SEO friendly URLs are URLs that work well for both visitors and search engines.
Friendly URLs are a powerful tool and creating a well-formed and descriptive URL structure should be a fundamental aspect of any website SEO strategy.
The competition for search engine rankings has never been higher, and for good reason. Over 90% of consumers don’t even look past the first page of search engine results!
While everyone wants their website to be at the top of search engine results, most small business websites have small errors that are preventing them from reaching the first page of Google.
One of the main advantages of friendly URL structure is that they improve a website’s performance in search engine results by highlighting keywords in the URL itself. Having an SEO-friendly URL structure can help search engines and users alike navigate your website more easily, potentially giving you an edge over the competition.
They also create a more memorable address for the end user which in turn makes it easier to share your URL’s in promotion materials or campaigns.
Take it slowly
The key to better URLs is to design them properly from the start, don’t rush it’s important to really think about the URL.
Create a simple descriptive directory structure that relates to your content. Use the directory structure to describe the type of content to the end user and provide a structure. For example, if you have a website showcasing your web design work along with a blog where you discuss web design topics, we good URL structure would be www.mydomain.com/portfolio; www.mydomain.com/blog
Keywords are key
This is a significant benefit for SEO because keywords in URLs are highlighted in search engine results pages (SERPs) of Google and other search engines. For example, if you had a page displaying top mobile phones a good URL would be www.example.com/products/phones/best-mobile-phones.
It’s easy to go overboard but remember file names should be concise; if you’re creating very long ones then you need to rethink your directory stone structure.
Once you’ve mastered the very basics, there are a number of advanced URL strategies that are worth investigating including 301 redirects, 404 handling, upper vs lower case URLs and XML sitemaps all of which should be added to any budding SEO consultants toolbox.
Need Some Help With Your Website’s URL structure?
We help business owners across Australia grow their businesses using progressive digital marketing and website design tactics. How can we help you do the same?
If you need help with your website URL structure please feel free to contact us today for a FREE SEO Consultation with one of our Sydney based SEO experts.
Are you using data to from your Google Adwords pay per click campaign to full effect?
Pay per click (PPC) is a highly effective marketing tool but many organisations get it wrong. Wasted spend on PPC is huge largely because companies bid on the wrong terms and fail to synchronize their paid and natural search campaigns.
The immediacy of Google Adwords can be a gripping pursuit, but the keyboard data it reveals can be used to your advantage in the long term.
Using Adwords to improve SEO performance.
Focusing on your clickthrough and conversions is essential to success in the realm of sponsored advertising, but if you’re not using Adwords to glean popular keyword impressions – which could bolster your natural search coverage or even stimulate traditional marketing activities you may be missing an available opportunity.
So what can you do to ensure that these search engine marketing techniques work alongside each other to maximize return on your digital advertising spend?
First and foremost, careful preparation of a paid search account is at the heart of a very successful combined natural and PPC search campaign.
While it is very tempting to rush and get your PPC account live, but with a researched approach releasing the campaign only when complete, will ensure your Adwords campaign will have greater success.
Paid search campaigns should be built around popular industry keywords but also use the terms that are successfully finding your site through natural search. Building content around the keyword data in your analytics package will also help you increase website traffic to your site.
SEO Landing Pages
Ensure that all landing pages are just as SEO friendly as your homepage. A well-optimised landing page will help you to get better search positions in natural and paid listings. If you need to use isolated landing pages away from the rest of your site and make sure there are well crafted in order to increase your Google Adwords quality score.
A well-optimised landing page should also match the Adwords ad copy so if you are advertising “Blue Widgets” then your landing page should be about “Blue Widgets”. Having a well-optimised landing page will ensure a better quality score which should also lead to cheaper clicks.
Users arriving from paid search listings should be sent straight to the relevant landing page. Information on landing pages should be clear and concise and a user should always know what the next step is. This is the key to a successful sales conversion. If users are unable to find what they are looking for they will give a fast!
