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Local SEO Archives

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

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Most business owners have a very vague understanding of what SEO is. They think of it as “the Google thing” but are generally pretty indifferent to the idea of learning more about it or even implementing it themselves (thanks to a gazillion daily spammy emails)

But you’d be shooting yourself in the foot with this approach of only ever thinking about SEO if you feel the need to hire SEO specialists or only when your marketing budget allows it. There are plenty of things you can do for FREE that will put your business in a better position to be found online.

Understanding the basics of SEO helps you understand how the entire WEB works. It helps you get more out of everything you do online for your business, to maximize the impact of every piece of content you publish, from articles to videos and podcasts. No matter what you put on the Internet, helping search engines like Google understand what it is will yield a better ROI on the time and energy spent in creating and publishing that content.

“Social media may be trendy and more fun to talk about but Search actually puts money in the bank.”

So in this post, we will cover how to understand SEO, what makes Google tick and how you can get her to take you seriously.

Looks Will Only Get You So Far (Amen)

Think of your website as a car… your favorite sports car, like a Ferrari. And think of Google as the person you want to impress with that car. The result of how much Google gets impressed is your Ranking (your position in the search results for your keyword)

Google will rank you based on the ENGINE of that car rather than its design or look (thankfully)

The biggest mistake related to digital marketing that new business owners make, is that they invest a fair bit of time and energy and money into the design of their website, only to be disappointed later with the lack of phone calls the site generates. That’s because you made your car look pretty, but never bothered with the engine.

The SEO Engine of Your Website

So what are the parts of that engine and how do you build one that Google just cannot ignore?
In order of importance, they are:

  • Your URL
  • Your SEO Title
  • Your SEO (Meta) Description
  • Your Content

Note: Links are omitted from this list to keep it beginner friendly and limit to variables you can DIRECTLY control at no cost.

Help Google understand these 4 elements of every page on your website and you will be well ahead of most of your competitors. This gets you in the race!

Your biggest question right now probably is “How do I change my SEO Title and Description?”

This depends on the platform your website is built on. If it is WordPress, it is as simple as using a plugin like Yoast SEO, going to the Page you want to edit, scrolling to the bottom and editing the Google snippet. If you’re not using WordPress and not sure how to edit your SEO Titles, you can always… well, Google it.

This is what the Yoast snippet looks like when you’re editing your Page in WordPress:

Tip for the Advanced SEO Geeks: Go to Search Console (Webmaster Tools) -> Index > Fetch and Render and click on the “/” or the respective URL of any Page to see your Page EXACTLY as the Googlebot sees it. You will be surprised to find how much content is being blocked by fancy web design elements and that means Google is only seeing a portion of the website.

Make sure to include your main keywords in your Titles and Description. Just think about what phrases your clients or customers would type into Google. Do NOT just string a bunch of keywords together! It should still be legible and something people would want to click on.

If you’re a visual learner and like examples, check out this video in which I explain everything you need to know about tuning your website’s engine.

SEO 101 Video: The Blueprint for Local SEO

If you need help with finding your keywords, consider using a free plugin called Keywords Everywhere. It integrates with your Browser and shows the number of people searching for your keywords when you Google it.

Sorry, Your Story’s Just Not Good Enough

Ok, so now your car has a decent engine… well done!
But if you want to take Google on a ride, that engine’s going to need some fuel.

You see, changing your SEO Titles, Descriptions and content, as important as it is, is still just YOUR story about YOUR business.
Just as you would trust a referral or a recommendation from a friend or a family member, Google will trust you a lot more if other people are saying nice things about your business. In the world of the Internet, links are recommendations. As an SEO agency, our job is to find the best quality and most relevant sites to link to our clients’ websites, which increase their trust and rankings.

Building Foundation Links

Links are the fuel for your engine and they’re going to make your car actually go places.

I promised to keep things beginner-friendly… so what is a super-simple and easy way to get some great links to get Google to take you more seriously?

Well, think about it… what are some of the most powerful websites in the world?

Social media sites! And a lot of them allow you to create BUSINESS profiles and include links to your website.

