Category Archives: Search Engine Optimisation

hands typing on a keyboard

How to Optimise your Website with Supportive & Substantial Content for SEO

hands typing on a keyboard

SEO is about optimising your website and improving its organic rankings, done by the programs and bots that crawl your website and analyse its individual pages.

The most effective and strategic way to do this over the long term is with supportive, substantial content and copy.

The core goal of your content is to have more visitors engaged on your website pages for longer. When you create consistent, original, useful content you are investing in better SEO results.

It’s not just that Google counts the words and ranks you on that word count – it’s because good quality longer form content keeps people on that page longer – which boosts your ranking.

What is supportive content?

We talk about the need for supportive content with clients all the time. It’s fundamental to SEO because once we have identified the keywords that you want to rank for – the questions and queries that your ideal clients would type into a search engine – then we need content about them to optimise.

So the more content you put on your website about the things your customers will be searching for and the problems they are trying to solve, the better.

When we start working with a new client and research their keywords, we have a good look at what’s on page 1 for those keywords – and what we find consistently is that the pages that rank best are the ones with lots of copy about their customers’ problems and their solutions.

And when our clients create that supportive content and we optimise it, we see immense improvements in their keyword rankings.

It makes them much more competitive online – because their competitors are often doing it. Better yet, if they’re not doing it then you’re already one step ahead. 

Where do you put supportive content?

(Everywhere you can 🙂 )

Supportive content can be anything, really – it includes blog posts, services pages, landing pages. The key is to have good quality, helpful, readable content and copy that uses your keywords naturally and appropriately. The major search engines are way too smart today – you can’t just repeat the same words and phrases over and over. (That will get you a “Google slap” pretty quickly.)

For example, one of our clients Outcome.Life is an internship provider, helping international students into internship placements for work experience. They wrote a blog post that is a really informative, step-by-step guide on how to fill out your internship logbook – including examples of bad entries and how to improve them. 

That one post was so good that it won them a Featured Snippet with Google – which is even better than a #1 ranking because it gets displayed right at the top of Google’s search results.

outcome.life featured snippet in google for internship logbook keyword

There are some pages that we regularly find that people have overlooked.

Category and product pages on eCommerce websites are a good example – it’s quite common for us to find that a new client has an awesome product range – but the category page is virtually a copy-free zone. Make your category and collection pages helpful, information-rich explanations of your products and the problems that they solve for the people who buy them.

asos womens jeans landing page supportive content

 

Make sure that any product pages have lots of supportive copy in their “description” and “additional information” tabs. Too often, we see product pages with just one sentence in the description – and that’s a waste of valuable online real estate.

A helpful, well-written category or product page with relevant, optimised meta tags means that when Google crawls the page it’s clear what it’s about and it can see that the content is consistent with the headings and the meta tags. This is how to get Google to reward you with higher organic visibility. 

Supportive content is helpful to your visitors

Write with your end users in mind – think about who they are, their demographic, their needs and what they are wanting to achieve, such as international interns who want to get work in Australia.

Supportive copy helps you build influence and trust, which is fundamental to increasing your online success. It helps you to demonstrate your authority and lets visitors get to know you, like you and understand the benefits of what you offer.

Supportive copy isn’t all about what you do or the features of your products. Supportive copy is about the results that your customers are seeking and how you help them achieve those results.

Be substantial as well as supportive

Make your content long enough to be really useful to your website visitors for best results. This can feel challenging, but it’s worth the time investment. Both Google and your visitors will reward you for it.

Some people will tell you “don’t write too much” – but that advice is well out of date.

Information-rich copy doesn’t have to be overpowering – as long as it’s written to be easy to read. There are a range of readability tools available to help you check your content.

But how do you create it in the first place?

Tips for writing substantial, supportive content and copy

The idea of writing a long article can seem a bit confronting when you’re staring at a blank computer screen. So here are some suggestions to help you develop good long-form content:

  1. Write with your end user in mind.
    Think about your customers – their age, their gender, their work, their values, their goals, the language they use.
  2. Write helpful content.
    Think about a challenge that your end users are dealing with – and write content that can help them with that challenge. (HINT: read through your customer testimonials for what they value)
  3. Once you’ve picked a topic, get specific.
    A useful tool we’ve written about before is 4MAT learning – where you answer these four questions in this order – Why? What? How? What Else? (HINT: open a doc and put in those headings about your topic)
  4. Talk your content out first.
    Separate out your thinking from the mechanics of writing and talk your content first. Find a listener and talk to them about the topic, recording what you say. It’s easier than ever before with conferencing tools like Zoom, PLUS low-cost transcription tools such as Otter.ai that can turn the audio into text quickly and easily.
  5. Use quotes and excerpts (with attribution)
    If someone else has a good idea, share it. Quote them and then explain why it’s a good idea for your end users to consider based on your experience or expertise. Make sure you attribute the idea, of course!
  6. Include case studies and examples
    Telling a story is engaging and entertaining, as well as explaining your idea and creating extra content. When you’re giving examples, it can be useful to create a contrast between “what to do” and “what NOT to do”.