To stay ahead of the game in natural and paid search it’s vital that you study traffic and user data. Creating new landing pages, adding keywords and advertisements to your paid campaigns and shortening user journeys move you in the right direction.
Knowing which search terms really work for you is the key to search engine optimisation success. Even if you’re only interested in improving your natural search visibility it is worth running an Adwords campaign as a data-mining exercise for a few weeks, whatever your budget. To take it further you could drill deeper and cross-reference more niche terms applicable to your business using the Google keyword suggestion tool and other tools available, to gauge advertising competition and general search volume.
Choose your keywords carefully. Vanity or trophy key phrases can prove costly, but if you’re feeling daring experiment by upping your budget for a few days and monitoring the results.
Testing and iteration are the prime ingredients of Adwords success. For most websites is vital to find a balance of more niche terms and integrate them carefully into the relevant pages of your site.
However, you prize this information, avoid stuffing keywords arbitrarily into your text and title tags just because you believe they are the most popular search terms. Use data judiciously and engage a seasoned SEO copywriter to ensure that the keywords you believe in all actually work.
Always remember that true success in Google Adwords isn’t going to come from how much you spend, but how well you spend it. So, whether you’re deciding to sign with a Google Adwords agency or not, make sure you take the time to consider the needs of your business.
A well-optimised website with rankings of prominent search engines such as Google is the Holy Grail of Internet marketing. But how do you go about the process of search engine optimisation? Whether you want to customize your own website or appoint a specialist SEO agency to do the hard work for you the road is paved with pitfalls, false and hope and a plain lack of direction.
Sometimes what you do wrong is every bit as important as what to do right. Make sure your search engine optimisation gets off on the right foot and stays on the straight and narrow by avoiding these 7 SEO sins.
Putting Search Engines Before Users
Optimisation is the process your website undergoes in order to help achieve the best possible search engine listings. The reason for a hankering after number one ranking? To attract targeted website traffic. Its therefore surprising how many websites forget about their human users in the quest for search engine success.
A text heavy page can be an instant turnoff. Organise your content so users can drill down and find the information they require easily. Ensure each section has consistent text title and image tags and catchy descriptive headers. Cramming as many keywords as possible into each page may yield short-term SEO results but is guaranteed to turn off human eyes. Well written content is much more likely to result in a sale and win over the search engine web bots.
Link spamming sees the website chasing after as many links as possible using spurious excuses to answer forum questions or social media discussions in order to build external links.
The reality here is that the links gathered are of little relevant use and of no commercial value. Search engines rate links based on the authority of the sites that come from, so using link spamming techniques actually devalues the site’s authority. A much better policy is to use that time spent harvesting poor quality links for a more strategic SEO campaign. By focusing on link building efforts on relevant sites, optimisation activities will also target the desired demographic.
Disregarding Link Text
The anchor text of the link should be written as carefully as possible. Search engines such as Google can you use anchor text as an indicator of internal links ( links from a page of the site to another). Unimaginative anchor text such as “click here” also does little to add value to the user experience.
Not Tracking Progress
It’s impossible to assess just how effective SEO activity is if there is no record of or benchmark set at the starting point of the campaign. Tracking is an often forgotten stage of SEO, with many people thinking the best measure of progress is simply improved organic listings. Not so. The number of sales and new search inclusions are important metrics indicating the success of the SEO strategy. A reliable and regular report detailing these factors can be used to decide on any necessary changes in direction and assess the impact of any new activity.
Choosing The Wrong Keywords
Some SEO companies propose guaranteed listings for obscure keywords, showing just how easy it is to generate page one rankings returns with little competition. But keywords involving product names and numbers are of little use in a strategic optimisation program. Optimisation for “flat screen TV” would be a good goal for a company selling flat-screen TVs. Optimisation for Sony flat screen AB12 3356bbb may not.
Don’t focus on too many keywords
Select just two or three phrases relevant to that page and work them carefully into your text, sub-headers and title tags. Always proofread and edit accordingly until you never know they were there. Never write copy purely for the search engines because it will quickly turn off your visitors and compromise your “call to action” messages. Instead focus on creating a connection with your reader and massage your keywords into text with care and attention. Be verbose with your keywords but don’t get hung up on keyword density.
