You look at what the users want, look at the keywords and decide which work best for your target audience. You can also have a look at what content already exists. Review the website and say well does anything already kind of fit? What do people really want? Often people say the customer is always right. It’s a great saying, the customer is always right, yes, but in this situation as an agency, my job is to advocate for your customer.

      If I’m talking to a client and they’re saying “oh no we have to have a bit about Fred’s department” but Fred’s department doesn’t do anything for customers and it really doesn’t take any external calls from potential customers. Fred’s department might as well be invisible to the outside world and that’s fine, we can just leave it off the website completely, focus on what the user’s want.

      There’s a whole bunch of different things that really need to be done here but primarily clients really need to sort of look at this and say well let’s focus on creating content that the users want and let go of our own preconceptions about what we want to create. Often a website can turn into almost like an organisation, an organisational diagram, of what the business is all about and that’s not the purpose of a website.

      The purpose of a website is to satisfy your potential customers and get them to contact you.

      Sometimes businesses can be their own worst enemy, I’ve got myself a reputation now for being a bit blunt with people and saying what needs to be said, some people love it, some people don’t.

      Choosing the right keywords

      Often you have this situation where there are a few keywords that have quite a bit of traffic, you also have lots of keywords that have very little traffic and you have some in between. It’s exponential, so there are very few keywords with lots of traffic and many keywords with very little traffic.

      Which keywords do you want to go for? Well, the classic SEO problem is you then go for big keywords. We really want to rank for children’s parties nationwide, that’s what people are searching for yes, but hang on a minute, the Venice update many years ago means that Google is going to work out what your location is and they’re going to bias the results to be children’s parties location. So whatever your location is, let’s say you’re here in Brisbane, we’re then going to change “children’s parties” which should be right up here as a big keyword with lots of traffic to something like “children’s parties Brisbane”, which is more relevant and if you’re in Brisbane that’s much more likely to be you, and Google has worked that out over time. They’ve worked it out that people actually want a location. So, in that case, it may even show a map because when they don’t show the map their searches click the map and that way Google can tell which searches should or shouldn’t get the map, it’s pretty obvious really but most people don’t think about it and so Google is learning, it’s a learning system.

      Here we are, you’ve now got the keywords, you have many keywords with very little traffic, so you could have something like children’s parties South Brisbane or children’s parties at the Gabba. Basically, the number of people searching for that and the amount of competition that there would be is minimal, so it’s way down there. Keywords with not much traffic, nobody’s really chasing them and even if they do, they’re so specific that you’re probably the most relevant search result anyway. Now a client would say oh yeah but it’s easy anybody can rank for that, they can and they should and you shouldn’t look at that and say oh well it’s easy so let’s not go for it because those things are the low-hanging fruit, you can reach those easy-peasy. Let’s improve your website and let’s get it ranking for some of the stuff that’s low hanging fruit, let’s get it. The good thing is that if the intent behind the keyword matches the commercial value your page offers it means the keyword is actually very valuable for you.

      Commercial value per keyword is actually quite high because it means that if somebody puts in children’s parties or children’s birthday parties Woolloongabba and you happen to be in Woolloongabba and offered an event service for children’s parties. That means that you are absolutely striking a chord to say “that’s what we can deliver” and then people who find your website, they will get in touch. So you’re likely to make a sale and you’re likely to get the lead and you’re likely to find that that sale is quite easy, it’s not an uphill battle because it’s totally aligned with what you do for your customers already.

      So is SEO hard?

      In this case, no, it’s actually about aligning with what you do and what you want to do with the people who already look for you. In meetings I often talk about these with two hands in the air and I’ll talk about things fitting together like this because what we’re really trying to do is set your website up for the low-hanging fruit, the stuff that can actually deliver value and when people say to me oh yeah, well when can I rank? Well for this stuff a couple of months, but it depends on where you’re at, if you’re absolutely starting from scratch even this stuff can take a little bit longer, it shouldn’t, but it could do and depends if you have done SEO in the past.

