Jun 13

Why Content is Important

I had a great time presenting to a bunch of Gold Coast business owners last week, on the topic of safe and effective SEO.

One of the challenges I have whenever talking about SEO, is explaining the need for content, which boils down to information, words. It’s a difficult pill to swallow for already time deprived business owners, that now they also need to commit extra time away from the rest of their life to create a continuous stream of information for their websites. The question that always comes back to me is why do they need to do this? So I thought I’d write this post to answer this question.

The answer really comes in understanding what Google is – and also what it is not. What it is not is a directory of business listings and that is where I think the confusion among business owners come from. Traditionally, the only thing that compares with a search engine are the directory books like Yellow Pages, which then evolved into online business directories like Yellow Pages Online. Google and the other search engines are not a bigger, more robust versions of traditional business directories, full of business listings.

What are they then? To understand what they are, you need to look at how they are used. People use them by typing in a search query of any kind, looking for information which answers that search query. The search engine will then arrange all the information it knows about, order it from what it thinks is best (most relevant) answer first down to what it thinks is the least relevant answer. So a search engine is simply a provider of information, of answers, in a way it believes is most useful to the person searching for answers.

Google really has been the example of excellence in the provision of such answers, which is why so many people use Google as the search engine of use.

So bringing this back to the original question, why do you need to create content for your website. The simple answer is Google needs it to answer the questions people are looking for in search queries. Google doesn’t want or need your business listing, what it needs is answers to peoples’ questions about the problems your business solves.

So get to it. Give Google these answers and do it in a way that is more relevant and helpful than the rest of your industry and watch your business listing in Google rise to the top. I know it takes time, but now at least you know why it is required.

Jun 13

SEO Workshop Thursday – The New Rules of SEO

I am really looking forward to presenting “Safe and Effective SEO for 2013 and Beyond” to a great crowd of people joining us on Thursday in Robina. If you have some spare time Thursday morning and would like to come along – we still have a few spare seats. You can register at the following web site link: SEO Workshop – Once registered our lovely assistant Jodie will look after you to ensure you have all the information you need, to get to the workshop and get the most out of it.

I think this workshop is particularly exciting for me as it follows yet another round of Google algorithm changes that, to me, serve to make the internet work better and better. Many people complain about all the changes that Google makes, but on a conceptual level, Google actually says the same thing. The result of the changes they make are more indicative of an improved capacity to police their quality standards, than a change in direction. The net result is that the internet becomes a better information source, with higher quality websites. That’s a good thing.

So in this workshop, I intend on taking a step backwards and reviewing some underlying basics like looking at a world without the search engines, what the search engines are, what they do and look for – and when they work well. That will develop into a look at Google specifically, their quality guidelines and how those guidelines impact what you do.

From there I take a huge step forward and look at your Digital Brand, what really is the best way to build this? Then I’ll try and tie it all together for you into a cohesive plan that you can use to build a digital brand that you’ll proud of, that Google will reward, and most importantly, that will make you money. Pretty exciting stuff hey!!

May 13

Starting With a Bang – Penguin 2.0

Earlier this week, Google released their Penguin 2.0 update to the search algorithm. I must admit with the lead up to this, I was a little bit nervous. When Google make major changes to their algorithm, you never really know what the fallout will be until after the implementation. Well, it was released on Tuesday and immediately we rechecked all our clients Google rankings. There were some minor fluctuations from our portfolio, but the good news is they were only minor and very few. This is a real endorsement from Google that our SEO program is robust, strong and ticking all Google’s quality boxes.

What does this change mean for you though? You know, its an interesting question. Most of Google’s changes come about as Google want to make their search results better. Google’s clients are people using the search engine to find stuff. Google wants to give their clients the best result for every search – which means Google wants the best websites on page 1. The best websites are those with the most engaging design, with the most engaging information – and information that is maintained and kept up to date.

Achieving this is no small deal for most businesses. Engaging design is more challenging now with so many different browsers and devices which are used to view websites – yes you ┬áneed your website to be engaging on all of them.

And information – you need to commit to writing good stuff, regularly. If you don’t do this and someone else in your industry does, then they have a better website than you and deserve to be higher in Google than you do.

It takes time and resources.

I know this sounds a bit harsh, particularly as bigger organisations have more resources to do this – but you must remember that Google does not see its search results as an advertising field, rather as a source of information for browsers. If you don’t commit to having the best website and information, an SEO company may get you to page 1 pretty easily, keeping you there is another story though. Google will continually find new ways and metrics to put the better websites above you.

So the simple impact of Penguin 2.0 is that better websites should come up for people looking for stuff. There should be less spam in Google’s results. And hopefully more businesses will start focusing on quality when considering their digital marketing.