Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson share some raw statistics and insights into why taking shortcuts or quick fixes with your SEO strategy just doesn’t work and is not worthwhile. Think long term, think smart.
Ian: Good morning, hello. How are you going? I am Ian Hopkinson and this is Andrew Radics. Is there any reason you’re dressed like Steve Jobs today?
Andrew: Ah, no. Is there any reason you are?
Andrew: This is actually navy. It’s not black, it’s navy.
Ian: We didn’t plan this. How are we all today? We are actually going to talk about why you need ‘Expert SEO’. Why do we need expert SEO?
Andrew: Well put it this way.
Ian: As opposed to ‘amatuer’ SEO.
Andrew: Well, the problem is, is there are so many people who think that they are experts. What happens is that these so called experts can actually ruin your rankings for your website. Worst of all they can actually really make Google think, OK, your site has too many SPAM links coming in, so then they actually rank you further, and further down the ladder which is not something you want. So just because someone says that they are an expert, doesn’t mean that they are an expert. It’s simple.
Ian: There was a time where people thought that was what it was all about. Sort of like getting likes on your Facebook page, the more likes you get the better it is. But it’s not about that, it’s about quality. Google has made that really clear now with the new updates they have done.
Andrew: Well just on that too, just a recent update, Penguin 4.0, they made it more about branding now so instead of worrying too much about keywords, Google worries about your ‘brand’ being out there a lot more. So, if any SEO company or anybody doing SEO for you now says ok well, we need to target your keywords. Every single anchor text that you have has to be a keyword and we need to do this keyword and we need to do that keyword and so on and so on. Don’t pay any attention to that, because that’s becoming really old school now as well. Especially with the latest update a few weeks ago.
Ian: And people want to, I guess, everybody is pushing and talking about content at the moment. Obviously pushing content and it used to be about stack the content with as many keywords as possible, but it’s not about that anymore, is it?
Andrew: No, those days are definitely long gone. It’s about quality, everything is about quality, user friendliness, all that sort of that sort of thing is what google and no doubt the other search engines are looking for.
Ian: What other search engines
Andrew: Ooh.. well lets say that say an SEO company says they will submit your website a hundred search engines. And everybody whom I ask, can you name me 10, I say I can name you about 4.
Ian: Yeah, it’s a futile exercise in a way isn’t it?
Andrew: Yes, it is
Ian: So some examples of… I guess trying to take a shortcut or not use someone who knows what they are doing, what happens?
Andrew: Well, not so long ago somebody rang me and said I used to be on page one for most of my keywords. And this is a guy, who had a website for 10 years and sold furniture, and was ranking pretty high for most of the keywords. Then all of a sudden, he just stopped ranking, his key words, his site just disappeared from the first page altogether. So, we had a look at it, we did what they call a backlink profile, just to see where their links were coming from, and there were thousands upon thousands of rubbish links from totally unrelated type of sites and even like gambling sites, porn sites and viagra sites. All of those kind of things that have nothing to do with furniture. So, eventually he got penalised. And so, he said how much is it going to cost to fix all of this? I said, well, we can go through, see if we can delete most of those links but its gonna take forever, it’s going to cost you a lot of money. So, his only choice with his budget was to actually start all over again. So he had to re-register his URL from .com.au to .net.au and even that took him a bit of effort because somebody had reserved that domain name, thinking that one day, this guy is going to want it. So it ended up costing him a lot of money. And and all of that because he went with a company that did spam tactics. Really, that’s what most link building is about, well that’s what cheap SEO companies think that’s what it is about but it’s not.
Ian: So this is a great example of where someone has decided that they are going to take the cheaper option, and that cheaper option, who knows, lets pull a figure out of a hat, $250 a month. And that person goes great, that sounds really good.
Andrew: I think he said he is paying $99 a month.
Ian: $99 a month. And potentially, again I am just pulling a figure out of a hat, it could have cost him $5000 to have his website fixed, to have all of those links disemboweled, the time it takes to recover your reputation with Google. It is ridiculous I think if a lot of people realise that before they were making these decisions, they obviously would take more time to understand what it is they are actually getting. We do have quite a few clients when we put together these proposals say ‘oh my god it is that much money?’. And I guess that’s what some of these cheaper SEO companies have done, is sort of put value in peoples minds, $99 or whatever it is, they think they are getting the same thing, than if they actually go with a company that is going to do it manually, and not use all of those automated software tactics. So there is a bit of a disconnect there with what the value of what this actually is.
Andrew: Yes! There is. And the biggest shame of it all is that, if you use a so called expert SEO company who really isn’t, who is using tactics that are so outdated in the new Google environment, this is what you are missing out on.
Ian: This is good, lets get into the figures. Pick up the glasses.
Andrew: Yeah I need to wear these now because all of the work I do has ruined my eyes.