      It could be could be a couple of months of cleanup and then a few months of actually doing the SEO but the reason I put it in here is that there’s a sweet spot that when the traffic starts lifting, maybe the competition has started lifting as well and you’re looking at a state or a city based keyword for a particular term “children’s parties Brisbane”, you become less relevant. So actually the commercial value falls because people searching for “children’s parties Brisbane” may well be way on the north side, or way on the south side and they’re not going to drive to the Gabba, they know that maybe parking at the Gabba is not going to be that much fun and they’re going to have a hard time. So they might as well find somewhere local so they’d look for children’s parties south side or children parties Springwood,

      I’ve been doing SEO for twelve years and I’m still learning. So basically you’ve got this situation where there is a sweet spot but really what you need to think about is that SEO is an accumulation of value and accumulation of strengths on your website. A strengthened meaning you’re basically trying to make your website better and better over time, getting stronger and stronger which means you can attack more and more competition. You can’t suddenly say hey, I want to rank for “children’s parties” no, because the competition is too high, you can’t just suddenly go from nowhere to the top and if you try and do that, you go out and do some crazy link building. People try this, they don’t have many links, so they buy tons, don’t do that, you just get penalised and it won’t last.

      Finding the SEO sweet spot

      What you need to do is think about well what’s in the sweet spot? What are the really good keywords?

      Often I’ll talk to clients about maybe using some advertising, it’s a hunt for the really good keywords before we get there, so effectively you start the journey right, you start maybe walking step by step, you’re moving, you’re getting stronger, you’re getting closer to where the sweet spot is where the good keywords are. But what you do is you send somebody there to try and do a reconnaissance, they go and do a bit of research, find a scout and they have a look and find out the good place to go and set up. You find which are the good keywords and that’s what AdWords and SEO can work on together. That’s really valuable, so I hope that’s helpful to understand the way commercial value works for each keyword and that there are keywords ranging from a lot of traffic to very small amounts of traffic and the competition is aligned with that.

      Commercial Value – Final Note

      One last thing worth noting in terms of commercial value. I’ve been asked a lot why the, but the problem is that that search a lot of it is going to be irrelevant because if somebody is nationally searching for children’s parties, they’re not even going to be in Brisbane. So if you were to take twenty-four, twenty-five million people in Australia and say well okay how many people are in or near Brisbane? Well say 10% (being generous), so of the people searching for children’s parties 10% of them are in or near Brisbane, sort of ignoring that location thing, only a small proportion are going to be relevant and then even Brisbane itself is pretty big.

      How many of those people in Brisbane are really going to be within striking distance of the Gabba in this case well a very small proportion again. So the relevance really does play a part in terms of which keyword can be right for you and I’ve certainly had clients rank for Brisbane wide keywords and they’ve just turned around and gone, no I’m not driving all over the city, I’m not doing that and then we’ve let the keyword go and we focused much more on lowdown stuff.

      Now this advice I’m giving about this, this is based on real experience, really helping small/medium-sized businesses actually some larger ones as well but ultimately this stuff works because we’ve seen clients kind of make these mistakes or we’ve pushed people in certain directions, we’ve tried things that they really want. For example “I really want to be number one for Brisbane”, then we get them there and it’s not worth it, so advertising before you get there, it costs a bit but you learn something really valuable. So think about the return on investment from your website, think about how the people come in and how they go out, this is something I explain in almost every meeting.

      Your Website Is a Box

      If you think about your website, it’s really just a simple box, it helps you get away from the fact that it’s a pretty beautiful artistic thing, don’t worry about that.

      The purpose of that artistic thing is to get people and visitors to come in and they either become leads or they leave, that’s it, that’s all we’re mapping here. So one of the most important things is to think about user experience and it really is the most important thing to look at your website and think about how people are getting around it and to get the stats measured. Whichever channel you’ve got people coming in, whether they’re direct, email marketing, organic and any of the rest. You want to know what they’re coming through and Google Analytics tracking will show this.