Website accessibility is a critical consideration, making your website navigable to all users regardless of disability or visual impairment. This includes making link text descriptive as possible as part of this, but accessibility goes much further with actions such as introducing relevant alt and title tags compliant wc3 guidelines.
Not Planning Your SEO Strategy
Planning a useful campaign is very much like planning a journey. One of the common mistakes made by newcomers is to be overtaken by enthusiasm and neglect to map out points of interest along the way. Rather than focusing on the end goal, set short-term objectives that are signposts towards the elusive page 1 ranking.
Need Some Help With Your Website’s SEO?
The competition for search engine rankings has never been higher, and for good reason. Over 90% of consumers don’t even look past the first page of search engine results!
While everyone wants their website to be at the top of search engine results, most small business websites have small errors that are preventing them from getting there.
If you need help with your website SEO strategy please feel free to contact us today for a FREE SEO Consultation with one of our Sydney based SEO experts.
It’s Time to Stop Hiding. You need to find out exactly what search engine optimisation (SEO) is and why it is so important for your business.
As soon as some business owners hear the term Search Engine Optimisation their eyes glaze over and the shutters come down. They are just not interested. These tend to be the business owners who dismiss the Internet and try to ignore it, fooling themselves into thinking that it isn’t really happening.
On the other hand, there are some business owners who either find the internet too confusing or simply don’t think they have the time to learn how to promote their website online.
If you fall into the latter category, then we invite you to take a few minutes over a cup of coffee to find out what SEO is and how your business will benefit by attracting more customers.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO is simply the process of optimising your website so that it ranks well on search engine result pages such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. enabling people searching for products or services that you provide to find you and buy from you.
So, let’s apply this information to your website:
Why Does My Site Need SEO?
You want your website to be found on the search engines by people looking for your products or services. The fact is there may be thousands of websites out there all offering the same or similar products or services. You want your site to stand out and be ranked above all of the other sites and pages so that the person searching online can find you. The way you achieve this is by making your page or site relevant to what people are looking for.
When someone types a word or phrase into search engines (like Google) looking for your product, you want to appear on the first or second page of the search results listings on search engines.
There are literally billions of different websites that are relevant to the search query, but really, if your website doesn’t appear in the first 10 pages (or first 100 results), it’s virtually invisible to the world. Ideally you need to be on page one…or at worst, page 2. If not you will never be found because visitors very rarely go beyond page 2.
Why Can’t The Search Engines Find My Website Without SEO?
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are very sophisticated but they still need help.
The developers are constantly working on and improving the technology behind the search engines so that they can crawl round your web site more deeply in order to give better results to the people using their search sites. However, there is a limit to how search engines can operate.
As a result the search engines reward the web sites that help them out with good SEO by promoting their sites above the ones that make things more difficult for their technology by not optimising their sites. This means that with the right SEO, you can attract thousands more visitors to your site, resulting in more sales, whereas the sites that don’t bother are hidden and buried deep in the results making it much, much harder to be found.
As the amount of sites increase on a daily basis, the internet is becoming even more competitive. The companies who perform SEO have the distinct advantage by being able to attract more visitors and customers.
Can I Do SEO myself?
The world of Search Engine Optimisation is very complex, but as we have hopefully just proven in the information in this short article, most people can easily understand the basics. Even a small amount of knowledge like you have gained today can make a big difference.
To be honest, there is a lot of information about putting SEO strategies into place available for free on the Internet. By applying some of the tips, you can make a difference to your search ranking.
It all depends on how much time you can commit to SEO on top of running your business. You also need a willingness to learn and have to have a basic understanding of how your website works.
You may decide, like many other companies that it is best to hire an SEO consultant to effectively handle your SEO instead while you concentrate on doing what you do best and running your company.
Whichever option you choose, the important thing is to do something….and to do it soon.
