Oct 17

How to Future Proof Your SEO | How To Prepare For Voice Search

SEO and Search marketing are critical foundations to good marketing these days. We all know how often search marketing techniques can change over time. Too often though we look at the minutiae of campaign strategies, rather than the broader picture of where the world is moving. In this video, I take the broader picture approach, look at where thee world is going and from there, offer some tips regarding your content strategy, which should feed into future proofing your SEO strategy. I hope you find it useful.

Future Proofed SEO Strategy


Good morning everyone! Enjoying a beautiful spring morning, this morning at Burleigh Heads on Australia’s Gold Coast.

And the point of this video today is, I thought I’d share an experience that I had last week, where I attended a digital marketing conference in Sydney and just some of the insights that I got out of one of the presentations at this conference. Particularly around search marketing and the future of search marketing, where search marketing is going or seems to be going in the future. The point of this is to help you consider your strategy with your content, with your strategy with your SEO campaigns, and how to future proof them based on the way that technology is starting to impact our behavior online.

When we talk about technology, specifically we’re talking about technology in regard to search, specifically we’re talking about the rise of technology around artificial intelligence and chatbots. Good examples are Siri and Cortana how they’re changing the way that we actually, they’re changing the way computers and devices facilitate search.

One of the key points with this is, searches isn’t just search engines anymore, if you actually look at everything you do on your PC or on any device you’ll find that there’s basically a search box everywhere. So you know, this search boxes on obviously social media but there’s search boxes on your e-mails, there’s search boxes in the word processing facilities, and the office facilities and the spreadsheets that you use. You know there are search boxes everywhere. You know just on your PC, there’s a search box on your phone and quite often now that these search boxes are facilitated by some type of mechanised or artificial intelligence style of robot or bot that processes the search for you.

Looking at the history of search, one of the things that we see now is that, you know search for the last ten years or so has been based on keywords. Which is something that we’ve had to learn to do. It wasn’t a natural, it’s not a natural way for humans to search based on keywords. You know, we search rather on concepts or questions and so that’s a habit we’ve learned. But with the introduction of concepts and tools like Siri and Cortana and chatbots and so forth, now we’re actually being given the opportunity to go back to how we’re supposed to and how we’re wired to operate and you know, search based on questions.

So for example when we’re using Siri we don’t say “Gold Coast weather” as keywords and expect Siri to come up with an answer for us. We’ll ask Siri “Hey Siri, what’s the weather going to be like on the Gold Coast tomorrow morning?” and Siri will use that phrase to generate a list of search results for us.

Another example could be if we’re looking for a recipe tomorrow, previously, we might write a search phrase “Chicken rice stir-fry” and that would give us a bunch of different recipe websites that would give us potential options to cook dinner tomorrow night. Whereas, rather we’d ask Siri “Hey Siri, what’s a great recipe for a chicken stir-fry for a dinner party I’m having with four guests tomorrow night?” and we get search results for that and then we find a recipe that we like. Then we might ask Siri “Hi Siri, what’s a good accompanying wine for this specific meal that we found?” So we’re actually asking questions rather than keywords.

So what this actually means as far as the future of search is that, we’re moving away from this idea that search is based on keywords or search phrases and rather we’re going back to the way we used to originally search for things, by asking questions. Building this into your search strategy, particularly around SEO campaigns, start thinking about how you’re creating your content strategy. And how you’re structuring your blog posts and your articles, so you know obviously some elements of blog posts are super important for search results such as:  your title, your headings, you know your h1 h2 h3 headings, the URL, that kind of thing.

Start creating content based around answering the questions that your clients or your, if you’re a digital marketing agency, the clients of your clients are asking. So instead of writing content to optimize for keywords, write content that asks and answers questions. Because you know I’ve actually been saying this for a long time in my career in digital marketing is that, you know if your clients are asking new questions, it’s likely that they’re asking those same questions to Google. In the past they might have structured those questions around keywords but now going forward, the search questions are actually going to be structured around questions. So when you structure your blog posts, make the question your title and you’ll notice with this video that that’s how I’ve structured the title of this video, and write a really good piece of content based on answering that question.

If you’re stuck for content ideas, a great place to start looking (and this is a tip that I’ve offered for the last ten years) is in the sent folder or the sent box of your e-mail software. So go to your sent items because your sent items will be full of you answering questions that your prospects and clients have asked you. You’ll have all the content there so create your content out of stuff you’ve already answered. You can probably even just cut and paste a lot of it and then just you know, fine tune it up to make it more readable or make a video about it. But that’s a great place to find questions that you can create your content on, to facilitate a search strategy that will bulletproof your business going into the future with the rise of the new technologies around search.

I hope you find this kind of information helpful because business isn’t just about today, it’s about tomorrow also and this is sort of a like it’s a great insight into where search is going and how to create proper strategy around that for the future.

