Every business now is a digital business. These days no matter what business you are in, people are searching for you online for your type of business.
An effective Marketing Plan can cover hundreds of strategies and tactics but a key strategy is getting found online. So in this episode of the Marketing Strategy Show discussed how important a search marketing strategy what are the key success path.
The episode contains a discussion of the fundamentals of SEO:
1. Getting your Website “SEO ready”
2. Keyword Research
- Where to start
- Keyword Mapping
- Tools you can use
- When keyword to focus on
3. The importance of content
- Quality content
- How it affects your “ranking”
- Creating content
1. Keyword Research
2. Website Effectiveness
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If you want more information from the podcast check out the transcript below.
The Research for Results Transcript
Welcome to marketing show, the 20 to 30 minutes of marketing magic that will help you connect the dots with all the digital, social and old school marketing and sales options available today.
Our aim is to give you practical effective tips and ideas so your business or professional practise can get more prospects and nurture those prospects to becoming long term customers.
The show is sponsored by the Marketing Strategy Company who help B2B organisations develop winning marketing strategies and sales & marketing automation systems to turn their sales and marketing efforts into new customers and dollars through their marketing.
Check out the Marketing Strategy Company’s planning and marketing services at themarketingstrategy.co, that’s themarketingstrategy.co
Kym Heffernan: Hi and welcome to today’s marketing strategy show. The marketing strategy show is all about getting the right marketing done for your business. Now, there’s been a lot of talk over the last gosh knows how many years; two years, one year, six months or what I call click bait headlines talking about how SEO is dead, and there’s a lot of, I call them shady SEO people out there who will offer you to do this and do that and I probably get 10 emails a week and you all probably get the same.
But SEO is not about hack tactics or trying to fool Google, it’s about actually matching what people are searching for to what you’re offering online. So, what I thought it would be good to do is take a look at what the real status of SEO is today in 2019.
So I invited a guy who is an SEO expert who manages lots of clients in SEO and also Google AdWords as well, so he’s well on top of what Google needs, his name is Louie Ramos from Digital Presence, and Louie are you there?
Louie Ramos: Hi Kim, how are ya?
Kym Heffernan: Great mate, great to have you on the show, and thanks for joining us to share your expertise. I might start off if it’s okay with you to give people a bit of background on the Louie story. Don’t start from when you’re one year old, but maybe-
Louie Ramos: It’s all good, but first of all I’m glad to be here, and thanks for having me in your podcast.
So my name is Louie Ramos I am the co-founder of Digital Presence. We specialise in SEO and Google AdWords and me myself I have been in the industry for more than 15 years. I was one of the in house SEO guys for Telstra Bigpond and after my stay with Telstra I was in charge of Bigpond music, Bigpond shopping and Bigpond games. After that we started Digital Presence and we’ve been running for nearly 10 years now and that’s what I said earlier we specialise in SEO and Google AdWords.
Kym Heffernan: So how did you get into that Lou? What fascinated you with AdWords and SEO? Was it the challenge of trying to [inaudible 00:02:56] Google or what fascinated you to get into SEO and AdWords in the first place? Just out of interest.
Louie Ramos: That’s all right, so my background is I used to be a network engineer and a software developer and Google works the same way. Google is a computer software that runs in a network, and that’s one of the things that interest me, it’s gonna be a challenge but it’s something that I can do because of my background.
Kym Heffernan: Right
Louie Ramos: And that’s how I started getting involved in SEO and Google AdWords.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah look, I think these days no matter what business you’re in people are searching for you online, there are a lot of people particularly in professional services saying look, “I don’t get any good leads online I build through referral networks.” The reality is you’re missing out on a whole lot of business if you’re not optimised online.
It may not be the majority source of your business but there will be people searching for your type of business online because I think the stats say something like 70% of people research you online before they contact you. I forget the exact number, it’s something like that isn’t it?
Louie Ramos: Something like that yeah, very close and based on the latest research about 90% of the business in Australia … or people in Australia are searching online and they’re using Google to search and that’s why every business is a digital business. If you have a business you have to have a website and you have to be listed online to get found.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah and it has to be, so people can find you because if they don’t find you, the reality is they’re gonna find someone else. So it doesn’t really matter. It’s especially critical these days if you’re a local business, but it’s just as critical if your customers are Sydney wide or New South Wales wide and the rules are changing all the time.
