How to get to the top of Google rankings



We have all heard the phrase “Location, location, location!” in real estate. This also applies to your search engine ranking for your website  — the higher your site is listed, the more traffic you get. Getting to the top of Google is what every business wants to achieve. And there are some simple steps to getting your business high up the Google rankings. And it’s possible to do it without spending a dollar.

Here are some of our tips:-

1. Understand what the demand is for your product

First step is to spend some time understanding what your customers are already looking for, and then align your services and content around that. Google’s Keyword Planner & Google Trends are free tools to use, and will give you an idea of what people are searching for online. If you can place a search box on your site to help you discover what your customers are looking for.

2. Prioritise key words for your website

Think about how relevant the key word term is, and how you can best compete with other online businesses. For example, we target the term “graphic design adelaide” rather than just “graphic design.” Despite having far fewer searches, this keyword is far more likely to convert to a lead, also because targeting a location helps better narrow down a potential customer finding you geographically.

3. Keep your site with good internal linking

This helps Google understand what pages are important for your’e site, and will allow users to find helpful content. And there are many tools online to help you spot and fix code errors, one example is the IIS Toolkit.

4. Track everything – for free

There are a number of tracking tools available to help you understand how well you’re doing online. Google Webmaster Tools will give you an indication of exactly what Google sees when it visits your site. Factors such as site speed, 404 errors, broken links and site significance are all listed here.

5. Ask others to link to your site

Make a list of the people your business deals with on a daily basis and then ask them to link to your site, pointing out the fact that your site ranking well will also benefit them. Also try searching your own brand name online to find people who already talk about you, then ask them to add in a link. Another easy win is to submit your site details to relevant directories.

6. Get your business out there

Get involved with your customers on social media. Share your insights and thoughts with your market to show search engines you’re an authority in the space. Not only will this give you an advantage over competitors, but it will encourage your customers to recommend you on social networks, or write positive reviews online. Google considers all the signals it can when ranking sites, so the more you’re doing, the better.

 7. Organic vs. Paid Listings

You can attract visitors to your site a variety of ways, but one of the most effective ways is being listed at the top of the “organic” search results on search engines like Google and Yahoo! Unlike paid listings, which are advertisements that display in sponsored areas, organic results are free and based on, among other things, the site’s content and how closely it matches the keywords being searched.

See You At the Top.

Search engine optimisation can have a large impact on the success of your business online. The good news is that with the tips presented in this blog, you have the basic steps you need to get started. Take a little time to tune up your site and watch your customers grow with your search results.

Mobilegeddon Google is here!



Mobilegeddon Google is upon us! Run for the hills.

Google next big update is going to target non-mobile friendly sites and is expected to roll out April 21, 2015, and roll out for a few days to a week.

This is a big one, and could affect a large portion of your web traffic and seo results.

In the last few years, mobile traffic has increased dramatically. It’s speculated that more than 50% of Google searches are performed on mobile.

Even Google is saying this update is going to have a bigger effect on search rankings than Panda or Penguin, the biggest updates Google has ever launched, as quoted by a member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, Zineb Ait Bahajji at SMX Munich.

The problem is many sites are not responsive, meaning that they were only built for desktop computers and are hard to navigate on mobile devices.

Google doesn’t want to serve up results that  are not mobile user friendly, so they are implementing a new algorithm change to demote sites that aren’t usable on phones and tablets.

Google has officially announced the update and it’s coming on April 21, 2015 so you still have time to prepare your site.

Google has said there is no degree of mobileness, it’s either yes or no.

Test it for yourself by clicking on and if you’re concerned we’ve got a fantastic ‘mobile friendly’ website package available.

If your website isn’t responsive, call Spiros on 0431 926 575  or email us .

If your website is responsive, relax and pour yourself a cup of coffee and grin:-)


Content is King #5: How to Use Google+ for SEO Boost

Compared to other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn,  Google+ often is mislooked when it comes to creating online marketing strategies. This is because Google+ does not have as many users as the other larger social platforms.

But, while Google does not command as large a slice of the social media pie, it does have a lot more elements that provide your business more value than say Twitter or Facebook, especially when it comes to increasing a website’s organic SEO traffic.

Here are a bunch of ways you can use Google+ for an SEO boost for your business.

#1: Personalised Searches

One of the most individual ways that Google+ helps businesses with their organic rankings is through a personalised search. Simply put, personalised search takes place when a user is logged into their Google account and as a result they see different results compared to what people would see when they are not signed in. This is because Google logs a user’s preferences when they sign into a Google account and tries to rework search results based on these preferences.

There was a study researched by Eric Enge in 2013 who found that some webpage results can be lifted higher for individuals that follow a user or business on Google+. This is because Google recognises a user’s preference for that particular business, or author and wants to display those subsistence higher when a query is typed into Google that already was answered or discussed by that business or individual.

#2: Google+ Local

Google+ local is Google’s social integration of a businesses into it’s social media platform. It can be very useful to set up a Google+ local profile page so you can get added exposure. When a user types in the name of the business or the services that the company offers, it triggers a knowledge graph that pulls data from the Google+ local page and adds it to the search results.

Service/Product Results
When a user types in the name of a service that is viewed to be geographically important to the user, Google will implement knowledge graph listings below search advertisements in the results page. If you hover over a particular business, it will set off an additional knowledge graph that overlays in the right trail of the search result page.





Brand Search Results
When a user types in the specific name of a company it triggers another knowledge graph. The information that is shown in a brand knowledge graph is more detailed than a service/product knowledge graph.

