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The Importance Of Local SEO

While you may be killing it in terms of search engine results, there is always going to be room for improvement. And this could be in the form of Local SEO. If you’re serious about moving your company’s marketing campaign into the future, Google My Business is the single most important listing you will ever have, either online or offline.

Google my Business or GMB for short, is the best local listing tool out there. And anyone who is invested in growing their online presence should be utilizing this tool to make sure they are catching the local SEO market. Put it this way, if you don’t utilize Google My Business, your competition certainly will.

Local SEO Ads, Maps and more

GMB becomes especially necessary should you have a physical shop and not just an online presence. This is because Google My Business is linked to Google Maps. Therefore, if optimized correctly, you will appear on the Google map as well as your listing. What is more, should you also be running Google AdWords, it can be synced with your ad campaigns.

Connecting the two gives an upgrade to your paid search ads giving them even more power in your target area. When synced with Google My Business, your search ads provide a link to your address so customers can easily find you. Also, your ads show on Google Maps searches when synced with Google My Business. If they’re not synced, your ads won’t show up on Google Maps.

Google’s Knowledge Graph also utilizes verified Google My Business information to help generate details for its database about businesses and related entities that are relevant to specific searches.

So how does it all work?

Once a new listing is created, a Google Maps location is then generated that synchronizes with traditional Google Search for easy access and searchability. It certainly helps that the clear majority of organic searches come from Google (around 90 percent for worldwide search engine market share), further illustrating the value of a GMB listing.

If you’ve previously used certain Google tools to complement your business, or your business has been operating for a while, chances are your business is already listed on Google My Business. Google Places for Business and the Google+ Pages Dashboard were the best ways to manage your business information previously, but both have automatically upgraded to Google’s universal platform, Google My Business.

However, many local businesses just claim their GMB listing and forget about it. GMB, just like any other marketing tool needs to be optimized regularly. And there are a variety of features you can use to optimize your Google My Business listing and several reasons why you should frequently check your business listing in order to keep it’s information intact and accurate.

Complete Your GMB Listing

Firstly you must fill out all the information and answer all the questions to complete your GMB listing. This is important because your listing will contain valuable data that will make it easier for potential customers to find your company. Not filling that information, could mean someone else might. That’s right, what many don’t realize is that anybody can make suggestions to your listing, even your competitors. Keeping on top of this on a regular basis is an important factor in keeping your GMB optimized.

Another feature for GMB is Google asking its users questions about your business via your GMB listing. If you look at your listing you will see a box marked “Know This Place?” This is where your customers or even your competitors can answer questions regarding your business such as “do they serve food?” or “do they have disabled facilities?” Google finds these answer extremely important as it allows Google to experiment with how they perform searches.

Google Posts and The Booking Button and more

GMB has some great little features that you can use to enhance your listing, Google Posts and The Booking Button are just two.

Google Posts work as mini-ads that you can show at the bottom of your listing. You can advertise and upcoming event or price offer. You can add a picture to the post and update as regular or as often as you like.

The Booking Button is just that, a button for your customers to use to book your services or make an appointment with you. You will need to use an intergraded software for this or it can be run off your Gmail Calendar. However, it will allow your customers to book you directly through your Google listing. It could even help with getting you new business. The easiest way to use this feature is to set up an account with one of Google’s supported scheduling providers, such as Full Slate or Genbook.

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Of course, there is also the Q&A section, online messaging, and the online reviews your clients and customers can use too. 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day, according to recent surveys. So don’t neglect your Local SEO

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Getting Google My Business and keeping it up to date and optimized is an important part of a marketing strategy for getting local traffic. You can learn more about GMB and Digital Media 99 by contacting us at our Thailand or Australia offices.


SEO campaign, where do you start?

You can run searches through Google about SEO of course. But you will get bombarded with so much information that your brain will spin until you have no recollection of what it was you were looking for in the first place.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a really difficult process for any business to get their heads around.

So, you decide to hire an SEO expert (reportedly). They should know the best practices, how to get you to number 1 in Google and what Google really want when it comes to getting you there. These guys are the experts, right?

In reality, search engine algorithms change constantly, and they deliberately keep everyone in the dark about what factors really affect rankings.

