WEBSITE DESIGN & ONLINE MARKETING

Email me when new posts are made to this blog

The importance of directory listings

Written by Sarah Gleeson on January 15th, 2014.      0 comments

Directory listings are a great way to improve your SEO and enable people to find your business.

What is a relatively painless task to complete, can work wonders on your Google ranking. Google likes when your website links to other quality websites, such as a Localist page, and as such boosts your ranking.

A few things to keep in mind when creating your directory listing:

  • Make sure everything you write is correct. If you forget a number in your phone number, how will customers contact you?

  • Put your physical address before your P.O. Box address

  • If a map shows your location, make sure the map marker is visible and in the right place

  • Include your open hours

  • Add an email address that is the best for someone contacting you, and will be checked regularly.

  • Add pictures of your shop, or products to stand out

  • Make sure you add your logo to the listing

    What you need in your directory listing

Reviews are available on most listings. These can be both a blessing and sometimes a bit of trouble. Reviews can be great at boosting your listing in the directory and in search engines. With Google, just 10 reviews that improve the rank of your listing in search results. However, if a customer had a bad experience and gives you a bad review, it can be hard or impossible to remove. In this case, make sure your next customer who reviews your business had a more positive experience, and try to make that negative an anomaly.

Consistency is important across your directory listings. If one listing says one phone number, but another says something different, not only will this hinder your customers reaching you, but can also affect your ranking in Google. So make sure you have someone on your team who will systematically go through your listings every 3-6 months to check they are all correct.

When it comes to directory listings, the more quality directories you are in, the better. That way you have made sure no matter where your customer looks, you are most likely in there.

Directories I would recommend:

 

Snowride, increases revenue by 161.5% in just 90 days (in the off season!) with the help of Zeald

Written by Sarah Gleeson on June 19th, 2013.      0 comments

www.snowride.co.nz

Online retail is a great way to target all geographic areas of your market, especially if you only have one shop down in Christchurch.  Richard Naylor, owner of Snowride, came to us looking to improve his website sales after having a few months of slow results. Considering snow gear is predominantly a seasonal buy, Richard needed to find a way to keep bringing people back to his website even in those warm summer months.  After talking with Richard, we agreed the best place to start would be to have a look at his existing website to see how it could be improved. Some of the results of this review, and the subsequent changes that we made can be seen in the image below.

What changes we made

The first noticeable difference when comparing the before and after, is the utilisation of space. We made sure to make the most of the valuable space by changing the positioning of the menu, header, and other important information such as a visible phone line. The menu was also simplified to be more customer friendly as the existing one was hard to navigate.

Situated above the fold was a large textbox, which no one read. Switching to a slideshow not only draws customers into the website, but also allows them to see offers, which acts as a conversion pathway. Introducing regular special updates is a good way to capture the customer’s attention and to keep them coming back. Not only that, but it is good for SEO.

Snowride Website Optimised Results by Zeald Snowride was aware that getting the right size was a main worry for their customers. We accommodated this by introducing a sizing chart. Additionally, the ‘Buy Back’ tab was implemented to act as another draw for the customer to return to Snowride. For parents, this is quite a favourable offer, especially for those with more than one child. By making this more visible, customers are more aware of this service.   

Our Strategy

The utilisation of both a heat and scrollmap helped us to understand customer behaviour after the website went live. The scrollmap showed us how far down the page customers were going, and whereabouts they abandoned the page. The heatmap lets us see what’s “hot” i.e. what links customers were interacting with the most. This allowed us to make any changes to the layout in order to increase conversions.  

Snowride Website Optimisation by Zeald

 


And the results are ...

Following from the changes on the website Snowride saw dramatic changes in the number of ski & snow gear sales..  Within the 90 days after their website went live, Snowride earned more than the entire 2012, this was a 161.5% increase. These results were particularly impressive as the 90 days were in summer and autumn months. (These results accurate at 24 May 2013.)

These results are already fantastic and we have not even hit the winter months yet!

Free Zeald Website Consultation

 

Optimise your content for long tail keywords

Written by Casey Hartigan on May 14th, 2013.      1 comments

When trying to decide what keywords to optimise your website for, it’s easy to focus on broad terms like “builders” or “website design”. While these terms tend to generate a high number of searches each month, they are also highly competitive and tend to have low conversion rates.

Instead, you should consider turning your focus to the less commonly searched phrases that consist of long tail keywords. Long tail keyword searches are those that are made up of about three to six keywords and are used when the user is looking for a more specific result e.g. someone searching “master builder in Albany” instead of the generic term “builder”.