You’ve probably seen a lot of changes over that ten years Louie, over your Google journey but if I can call it that. But there are some fundamentals that have remained the same and we spoke about those just before the call. I think you talked about number one is getting your website right to start off with, isn’t it?
Louie Ramos: Correct, so everyone should start with a website and to make sure that your website is SEO friendly. When I say SEO friendly it has to be responsive, it has to be mobile friendly. So it will render different devices, desktop, mobile, tablet.
You need to have the right content so meaning if you’re a trainee, if you’re an electrician your website should be about your electrical services and they have to be structured correctly and another thing is your website should be loading really fast because you want your visitor to have a pleasant user experience and they don’t need to wait a minute or so to visit a page of your website. It has to load really quick.
One thing that people should look into or really consider the most is the keywords on the website and that’s why before creating a website we need to do something that we call keyword research, or keyword market research. To find out what are the most suitable keywords for your website so that you can properly tag them on the landing pages before creating the website.
Kym Heffernan: That’s a really important point, a lot of people will brief a web developer to say, “I want a new website.” The web developer will ask the person what the keywords … usually if they’re a good web developer hint for you, if you’re building a new website and your web developer doesn’t ask you for keywords, telling him you wanna keyword optimise, if he doesn’t I’d probably look at another web developer.
Louie Ramos: Yup
Kym Heffernan: To be blunt about that, but where do they start with keywords? Let’s say for example, I’ll just use a hypothetical. I’m an electrician for example, obviously, “Electrician.”, “Electrical.” So it’s all the variations on that we’re talking about, isn’t it?
Louie Ramos: Yup, that’s correct so you basically start with the obvious, like when you said, “Electrician.” And then what other services are you providing? If you’re providing residential electrician, are you a residential electrician, commercial electrician, industrial electrician, emergency electrician? So you need to start with these obvious things.
You start with the root keyword which is “Electrician.” And then the other branches of the industry, like what I said earlier, commercial, residential and then focus on the area that you want to service. Start with your service area, if you’re based in the Hills then start using the suburb like “Castle Hill”, or even, “Seven hills.” Those kind of things that you need to factor in.
Kym Heffernan: If you’re based in Melbourne you’d use Melbourne or Sydney or whatever is [inaudible 00:07:31] to do, right?
Louie Ramos: Correct, so you need to focus on the big city names as well, because they have the most search volume.
Kym Heffernan: It’s an interesting tool we discussed before and it’s called SEM Rush, so if people just Google semrush.com and get a free account, that will help you do some of that unusual keyword research, right?
Louie Ramos: That’s correct, that’s a very useful tool and it provides you with a lot of insights. Not just with your keywords but also with your competitors. So you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you can see what your competitors are doing and you can see which keywords they’re ranking for, and if those keywords have a lot of search volume and it’s relevant to your website, then you need to focus on those keywords.
Kym Heffernan: And there’s a whole lot of learning around keywords so we can take hours talking about that today but if people really wanna get into the keywords one of the things I used as a source for this Moz, M-O-Z, and I’m sure you know Moz as well.
Louie Ramos: Yeah Moz is a very good tool as well.
Kym Heffernan: And the guy who runs it Rand Fishkin is a true expert at keywords.
Louie Ramos: He’s a genius.
Kym Heffernan: So if you were doing market research on what people are going to, what shops they’re gonna look at you’d wanna know what shops you go to, what you think about when you buy, that’s all keywords is, really that’s all it is.
Louie Ramos: That’s right, exactly right and you need to put yourself in the customers shoes, we’re all consumers, we all know what to type in when we’re looking for something.
So the first things that comes in your head, you try searching for those keywords, see what kind of search volume they have. If you wanna, let’s say if you’re looking for a charcoal chicken and you’ve been craving for one, you can type in, “charcoal chicken near me.” And then you can find the closest chicken restaurant that offers that charcoal chicken. So this kind of way of coming up with keywords, they do work and those are the things that you need to consider as well when doing keyword research.
Kym Heffernan: The other thing I think that’s really important with keywords that I find as well, and I’d love to get your feedback on this as well is don’t just do what’s in your own head, ask the people who speak to your customers, or ask your customers, “Hey, just out of interest.” Probably not long term customers, new customers, “Just out of interest, how did you find us on Google? What were you searching for?”
Louie Ramos: Exactly right.
Kym Heffernan: And very often they’ll be able to tell you, so get feedback directly from customers, don’t just get locked in your own head and your desk. Ask people, ask your mates, ask networking groups, “If you were looking for this, what would you key in?” Because I guarantee what you key in, and i key in are probably different Louie, right?