You might have heard of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn… but did you know there are HUNDREDS of these sites?

So how about creating profiles on 30 of these websites and linking them to your site? They’re free and there is not a better and safer way to build the foundation of your website than building links from these ultra-powerful websites. Go to knowem.com to get some ideas for which sites you should build your profiles on. You don’t have to use their (over-priced) service. You can also order one of our SEO setup packages which have a one-time payment fee they all include creating social profiles (and much more!)

All of this you can do at no cost. So there is really no excuse to not making some effort to help Google understand your business and your content.

Wait… that’s not true. Excuses are actually plenty, but spots on the first page… there are only 10.

A.P. Web Solutions is a digital marketing agency, specializing in SEO services Melbourne. Check the Home page at www.apwebsolutions.com.au for more information.

Top 5 Proven SEO Tips to Make Your Website Sizzle Instantly

By | Internet Marketing Service, search engine optimization, seo tips | No Comments

Most of the time, SEO is a slow process and it can take months to see results from it. Compared to other forms of online marketing such as PPC or social media, it requires a lot more patience.

Looking for a deal? Find out more about SEO costs and pricing in Australia

BUT, not every aspect of SEO takes months to work. Check out these (relatively) quicker changes you can make to start generating more traffic for your business.

Create and Optimize a Google My Business Listing

You MUST have a Google My Business listing! You’re leaving money on the table if you’re not using this free service from Google. If you do not have one, watch this video to see how you can set one up easily.

And if you have one already, there’s a lot you can do to optimize this listing and get ahead of the pack. Check out our 101 video to learn how to optimize your Google My Business listing to increase your local rankings.

 

Improve Your Conversion

Traffic is only as good as it CONVERTS into phone calls, sales, and revenue
Make sure your PHONE NUMBER is visible no matter where the visitor is on your site. An easy way to do this is to make it prominent in the top right corner of the site, visible on all pages along with your Navigation Menu.
Have some FAQ’s on your landing pages (can be your Home page if you have a small site)
Address the most common questions your prospects have.
Add some Trust elements, display your qualifications, testimonials, News or Magazine publications of your business etc.

 

Add an SSL Certificate

Having an SSL certificate adds an https:// to your website, which would otherwise just be http:// (without the “s”). The “s” stands for Secure.
In October this year, Google sent out emails to website owners (you will have received one if you are signed up to Google Webmaster Tools) that if your website is NOT secure, Chrome will start displaying Warning Signs to visitors on your site (obviously a big No No). This used to apply just to sites that carry out transactions but now applies to ALL websites.
So get in touch with your web designers or Hosts or your SEO consultant Adelaide and ask them to install the SSL certificate on your site.

 

Improve Your Page Loading Speed

If your visitors have to wait more than 3 seconds for your site to even load, chances are… they’re going to hit the BACK button. As far as Google is concerned, that’s a vote against your site and affects your rankings.
Use the PageSpeed Insights tool to analyse your loading speeds. If it is below 60% (at least), it needs to be addressed.
One of the biggest reasons for slow speeds is over sized images. Make sure to shrink your images before they are uploaded to the site.

 

Make sure your website is Mobile Optimized

Mobile friendly and mobile optimized are 2 different things.
You can check here if your site is mobile friendly (and most are these days). But this does not mean it is mobile optimized.


Is the phone number prominent and clickable on a smartphone? Is there a Directions button your customers can click? These are the kind of factors that affect conversion highly on mobile as the screen is smaller, so the information presented must be concise with clear call-to-actions.

The resource link below has 5 videos that are all very beginner-friendly. The first one, in particular, explains SEO in a simple and easy-to-understand way and something you can implement right away. Others are about setting up your Google My Business listing, optimizing that listing, finding your keywords and powering up your website.

What is Local SEO and How Can It Help Your Business?

By | Internet Marketing Service, search engine optimization, seo tips | No Comments

A local business can easily grow their business and attract more customers by employing Local SEO strategies. This article will explain what Local SEO is and why the use of local search engine optimization can help your business with online visibility.

