Best SEO Tools in 2018

3 Essential SEO Tools Every Business Owner Should Use

By | seo tips, SEO tools

If you have ever felt too confused or overwhelmed by Search Engine Optimization, it may be because you do not yet understand how you could implement some of it yourself or what are the benefits of doing so.

These are some tools that every business owner should know about and use so they can start making efforts in the right direction to getting more traffic to their websites. More importantly, they’re all FREE!

1. Keywords Everywhere

Instant Access to Keyword Search Volume

The first thing that you need to understand about SEO is that it’s all about TRAFFIC. Keywords are search phrases that people search in Google such as “plumber Melbourne” or “cheap plumber Sydney”. If you provide a service, the service+location is generally your main keyword.

But before you start working on those keywords, you also need to find out how many people are searching them. The Google AdWords Keyword Planner shows you this data but you need to set up an account and start an Ad campaign to get full access.

Keywords Everywhere is a plugin for Chrome and Firefox browsers that will show you the keyword search volume as soon as you search it in Google.


So enter your main keyword and look at the number of people searching. Note that the number displayed is the monthly search volume. If you’re not happy with it, try a different version of it or scroll down to Google’s suggested keywords at the bottom and look at those. Bottom line is, this is going to help you with your research so you can set the right target and go after it.

Tip: Keep in mind that the data that Google shows you is only partially correct. Don’t be disheartened if you see low figures for your keywords. In most cases, if there are suggestions at the bottom of the results page, there are plenty of people searching regardless of what Google reports.

2. Page Speed Insights

Check your loading speed to improve user-experience

Have you ever felt impatient when you click on a link and the website takes forever to load? Frustrating, right? Well, your visitors feel the same way. On the Internet, “forever” can be equated to the difference between a site that loads in 2 seconds vs 4 seconds.

If you’re going to be working hard to get more traffic to your site, you better have a plan to convert that traffic into sales and revenue and your website not loading fast enough is definitely not conducive to that outcome.

Page Speed Insights is a tool from Google themselves. No better way to get information than from the horse’s mouth. Enter your URL and it will show a percentage-based score of how that page is performing. It will also give suggestions on what you could do to improve that score. If your score is in the Red zone, you need to make it a priority to get it up to Yellow at least.

Also, note that this score is on a URL by URL basis. In other words, just because your Home page gets a good score does not mean your entire website will. If you are trying to rank an inner page, you need to check its score separately.

3. IFTTT

Automate Posting to Social Media

IFTTT stands for If This Then That and it is a great tool that can help you with several things, including your social media & SEO.

The way you use IFTTT for SEO is for your Blog. Most businesses these days have a Blog on their website which they use to post content. IFTTT can help you maximize the impact of producing that content. First, you set up several social profiles for your websites such as Blogspot, Tumblr & Weebly in addition to the usual ones you probably already have like Facebook and Twitter.

Then, you sign up for IFTTT and set up Recipes so that every time you post an article on your Blog, IFTTT will automatically post that article on ALL your social media platforms! This saves you the time of having to post that article manually on all your social media accounts.

Set up the Recipes so that the RSS feed of your Blog is the Trigger and posting on your social media accounts, is the Outcome.

How does this help with SEO? Well, when an article is posted on your Blogspot or Tumblr, it also LINKS to your website. So just by posting one article, you can get 10-15 good quality links to your website, which powers up your website. These are great foundational links for any business to have and increase your trust in Google’s eyes.

Click Here To Get a Free Video Analysis of your Website’s SEO!

Share on Pinterest

Why Do You Get Hundreds of overseas Phone Calls & Emails for SEO?

By | outsourcing

If you own, operate or manage a business, you have most likely received hundreds of emails and phone calls from countries like India & Bangladesh offering SEO services and putting you on the first page of Google so all your troubles would go away. And these are just the ones that made their way through your Spam filter!

To understand this, let’s take a look at the journey of SEO and how often it has been searched on the Internet through the years

As you can see, it is being searched far less frequently in 2016 than it was back in 2004. This is more than likely associated with the fact that Google was advertising and marketing their brand very heavily back in 2004 to get more and more people using their Search Engine rather than Bing or Yahoo. They seem to have won that battle and essentially become the CocaCola of Search Engines.