SEO is extra powerful when you have substantial supportive content

Well-written, substantial supportive content – especially when it’s well-optimised – is the ultimate way to really rank for the keywords you are targeting. It’s a win/win – because Google likes it AND because it’s an excellent way to make a good impression with your website visitors.

So make it something you invest in regularly – whether you write it yourself or engage a professional to do it for you.

An Example of What Some SEO Experts Do

I’m not usually in the business of criticising what other search engine optimization companies or individuals do but the other day, I came across this site that was set up for the pure purpose of search engine manipulation. The article that was written, made no sense at all. It was just a page designed to fill with text that was pure jiberish and stuffed with keywords and links to a web site. This makes the concerned website that the links go to look rather untrustworthy. I for one would not buy from that site if I came across articles such as this one. I have posted the article below.

 

bad seo practice

Click on Image to Enlarge

The problem I have with this type of thing is this: I don’t really care what people do to their own websites to get rankings in Google but I do care when ‘seo experts’ use these type of methods for their clients and potentially wreck their websites. Is it any wonder that legitimate search engine optimization companies find it harder to get new clients when there are such hacks out there who promise fast results with such dubious methods as the example above.

 

The bottom line is this. Whatever search engine optimization company you engage to optimize your website, KNOW what they are doing. Always ask for a full report that states the link to any article they write, comment they make, post they post and what type of sites they are linking your website to. Never take it for granted that they are doing the right thing just because they say they are or because they don’t really say much at all for you to be concerned about.

 

Thank you for visiting.
Andrew Radics

For more information on all things digital, you know the drill

 

Local SEO – Introduction to SEO for Business

Over the last couple of years, Local SEO has grown considerably, especially provided the growing popularity of smartphones and much better connectivity while being out and about. Nevertheless, it has a lot in common with organic Search Engine Optimization, but its ultimately very different.

The objective of Local SEO is to offer outcomes that are as relevant as possible to the searcher based upon their location. If you searched ‘best restaurant’ on your computer right now, Google would supply you with results that are near to you. However, if you made the exact same search on your smartphone, it would provide you with results depending on where you are at the time.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss what Local SEO is all about and how it can affect your local business.

 

The Mobile Age of Telephone Throwing – Art or Sport?

Ian and Andrew here discuss the quirky sport of telephone throwing in Finland. Apart from throwing his own phone, Ian along with Andrew talk about the infamous incident when Russell Crowe threw a phone in the hotel suite, resulting in being arrested.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss the phenomenon of throwing mobile phones.

 

search marketing services

How Google Works – SEO

Have you been wondering how the whole world of Google actually works? We all know that it is the number one global search engine, but many don’t know just how Google finds your webpage.

Don’t stress, Ian and Andrew discuss what it is that makes Google the powerhouse it is, and how we can help improve your site ranking.

Discussed in this video are:

1. Google Bots / Web Crawlers

Crawling the World Wide Web and bringing all of the information back to Google.

2. Google Indexing

Result of the Google Bots crawling information on World Wide Web

3. Google Signals

Google’s relevancy program

4. Robot TXT Files

Files that prohibit Google crawling your website

5. On-Page SEO

Using SEO tools and knowledge to improve your page ranking

We have covered this in many other videos before so be sure to give some of our other videos a watch after viewing this one.

 

 

3 Tips For SEO & Web Dev’s – Let’s All Get Along

After 274 days of absence, we are back. After successfully taking on another nine months of interesting corporate clients, we have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience that we are dying to share with you.

There are always departments in every business who butt heads with differing views occasionally, but it is how you deal with these instances to reach that common goal that is so important. In the last nine months, we have experienced occasions like this with a number of our clients where they believed they knew how to perform SEO because they knew the backend of the website.

