There are a lot of different factors that influence a website’s performance with regard to Search Engine Optimisation (“SEO”). These include a number of on-site or on-site factors, and off-site factors. This page will outline these factors, how they influence search engine optimization, your rankings and how I can configure these factors to help you reach SEO and online marketing targets. We offer Free SEO with every website, Free SEO Tools, SEO Tips and free SEO Training. So, What is SEO Marketing?
Keywords can be a single word, but more likely a phrase consisting of two or more words. If you want to rank in Google for the keyword “Brisbane Solicitors” which gets searched for about 90 times per month, then you will need a landing page on your site, yourwebsite.com/solicitors-brisbane, with a meta title tag, meta description tag, and all on page metrics optimised around this keyword. This can be the same for all keywords and phrases you want to rank for.
Long Tail Keywords
If you want to rank for the keyword “lawyers” then it is going to be a long and costly process and there is a lot of competition.
So, for the “phrase” search for the keyword lawyers, there are 262 million pages that you would have to compete with. That is not the only bad thing, if you do rank for the word “lawyers” you will be getting clicks from people who are not there to engage a lawyer. Anybody who searches for the keyword “lawyers” might click through to your site, with no intention of spending any money – and that’s what it’s all about after all, connecting with targeted paying clients.
Whereas, ranking for the keyword “ip lawyer in Sydney” which is a phrase that gets searched for 46 times per month on average (according to Google Keywords Tool) and only has only 904 pages of competition.
What does this mean for your SEO?
- It is a lot easier to rank over 904 pages of competition than 262 million!
- The people who click are more likely to be converted into clients.
- There are almost no limits to long tail keyword (“LTK”) combinations that your competition haven’t even thought of.
- It is way cheaper (both organically and in Google Ad-words) to rank for LTK than top level keywords.
- There are some LTK that practically ensure a conversion, a fictitious example would be “i need a lawyer in Brisbane now” – if you are ranking at number 1 in Google for this, then you must be able to make the conversion!
Other On-Page Factors
Google uses all kinds of other on-page or on-site factors to establish whether a site is a good site or not. These include the following:
- <h1> <h2> <h3> tags in the content – Google considers the relevance of a page based not only on the words of the content, but the <heading> tags in that content. If it is important enough to be a heading, then it is of more relevance to the ranking.
- Meta Tags – the meta tags used are vitally important! This is true not just for seo, but for conversion too. See the conversion page. The meta tags <title> and <description> are the section of the page that shows on the Google search engine results pages (“SERPs”).
- The meta <title> is the top section, limited to 70 characters is one of the ONLY reasons why a searcher will click on your site from the SERPs. It needs to include the keyword that that particular page is ranking for, but also try to separate you from your competition. It must also be well written copy, written with a human audience in mind, not just the search engines.
- The meta <description> tag is the next section. This section again is the ONLY other reason why a searcher will click through to your site from the SERPs, and not the site above or below in the SERPs. Limited to 150 characters it needs to deliver on the expectation of the searcher. For example, if we are targeting the keyword “divorce lawyers in Brisbane” then the description tag needs to include the keyword, and try to deliver the answer to the question that the searcher is looking for. It needs to instill trust, and perhaps include a call-to-action (“cta”). For example, “Specialist Divorce lawyers in Brisbane. Divorce applications, court attendance, property settlements, peace of mind. Free 30 minute consultation” – that’s 146 characters, got a lot of LSI keywords as well as the main keyword, delivers on the expectation of the searcher, and will make the user want to perform an action, namely click through to you.
- Meta <keywords> – Keywords are a list of LSI keywords. Google says it doesn’t use keywords any more, but YouTube still uses keywords, so the few seconds it takes to add them is worth it I reckon.
- Keyword Density and LSI keywords – The amount of times the keyword appears in the content is vital to what Google considers the page to be about. The way that the Google Bots “understand” content is called parsing. The amount of times Google parses the keyword on the content is an important ranking factor for that page. Too few and it is hard for Google to know what the page is about, too many and it’s called keyword stuffing (a popular spammer trick) and Google penalizes those pages heavily. I have software which analyses pages and recommends the perfect keyword density, which is included in all of my websites.