      It’ll actually show you which channel is making what difference to your lead generation, and the people that don’t come in, they leave, they’re gone. Even if you’re doing SEO and you’re generating lots of traffic from SEO the proportion of people that come through and convert into leads could be quite small, this is the sort of information you need to know. I’ve taken clients from sort of zero or 1% up to 3% to 5% to 10% conversion rate, 10% conversion rate is really nice but the problem we’ve got is that if people come through and you’re 10% of them, you still have nine out of ten people leaving.

      The Importance of Retargeting

      Retargeting is a really nice way of advertising to those people. If you don’t know what retargeting is retargeting is an advertising platform where you can effectively follow visitors around the internet, wherever they go other websites can advertise to your potential customers and call them back to your website. If you’ve been to a website and you’ve seen advertisers sort of stalking you, it’s that kind of thing where you feel like you’re being followed around all over the place.
      That’s very good and you can end up having people come back to your website and then buy because they’ve had that second click and they’re finally ready to buy from you.

      Get Seen Online More

      The second thing that we do is get people into the website. Now if you’re on this page or you’re looking at this because you need an SEO well great, that’s what we do for people but also even if you’ve got your own web designer, we would really like to make sure that we’re thinking about the user experience. So if we come across something that we think that they could improve, we’ll say something. We really will, we can’t help ourselves because we want to do things that matter, we’re going to make a difference to your business. If we pull this lever and double the amount of traffic and your conversion rate happens to be zero then you’re going to get twice as much of zero and that’s not good, what we really want to do is pull both levers.

      If we can get you twice as many conversions, three times as many conversions and get you twice as much traffic, you’re going to have six times as many leads and that’s actually going to be measurable and make a difference to your business.

      Content Marketing For SEO

      Content marketing is one of those things where a good idea has been taken and run with by all sorts of people, so we think about content marketing for SEO.

      Bottom of the funnel

      The funnel is on the left, people who are actually buying from you is down there in the bottom left, so that’s the sale or a lead. Now you’re measuring that funnel, you’ve got that sale or lead being tracked in Google Analytics and you need to think about your keywords and you need to think about the position in the funnel. Now stuff at the bottom of the funnel, there are people ready to transact they’re very close to actually buying. So they search for things like they want to buy it, for example, ”what’s the price of x?”, “How can I buy x now?”, “cheap version of x online”, stuff right before they buy.

      Top & Middle of the funnel

      The middle is probably more like where they’re going to compare and look for other options and then at the top they’re just doing research and they’re looking at information. There are different types of keywords, there are navigational ones where they already know your brand, they would be more down the bottom. Informational where they’re just looking for research and information that would be up at the top and then stuff like transactional, they would really be a bit further down sort of middle and bottom.
      Let’s pick them up, pick a market just temporarily, so let’s say we want to sell some drones okay, you’ve got a persona and I’ll explain where that comes into the funnel in a moment.

      You’ve got a hobbyist then in comparison somebody who’s used to doing radio control flight, they both use Facebook like almost everybody in Australia they use YouTube, they follow some blogs and they also use Google search. So persona B let’s call him howdy guy, he’s got all the gadgets, loves Apple, as well as other big brands and then we’ve got a way to reach him we can get in via Facebook, he’s in different groups, he’s been to different places on Facebook. Then you’ve got YouTube and Google search including a range of different YouTube channels well almost certainly.

      Now we’re going to plot these for digital marketing, this is where the content marketing framework comes in. Now you take the brand voice over here and you’d be plotting out what articles you want to write. So let’s say you’ve decided I’m going to definitely buy the Mavic drone, so “buy Mavic drone” would be the keyword. Well, you write an article in the brand voice about that keyword and because we understand the keywords and we’ve looked at what sort of things people are interested in finding out about it. For the content, maybe the experience of having bought it and your first flying experience and all that sort of stuff would be down at the bottom of the page. Now the hobbyist they don’t want to buy the brand one, the DJI or Parrot, so they’re going to buy the drone X, so whatever the drone is whatever the brand is whatever the model name is for example.

