Video and User Interaction

Research has shown that client testimonial videos will bring you more business and that is due to.

  1. Over 70% of customers consulting reviews or ratings before purchasing (BusinessWeek).
  2. Almost 80% of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations (Brightlocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2014)

Whether you are a selling the perfect product or offering a superior service, you will benefit from using client testimonial videos.

For example, in this video below you will see a representative from Hodges Real Estate talking about a local electrician that they use.

Having a video not only entices the visitor to click play, but it also keeps them on the website for longer. But seeing a representative from Hodges, rather then just reading a testimonial gives Briggs Electrical much more credibility.

These videos can also be shown in a range of places besides your website, YouTube, Social Media, in meetings and presentations and much more.

Having your videos in multiple locations will increase interest and therefore traffic to your website, if shared correctly, it will also improve your ranking in the search engines.

You want your videos to look professional, when you are looking for a video production company look for someone who can;

  1. Share their knowledge and experience with you to give you the best video.
  2. Get the best response from your client, making them look comfortable in front of the camera.
  3. Deliver a testimonial video that you will be proud to show to future clients.
  4. Take care of the entire production process for you.
  5. Deliver you a high quality, polished testimonial video in any file format you require.

If your testimonial looks amateur, it will make you as a business look amateur.

How to Make Your Website Load Faster

For every website owner, loading speed of the website is important. Every website owner wants that their website should load faster as it makes it look better to the visitors and users. Besides this there are lots of benefits of faster loading of website and the webmaster should always try to optimize his/her website in such a way that it loads quickly. Not only faster, but the fastest.
In this article, it is discussed about how to make your blog/ website run faster. Before, discussing this it is discussed about the benefits of having a fast blog.

Benefits of having a fast blog

The basic goal of search engines is to provide the best possible results to the visitors. The websites on search engines moves up and down in ranking because of the changes in algorithms, and hence the criteria of search ranking changes so that the best possible results are provided to the searchers. Faster loading speed is also one of the element on which the search ranking is based. Therefore, every website owner wants to get the fast loading speed of the website so that they rank higher in search results. In a nutshell, following are the benefits of faster loading speed:

  • Higher rankings on search engines
  • More Page views
  • Saves your readers
  • Best user experience
  • Provide excellent online reputation

Follow the below mentioned steps to get the faster loading speed

  • Compress your images: Save all of your images into one folder and then use any of the tools to compress it. Smush.it is one of the image compressing tools by Yahoo. Upload all your images where they can be compressed and then download them in a zipped file. Then you can re-upload them to your blog. Both of these techniques will reduce your page size and loading time by at least 25%.
  • Delete sidebars tools: Delete the useless widgets and gadgets in the sidebar of your blog, footer etc. These gadgets which are not of any use are a main bug in reducing the speed. Try to delete as many gadgets as possible and this will reduce the page size hence allowing it to load faster.
  • Remove Extras: remove extra plugins, photos, texts, third Party widget from your blog. If you have any extra text or image in the sidebar that is useless or have any of the crappy HTML widgets then remove it.
  • Compress your scripts: Compress all of your JS (Java script). Go to JS Compress, upload your JavaScript there and have it compressed. Once it gets compressed, re-upload it to your web page.

Summary: faster loading speed of your blog/website can help you a lot in higher search ranking and better user experience. So, you must ensure that, you optimize your site effectively.

Author Bio:

Emma is a professional Content Writer, Working with SEO Rank Smart A SEO Rank Smart Emma is working hard to spread knowledge of current SEO Statics, among the reader. Followed by  Google+.

Cost Effective SEO – Is There Such A Thing?

‘Cost Effective SEO’ is term used by someone who is looking for a cheap SEO price, but doesn’t want a cheap service.

When thinking ‘Cost Effective’, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘Affordable’. With SEO, what is affordable? We had a recent SEO lead and after sending a proposal and speaking to the potential customer, she laughed at the price and said we were too expensive, she was expecting $10 per keyword per month and wanted to target 10 keyword phrases (Total $100 per month).

