What are Citations and their Importance for SEO

What are Citations and their Importance for SEO

Citations-for-SEOWhat Is A Citation

A citation is any mention of your business on the web, with or without a link to your website. Basically, whenever your business is mentioned online, that’s a citation.

Why Do Citations Matter and why are they Important for SEO?

Citations are a key factor in local search rankings. Like external links to your website, Google uses them when evaluating the online authority of your business. However, unlike links, citations don’t need to have a physical link to your business’s website in order for you to be credited for and benefit from them. However for SEO or Search Engine Optimisation purposes, it is more effective if there is, in addition to the reference to your company name, address, and phone number (NAP), there is also a link to your website.

Along with external links citations are one of the primary factors that Google uses when deciding on which order to rank businesses in their local search results.

To Google and other Search Engines, it’s logical that a business that’s mentioned a lot online deserves a higher ranking than one that’s hardly mentioned at all. This is more so if those mentions are on reputable websites that are relevant in terms of geographic location and /or topic.

Consistency in Citations Is Critical

For a citation to really benefit with any local SEO strategy, it’s important that the citation exactly matches the NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) on your website and on your Google+ page. Critically important is that your citations are 100% consistent in the Name, Address and Phone Number. What you may consider minor variations in say a phone number eg. 03 9300 0000 v 9300 0000, or a business address, e.g. Suite 3, 31 x street v’s 3, 31 x street, are not viewed well by Google!

If exactly the same NAP is listed on 50+ different websites then it’s highly likely (to Google) that this is the correct information, and Google and other Search Engines can be more confident in showing those results, higher in the rankings to searchers.

Citations Good for Rankings Good For Business

The more places that your business’s NAP is listed, the higher the likelihood of people seeing it, which will also bring more web traffic to your website and ultimately, more customers which is great for business!

If you would like to find out more about Citations for your business, simply give us a call on 03 9739 5445 we’d be glad to help.

 

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation

SEO-MelbourneSEO or Search Engine Optimisation

Being involved in Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for many of our Melbourne and interstate clients we sometimes take things for granted. One occasion, which occurred recently was with a new client where we were briefly discussing a suggested online strategy for their proposed website in terms of SEO. The client began to look at us with a very ‘glazed expression!’

What we took as a ‘given,’ being that they had a basic understanding of what SEO was, they in fact, as a new business owner, simply had no idea of what SEO was, and had only vaguely heard of the term SEO.

Hence we thought it useful to write this very, very simple explanation of what SEO is.

What Is SEO – A Simple Explanation?

Search Engine Optimisation, often referred to as SEO, is the process and the list of methods used to bring a website or web page to a high-ranking position on a search engine results page. The higher the website or website page is listed on Search Engine such as Google or Bing, the more likelihood the website will be clicked on and visited compared to other websites that are found on the second page or third page of a Search Engine.

Why is SEO Important?

There are currently around some 14 Trillion, that’s 14,000,000,000,000 web pages on the World Wide Web and every website and keyword or keyword phrase (what you type into a search bar when searching) is different. Search Engines such as Google are very, very clever, as well as being incredibly complex and secretive in interpreting the search queries to give the most relevant results

Search Engine Optimisation through the process of tailoring a website’s structure, content and linkages with other sites helps improve its visibility in the search results, in other words, SEO helps your website get found online.

The competition for website online visibility and rankings is an increasingly daunting and elusive task for many businesses wanting to get into the top positions on Google. However with quality SEO that is applied to your website getting to the top of Google rankings can have a very positive impact on your business and more importantly, can increase your income!

 

Buying A Business with a Website – Buyer Beware!

Buying A Business with a Website – Buyer Beware!

Website-Services-MelbourneSo your considering buying a business or have bought a business that includes a website ~ Great! However, as the old saying goes “Caution Buyer Beware

For many, buying a business is a totally new, exciting and sometimes a daunting adventure. In many cases, one of the attractions of the business purchase is the fact that it includes a fully functioning website.

Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more new clients who have bought a business that includes a website, only to find out a little later down the track that they don’t have full control or access to many things they need.

Due diligence is required and if you are looking to buy a business that includes a website then here are a few critical steps you should check. The below list is not exhaustive, but a good start for some simple due diligence checks.

Personally, I would recommend that you have a web design specialist cast their eyes over the website before you buy. If the website is a major part of the business purchase, then this is an absolute must, so they can delve into more detail and ensure your are totally covered and will have full access to the website.

So here are the very basics you need to check:

1. Website Log-in Details

Make sure you obtain full login details to the backend of the website, so you or a web design company can access and make changes to the website in the future. This information should contain a login username and password.

2. Domain Name

It’s important before you make your purchase you check the Whois database and make sure the current owner’s who is selling the business that includes the website, in fact, matches up.

You will need to be in full control of your Domain Name. The registrant details and other contacts associated with the Domain name will also need to be updated and the ownership transferred. The domain transfer is free of cost in most of the cases, however, there is a cost associated with the change in ownership.

Not having this information correct and up to date, as well as totally in your control can be very painful later on. One, of the many important reasons for this, is you want to be notified ahead of time when the Domain name is close to expiry, so you can renew it in a timely fashion. If you don’t someone else could buy your Domain name!