One of the main benefits of focusing on long tail keywords is that it is easy to see what the user’s intent is and therefore provide information that is relevant to them. For example, if someone searches for the term “weight loss”, it’s impossible to know exactly what they are looking for. Are they looking for the cause of their recent rapid weight loss, or are they looking for a way to lose weight? This ambiguity means that although the information that appears high in the search results may contain extremely informative and well-written content, it is likely that it does not contain the answer the searcher was looking for. This results in a high bounce rate for the generic terms. On the other hand, if someone is searching for “ways to lose weight easily”, it is easy to see that they are looking for weight loss tips. This means that the top-ranking results for this search are more likely to enjoy a higher conversion rate as the visitors will be more qualified.

The use and optimisation of long tail keywords has been around for a long time, but an increase of the number of people using these in their searches is likely. The introduction of software such as Apple’s Siri or Google Now, both of which allow people to voice their questions directly to their phone mean that searches phrased as questions are likely to become more common. This will allow businesses to provide more relevant results to searchers.

A good tool for finding long tail keyword searches relevant to your industry is Google Adwords. Type in a generic phrase related to your business and then sort by “Local Monthly Searches”. This tool shows the different variations of keywords that people have been searching and how many times in the last month that particular phrase has been searched for. The ones with the most searches are generally the shorter, highly competitive keywords. Have a look for the longer tail keywords with a reasonable amount of searches and choose some of these to optimise your content for. The more searches a phrase gets, the higher the competition to rank for it. However, it is important to remember that the keywords you decide to choose do have some people searching for them – it’s easy to rank high of obscure phrases, but if no-one’s searching for them then you’re not going to get any visitors.

 

Google Changes: Pandas and Penguins

Written by Emily Wilson on March 5th, 2013.      2 comments

Penguin and Panda Algorithm Zeald Website Consultation Google makes, on average, about 500 changes to its search engine algorithms each year.  Google do this to improve the quality of search results. They started making big, noticeable changes back in 2011 with the Panda algorithm and again in 2012 with the Penguin algorithm, in an effort to punish those that were cheating the SEO system to get their results to the top of the page. Read on to find out more about Panda, Penguin and what it means for SEO.

How Google works

Google basically has an automated system that searches the internet looking for new websites and updated content through links from other websites already known to Google. Once it finds a new website or content it sends the information back to its datacentre where it is stored (cached).

Google uses a very complex formula or algorithm to calculate the relevancy and the quality of a web page to a user's search query. Read more about how Google works.

This formula uses many factors to help calculate the relevancy and quality of a web page, including and not limited to:

  • Keywords found in the content of the page
  • The headings
  • Links on the page
  • Hidden meta data found in the code of the page
  • External links that link to the page

Google awards ranking for a page based on how often the keywords appear, how prominent they are on the page and the location of the keywords on the page.

Therefore, the more focused you are on a certain topic, the better you will rank, as Google will believe that you are an expert on the topic.

How Panda and Penguin have shook things up

Panda was designed to weed out the bad sites from the good to improve search results. “Content Farms” are pages that are overly optimised that offer little value to the searcher. They are merely pages of content with keywords that are designed to attract traffic so they can use those page views to generate advertising revenue.  Duplicate content is also penalised as it is seen to offer little value to the searcher so the pages appear low down in the search rankings.

Top Tip – If you legitimately offer duplicate content – for example have multiple sites for your business – then you can use rel=canonical to point back to the original content.  Ask us about how to do this with your Zeald site.

Penguin was more focused on punishing sites that were abusing links to gain search engine rankings.  Google’s idea behind Penguin is that it wanted people to focus more on creating great web content rather than optimisation. People who paid for links from low quality link directories, exchanges and other sites would more than likely have noticed a drop in their ranking. What this means is you want to have really good links to your site from other quality sites, you can do this by having great quality content that is worth sharing.

You also want to use different anchor text linking to your site (the words that hyperlink).  The anchor text of a back link tells Google what the website is about. So it is/was common practice to make a keyword the hyperlink. However if there are an abnormal number of identical anchor texts pointing to a site then you will be penalised. Penguin wants you to use more natural SEO. For example if you are always using identical keywords to link to your site then try to mix it up by using different words or word clusters that mean similar things and also non-targeted words that would be a natural link such as “click here.”

Based on the data that showed sites with 60% or more of their site with keyword anchor text were penalised; a general rule to avoid the Penguin penalty could be the following:

• 60% of backlinks should be URL based or non-keyword anchor texts like “click here”

• 30% broad match or partial keyword and rephrased anchor texts

• Only 10% exact match keyword anchor texts

Other things to be aware of that affect your ranking.