With brand knowledge graphs, the user will be able to see a Google+ profile picture of the company, or, if Google already has a picture of your picture in its database, it will show a map of where the business is, reviews from users, and business details like address and a phone number. All of this is all pulled from information on the Google+ business page.



#3: Indexing

Unlike other social networks like Twitter and Facebook, Google+ has their search bots crawl through each article / post in Google+. This keeps for content that has been posted on here to be discovered very quickly. In the same study by Eric  mentions how he has witnessed his content being indexed faster by Google when he posts it into Google+.

Sometimes Google will index content 1-3 days more quickly if it is posted in Google+ right after launching the article on my client’s websites, but other times it doesn’t work.

#4: Google+ Ranks Your Social Media Posts



Not only is every post on Google+ crawled by it’s bots, but it is also indexed and then ranked into the search results pages. This helps in extending the value of each of your posts, and then makes it more important to get right. Google has ranked other social networking pages previously in the past but these are mainly just community and profile pages, not actual posts.

One advantage is there is no character limit on Google+ posts, so you can easily re-post your current website content, then post it on your Google+ profile page under a related keyword, and have the ability to rank twice on the same topic. How great is that!

#5: Gets Your Web Content Viral Quickly

Google+ may not be the biggest social media platform yet, but it’s network has some of the best engagement on the world wide web. This is true for webmasters and content writers that use Google+ communities to heighten their work and network with professionals.

Connecting with people and using Google’s advanced capabilities to share posts to certain audiences could be your best shot at using social media to market content to contributors, bloggers, and webmasters who then pick up and share the content on their websites.

#6: Keeping Up with SEO Best Practices

The world of SEO is always changing and it’s real important to keep up-to-date as best as you can on the latest news, trends and tools. Although Google+ may not have as many users as other social networks, it does have one of the most active communities on the web for SEO professionals, so do we need to say more.

From social communities like Technical SEO that has SEO pros and webmasters actively helping each other through optimisation issues, to Google’s own John Mueller, who is in charge of webmaster relations at Google, doing regular Google+ Hangouts to answer webmaster questions is one of the best ways to keep track of SEO best practices.

#7: Google+ Hangouts

Online videos have become very valuable to SEO these days. With Google+ Hangouts, recording and uploading an online video has never been so easier. Google+ Hangouts is a live video streaming utility and recording service where you and other Google+ users can get together to talk about topics, or have meetings. Best of all, it’s a completely free tool! Although the actual videos do not show up in the search results, you can still rank the actual post containing the video and automatically transfer your Hangout video to YouTube to get it ranked that way.

#8: Author Rank

Last year Matt Cutts, head of Google’s search spam team, mentioned of an intention for Google to start recognising authorities on certain subjects. In a video Matt recapped that intent and even added that Google will begin to rank pages based on that authority. Though it is unlikely that Google+ will be the only way that Google determines authority based on a user’s popularity within the social network, it is very likely Google+ will be tied into the algorithm somehow based on its current features and capabilities.

#9: Rich snippets



Another way to get recognised by Google+ is impacting search results via Authorship and Publisher rich snippet markups. By entering code to your website then linking to a website on your Google+ page, webmasters and writers have the capacity to integrate Google+ information like author name, Google+ follower count, and profile picture into the search engine results page.


As you can see that it is really important all businesses make the time and effort to register a Google+ page, it adds value to your online marketing and helps boost SEO. At DesignLab we now offer creating Google+ pages for all our customers, because we feel it is an important step to getting more hits.


Content is King #4: Can Online Reviews Impact Your SEO

I guess that you’d would stand up and either pat yourself on the back if your business has a strategy already in place for getting reviews and managing your online reputation.

Online reviews are important for a number of reasons, and have significance through their ability to affect:

  • Your rankings in search engines
  • Which search results actually gets clicked on
  • Consumers purchasing decisions

This means reviews online as critical to your SEO as building reference and on-site optimisation.


How Do Consumers Use Online Reviews?

Before I get started about data surrounding and how online reviews are used by consumers and how it impacts their decision, it’s vital to consider where it all fits into the purchasing cycle for services and products.

Usually, by the time someone has started looking at a review, they’ve already know their needs/wants, how a business might fulfill that need/want and are now are ready to select a business.

The important thing to now is that the mental gap between reading a review and making a decision to purchase from a business is very small, and results in a yes/no decision almost straight away. So as a small business, your reputation online can directly influence your business.

But, how many people actually read reviews? According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, roughly 83% of consumers reported reading online reviews.


But, how many reviews do potential customers they read before making up their minds? The survey also has an answer to that. About 65% of consumers will read 6 reviews or less before they form an opinion about a given business.


Meanwhile, another survey conducted by Dimensional Research found that 90% of their respondents claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions, while 86% had responded saying that negative reviews impacted their decisions.




Hopefully this helps you understand at least from a customer’s perspective how important online reviews are in helping push their purchasing decisions.


Why Reviews Matter For SEO

All search engines love online reviews for one reason, customers love online reviews. They are in business of providing consumers on the go or at home with the most accurate information to help them make decisions around their purchases. The faster you do that, the more customers will turn to them time and time again. Have a look at the below screenshot of results from Yelp for the keywords “boutique fashion Toronto.”


According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, reviews make up 10% of how Google decide to rank search results. Here’s chart they provide to break down the different parables:




Preparing a Review Strategy

Before you start on creating a review strategy that works for your business, it’s a good idea to have some thoughts on which review platforms would work best for you’re business.

