This information is provided on the basis you have a business, there is a demand for what you sell, you make a profit on every item you sell, and there is a real demand for your goods and services. If that is not the case, then you are in the wrong place and none of the following will be of any use to you…
Mistake Number 1
Believing everything you hear or read about SEO
Most SEO advice you’re given or read about is out of date or just plain wrong. The first thing you should do is question the experience of the person giving the “advice”. Are they in the SEO industry? Do they make their full time income from SEO?
Please don’t take advice from your brother-in-law (unless he runs a successful SEO Agency of course!)
Here’s some lies about SEO you’ve probably been told:
a) SEO Campaigns Target A Certain Number of Keywords
Clients often ask how many keywords their SEO package is targeting. They seem quite taken aback when I say that the number of targeted keywords is irrelevant. Today it’s more about topics than about keywords.
Let’s take a plumber for example. Plumbers offer services such as “unblocking drains”. This is a service or in the online world, a topic. There are literally hundreds of ways someone could search for someone to unblock their drains.
As an SEO expert, my focus is on the topic “unblocking drains” and I could end up ranking my client for hundreds of keywords such as;
▪ plumber Gold Coast
▪ blocked drains expert
▪ plumber near me
▪ plumber who unblocks drains
Keyword density is also something that was talked about both within and outside the SEO community.
Today, once again it’s about topics. When creating content for our plumber’s drain unblocking page, we need to consider all the words that could be associated with this topic.
These words are called LSI words (latent semantic indexing).
So what would you (or Google) expect to find on a page about “Drains Unblocking Service”?
Words like, drain, blockage, tree roots, plumber, roto-rooter, plumber’s snake, etc. These are the words that make up the content of this page.
The person with a blocked drain problem just wants to be assured that you have the people, the tools and the equipment to fix their problem.
Don’t write your content for Google, write it for the people who you hope will be visiting your website.
b) The more links the better.
This is plain wrong and it’s a myth perpetuated by SEO providers who are still living in 2007. Yes, links are still the bomb when it comes to ranking on Google. And yes you still want a decent number of them. However these days it’s not the quantity that really matters, it’s the quality and the relevance. And it’s about other factors such as anchor text.
c) SEO is the be all and end all of your marketing efforts.
Wrong. It’s just one piece of the puzzle. A significant piece yes, but not the whole enchilada.
It’s a huge mistake to put all of your efforts into SEO and trying to please the Google Gods.
You have to engage in as many marketing activities that you can.
Try different things. If they work, great, keep doing them. If they don’t, give them the flick.
When I started out in this business I flogged myself all over town, going to networking breakfasts, meeting businesses, getting the name out there, doing freebies for people to get some runs on the board. Basically just doing whatever I could to generate business from wherever I could find it. That’s what you have to do to build a business.
It’s a huge mistake to think that Google is the be all and end all of making the phone ring or the door swing.
d) It’s easy to get onto the first page of google.
Well no, not necessarily, not at all. EVERY niche and sub-niche in Australia and worldwide too is seeing massive competition.
Businesses that used to rank #1 on Google and never had to do anything else are now seeing their rankings erode and their competitors outranking them.
People with brand new websites and brand new businesses come to me and all they want to know is;
1. What does SEO cost?
2. How long is it going to rank on the first page of Google for their important keywords.
It’s extremely difficult to refrain from replying “how long is a piece of string?”
“In a recent study of over 1,000,000 keywords the average age of the websites ranking number 1 was 2+ years and the average amount of content on the ranking page was 1890 words.”
That might be what it’s going to take for you too.
There are just no guarantees and, while I try to estimate how long it will take to “start” to see some results, it’s just that, an estimate, not something to build a business on.
You have to have a long term view and you have to have a marketing budget (see Mistake Number 2)
SEO is forever just like the old Yellow Pages listing.
e) We can guarantee page one, position 1 rankings
Wrong. In fact if you’re told this then run very fast in the opposite direction. No-one can promise position 1 rankings as only Google knows and Google is pulling ALL the strings.
However we have many years of experience of working out what Google wants and ranking websites number 1. We stay up to date by being part of Global SEO groups tracking what is working TODAY.
f) We are a google partner
Google Does Not Have SEO Partners. What Google DOES have is an online test for Adwords Managers: Love this from jetfuelcreative.com
“Some companies will use the Google partner seal on their website and claim they are Google-approved. This seal and designation only means that they have some Adwords accounts under management and they took a multiple choice test. This doesn’t mean they have some mystical, special relationship with Google. In fact, it should raise red flags if you happen to hear this from an SEO “expert,” as it should make you wonder what else they aren’t being forthright about”
Mistake Number 2
Not having a marketing budget
A LOT of businesses don’t have a marketing budget anymore.
Since the demise of the Yellow Pages, most businesses are using the money they save on other aspects of their business and not maintaining a marketing budget.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, you have to have a marketing budget and a marketing strategy to survive.
We get a lot of phone calls from businesses enquiring about SEO and many of them simply don’t have a marketing budget and are not in a position to enter into an online marketing contract.
The sad thing is these businesses are dying they don’t know where their next client is coming from and when we follow them up, several months later, many have gone out of business.
It’s tough being in business these days.
When virtually everyone in this country is looking for a service or product, the first place they go is Google.
If you have not allocated a budget to get yourself at the top of Google, YOU DON’T HAVE A REAL BUSINESS
10 years ago (if you were in business then and are still in business, kudos to you) businesses spent anywhere from $2K to $50K and probably more to be in the Yellow Pages Directory.