Keep your bounce rates low. This means when someone searches using a keyword and clicks on your site only to quickly click back to Google sends a signal to Google that you are not relevant for their search.  To reduce bounce rates some of the things you can do is; keep your site load time to less than 3 seconds, make your message immediately clear, consider a responsive designed site and keep distractions to a minimum.

If you would like some help with your SEO or content talk to our Professional Services Team.

 

Why Content Marketing is King

Written by Emily Wilson on March 4th, 2013.      2 comments

Why Content is King. Content Marketing with ZealdBack in 1996 Bill Gates wrote an article titled “Content is King”.  In is article he said: “When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide… One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.”  Gates continues to say that content in the form of "print" cannot just be replicated on the internet, the audience on the internet demands more interactivity. They need audio, video and the ability to share this information with others. 

What Bill Gates was essentially talking about is what we call Content Marketing. This is something you probably already do without even realising it.  With content marketing your goal is to create great content that attracts, engages and converts. You basically want to communicate to your customers by creating and sharing high-quality content, in the hopes of influencing purchasing decisions and building brand loyalty.

This means having a website, blog, newsletter, social media channels, video, text, images. All these things create content, the next step is to make it quality content. TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Odden said during his SES London presentation "Great content isn't really great until it is found, consumed, and shared." Quality content is what your prospects and clients want to consume. You need to make it relevant to your target market and make it visible to them. 

Consumers have an insatiable appetite for good content. If you are unsure where to start, here are 10 ideas about what you can do:

  1. Set up a blog. See our article here for more information.
  2. People are time-poor. Write an article that contains a list – like “5 best ways to get your baby to sleep.” Post this article to blog sites, forums, Twitter, Facebook, newsletter etc.
  3. Create how-to guides. People love to search the internet for ways they can help themselves. Get them coming to read your blog with some how-to information.
  4. Share your news. Share what is happening in your industry, city or country. These posts need to be timely – news travels fast!
  5. The saying no news is good news does not apply here. Take the negative angle and you’ll be surprised at how your traffic increases – eg “5 things not to do before you go to sleep.”
  6. Case studies build your brand’s trust and credibility. People love before and after shots.
  7. Evergreen content is fresh and created by you. It can be shared over and over and remains relevant to your target market. This could be a special report or case study, video or seminar for example.
  8. Give out the facts. Provide the latest statistics and research for your industry and if you conduct your own research - share this.
  9. Review a product. Either one of your own via a consumer, or show how to use one of your products. If you are in a service industry review a product that you use to show why it is the best on the market.
  10. Get creative and make a video series on your Youtube channel.

Content marketing is great for link building and SEO. If you build in keywords to your writing it will help your article be found through search engines. Content marketing also builds trust and credibility and because of this, will lead to more sales. If there was a winning formula for content marketing then it would go something like this: 1. Be a brand champion for your business; 2. Your customers need to identify and empathise with your brand; 3. Your content needs to tell a story and be creative to spark interest and virality.

 

Ideas for running a successful business blog

Written by Casey Hartigan on February 5th, 2013.      0 comments

Creating Blog Buzz and Ideas with Zeald You may have found yourself typing into Google 'what is a blog". It is a funny word that actually comes from web-log and is basically an online journal. You can read more about starting out with blogs on a previous post. Blogs can be a great way of generating traffic to your website and creating a buzz around your products and services. They provide an easy way of getting relevant and up to date content out to your potential customers, regular customers and staff and are also effective for search engine optimisation.  However, starting (and regularly updating) a blog can seem like a daunting task, so we’ve put together the following hints to help get you on your way.

Choosing what to write about

Choosing what you want to write about in your blog can be one of the hardest parts of creating one. Blogs can have many different functions; they can provide news or personal opinions on particular subjects or can be used as a kind of online diary. If your company sells products, how about writing a few articles about other products that compliment yours, or hints to help your customers get the best out of their purchases. Show your products in context; engage your customers and ask them to send you images of how they use them.

If your company provides a service instead, case studies can be an interesting way of giving information about what you do without sounding too much like an advertisement. It’s important that you don’t just treat your blog as a place to advertise your own products and services; what you write needs to provide your customers with some value otherwise they will be unlikely to return.

Plan blog posts in advance and develop regular features

Planning what you’re going to write about and when can make regularly updating your blog a much more manageable task. Are there particular events that occur throughout the year in your industry? (product launches, awards, conferences etc). Note the dates of these down and aim to write a feature about them. Developing regular features e.g. reviews on Tuesdays, or your favourite recipes each Friday can also make regularly updating your blog a breeze as you won’t need to rack your brain for topics to write about.