Now, let’s take a look at WHERE most of these queries are coming from.

Even after accounting for the difference in population, it is curious that the searches for SEO are coming from countries where search engines aren’t actually used as often as they are in countries like Australia and the United States, especially to find local businesses.

The answer is because most SEO and Digital Marketing agencies based in Australia outsource their entire campaigns and work to overseas teams based in these countries. And several of these teams decide to market directly to businesses based in western countries as they realize the demand is high.

So how does it affect you as the business owner?

Links are a major part of the equation when it comes to Search Engine Marketing and improving your ranking. When your website is linked to another, it gets categorized as being of similar quality. Think of it as good neighbourhoods vs bad neighbourhoods.

When these links come from bad neighbourhoods (which they will if you have the same team working on hundreds of clients at a cheap rate), they will not only hurt your rankings but also damage your website’s potential for ranking in the future.

So if you have ever wondered why the SEO industry gets a bad reputation, it’s because SEO Agencies outsource their work to the overseas team, who build bad quality links to the website. The business owner is then left with a bad impression of SEO and a damaged website, while the SEO Agency moves on to find other businesses.

Moral of the story is quite simple. If someone promises to rank you for the services you provide, make sure to ask them if THEY rank for the services THEY provide.

At A.P. Web Solutions, we do not outsource ANY work overseas. Click here to see some of our rankings and testimonials.

Share on Pinterest
There are no images.

Attend Our Monthly SEO Meetups In Melbourne

By | SEO meetup events

Have you ever thought SEO was too complicated and everything you read about it makes it even more confusing?

The truth is that SEO can be simple, but not easy. First page rankings lead to traffic and traffic leads to revenue. So of course, it can’t be that easy!

If you want to learn the basics of SEO and how you can help Google understand what your website/business is about, then check out our monthly Melbourne SEO & Internet Marketing Meetup. The events are held monthly, generally on the last Tuesday of every month at 6 pm. We make Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing as simple is it should be. Come along and feel free to bring a friend with you!

You can join the group and RSVP at http://www.meetup.com/SEO-Melbourne/

Here’s a short video with more details about the Meetup and what you can expect:

If you can’t make it to the next event, join the Meetup group anyway so you get alerts about our future events. The events are also a great opportunity for you to network with other business owners in the area and talk about marketing strategies, even make connections and exchange referrals.

Share on Pinterest
There are no images.

What Are AMP Pages And What It Means For Your Business?

By | Uncategorized

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are part of a recent update that Google has been rolling out gradually this year. So let’s be futuristic and try to figure out how this could affect your business and your website in the months to come. We wouldn’t want to be hit by a Google penalty now, would we?

picture of cute panda artIf you followed Google’s announcements at all last year, then you have likely heard about the huge Mobile-Friendly update that hit in April 2015. For those of you that didn’t have Internet at the time, this update was when Google announced that they would practically be punishing websites that weren’t mobile-friendly by lowering their positions in the search engines. The main reason they did this is because they want to ensure the best possible user experience and since more and more people are now browsing the Internet on mobile devices, Google wants to make sure that websites that aren’t easy to navigate on the phone are not be shown in the first place.

Well, the AMP update is kind of an extension to last year’s “mobilegeddon” update. AMP is merely a very condensed version of your current web pages. When you have AMP installed on your website and someone tries to view it on their mobile device, instead of loading the regular version of your site (which would take longer and consume more data), it would load the AMP version of your website, which is more user-friendly and easier to browse.

When 2 or more websites are competing for the same position, Google always prefers the one that provides the best experience to its users and it gauges that by how up-to-date and relevant your website is. So you’re likely to get more visibility for your business if you go AMP. If you’re ever in a position where you can’t understand why the traffic you’re getting to your website is not converting, ask yourself if your viewers are having a hard time finding the information they’re looking for. Is your site easy to navigate through? Is the Call Us button prominent and easy to find, if you even have one? Is there a Find Us button that gives them instant directions?

At the end of the day, traffic is only as good as the sales it converts into. The more user-friendly your site is, the more Google will reward you with organic traffic. And as far as your website’s health is concerned, organic is always better.

Share on Pinterest

Secret Sauce To Get Likes and Shares On Social Media

By | social media

Is your business active on social media? Are you getting as many Likes and Shares as you want?