Without laughing back at her, I asked her ‘how much profit she would make per sale’ and her answer was ‘$30-$40′. Having the numbers in front of us like we always do, it was brought to this potential client that we could potentially bring in over 5,000 visits to her website with just 10 phrases and for our normal pricing she would only need to make 10-15 sales per month to pay for the service, her answer was astonishing, it was ‘I cannot afford that, thank you for your effort in researching my industry and putting a custom proposal together for me.

After hanging up, I actually couldn’t believe what I had heard, someone who has their own business, but doesn’t understand ‘return on investment’ and that to get good service you actually have to pay for it.

We are deffinatly not the most expensive SEO Company out there and looking at our competition, we think we are very reasonably priced, we are a mid range price with a premium service.

If you are looking for affordable SEO services, ask the question ‘If my profit was $5,000 per month, what am I willing to pay for marketing?’ $100? $500? $1,000?

Personally, I would spend a minimum of $1,000 if I could make 5 x’s the amount back with the potential to make 10 or even 20 x’s that amount.

What do you think affordable SEO is?

Reputation Management

Online Reputation Management can be both really good or really bad.

When doing research on a company/restaurant/hotel users are always going to type in the business name into Google to see what kind of talk there is about the company.

I know before choosing a restaurant, unless I am just looking for location, I am going to look it up online and see the reviews. If over 90% of users like them then I am there, but if only 60% like them then I am going to read all the reviews and most likely skip that restaurant and move onto one that has a higher percentage.

The same occurs to service businesses, it is good to have a top Google listing, but without a human touch and great reviews, how are you meant to know how good the service is actually going to be.

I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but when typing in my own business name rankONE, I found nothing about my company, there are so many types of rankONE businesses out their that I get my website in position #1 and then it goes off to rankonesport in #2 which is not even an Australian website.

The bad part of online is that a single bad review can appear on the first page of Google in the matter of hours.

Without knowledge a bad review can just pop up and then you are stuffed.

A mate of mine just told me his story about how he outsourced some work and the next minute 2 bad reviews appeared on the first page of Google for his name from the guy he outsourced too. The relationship didn’t end that well and now a double listing of bad reviews are appearing in the top 5 search results.

Looking at this I thought of things that I would do if this had happened to me.

First I would start social.

Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/Google+/Pinterest/Stumbleupon/Myspace

I would create accounts with all of these social sites and use my name as the username.

I would then purchase my name as .com.au/.net.au/.com/.net and any other extension I think I could rank in Australia for.

A few months of SEO to all of these and I would hope my name would be cleared.

I would also start blogging a lot more with my name, comment as many places as possible that links back to my name and also link into sites sitting just below the bad reviews.

Of course I would also get into these sites and try and get some good reviews on board to push the bad reviews out of the way.

If something bad has happened to you and want help setting all of these types of things up, please contact us and we will help as best as we can.

5 Techniques to Avoid When Optimising Your Site

Presence on the Internet is a vital component of every company’s marketing strategy. But in order to be found, you need to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs). And to achieve that, you have to implement proper optimisation strategies.

Apart from keeping best practices in mind, it is also important to be aware of methods that get your site penalised by Panda and Penguin, two of Google’s ranking algorithms. With that in mind, here are techniques that you should avoid at all costs:

#1 Building low-quality backlinks for ranking purposes

Although these play a crucial factor in getting your page onto the first page of SERPs, using sneaky methods is frowned upon by Google. So, what are the ones you need to steer clear.

One, you should never buy links. It definitely helps to be at the top after a search query, but participating in shady schemes will hurt your ranking efforts.

Two, you should avoid links with the same anchor text. Getting a lot of similar ones is seen as spamming and could get your portal penalised. So it is important to monitor this to ensure a diverse link profile.

Now, if you really want to build high-quality backlinks, one of the best options is guest posting. But this should not just be on any blog; it must be on a reliable site. Doing this helps drive relevant traffic to your site.

#2 Stuffing keywords

These are important in getting your website or any of its pages to rank in SERPs. But including too much signals Google’s algorithms of a violation. Although it is not an offense to repeat keywords, they just need be spaced out right within your content.