Engage with your readers

Allowing readers to post comments on your posts and encouraging discussion can be a good way of developing rapport with your potential customers. Let your readers share their opinions and views on the topic at hand and reply back to them when appropriate. Don’t be discouraged by negative comments. Instead, try and solve the issue the person has – you never know, you could win over a new customer.

Invite special guests

Know an expert in your field? Ask them to write a post on your blog as a guest blogger. They could provide some advice to your customers and in-turn you get a great endorsement. For example if you sell health related products you could ask a personal trainer to give their top fitness tips. They could then link to their post on your blog from their own blog or social media account.

Add images and video

Keep your readers interested and they will keep coming back to your blog. Here is a great guide to blogs. 

Read, read, read

Read other blogs in your industry or those that compliment it and connect with other bloggers and businesses. Help eachother with links and posts - you might just find your customer base increases. 

 

How to: Rank well locally to improve your SEO

Written by Casey Hartigan on November 12th, 2012.      0 comments

Learn how Google Places improve SEO with Zeald Whether you’re a small, home-based business or a large international company, you’re probably aware that ranking highly on search queries is something that you want to be doing. However, you’re also probably aware that this is much easier said than done.

Think about that last time you used Google to search for a product or service. Whether you were looking for a plumber, electrician or clothing, chances are that you wanted to find something located in, or at least able to be delivered to, your city.

Studies have shown that 53% of searches on mobiles and 20% of searches on a desktop had local intent; and that only counts the people specifically searching for something using a local modifier such as “Auckland”, something people commonly leave out yet still expect local results.

This is a crucial point in understanding SEO. Search engines want to provide the most relevant results to their searchers, which typically means showing them local content. What’s the use in showing a pet shop in New York when the person is using a computer located in Auckland?

This means that making sure your website is optimised to rank locally is extremely important. So what should you be doing to increase your chances of being one of the top results in someone’s search query?

  1. Google Local (Google Places)

Having a Google Local listing is one of the most important factors for making sure you’re ranking high for searches with local intent. Therefore it’s vital that you claim your business listing. Google Local is the new version of Google places and is integrated with Google+, Google’s own social network. To claim your Google Local listing, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to plus.google.com and log in. You login details are the same as your Google account (which you use for things like Gmail and Google docs). If you don’t already have an account, sign up for one by clicking the red box in the upper right hand corner

  2. Once you’ve logged in to your Google plus account, you need to create a business page. To do this, click on ‘more’ on the left sidebar and then select ‘pages’. Click on the ‘Create new page’ box in the upper right hand corner

  3. Select ‘local business or place’ and enter your phone number. Make sure that the phone number you enter is the main one you want your customers to phone

  4. Google will bring up a list of any businesses it knows of that have that phone number. If you see your business on the list, select it and confirm your info. If you don’t see it, select ‘Add your business to Google’ and enter your details.

  5. Finish creating your page by following the steps provided by Google

IMPORTANT NOTE: You need to ensure that the details you use on this page and any other places around that internet that list your company name, address and phone number (NAP) are exactly the same (e.g. 0508 932 748 instead of 0508932748 or 09 415 7575 and 42 Tawa Dr, Albany, Auckland 0632 instead of 42 Tawa Drive, Auckland). Google will rank you higher in local searches if they see that your information is uniform across the web. Even small differences such as Dr instead of Drive make a difference, so pick one and stick with it.

  1. Get Citations

Citations are anywhere online that shows your NAP (name, address, phone number). This includes your own website, online directories and your social media profiles. These citations are important as they show Google that your information is correct and that you are a real business. As stated above, make sure that your NAP is exactly the same across all your listings. Getting everything in the same format may take a while, especially if you’ve already created many listings, but this step is very important and will pay off when you get it right.

  1. Get Customer Reviews

Customer reviews and interactions are becoming more and more important when it comes to SEO. Try and get your customers to review your products and services on your Google+ page. Ways you could do this include emailing them to thank them for their purchase and encourage them to leave a quick review. However, don’t fall in to the trap of paying people to write positive reviews or creating fake ones. These reviews can do more damage than good if discovered. Genuine reviews are always best. It’s also important to realise that not all of these reviews will be positive – which can actually be a good thing. A mix of positive and negative reviews can help to show that the reviews are genuine.