Louie Ramos: Exactly, we always ask all the inquiries that we get, “How did you find us on Google? What did you type in?” Because those are really good feedbacks, because there might be some keywords there that you’re ranking for, that you’re not aware of and these clients will give you those details, and then if you’re getting some [inaudible 00:10:29] from those keywords then you can put more focus on them and then you can even optimise seeing better keywords with that keyword that they found you on.
Kym Heffernan: The final thing I guess in keywords, there’s two real things to think about isn’t it, it’s great that there is a keyword that people are searching for, if only one person is searching for it there’s not gonna be a whole lot of demand for it, right?
Louie Ramos: There’s a lot of variety of keywords out there.
Kym Heffernan: So you’ve really gotta look at traffic volume for that, haven’t you? How many people are actually searching for that as well?
Louie Ramos: That’s right, so after you’ve decided which keywords you wanna focus on based on the obvious and from asking other people around, then you need to factor in the traffic that those keywords are getting every month so that you can shortlist the main keywords that you wanna focus on.
Kym Heffernan: And really that’s the start of your whole SEO strategy, and really your website strategy, that’s really where it should start from in some ways in terms of doing that to attract traffic to the website.
So now I’ve got my keywords, the next stage is what do I need to do from there on the website? I’ve heard about strategies of people trying to stuff keywords, which I think people used to do but that’s all gone out the window hasn’t it?
Louie Ramos: Yeah, so after you’ve identified your keywords, the next thing that you need to do is what we call keyword mapping, so keyword mapping is you strategically place these keywords either on your home page or in your landing pages in the metadata, in the title, meta description and also strategically place them within the contents.
So strategically meaning you have to place them in those areas or those contents naturally where you don’t have like 100 instances of keywords on one page, it doesn’t work that way anymore, it has to be natural.
Gone are the days where you will populate your contents with, let’s say for example lawyers, you gonna have 100 keywords that says, “Lawyers.” In the content, you can now use semantics, meaning you can use, “Lawyers.” You can use, “Solicitors.” You can use “Attorney.” Or other synonym of that keyword, and Google is smart enough to distinguish the similarities between those keywords and in that way it’s not gonna be a pain reading the content. It’s gonna look natural and people will love your content, and so will Google.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, I mean those days, not going that long ago you’d have to create a page for “Lawyers in Sydney.”, “Solicitors in Sydney.”, “Attorneys in Sydney.”, “Sydney lawyers.”, and you’d read these content pages, and they’d say, “If you want a lawyer in Sydney, we’re the best lawyer in Sydney.”
Louie Ramos: That’s right yeah, gone are the days.
Kym Heffernan: That’s really awkward to read, and people just leave that page because it’s rubbish.
Louie Ramos: It’s rubbish, there’s no value.
Kym Heffernan: It might attract people.
Louie Ramos: Back in the days, yeah, go ahead.
Kym Heffernan: Because there’s a couple of factors that people, especially Google looks at in terms of ranking pages, it’s not just getting people there in the first place it’s how long they stay, right?
Louie Ramos: It’s how long they stay, and that depends on the value of that content. If you’re providing value to your readers, to your visitors then they will stay longer on your website and Google can also track that.
Like you said gone are the days where people are using those kind of keyword strategy, you can consolidate those pages now, you can just have them into one page and then come up with valuable content that will give value to your readers, and to Google as well.
Kym Heffernan: And that will rank much higher in engagements, but people much more as well.
Louie Ramos: Exactly.
Kym Heffernan: So, [inaudible 00:13:52] I’ve often heard as well is not just looking at the content but the images you use on the page as well, so to make sure you upload, and I see this quite often that it’s not called, “651050cool.jpg.” it’s actually celled, “LegalservicesSydney-Sydneylawyers.jpg.” Right?
Louie Ramos: Yeah, you need to use keywords in your image file name, and the attributes of your image because Google can’t read images, they can only read the attributes that’s within that image, so what you said is correct.
Kym Heffernan: And the other thing is just don’t focus on 300 keywords, focus on 10 or 15 high value keywords for you depending on whether you’re trying to attract people beginning when they read [inaudible 00:14:35] and maybe think about the keywords right at the beginning as well. Look people are searching for an electrician for example, it might be something like, “How much is it gonna cost an electrician to rewire my house?” So it’s not an emergency situation but that’s what I call top of funnel content, but an emergency electrician is entirely different, so just think about different situations.
