SEO Marketing Blog for Small Business and for SMEs.
Keeping your small business or SME afloat is a tricky proposition. Lucky for you, SEO North Sydney is here to help keep the sharks at bay!
SEO North Sydney are extremely happy to launch a new web design in Melbourne, Victoria, for shippingcontainersmelbourne.com.au, a local container company that specialises in the sales and hire of shipping containers across Victoria. A clean, measured design was the order of the day for this web build, blending the client's light blue logo with a lot of white space in order to offer visitors an effortless experience where website navigation and usability are prioritised above the more flashy websites favoured by some of their competitors.
SEO North Sydney built the website, wrote all copy therein, and were hire to run the client's local Melbourne SEO campaign.
Everyone who drives a car thinks they could successfully race a car around a track if required. Everyone with a blackbelt thinks they can win a fight if push came to shove. And everyone who knows how to string a few words together, thinks they know how to write. But just being able to drive without crashing into things, throw a few kicks if cornered, or write an email while at work, does not mean you are an expert at it. It just means you have a functional level of ability. Which is great to have, don't get me wrong. One might even say, essential. But if you want to really drive fast, you hire a formula 1 driver. If you want to protect yourself from a bully, you stand behind a UFC fighter. And if you want content for your business website that Google not only loves, but that human beings respond to...you hire an experienced SEO Copywriter.
Because time was pretty words were all it took to rank in Google. But with Google's Panda algorithm ruling the roost since 2012, an understanding of tone, voice, syntax, grammar et al, is now just the beginning. Write badly and you'll get penalised by Google. Write well and you'll get prioritised by Google.
'A picture is worth a thousand words' is an idiom we all know. But when it comes to ranking your website in Google search, give me a thousand words every time.
"After researching and speaking with numerous SEO companies, I choose Brian as he was No.1 on the Google search. In only a few months my site is ranking on the first page for lot of keywords, including #1 for the most difficult Sydney keyword. I found Brian to be very thoughtful and helpful towards small business and always willing to do extra if asked for. Good work and thank you again.
Sydney Rug Cleaners
As a novelist, screenwriter and SEO copywriter, it's not too much of a stretch to say that words are my life. In my younger years, when I was a professional film actor, it was the spoken word that held my focus. But since then it's all been about the written word.
Like most writers I am obsessive about what words to use, in what order, and why. On the top end of that obsession you deal with issues of thematics, tone and voice. Of narrative and of structure. And at the bottom end you deal with spelling, punctuation and grammar.
This perfectionism (because that is surely what all writers suffer from) means that even something as mundane as an email or an sms / text, must be written well and correctly spelled. Language after all is a symphony made up of an endless amount of notes. And it only takes one 'bum' note to spoil your enjoyment of the music. As my late sainted mum used to say, "If you say it correctly, you'll spell it correctly". And in the digital age, we can perhaps flip that to read: "If you spell it correctly, you'll say it correctly".
Imagine my surprise then, when I read how Laszlo Bock (such a great name - must pinch that for my next novel!) Google's head of HR, revealed that Google instantly delete any CVs that contain spelling mistakes.
Apparently the Human Resources department at Google receives over 50,000 resumes per week. And, so Laszlo told Business Insider, if you have so much as a single spelling mistake on your resume, it ends up in the trash.
Laszlo, who has himself reputedly reviewed over 20,000 resumes, said that upward of 58 percent of resumes Google receives have "Spelling mistakes, punctuation mistakes, or noun-verb agreement errors".
When quizzed as to why he is so obsessive about spelling mistakes, et al, Laszlo said: "Typos are deadly because employers interpret them as a lack of detail-orientation, as a failure to care about quality".
Which is pretty much what we writers have been saying all along!
Google have just announced that they have this week started rolling out the new and improved Panda algorithm. The roll out is expected to take a week to two weeks to totally proliferate the internet.
This Google Panda update is influenced by webmaster and user feedback, which has allowed Google to eek out a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content. This will result in a higher percentage and greater diversity in search results, and will enable high-quality small and medium-sized sites to rank higher against larger and traditionally more powerful sites.
This is a nice touch from Google, as the quality of the content should be the ultimate deciding factor in a page's worth, not the overarching power of the TLD it comes from. Sure, great content doesn't exist in a vacuum, but just like each individual page has its own page rank, so does each individual page have its own on-page ranking factors, with how great the content is being by far the most important.
It is expected that approximately 3-5% of all queries will be impacted.
SEO results have been fantastic over the past few months. First page rankings have also been kick ass. You have done a fabulous job getting the traffic numbers up and I certainly appreciate the effort and service.
The underlying framework and methodology driving social media development in 2010 was visual. In a social media landscape lorded over by words (think the original incarnations of Facebook and Twitter) 2010 saw both Pinterest (March 2010) and Instagram (October 2010) burst onto the scene with a focus on the insatiable human appetite for visual stimulation, via pictures and videos.