To figure out that, start by going to Google and doing the following search, “[Industry] + reviews” and see which sites pop-up on the first page. For example, have a look at what shows up for “shoe store reviews”:


Something else you can do is click over the leading search results and you will see two arrows pop-up that help you to open up what Google refers to as the “Knowledge Panel” for that business and look at the sites listed under “more reviews.”


Something else to keep in mind before we show how you can obtain more reviews is understanding the different review policies all platforms have that you should stand by. For e.g. Yelp forbids any small businesses from approaching online reviews and will act quickly if it detects something off. Meanwhile, other platforms don’t really have any issues with businesses making the ask.

Here are some review guidelines for some of the most critical review platforms:

Once you’ve had a look through, here are some hints and tips to help you start:

  • Use this “Review Handout Generator” by Whitespark and Phil Rozek that helps you create handouts for clients to give clear instructions on how they could leave you a review on Google.
  • Link to your review profiles from your website.
  • Create a Google+ page and invite customers to leave a short positive review.
  • Create print or digital materials that list all the different sites customers can review you’re business.
  • Request a “Find Us on Yelp,” if you haven’t gotten their “People Love Us On Yelp” sticker.

We hope this has helped a little in understanding the importance of online reviews.



Content is King #3: Yoast is the SEO King


Yoast is one of the most famous WordPress SEO plugins. Most of the technical aspects of SEO you need to do actually are covered by Yoast.

Everyone these days are trying to rank their website’s content higher in Google. There are marketing firms earning a great deal of money in relation to the most notorious digital term these days, “SEO optimisation”, but if you do some heavy research you can do this yourself with one of the best SEO applications Yoast.

We believe that Yoast is the most complete SEO solution for your WordPress site. With a bunch of features and options this plugin provides an alternate to the users of another famous SEO plugin named All in One SEO Pack.

Some of Yoast’s awesome features are:

  • Post title and meta description meta box to change these on a per post basis.
  • Google search result snippet previews.
  • Focus keyword testing.
  • Meta Robots configuration.
  • Permalink clean ups, while still allowing for Google Custom Search.
  • Breadcrumbs support, with configurable breadcrumbs titles.
  • XML Sitemaps
  • .htaccess and robots.txt editor.
  • Ability to verify Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer, and Bing Webmaster Tools

But as good as Yoast is, you still need to start from the ground up.

The first step in optimising any website for a search engine is to start thinking about the searching strategies of your audience.

What search strategies do they have?

Which search terms will they use?

These questions are the beginning of your keyword research. Keyword research is actually the basis of all search marketing. You have to know which search terms people use when looking for your website or product.

What makes your website unique?

What idea or product do you ‘sell’ ?

And why should people buy this from you?

Make sure your mission is clear in your mind as well as on your website. You want to be found on the terms that fit your site. You want to be found by your potential customers. Ranking on terms that don’t fit your site, will result in a high bounce rate (visitors immediately leave your site, because your site is not what they expect it to be).

A high bounce rate indeed indicates that your website does not fit the search needs of customers and Google could well adjust the ranking after high bounce rates. A high bounce rate could eventually lead to a lower ranking in Google.

Next week we will discuss in detail more about SEO planning and marketing for your site.


Content is King #2: Is SEO Dead?


SEO isn’t dead; it has evolved and now requires descriptive keywords, as well as engaging content to help your online marketing succeed.

Quality content is very important when it comes to today’s marketing online. But it hasn’t replaced search engine optimisation (SEO). What has happened is that SEO doesn’t work without good, quality content. Your website and its content still needs to include rich keywords that your target market uses to search for your services or products, but stuffing your pages with keywords will see your page penalised by Google, which means it will rank low.

What we really should title this blog is: “Keyword Stuffing is Dead, Long Live King Content!”

Search engines i.e. Google, look for content based on the words the online user enters and then returns what it thinks deems most relevant in the search results. These results are still based on programming and algorithms.

So to optimise your website’s, you still need the proper keywords as well as engaging, well-written, well-researched and informative content. But, you can’t just write great and informative content, with a few keywords and hope for the best.

What you need to do is create content that converts your readers into actors, readers that do something, react to your content. Some ways are to make them to sign up for your newsletter or download your free e-book, in exchange for giving you their e-mail address so you can send them newsletters, and possible marketing e-mails. They could share your video from their social media sites, so that you can hopefully reach more people and possibly get more followers. They may even – buy from you.

Here are some ideas to get your customers to act:

  • Have you ever though of going back through some of your old posts and see if you can re-link them to newer posts. (This is best to do this with your most popular older posts). Doing this can help your readers of older posts read newer posts, plus Google really loves it when inside links do this.
  • Look carefully at your calls to action headlines. Check to see if any links are getting clicked on. Then possibly tweak the calls to action of those pages where the few people act.
  • Your page load should be no more than three – four seconds. These days people have exceptionally short attention spans. If you want people to click a link on a page or give you their e-mail, they have to stay on your page. “Long” loading time means people could leave your site.
  • Use your old content in new ways. Take your posts and maybe turn them into an e-book, or any case studies. If you have a long post on an interesting topic, think of re-writing it into two or three posts.

SEO isn’t dead. It’s just changed. For the better we think. Google has forced marketers and SEO companies to do what they should have been doing from the start: provide engaging, informative, and trustworthy content.


Content is King #1: Video – The future of content marketing


There is no doubt Content is King! Are you stuck for ideas and content for your online platforms?