Get a Free Website Consultation with Zeald

 

Proofreading Blunders

Written by Emily Wilson on June 5th, 2012.      0 comments

We are all guilty of making mistakes; especially when it comes to proofreading our work. Mistakes on your website canProofreading Blunders not only be embarrassing but cost you money too. Shoppers nabbed a real bargain at Comet, an appliance retailer in the UK, when they made a costly mistake on their online store by misprinting the price of an Aiwa hi-fi which regularly retails for £89.00, instead listing it at the amazing price of £8.43. The company lost a huge amount of money before they corrected the error.

A slightly less costly, but still embarrassing example from Air Canada was when the airline accidently used luggage stickers which stated: “This Baggage Has Been X-Rated at Point of Origin”. Oops, I guess they found the adult magazines that were hidden in the bottom of your suitcase?

Mistakes like these often come down to human-error and can happen when you are under pressure to meet a deadline. But they can sometimes just be overlooked or not fact-checked thoroughly. Some people just have a deep love for unnecessary capital letters, or enjoy over-exclaiming – it is best to stop using exclamation marks in bulk, one will suffice.

At a basic level you want to use spell check. That said; don’t rely too heavily on spell check as it won’t pick up every mistake as anyone who has made the public/pubic mistake will know. Read through your finished document thoroughly once you have used spell check to avoid the embarrassment that comes from discussing third panty insurance.

If you have a long document it can help to double-space between lines. It makes reading and proofreading easier because you can write above and below the sentences. Print a hard copy of your document - no matter how many pages. You are bound to catch more mistakes than just reading the onscreen version.

Read your work aloud to catch mistakes the eyes often gloss over and mark off mistakes with a red pen; not just for fun, a contrasting colour actually helps you spot the mistake when you make the correction later. (If you really want to you can grade your work and add a smiley face or gold star at the end!)

Get some rest and get less-familiar with your work. That means take a break; take a day, week, month away from the document. As the author you can become a little self-involved and miss errors that with fresh eyes seem so obvious!

Poor spelling on your website could cost you. Customers may be dissuaded from making a purchase from a site that has poor spelling and grammatical errors, as this reflects badly on your credibility. It pays to write copy using word processor software first to make sure it is perfect, plus you’ll have a file you can save if you make changes to your page.

Make sure your website copy makes sense. All too often people try to cram those important keywords in for SEO. Part of the sales process is to convert visitors who find your page, you will find them leaving all too soon if they can’t make sense of your text.

You should also check and double-check your emails before you hit send (same goes for Facebook and Twitter posts). Email and social media may seem like a less formal ground for communication, but if they are business related then you will want to reflect your branding and professionalism. Emails and posts can easily be forwarded or shared with others; which can land you in hot water.

One common mistake is to get recipient’s name wrong. Check their email signature for how their name is spelt, and whether they use a variation of it. I’ve been called, on more than one occasion, Emma Watson. Close, but not actually my name. It can help to keep a list of names that you have fact-checked to save time rechecking.

Take a break.

If you are using numbers, equations or calculations, best make sure they work. Same goes for graphs and other images including their caption. Often decisions about spending (or not spending) are made by graphs, calculations and prices, so they can make or break your sale.

Even if you know the difference between it’s (the contraction) and its (possessive), your fingers may not. Using the “find” function of your word processor and run a search just for apostrophe marks to help locate and catch errors.

If your work is ever changed by someone else into another format, it pays to check it before it goes live. This is especially true when booking advertising.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is better to have someone at the office spot your bad spelling than a potential client! Plus if there is a mistake you can pass on the blame! Remember if you are no word-smith then it may be beneficial to hire a professional to write and/or edit your copy. Valuable advice for tattoo artists also! Google “misspelled tattoos” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Free Zeald Website Consultation and Audit

 

Link to more than just your home

Written by Casey Hartigan on June 5th, 2012.      0 comments

It is important for Search Engine Optimisation that you have incoming links to your website from other webpages on the internet. Links give the search engine important information about your website, so the placement of the link matters.

As we have discussed before, links are like recommendations from other websites. If these inbound links arrive at many different pages on your website you will tell the search engine that many different sites believe that your entire website is full of worthwhile content.

If, however, all your inbound links always arrive at your homepage, the search engine will be under the impression that your website is shallow, with little to offer, or that your links were generated by automation rather than the value of your site.

Read more about how Google works

Get your Website Optimised with a Free Zeald Website Audit

 

How to improve your SEO using other peoples websites!

Written by Casey Hartigan on April 11th, 2012.      0 comments

Did you know that what other websites say about you is just as important to search engines as the content on your own website? Search engines consider websites that lots of other websites are linking to to be better quality, and will therefore show them further up the page. You can easily find out who is linking to you by using the free and easy tool, Open Site Explorer.

