Archive for Sutherland Shire Business

Online Marketing Sutherland Shire: Advice For Local Business Owners

In this – I have to say – horribly staged / canned video, Koozai’s Digital Marketing Manger talks very sensibly about local SEO and  how you can use it to work for you.  It might be staged but it’s still worth a watch if you are trying to create a local presence here in the Shire.  Skip to about 10mins in to save your time.

They cover;

  • Local Google SEO On-Page Techniques
  • Local Listings and Link Building
  • Social Media — How this can help with Local Google SEO
  • How to gain online reviews
  • Citations — What they are and how to get them
  • The “Don’ts” of Local Google SEO

Read More→

Six Tips For Using Video For Local Sutherland Shire SEO

A Video for Sutherland Shire Businesses on How to Use Video for SEO.

I recently wrote about local SEO in the Sutherland Shire  and this is a continuation on the theme  – this time on how to use video.  Videos are simple, fast and easy to produce these days using an IPhone or a digital camera. So there really is no reason why a local Shire business can’t get a local introducer video up on the web and get ranked for some local Google search terms.

Have you looked at your important sutherland shire based search terms to see if there is an opportunity to get a video on page one?

If you spot an opportunity, give video a try. Use YouTube and connect it up your Google local business pages to get your local presence a leg up.

 

Video Transcription

The first thing to know is that your name address and phone number – what we call NAP – is critical. You should use the same presentation of your name address and phone number (the phone number needs to be a local number) throughout the web.

You need to use it the exactly the same – on your website as you do on your local directory listings like SuperPages and True Local and in Yellow Pages etc. You need to use it exactly the same on your Google + business page and your Google local business pages.

Another thing that’s important for SEO is that you use YouTube. You could use many different video sites to put your videos there, but YouTube,we find is the best, because it’s most likely to show up in search because Google own it and it’s the second largest search engine anyway.

Put the name address and phone number in your video. So for example the, name address and phone number of my business is Online Business Builders, 205 Georges River Crescent, Oyster Bay, New South Wales 2225 and the phone number is 02 8003 4356. That would put the name address and phone number in the video.

At the same time load the name, address and phone number into that video description area on YouTube. They give you a very large area in which to write a description about the video and it’s a good idea to put that in there and at the same time make sure you put active hyperlink from your video to your website. Make sure that you put http:// and and don’t just put www because that’s not active live link.

At the same time tag your video with some local video tags and in the place where YouTube allows you to tell it where the video was made and when it was made put your name address phone number to Geo-tag the video.

How to Geo-Tag a video with your address

How to Geo-Tag a video with your address

Link your video to your other Google properties like your Google Places listing and your Google+ business pages. Lastly get the video from YouTube transcribed and embed the video and the content of the transcription on a page or post your website and within the website. Use a video site map as well.

So there you have it. Make sure that you use a consistent name address profile,link throughout as much as possible and connect up all the Google properties and wherever Google decides to show video for local searches, it’s likely that your video will show up.

 

Sutherland Shire SEO: 11 Key Tactics The Pros Use

Why Sutherland Shire Businesses Need SEO

Are you running a Sutherland Shire business? Are you always looking for local customers?

You could be operating a local retail store in Gymea or Cronulla or you could be offering professional services like the doctors, dentists or lawyers do in Miranda.

It’s hard to know what to do with your online marketing – I struggle at times too. You probably know you need to do something because the good old yellow pages just doesn’t work anymore. But you don’t want waste your time and money doing stuff that does not work either.

Getting It Wrong Can Cost You

If you do the wrong thing, you could end up:

  • Putting money into you Sutherland Shire SEO using overseas link builders who know nothing about the Sutherland Shire area. Read why old style link building is dead.
  • Wasting time and effort creating a Twitter or Pinterest profile and getting a whole 1000’s of followers only to find they are all based in the USA and can’t buy from you.
  • Creating pages on your website  only to find that there are no searchers looking for those terms misleading keywords analysis or worse still not doing any keyword analysis. I recently spoke with someone who wanted to target the search term “cloud computing Cronulla” but there was clearly no traffic for that search term at the time.
  • Going after broad competitive keywords that seem useful, only to find it’s expensive to get traction and then discovering you actually merely get 1-2% of your total visits for that term.