What is Instagram?
Instagram was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and is an online social networking service that focuses on mobile photo-sharing and video-sharing. It allows users to take pictures and videos and then easily and conveniently share them via a number of other popular social networking platforms such as Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr etc. Users are also able to apply a variety of digital filters to the pictures and videos they post.
Kevin Systrom (CEO, co-founder of Instagram)
Like many internet trail-blazers, Kevin Systrom went to Stanford University, graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Management Science & Engineering. His initial foray into internet start-ups was as an intern at a company called ‘Odeo’, a search and directory website for RSS-syndicated audio and video that allowed users to record, create and share podcasts with a Flash-based interface. You’ll be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Odeo. But you probably will have heard of what Odeo would eventually morph into. A little known company called, ‘Twitter’.
After graduation, Kevin cut his teeth with a couple of very productive years working at Google, where he was tasked with developing Google Reader, Gmail and associated products as part of the Corporate Development team.
Kevin has a longstanding love for photography, which he and co-founder Mike Krieger combined brilliantly with the launch of Instagram.
Mike Krieger (co-founder of Instagram)
Mike Krieger, like his long-time friend, Kevin Systrom, also graduated from Stanford University, where he studied Symbolic Systems, specialising in Human-Computer Interaction.
While doing his undergrad, Mike interned with Foxmarks (now Xmarks) as a software developer, and at Microsoft's PowerPoint team as a Product Manager.
His Master's thesis was a brilliant discourse on how user interfaces can be utilised to support large scale collaborations.
After graduating from Stanford, Mike worked for a year and a half at Meebo as a front-end engineer and user experience designer, before eventually joining the Instagram team doing design & development.
The Growth of Instagram
In March 2010, Burbn Inc. (the parent company of Instagram) received seed funding of $500,000. This was seven months before the actual photo-sharing social networking service was made available to the public.
In February 2011, a few months after the public launch, Instagram raised their series A funding round of $7 million from a consortium of venture capital funds. The company was valued at $25 million during this funding round.
Some 14 months later, in April 2012, Instagram raised another funding round of $50 million from venture capitalists, with a valuation of $500 million.
Instagram is Acquired by Facebook
Immediately after launch, Instagram started gaining huge popularity and reached a registered user base of a 100 million people in April 2012. This was technically only one and a half years after the official launch. At which time the company was acquired by Facebook for a mouth watering $1 billion (paid via a mix of cash and stock).
This purchase was by far Facebook’s most significant acquisition and was a definite indicator of how important mobile and photo sharing were becoming to Facebook. An interesting parallel for this purchase can perhaps be drawn with Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube in 2006. In as much as it demonstrated an internet behemoth with expertise in a particular area (search, in the case of Google, social media in the case of Facebook) acquiring expertise in an adjacent (but different) area, via purchasing a fast-growing start-up.
This purchase was unusual for Facebook, as its previous purchases of other start-ups were modest by comparison.
“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired
a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.
But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook
and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.”
Facebook CEO and Founder, Mark Zuckerberg
Instagram – Features and User Demographics
Instagram allows users to upload photos and short 15-second videos, apply digital filters to create colour and contrast effects, and then enables them to share this content through social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Instagram deliberately restricts images to a square shape, in a nod and a wink to those wonderful instant Polaroid photos many of us grew up with. Instagram users can interact with content posted by other members by ‘liking’ it, or by following the user that posted it. They can also search for content using hashtags.
The Instagram mobile app is distributed primarily through Apple’s App Store, Google Play and Windows Phone Store. The app is supported on iPhone, iPad, iPad Touch, Android and Windows handsets, while third-party Instagram apps are available for BlackBerry 10 and Nokia-Symbian handsets and devices.
Boasting 200 million active users in 2014, Instagram’s user-base growth over the years has been nothing short of phenomenal:
Number of Active Users on Instagram
Instagram Milestones and Achievements
Other important milestones and achievements for Instagram over the years include:
A look at statistics from September 2013 reveals that a total of 16 billion photos and videos were shared via Instagram, with an average of 55 million new shares being made per day. At time of writing (August 2014) Instagram users are making an average of 1.2 billion new Likes per day.
According to another 2013 study, some 13% of all Internet users worldwide were found to be using Instagram. And some 70% of Instagram users were found to be logging on to the site daily, with 35% logging in more than once a day.
A 2014 study revealed that the Instagram mobile app user base registered a 25% growth between December 2013 and May 2014. And as of March 2014, a total of some 20 billion photos had been shared via Instagram. It has also been reported that in 2014, an average of one thousand new comments get posted on Instagram every second.
