What is SEO: Understanding the importance in 2015

What is SEO: Understanding the importance in 2015

We are constantly building websites for clients in Melbourne and throughout Australia. Many of our new clients are either new businesses, or ones that have been established for some time, who now want to embrace the Internet with their own website.

Some think, “If they build it – they will come,” and we wish that was true. However, simply building a website is not the only piece of the online success puzzle – you also have to be found and stand out.
In this article we answer some basic questions we are often asked when discussing the importance of building a website that is search engine optimised as well as performing ongoing SEO.

SEO-BasicsWhat is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In other words, making it easier for your current and potential customers to find your website through search engines like Google and Bing
There are hundreds of factors that influence the list of websites a search engine returns when you search for something. However, to return this list of websites, essentially the search engines delve deep into their database of the billions of web pages they have indexed and do two main things: first, they look for the results that are relevant to your query, and second, they rank those relevant results in order of perceived importance.
SEO is designed to influence the “relevance” and “importance” of your website to the search engines for the search terms that people may use to find your products or services. The goal is to have your website ranked highly by the search engines for these queries.

How can SEO help my business?

With proper SEO on your website, more people can find you online which means more potential customers and revenue for your business. Whether the purpose of your website is to drive customers into your brick and mortar store, to have them pick up the phone and call you or to make a purchase online, SEO gets people to your website.

Why do I need SEO?

The Internet reaches more people than any television commercial, newspaper or magazine advertisement or radio commercial. Compared to these mediums, promotional dollars put towards SEO can provide some of the biggest returns on any investment you can make for your business by driving lead generation, marketing, brand awareness and just about everything in between which all lead to increased revenue.

Can SEO really work for my business?SEO-services-melbourne

SEO works for any and every business, service, brand, event, or other online entity you can imagine. It allows you to put your business in front of the people who are actively searching the queries that are relevant to your business.

The world of SEO is complex and constantly changing with hundreds of factors influencing any website. Having a website built well from an SEO perspective is part of the puzzle for success, however ongoing SEO is the key for higher rankings and on-going success.

In 2015 Clark Marketing & Design will be releasing a strictly limited number of outstanding value SEO packages, each customised for specific businesses and industries. If part of your 2015 marketing plans are to really get your website firing and ranking high, we suggest you call us to find out more, or email us at info@clarkmarketing.com.au

Google stops using PageRank

Google stops using PageRank

google-toolbar-pagerankPageRank is one of many factors that determines where your web page appears in search result rankings.

PageRank (PR) is a quality metric by Google. The values one to ten determine a page’s importance, reliability and authority on the web according to Google and is assigned to individual pages within a website, not the entire website.
PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.
It’s one of many factors used to determine which pages appear in search results.

The last Google Toolbar PageRank update was on December 6th 2013 and since then rumours in SEO circles have been that Google would stop using the PageRank Metric to judge websites!

But now, Google’s John Mueller wrote it out in a Google Webmaster Help thread saying Google “have no plans to do further updates,” around PageRank.

SEO Quick Tip – checking your website rankings.

SEO Quick Tip – checking your website rankings.

SEO-MelbouneLike most website owners, you are most likely to be continually or periodically checking on how your website is ranking for your keywords and key phrases.

To get the best and most accurate results, you’ll want to periodically clear your cache, and you should do this before checking your search engine results rankings.

Why? Well every internet browser Safari, Chrome, Firefox etc, comes with a cache, also known as temporary internet files. Every time you open up a web page, data is sent to the cache, which it then stores for your next visit. It’s an essentially way for your computer to remember places you’ve been and not have to load everything again, because if anything on that web page you have visited previously is still the same , such as text and images etc, the cache faster can recall the information and load the page much faster. The cache is an important in making your web browsing experience faster and smoother.

There are however some disadvantages if you are trying to check your websites rankings. In terms of SEO checks, caching can actually work against you especially if you’ve been researching the competitions websites.