However, this can have detrimental results, as there is a very distinct difference between someone ‘thinking’ they know how to conduct SEO, compared to agencies such as us, Mad Scientists, with years of experience and R&D under our belts who can really make a difference to your brand.
In this hangout Ian and Andrew share with you their 3 tips of how SEO and web developers can work better together. We will be discussing:

  • Park the ego
    • Listen and learn from each other to work towards the same common goal for the business
  • We ‘Mad Scientists’ are specialists
    • We have always been big on constant research and development and with many years of doing so along with our experience – we like to consider ourselves as very knowledgeable in what we do.
  • Explain to the client:
    • Why what we do is different to other digital agencies and why we get the results.

 

 

 

The Quiet Achievers-Real Expert SEOs

Everyday, all of us at work receive many telemarketing calls from companies trying to push their services. If its not phone calls, then its emails. We have a big problem with that. We understand these people have a job to do but the problem lies in their ‘cookie cutter’ approach and their regimented marketing script. They tell you that:

  • you are not ranking for “competitive keywords
  • they can get you to the top of Google in 3 months or less
  • they can get you more business/leads

All of which sounds great! But, when they tell you this, they have not done any research on your website or your industry. It’s just a generic script they have to read. For this reason, SEO companies that are really good at what they do, do not need to use telemarketing companies or email list companies to get their business. Its all based on referrals from happy and satisfied clients who are happy to recommend them to other businesses.

The SEO companies that have to rely on cold calling methods really do not know SEO at all. If they did, then their own websites and other forms of digital marketing should be generating all of their leads. After all, isn’t that what they do? Think about that the next time you answer a call from a telemarketer or read an email from someone representing a local SEO company.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss why SEO companies should not rely on telemarketing or spammy emails to generate business.

 

Outsourcing and SEO Rip-offs

Turnover isn’t a measure of SEO expertise, nor are awards. Many digital marketing companies outsource their SEO.

Beware SEO Outsourcing.

Find out how they do their work — do they outsource to other countries? The vast majority of outsourced work goes to “SEO chop shops” in countries with huge populations and low wages. SEO work outsourced to “chop shops” go from a model of “one solution fits all” where they pursue simplistic strategies that can be executed by subsistence-wage, minimum capability office workers working 50-60 hours per week.

What is delivered will probably match what’s promised — in terms of directory submissions, backlinks, etc. — but do the arithmetic and you can work out that they will end up doing 5 hours/week for you. That amount of time WON’T buy you quality.

Worse, the techniques they’re applying are out-of-date. They won’t get you better Google results – they’re a waste of time and — even worse — could end up earning you LESS trust with Google, not more.

You don’t need to be able to DO Search Engine Optimisation in order to understand how to determine its quality, but you do need to be a savvy purchaser. If your SEO provider outsources your work – dig a bit deeper and make sure you’re getting a service worth paying for.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss ways in which a lot of SEO companies rip people off.

 

SEO Myths Debunked – Google Algorithm updates don’t happen often

Each year, Google alters its search algorithm around 500 times. While the majority of these changes are small, Google sometimes rolls out a “significant” algorithmic upgrade (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in a huge way.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss Google Algorithm Updates and what they mean.

 

 

 

 

 

Transcript:

Ian: SEO myths debunked! Google Algorithm updates don’t happen very often Andrew do they?

Andrew: Heck no! Course not…

Ian: There’s only about 500 or 600 a year. Well there’s the main updates and then there’s the minor updates.

Andrew: Absolutely, this sort of conversation I can imagine about all these algorithm updates is all the SEO geeks having a chat around the water cooler.

Ian: Is that why that’s there?

Andrew: That’s why that’s there? Not to mention I’m freezing, but yes!

Ian: Well I’ve got a water cooler of my own. It’s a lot more portable. It’s called ice. Well there you go that’s my water cooler.

Andrew: You know what the use for ice is? There we go.

Ian: There you go. What have we got today?

Andrew: I don’t think this is ice.

Ian: Oh dear!

Andrew: I don’t know what these guys in the lab are doing to us.

Ian: They’re experimenting on us constantly that’s the whole point.

Andrew: They’re melting… Anyway.

Ian: So, updates, there’s major updates.

Andrew: Yeah, alright so far this year believe it or not there’s been about 4 major updates.

Ian: This year? We’re only half way.

Andrew: We’re more than halfway through already.. And just for those people who were wondering what they were, the most recent one is called Panda 4.0, the one before that was Payday Loan 2.0. The next one was Unnamed Update and the first one for this year was Page Layout #3.

Ian: Unnamed Update is my favourite one, that’s very creative Google.

Andrew: I think they ran out of animals to name these updates after. Well all those updates obviously target something whether it be spam or blog networks, all these sorts of things.

Ian: That’s right. It’s the cat and mouse game.