Whether it be updating your blog, creating new Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram posts or LinkedIn updates, just to name a few, we have learned in conversations with our clients we have learned that coming up with content is one of the toughest (and most time consuming) aspects of online marketing.

For the next couple of weeks we are going to write a different blog to help you, and our clients in learning about writing quality content for their website. This week we are going to look at how video can really boost your SEO performance.

Let’s begin…..

Not only did video kill the radio star, it’s now aiming for online marketing. Already a key entertainment and information medium, studies predicts video will account for 75 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2018. Video IS the future of content marketing, and the future is now. This now means it’s no longer a luxury, but more of a necessity for all businesses to include it in their marketing strategies i.e websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc .

Here are some more reasons why your business needs videos:

Effective information tool

Constantly writing content is unavoidable these days. This means you have to hit the nail of the delivery if you want your message to stick. Video makes that much easier. 85 percent of Internet users remember watching a video in the past month.

Perfect for decision making

Potential customers don’t have time to look through heaps of text. They want to know what is important so they can make their decision and move on to the next. According to Forbes, 75 percent of executives will watch work-related videos at least once a week. And 65 percent visit the marketer’s website after viewing the video.

Powerful reach

Content marketing’s purpose is getting a message in front of your potential audience. And video is the quickest way to get your message in front of as many people as possible. Video content gets shared like no other, with audiences larger than any other. YouTube alone receives more than 1 billion unique visitors every month. You won’t reach everyone, but with the right content, you can reach the right audience for your business. The goal is to create something that your viewers will want to share with their friends or customers. Engage viewers and they will engage others, fueling organic and meaningful brand interaction.

Quickly establishes personality

Your website should display personality and culture, but it probably takes reading through a few articles and a handful of posts before your customer gets a good sense of what you are about. Most people don’t have the time these days. But with video, it’s immediately laid out in front of their eyes. The script you use, the way it’s shot, the aesthetic you promote — it all reflects your company’s personality and culture in a matter of seconds. And if folks like what they’re seeing they’re that much more likely to invest elsewhere in your website.

Made for mobile platform

Worldwide, more users access the Internet via their smart phone than any other kind of device, and that gap is likely to grow. So, clearly, the content you produce should be made for mobile. Today’s consumer is an impatient bunch. With video, all you have to do is hit play. You can consume on the move, pause if you need to, rewind if you want. Exactly the freedom you want on your mobile device.


SEO Strategic Plan


We have plenty of clients come to us and ask us ‘how can we make their website rank on the 1st page of Google’. First thing is first, any successful project starts with a plan. We call it a SEO Strategic Plan. We sit down with our client and ask a series of questions which help us determine what content and action plan we can create to help them rank in a good spot on Google.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like improvements, but when combined with other optimisations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results.

We recommend that you should base your optimisation decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors of your site. They’re the main consumers of your content and are using search engines to find your work. Focusing too hard on specific tweaks to gain ranking in the organic results of search engines may not deliver the desired results. Search engine optimisation is about putting your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.

The below Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) customisations will be help your site. Following the best practices outlined below in this post will make it easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand your content.

Create unique, accurate page titles on all your pages – a title tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is.

Make use of the “description” meta tag – a page’s description meta tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about

Improve the structure of your URLs – simple-to-understand URLs will convey content information easily.

Make your site easier to navigate – the navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important.

Create HTML and XML sitemaps on your website – a simple site map page with links to all of the pages or the most important pages on your site can be useful. Creating an XML Sitemap file for your site helps ensure that search engines discover the pages on your site.

Write better anchor text – anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link. The better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about.

Optimise your use of images – We will optimise your use of them. All images can have a distinct filename and “alt” attribute, both of which you should take advantage of. Media assets influence search rankings – i.e. photos, videos are all great ranking material.

Use heading tags appropriately – heading tags to emphasise important text. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important (1).

Make effective use of robots.txt – tells search engines whether they can access and therefore crawl parts of your site.

Outbound links – Make sure all outbound links in site are not named ‘Click here’ or ‘For more info’, but are named after your keywords.

Create profiles on all small business directory sites – Such as Yelp, True Local, Yellow and White Pages. It is very helpful to fill them with as many videos, photos and reviews, this helps your ranking.

Use reviews – the profiles are so powerful, everyone is comparison shopping, so it’s important to generate positive reviews.

Google’s Webmaster Tools – this helps you better control how Google interacts with your website and get useful information from Google about your site i.e how many people are linking to your site, HTML problems, how fast your website is, keyword research tool and much more.

Google Analytics – provides information on traffic and tracking information, i.e. bounce rates, website statistics, average visit duration and much more.

Google Keyword Suggester Tools – focuses on correct keywords for your business by identifying what keywords your site ranks for.

Create a Google+ account content posted on Google+ is crawled and indexed far quicker than on competitor sites. The most straightforward way Google+ impacts search rankings is with personalisation. For example, if someone is following you on Google+, the chances that they will see your posts in Google’s search results go way up.

Google AdWords – is a system Google has developed to assist you in marketing your products or services in the Google Search Engine, and its affiliate sites, via the use of a placed text ad that appears when people search for phrases related to your offering, this appears as a “sponsored link”. We will help set-up your account and create the first ad.

WordPress SEO Plugins 

Yoast – The most complete SEO plugin for WordPress available today offers you everything you need to optimise your site.

Google XML sitemaps – A plugin that generates a sitemap of your site which makes it much easier for search engine bots to review your site, which is important for SEO. Another feature is that it notifies major search engines when new content is added.