Louie Ramos: That’s right, you need to know that, yes.
Kym Heffernan: So when I’ve got my keywords, I’ve got my list of keywords now so I’m focused on 10 keywords, I then to work out which 10 pages I wanna optimise those keywords for, is that right?
Louie Ramos: Yes, that’s correct, so once you’ve identified those pages, then you can start distributing those keywords accordingly to those pages, so that it’s relevant to the content of those pages and that’s what Google wants.
Kym Heffernan: And our marketing SEO geek talk, Louie is gonna be it’s called, “On page strategy.” Right?
Louie Ramos: Correct, it’s called, “On page.” Or, “On site SEO.” That’s the ones that are within your website.
Kym Heffernan: And what about linking internally on the page to other pages? How important is that these days as well?
Louie Ramos: So that’s also important because when Google crawls your website it crawls the links on your website, so if you have a proper interlinking strategy then Google will easily find the other pages of your website and will be able to identify them accordingly so that they can display that in the search results, based on what the page is all about, what keywords are in there and based on what people are searching for.
Kym Heffernan: That’s fantastic that we know that, but the crawling, can I just go back to crawling. What does crawling actually mean for those people who don’t know what that is?
Louie Ramos: It’s all good. So crawling is-
Kym Heffernan: No, that’s all right, that’s fine.
Louie Ramos: So I’ll give you a quick story.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, please.
Louie Ramos: Google have this thing called Google Bots or Crawl bots so what they do, is these are computers that crawls all the pages in the internet and that’s how Google index all these websites and added that into the database, and then once they’re in the database that’s when the algorithm will kick in to process all the contents to match the relevancy of those contents to the searches, this and that.
So crawling is just basically the term used by Google to say, “Oh hey, I’m reading your website. I can see your home page, I can see your sub pages, these are the contents, these are the videos that you have in here.” So that’s just one way of archiving all those contents.
Kym Heffernan: Without going too technical.
Louie Ramos: I did my best not to be too technical.
Kym Heffernan: No, that’s good, but they will come back on some sort of regular schedule to your website and every other website, but websites that don’t have much content updated regularly they won’t get crawled by those bots as regularly, right?
Louie Ramos: That’s correct.
Kym Heffernan: Because Google knows they haven’t updated for 12 months I’m not gonna look at it for another 12 months.
Louie Ramos: Exactly.
Kym Heffernan: What happens is all your competitors are updating content, Google will see they’re updating content and they’ll get ranked higher and higher so it’s important that you update content, isn’t it?
Louie Ramos: It’s very important to update your content and to have fresh content regularly on your website because Google feeds on good content, and Google can see all the activities happening on your website. If your website is active then Google will send all the bots all the time to index or cache those contents that you have in there, and it’s good for your SEO.
Kym Heffernan: I mean content creation is sometimes, I know for my clients and I’m sure you sometimes struggle with that too Louie with your clients, people get hung up a lot on content creation, don’t they?
Louie Ramos: They do, some people thinks that SEO is just all about contents and it’s not really all about content, content are just part of SEO and there are a lot of things that you need to do to promote those contents. So that you will rank those contents, those pages in Google. But content is one of the most important elements of SEO.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, but I think just in terms of contents, just some really simple things and we talked about this before the call. I still see a lot of people might have a pdf guide for example, take that contents in your pdf guide and actually put it on the website.
Louie Ramos: Exactly.
Kym Heffernan: What is a pdf? That’s website content. Very often we’ve got so much content around the business, it might be a guide, it might be a presentation you do, anything you do can be content. It’s already sitting there as your business, you don’t have to spend hours sitting there writing blog posts [inaudible 00:19:04].
Louie Ramos: Coming up with new ones, exactly. You can repurpose those contents from the PDF’s.
Kym Heffernan: And maybe you’ve done a podcast like we’ve done here, or maybe you’ve done a talk somewhere. Maybe just sit down with a microphone and record it, and send it off to somewhere to get it transcribed [inaudible 00:19:20].
There’s lots of different ways of creating content that’s already there, maybe you’ve got a video on your website already talking about the services you have. Send it off and get it transcribed and there’s two or three pages of content.
Louie Ramos: That’s correct Kim and that’s a very good tip. So that’s one thing that people should also look into, finding out all those old PDFs, those old videos and just extract those contents and turn them into text files, or into webpages.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, into webpages, but make sure those webpages are matched to the keywords we spoke about earlier on, right? That’s the other important thing.