Andrew: Pretty much, a nice frightening statistic there is like you mentioned before, last year alone there were between 500 and 600 updates, well that’s close to two a day.

Ian: Yes that’s right. And these are sort of the little tinkering updates. I’d love to know whether Google plans these updates out ahead or time or whether they just have a whole lab of propeller heads just sitting there doing what they see needs to be addressed on that particular week or day.

Andrew: I’d say for the major ones they have them plans whereas the minor ones, they’re just that they’re constantly trying to improve and test etc. You always know when an update has happened by the chatter on Twitter, SEO blogs, SEO forums, digital marketing forums and all these sort of things. People just go crazy saying: “Oh my sites been hit I’m losing traffic! Bloody Google has screwed me up again!” And all that sort of nonsense! As I’ve always said, if you do the right thing in Google’s eyes, whether or not you agree with it is irrelevant, you should be fine. Your website should not be hit. If it does, it will be a minor thing, you may go down just a few spots but then eventually you’ll get back up there.

Ian: You’ll ride through the changes if you’re doing the right things.

Andrew: Yeah, all these people who moan and groan about it all are the ones that are doing the stupid things anyway.

Ian: Yeah and as we’ve spoken about in the past, when these changes do happen there is sometimes a little bit of panic. There’s a readjustment period, the Google dance, is that part of that terminology? So yeah, don’t panic if this does happen to you don’t worry, after a day or two it will readjust.

Andrew: But the myth of Google doesn’t update very often is debunked basically.

Ian: Totally debunked!

Andrew: There’s only quite a few major ones but then there are a lot of minor ones.

Ian: Yeah that’s right. It makes you wonder, who says this kind of stuff? But a lot of people do, I don’t know if there’s many excuses to be ignorant these days with just all this information a search away. I suppose it’s really about finding trusted sources of information.

Andrew: Absolutely! Just on this, I was looking up to see how many updates there were last year, there was one blog that said ‘Google does 200 a day’. 200 a day?! And another one said “Oh, they did a few hundred last year!” and I thought: oh my god, there are so many people chiming in on this, whether its 500, 600 or even 10 000, who the hell cares! It’s the way it is! It’s just Google in their great wisdom trying to make things better for users with their searches, and that’s all it is.

Ian: Alright, debunked! Thanks for joining us.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Ian: We’ve just got to say thank you very much to the water cooler for providing us with pleasant conversation. It’s a matter of a opinion really, depending on which chair you’re sitting in.

Andrew: It’s going back in the office.

Ian: Thanks for listening, http://madscientistdigital.com or [email protected]com, if you want to email us hit us up with any question whatsoever, we might even address it on the show.

Andrew: Criticisms and complaints are also welcome!  Address them to Ian.

Ian: All of those things: If you don’t like what Andrew is wearing, or if you like what he’s wearing, if you’ve got some reactions to some of the Google authorship comments that we’ve made in yesterday’s video.

Andrew: We got a few comments about that didn’t we.

Ian: You should go and watch that if you haven’t seen it because it basically fell into nothingness. It fell into disarray because we were laughing so much we didn’t really get to finish what we wanted to.

Andrew: Didn’t somebody say that we should put the recipes up for the drinks on the website?

Ian: They did. I don’t know whether that’s a good idea it’s a bit of a ‘don’t try this at home’. Speak soon! Thanks for that.

Andrew: Bye!

Especially With SEO You Dont Know What You Dont Know

This is an old phrase “You don’t know what you don’t know” some say it comes from Socrates but it’s just so relevant to SEO. People don’t understand this highly specialised area of digital marketing so they switch off and are in many cases, not willing to learn about it, even when they see it in action, it gets dismissed as hocus pocus. I just came from a networking event and this is a real phenomena, if there’s anything that short-circuits peoples’ synapses, SEO is it.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss why people switch off when the words ‘digital marketing’ are mentioned.

 

Transcript:

Ian: Good afternoon, how are we all?

Andrew: How are you going?

Ian: How are you Andrew?

Andrew: I’m well.

Ian: It’s cold here today.

Andrew: I think someone’s turned the heating down.

Ian: Oh I know who that is.

Andrew: Yeah I bet.

Ian: It’s probably the barman, he didn’t sound very happy today.

Andrew: Speaking of the barman – where are our drinks? Hang on a sec…

Ian: He’s probably on strike. Well while Andrew is doing that, today’s topic as you can see  there is “you don’t know what you don’t know especially with SEO”. Now originally this phrase you don’t know what you don’t know, we’ve all heard this and it sounds like satiric rubbish, but it’s not. It really is kind of a truism, and the only way that you can find out and learn about things is to actually have a curious mind and be willing to listen and be open minded… What? This is no, what is that?