If you were the marketing manager and you missed the advertising deadline, you were toast and the business went out of business.
You did whatever it took to get the damn ad in that book.
You moved heaven and earth, but you got it done.
Where’s that attitude today?
We get a lot of enquiries from businesses trying to decide if they have the money to spend on their online presence. Many of these people procrastinate and never make this important decision and will doubtless join the 80% of businesses who bite the dust in the first 5 years.
Mistake Number 3
Not having a website and a social media presence
If you don’t have a website (and we’re told that 50% of businesses still don’t) you are stark raving mad.
How on earth do you think you are going to navigate the digital age? Why in fact are you still reading this?
Get on the phone right now.
Call us on 1300 885 487 and we’ll get you sorted with a website.
More than 90% of people who want to make a purchase do their research online. And when they find someone they think they want to do business with, they more than likely will do one or two of the following things;
• check out your website
• take a look at your “About Us” page to see who they’ll be dealing with. Hint: put some photos on your about us page, you, your staff, your shop, your vehicles etc etc
• your Facebook page
If they find your website first because you have made the great decision to do some online marketing they will want to see your Facebook page. If they find your Facebook page first, you better have a link to your website so they can check you out there too.
If you don’t know how to pull all this together just give us a call on 1300 885 487
We’re always happy to have a chat and if we end up doing business that would be great.
Mistake Number 4
Build it and they will come
Did you ever watch that amazing movie “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner? The message of that movie was “Build It And They Will Come”.
A lot of people build a website and then operate from this principle.
Sorry, it ain’t going to happen!
Most people these days commission a website to be built without one thought to how people are going to find them, how to structure the website or what topics to write about.
This haphazard approach won’t cut it anymore.
OK, Let’s assume you DO want your website to be found online.
You have to make a very careful decision about who is going to design and develop the site.
Site structure, functionality and content are all critical and have to be part of your website development process.
If your website design company tells you they are going to “SEO” your site, be very careful about what they mean. Website Design companies who are not SEO experts who promise to SEO your site are having a laugh.
I have talked to possibly hundreds of people who have received these assurances and got nothing.
SEO requires a long term approach. It’s not a one time thing.
At Top SEO Brisbane we design beautiful, functional websites that get found and convert visitors into paying customers. We do this because we are SEO experts as well and rank number one for many keywords
SEO Matters. A LOT.
Mistake Number 5
The quality of my website doesn’t matter
Don’t build your website on Wix or Weebly and please don’t use a template.
Your website is an integral part of your online branding and marketing strategy.
WordPress started off as a blogging platform but quickly became the platform of choice for website builders and today, over 30% of the globe’s websites are built on WordPress.
That’s one hell of a lot of websites.
Custom designed WordPress websites are a joy to behold and Google loves them!
Look, if you just want somewhere for people to go to check you out, build it on anything you want, get a 7 year old to design it for you, use a crayon even.
Coffee Table websites are not what I’m talking about.
Real businesses don’t build websites for fun (or for coffee tables)
Real businesses build well thought out, well-structured websites full of stellar content (that their visitors and Google’s spiders will just love) AND they build them from the ground up with SEO and conversion as their number 1 criteria.
Mistake Number 6
Facebook is the Holy Grail for business!
No it isn’t. Yes, some businesses do really really well on Facebook BECAUSE they put a lot of time, money and effort into it.
Yes, I know I said earlier that you need a Facebook page as that’s where a lot of your potential customers will want to check you out.
However, having a page where all of your company information is listed and posting a few photos of your product, staff etc and implementing a full on Facebook Marketing Strategy with sponsored posts and Facebook advertisements, are light years apart.
A full on Facebook campaign is going to require a massive effort and serious staff hours to implement.
For most businesses, a Facebook page is a simple thing. Fill out all the bits accurately. Make sure you have links to your website. Regularly post stuff you think your customers might like.
If you don’t know where to start, call Top SEO Brisbane on 1300 885 487
Facebook Matters. But it’s not the be all and end all that people make it out to be (for most businesses)
Mistake Number 7
I don’t want my customers to call me – why can’t they fill in the online form?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Sadly many businesses don’t want to be bothered with calls from potential clients with questions.
Believe me, I’ve met with these people. To them, customers are a bothersome lot.
Why can’t they just fill in my website form, or add their purchases in the shopping cart and check out?
It’s simple really, people have questions and if you don’t cover those questions on your website, people will want to ring you.
And, where is your phone number?
If your phone number is loud and proud, above the fold* on your home page, then well done you.
If your phone number takes 8 minutes to find after scrolling through your home, about, contact and other more obscure pages, then you have a problem.
Get your web guy or gal to put it in the top right hand corner of your home page – better still put it in the header and it will show on every page of your website. Put it in the footer too, for the same reason.
*The term “above the fold” has been stolen from the newspaper industry, and it refers to the upper half of the front page where the most important new stories are located. Imagine standing in a train on your daily commute – one hand grabbing whatever support you can find and the other holding your tabloid paper folded in half reading the top news of the day. If you’re a millennial you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about!
“Above the fold” for a website is that part of the website you can see on your desktop, laptop or iPad when you first open the site and this is where the most important information should be displayed.
What is that information?
• your phone number
• a clear statement of what you do or sell
• a contact form or some other call to action (CTA). What is it you want your website to do?
• Your address, If you need people to come to your premises
If you don’t put your phone number where your potential customers can find it, what does that say about you?
Refusal to talk to customers will hasten the demise of your business. But maybe that’s what you wanted anyway?