Sep 13

What Exactly Is SEO

I am writing this post as there often seems to be confusion regarding what exactly SEO is. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. What it means simply is optimising your website’s structure, content and appeal for the search engines. The process is targeted to specific search queries (the words people type into Google) that are relevant to your website (and by extension your products, business and industry).

A well run SEO program will see you website listed on the top half of page 1 on Google for the most important search queries people use, when looking for your products and queries. On top of this, a well run SEO campaign will ensure your website provides search engine users with the information they are looking for, when they use Google. IE. Your website content answers their search questions, so the person on Google does not have to keep looking for what they need.

These results can be observed by a Google search and typically by an increase in website visitors. Once this result has been achieved, your SEO partner should be shown gratitude for a job well done. If you would like some help with your SEO, please leave your details at the Ocean Feather website, we’d love to help.

What SEO is not though is an increase in conversions. Sure, an increase in visitors to your website should naturally lead to an increase in enquiry, it does not always happen that way. If you have a really bad website, it just might not convert visitors into enquiries. A well run SEO campaign will really highlight this to you, but it won’t help with conversions. If this is the case, its time to look at your website. Does it present professionally? Are your contact details obvious? Can people find the information they need easily? Does it work well on smart phones? Do you have a clear offer and call to action? There are many other things that can impact conversions on a website.

As a business owner, you should be reviewing all these questions regularly as part of your ongoing marketing, but if your website is not converting despite successful SEO, don’t beat up your SEO guy, he has done a good job for you. Work with him instead and see if he has any website conversion advice, or knows someone who does.

SEO isn’t a fix for a bad business either. IE. If your website is making sales, but your sales are not profitable, all SEO will do is send you broke faster. In this case, you should probably stop SEO immediately and rather spend your money on business coaching.

So thats it for Friday afternoon. A quick lesson on what exactly SEO is. You can go and enjoy your weekend now.

Jul 13

How To Figure Out If SEO Will Work For Your Business

In the digital marketing world, one thing we have an over-abundance of is information and statistics. You can get almost any amount of information and data you need to make super-informed decisions about marketing. This is really important to know when it comes to making decisions about search marketing, about SEO and SEM initiatives. Once you know decision making data is available to you, you can get this data and use it to help you make decisions. This blog post will summarise some of the data you can turn to if you are thinking about making an investment in SEO.

Page 1 Google

The first thing you can get an awareness of are the human behavioral studies undertaken on how people navigate search results. You can get an understanding of how many people on average click through positions 1 – 10 on page 1 of Google. There are many studies out there with this information – I am not going to replicate the info here, other than to say the information is quite interesting. The drop in traffic per position on Google is important to understand.

Keyword Traffic Volumes

The second thing to understand is how many people are searching for your products and services on a monthly average basis. You can do this by using Google’s free AdWords Keyword Tool. Search for this tool on Google, its really easy to find. Then enter your main keyword and set your search location. Google will then spit out data on many variations of your industry keywords, each with competition metrics, plus monthly global and local search volumes – on every keyword people are using that is related to the root keyword you entered.

Website Traffic Estimate

Once you see how many people are searching on your keywords and also how many people on average click through the various positions on Google, you can calculate roughly how many additional people will visit your website, when it is listed on each position on page 1 Google, for each keyword. So you can look at SEO and calculate an average improvement in website traffic, for each better Google position you achieve, for every keyword variation you achieve this for. Writing that is a bit of a mouthful – it simply means you can predict the extra visitors SEO is likely to send to your website.

Understanding Your Website

Unless you have a brand new website, you should have a good understanding of how effectively your website converts visitors into enquiries. If you don’t understand this, have a look at your statistics over the last 3 months. How many unique people visited your website? How many enquiries did this generate? How many sales did these enquiries result in? What was the profit on those sales?

Understanding this information is not perfect, as some keywords will convert to sales better than others. However is does give you good indicative information when thinking about increases in traffic.

Putting It All Together

So from the above, you can get an understanding of:

  1. The percentage of traffic that goes through each of the top 10 positions of Google
  2. The number of searches the keywords in your industry generate
  3. So you can work out how much additional traffic successful SEO will send to your website
  4. You know how many enquiries traffic on average generates for your business
  5. You know how these enquiries turn into sales and profit
  6. So you can work out how much money a successful SEO campaign is likely to make you
  7. Keep in mind that SEO positions don’t shift very fast once achieved and therefore you are likely to get the benefits of the additional traffic for the long term
  8. You can work out how much profit over the SEO investment you are likely to make, before you make a decision on whether or not to do SEO

We actually provide this information to all our clients before we bring them on to do SEO with us. If you would like to understand this type of information about your website and business as you are considering SEO, ask for one of our free SEO audits at www.oceanfeather.com.au and we will take you through it all, in a relevant and specific to your business manner.