By plugging your URL into Open Site Explorer you will be able to see a few stats about your links. The real valuable information is under "Inbound Links". Here you can see exactly what websites are linking to you. For bonus points try plugging in one of your competitors URLs and see who's linking to them. Chances are they have links from a directory or blog that you could also get a link from! There's nothing wrong with a little bit of sneaky online espionage!

Improve your SEO using Other Peoples Websites With Zeald
 

Correct the names of your images to improve your SEO

Written by Casey Hartigan on February 29th, 2012.      0 comments

You've probably heard how important it is to include your businesses major key words on your homepage, but what you might not know is that Google looks at a lot more than just the text on the page. By using key words in your image file names, you can help you website rank higher in Google for those important key word terms.

Chances are your images are named something like "X20110105%homepage%product%1" - you can double check this by right clicking on the image and choosing properties. The problem with names like these is they give no indication to search engines about what the image is actually of. Instead, change the name to include key words e.g. if the picture is of a MacBook Pro, change the name to apple_macbook_pro_white. This way search engines will have more indication as to what is on the page and will therefore rank your page higher.

                     Correct your Image Names to Improve your SEO with Zeald
 

Why is SEO important for your business?

Written by Hamish Braddick on March 29th, 2011.      0 comments

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the way you structure your website and your content so that it can be found and indexed by search engines like Google. When you optimise your website for search engines, it makes your site visible to search engines and therefore to the users.

Why is SEO important?

Studies show that 95% of NZ adult Internet users research goods and services online before making a purchase. This means that even though people might see your offline advertising offline or a sign they are highly likely to jump online to search for the products or services.

It's also well known that most users only browse through the first page and if they don't find answers to their query, they will click through to the second page but very few go past the second page. So if your website is not listed in the first couple of pages, chances are no one can find you. Instead, the users will probably find your competitors. Therefore, being seen on the first page of the search results should be one of your priorities when promoting your website.

To get your website ranking highly on Google, it pays to understand how Google actually works.

> Read our article on how Google works

 

Why doesn’t my website appear in Google?

Written by Hamish Braddick on March 28th, 2011.      0 comments

We are often asked this question not long after a new website has gone live. To answer this question we first of all need to explain how Google works…

Google employs some of the world’s greatest minds to continually develop the complex ranking process which ensures that the top results of a user's search are of the highest relevance and quality.

This is of course what makes Google the world’s most popular search engine.

Understanding how Google works

Google is constantly looking for new websites and updated content on the Internet using automated programs known as 'spiders' or 'robots'.

These robots use links between websites to travel around the internet and find new websites. If your website is not linked to the rest of the web, the robots will not be able to access it. And Google will not be able to find it.

When Google finds a new web page, it will analyse the content, known as 'crawling' the content. It will then transport the information back to the Google data centre, where Google stores it, known as 'caching'.

Once Google has a copy of your website in its index, it will send out the robots to check for new content on a continual basis. If the robots find new or updated content Google will add it to its index. The period between visits will vary from site to site, but the robots are intelligent and they will not waste their time visiting websites regularly if the content does not change regularly.

Relevancy

Once Google knows about your website, it then needs to calculate the 'relevancy' of each page to a user's search term. So when a user performs a search with Google, Google calculates the relevancy of search term to the web page. If the search term is not relevant, or the search term does not match the content of the web page, Google will not list the page in the results.

Google also uses geographic location to help match a website to a user's search query. Google will try to serve web pages that match the users geographic location.

Quality

Relevancy is just part of the equation. Remember there are likely to be hundreds, thousands or millions of other websites that are 'relevant' to a user's search query. And only a few spots on the front page of the search results. Therefore, the next thing Google does is calculate the 'quality'. This allows Google to position the web pages that are most relevant and of the highest quality at the top of the results page. This is of course what makes Google the world’s most popular search engine.

Calculating the relevancy and quality

Google uses a very complex 'formula' or 'algorithm' to calculate the relevancy and the quality of a web page to a user's search query.

This formula uses many factors to help calculate the relevancy and quality of a web page, including and not limited to:

  • Keywords found in the content of the page
  • The headings
  • Links on the page
  • Hidden Meta data found in the code of the page
  • External links that link to the page

Google awards ranking for a page based on how often the keywords appear, how prominent they are on the page and the location of the keywords on the page.

Therefore, the more focused you are on a certain topic, the better you will rank, as Google will believe that you are an expert on the topic.

Let’s use an example

Let’s say you have a website focused on photography services in Wellington. Let's say a user performs a search using “photography wellington”. Google, at the time this article was written, lists 411,000 web pages that match this search term. That is 411,000 different websites that are relevant to this search term.