But, just like in any industry, there are SEO companies in Brisbane, that will say just about anything, to get you on board as a customer. Before you realize it, you have spent thousands and haven’t really moved any closer to your goal. Here are some of the most common lies a ‘cowboy’ outfit will tell you, just to get you as a client.

“I know all the Google the algorithms.”

Ask them – How? There are hundreds of ranking factors for the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) platform and Google hasn’t even told us about most of what the algorithms contain. A real SEO expert would know this simple fact.

There is never a moment that goes by where Google isn’t testing and adjusting its algorithms. A good SEO expert will know this and be constantly researching and looking at ways to improve the way they work. Most Ranking factors are a closely guarded secret, but Google has told us about some of them. But most you must learn from A/B testing, experience and a process of elimination.

“PPC? You don’t need it. SEO is all you need.”

SEO is certainly a major channel when it comes to bringing traffic to your website. The top spot on page one of any keyword gets an estimated 33% of the business and 2nd gets 18%. But it isn’t “the be all and End all” when it comes to reaching your target audience.

If you really want a successful business reaching the right targeted audience at the right time, which is to say when your audience wants you to be there, then you should really consider a strategy that has a combination of channels, including: advertising, content marketing, social media marketing and more.

Re-marketing is especially useful for those who are only using SEO. It’s always important to note that 96% of First Time Visitors (FTV) leave your site without doing anything, they were ‘just browsing’. Re-marketing to these particular set of people is paramount. Keeping them reminded that you are there, whilst they are ‘looking’ and ‘in market’ gives you the edge over your competitors.

“The more links you have, the better. Trust me”

We love and hate this one in our office at media 99. Love it, as it proves our competition doesn’t know what they are doing and hate it when we take on a client who already has 34,000 back-links from Russian directories attached to their site. Disavowing backlinks isn’t an easy process.

If you asked Google regarding back-links, they would tell you it’s not good practice. They certainly don’t want unnatural back-links and will penalize you for unnatural links that just don’t have any relevance. But despite all of Google’s efforts, back-links still matter a lot today and are high up there in ranking factors along with original content (more on this later).

However, Google is looking closely to the type of back-links you are using and what is pointed at your site. If an SEO “expert” tells you that they will add 1000 back-links to your site for a very low amount, consider carefully about not doing that.

The only backlinks you want pointing to your site are clean, high quality and high authority ones that are relevant to your industry and your business.

“Duplicate content won’t hurt your SEO.”

Adding duplicate content to your domain is going to kill it. That’s a fact. Google is searching out and looking to penalize marketers who are duplicating content in order to manipulate the SERPs. Google wants to recommend its customers to the very best websites for the searched keywords.

Websites with good relevant content that will give the customer the very best experience. It cannot do this if your content is the same as other sites in your industry. Good quality original content comes directly from the source, YOU.

It’s your business and you know more about it than anyone else. Sure, pass it on to a content writer, to flower it up. But give them the hard facts you want in the content.

Google doesn’t know your business or industry like you do, which is why they recommend addressing duplicate content issues on your domain by doing the following:

Avoiding publishing stubs

Minimizing boilerplate repetition

Minimizing similar content

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If your SEO Agency has little to no understanding of any of Google’s recommendations about content and doesn’t take them seriously, consider changing agencies for your website.

SEO Social Media Marketing

Lightning Fast Website Speed to Give You Better SEO

Website Speed, how fast should it be? How can you improve your website speed? And, how will this help to get your page to #1 on Google?

It’s been known now for some time that Google takes your website speed as a factor for its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).  In particular, where your site ranks within them. That announcement was made in late 2010 and it has been a major factor ever since. And yet despite this, some webmasters and SEO strategists do not see it as been an integral part of the SEO agenda. And, it’s still given a much lower priority than it requires and deserves.

At Digital Media 99, we don’t just think of SEO as being ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. We believe it’s much more than that. We believe that ‘Search Experience Optimisation’ should be a main part of the strategy too. That means we don’t just think of bots, but also users. Offering the best possible user experience is what should be done. Ordinarily, when putting an SEO strategy together. Because, that’s what search engines are interested in, value and reward.

Fast paced world

With this in mind, read below and find some great tips and reasons why Website speed should be part of your SEO strategy.