Louie Ramos: Correct, and another thing that we can add here is, if you wanna make sure that … you need to have unique content to get Google’s favour all the time. So if you wanna make sure that your content are unique go to a tool called Copyscape, copyscape.com and then you can just add in the content there, you paste all the contents or you paste the URL of the website, and it will check it for you if it’s a duplicate copy of another content or if someone else have published that before you and it will give you all these details, it’s a very good tool to check content.
Kym Heffernan: That’s a really important point, don’t take someone else’s website content, copy it and past it onto yours because what Google will do, they’ll ignore yours.
Louie Ramos: It’s a big no.
Kym Heffernan: It’s called duplicate content, right? So a) It’s bad to do that. It’s not ethical I don’t think for people to do that.
Louie Ramos: Yeah, it’s not ethical.
Kym Heffernan: But there’s nothing wrong with looking at an article, say for example you’ve written on SEO. I will take that article look at it pick out the key points I think are important and acknowledge the fact that you’ve written, but make commentary on it. People can do that as well.
Louie Ramos: Exactly, they can do that.
Kym Heffernan: It doesn’t have to be all original, it can be, “I read a story in the newspaper, or an article about xyz and here’s what I think about that.”
Louie Ramos: Yup. Exactly, and that’s one of the best ways as well, because Google is actually encouraging people to do that. If you’ve read something, you write something about it, you acknowledge the source and that’s another part of SEO. By acknowledging the source you’re creating a [inaudible 00:21:23] for that source, and that’s on the offside SEO part of the overall SEO strategy.
Kym Heffernan: So we’ll jump to [inaudible 00:21:30] in a minute but just before we do I just wanna touch on something you mentioned before, everyone knows these days you’ve gotta be mobile optimised so I’m not gonna spend any more time on that.
What’s the best tool to check that you’re properly mobile optimised and your speed on mobile these days Louie, what would you recommend people use to double check that?
Louie Ramos: So the best tool to use will be the tool that Google have created themselves.
Louie Ramos: So if you just Google “Page Speed Insights.” And then that will be the first one to come up in the search results, and you can check your website there.
Kym Heffernan: That gives you both mobile and desktop, right? That gives you both?
Louie Ramos: Correct, it gives you both mobile and desktop and there’s a new tool that Google have created that combine all these metrics to give you the best report about your website, and it’s called WebDev so www.web.dev WebDev, web.dev.
Kym Heffernan: Okay, I’ll put … I’ll get [inaudible 00:22:26] then we’ll put them in the show notes for people as well with this. Mobile is important, but page speed is becoming increasingly important. I guess they’re related aren’t they? Because I know how frustrated I get, if you’re on a mobile phone right, the site takes … people won’t wait three seconds for it to load. On a desktop they might, but on a mobile if it’s not there straight away your out of there right, you’ve gone to someone else.
Louie Ramos: That’s right, and because mobile is a very small device it can’t see as much as what you can see on desktop, you need to make sure you have that mobile version of your website to keep the engagement rate high with your respective clients.
Kym Heffernan: And that also means to keep … you know those images that you’ve put on, the big images you see on websites, they’re really important, but make sure those images are not big files, right?
Louie Ramos: Correct, yes. That’s one of the things that we always check, to make sure that those images are not like two megabyte or four megabyte in size because that’s gonna cause your website to slow down when you’re rendering to more visitors.
Kym Heffernan: Okay, so we’ve got our you know keywords, you know what people are searching for, we’ve got our website optimised to those keywords, we’ve got that in place where we’re doing regular content, but really the core way Google was built, I think people have lost sight on this because when people say links, you think about spammy links to things and Google themselves have tried to discourage that and I think that they’ve actually … I’ve seen a lot of, not a lot, but a number of what I call [inaudible 00:24:01] SEO guys like you. Like any industry there’s bad people so I won’t [inaudible 00:24:06].
They’ll say, “Oh, because you’re getting links here, don’t do that, don’t do this.” The reality is Google is, the way it was explained to me and tell me if I’m wrong here, the original concept was called “Page Rank.”
Louie Ramos: Page Rank, yes.
Kym Heffernan: Named after Larry Page one of the founders, not the pages in Google. It’s a bit like going to library, you get out a library book in the back of that library book it’s got all these references, so if your book is referenced by all these other books, Google says, “This must be a good book because 200 others recommended it.” That’s basically what links are all about.