Google has a tough job to order this list to ensure the websites at the top are the most relevant and of the highest quality.

The top listings are websites of photographers based in Wellington. If we look further down the list we will see websites with less relevant content, for example photography equipment suppliers, etc..

Now we know how Google works...lets apply this knowledge to our website...

Does Google know about my website?

Now that we have a greater understanding for how the search engines work, we can turn our attention to finding our website on Google.

The quickest way to find out is to perform a 'site' search. You can do this by entering Site: [your website address] into Google as shown below:

Google Site Search


If your website has been listed you will see a list of all the pages of your website that Google has stored in its cache.
Next you can find out which search terms your website is ranking for. The easiest way to do this is to check your Search keywords, traffic report. If you are a Zeald client, you will be able to find this report in the admin of your website under the "Reports" tab.

If other people have found their way to your website via these search terms, chances are your website is ranking well for them. Try a Google search using the search terms to see where your website is currently positioned.

What if my website is not listed?

If your website is not listed with Google, your search for the site will result in something like this:
Website Not Listed in Google

This means that Google has not discovered your website yet, or has not completed the content crawling and storage process.

Tell Google about my new website

You need to ensure that Google knows about your website or connect your website to the rest of the internet so Google robots can find your website. You can do this by submitting your site to Google and/or generating inbound links to your website.

But I have already submitted a sitemap?

Once you have submitted your sitemap, there is usually a delay before which you can find your website on Google. This is because the robots still have to find their way to your website and complete the process, which can sometimes take up to 3 months. Unfortunately you can't rush Google but there are things you can do to speed up the process.

How do I speed up the process?

There are a few things that you can do to ensure that your website is found and the content crawled as soon as possible:
  1. You need to ensure that you have submitted your website
  2. Or that you have some inbound links to create a pathway for the robots to be able to access your website
  3. To get your website instantly to the top of Google for targeted search terms, use Google’s advertising program, called Adwords.

How do I get my website to the top of the Google results for a keyword of my choice?

There are various techniques you can do to improve a web site's ranking in Google's organic search results for chosen or targeted keyword phrases. This process is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and is a large topic that requires another article.

>Stay tuned for our next article on how to optimise your website

Or... you can get your website to the top of Google for targeted search terms using Google’s advertising program, called Adwords. By setting up Google Adwords you can create a listing and choose search terms that will trigger your listing or advertisement. The good thing about Google Adwords is that you don’t pay unless someone actually clicks on your ad and visits your website.

You might pay as little as 5c per click, especially if it is your own business name, which will be less competitive.

>Learn more about Google Adwords

>Learn more about Search engine advertising
 

Why your website needs video

Written by Hamish Braddick on September 27th, 2010.      0 comments

Adding video to your website can help attract visitors, add value, and also improve the site's persuasion.

Over the last few years, there have been huge improvements to the Internet speeds thanks to broadband, the readily available video formats and also the cell phone technology which allows users to take videos and also watch videos easily. This means that we are able to produce videos and consume videos easily compared to say a few years ago. And studies are showing that people consume a LOT of video online. According to Youtube, viewers watch 4 billion videos online each day.

Video entertains and educates

Video is both audio and visual which makes it not only more entertaining but also more memorable. It's no surprise that these days more people watch movies than read novels, and scientists have found that using audio and visual content together makes people retain more than twice as much as when using only audio or visual components. We live in an increasingly multimedia based world.

Video gets shared

Website users share videos more often than they do websites or blog posts. Videos are more likely to be shared by email and the ever popular social media websites.

Videos make a site dynamic

Videos add dynamic appeal to a site by their mere presence.  These days website users are overloaded with text information and a video provides a great change from the text.  Videos also show that you are more savvy with technology and possibly a leader in your industry.

Video is great for Search engine optimisation (SEO)

YouTube as a search engine

YouTube itself is now the second largest search engine online. Without video this massive market cannot be reached.

Google searches

Google own YouTube and have been actively pushing a more multimedia online experience. Google now list video results separately. For an example type “farming” into Google and you will see a section titled “videos for farming”. This effectively means that if you have video content then you have two chances of showing up in any Google search. Either your site or your video could show up independently of one another. That gives you a big advantage when it comes to getting noticed.

Improvements in video search technology

It used to be true that video couldn’t be “read” (keywords extracted) by the search bots, but now it is! YouTube have introduced closed captioning options when a video gets uploaded which means not only is the description indexed (along with the selected keywords), but also every word spoken in the video can be indexed as well by uploading a transcript along with it. This improves your chance of getting to the right people by adding a massive amount of text that can show up on any given search query.