Local SEO is a tool you can use to market on the internet. Local SEO consultants will help a business by promoting the product and service they are offering to the customer at the exact time they are online looking for a product or a service. Local SEO consists of the use of a number of strategies. These include improving the rankings on the search engines like Google, business directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Superpages, Google My Business listing, Yellowbook, Bing Places for Business page, online reviews, localized content on your page, among other strategies.

Millions of people go online and use local search every day to look for businesses in their respective areas. SEO services can increase the chances of your business getting found by these potential customers.

Search Engine Optimization is a targeted method of marketing. You will be marketing yourself to people who need the products and services you are offering, unlike traditional forms of marketing where business marketed to people who were not even interested in what was being offered. This means your prospective customers will be seeing your business on their own terms.

10 Reasons Why Businesses Need Local SEO

1. The number of people going online to look for local business is increasing

The number of people turning to the internet to find business has continued to rise. These statistics paint the picture;
96% of people with PC conduct local searches
46% of searches on Google are local
64% of local customers turn to their internet (search engine and directories) to find local businesses
Half of ALL mobile searchers are looking for information like phone number and address of businesses
78% of all local mobile searches will end in offline purchase
(Sources: Business2community.com and searchengineland.com)

2. Local SEO is targeted and timely

get a free SEO report for your websiteThe main reason behind local search is finding a specific business. the second being to find a product or service. People searching are trying to find a specific business they can go to, but many of them don’t know any specific one in mind when they start the process of searching. By using local search tactics, an SEO company can position your business and promote the products or services you are offering when they are looking for your type of business. Connecting with your customer when they need you is the perfect chance. Not sure about how good or bad your website’s SEO is? Get a FREE SEO REPORT here to get an idea!

3. High Conversion Levels

Online directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, Citysearch, etc. will show the name of the business, phone number, address, and in some instances additional information like business description and menu. It is common to find local directories dominating the first page of the results. Local directory marketing will provide a higher conversion rate when compared to traditional forms of advertising. There are some directories that can provide up to 50%. What this means is that you will have one actual customer out of two leads by listing your business in as many directories as possible.

4. Mobile Internet is Growing

The number of smartphone users is on a rise, meaning people can easily search for local business while they are on the go. In Australia, the number of people using their phones to access the internet is higher than desktop, with smartphones at 51% and desktop 42%. Local SEO works on both mobile internet and PC. This means you cannot miss out on any potential customer.

5. Great Return on Investment

One great thing about SEO is the fact that there is very little wasted exposure, unlike traditional forms of advertising like leaflets, newspaper, and direct mail where you could reach out to people not interested in what you are offering. You will be reaching them when they need you. This is why working with an SEO consultant can be very cost-effective and efficient.

6. Only 44% of Business Have Claimed Their Google My Business Listings

Google My Business is a FREE listing that Google gives to a business that claims it. Getting listed will increase the chance of showing at the top of the search engine result page. The results you see at the top of the page in a “3-pack”, also known as the “map pack” are Google My Business listings:

Many businesses out there have not been able to realize the power of marketing online. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to get a head start over your competition before they find out and do the same. By the time they will be getting on board, you would have already moved higher in the search engines. And this is just one tool that you have at your disposal. There are several more that can give you important information that you can use to improve your position in the search engines. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Essential SEO Tools.

7. It is Still Free (most of it)

You don’t have to pay for anything to claim you Google My Business, Bing Places for Business and many other business directories. This is free promotion for your business. Another free source of traffic that many business owners ignore, is Apple Maps, which enables Siri and Voice Search on iOs devices (iPhones) to find your business!

8. Only 20% of Adults Get Their News from Print Newspapers

Advertising on traditional forms is not a good investment because it is on the decline. The number of people reading newspapers has continued to fall, with some figures showing that there has been an 80% decrease in readers in the past 20 years. Why is this happening? Because people have turned to the online world for their news and local business information.
(Source: Poynter.org)

9. 88% of Local Consumers tend to Trust Online Business Reviews

Many businesses know the power of mouth, and how it can make or break a reputation. Work on your business’s online reputation by asking your customers to leave a positive review about your business, and this will, in turn, attract many customers.
(Source: Local Consumer Review Survey)

10. People Rely on the Internet to Find Your Business

Many people rely on the internet to find more information about products and services. You will miss out on these prospective customers if you don’t make an effort of appearing at the search engine result page. Putting in place Local search engine optimization strategies for the business to show up whenever a person searches for a product or service you are offering.