The problem is people manipulate or try to manipulate the system, so they created all these fake links and all sorts of things, but Google now is smart enough to know what is a good link and what is a bad link, right?
Louie Ramos: That’s correct.
Kym Heffernan: So for most businesses that you deal with are SME’s, you mentioned starting with directories was that right? In terms of links?
Louie Ramos: You start with not just any directories because they can easily get abused by spammers, so what they need to focus on are the high authority directories that are regulated so meaning not all links will be approved.
There’s a person behind the website that’s approving those links so one of them, let’s say for example truelocal.com maybe or similar because they’re being looked after.
Kym Heffernan: Or even Yellow Pages.
Louie Ramos: Even Yellow Pages, but Yellow Pages I think is charging a lot of money if you wanna have a link there, but that’s a good way to start, and what we advise our clients is when you’re doing building, you need to focus not just on relevancy but also you need to spread out your keywords evenly across those links that you will build.
Kym Heffernan: Right, okay, so don’t just try and get everyone back on your maintenance keyword, this again comes back to keywords. I’ve got 15 keywords I wanna say, “I want one link to be on this keyword, one link to be on other keyword.” Okay, right.
Louie Ramos: That’s correct, and they need to look natural, they also need to … you know you can’t just have all the links pointing to the home page, you need to spread them out. You need to spread them out to your blog posts. You need to spread them out to your services pages, or your Contact Us page because when people are linking to other sites they’re not always referring to the home page.
They can probably say, “Contact this company, and they will help you.” And they will link to the Contact Us page. That’s a good way of acquiring back links naturally and Google loves that because that’s natural, pretty much, and you don’t over optimise your link building campaign.
Kym Heffernan: And then you’ve got things like your local business chamber for example, or your local networking groups, those sort of things. Anyone has a directory, right?
Louie Ramos: That’s correct, if you can get listed there that’s a good back link to your business.
Kym Heffernan: And then I guess most industry has specially [inaudible 00:27:06] things too I mean people in building construction and design, you’ve got Houss for example H-O-U-S-S people in travel and restaurants, you’ve got Trip Advisors so there’s lots of good directories around that we give very high authority.
Louie Ramos: Correct, and there’s a lot of them out there and like we mentioned earlier if you use that tool Sem Rush they will also … you will find a lot of links or a lot of directories from that tool based on your competitors back links or to other websites back links and-
Kym Heffernan: That’s a really great thing.
Louie Ramos: It’s a good way to start [inaudible 00:27:37].
Kym Heffernan: What other ways do you use for clients to acquire … it’s not a simple I can automate it, you really have to be careful and find good quality links and research properly, don’t you?
Louie Ramos: That’s correct, like you say, it’s not as simple as everyone thinks because you need to be very cautious and very careful when you’re doing this because sometimes it may cause more damage than good. That’s why you need to get an SEO expert to do all these strategies for you because we know how to do it right.
Another way of acquiring back links is what we call guest posting, so you outreach to people that owns blogs or websites that are relevant to your niche and then you ask them how you can get back links from the website. Either in a form of article, or to be a sponsor of your website so forth and so on. That’s another good way of acquiring high authority back links. Relevant back links.
Kym Heffernan: That’s a really good point. It’s simple if you’re gonna sponsor a school or a charity or something ask them, “Can I put my logo on your website?” And that logo might link back to your website.
Louie Ramos: Exactly right and it actually helps especially if it’s a school, a .edu website has really high authority because it’s a trusted website and you can get a lot of SEO value out of that.
Kym Heffernan: And then community organisations what you do, most people are happy to put their sponsors up there, we’re not asking for any more than that.
Louie Ramos: Correct.
Kym Heffernan: That actually helps you, it’s actually doing a good thing for the community as well. So you’re looking at the sponsorship, if you’re in a professional association for example. Like you’re a lawyer or a chiro or something like that, who can write guest articles, ask them can you have a link back to that article on your website or think about what you can offer them at the end of the article, “Here’s my article, if you want 10 tips or a guide you can click and get the guide here and take them back to that.” So think about natural things that will actually work to do that.
Louie Ramos: That’s right, couldn’t say it better.
Kym Heffernan: Yeah, you’ve really gotta set the first pieces in place really, first of all. Get your keyword strategy, get the website. So there’s no point in doing guest links and all those things if people get to website and they get a bad experience, right?