Furthermore, this does not only apply to the text within your posts but to those in your page titles as well. In general, you should avoid repeating keywords in the title more than once.

#3 Manipulating internal links

The first point stressed the importance of quality backlinks. This one focuses on linking within your Web site. Now, it is a fact that link building (both on-page and off-page) is a major factor in doing well on search results.

But in order to make it natural looking and not “spammy”, diversity should be taken into account.

So instead of linking to one page with the same anchor text, try to differentiate it each time.

#4 Implementing a complex navigation structure

Nothing turns a Web visitor off more than a site that is difficult to navigate. Since user engagement plays a huge role in ranking, it is best to design one where users find what they are looking for immediately.

Also equally important is the integration of social media buttons in your portal. You should put up icons linking to your profile on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or LinkedIn. In addition, you should also add buttons to your content so they could share what they find interesting through various channels. Furthermore, how you go about this and what networks you want to participate in should be part of your social media optimisation strategy.

#5 Placing a lot of advertisements

Although you might want to earn a little extra through ads, excessive placement on your website makes it hard for users to find what they are searching. In fact, Google scoffs at this and even rolled out an improvement to their page layout algorithm to address this issue.

Parting thoughts

Getting a good ranking on Google is important for any business. But in order to get there, you need to abide by the rules and practice good SEO. Although it might take a while for you to get to the top, it would definitely be worth the wait, especially if you are not slapped with violations.

Successful Christmas Campaign

If you have ever looked for Christmas Hampers on Google, you would have come across Hampers With Bite, a rankONE SEO client that has been at the top of Google for the last 4 years in a row. During the last 4 Christmas’s, this website has received 92,870 visits into their website, with these sort of number coming into their site, they also had 472,419 page views.

Just to break down how we got these numbers, they have come direct from Google Analytics and have been taken from November 8th to December 23rd for each year, each year we have seen an additional 5,000 extra visits increase and this year so far we are on target to receive over 35,000 visits in a 6 week period.

Breaking it down even further to show the value of SEO, 86% of the traffic was organic, 5.7% of the traffic was direct (ie www.hamperswithbite.com.au), 5.4% was adwords pay per click and 3% was from Bing/Yahoo – Bing traffic was most of that percentage as it was over double the amount of clicks.

Here is a screen shot from today 28/11/2012. Top of adwords (5.4%) and Top of organic (86%).

 

Another proven result about how SEO can help your business.

If you would like your business in this position, please call us on 1300 614 892.

meta name=”news_keywords”

Google has just brought back the reading of meta keywords. But unlike the old spammy meta keyword tag, the new tag is for articles only and is limited to only 10 keywords, something Google should have done with the old meta keywords a long time ago.

I have found the following extract from Google support.

—————————-
By implementing the news_keywords metatag you can specify which keywords are most relevant to your articles. For example, in an article about the World Cup you could add the following code to help Google News better understand the nature of your content:

Keywords could also be used to help disambiguate between related terms. Again, if this particular publisher wanted to specify that this article reported on soccer’s World Cup — as opposed to rugby’s World Cup — then they could try the following:

Use a comma to separate each phrase or group of keywords. (Commas are the only punctuation allowed in the field.) You can add up to ten phrases for a given article, and all keywords are given equal value. For instance, the first keyword is not considered a stronger signal than the tenth keyword.
—————————–

Keep in mind, the new meta keyword code is not the only new ranking factor, this will just help your articles rank better in the Google search engine, but will not get you to the top.

The only thing is, we all now need to download the new_meta tag plugin, as no current plugins have this built in.

We will follow up with a short post once we find a plugin that supports it.

SEO Rankings

The SEO industry is a tough industry to crack and a tough industry to get data for. Google puts out all of this information about search term traffic and then you get into a top position and you do not get the expected traffic. Take Search Engine Optimisation Melbourne for instance, Google tells us that 1600 users search this every month for phrase and exact match in Google Australia. We have recently moved into top position for this phrase and our website traffic has only moved up by 5%, this phrase although telling us so many people are searching for it has brought in under 100 visits for the month.