Grow Your Business With Local SEO

Search engines have been trying the best to provide their users with accurate local search engine results, and this is your chance to get free advertising. You need to take full advantage of local SEO to boost your business before your competition joins in too. All types of business ranging from cafes, plumbers, florist, accountant, etc can get the benefits of Local SEO. With that said, there are some industries and professions which get a higher ROI from an SEO marketing strategy and these are businesses which typically have a high dollar value per sale, such as lawyers and plastic surgeons.

Search Engine Optimization can be greatly beneficial for businesses that want to increase their bottom line and are willing to invest in their future. It does take more time than some other online marketing strategies, but it pays the dividends long-term.

A.P. Web Solutions (apwebsolutions.com.au) is a Search Engine Optimization agency, working with Australian businesses to help them scale their revenue and generate leads through Google traffic.

Google Updates: Security Warnings HTTPS & Google My Business Posts

By | Internet Marketing Service, search engine optimization, SEO News & Updates | No Comments

There have been 2 main updates from Google this month:

Google’s Security Warning

You MAY have received an E-mail from Google recently about the importance of securing your website with an SSL certificate.

converting your website to HTTPS, installing SSL certificate SEO update

If you have NOT received this email, it is probably because you do not have Google Search Console installed on your website, which is the only channel Google uses to communicate with website owners.

The email warns website owners that starting October 2017, Google Chrome (the most popular internet browser) will start displaying “Not Secure” warnings to visitors to your website, unless you have the SSL certificate installed (which converts your website from HTTP:// to HTTPS://).

This is another step from Google towards their long-term goal of making ALL websites secure with SSL certificates and marking all others as “not secure”. This 2014 blog post from Google’s official blog explains their long-term goal of making all websites secure with the https encryption and also hints that it is a ranking signal.

In the past, this applied mainly to websites that carried out transactions and where users had to enter payment details within the site itself. So it was mainly a consideration for E-commerce stores and such. However, this new update changes the landscape even for local SEO and businesses that do not transact from their website.

So jump on the safe side and install an SSL certificate on your website!

We are providing this service for a $150 one-time fee per website. If you would like us to do this for you, click here to pay by Paypal. And please note that you must provide Hosting information for us to be able to install the SSL certificate on your website. You can also ORDER THROUGH THIS PAGE.

Once you pay, we will get in touch by email requesting the information we need.

 

Google My Business Posts

Yet another great update from Google to enable businesses to make Posts that appear directly on the results page!

In other words, when people search for your business name, in addition to your Maps listing showing on the right, a “post” can also now appear just below it. These posts are much like Facebook and Twitter updates, except that they appear directly on Google and people do not need to follow you or even know about your business, to read them.

They can be used to promote events, discounts, promotions etc. Here’s an example screenshot, with the Google Post, highlighted in red:

A.P. Web Solutions provides digital marketing & SEO services to businesses Australia-wide. We have recently started working with a startup company operating from Tasmania and aims to revolutionize the options available for Australians to buy fresh edible products online. 

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

By | Internet Marketing Service, search engine optimization, SEO News & Updates | No Comments

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. These are exactly the kind of updates that we keep track of at our local SEO Melbourne agency to help our clients stay ahead of their competitors.

Here’s what AMP Pages look like…

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? Consider getting an expert’s take on what your website looks like and how it can be improved to attract and convert prospects into paying customers. Click here to find out more.

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.

Can’t be bothered following Google’s ever-changing rules and algorithms? Hire an SEO consultant and let us take care of it for you. A.P. Web Solutions offers SEO services with guaranteed rankings. See apwebsolutions.com.au for more information!