1.     First impressions count

It used to be that the first 15 seconds was what counted when it came to First Impressions. Now, you would be very lucky if you get that long. Google says that the average time it takes for a mobile landing page to load in 22 seconds. However, the average visitor to a website will only take 3 seconds to decide if they want to stay to wait for your page to load. That’s a massive disparity in time, and in this day and age people are just naturally impatient.

They don’t want to be hanging around waiting for your page to load. They have come to your site for answers or a product they need or want. And when they want something, they want it now, welcome to the new world we live in. So while page speed is important for your SEO, it is just as important for your conversion rates and general customer happiness. When sorting your site speed out, the threshold should be 2 sec or less. Certainly, If it isn’t there within 3 seconds, your potential customers will click off and go to your competitors.

2.     Website Speed is crucial for mobile users

Getting your mobile site optimized for site speed is crucial, not just for Google’s Mobile index. Certainly, for your customers and users. Crucially, mobile devices typically do not benefit from such a fast connection as desktops do, due to latency and memory power. Therefore, for this reason alone, you really need to increase the speed of the mobile version of your site. Any mobile web-designer will tell you that, the perception of website speed is key.

Your customers want to click on your Ad, link, or SERP listing and see something, almost instantly, certainly within that 2-second threshold we talked about. However, this means, the time that elapses until the requested page is usable (Time to Interactive Document) needs to be within that threshold. One way to make sure this is decreased is by getting the text and key elements needed for a page to be readable loaded first. In particular, The user can begin to get something out of your site before the page has finished fully loading.

Consequently, Doing this will get your mobile site within a 2-sec threshold for the user. Stopping them from clicking off and go elsewhere, such as your competitors. Therefore, it is important to optimize your mobile website speed separately to that of your desktop site.

Higher website loading times, equals higher website abandonment!
3.      How Website Speed Affects Traffic & Rankings

As we have already established, a slow loading page will suffer from low user engagement. Anything from increased bounce rates, low average time on page, and of course a lack of conversions. And as Google (reportedly) takes into account user behavior data as a search ranking factor, this could adversely affect your site’s rankings. As an example, this would then impact your web traffic to the site. Should you no longer be within the top 3 of the SERPs? And, even worse, not on page 1 at all.

Don’t do dead websites!
4.     Slow Pages Kill Conversions

Conversely, Several case studies have demonstrated that fast-loading sites can significantly increase conversions and boost sales. It was found that conversion rates drop when page loading time increases from 1-2 to 3-4 seconds. Akamai’s survey found that 47% of online users were expecting pages on retail sites to load in 2 seconds or less. And the percentage of tablet users expecting a website to load in 2 seconds or less has reached 70%. Site Performance on Mobile Devices matters even more. According to a report published by Google. They saw almost a third of total paid clicks coming from mobile devices in 2017. If that doesn’t convince you, these big businesses prove it;

·       Amazon increases revenue by 1% for every 100 milliseconds of improvement.

·       Mozilla shaved 2.2 seconds off its landing pages and increased download conversions by 15.4% – or 60 million more Firefox downloads per year.

·       Shopzilla increased its landing page loading time from 6 seconds to 1.2 seconds and experienced a 12% increase in revenue and a 25% increase in page views.

·       Yahoo increases traffic by 9% for every 400 milliseconds of improvement.

5.     Humans are turning into goldfish
8 second Goldfish

Human attention spans are getting shorter. The human attention span in 2018 is now at an all-time low at just 8 seconds. Infamously shorter than the memory span of a goldfish (8 seconds versus 9 seconds). According to Alertbox, this means that 0.1-second loading time seems instantaneous to us goldfish type humans. As a result, a 1-second loading time doesn’t interrupt our thought process. So we are all good here. However, 10 seconds barely keeps our attention. Therefore, if your website and mobile sites are loading in over 9 secs. Then Human Goldfish are leaving your site to go to your competitors. It’s estimated that on a mobile site at an average of 22 seconds. Therefore, you would have lost approx 53% of your visitors.

So how can you sort this out?

Incidentally, the first test out your site on the many websites that have a tool for this. GTmetrix.comHubspot has a website grader, which gives some great insights. And of course, my recommendation would be to use google’s testmysite for your mobile site speed test.