Ideal for new and small sites

Video SEO is also a powerful tool for new and small sites. Normal website results gain strength over time and for their size but video works differently. Google takes no account of how old a video is or its length etc when determining its rank. This gives you an equal footing with more established videos on the results page.

Inbound links

Having videos uploaded to other sites allows you to gain inbound links. Not only can those links be followed to your site but also the fact of having them gives you an advantage with Google pagerank system.

With input from Nathan Hawkins from Insite Media (www.insitemedia.co.nz)

Stay tuned for our follow-up post on how to produce video for your website...

If you already have videos you'd like to add to your website, learn more about how to embed them on your website.

 

Optimising for Google Local Search (Google places)

Written by Hamish Braddick on July 13th, 2010.      1 comments

How do I get my website to appear in the Google local search results?

Sometimes referred to as Google places, or Google maps,
More recently Google has built in the Local search results into the general search results, which displays a map and a corresponding list of business links.
The following example shows the results for a local search using the search term "pizza auckland"
pizzaa

This feature forces many of the standard search listings down the page and below the fold, which reduces impressions, clicks and ultimately orders. So it is important for local business to have a healthy presence here for relevant search phrases.

Setup a Google Places account

If you do not already have an account, you will need to setup a Google places account for your business:
  1. Login to your Google account. If you do not already have a Google account you will need to setup a Google account
  2. Then go to the Google Local Business Centre
  3. Add a "Business link"
  4. Fill out the form and choose to receive your address verification pin number by post or by text message
  5. Google will send you out a postcard with your pin number or text it to your phone
When you have your verification pin number you will then need to return to Google Local Business Centre and verify your business address by entering the pin number.

So the question is how do you get a website to appear in this list of local links at the top of the search results?

There has been much speculation about this and varies from country to country IE. New Zealand relies heavily on the Finda business listing.
Local Search is affected by what's on your website, but it is also affected largely by conditions outside your website, such as the websites that link to your website.

Of course Google do not explicitly tell you how to do this. In fact they tell you very little. This is what Google has to say:
"As with all Google search results, Google Maps ranks business listings based on their relevance to the search terms entered, and geographic distance is only one of the factors we consider. Sometimes our search technology decides that a business that's farther away is more likely to have what you're looking for than a business that's closer."

Not really very helpful.....

Local Search Ranking factors

Many Search marketing companies now focus on optimisation for local search results, including Zeald's own web marketing department. From experimentation there are many theories and methods for optimising a website to improve its local listing search rank which we would like to share with you.
  1. Claim your listing at the local business centre www.google.com/local/add Google require you to "prove" the location of your business, by post or by phone.

  2. List your business in the proper categories once it's been claimed

  3. Locate your business nearest the centre of the city

    For example, if you search for pizza, the businesses are listed according to which is closest to centre of town. This is where Google defines the centre of town or the suburb etc. There is not too much that you can do about this one unfortunately.

  4. Keyword optimisation in the title, description links etc of your website. Include the location of your business in the title tag, or use the city and country in the title tag, and in your meta description.

  5. Obtain citations from authority sites like Chamber of Commerce to determine your street address and phone number. The more 'citations', the more highly you'll rank in a competitive locality/term. 'Citations' are not inbound links to your website - they are just content in pages that connect you to a locality.

  6. Create / update any directory listings - google, yahoo, bing, yelp etc. and make sure that they incorporate your target search terms in the description. If appropriate modify the company name to include keywords i.e. instead of Acme make it "Acme Pizza restaurant" so that it comes up under "Pizza" + "location". In New Zealand it is important that you have a high quality Finda listing because Google obtain some of their business listing data from them

  7. Obtain links from local websites or simply a citation from local websites. For example testimonials and or blog pages. Try building anchor text links with the city or town names pointing to your site.

  8. 3rd-Party Website Reviews- Get your customers to post reviews in Google and other local listings. The more reviews your site has the better your site will rank

  9. Participate in Local Pay per click advertising (PPC)

  10. Publish the local address on every page of the website, IE. in the footer.

 
logo netguide 2011logo netguide 2012logo netguide 20132014 footerlogo deloitte logo deloitte logo deloitte logo deloitte logo deloitte

About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

read more
 

Connect With Us

Keep up to date with industry news, stay ahead of the competition with our helpful articles

Google Plus Facebook Youtube Twitter Linkedin
 
 

Contact Us

New Zealand
09 415 7575
Australia
1800 224 032

42 Tawa Dr, Albany, Auckland 0632

Support