For a quick test to impress how urgently you need to take action, do a search online for your business. Don’t just do a search for your name, but type in the same words and phrases that potential customers might use if they were to look for products or services that you provide.
If you don’t appear on the first two pages of Google then you desperately need to start thinking about SEO either by implementing some SEO strategies yourself or by using a professional company like ours.
Give us a call or email us today to find out how we can make sure that your site is seen by everybody who looks for products and services that you provide so that they buy from you and not your competitors.
It has been said the Amazon could officially arrive in Australia by November 24th to coincide with the Black Friday online weekend spending.
According to the doomsayers, Amazon’s launch in Australia will accelerate growth in the online retail market resulting in reduced growth and turnover in some shopping centres. This could lead to lower retail rents as retailers rationalise and demand for retail space decreases. Most analysts predict that electrical and appliances will be hardest hit with Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi the most likely Australian local retailers to be negatively affected.
However, clothing and footwear could also be under fire as beginning this month Amazon is scheduled to undertake three fashion shoots per day, five days per week, at secret locations across Melbourne.
In other markets, Amazon sells other brands’ clothing label as well as its own private label clothing, including men’s and women’s basics, business attire, children’s wear, and a recently launched sportswear range.
Amazon Australia has registered trademarks in Australia on brands including AmazonBasics, which sell mass market products covering everything from electronics to kitchenware.
So what should local retailers do to prevent Amazongeddon?
If you try to fight Amazon or Ebay for that matter, on their terms you will struggle as they have website authority due to world-class backlinks and high domain authority. Amazon with their enormous advertising budgets are experts at building brand exposure which leads to more branded searches in Google. Branded searches can be a huge trust signal for a website.
So website authority combined with branded searches makes these global brands an SEO supremacy, allowing them to publish duplicate or thin content and still rank highly.
However, the good news is you can fight back and with some SEO stealth tactics even beat these e-com giants at their own game.
Step 1: Niche Down
These larger sites are competing across many different categories and they don’t have the ability to reach the level of dept that a niche site can. When you niche down, every page on your site is about the same topic, for example, a site that specialises in outdoor and camping supplies, this makes it very easy for Google to determine what your site is about camping.
This combined with everyday SEO best practice (which we can help with!) will ensure you have put your best foot forward in the e-comm online battle.
Step 2: Long Tail
Niching down will also help you to rank for those longer tail keywords which is something that the e-com giants don’t do well. Using the outdoor and camping store example this might be “cold weather sleeping bags”, this search has little or no Australia competition except for the Adwords advertisers – who should do some SEO and rank free for this term.
If you sell these type of sleeping bags ensure you optimise the product description for these sorts of long tail searches, this will also help you rise above the duplicate product descriptions that appear on other sites.
When doing or having your digital agency do your keyword research look for keywords that have a clear commercial intent. Although sales volumes will be lower for these longer tail keywords conversion rates (purchases) can be much higher.
It is also worth sometimes adding a geo term or city name eg sleeping bags Melbourne as this will limit your competition from the bigger sites like Amazon and Ebay.
Tip: Don’t compete for high volume search phrases drill down into your products figure out your ideal customer and create content to hit them with.
Step 3: Topical Relevancy
Considering that over 50% of keyword queries are unique and even search engines have not seen them; information retrieval relies on contextual relevance to determine a pages quality score determined by the domain authority.
So using the outdoor and camping store example you might try to rank for informational type content for example “best sleeping bags for summer” or “best down sleeping bags australia”.
Topical relevancy differs from keyword research, with keyword research you only focus on keyword search volumes in a particular market eg Google Australia or maybe Sydney if its a more localised business.
With topical relevancy, your primary focus should be to help users solve their problems or to find what they were looking for, even if they don’t know what that is yet and even if the keyword doesn’t have search volume.
Step 4: Backlink Strategy
Backlinks have been an important part of online marketing for a long time now. For those that are asking What is a backlink? A “backlink” is created when an external 3rd party website links to your website.