- LSI Keywords – LSI Keywords or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords is a technique used by Google Bot to “understand” the content on a page. One of the tricks used by Google is when understanding a page with a keyword “commercial litigation Brisbane” for example, is to look at all of the other pages ranking for that keyword and rank the other keywords in those pages. Then, once it has those other keywords in order of how many times they appear, it ranks all of those pages by, not just the main keyword, but the amount of LSI keywords in the content. This is how a machine “understands” the content – it works out that 90% of the websites ranking for “commercial litigation Brisbane” also contain the word “litigator” or “lawyer” or “solicitor”. So it considers these words to be highly relevant, so by including them in our content, increases the value of that content for that particular keyword.
- Pictures and Images – Google used images to understand what a page is about. Each page and post on your site should contain at least 3 images, fully optimised to ensure good seo. There are some optimization tricks to ensure the best seo value, such as calling the main image above the fold on your site by the keyword we are trying to rank for, this includes the <alt> tag and <description> tag of an image. Then, calling the other images on your site by good quality lsi keywords. Images are not just good for seo, they are good for creating backlinks and making sales too. A great infographic is amazing for social sharing and conversion.
- Internal Links – Linking to other relevant pages on your site is great, not only for seo but for user experience and conversions. If you have some content on your site about commercial litigation, and in that content you mention construction litigation, then it is a good idea to link to other content specifically about construction litigation. The way that the Google Bots index the pages on any site is by following links. The more links on a page, the better for seo (up to a point anyway, there is a limit on how many links on a page). This is really how Google indexes pages, it follows links, internal and external links pointing to those pages, and then includes them in the Google index.
- External Links – for some reason external links are a good ranking factor for seo. Probably because Google works by following links, and so external linking is encouraged. So if you have a site post about company structures, then link to ASIC. If you have a post about trademark classes, then link to IP Australia.
There are a number of other on-page factors to consider, not just for seo, but for conversion. For example, a call to action, free 1800 or 1300 numbers, free 30 minute initial consultation, metrics that make the searcher perform an action on the site which gives you the ability to follow them up and make the sale. See conversion and trust metrics page here.
Diagnosis of a Page of your Site
- URL – you need to ensure that the url is good, it is short and will fit in the search results well;
- Title – You will need to make sure that the <title> tag is ok, it contains the keyword, and it only contains 70 characters, Google allows for 70, so you are not optimizing premium virtual real estate by omitting other LSI keywords or branding keywords in there. It would be beneficial to optimise this tag by adding more relevant content such as “lawyer”, “sloicitor”, or other relevant content (like your area of practice. Google Bots only understands what we tell them;
- Description – When displaying this page in the serps, Google chooses and displays a <description> from the <description> tag of the website, so it is important to both get keywords in there and also write for humans for conversions – after all, we want people to click through to your site. This is really good for quality seo and conversions.
- Keywords – Keywords are apparently not important in seo any more, however YouTube still uses keywords and Google owns YouTube, so I use them anyway.
Now I can tell you about Off-Site factors.
Off-Site SEO Factors
Google follows links – This is essentially how Google works for good seo – as mentioned above, the more good quality links from other quality sites pointing to your website, the better the rankings! A webpage is given a score from 0 – 10 (this is called Pagerank, coincidently named after Larry Page) based upon the quality and quantity of other webpages linking back to you. It is essentially a trust score based on hundreds or thousands of factors (if I knew what they were I’d be a billionaire). So, if a reputable website links back to you (QLD Law Society, Lexis Nexis, Lexcon, Mondaq, IP Australia, ASIC, and so on), this will increase the “trust” that you site has in Google and therefore you will rank more highly.
