Tag: seo

SEO & Google Advertising – What Australian franchisors can learn.

Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The internet has been a huge success for the consumer, who now has more choice than ever before and it’s all at their fingertips thanks largely to Google. Google advertising and Search Engine Optimisation are more than just the new Yellow Pages. Once upon a time, local area marketing consisted mainly of the Yellow Pages, fliers and local papers as the way that franchisors would spend their franchise marketing budgets to drive sales to the local stores. The advent of the Internet, but more specifically Google Adwords and Search Engine Optimisation, has largely moved local area marketing online, yet the franchisors have been slow to understand the value of this new technology.

The franchising model has been one of the most globally successful stories in the SME world. However, many franchisors have seen smaller operators successfully infiltrate their market share through highly effective online strategies. On the Internet even the smallest business can look big. On the Internet even the biggest businesses can look small and incompetent.

What many franchisors in Australia fail to realise is that the Internet (Google) is actually perfectly designed to support the franchising model of multi store locations. 90% of all searches online are done using Google. What this means is that the first thing a business needs to get working is their presence on Google. If you don’t come up in Google search results for the products and services that you provide, then you are invisible to the consumer looking for you.

Why a franchisor should use a Google Advertising Specialist company.
Using a Google Advertising specialist, Franchisors can run campaigns for each of their franchise stores and effectively manage the advertising budgets for each store. A Specialist will provide Franchisors with a (ROI) report detailing the cost effectiveness of advertising spend, something near impossible to do with flier drops and other more traditional local advertising.

The importance of an SEO specialist company
Search Engine Optimisation is abroad term for organically coming up in search results down left hand side of a Google search. This includes having a presence on all Google products from Google Maps, Google Plus to Google business listings. Each of these needs to be dedicated to a clear keyword strategy so that you can focus on coming up for search results that are more valuable. With the recent changes that Google seems to continually release, it is important to work with an SEO company that not only understands SEO but also the franchising industry.

But how is also this any different to any other business out there? Well one thing that Google is focused on is localisation in search. If I am looking for a hair dresser or someone to cut my lawns and I live in Adelaide, I’m not going to be looking for a business in Sydney to come up in search results, am I?

So what does this mean for the franchisors and the franchisees? It gives the brand Internet reach that only a brand with multiple locations can achieve. This means that the brand can come up more often in search results in more locations across Australia, and as such improves the likelihood of conversions. More touch points means the brand becomes more relevant and more competitive.

While anyone can have a presence online, the brand with more presence will have a bigger presence. This is why it is vital that franchisors focus their online strategy on making sure that each of their franchise outlets are well optimised to come up in search results and that they are all following the same strategy. This is why it is important to deal with an Internet Strategy company like SLAM strategy who are focused on the franchising industry.

Why you can’t ignore Google’s latest algorithm changes

 google-panda-penguin-500x313

What’s new?

Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm update means that Google can now react more accurately to conversational enquiries from mobile and voice searches, such as “How do I…” and “Where is the nearest…”. The focus is on determining what a user really wants to know, besides just focusing on keywords.

What this means for Internet marketers and SEO is the need to adapt keyword strategies for conversational enquiries in three parts (as listed in this fantastic article): Informational, Navigational, and Transactional.

An example of an Informational enquiry could be: “What are the local public holidays?” and the top results would include a link to a list of public holidays.  A Navigational enquiry could be a user looking for a website of a government department, and a Transactional enquiry could be a simple, “Where is the nearest Cibo?”

These types of enquiries will require you to look at conversational enquiries users might use when searching for your services, and classify them under one of the three search types listed above. From there you can create relevant content and keyword strategy.

Another focus of the Hummingbird will be determining what a page is about using keywords, as well as synonyms and co-occurring terms. This means that a user may see results for a specific term, as well as theme-related terms. By expanding keyword research to include related keywords, acronyms and spelling variants, you can tap into extra opportunities for page exposure.

One of the ways that Google determines what your business is all about is through co-citation. This means that each time your brand or a link to your site is mentioned alongside your competitors, it lets Google know that the two companies are related. This is a good thing, meaning that your brand can be recognised as a business niche representative. Working to make sure your brand gets mentioned alongside your competitors can help you to get higher rankings and recognition from Google.