Backlinks if done correctly can help improve your website’s traffic, rank, reputation, and even relationships. If done incorrectly backlinks can lead to a Google Penalty as happened to Interflora a couple of years back.
Successful brands should incorporate backlink strategies into their overall marketing strategy, building links on sites not only with high authority but also meaning to their personas.
There are a variety of methods that can be used to increase a website’s backlink profile. You need quality content, with something valuable to say in order to earn your backlink.
If considering a backlink campaign or outreach campaign it is best to talk to a reputable digital agency such as Flarecom Digital Marketing first rather going ahead of yourself and buying a heap of dodgy links on a site like Fiverr.
If you can’t beat them join them – Start with Selling on Amazon
If all of the above seems to difficult there is always the option to sell your own products on Amazon. Amazon offers a range of selling plans and price points to suit a variety of business sizes.
Amazon’s vast influence and presence make it an appealing platform for retailers who want to take advantage of the site’s unmatched volume of traffic. At our Sydney digital agency, we work with many clients who are exploring the decision to sell on Amazon. If you’re considering whether or not Amazon is a viable channel for your brand, here are some things to keep in mind.
Amazon SEO Requires On-going Maintenance
Search visibility is the key to success on Amazon. According to Amazon, a search is the number one way users find products on their platform, so in order to have success on the Amazon platform, you need to invest in optimizing your listings.
Just like regular SEO, Amazon product listing optimization requires constant upkeep. You can’t simply set your product listings, forget about them and expect the sales to roll in.
Similar to regular SEO, Amazon has created its own ranking Algorithm for retailers with the intention of gaining maximum visibility of their products. However, understanding the Amazon algorithm for your Amazon SEO strategy is necessary for all retailers who are looking for high volume sales on Amazon. That means paying close attention to product titles, keywords, product information, and quantity and quality of reviews.
Optimizing your product listings on an ongoing basis is critical to obtaining enough search visibility to move your products. This is something which we can help business out with as we have recently launched an Amazon Product Optimisation service that looks after all the hard work for you, more details can be found here.
Selling on Amazon is a personal decision for every brand, and it’s important to weigh all the factors before jumping in. In terms of getting your product out in front of an enormous new audience, Amazon presents a major opportunity in Australia. But Australian retailers that aren’t able to compete on price may face challenges in the Amazon marketplace. It’s also worth noting that success with Amazon is similar to success in any other channel in that it takes both time and expertise to manage it properly and optimize it fully.
However you choose to move ahead, it’s important to keep your overall business goals in mind and stay focused no matter which you choose.
Flarecom Digital Marketing is everything you’d expect from a smaller digital agency: accountable, autonomous, flexible and personable.
We work across all the main business sectors: retail, finance, charity, travel and b2b. Our work for some of Australia’s leading brands is recognised for challenging the market, driving innovation and accelerating business performance.
Received an email from Google this morning saying that Google Maps Engine is closing at the end of January 2016.
Google Maps Engine is a tool that lets developers create their own maps on top of Google provided maps. The service now faces a shutdown as the engine is supposedly slowing down. Google Maps will remain functional, but the service to create customized maps will be pulled off.
Website owners should check with their web development team to ensure any on-site store locators will still work after the Google Maps Engine closure.
However as usual with any free products provided by Google information is sketchy at best so I cannot provide any more details at this stage.
Best to check the Google Maps Engine webpage for updates & more information. Google Maps Engine
UPDATE: Affirming Google Maps Engine support will end on January 29, 2016, a Google provided the following statement:
Maps and location information are valuable tools for businesses — whether it’s helping people find your store locations or identifying sales opportunities across town. To help our Maps for Work customers continue to get the highest impact from our products, in 2015 we’ll focus on helping customers deliver location information via our Maps APIs and shift away from selling any non-Maps API products. We’ll support our Maps for Work customers through their contracts and work closely with them and our partners through this transition.
Today we are going to give you a real life example of how you can avoid the common SEO mistakes that everyone else (and your competitors) have been making.
In this post we are going to get you up to speed with our 2016 SEO strategy.