Business Owners Are Deluged With Offers For SEO

Call Centre

Business owners get regular telemarketing calls

A recent survey by Bright Local in the US found that business owners were bombarded with offers.  When asked “ How many times per week are you emailed/called by an internet marketing or SEO company wanting to sell you their services?” The findings were worrying:

  • 35% of  SMBs are contacted every day by a search agency.
  • 57% of SMBs are contacted at least 2-3 times per week by a search agency.

The vast majority of SMBs are contacted by prospecting marketing /SEO companies on a weekly basis – one of my clients as contacted 7 times in one day recently. Do you feel hounded by these ‘customer-hungry’ agencies. What about that calls -are they irritating? I’m not surprised if you do…I find them irritating.

Remember most of these offers are likely dangerous to your online health. I’ve written a post about link building tactics you should avoid here.

There’s No Real Escape – You Do Need To Do Local SEO

If you have a physical address in the Sutherland Shire and expect people to go there, you should be doing SEO for that location. Most business owners will be able to increase sales with the right type of SEO strategy.

Here are 11 SEO tactics that nearly always a good investment in future lead and sales growth for a local business and practically guarantee a reliable outcome – nothing is certain in SEO.

1. Local Keyword Testing and Strategy

Focusing on keywords is as slightly over done activity, but it is a high ROI tactic. Rankings for the best keywords can really help your business effectiveness, and if you don’t get it bang on, you can miss out on a lot of leads and sales. The first thing you need to do is work out broadly what search terms Shire people might use to find a business such as yours.

Until recently, you could get this data from Google analytics. However, Google has stopped showing this information in Google analytics. It is still accessible and Google Webmaster tools and the AdWords keyword planner.

Do a survey

One way to get the information is to ask your customers the kind of search terms they use to find you if they didn’t use your business name.

So let’s say you’re an accountant in Miranda. During the conversation with your clients, it’s well worthwhile to ask what search terms they might type into Google find a business such as yours. You would find the expected terms such as “accountant Miranda” but you might just as well find terms like “cost of accounting for small business,” “top tax accountant in Miranda” and “ Sutherland Shire forensic accounting.” Build on this list with some brainstorming or tag the phrases offered with local suburbs to develop more search terms.

Once you know this, it’s a simple matter of going to Google and searching for those terms in seeing if you show up. Hopefully, you do.

Test the terms with AdWords

If you are uncertain if there is any traffic for a search term, you can easily test these phrases with some AdWords advertising. You don’t need to spend a bomb here, but it might be worth it to save chasing after keyword phrases with no search traffic.

2. Blogging

Once you know the keywords your customers use – write about them and related topics on your blog. Adding regular blog posts to your site has several positive impacts:

  1. It increases the total size of your site and it’s authority.
  2. It means it your site will be found for more keywords as your content reach increases
  3. You will attract more traffic from both of the above.

3. Know What’s Going On With Your Website

Make sure your website has Google analytics tracking set up in it. Google analytics is free, and it’s daft not to have a website so can understand what’s going on and was traffic is visiting the website. Even so, when I searched “accountants Miranda” and look at the first seven sites on the page 3 of 7 didn’t have Google analytics installed.

Ask your Webmaster if they have installed Google analytics on your website and get regular reports about the traffic coming to your site. It is also helpful install Google’s tag manager because it allows you to track much more easily, what is going on as people visit the website. Here’s Google’s info about Tag Manager

Particularly, it allows you to track events that happen on the website. Events are things such as clicks, video views and downloads. It can be helpful to understand the effectiveness of elements of your website, sales pages and the like. It’s a little complex to set up. Here are a couple of useful  links.

Furthermore, you should set goals for your website like the number of phone calls generated from the website, the number of contact requests or product sales generated from the website. You can set up goals and values within Google analytics and get reports on them regularly.

Here’s how this comes together use an example from the Cronulla Day Spa – which is set up pretty well for this.

Cronulla Dayn Spa - Goals And Events

Events and Goals on the Cronulla Day Spa Site

You could use Google Tag manager to track the number of external clicks to the respective social media sites of the Day Spa. In addition, the business could set up a goal in analytics to track the number of people who have entered their email address and subscribed to the email list. This would help them to figure out  if adding an offer to the heading such as “subscribe to get special offers” increases the subscription rate. It’s a great way of testing.