Unlike something like Google + (where people sign up, but hardly ever use it), Instagram demonstrably shows us that people come back again and again to the platform to both post and interact with other users. And it’s this interaction (much like Facebook itself) that allows us to see why Facebook valued the company at $1 billion in 2012.
As the following Statista chart demonstrates, Instagram has been found to be the 2nd most popular social media app among American smartphone users aged between 18 and 34:
According to a 2013 study, some 25% of the Fortune 500 companies were using Instagram as a social media networking platform. A 2014 study indicates that some 43% of the top 100 brands post daily on Instagram, with the average number of posts made by these (top 100) brands on Instagram per week standing at 5.5. Some 65% of the world’s top 100 brands had Instagram accounts (as at 2013).
In 2014, the average value of sales orders generated via Instagram referrals has been found to be a very respectable $66.75. In a late 2013 study, Instagram was also found to deliver the 4th highest (1.08%) conversion rate among all social media platforms and services, trailing only Facebook (1.85%), Vimeo and YouTube (1.16% each).
A 2014 survey conducted by Social Media Examiner reveals that Instagram is among the top 10 social media platforms used by online marketers.
According to the SocialMediaMarketingReport of 2014, some 28% of online and social media marketers use Instagram as one of their marketing channels. This report also indicates that some 42% of the marketers (that were polled during the survey on which this report is based) were planning to increase their use of Instagram as a social media marketing platform. As this report further indicates, a significantly higher number (49%) of B2C marketers are likely to increase marketing activity via Instagram than their B2B counterparts (32% of which said they will increase Instagram activity).
Interestingly, the same percentage of marketers (i.e. 42%) also expressed their willingness to learn more about Instagram as a social media marketing and optimisation platform.
To paraphrase the old adage from the W. P. Kinsella novel, ‘Shoeless Joe’ (popularised in the classic 1989 movie, ‘Field of Dreams’): ‘
"If you build it, they will come."
And with more and more people flocking to this photo-sharing social network every day, it is not surprising that Instagram has emerged as one of the world's 'must use' platforms for businesses, online marketers and social media optimisers.
Looking for SEO Sydney for your website? Then you've come to right place. Simply call 0425 204 887, today. The first page of Google is only one click away!
SEO North Sydney Testimonial
I first contacted Brian at SEO North Sydney in November 2013 for advice on my website because he came up on top of my Google search for SEO.
It was agreed that my website was well out of date and in need of a completely fresh start.
Brian was very helpful the whole time and had a lot of great ideas and input for the new site.
He worked his SEO magic right from the start enabling us to achieve many first page and position 1 results for relevant searches even on new product lines that we did not have on the old site.
We are very happy with our new site capfencing.com.au and its position in the marketplace.
We will continue to use SEO North Sydney’s services going forward to maintain our Google rankings.
Cap Fencing Pty Ltd
Now this is a lovely thing to wake up to on a Saturday morning. SEO North Sydney are #1 in Google search for the much sought after search term, 'SEO Sydney'!
How to Value a Click on the First Page of Google
There are only two ways to get on the first page of Google. One, you can pay for it (via Google Pay Per Click), or two, you can get there organically.
The only way to work out how much a click is actually worth, is to ask yourself how much would you have to pay for it (via Pay Per Click) if you weren't getting that click for free on the organic side of the search page? In the case of search terms like SEO and SEO Sydney (which are searches from one of the single most competitive spaces in Australia - because everyone competing for the first page is naturally an SEO expert), the answer to that question is: north of $36 and $38 PER CLICK'.
That's right. If you pay to be on the first page of an SEO or SEO Sydney search via Pay Per Click, every single time someone clicks on your ad it costs you nearly $40!
Google AdWords Costings
Why Pay Per Click When You Can Get Free Clicks Instead?
Anyone who's ever spoken to me in person or on the phone about SEO will have heard me say, "It's a lot easier to take the boat to where the fish are, than to get the fish to come to you". A metaphor that holds true in the Organic Search v PPC debate. Because while PPC is a strategy that can work for your business, Google themselves tell us that 90% of all traffic is organic, with only 10% of the search traffic generated from the PPC side of the page. So given this salient bit of information, if 90% of the people click on the organic search (rather than the paid ads), then logic dictates that getting on the organic side of the search is where 90% of your online marketing budget should go. QED.
And I don't know about you, but if I had to pay $40 every time someone clicked on me via a Google search, I'd go out of business quicker than you can say, "Elvis has left the building!". And besides, why would I want to pay for a click, when I can get an endless supply of free clicks on the organic side of Google's search, simply by implementing Google's Best Practice search methodology?
The Google Dance
Naturally the organic Google search results fluctuate. One day you're SERP (Search Engine Raking Position) #1, the next day you're SERP #3, the day that you're SERP #2, etc. The actual order ultimately isn't the thing that matters. What matters is that you're on the first page consistently (92% of people don't go past the first page of their Google search) and ideally find yourself in the top 3 (where 60.5% of the first page traffic goes). If you are, then the phone will ring and your business will grow.