Ready? Let’s get into it.
How to 10X your SEO results (Simplified Version)
Previously we showed the top SEO mistakes that most people make that results in them totally giving up on SEO.
It’s so disheartening to see this happen, because as an Sydney digital agency we’ve seen first-hand how amazing SEO can be good for your business…
Here’s an example of how we recently helped a new client to get everything back on track.
Let’s call him Bruce (not his real name).
Bruce came to us with a handful of keywords. He had already had some optimisation on his website but didn’t see much movement.
His site was already getting some traffic, but not enough.
We booked a meeting with him, and in just a short period of time we were able to break down all the troublesome areas and create an SEO plan for him –
Here’s what we did for him:
Keyword Research: Competitive Analysis + Long Tail Strategy
We took a look at his keywords, and they were OK, but not great.
We were then able to pull up his 3 top competitors, show him what terms they were ranking for, which keywords were profitable, and which ones he should be going after.
We took those keywords and created a list of long tail keywords that could get him a combined traffic of 3-4X what he was originally looking at.
Then we showed him how we were going to strategically use all these keywords and what types of links go with which to see results quickly and build up over time.
Fixing Hidden On-Site Issues + Conversion Tricks
We took a look at his site and saw he had the basics down. His title tags were OK and he had enough content on the page. But he was missing a few things that could really improve his SEO.
We showed him a few tweaks to his title tags to get more clicks from searchers (improving his CTR and rank position) – This is a hidden ranking factor that most people don’t consider.
We also showed him an internal linking strategy to keep the juice flowing inside his site and bump his keywords (before we even built any links!).
Link Building Strategy: Link Type Importance
Bruce didn’t really have a link building strategy.
We broke it down and showed him exactly how we can use each type of link (press releases, web 2.0 links, guest posts, high DA homepage links) and how to use each type and in which order to maximize success.
After we showed him the plan it started to *click*…
Link Volume & Velocity Calculation
With the battle plan, we were able to calculate the amount of links that he would need to start seeing results.
The thing is, because we did our keyword research right in the beginning, he can start seeing gains way way quicker that he would have initially.
Because of this cohesive strategy, he won’t waste any more money waiting around for his handful of keywords to rank.
Clear ROI Path
We worked closely with Bruce and showed him how he was missing out on a huge chunk of SEO traffic.
It was important for him to use the complete strategy to get the traffic he needed for his return on investment.
We set the expectations so he didn’t just give up while all his competitors crushed him.
That’s what he really needed – an entire, cohesive SEO plan to get results.
….And that’s what you need to see amazing results in 2016.
The problem is, it can be really confusing to put it all together for someone who sees this for the first time.
On top of that, it’s pretty easy to mess up if you don’t really know what you’re doing.
If you feel like you don’t know what you are doing when it comes to SEO or feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start then feel free to get in touch with the team a Flarecom for an obligation free chat to improve your SEO search results in 2016.
You have probably heard me say this before, but if a user visits your site and it does not grab them as almost instantly being what they are looking for they will leave and that is revenue you have lost.
You need to about your target market, what they want…NOT what you want.
To start you off, here are a few simple things you can look at to improve the look of your site that will make a huge difference:
Image – is your image relevant to your niche? Does it help your site or is it so distracting that it draws the eye away from the registration box?
Call To Action (CTA) – what does your call to action say? What do you want site visitors to do, phone, book online, capture email address? It must be relevant and lead the user to want to register.
Registration Form– you need to assess your fields, do you have too many and are they relevant eg do you ask users to fill out country when this step is unnecessary. Testing haa proven short forms increases online registrations.
CTA Button – your text, colour, size and prominence is very important to your page. Also important is where the button is positioned, ideally it should be above the fold so visitors can see it without having to scroll down. The CTA button needs to catch your user’s eye.
Please get in touch, I would love to go over your website and see what can be done to improve it for your business!
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We help small business owners across Australia grow their businesses using progressive digital marketing and website design tactics. How can we help you do the same?