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Finally, there are various plug-ins for whichever platform you are on. That can help with your Website Speed issues. However, get your friendly neighborhood SEO Expert or Webmaster to sort this for you!

SEO Blog

Content Is Dead, Long Live Content Marketing!

Content is King

What is the best form for your online content

It was Bill Gates who wrote an essay in the early ’90s entitled ‘content is king’ whilst CEO of Microsoft, a phrase that has been used time and again. In the Essay, he was stating that Content Marketing would become one of the biggest factors out there in this new thing called “the Internet”. He said that people would be wanting fresh content of News and Information daily.

Bill, was wrong… People actually want fresh information and content instantly, daily just would not cut it in today’s fast-paced world. Good content is making people thought leaders in their chosen fields. But it’s even more than that, its keeping brands relevant. If you are not producing content regularly, to keep people informed or engaged, then you are already falling behind.

So here are some tips on how you can create compelling content for your customers and potential clients.

The Content Marketing headline.

It starts with getting that headline right. Attention-grabbing headlines that are relevant to your post and make people sit up, is where it all starts. Why do you think authors take so long in deciding the title of a book? It needs to portray the whole article within a few short words. Those words need to spring out of the phone as the person scrolls with their thumb, whilst sat on the early morning commute to work.

Content to distract

A great headline can get anyone stopped and engaged.

The Visuals

Then there is the graphic, picture, or multi-media artwork. Along with a great headline you need to have a visual to go along with it. This is especially relevant to social media content marketing. If you see a post with a good piece of graphic design work attached to it, you are 10 times more likely to stop scrolling and look. Good pictures and graphic designers are worth the money you should be paying for them. Of course, if you are able to add a video to your content, even better. Globally, it’s a mighty 91% of internet users who are watching online videos each month, while 44% are watching vloggers and a further 39% are listening in to podcasts.

The Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story, and everyone loves a good storyteller. When you start out writing your content make sure that you have a compelling story to tell. Have an important and promising introduction. Any advice/educating middle and an end that leaves a little question. Ever wondered how quickly you can make a judgment about an article or post? Like you maybe did with this one. Most people probably decide within the first few sentences if the post is worth reading or not. Tell users why they should care and what you’ll be discussing. Make them want to read it.

Make Your Content Answer Questions

Ask Questions, always

Your customers are searching for answers. They are looking for answers on questions about your industry, product, or service. You need to fill that gap, its how they found you in the first place. If your content answers the questions posed, you’ll likely find your site at the top of search results for the very customers you’re trying to reach. Basic information about your business just won’t do. Don’t get me wrong here, don’t tell them everything, but give them enough information so they know you are the expert in your field.

Thought Leadership

Content marketing establishes thought leadership, and it’s those that are seen as leaders in their chosen field who are able to push their brand to the top. Educating people with good quality Content is essential to establishing thought leadership. Blog posts, videos, or other content will help you dominate in search results.

People want to hear from experts in the areas they have questions about. They want to be educated. Not so they can do it themselves, but so they can be confident and trust the person with whom they are dealing with, knows what they are doing. Good quality, well-constructed content marketing can deliver that trust. But do leave readers with questions. This doesn’t mean you have to have an incomplete post, but rather to include questions that make readers reflect on how they can implement the knowledge you provided.

Communication is the key to great content marketing

Communication is key

Good content speaks to people. It doesn’t preach or sell. It communicates with its audience on the same level. And good communication between two people is all about listening and responding to what that person is telling you. And that’s what great content marketing really is.

There is no point in throwing out content on a daily basis if nobody is interested in what you are saying. You need to listen to your targeted audience first and then respond to them with content marketing that will reach them and garner a response back. Ask the questions, read the data, find out what they actually want to hear about, and then discuss.

Content marketing has the power to engage customers, instilling trust as they consider whether to buy from you. The customers who regularly read the content you create are more likely to feel a personal connection to your brand than those who merely see you as a business logo and website. No matter if it’s a blog, website content, vlog, podcast, SlideShare, or Facebook post, it gives you an opportunity to connect with your customers. Use it!

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Content will always be king, but it’s how we deliver that content and the methods in which we deliver it that is changing. So the headline should really read, ‘Old Content is dead, Long Live New Relevant and Well-Constructed Content marketing’!

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