Super Cache – Speeds up your site, one of the things Google looks for is a fast loading site.

No Ping Wait – Every time you publish a post, it pings the internet which means you can be found quicker.


Google is creating new algorithms all the time. Search engines are constantly changing and evolving; they are consistently refining their techniques and algorithms to supply the best, relevant results to your searchers. That is the reason why we stress to our clients that SEO should be considered a marathon instead of a race to the finish line. Using legitimate and effective SEO strategies will deliver more impressive and lasting results.

Once we handover your website we highly recommend to stay ahead of your competitors you must continue to do the following outlined below:

  • Ensure you write unique, valuable and relevant content for your site, it will increase your chances ranking higher than your competitors. You must make sure to use your targeted keywords in the content. Around 400-500 words per page is what Google prefers.
  • Consistently update your website and your Google+ account for better SEO ranking.
  • Social media – lots of tweets and posts to show Google your business is popular and active.

21 SEO Tips from 21 SEO Experts at BrightonSEO

BrightonSEO usually ends with a ‘Lightning Talks’ session but this year Kelvin switched up the format and introduced a ‘Greatest Tips Session’.

The idea: every speaker from the day shares their top actionable SEO tip that attendees can start using when back in the office on Monday morning. We particularly liked the idea because it meant a chance to catch tips from speakers which we’d missed on the day.

We came away with 21 fantastic tips which we couldn’t help but share with those who couldn’t make it on Friday.

You can watch the full video, skim through the quick tips, or read the full transcript with our thoughts below.


If you are interested in developing your SEO skills then take a look at our Beginners SEO and Advanced SEO Strategy courses. Both courses are developed to quickly improve your practical skills and increase your search knowledge.

21 Quick SEO Tips

  1. Compile Multiple Data Sources To Create New Data Sets For Content – Aaron Friedman
  2. Combine Two Old Ideas To Create One New Idea – Shelli Walsh
  3. Study Consumer Purchase Funnels & Think Beyond Your Own Domain – Matt Roberts
  4. Open XML Sitemaps in Excel – Gerry White
  5. Don’t Create Content for the Sake of It, Add Context – John Hutson
  6. Quickly Improve Visibility by Optimising Pages That Rank for High Traffic Keywords – Lukasz Zelezny
  7. Play With Your Follow Up Outreach Emails & Only Send One – Gisele Navarro
  8. Use Facebook Custom Audiences To Create A Very Warm Retargeting Channel – Stephen Croome
  9. Try Swapping Jobs to Better Understand Co-Worker & Client Frustrations – Laura Crimmons
  10. Use Analytics To Understand What Customers Have Tried & Failed To Do On Your Site – Emma Haslam
  11. Test Content Ideas Using Online Usability Testing Services – Kirsty Hulse
  12. Make Sure Pages Are Being Crawled By Search Engines Before Spending Time Optimising Them – Annabelle Bouard
  13. There Is No Such Thing As A Free Link – Ian Miller
  14. Add Site Categories As Sites In Webmaster Tools To Work At A Granular Level – Dawn Anderson
  15. Post-Pigeon You Can Rank Locally With A Very Small Number Of Links & Citations – Matthew Brown
  16. Make Sure Your Name, Address & Phone Number Are Consistent Across All Listing Sites – David Whatley
  17. Use Tracking Tools To Monitor Changes To Google Guidelines & Competitor Sites – Aleyda Solis
  18. Make Sure You Know What Search Engines Are Building & Researching – Jan Willem-Bobbink
  19. Don’t Reuse Data For Infographics, Hire A Survey Company – Dipesh Pattni
  20. Fix URL Parameters In Google Analytics For More Accurate Reporting- Andy Miller
  21. Think Beyond The Top 10 – Gary Moyle

Keep reading to find out more about each tip.

1. Compile Multiple Data Sources To Create New Data Sets For Content

– Aaron FriedmanDigital Highrise & Curiyo

“One thing I’ve been doing a lot which is pretty successful is compiling data from many sources into one source. For example if I’m doing a review on the best movies and I want to do the best sports movies, I would find ten sources that have the sports movies. I would take some kind of average of all of them and create a nice data set on that and turn that into some sort of infographic or turn that into some kind of slideshow or something that I can share, referencing those people and getting some nice links from it and getting some nice content that’s actually based on someone else’s data so creating data from data.”

A great tip for anyone struggling with content ideas. It pays to publish unique content and this is a way to get your hands on a unique data source to set your content apart fromt he rest.

Aaron Friedman BrightonSEO September 2014

Aaron Friedman at BrightonSEO

2. Combine Two Old Ideas To Create One New Idea

– Shelli WalshShellShock UK

“There are no new ideas so actually combining two old ideas together to make a new idea is where it’s at. One really great way to do this is by using an ideas wall and this can really help in your campaigns. Take all your reference material, print it out, arrange it on a big wall and then you want to think like a detective show like Homeland. Colour up all the different groups and then use pins and string to link the different pieces of research together and that’s when you can start to bring random ideas together to create a new idea. It’s really great for content.”

Another tip for content ideas – instead of combining data sources, combine different ideas to create a new idea. Make connections between ideas for a fresh perspective on a subject.