Andrew: Just kidding, OK. In Australia alone, there are about 96% of homes who actually use their mobiles devices to search for local businesses. 96%. And if you’re not listed in Google for whatever reason it is, you are missing out on all of that traffic!
Ian: Just on that, I was walking through one of those alleys, I think it was Little Collins street in Melbourne yesterday, and I was looking around and people were having a coffee and having lunch and what not, and everybody was looking down at their device whether it was an iPad or an iPhone and I thought, you just don’t think about it all the time but all of these people are searching for something whether it’s a local business or an answer to something. We are really heavy, heavy users of this stuff, that it’s almost an extension of our body now.
Andrew: We are, we are. I get to work fairly early in the morning and we have a view of the local train station and you look out the window and people are standing on the platform looking down at something, they’re all looking at their smart phones. And I think my god, what happened to conversations.
Ian: We’ve turned into these robot sort of things.
Andrew: We are always plugged into something. But, the good thing for business is that people are plugged in, and according to these figures here, that 68% of people looking at their smart phones are looking at some sort of product. 51% of people are looking at restaurants, pubs and bars. 47% of people are looking at travel related sites. 39% of people are looking for new job offers.
Ian: You are on the train platform on your way to work, planning your holiday and looking for another job.
Andrew: Exactly. And 34% of people are looking for somewhere else to live. So people are looking for housing, apartments…
Ian: Yeah, before you looked at the coffee shop.
Andrew: 90% of smartphone owners have looked for something on their smartphone locally, a restaurant or pizza shop or whatever it is, and a whopping 86% of those people have taken some sort of action. Whether it be physically going into that shop, emailing, calling them, looking at their actual website when they get home, or even on their iPad or smartphone. 67% of those people have physically gone into the store. 22% have recommended to their friends, and a whopping 41% of people actually bought something.
Ian: The important thing there obviously how these people get on the radar. This is local search yes?
Andrew: Local or organic search.
Ian: In the case of a local business, like a coffee shop, that A,B,C,D, those red droplets that come up on that first page, how do people get there? Is that a Google Plus page or a Places page?
Andrew: Yes, it used to be called Google Places and now Google changed its name to Google Plus so now it is incorporated.
Ian: So it is the same thing?
Andrew: Yes, and there is a method to actually set that up properly so if you want to be seen you need to get a person or company that knows what they are doing to actually set them up.
Ian: Someone whose eyesight needs to deteriorate more?
Andrew: Yes, yes. No I can see that, I can see that.
Ian: You’re going to get the laser treatment aren’t you?
Andrew: Yeah, but that’s a scary thought.
Ian: That’s another Google Hangout?
Andrew: Not on SEO though.
Ian: That’s right. So other stats, got any more for us?
Andrew: I have one more. 78% of people who have a smartphone actually research whatever product they are after while they are in the store.
Ian: Ok that’s pretty funny, so they’re in the store talking to the salesperson, checking the price and checking whether the products online.
Andrew: Well a lot of the time, let’s face it, nobody trusts a salesperson because they will tell you whatever they want to tell you, so whatever you want to hear about the product just to make you buy it.
Ian: Yeah, or they don’t know what they are talking about or they are not properly trained.
Andrew: Then the good thing these days is on various electronic products is a QR code, and all you need to do is scan the code on your smartphone, and that will take you to the website of the manufacturer that will then show you the stats of that product. Rather than listen to a salesperson who doesn’t know what they are talking about or just trying to sell you something because they need the commission.
Ian: Right, so not only are we walking around with our smartphones, running into telegraph poles but we are going to be in shops not only talking to the salesperson, scanning the QR code getting a little video intro about the product?
Andrew: Yeah, definitely!
Ian: Then the poor salesperson I suppose, it just changes their role slightly so they are there to answer the smaller questions.. until they come up with a QR that links them to the FAQ section. Good bye salespeople.
Andrew: So, the bottom line simply is if you choose an SEO company or an individual or whoever it is who really don’t know what they’re doing, then you are missing out on all of that traffic, all of that potential to make a sale. Whether you have an online store, the physical store or any form of web presence. If you are not there on Google, virtually on the first page, because as the stats say 98% of people don’t go past the first page, so if you are not on the first page somewhere then you are missing out.
Ian: Well then summing up, obviously like any other aspect of your business, what you’ve got to go out and do, is go and do the research. Find someone who knows what they are doing, ask around to get referrals, testimonials, whatever it is that you have to do, make sure the person who is doing it for you is an expert. It is going to be the best value for money for you to do that in the first place, as opposed to just grabbing the first $99 a month, or whatever offer it is that comes along. Whether it is local SEO, or on your website, get an expert and do the research. Thats our wrap for today, do you have anything to add?
Andrew: No, you have covered it quite well, but obviously if you need any help or advice just email us at [email protected].
Ian: And Andrew the blue juice, cheers! No just in case you were wondering we not actually going to drink it! It is just a prop in case you were concerned about our health.
Alright guys, thank you very much, we’ll see you soon!