Everyone knows that having their business on popular social media sites is very important these days. Multi-million dollar companies actually discuss their “Twitter strategy” during their board meetings. It’s no secret that social media is a great source of traffic, whether it’s through likes, shares, retweets, pins, +1s or numerous others.
The tough part, however, is to actually get the traffic, to get a following. Distribution (posting content) is not the hard part. Reaching your audience, is. Here are some of the themes that tend to go “viral” time and again on social media: –

  • Controversy / negativity
  • Sympathy and Empathy
  • Humorous

Now imagine you own an Organic food grocery store. Business is good. But you want to try and sell more, perhaps expand to other areas and open more stores. A friend tells you about this thing called the Internet and how you can use it to sell. So you hesitantly step into the 21st century and start becoming more active on social media. You start posting on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc with pictures of organic food, articles about its benefits, even discounts and offers. But you only get a few Likes and Shares. Far less than what you hoped for.

Now take a look at this picture

picture of organic healthy meal on social media for branding
Imagine if you saw it on your News Feed on Facebook or your Twitter. It’s a nice picture. But you would probably scroll right past it. Back in 2004, it might have hit the spot. Today, simply because how overwhelmed you are by the barrage of daily stimulation, you’re likely to not even remember it in a few minutes unless you were REALLY hungry when you saw it.

But what if you captioned it with big visible text that read: “Share if you think the government should subsidize organic food products“. You would probably get more activity on your post. People tend to like blaming the government for almost everything.

Let’s turn it up a notch. What if you wrote: “Share if you think schools should only feed children with organic food“. What do you think your return is going to be on that one compared to putting up the post with a “30% discount” offer? Every parent would relate to it, share it, their friends who are also parents would share it and on and on. It is far more engaging than any article about benefits of organic food or how it prevents cancer. People aren’t on social media for more information, they can get that any time they want. They’re on social media to have their brains tickled (for the science nerds out there, think Dopamine stimulation)

Now don’t expect all these people to become your customers by next Tuesday. The point is, you are building a following, you are building your BRAND. People will buy when they are ready, as long as your brand keeps showing up occasionally on their Newsfeed. You do not need to interrupt their pattern by forcing your way into their lives with Ads. Speaking of Ads, did you know that a study of 10,000 people showed that 90% of them couldn’t even remember the right-hand side of a website? Because that is where Ad banners have lived since the Internet was born. Think about that the next time you pay $25 for a click.

Think outside the box. Create an inbound marketing strategy that will pay dividends in the long run. Use social media to your advantage. Look at what is trending and replicate it. Or keep bidding against your competitors to pay more for Ads. The choice is yours.

Till next time.

Share on Pinterest

5 Tips To Find The Right Digital Marketing Agency

By | search engine optimization, seo tips

1. Avoid SEO Agencies that offer Menu pricing. Any Company that offers fixed amount pricing for various “packages” is basically implying that the amount of effort that goes into ranking a local barber shop’s website is the same as a large national company going after a MUCH bigger market. So if you think that someone can increase your revenue by hundreds of thousands of dollars by charging you $500 per month, think again!

2. Make sure they have MULTIPLE first page rankings for themselves or their clients. Every marketing agency can make claims but can they back it up with actual results in competitive markets? If they can’t, what makes you think they can get results for you?

graphic rankings

3. Don’t rely on your “IT guy/team” for your online marketing decisions. Just because someone works around computers does not mean they know the first thing about Search Engine Optimization. Of course, for their own job security, they’re not likely to admit it. But that’s the truth. Because if they did, you would be on the first page already.

4. Make sure the actual work being done on your website is not being OUTSOURCED. Most firms do this (understandably to keep their costs down) but the quality of SEO work done in India or Philippines is so poor that it will eventually hurt your website more than anything. Once your website is penalized, it is extremely hard and time-consuming to revive. It’s always good to know who exactly is doing work on your website.

5. Choose someone who is a full-time professional. Due to the low barrier to entry in this profession, any person who reads a few blogs, watches a few YouTube videos and buys a $20 eBook online can call himself an expert while working a full-time job at McDonald’s to pay their bills. If they’re not skilled enough to, at least, sustain their costs entirely from an SEO business, then what are the odds they can increase YOUR revenue?

Share on Pinterest
There are no images.