Could this be a reason of other SEO companies in Melbourne just searching this term to find themselves and see where they currently rank which gets the search numbers up? but in actual fact this is a very low traffic search term? I think this would be the case with a lot of high Google search terms. What we need it unique searches, like that of traffic into the site, we should be able to see the data on unique search queries, this would greatly help in the key word research and we would be able to know exactly what will work without guessing.

The best thing that has come out of this fantastic ranking is when clients ask where we rank for certain search terms, we can say we are number 1.

The Cost of SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is free because all you need is an Internet connection to do it, right? Not exactly. In order to [implement, apply, execute] a good SEO strategy it takes time. First, it takes time to learn the complexities of search engine optimization. Sure, there are tons of free resources out there to learn the basics, but SEO is really one of those things that you can’t truly “get” until you actually start executing it. It takes years to truly understand the procedure and even then, it’s always changing. SEO is entirely different now than it was even just a few years ago. Second, it takes time, and lots of it, to really carry out an SEO strategy. It can take months or even years to see profitable results. Once results are seen you can’t take a break because they can disappear much quicker than they appear. The only way to say that SEO is free is if you believe that your time isn’t worth anything.

Since many businesses and website owners don’t have the kind of time needed to dedicate to SEO, they look to hire an in house SEO expert or an agency. In some cases they are surprised to find out what kind of salary an SEO expert expects to earn or an SEO agency is expected to be paid because they maintain the mentality that “anyone can do it”. This is where some companies make some unwise decisions.

Some companies decide that a current in-house marketing person can handle search engine optimisation duties. However, in most cases, that employee’s plate was already full. There is a reason that SEO is a full time job. In order to get the attention that it deserves, it can’t just be a small part of one’s job. Since SEO is more about the future and long term rather than the “right here, right now” short term goals, SEO and web work will be the first to be pushed to the side when things get busy. Optimisation plays a crucial role in the growth of a business today and the overall web presence of your company and it really can’t be ignored.

Another approach that companies may take is to hire a company that promises to deliver amazing results at a cheap rate. Well, it’s cheap for a reason. It’s cheap because it’s low quality and often will process no results, and if results are achieved, they will not be for competitive key phrases – so it will still be no value. While the short term benefit might be appealing, the headache that it will cause in the long term just isn’t worth it.

What it comes down to, is realising that website optimisation is an art, and although anyone can do it, not everybody can do it well. If you want to see an increase in quality traffic to your website, it’s going to cost you, either in time or money, and if you don’t have the time to dedicate to the hard work that it takes to learn SEO and develop and implement a strategy (which none of us do), you need to be willing to spend the money.

Google Maps – The New SEO

Today Google formally rolls out its new presentation of local results, called “Place Search.” It offers a dramatic change to the look and feel of SERPs on Google.com. The first and most obvious change is that the “7 Pack” is gone. And there appear to be some fairly major SEO implications, which should provide many hours of enjoyment for the SEO community as it tries to reverse engineer the algorithm.

The changes won’t come as a surprise to close Google watchers. A number of people previously spotted Google testing these pages in the wild and have written about them in some detail, including Chris Silver Smith, Mike Blumenthal, David Mihm and Andrew Shotland. Google sees the changes as an extension or evolution of universal search in the local context.

Google said that the algorithm has been improved and refined for Place Search. We also shouldn’t see any more of the “mapspam” that has plagued the 7-Pack in the past. Previously the local and general search algorithms were distinct. I asked whether they had now been consolidated or merged in this new release and was told “yes.”

On to the physical SERP changes. The best way to make this concrete is to show the “before” and “after” pages.

Place Search

Immediately below are two screenshots for the results to the query “San Francisco Dentist.” The first page below is an “old” SERP with my annotations. Below AdWords comes the “7 Pack,” which is followed by mostly local web results. This was the “old” arena for third party local SEO.