Louie Ramos: That’s exactly right, that’s why we need to start with the onsite SEO get those elements on the website, set them up properly, so that when people lands on your website they’re gonna stay there.
Kym Heffernan: The other thing for people sometimes SEO is a black box, we don’t know what Google is doing, everyone is guessing but the reality is there’s something called Google Analytics which most people probably have on the website already but they just don’t look at it.
Kym Heffernan: Google Analytics pretty much tells you what Google is looking at, doesn’t it?
Louie Ramos: It tells you a lot of things, correct, not just how many people are visiting to your website, it tells you how long they stayed on your website, which pages they visited, which pages they exited from and how many percent are bouncing off the website meaning leaving the website. These are all critical metrics and they are also ranking factors because Google can see all this data and if your visitors are only staying for 20 seconds on your website then Google will say, “Oh what’s wrong with this website? It shouldn’t be on page one because people aren’t staying on the website.”
Google wants quality on page one, quality websites, so that’s why Google Analytics the data there are very important to consider when you’re doing your SEO.
Kym Heffernan: I think there’s probably a whole topic on that, that’s worthwhile talking about with people, and maybe if you’re open to it I might get you back on another time.
Louie Ramos: Sounds good, I’ll do that.
Kym Heffernan: To talk through what people should look through on that analytics because I think that’s a really important thing, look there’s so much in there, it can be very confusing when you go in there can’t it? Because it’s just a mass of data.
When you’re working with clients like you do every day, you’re in there all the time, the average person … there’s probably only three of four [inaudible 00:31:34] and I think the other thing like-
Louie Ramos: It’s overwhelming when you’re a person-
Kym Heffernan: It is, it is and it’s really not a point in time [inaudible 00:31:40] it’s what’s happening over time the simple … who cares today if I had 1,000 visitors, if last month I had 10,000 now I got 1,000 I do care right?
Louie Ramos: Exactly.
Kym Heffernan: Or if last month people were staying on my site for two minutes and now they’re leaving after 10 seconds I’ve got a problem, that Google is gonna say, “Hang on, how can this … people are leaving so quickly, this is not a good site anymore.” It won’t even rank.
Louie Ramos: That’s it and you can use Google analytics as well to figure out where the problem is and you can then try to fix that to improve your website to improve that user experience on your website.
Kym Heffernan: One of the things and I won’t go into too much detail, but I love looking at the pages that people visit for example there’s probably one or two pages [inaudible 00:32:29] and your home page is getting lots of visitors so on those pages you want to make sure there’s good calls to action on those pages. They got the higher traffic[inaudible 00:32:37] maybe we could cover off if you’re open to it another time.
Louie Ramos: No, that’s exactly right, you need to look into that as well.
Kym Heffernan: So, Louie I think that’s been a really, really good introductory overview into SEO.
Louie Ramos: Thank you.
Kym Heffernan: I actually don’t like SEO as a term, this is personal, I think it’s a search strategy really, it’s a search marketing strategy.
Louie Ramos: It is a search strategy, it is, that’s the actual term for SEO it’s a search marketing, search engine marketing and it’s a strategy.
Kym Heffernan: You’ve got a Facebook marketing strategy, yeah a Facebook marketing strategy, a LinkedIn marketing strategy, a network marketing strategy, you need to have a search marketing strategy if you have a website and if you don’t those customers are going somewhere else.
Louie Ramos: That’s exactly right, yes
Kym Heffernan: So I’ll just go through that from the beginning and they’ve gotta start with the keyword research, that’s really the place to start. Or would you start with doing the website checks first of all and trying to get that right first of all?
Where would you start if your … okay I wanna put a search strategy in place, where would you start?
Louie Ramos: Well I would start with the website and then identifying what you will offer, so the services that you will have and then once you’ve clearly identified that, your services, your goals then you start doing the keyword research. Then once you have all those data with you, you provide that to your web developer.
Kym Heffernan: Yup, now most people have a current website, should they be going to those tools we spoke up, the page speed insights and the WebDev tool now to see how they’re ranking?
Louie Ramos: Absolutely, that’s how they’re gonna find out-
Kym Heffernan: Yeah because you can do all the keyword stuff and everything else but if that’s not right to start off with you may have to invest some money in getting that right to start off with.
Louie Ramos: Correct.
Kym Heffernan: So I’ve got my keywords, then I look at what we call out on page strategy that we spoke about, so getting all those, mapping all those keywords. One per page, optimise the images, optimising the meta descriptions, the meta tags, making sure the content is there.