Google uses your cache to decide what search results to need to see, which is usually helpful. Google may in fact look into your cache and prioritise the results based on your previous browsing history. This can give you a skewed ranking of your true website ranking for particular keywords.

SEO-TipAnswer. To get the best and most accurate results, you’ll want to periodically clear your cache for the web browser you are using. If you are uncertain on how to do this for your particular web browser simply Google “Clear Cache and your web browser type” you’ll find some simple straight forward details on how.






Web Design – Domain Names

Web Design – Domain Names

A domain name is your online address on the Internet. All computers on the Internet have a unique identifying number – an Internet Protocol address. Because this address is difficult to remember, we use a domain name – a unique name that corresponds with an Internet Protocol address.

We are often asked by clients does our website domain name need to be exactly the same as our registered business name? The simple answer is NO.

A domain name is promoted so that customers can easily find your specific goods or services. Each website has its own distinct domain name, allowing it to be distinguishable from other sites.

Tips on choosing a Domain Name

Here are some tips on selecting a domain name for your business.

Keep it short

Short domain names are easier to remember, and are also easier to fit on business cards and other marketing materials.

Keep it simple

Make it easy to type and easy to spell.

Make it memorable

If it’s memorable visitors are more likely to pass it on and remember it in the future.

Make it unique

Choose something unique—if your domain name is similar to your competitors it may confuse your customers.

Make it relevant

Choose keywords or phrases that potential customers will be searching for. Research this by doing a keyword search in Google and seeing which websites show up and how they’re ranked.

Avoid using numbers

Try to avoid using numbers if you can, particularly the number 0 which is easily confused with the letter O.

Choose the right extensions

If you have an international scope then go for the Top Level Domains, such as .com, .net and .org. If you’re aiming for the Australian market only then go for the .au domain names, such as .com.au, .net.au and .org.au.

Do it now!

Domain names are unique, so secure yours as soon as you can before someone else snaps it up!

Once you’ve found the perfect domain name, it’s a good idea to register variants of it. It will protect your brand and online identity, and drive more traffic to your website.

Does you need help in researching and selecting the right domain name? We are happy to help and advice you . Call us now on 03 9739 5445 or contact us on line.

Got any tips or comments on Domain names, please let us know by commenting below.


Google’s Algorithm recent updates ~ overview

Google’s Algorithm recent updates ~ overview

There’s been a lot of activity with Google algorithm updates recently and over the past year. Whilst these Google updates can be immensely complicated Google is simply trying to do what it does best. That is it tries to provide searchers with the best and most relevant information that they need, matching searches with websites that provide the relevant information.

These updates can affect your website search engine results rankings. You may have heard the terms Google Panda, Google Penguin, Hummingbird and the Google Payday Loan algorithm updates.

These algorithm updates look at many, in fact sometimes hundreds of different factors in order to rank websites. So what do the most recent Google updates all mean? Well here’s a very basic, straightforward guide as to what they are about. The explanations below are very much simplified and designed not to overwhelm you with technical details, just to provide a basic understanding of what’s been happening and what could be affecting your website search engine results page rankings.

Google’s Payday Loan algorithm

This is the most recent of Google algorithm updates (v2.0) and has been occurring over recent weeks (the first version v1.0 was announced around 12-months ago). According to “the Guru” at Google Matt Cutts advised that it targeted spammy type websites. The information surrounding this update remains “unelaborated on.” The Payday Loan algorithm targets search queries such as “viagra”, “casinos”and other keywords that are often targeted by spammers. Unfortunately, Google (as they often do) does not explain what this means in detail.

SEO-services-melbourneGoogle Panda and Google Penguin

The Panda algorithm targets websites with low quality content. For example, the Panda algorithm makes sure that web pages with automatically created or very shallow content don’t get high rankings in Google’s search results. This also applies to such things as duplicated content, the same or similar pages, or blog articles utilising very similar or slight variations of keywords, whereas the Penguin algorithm targets website that get artificial links. Links are important to your website, in a way they are like a positive vote for your site ~ that is provided they are relevant and respected. The Penguin algorithm targets website that get artificial links, for example it may penalize websites that are linked with paid links. In many cases these paid links have no relevance to the linking website. Overall Google doesn’t like links from automated linking schemes and this is not encouraged for quality search engine optimisation, whereas good quality relevant links are generally positive for a website.