For sites such as this who offer online sales, it it also very useful to create a sales funnel to track the success rate of the shopping process as per the diagram below – the measured goal would be the the number and value of sales of Gift Vouchers.

 

an example of a sales funnel

An example of a sales funnel for Gift voucher sales on the Cronulla Day Spa site

Having baseline information allows you to make changes to the site in the data oriented way so that you can improve sales. You can see that knowing the ratio of people who add to cart vs. those who finally purchase gives you a great opportunity to test alternative approaches to checking out.

Information is power.

 

Address Technical Issues

4. Speed Up Your Site

The speed your pages load is an important issue these days. Google uses it as a ranking factor.

How long does it take for your site to load the first time?  Check it sometime when you are not in the office where it will load more quickly due to caching.

Slow to load is likely to annoy many of your web visitors. Cable, video and high speed mobile have all increased people’s expectation of how fast your site loads. Google’s own research reports that people consider sites to be slow when they take more than two seconds to load. Is you slow reducing your overall search engine ranking and your sales?

Some great tools for testing out site speed and deciding what to change are: Google’s own page speed tool, Yahoo’s Y Slow browser add-on for Firefox or Chrome and site-speed testing tool from webpagetest.org which has the advantage of testing the speed of loading locally in Sydney.

I put my business website through one of the tools and this as a result I got. You can see that it shows me exactly where I should be improving:

Website Result for Online Business Builders

Website Speed Test Result for Online Business Builders

 

Using these tools you can easily find out if your site is slower than average and what is causing it. You can see that this page loads fairly quickly, and that it can be improved by caching, using as content distribution network and better managing the social media icon downloads.

5. Other Technical Issues

There are other technical issues that can cause problems with your website.

Make sure that you have set the domain version for your website. For example, search engines see www and non-www versions of the same pages as different pages – and they can be seen as duplicate content . This is easy to check, just enter www.yourdomainname.com.au into the browser and see what returns and then try it again without the www at the beginning. An example of this is http://petcare2000.com.au and http://www.petcare2000.com.au there are basically two duplicate pages and this is not helping the companies SEO.

Other techie things that can be worthwhile:

  • Check your content for flash or iframes and get rid of them if you can. If you have a lot of these on your website can restrict crawling by the search engine spiders.
  • Make sure that you are using static URLs and that your URLs are not too long.
  • Check for broken links on your site and get them fixed.
  • Create and upload a valid XML site map and submit it to Google Webmaster tools and Bing Webmaster tools.

One good way checking for all these issues is to run your website through the Screaming Frog SEO Spider analysis tool. You can use it free for a few times, but it does not allow you to save your output.

Whilst it’s vital that you incorporate links coming to your website, don’t spam. By taking an ethical route to your Search engine marketing tactics, you’re sure to enjoy significant gains over the long haul.

6. On-Page SEO Factors

You might also benefit from these additional tactics that improve how search engines view your web pages:

  1. The page needs to have good content that supplies a demand (answers the question your searcher is typing into Google). Supplying an internet marketing demand can involve a video, image or sound, and text. If the content does a good job as meeting the demand, then Google is going to rank it well. Is the content on your website the best answer to your searcher’s question?
  2. The good content needs to be linkable. Visitors need to be able to link to or share the content on the website. A web page with content that gets links, and shares is likely be ranked higher and dive more traffic to your site.
  3. The page needs a title tag – often called a meta title tag. This is the second most important on-page factors for a web page. Search engines use title tags for ranking purposes as well.
  4. The page URL must clearly show a hierarchy of information on the page. A hierarchy of information is used to determine the relevancy of the web page by the search engines that are reading the page.
  5. Where you use images on your pages, make sure they have keywords in the names – not DSC110203 etc. . Also use the Alt-image tag and caption to describe the image. Make sure the image is described in context – much as I have above.
  6. If you use video, make sure you use a video site map to tell Google what the image is about.
  7. A good web page will have unique content, cover specific bit of information with a lot of depth, and link back to its category page or home page.

7. Use Schema Mark Up

On-page mark up permits Google to appreciate the information on your web page and deliver richer search engine results to users. This makes it simpler for individuals to get relevant facts online. Mark up even enables new tools and applications that make use of the structure.

Commonly used Schema are:

There are lots of other things people are able to mark up but these are the main ones that apply to local business.