Your SEO professional will know more about the more technical side of SEO, such as re-examining anchor texts and utilising structured data markup to ensure your site and pages are thoroughly optimised for Hummingbird.

More content, better experiences

The biggest change to Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms recently is the focus on clearing our low-quality content from search results.

Google is no longer disclosing to website owners which terms lead a user to their page, therefore forcing page owners to concentrate on delivering quality content.

By running a blog, keeping your website up to date with news, pictures, etc., Google will know that your website is informative and relevant to users. Google will be rewarding pages which provide users with a positive experience and engagement.

Sharing your content on social media (and linking back to your site) is super important now, with regards to aiding your SEO efforts. When your quality content is shared and interacted with (likes, comments, etc.) on social media, this helps build authority. Google takes into account recommendations from users on social media, as these ‘social signals’ help to filter out low-quality content.

Working with an Internet strategy company on refining your content strategy for SEO and social media will help you to achieve high rankings and get greater results from your online presence.

Got any concerns about how Google’s algorithm changes will affect your website? Chat to us, we’d love to help.

Not all SEO is good SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the key elements of any good online marketing strategy to give your business a competitive edge and attract new customers. Keeping your website in top shape is the key to earning Google’s respect and achieving a Page 1 ranking.

Performing SEO involves using a number of tactics to help your website rank for specific keywords in the natural search results. Most search engine users will only click on the first page of results, with the #1 ranked page or site receiving about 35% of clicks, #2 17% and #3 8% with the rest receiving around 1% and lower.

Search engine optimisation is not about typing in your business name and seeing it in results, the proof of success is in seeing your business rank well for the products and services you offer.

The recipe for a successful SEO campaign involves four ingredients: Keywords, Traffic, Competition, and Relevance.

Keywords

SEO providers can get your page a top ranking, but you want to make sure that it’s for the right keywords. There’s no point achieving a high ranking for keywords that your customers aren’t using, so this is something you’ll need to discuss with your provider. A good SEO provider will get to know your business and research the best keywords to give you long lasting and quality results.

Traffic

Investing in good SEO practices will help drive traffic and build your brand. Strong keyword selection is very important as it can determine how much traffic will be driven to your site. Sharing on social media is also becoming increasingly important for website referrals and brand exposure. Google + is especially useful as content is indexed efficiently and appears in search results for a long time.

Competition

Something to remember is that other businesses are competing for the same keywords as you. SEO providers will measure how difficult it will be to rank for a particular keyword and can estimate how long it will take to achieve a good ranking for that keyword. Page 1 rankings don’t happen overnight; it can take several months to achieve a high ranking for a competitive keyword.

Relevance

Make it easy for your potential customers to find exactly what they need. Very specific keywords are more likely to lead to conversions as they are more valuable to the person searching for them. The example used in our video is that, if you make gluten free cupcakes, you’ll want to focus on that instead of a generic term like ‘cupcakes’ which will have a lot of competition. Choosing relevant keywords is more important than choosing high traffic keywords.

SEO is never done. Google constantly changes and updates its algorithms and you will need to keep up. It is important to have fresh content to get noticed by the search engines, as an old page which hasn’t been updated in a long time is going to be deemed less relevant and up to date for search users. A basic way of producing fresh content is through blogging on relevant topics and sharing content through social media.

Think of SEO as fuel for a boat engine – your boat needs fuel to get up the river and without it, it will drift slowly backwards. When you put fuel back into the boat, you’ll be starting again to get back to where you were. Search engine optimisation is a long term investment that reaps long term rewards, and shouldn’t be left out of your online marketing strategy if you want to succeed.

If you have any questions about SEO, give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to help you out.

Changes to how Google will rank your web site becasue of the new gTLDs

This is a hot of the press Google is changing their format of how ranking website will happen on Google in the future because of the new gTLDs. Here is a short video from the man himself Mr. Matt Cutts from Google explaining why it is happening.

The new top level domain names are going to greatly impact on how we search on the internet and Google (who has applied for over 100 new top level domain names them selves) are indicating that you are going to have to change the way you do your optimisation in the future if you want to continue to come up in search results.

If you would like to know more about new top level domain names please email us at enquiries@slamstrategy.com.au.