3. Hosting

You should also obtain the details of who is currently hosting the website, when the hosting expires, the hosting specifications and all the relevant settings associated with setting up any emails associated or connected to the Domain Name.

4. Content

If content is a major factor of the website, make sure the content is unique on the web and not simply copied off of another website by using www.copyscape.com.

5. Google Analytics & Search Console Log-ins

Again, you should request login details to obtain access to Google analytics and the Google Search Console accounts to see the relevant information and history yourself.

Of course, if all of the above is still a little ‘jiberish and daunting’ to you the feel free to contact Clark Marketing & Design and we would be happy to do some basic checks and provide the relevant advice!

 

The Psychology of a Google Search

The Psychology of a Google Search

SEO-MelbourneThe Psychology of a Google Search – how to increase your website SEO performance.

Ever wondered what goes through the mind of a prospective client who is looking for your products or services online when they do a Google search? Everyone is an individual and their minds do work and think differently, however Blue Nile Research has recently published a very interesting study about the way searchers often formulate their queries.

The full article, with the link below, reveals more, however in a “nutshell” the research reveals:

Two different key types of approach to a Google search
Half of the searchers use fragment queries such as “fix coffee maker”, while the other half uses more specific queries such as “why doesn’t my coffee maker turn on” and “brand model coffee maker troubleshooting”.

The phrasing used with a Google search varies wildly
While most searches use two-word queries, for example, Plumber Melbourne, the chosen words vary a lot. Individuals search differently and they phrase their queries in distinct ways.

Many searchers phrase their query in form of a question
In the study, some searchers choose to ask a question while others choose to make a statement. 27% of searchers phrased their query in the form of a question (‘how, ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘what’, ‘which’). 73% used a non-question form.

How’ questions are more popular than ‘Why’ questions
When searchers entered a question in the search form, ‘how’ was used by 44% of searchers. The least popular question word was ‘what’. It seems that searchers are looking for a solution (‘How do I fix my coffee maker?’) instead of a reason (‘Why is my coffee maker not working?’). Some food for thought if you are considering adding, for example, a Frequently Asked Questions page to your website!

How can you use this research data to increase your website performance?
To get as many targeted visitors as possible to your website, you may have to develop different approaches and different pages for the individual ways that people search. You may also wish to look at how the text is structured on your website too, including such things a Headers and structuring some of your text in the form of a question and an answer. Remember some people who are searching on Google (and other Search Engines, such as Bing, Yahoo etc.) to find your website or a website that offers similar products and services want a quick solution, others want a detailed explanations and information. Create varying and educating content that targets users in different research phases will help you to help you reach more customers.

Read The full article:
Blue Nile Research – Psychology of the Searcher

 

Is the Next Google Panda Algorithm Refresh Coming?

Is the Next Google Panda Algorithm Refresh Coming?

Google-Panda-UpdateThere has certainly been rumblings in many SEO circles that the latest Panda refresh is coming, but is it too late to save your website?

The Panda algorithm targets websites with low quality or very shallow content. It also targets websites with such things as duplicated content, similar pages, or blog page articles utilising very similar or slight variations of keywords and content.

If your site was hit by the last Panda update and today you decide to refresh and update all your content, it still may be too late!

Google may have already run all the data for the Panda refresh but they have not yet pushed the release out. There are many stages of a Panda update and if it is coming soon, the data aspect may have already been refreshed by Google and the Panda Algorithm.

The key message here is that you should continually review your website content, check every aspect for duplicated content, and continue to add relevant, different, up-to-date and valuable content to your site.

See our article on Creating Content for your Website

Website Design ~ Creating Content for your website

Website Design ~ Creating Content for your website

Text content is considered KING when you are considering your website design and inclusions for a number of key reasons:

  • It is what Search Engines are looking for.website-content
  • It is what people are looking for.
  • It’s what drives visitors to your site and turns prospects into leads.

Google continues to search out high-quality relative content to search queries. To ensure you get the best rankings, you should have high-quality relevant content on your website. And this should include written content, along with videos or even podcasts.

Quality content is a definite must have for any website. So what should you consider when gathering information and data for website content?

Here are some tips:

Offer unique content. People love this and so do Search Engines.

Know your audience. Providing content that is specific to your prospective clients and buyers will keep them coming to you rather than your competitors.

Provide value through educational content that answers prospective clients’ questions.

Keep your content fresh. Having news that’s years old still sitting on your websites homepage won’t make a great impression. Search Engines aren’t fans of outdated content either.

Include evidence when needed. If your stating facts, numbers, awards or testimonials etc., try to back it up with a source.

When you have got your content and inclusions, there are some basic questions you should ask yourself:

  • Will people know what I do within seconds?
  • Will they understand what website page they’re on and will they understand what it’s about and what it offers?
  • Will they know what to do next – do you have an appropriate call to action?
  • Does it state why they should they buy, contact, phone, email, subscribe etc. from you instead of from someone else’s website?

Finally, make sure you create a few headlines and sub-headline for your content and make sure you include a clear call-to-action.

 

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