Why ranking on page one is important.
According to statistics recently released from Google the engine processes over 40,000 search enquiries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. That is an almost incomprehensible amount of user enquiry traffic that your business wants to capture, but the really shocking statistic is:
‘On the first page of Google alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all clicks. Results from pages 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.’ (Digital Insider, 2018)
Page one rankings are still the most valuable marketing communication investment for your business. A top three placement on page one of Google is still the most effective digital channel to connect with your target audience.
‘75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.’ (Ascend2, 2018)
The primary Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) goal at TRACE is simple: to get our clients onto page one of Google and the other search engines for high value keyword terms that will generate traffic to your business – and keep them there. We actively target competitors outranking our clients to find strategy gaps in their SEO and online marketing which we can incorporate into our SEO mix to give our clients the edge both digitally and in the real business world.
Our commitment to detail and understanding of how Google and the other search engines behave is the reason why our clients retain our SEO services at TRACE month after month, year after year. What we have learned through first hand experience is forward thinking companies don’t throw something together and hope that it works. They work with professionals.
What’s the difference between SEO and paid advertising (PPC)?
The main difference between SEO and Pay Per Click (PPC) is that organic traffic coming from SEO is at no cost (see the results in the blue boxes in the illustration below) while traffic generated from PPC is not free (as the name implies you have to pay a cost per click – see the red box results in the illustration below). This is also the reason why you may sometimes see the terms organic search engine listings and paid search engine listings.
Our organic SEO is the foundation of your online presence at a fraction of the cost of PPC/PSA campaigns. It’s important to understand that organic SEO is built to last, it takes time to educate Google and the other search engines about your site and for us to gain real results on page one (and the traffic that will come with high page rankings). Quality SEO is an investment and not a ‘quick fix’ initiative and whilst the process may take longer to achieve real results the payoff is your business will organically rank higher for far longer than utilising Adwords to boost your website up the rankings.
Combining SEO with targeted PPC campaigns is how our clients own the search engines, a solid SEO foundation coupled with a high spend on PPC drives sales for numerous brands that we manage at TRACE, but for most businesses looking to rank and drive organic traffic to their site our SEO program answers their needs perfectly.
Why engage us to manage your SEO?
The simple answer is we’re a tightly focused team that is 100% results driven for our clients.
Our team of SEO technicians have a wealth of experience servicing major brands across the hospitality, wellness and lifestyle sectors and understand intrinsically what our clients need on a case-by-case basis. Every one of our clients has a dedicated SEO technician assigned to their account who works with the account manager to ensure that an unsurpassable level of service is achieved.
Choosing the right SEO agency can be a challenging prospect and we’re aware of that. This is why we pride ourselves on ease of communication and transparency every step of the way. We provide custom quarterly strategies and issue monthly digital marketing reports to our clients to make KPIs easily trackable and to allow for maximum responsiveness and flexibility in our SEO program activities.
Want to see the results we drive for our clients? Or just want to chat about digital marketing? Click here to send us a message and we’ll schedule a call with our SEO team and send you out one of our SEO case studies.
Which channel makes the biggest impact on your lead generation goals?
Recently we have seen a trending upsurge in data proving that search is far more effective than paid results (PPC) and a large influx of clients who are returning to SEO as their basis for their overarching digital marketing strategy.
A lot of our clients at TRACE have migrated from trying to self manage their own promotions on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and understand that organic search traffic is where the real business conversions originate from. This is true for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors.
Organic SEO continues to dominate search results for both B2B and B2C segments followed by PPC. Social only accounts for only a fraction of the combined impact of SEO & PPC user enquiries. At TRACE we focus on the channels that send real sales conversions potential to your brand. We understand social may be sexy, but data is what really drives success to forward thinking businesses.
How we structure our custom SEO programs.
We believe the best way to approach SEO is to use a step-by-step approach. The whole process can be broken down into three main steps:
1. Technical SEO: How to make sure that search engines such as Google, Bing & Yahoo can access your website without any issues.
2. On-page SEO: Optimisation of your existing website content and the creation of new keyword specific content published on your website. Content needs to be structured and implemented on your webpages in such a way that the search engines can read and index them, matching them to relevant search results and to your audience searching for terms directly relevant to your business.
3. Off-page SEO: External link building through content generation and dissemination, blogger outreach, PR and other techniques to promote your website on the Internet to get more exposure.
Search engines have very intelligent algorithms, spam detection techniques and sooner or later, they will track and penalise any websites that are using black hat techniques to achieve higher rankings (see below in our FAQ section for more info on this).
When it comes time to launch your PPC campaigns you can be assured that your site is operating properly to take advantage of accelerated traffic and most importantly, optimised to convert that traffic into active leads and sales. The final tier in our marketing mix is CRO which we implement to drive active sales conversions by a minimum of 30% increase to your search engine optimised site.
With a solid SEO framework in place on your website all your future digital marketing campaigns will be far more successful. Your website is your online home base and SEO is the foundation that supports all other online marketing activity including future PPC campaigns and in time your Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO ) strategy to increase sales and maximise your profitability.
For more information on how we work with our clients to deliver outstanding results through quality SEO click here or give us a call, we’re always here to help.
Frequently asked SEO questions.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It refers to techniques that help your website become more visible in organic search results for the people who are looking for your brand, product, or service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
What’s the difference between organic vs. paid results (PPC)?
Organic results are the results that appear in search engines without cost based on algorithms. Paid search results appear at the top or side of a page. These are the links that advertisers pay to appear on different search engines. PPC is a great way to target fast results and conversions but should not replace SEO as the lifespan of PPC is short and any value the PPC campaign has ends with the paid period of promotion.