3. Study Consumer Purchase Funnels & Think Beyond Your Own Domain

– Matt Roberts, LinkDex

“My first tip is for any sales guys in here. I had a call with LinkedIn last week and their sales guy wanted me to buy one of their mega premium accounts and I didn’t realise that you can buy, for a few bucks more than your normal LinkedIn account, an account that triggers alerts to any market or job title that changes people. So if you’re looking to track down new guys if you change job or you want to pitch to new guys then LinkedIn have this mega sales account which is not that expensive but is pretty good. Tip for SEOs comes from my talk; study your consumer purchase funnels and learn to optimise for more than your own domain. Think much bigger than that. Finally for any C-level Execs; spend big on organic because actually it’s a channel that is not big just because the people in this room think it’s big it’s because your consumers are on it.”

Matt decided to give three quick, useful tips. Sticking with the SEO tip I think this is something that is only going to become more important. There are often opportunities to partner with sites that rank around and even above you to increase your visibility. It’s off-site SEO but not as we know it!

4. Open XML Sitemaps in Excel

– Gerry WhiteSiteVisibility

“You can open up XML sitemaps in Excel. Literally just paste in the URL and then you can sort it and group it and pivot table it and do all that manipulation (and you can colour in!).”

A quick tip from Gerry for those who like to get stuck in with Excel.

5. Don’t Create Content for the Sake of It, Add Context

– John HutsonDigitasLBI

“Don’t just create content for the sake of it. Everyone is trying to do that at the moment for SEO. As we heard this morning, add context. Don’t be afraid to actually commentate on the sector or industry that you work in so that you’re actually becoming a voice within the sector and your consumers will see you as more of a neutral viewpoint. Although of course you’re still selling products within that particular industry, if you talk about that as a whole and offer your opinion and put everything into context for them then they’ll see you as more of a neutral brand.”

Another content focused tip. It’s more important than ever to make sure that your content stands head and shoulders above the competition. Becoming a well known voice in your industry is a great way to become an authoritative brand.

6. Quickly Improve Visibility by Optimising Pages That Rank for High Traffic Keywords

– Lukasz

“If you are starting to work in a company that already has a history of ranking organically, you can do something very easy to very quickly deliver an uplift. Go into Searchmetrics and go into SEMrush. Export the recent stats where your website or client website is ranking. You combine these links into one file and then do a deduplication of URLs and you will end up in a situation that on one side you have 200, 300, 500 or 1,000 keywords; every keyword pointing to a unique URL. If you are able to optimise all 1,000 URLs in the week, regarding to the keywords you have, then very quickly you will see visibility going massively up. That’s the way you can prove to your new employer that you are a good SEO.”

This tip is the short version of the talk that Lukasz gave at April’s BrightonSEO. It’s ideal if you’re taking on a new client or starting at a new company and want to quickly make a good impression.

7. Play With Your Follow Up Outreach Emails & Only Send One

– Gisele NavarroNeoMam Studios

“My tip is about outreach. I own three blogs so I get pitched all the time and I see this massive mistake with follow ups. Follow ups are great; we get really good results from the follow up stage sometimes even better than from the first round of outreach. The trend I see when I get pitched is that people will either send you a forward email saying ‘did you get the chance to see my email?’ and they will do that about 30 times. Or they will send a completely new email (30 times as well) and it will be like sales pitch after sales pitch of one piece of content. So my tip is very simple; play with your follow up emails. You already have the no so you can try new things. It’s good to forward an email, change the subject line, try something new. Acknowledge that you have contacted the person but just do it once, don’t follow up more than once. Just to give you an example of what we do; in my presentation today I talked about an infographic that is called Gay Marriage World Map. When we sent the first round of outreach, subject line is very simple; ‘Gay Marriage World Map (Infographic)’. When we did the follow up we changed that and we said ‘Learn in Which Countries They Will Kill you for Being Gay (Infographic)’. The open rate went 17% so just play with your follow ups because you have nothing to lose really.”

I gave up replying to bad outreach attempts a long time ago because I found that it didn’t have any impact on follow ups; marketers will just keep trying. I love the idea that, if done well, follow up emails can have a better success rate than initial outreach attempts.

8. Use Facebook Custom Audiences To Create A Very Warm Retargeting Channel

– Stephen

“My tip is on combining two channels to create a remarketing channel for yourself that is highly targeted on Facebook. If your company’s been around for a couple of years, take all the emails of people who have bought from you that haven’t bought from you in the last year. So everybody from a year backwards that hasn’t been a repeat customer and load those up into Facebook as a custom audience. What Facebook will do in the background is they will look for people who have signed up to Facebook with the same email. So if you upload about 100,000 emails it will be around 20-25,000 people who also signed up to Facebook and they will be people who (because you have loaded them up from your sales data) will have bought from you before. You can then market to this very warm custom audience. The second thing you can do is then create a lookalike audience for that. Facebook will look at the people you upload, their segmentation, and then they will extrapolate that. They will grow your audience for you. So if you give Facebook a little bit of information about who has bought from you, not only will you be able to remarket directly to them but Facebook will give you a whole big audience just like them to remarket to.”

Facebook Custom Audiences is one of my favourite discoveries this year. As well as allowing you to retarget very specific customer segments, the ‘lookalike audience’ feature will give you an audience that is just like your existing customers.

Stephen Croome BrightonSEO September 2014

Stephen Croome at BrightonSEO

9. Try Swapping Jobs to Better Understand Co-Worker & Client Frustrations

– Laura CrimmonsBranded3

“My top tip is to get out of your own job and try doing the jobs of the other people you work closely with. We’ve done this occasionally within Branded3 and with our clients. For example a few weeks ago one of our account managers was on holiday, I took over doing his out of office and doing his job. We’ve done the same with different things and it really helps you understand the frustrations that other people go through and how they work so that you can work more closely together. It also works in the same way if you’re an agency; go into your client’s office and do your client’s job for a bit. It helps you to understand the frustrations they have with agencies and helps you work better.”