The Hummingbird algorithm’s goal was for Google to better understand a user’s search query and subsequently provide the user with the most relevant results. There is some speculation that changes were necessary in order for Google’s voice search to be more effective, that is being able to interpret what the user is actually asking or searching for. For example if someone searches for say, “Best place for a family lunch in Ringwood, ” Hummingbird is able to interpret that by “place” the user would most likely be interested in results that show “restaurants.”

What does this all mean for my website?

The Internet is becoming increasingly competitive and complex. Websites and their content are really a ‘living, evolving, active being.’ All websites should be regularly reviewed and updated, the focus should be on creating the best website possible for users. Google’s goal is to deliver the best answers to people who are searching. If you can produce regular, up-to-date relevant content, as well as content that answers people’s search queries and questions, refrain from using unscrupulous SEO tactics, avoid buying links, conduct positive link building and invest in quality SEO services then you’re on the right track to good search engine results page rankings.

Have you experienced any drops or increases in rankings? Let us know by commenting below.

Google Changes to Title Tags

Google Changes to Title Tags

Google’s search results page design changed last month. That is, the page that shows a list of websites when you do a Google search.

A number of changes to the search engine results page have now occurred that can affect how your website listing is displayed in the search results. Underlined text has now gone; Google AdWords adverts look different, with background shading removed and the addition of a small Ad notation.

However we would consider the most significant change being to the Title Tags. The Title Tag font size is now bigger. It is now 18pt larger than it was previously being at 16pt. A minor change you may think, but what impact does  this have on how your Title Tags appear in the search results?

Well, with a bigger font size the Title Tag length you can use on your website pages is now reduced. Each page on your site should have a carefully scripted Title Tag written to include the relevant keywords the page is targeting to assist and encourage visitors to click-through to your website. Your page Title Tags combined with your Description Tags form the basis of the search results. Following Google’s redesign to their interface your Title Tags may now be cut off and not appear as you initially intended them to!

Google originally suggested up to 70 characters (including spaces) for the Title Tag that appears in search results. If the title went over 70 characters (including spaces) it would get cut off. Google now no longer uses a fixed character limits, instead, they use the pixel width of the characters to determine title length.

Old Google Interface – Title Tags



Each character on a keyboard has a different width when typed, and the combination of character widths that make up the Title Tag needs to fall below Google’s limit. This means that it’s now more difficult to recommend a specific number of characters for Title Tags, since the length can vary  even though the character count remains constant. Each character can take up a different amount of space. For example if you use CAPITALS or M’s, W’s or other wider characters, the number of characters you can include in your title tags may be less. If you Title Tag is too long it will now chop off in the middle of a word.

So what’s the optimum length of a Title Tag now? Unfortunately this isn’t a straightforward question to answer! As explained the space that each character takes up has always had some influence on the number of characters you can use in a Title Tag, but following the text size increase this now  has greater impact.

New Google Interface – Title Tags

The below shows the same three title tags above and how the new Google interface displays them on the search results page without any adjustments.


 Title Tags – What should you do?

Fortunately, some in-depth analysis has been conducted which is quickly becoming the new best practice to follow. If you aim for 55 characters in your title tags you are likely to be ok 95.8% of the time.

So our advice is to review your Title Tags and where necessary aim for 55 characters with spaces. Why? Statistics have shown that search click-through-rates are generally higher when the full Title Tag is visible and correctly formatted to the user, however the bottom line is it shouldn’t affect your rankings, but it may affect your click-through-rates.

Have you seen changes or have had to make changes to your Title Tags? We would love to hear your stories, let us know by commenting below.