Here’s the new page for the same local dentist query:

Visually the page has changed quite a bit. The map has been moved to the right column and “floats” or scrolls down the page as users move down results. The 7-Pack is gone, as mentioned, and a richer presentation of local results with images fills the entire SERP.

Selected third party sites referencing the particular dentist are “clustered” with the listing. From my spot checking, these clustered sites appear to be mostly the same sites that appear on Place Pages under “reviews from around the web.”

As mentioned Place Pages now appear with each listing on SERPs. This will raise the profile of Place Pages considerably and increase usage accordingly.

In my quick checking yesterday it seemed that I was seeing the map and local results appear more frequently than I remember for ambiguous or category queries without geo-modifiers. I asked about this and Google said that there should be no more local results and no fewer web results after these changes. However for this particular dentist query some of the general web results in the “before” version appear to be “missing” or replaced by local listings. I clicked through to pages 2 and 3 and didn’t find them.

I did, however, find the same web results continue to show up in response to a query for “sushi.”

Places Mode

In cases of ambiguous queries, if Google isn’t sure whether users are seeking local information, there’s another type of result that will appear, which Google refers to as “Places Mode.” This SERP may show some local information (indicated by the red pushpins) intermixed with general web results. Here’s an example for the query “museums”:

To see just local results, you can now click the “Places” icon in the left vertical nav, which replaces “Maps.” Previously, clicking Maps took users directly into Google Maps. Like the other icons Places is now a filter that triggers new results and keeps users on the Google.com SERP.

Here’s the same “museums” result after being filtered by Places, which brings up the all local Place Search results:

Implications of Place Search

How should we think about Place Search and its impact on users and “the market”? Is it a major change? Is it merely incremental? Beyond the significant visual changes to the page, as I suggested I think there are going to be some fairly major SEO implications flowing out of this.

Local SEO was starting to focus on “getting into the 7 Pack.” That’s all gone now. Now, fully fleshed out Place Pages will assume much greater importance, as will being present and reviewed in the various sites featured in the “clustered” links. I’m sure someone will put together a pretty comprehensive list quickly but Yelp is one of the winners here, as are Citysearch, Insiderpages, Urbanspoon, TripAdvisor, Yahoo Local, Judysbook and others depending on the category. I will leave more nuanced SEO discussions to others more knowledgeable than I.

I’ll say one more thing however. Third party publishers (such as local and vertical directories) that had been relying on Google for traffic found some time ago that the available space for their links was diminished by the 7-Pack. Now that the 7-Pack is gone how will they be affected? Unfortunately for them they may be shut out almost entirely unless they’re among the clustered third party links associated with each listing.

Take the following example for “Denver Plumbers.” The first screen is the “old” page, with the highlighted section showing a link to directory Superpages.

The new Place Search features only local businesses on the first page. Again, unless publishers are among the clustered links they will likely have to resort to paid search now to gain exposure on page one of Google. I haven’t had time to do extensive or systematic checking on this, but I would imagine this pattern carries through across all local categories.

Upon further investigation I was able to find a couple of instances where directory sites sill appeared so the impact on local publishers may not be quite as severe as it appears at first blush. In the context of a search for “Chicago Dentists,” for example, I found a Yelp and Superpages link above the local results:

Google’s Commitment to Local (and Mobile)

In the near future these SERPs will also come to mobile search. But more generally the changes reflect Google’s commitment to local and its overall importance in Google’s strategy and product development.

Google began its discussion with us yesterday with a repeat of its previously released statistic: “More than 20 percent of searches on Google are related to location.” The key words in that sentence are “more than.”

By making local results (and Place Pages) more prominent than even they were before, users will likely respond with more local queries and rely on Google more heavily for local information. The overall volume and percentage of queries on Google seeking local information may in turn increase.

Stepping back and looking at the totality of Google’s efforts in local and local-mobile I’m struck by the scope of the commitment that Google has made. From Android and local-mobile search to Place Pages improvements, to the new simplified Boost ads, Click2Call, location extensions and expandable map ads in mobile — and now Place Search — it’s more than impressive, it’s totally comprehensive.