8. Claim and Optimise Your Google Local Listing

Many of the elements that are pertinent to national SEO are also applicable to local SEO. One important thing to do is to use your business name and address consistently across the web. First, decide on a standard format for your business name, address and phone number. Then, make sure you use it on every page of your website.

Use that same format in your Google local listing and complete it fully.

Use your city, and suburb names in your websites title tags, meta description and in the content of our site. I’ve already mentioned Schema mark up – use that for getting your local business details listed on your website. Yoast’s local SEO plugin does a great job of this if you have a WordPress website. It also adds some other mark up to your site such as KML files, Google maps and opening hours.

Find some local directories in your area. Websites such True Local, and www.VisitTheShire.com. You can find them fairly easily by entering the phone number or address of a few competitors into Google search with double quotes around them to get exact match results of the places your competitors are already listed.

Searching for local directories

How to search for a phone number in ” ” to reveal local directories.

So if you wanted so see all the listings for the 4wdServiceCentre.com.au, you would find their phone number on Google (who uses yellow pages?) And then enter “(02) 9526 1881” into Google Search. These results show all the listings they have online. If you are in the same or similar market, this list will give you a good starter for directories that you could develop your own listings.

Just make sure you use that same name, address and phone profile you developed to complete the  local listings.

9. Get Customer Reviews

Get your customers to provide online reviews – especially on your Google Local presence. Reviews help boost the ranking of your local listing so it shows up higher in the suburb search. It also helps it show in related suburbs. If your happy customer has a smart phone, get them to put in a review via the Google maps app. Open maps, search for your business name, select the name and scroll down to rate and review and leave a rating – it’s that easy. If they do it any other way, they will need to do it via Google + which makes it more complicated. Here’s how local hair and beauty salon Jamie Carroll might collect reviews from customers via their own smart phone.

How to get reviews on a smart phone

How to get Google Local reviews via a smart phone.

 

10. Mobilise Your Site For Better Searcher Experience

Given the relative importance of mobile search these days, there are three things you critically need to take care of in relation to mobile.

Your website needs to be able to be seen in mobile browsers, either as a specific standalone, mobile site or a responsive site which flexes for into different shapes based on the browser version used to look at the site:

  • Desktop
  • Tablet
  • Smart phone

As previously mentioned you need to get onto Google+ Local because it’s these sites that Google shows first for people searching for businesses such as yours on a mobile.

You should also make sure your ads are showing up properly on mobile. If you are using AdWords, for example, you need to set your mobile bids correctly based on the likelihood of a sale. For some industries such as cafes, or restaurants, a mobile caller could be of more value then a desktop called.

Coupled with this, you need to make sure that your landing pages are also good to look at on a smart phone.

I just searched for electricians Jannali on my phone, and you can see the results show that AdWords and Google Places listings show up first.

Screen shot from the Jannali Electricians search on mobile

The search result for the Jannali Electricians mobile search

However, an electrician who sets their site up correctly is going to get most of the business. The first two site from B’Bright Electrical and  OptiLink are not mobile responsive as you can see in the images below. This makes it difficult for a searcher to even find out about the business. The other three listings in Google Places are not connected to a website at all and offer the searcher no information to help them in the buying process.

bright electrical

Optilink

 

11. Off Page Factors

Off-page factors refer to the text and inbound linking from other web site pages to your business website. This type of off-site factor is more difficult to control – and more rife with spam tactics. Search engines focuses on these off page factors to determine certain relevancy for search results. You can obtain links naturally when your content is shared or others link to what your what you are doing.

  • Here are some ways that you could get useful local online links.
    Offer your expertise to local media
    Interview someone of importance in the community
    Feature an important business or person on your blog
    Give reviews to local business you have patronised – business owners will often refer to them
    Sponsor or help a local charity

These 11 SEO factors will help your business gain more leads and sales in a way that both has a reasonable payback and is safe and effective.   There are plenty of other local SEO tactics…what have you found that works or does not work for that matter?

Adwords Marketing: 6 Common Mistakes To Avoid

Are you new to Adwords and stuck on how to set up your first campaign? Do you want to avoid the trap that most first-time users fall into when getting started?  We manage AdWords for a few Sutherland Shire businesses and we often find these mistakes in Adwords accounts they set up themselves.  Read on to see how to avoid them. Read More→