Is SEO a nice to have or a need to have?
SEO should be treated as a vital component in your marketing plan. Investment that when executed properly lays the groundwork for the future. Not engaging quality SEO is not an option for brands and businesses that want to drive bookings and sales conversions through their website.
When should we start SEO?
We highly recommend that SEO is implemented during the creation of your website. It is easier to build SEO into your website during the creation phase than to build it in after the fact. The first time Google sees your website you want to make sure it loads fast, has the right keywords implemented, and looks great. You don’t want Google to see an un-optimised version of your website the first time it crawls your site.
How long does it take to see results from SEO?
There are a few different factors that will determine how quickly (or slowly) results will come. This list includes, but isn’t limited to: How much content you create, the quality of the content, how the content resonates with your audience and whether you’re a big or small site with strong or weak domain authority. As a general rule of thumb we start to see ranking results to page two within the first quarter of SEO engagement with page one achievements in quarter two (then it’s a case of maintaining your high ranking position on page one).
What is a SERP?
SERP is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Results Page. Essentially this means any list of Google (or Bing) results that displays a list of websites. Just Google any search term you like, and you will see a SERP or search engine results page.
What is ‘Blackhat SEO’?
Simply put, Blackhat SEO is the practice of using tactics outside of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Much like email spam violates a number of laws by sending unwanted emails to people. Blackhat SEO’s will place thousands of shoddy links on 3rd party websites, hide keywords within your website and other methods to make Google think you are more authoritative than you actually are. ‘Whitehat SEO’ or what we like to call ‘SEO’ is simply the process of doing SEO within Google’s guidelines. There is a very fine line between Blackhat and Whitehat and there can be many grey areas. Through our experience, constant research and understanding, we are able to navigate this complex system of rules and regulations Google has put into place and help your website rank better.
What is a Google penalty?
A Google penalty or ‘action’ is put into place when Google has caught your website violating its guidelines. This might come as a result of you placing too many links, too many advertisements or a number of different reasons. A penalty can be handed out automatically via Google’s algorithm, or manually via a Google employee who has deemed your website spammy.
There are a few popular penalties that people talk about within the SEO community that you might have heard of. One of them is Penguin, the other is Panda. Penguin deals with spammy backlinks, and Panda deals with onpage factors such as low-quality content. If you do get a penalty, there are ways to get them lifted, but they are not easy. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year to remove.
Can you see if I’m at risk for a Google penalty?
In short, there is no quick way to see if you are at risk for a Google penalty. We employ a number of tactics and tools that can create a ‘risk profile’ to see if your website is at risk for a penalty. Being that there are many different types of violations of Google penalties, there are also a number of different types of penalties you can receive. If you do think you are at risk for a Google penalty the best thing to do is get in touch with us. We’ll dive in and see what your situation is and give you an accurate opinion based on our experience.
Why do my Google rankings fluctuate?
There is no way around it. in 2018, Google rankings are going to fluctuate. On the same token, while it may seem as though Google rankings are fluctuating, it may be that you are the one that is doing the fluctuating. What do we mean by this? Well, for the last few years, Google has been working towards ‘personalised search results’ meaning they try to tailor the results to your liking, rather than showing the same results to everyone.
In addition to personalised search results, there are many other factors at play. If you Google ‘best hotel in Sydney’ you may get a completely different listing than someone who searches for that exact phrase in another location. Google takes many different factors into account including: your past search history, who you are, what account you are logged in under, your location, your browser history, and many more. Remember you are only one of ten site results vying for page one ranking on on every SERP. That means there are 10 people fighting for that #1 position. In many cases each website has a dedicated SEO company fighting just as hard as you are, so your rankings might be fluctuating because your competitors might be influencing the SERPs pushing your website up, or down.
How do you find the right keywords to rank for?
There are two schools of thought on this matter. The first one is a very tactical approach that involves utilising a number of tools to help identify the most important keywords to rank for. This will produce a list of keywords that not only are relevant to your industry but are searched enough times by potential customers on Google. This is the more popular method used in e-commerce, service industries and local SEO ranking.
The second method takes a more theoretical angle. Instead of choosing exact keywords to rank for, you come up with a list of topics, categories and industries you want to rank for. So instead of you choosing what to rank for, you let Google choose for you. This is more useful in blogging type websites.
We use a number of tools to help find the best keywords to rank for. The main tool that most people use is Google’s own ‘keyword planner’. This tool will not only tell you which keywords have the most search volume, but which ones are the most difficult. Keyword research and content generation are core responsibilities we undertake for our SEO clients.
Should I use PPC campaigns in conjunction with SEO?
This is purely subjective, but if you combine PPC campaigns with SEO it will benefit your rankings, traffic and conversions to sales. At TRACE we specialise in handling both SEO and PPC for our clients and the data that we share from both processes is injected back into the site to create even better results for our clients.
When do I start to consider conversion rate optimisation (CRO)?
It is imperative that your SEO is in place and performing well before we even start to look at the real benefits of initiating CRO. As a general rule of thumb CRO really becomes a necessity when you are starting to reach a good level of sales conversions coming into the site – whether this be through organic inbound leads or through PPC campaigns (or a combination of the two). If you’d like to know whether we recommend a CRO program for your existing site performance send us a message and we’ll give you our professional opinion.
I have more questions, who do I speak to?
You can talk to our SEO, PPC or CRO team. Just send us an enquiry here and we’ll setup a call time to have a chat.