Andrew: This is what he gave me. I’m thinking they’re just glasses of milk.

Ian: I think we might have to tone down our commentary about how bad the last couple of drinks have been. It looks like skim milk.

Andrew: Probably is, it’s very white though.

Ian: Great, I think we might need to…

Andrew: Sack?

Ian: I was going to say we might need to apologise!

Andrew: Hell no! We’ll just sack him!

Ian: Oh dear, anyway I was just explaining that you don’t know what you don’t know when it comes to SEO and we should have more of an open mind and be willing to learn.

Andrew: Yep.

Ian: I was just at a networking event, which was where I won this little guy here.

Andrew: When you brought it back I thought you were going to start promoting a casino or something.

Ian: Oh right, yeah. Well, it’s more of this tactic of making things feel a bit warmer, you know? Some animals, some scenery and drinks.

Andrew: It’s very pretty.

Ian: I’m pretty happy with it actually. So, this is a bit of a pep talk because we want people to be interested and curious as to what SEO is. Not just to be dismissive and just to say that’s a bunch of hocus pocus. It gets a bit tiring to hear people doubting that it actually works; because it does work, and we show that time and time again. This is a real thing, SEO actually makes people money.

Andrew: I had a conversation not even an hour ago, you had one last night; people asking us what do you do? We explain what we do and they go, “what the hell are you talking about?”

Ian: Yeah, the brain short circuits and they just can’t fathom…

Andrew: The term SEO or search engine optimisation, they just think what is that? You try to explain it and they still don’t get it. But then when you say, okay we’re the guys who try to get your website to the top of Google. “Oh… How do you do that?” They just don’t seem to understand, but just because you don’t understand something it doesn’t mean to say that it doesn’t work, it does work!

Ian:  I think like we’ve done with some of the seminars we’ve had in here is we’ve brought up some statistics and we’re actually said, these devices when you’re out and about and searching, how do you think these listings come up? They don’t just magically appear, people actually have to work to get them placed there, whether that’s setting up a Google Places page, or putting them in directories, or working on their website to have it optimised. It just doesn’t magically happen. I suppose in a practical sense we have to make people aware that it does work. And it just seems to be the terminology, there’s a lot of confusing terminology, and because it is changing quite a lot and it is one of the most confusing areas of digital marketing it’s too much for them to take in. These aren’t people who are lacking in intelligence or understanding of just about anything, I mean these are smart people. You’ve got to be passionate about it I guess, and you’ve really got to be open minded and willing to learn. This is a pep talk; be open minded. There is a lot of rubbish that’s been written about SEO out there, and there is a lot of dodgy tactics and other companies that have tarnished the image, so that causes a bit of jadedness there too.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Ian: Is jadedness a word?

Andrew: No.

Ian: So that’s what we’re up against, but when you start to show people practical examples of it then they start to get a bit more curious about it.

Andrew: So I think the bottom line is that just because you don’t understand how it works, just know that it actually does work if it’s done right. That’s the key.

Ian:  That is the key. I think just in finishing, we can’t stress the importance of how SEO is really, it should be the focus of your energies in digital marketing at the moment. Any other promotions or platforms that you’re using in the case of social media, or your website, or articles, press releases or things like that, anything like that, these are all very complimentary. (Phone rings) Oh here’s someone calling me right now

Andrew: Probably complaining?

Ian: Mad Scientist Digital, can I help you? Ha no. I didn’t plan that by the way, that wasn’t set up.

Andrew: Yeah okay, fair enough.

Ian: It’s probably these guys from the conference this morning ringing to ask for their flamingo back.

Andrew: Yeah, they awarded it to the wrong person.

Ian: Anyway the point is, SEO – don’t be afraid of it, don’t switch off, please be open minded and learn about it. There are a lot of tools that are confusing, but they do work and they will show a return for the money that you’re putting into it.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Ian: We have a lot of content on our website and in our Google Hangouts and on our social media about SEO, so please feel free to go and read anything that’s there and come back with any questions.

Andrew: Definately.

Ian: Andrew, thank you very much.

Andrew: You’re welcome.

Ian: Can we turn the heating up next time, or do I have to wear a suit?

Andrew:  You should, the things you wear at the snow…What do you call it?

Ian: Like a bear suit or something like what the mascots wear?

Andrew: Yes.

Ian: Because they’re always overheating.

Andrew: This barman got to get the sack.

Ian: I think we should sack him and maybe he should go and get a job as a mascot?

Andrew: Yeah…