      Customised Content for Personas

      They would have read some content already looking for low-cost drones and you could easily just write articles and you could write multiple articles like that about different brands, you’d be careful that the articles aren’t too similar because that would get penalised and would cause problems. But if we just build this out a bit further, you can see that talking about how to fly the drone is more informational maybe they’ve never actually flown a drone before, maybe they want to get started, maybe they’re looking for the best-looking ones, the funkiest kind of features and stuff like that. There you go, you can just continue with this process and plot out a content marketing framework just by looking at the keywords, remember there’s that curve further up the page about how the keywords go together and then look at the different personas.

      If you are focusing on a more experienced visitor, you’re writing for somebody who’s actually probably flown a radio-controlled aircraft, so you talk about it in those terms and you’d be using your brand voice and then you’d also be using keywords that you’ve identified from keyword research from that curve that are kind of specific and probably relevant to this person. You might use some jargon, you might use stuff that’s pretty full-on maybe some kind of keywords the hobbyist would never use, but one thing you’ve got to really pay attention to is that neither of these people can actually link to your website.

      Writing Content for Industry Authority Websites

      Now if you’re doing content marketing for SEO, these articles won’t generate links, they might, but it’d be very rare that they would. So if you’re going to create content that appeals to other websites, you need to look outside of your personas, you need to be creating content that isn’t necessarily for your customers and that’s where the big trade-off and real kind of problem comes with SEO is that when we want to create content for you as a customer, we then say hey we’re going to create this content and it’s going to look like this and it goes like that. But then you start thinking, I guess the clients won’t read that, that’s too technical or that’s not interesting. So now you’ve got a distinction between content marketing for potential customers like the hobbyist and experienced user and content marketing for somebody who’s in the industry.

      Someone is in the industry is more likely to like, share, feature, and link to that resource we create. Creating content for links and content for SEO is actually quite different, going out and bashing out blog posts that cover all sorts of topics in 2013 that was the right thing to do, it really doesn’t work like that anymore. There are people still even doing it today it’s not worth it, but writing GOOD content and putting it on your website is worth it for content marketing. Segmenting your customers and addressing them and bringing them further down the funnel is a great way to think about every decision you make on your website.

      If you think about it -if we’ve got a client that we’re blogging for and creating content that makes their customers happy – that’s great. But in terms of an SEO effort, it doesn’t really get them links, what it does is gets them traffic and that traffic generation ends up bringing people in we can retarget after they’ve considered their purchase a bit. We bring them in to look at l the products or service at a later date maybe they remember the brand naming and search for that and that’s very good for SEO but ultimately if you want to create content that generates links you’ve got to get outside of the standard kind of content marketing mindset.

      Bringing it all together

      That was a deeper dive into SEO, I hope that was useful. We’re the kind of company that really likes to give out a lot of information, but really just tell it how it is, there’s a lot of plain talking no fuss kind of stuff about how we do things because we want to make sure it matters.

      We know it makes a huge difference for you but the thing is we’ll only take on specific clients that we can really work with, that really understand what we’re after and we’re really in to bat for them and it’s hard right, not everybody wants to have an SEO company that’s like that and that’s okay. We don’t suit everybody and not everybody suits us but if we go in to bat for you, we generally would not even talk to a competitor of yours. One of our FAQ’s if I sign up with you are you going to also help my competitor? Well if you are our client and you are following the plan and you’re on a contract you’re doing the things we want to do. We aren’t going to talk to your competitor, that’s it, we look after you and ultimately the work we do, we generate results and it takes time but it works very well. Got any questions, get in touch, give me a call, me and my team would love to help.

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