What a fantastic team building idea. Step into your co-workers’ shoes and find out what keeps them up at night.

10. Use Analytics To Understand What Customers Have Tried & Failed To Do On Your Site

– Emma Haslam4 Ps Marketing

“My tip is to use Analytics to marry up intentions via keywords that people have come in from search engines or your own on-site search tool to then what they’ve interacted with on your site and what products they’ve looked at or even added to basket and then abandoned. Because understanding what customers have gone onto your site to do and then not done can be just as important as what they’ve actually then transacted with.”

I can see this tip being useful for developing new content or even products for your site. If users are arriving at your site expecting to do something then they can’t then that is a gap that you probably want to fill.

11. Test Content Ideas Using Online Usability Testing Services

– Kirsty HulseFound

“Testing content; you can use really cheap usability services. There’s something called Feedback Army which is for designers traditionally but you can use it to quickly test concepts for your ideas. I think it’s like $7 and they’ll tell you if it’s good or not so in the world where content is becoming more important it’s really cheap and easy to test it. Just Google ‘usability testing’ or something and there’s loads of different services that do it really cheaply.”

If your content results are unpredictable then this is a good way to test before wasting time and resources. It’s a relatively low expense to make sure you’re not wasting time on bad ideas.

12. Make Sure Pages Are Being Crawled By Search Engines Before Spending Time Optimising Them

– Annabelle BouardBotify

“There are so many things you can do to optimise your website, so many aspects to SEO. My tip is to really think hard when you are getting your priorities so that what you do is really full of impact because if you try to do on-page optimisation on pages which search engines have no idea exist then you are wasting your time. So my tip is to make sure that the pages you are spending time optimising are crawled by search engines before doing so.”

An important reminder not to forget the basics. If a page is not being crawled by Google then any time spent optimising it is time wasted.

13. There Is No Such Thing As A Free Link

– Ian MillerCrafted

“This morning I talked about where Google may be going in the future but my tip is actually around still something that SEOs do which is build links. Fundamentally it’s not so much a tip but to understand that there is actually, in my mind, no such thing as a free link. Even though there’s been an awful lot of talk around the fact that with PR, with content, with infographics you can these free links, but actually it’s still a transaction. You are still spending time, effort, design resource, development resource. There’s still a cost to that. And actually if you add in outreach and all the other time you need to understand the cost of all the activities you’re doing versus the benefit that it’s giving because sometimes people can say ‘we did some outreach but we only got two links’ and if that was a designer for a day, a developer for a day, other bits of account management, outreach for two or three days then that’s an inefficient process. As SEOs we need to understand that it isn’t free and that we can make it a lot more efficient and a lot more effective by actually understanding what the true cost of what some of these ‘free’ links actually is.”

Ian’s talk was one of my favourites. His tip comes as a warning to those who see content & outreach links as ‘free’ when the cost can soon add up once you start considering time spent on acquisition. With this in mind, outreach that only gains a couple of links is an unsustainable practice.

Ian Miller BrightonSEO September 2014

Ian Miller at BrightonSEO

14. Add Site Categories As Sites In Webmaster Tools To Work At A Granular Level

– Dawn AndersonMove It Marketing

“My tip is to get a real view of the categories on your website, a search engine view. So I would say make the categories of your site as sites in webmaster tools so you can get a really, really narrow view of how Google is looking at one section in isolation. You can see the queries for that category, the associated keywords in content keywords and start to really work at that sort of granular level within a larger website.”

Based on the response from the audience I think this is a tip that a lot of people have never considered. I can see this being invaluable for large e-commerce sites that sell a diverse range of products. Make sure that Google understands the purpose of each category on your site.

15. Post-Pigeon You Can Rank Locally With A Very Small Number Of Links & Citations

– Matthew BrownMoz

“So in my session today I talked a bit about Google Pigeon which is a localisation algorithm where if you search from one city you get a very different set of results if you search from another city or location or even neighbourhood. One day I had a friend named Michael Cottam who woke up and was ranking number one in many, many cities for ‘independent SEO consultant’ and he never targeted that with keywords, links, not with tags on his page and so in backtracking that this was up and around to Google Pigeon he figured out that he was in this directory listing as an independent SEO consultant on this local directory and that’s kind of what we’re seeing now with these localised results and that you’ll see here very soon with Google UK is you need a very small number of links and citations, chiefly citations and local, to rank really highly in these localised organic results. So, in some cases you don’t need to build a tonne of links or even a link. You just need to be listed in the right local directories to get into localised organic results, not just in map packs or local packs. If you’re doing local SEO that’s a big opportunity.”

Matthew gave the best talk of the day and his tip is something that UK SEOs need to pay attention to. So far the Pigeon update has only affected the US but it’s likely to come to the UK soon. Make sure you learn from what’s happened in the US and you should see an uplift in local search.

Matthew Brown BrightonSEO September 2014

Matthew Brown at BrightonSEO

16. Make Sure Your Name, Address & Phone Number Are Consistent Across All Listing Sites

– David Whatley, MiShop.Local

“My tip is in relationship to local search and specifically getting the name, address and phone number right. So I have a very simple message and it is get your NAP correct. If you’re finding that you’re getting a duplicate listing in Google, the chances are you have conflicting NAP information on different listing sites. My tip of the day is to actually go and search for conflicting data, search through Google and see in which directories those listings are appearing and then fix them. Don’t add new listings to listing sites until you fix the old ones if you’re an existing business. If you’re a new business it should be okay but make sure that your name, address and phone number are consistently listed across all useful, local listing sites.”