The way Google understands good seo and what to rank you highly for, is calculated by the content of the copy on the page that links back to you (so what it is about), and the anchor text used in the hyperlink. For example, anchor text is the part of a web page that is usually blue and is the clickable part that opens your web page. This can be “click here” but this tells Googlebot nothing about the page, instead the anchor text could be “filing for divorce in Queensland”, which links to a great quality article on your site with the same name, ranking for that keyword. However, this is good for 50% of the links, but Google loves “natural links” and so it is important to add the odd “click for more” or “contact us” as anchor text, as it looks more natural. This is what the Penguin and Panda algorithm changes were looking for. It is unnatural to have 1000 links to your site with the anchor text “LAWYERS” for example.
Social Media is Good for SEO
I know that these are dirty words in some circles, however Google does use social signals in their algorithm and social media is fantastic for conversion. What I can do is create a social media network used exclusively for business which is not connected in any way to you, the partner’s or your employee’s personal social media accounts. This way you have complete control over what you choose to post and eliminate any embarrassing, or potentially brand damaging drunk tweets or similar by staff members.
Case Study – Facebook pages are a great example of how to get some amazing quality leads from social media. People share, comment and like posts and pages – which shows up in their feed – then any of their friends who are interested in the practice area relating to the FB page will follow the link, like the page and ask a question via FB. I can help to monitor this and drive referrals from different practice areas’ Facebook pages, to the correct department for follow up.
That is essentially it!
Selling SEO or Internet marketing is really like selling Amway or Bibles door-to-door. There are so many snake oil salesmen out there that the industry has been tarnished, which is a real shame for us genuine Internet and technology enthusiasts. Everyone I have spoken to about seo has a similar story, they say “we were paying thousands of dollars per month and didn’t get anything out of it” or words to that effect. I decided that it was more beneficial to me to create websites and use my skills to generate seo for the websites that I create, rather than doing just SEO commercially.
What I can do for your SEO
- Optimise Existing Content – Firstly optimise the existing websites’ on-page metrics to ensure that the existing content is performing at 100% in the serp’s. This includes doing all of the on-page items mentioned above for every page and post on your sites.
- Trust and Conversion Metrics – keeping strictly within your brand image and corporate identity, optimise your pages and posts to try to convert more of the existing searchers you have that click through to your site.
- Create Valuable Content– I can help to create valuable content.
- Creating YouTube Page – YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google, and gets more searches performed than all of the other engines combined. I can record daily or weekly, 60 or 90 second videos, based around targeted keywords, and optimise them on YouTube and other video sites and embed them into your websites. Videos are amazing for driving direct leads and amazing for seo as they get shared so often on social media. Here are some of my videos. This style of “whiteboard” video is very cost effective.
- Great Quality Articles – I can help to write, or rewrite great content for the websites and off-page websites.
- Quality Graphics – I can help to create great infographics based around the content given to me. I have amazing resources which are very cost effective. You should also take photos of social events and landmark events at for the website and social media sites (keeping within your strict guidelines of course).
- Free eBook PDF’s – Just like this huge proposal has become, I can help to create great ebooks and free pdf’s, for brand awareness, value to clients and creating links.
- Audio and Podcasts – Milking every piece of content for all it’s worth, if we are making a video for YouTube, why not use the audio for great free downloadable podcasts? There are a number of great free audio hosting and sharing sites out there, like SoundCloud for example. It’s all good content which adds value to your browsers, and value to your websites, as we can embed this free content into them.
- Create a Social Media Network – working within your strict guidelines I can create, manage and help to grow a great social media presence. I can connect the social media to the websites and only share the business content (articles, videos, podcasts, graphics, etc) on the social media sites. Nothing of a personal nature at all.
- Get Quality Backlinks – If we want to go from a PR3, to a PR4 or PR5 plus then we are going to need good quality backlinks. That is, great quality, trusted websites, with some content and a clickable hyperlink, back you the pages on your sites. I can help to get these links with your help. This is perhaps the hardest part of seo, hustling for links.
- Full SEO Audit – I have a subscription to the best seo auditing and monitoring software on the market in my opinion. Not only does it monitor your site, but can give all the information on competitors’ websites too, including their backlink profile. I can include RC on this, to keep 100% updated with all of your website and seo issues.
What Should you do Now?
First thing you should do is check out our portfolio of websites. Next, check out our website design packages. Then contact us for a free consultation to see if we can help with your website design needs.