Want to master SEO? Then book in yourself or your staff for some SEO Training Sydney today! Sydney's #1 SEO Trainer Brian M Logan shows you everything you need to get your company website on the first page of Google. SEO Training can be in-house (we come to you) or classroom based (you come to us).
Or you can always call us on 0425 204 887 if you want to leave your SEO Sydney requirements to the experts. Your website's 1st Page of Google results are guaranteed in writing in the contract.
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Looking for SEO Sydney for your website? Then you've come to right place. Simply call 0425 204 887, today. The first page of Google is only one click away!
Sometimes you read a random article on the internet that makes you think about your own life. This plot twist (below) in the Big Bang Theory season 8 narrative (where Penny's character puts aside her dreams of being an actor to get a full time sales job) is one such article. It resonated with me, not only because of my own previous career as a professional actor, but also because it's a good metaphor for how 99% of acting careers die.
As anyone who studied acting full time for three years will tell you, the stats drummed into you by your acting teachers on the first day of college make pretty sober reading. 95% of actors are unemployed at any one time. 4% are employed with a degree of frequency (but not all the time). And 1% are in constant employment and make a ridiculously good living at it.
I was in the 4%. And while I spent more time not working than working (Australia's film and TV industry in the 90s being a fraction of the size it is now), I had enough times standing in the sun to make the winters bearable. But - ultimately - that was not enough.
Musings on the Life of an Actor
Actors work a 'day job' or 'night job' to help pay the bills. Jobs such as telemarketing, bar tending, waiting tables, etc. Jobs that can be pushed around, time wise, if an audition or a gig comes up. This is fine in your 20s, when you're tilting at the windmill and full of hubris. But when actors hit their 30s (or for some, their 40s), and all their friends are driving nice cars, having babies, buying houses, etc, and the actor is still stuck in Groundhog Day working some crappy part time job and dreaming about a red carpet filled tomorrow that never comes. That's when the scar tissue on the soul becomes fatal. Because it's at this point that an actor knows, deep in the very fibers of their being, that it's time to 'grow up' and face the music by committing to a full time job that cannot be pushed around, time wise, for auditions or for gigs. Oh sure, they're still an 'actor' at this stage (in their head), and the full time job is just a short, stop gap measure, to pay off some debt, or save some money. Except when their agent calls with an audition, they have to say they can't make it (as they're at work). And in no time at all their agent stops calling. He / She GETS IT. They've seen this fundamental sea change in the lives of the middle age actors on their books a thousand times.
Then, after a while, the 'actor' gets used to the security of the day job. Of earning regular money. And it's at this point that they realise their acting career is officially over. It didn't go out with a bang. There were no fireworks. No red carpet. No paparazzi light bulbs flashing. It just faded quietly into memory, as if it never existed at all.
My story is similar enough to this Big Bang plot development, I guess. With the added push for me being that, after nearly a decade as a professional actor - which included doing 6 feature films and co-starring in 3 of them - my mother retired and got sick, and I asked her to move to Sydney to live with me and my then girlfriend. And suddenly I had to provide for the household, not just for me. And so a decision long in the coming arrived, and I bit the bullet and took a full time job (managing a Blockbuster video store). Which lead to other, better paying full time work, which lead to me producing technology trade shows and events, which led to me producing Australia's first ever streaming film and music website (4 years before YouTube), which led to me getting interested in producing websites, which led to me getting interested in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Which led to me running my own SEO company today. And SEO is something I'm good at, and enjoying doing. And it's something which in turn allows me free time to indulge my other creative passion, writing novels, screenplays, etc. Sure, it's late in the game, I realise that. And as usual I'm the last to the party (what's new?). But I'm here now, and I feel good about that, because what I do (getting companies on the first page of Google) seems to make people pretty darn happy. Plus, the pay is regular. And okay, it's not the party I was originally invited to. I know that. But it's a party I'm happy enough to attend. Especially now.
We all of us walk a meandering path in our working lives. At 16 I wanted to be a novelist. For a decade in my 20s and 30s, that creative itch was scratched by my being a professional actor. And now, firmly ensconced in middle age, I run a growing SEO company. Is this where I saw myself being when I was 20? 'The Doyen of All Things Digital'? Of course not. But sometimes life is about the journey not the destination. And as my late, sainted mother used to say, 'So long as you've got a roof over your head and food in your belly, everything else is sugar (on top)'.
So here's to being happy where we are. In the present. To not dwelling on the past. To not worrying about the future. We are now, where we are meant to be. There's a blessing in that.
Brian M Logan is an on-line marketing, SEO and copywriting expert with over 15 years' experience in the web and over 20 years' experience with the written word.