They’ve got the on page from my existing pages, I need to add more content relevant to those keywords, yeah?
Louie Ramos: Correct yes.
Kym Heffernan: [inaudible 00:34:44] I then start to look at my directorate listings and my off page strategy and [inaudible 00:34:52].
Louie Ramos: That’s right, that’s one of the main, what we call the [inaudible 00:34:57] factor when it comes to SEO.
Kym Heffernan: So if you look at those six strategies we spoke about, checking out your website first of all, looking at your services number two, three getting the keywords right, number four your on page stuff making sure it’s optimised by keywords, number five adding more content, number six looking at directories and other listings and number seven was building more links beyond the directories basically.
Louie Ramos: Yes, correct.
Kym Heffernan: If you did those seven things you’d be probably doing better than 95% of people with a search strategy, wouldn’t you Louie?
Louie Ramos: Exactly right, that will be a good start and that will set your websites SEO foundation and you’re gonna start seeing some keywords ranking as well when you do all those things.
Kym Heffernan: Can I also just touch on something, you’re a professional SEO person, not someone at a call centre trying to generate 500 clients per month and do that, but reality is these days it’s very time consuming. There’s no automated way of doing this stuff.
Louie Ramos: There’s no automated way.
Kym Heffernan: So if someone comes to you and say, “I can offer you SEO services for $200 a month.” Run a mile would be my advice, would you agree with that?
Louie Ramos: Run as fast as you, I wouldn’t agree with that, I would stay away from those kind of services.
Kym Heffernan: So really, if you can’t afford to do it, play with it yourself, read to do it but really if it’s important to you as a marketing strategy should you need to invest some money in it and you need to give it time. It’s not quick win strategies at SEO.
Louie Ramos: It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon so that’s what SEO is, it takes time for Google to index those rankings and make them appear in the search results.
Kym Heffernan: But once it’s done, it’s done right? So it keeps on building, it’s a bit like … I like to think of it as a little snowball at the top of the mountain and as it rolls down the mountain it gathers more and more momentum. And that’s what I’ve certainly found in my own personal experience from my business, but also from other clients, it actually builds momentum and you get more traffic.
That traffic [inaudible 00:37:05] if you do the other things properly as well.
Louie Ramos: Correct.
Kym Heffernan: Its hard, it creates a barrier for competitors.
Louie Ramos: Yes, I agree.
Kym Heffernan: So I think it’s a really important strategy, Louie if people want to learn more about how to do it properly what’s the best way for them to reach out to you?
Louie Ramos: Well they can reach me on my LinkedIn profile, so if they just search my name, Louie Ramos SEO they will find me, or they can also visit our website digitalpresence.com.au.
Kym Heffernan: That’s L-O-U-I-S R-A-M-O-S right?
Louie Ramos: L-O-U-I-E. See I have that special E at the end.
Kym Heffernan: I-E sorry Louie, not Louis. Ramos, yeah?
Louie Ramos: Louie Ramos, correct.
Kym Heffernan: And Digital Presence.
Kym Heffernan: Louie thank you so much for your time today, I think it’s been really getting back to basics and getting clear on what you need to do is such a black box and it doesn’t need to be, does it?
Kym Heffernan: You’ve really demystified it, which I love, because that’s what people need.
Louie Ramos: It’s a pleasure, thank you.
Kym Heffernan: It’s been an absolute pleasure to have you on the podcast today, thank you so much, we’ll put all those links in the show notes including Louie’s contact details and we’ll do a summary of those things we talked about in the show notes as well.
Kym Heffernan: I hope you enjoyed today’s podcast, look at search marketing. Search marketing is not going away, in fact Google’s dominance is growing more and more every day and every month. There’s no other search engine really in Australia, 85% of traffic is on Google, is that right Louie? Am I right in that?
Louie Ramos: That’s correct, about 85 or 90% are in Google.
Kym Heffernan: So, if you’re not on Google, I hate to say it, but as a consultant business coach told me once, “Basically if you’re not on Google, you don’t exist.” Because it’s what people are looking for, right?
Louie Ramos: Exactly.
Kym Heffernan: So you’re missing out on a whole lot of business if you haven’t got that search marketing strategy in place.
Kym Heffernan: Thanks again Louie, and we look forward to catching up soon.
Louie Ramos: Pleasure Kim.
Kym Heffernan: Thanks mate.
Louie Ramos: Likewise, have a good one.
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