One way you can prepare for Pigeon is to follow David’s advice and make sure that you have consistent NAP information across the web. This is especially important if you’ve recently rebranded or changed address – it’s likely that there are a lot of old listings that may result in duplicate listings in Google.

17. Use Tracking Tools To Monitor Changes To Google Guidelines & Competitor Sites

– Aleyda SolisOrainti

“I would like to share an anecdote that happened to me just this week. In June Google updated their mobile recommendations when moving from configuration to another. For example, if you want to change the type of mobile website that you have, move from a parallel type of mobile to dynamic serving or to responsive web design, they included that you need to do a migration; but they included that the migration should be done with a 302 redirect. This raised a couple of eyebrows as you can imagine because we were used to doing this with 301 permanent redirects. A lot of people asked, we didn’t get any type of definitive answer, we didn’t know what had happened. Last week they updated the recommendations without saying anything to anyone and they just removed and replaced the 302 to 301 again; funny right? For these types of scenarios, it is very, very handy to keep a very close eye on Google recommendations, Google guidelines. Especially when they tweak a little thing like ‘ah, paid links are now approved, everyone start buying links’ (it’s a joke). We need to pay very close attention. So use tools like Versionista or OnWebChange; these are tools which have a free version and you can track not only the content changes on any page, any html or pdf, but also you can track if there’s any change to the code. For example, if your competitors start using structured markup and you have been pushing out for a long time to include structured markup and you didn’t have the approval from your boss now you have a case. You don’t wait to see the positive effect on the SERPs, you quickly know what your competitors are doing and you can keep a very close eye on them.”

This is a tip we’ve used for competitors but I’ve not thought to do it for webmaster guidelines! I can’t think of a better way to make sure you find out about changes before everyone else.

18. Make Sure You Know What Search Engines Are Building & Researching

– Jan

“Make sure as an online marketer you know what the search engines are building and researching. Monitor the patents, monitor the papers, and make sure you know what they are developing. I have a case in which I was aware of what Google was doing with microformats so what I did before Google accepted the yellow stars as rich snippets in search engine result pages was build in the markup data and make sure that once they launched it I was one of the first websites to have the yellow snippets. So be on top of what Google is researching because what they will publish is probably already implemented in one of the next algorithms.”

Almost a follow on from Aleyda’s tip and also a common theme of the day – it pays to know what Google is up to. Predict important developments and you can be the first to reap the benefits.

Jan Willem-Bobbink

Jan Willem-Bobbink at BrightonSEO

19. Don’t Reuse Data For Infographics, Hire A Survey Company

– Dipesh PattniPHD Media

“Next time you create an infographic don’t try to use data that already exists. Hire a survey company that can get you over 2,000 respondents; if you get over 2,000 respondents your infographic becomes newspaper worthy. So you’re not just trying to put it out on social networks, what you’re trying to do is get it into newspapers as well and that integrates your PR with your SEO.”

The final content tip of the day. Instead of using other people’s data, commision your own! This is yet another tactic that will set your content apart from the competition and give you a better return on investment.

20. Fix URL Parameters In Google Analytics For More Accurate Reporting

– Andy MillerBlueGlass

“My tip is something that everybody in the industry needs to do on Monday morning if you haven’t already done it; and that’s go to Google Analytics, have a look at the content URLs that appear in the Behaviour area and fix them. What you’ll see is if you have dynamic parameters or bits appended to your URLs, they’ll appear individually. When you start to do behavioural analysis for the content and the SEO that you’re doing it becomes very difficult. Especially when you’re trying to look at business value and look at the revenue that certain landing pages are trying to bring in. So go into the settings, get rid of the parameters that aren’t necessary, look at filters to try and group content together and then go one step further and look at your content grouping. Take areas of the site, particularly areas that you’ve worked on as SEOs and segment those out as particular content groups. Then, when it comes to showing whether you’ve done a good job or not it becomes a lot easier. You can just take that content group with all the URLs and say ‘look, that’s brought in more money’.”

This is a common problem on our Google Analytics courses when companies have never removed parameters and so find it very hard to effectively report on individual pages. It’s a relatively easy fix that will make your life easier in future.

21. Think Beyond The Top 10

– Gary MoyleNetBooster UK

“Think beyond the top 10; our click curve study shows that people are scrolling below the fold more and more and actually onto pages two and three. So make sure you understand your own CTR for those users and think about how you can elevate traffic for existing rankings rather than just constantly chasing positions. So think about your page titles, your meta descriptions. I look at SERPs time and time again and I still see companies getting that wrong time and time again. That might mean focusing on your CMS providing to make sure you have more editorial control over page titles and meta descriptions, especially for those headline pages. Then if you are a retailer, for example, maybe you need to think about a rule based solution for deeper pages; multifaceted navigation, deeper sub-category pages and products. Think about a rule based interface to make those snippets really perform for you.”

The final tip of the day from Gary reminded us that not only is Google changing but the way users search is changing. He claimed that more people are scrolling below the fold and even visiting pages 1 and 2. That makes it vital to make sure that your result is as clickable as possible. As well as working on titles & descriptions I recommend taking advantage of any rich snippets as well (although Google are removing more and more every day!)

This article was taken from Silicon Beach Training