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If you wish to acquire organic traffic for your business’s website, then the main way you will be able to achieve that aim is by using SEO. SEO could be carried out by yourself, an employee, or by an SEO agency that you hire. Whichever option you choose, you must be aware of the process that needs to be followed from the outset, as to miss any step or do them out of order, can compromise the success of your SEO campaign.

To make that process easier to understand, we have created a 7-stage SEO roadmap, which highlights the 7 main areas which must be actioned if your SEO campaign is to have any chance of succeeding.

Establish Your Main Objectives

Without a target to hit you will have no idea if your SEO is working so this is why the first stage of your journey is to set your main objectives. These will be influenced by the type and size of your business, and what your main priorities are. Your SEO campaign could be designed to generate leads, gain email subscribers, or simply generate free traffic to your website, and in each case will determine the specific tasks that need to be completed.

Carry Out Keyword Research

One of the best explanations we have heard for those who feel overwhelmed by starting an SEO campaign is simply to imagine it as dozens, or even hundreds, of mini-competitions with each competition revolving around an individual keyword. It is an excellent description because each keyword that you want to rank for is looked at in isolation by Google. So, your second task is to identify and then research the difficulty of each of the keywords you wish to compete for.

Conduct Competitor Analysis

Part of this stage will be done during your keyword research when you ascertain which keywords your main competitors are ranking for. In addition, other aspects of your competition you want to be assessing are where they get their backlinks from, what types of content they are publishing, and how well their website is designed with reference to user experience. Bear in mind, the goal is not to copy them but to advance upon and better what they are doing to rank well.

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Although drug rehab centres and facilities carry out outstanding work, specifically assisting and supporting individuals to end their drug addiction, it can often lead to us forgetting that in many cases they are a business. We say that not as a negative against them, but to highlight that they are subject to many of the same needs, obligations, and objectives of other businesses.

For example, if a drug rehab centre has no patients who pay the fees for treatment, then its existence would soon come under threat due to having no income with which to pay its staff or its bills. This leads us to the fact that, just as other businesses like landscapers, accountants, car dealers, roofers, and restaurants, to name but a few, all need to market themselves, so do drug rehab centres to attract enquiries that ultimately become paying patients.

As for how they do so, there is no shortage of options, but one which should take precedence is driving traffic to their website, and to do that they must focus on search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO is how you get a website ranked in high positions on Google whenever a search term is entered. By optimising for keywords equivalent to relevant search terms related to drug rehabilitation, they can appear on page one and thus benefit from increased website traffic.

There are numerous SEO tactics and strategies, and some are more effective than others. For that reason, we thought it would be useful if we highlight five of the top SEO steps that have proven to benefit drug rehab websites and boosted their rankings so much that they should be considered essential.

#1 – Analyse And Optimise All On-Site SEO

Most things that can boost your SEO occur on your website so that is where you should start. You need to assess and where necessary, adjust, improve, or add any of the core optimisations that are required for Google to fully understand what each page of your website is trying to rank for. This includes metadata, website content, and the internal linking structure.

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Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an aspect of digital marketing that has numerous terms and expressions specific to it. Some of these are self-explanatory, and others are not. One such term, which may not immediately make clear what it is, is ‘canonical tags’; however,  it is an SEO term that every website owner should not only be aware of but also know is essential to their SEO and quest to achieve higher search engine rankings.

In this article, we are going to explain what canonical tags are, how they work, their importance within SEO, and, crucially, how you create them within your website for optimal results, including a step-by-step process you can easily follow.

What Are Canonical Tags?

A canonical tag is a small piece of code that can be added to the ‘Head’ section of a website’s HTML code. Its primary function is to inform search engines that crawl the website which version of a page is the preferred or ‘canonical’ version.

The reason for having it is that when a search engine indexes a website, it can find more than one version of the same page, with each one having a unique URL. This can lead to duplicate content issues and confusion for search engines.

For example, if you have two pages on your website with the same content, but different URLs, search engines may not know which one to index. This can lead to your website being flagged as having duplicate content and a subsequent lowering of your search engine rankings.

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For business owners who wish to generate traffic to their websites, the prime method of doing so is search engine optimisation or SEO to give it its more commonly used name. SEO is an aspect of digital marketing about which many words have been written and spoken, and it is often the subject of much debate and occasional disagreement about what ranking factors should be prioritised, for example.

Two elements of SEO that are usually agreed upon are that it can seem complex and that it covers a broad spectrum of specifics. Those specifics can be grouped under several categories, such as on-page SEO, off-page SEO, user experience (UX) and the category of SEO, which we are going to focus on technical SEO.

Technical SEO refers to the optimisation of your website’s technical elements to improve its visibility in search engine rankings, especially Google. It includes a variety of factors, such as website load speed, website security, mobile optimisation, indexing and crawling, URL structure, canonicalisation, and structured data. Let us look at each of these in some more detail.

Website Load Speed

Website load speed is one of the most critical factors in technical SEO. If your website loads slowly, it can negatively impact its search engine rankings, not least because Google has several ways in which it identifies whether website pages are loading quickly or slowly.

To maximise your website’s speed, you can take several steps, which include choosing a reliable web hosting service with high-spec servers, compressing the images on your website pages, minimising your website’s HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files, and ensuring your website’s cache is optimised. Tools exist which can both test your website’s speed and highlight where you can improve it. Two of the most popular are Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix.

Website Security

Website security is crucial, not just for SEO purposes but for the protection of your website visitors and customers in areas such as data privacy. Unsecure websites are penalised by search engines, which can only result in one outcome, and that is poorer rankings.

Technical SEO, which enhances website security, includes the use of HTTPS encryption, strong passwords, and two-factor authentication. Tools that can assess your website for security issues include Intruder, Detectify, and Beagle. Alternatively, your local SEO agency can carry out a website security audit and make the necessary security optimisations for you.

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You will hear or read about the importance of backlinks for SEO purposes and that they are essential for improving the rankings of business websites on Google. What you might not be so familiar with though, is that the internal links within your website also play a key SEO role in boosting rankings. In this article, we are going to examine why and how your internal linking aids your rankings.

Internal Linking Explained

Internal linking within a business website is a relatively easy concept to understand. They are simply links that are created that allow navigation from one page of a website to another when someone clicks on them. Internal links can either be part of the navigation of a website or not.

Some links will be hidden behind a button that users click and are then taken to another page whereas other links are visible in highlighted text and when that text is clicked the user will be taken to another part of the website, or even another part of the same page.

It is important to understand the difference between internal links and your backlinks. Backlinks will always originate on another website and link to your website, whereas internal links will always originate within your website and link to another part of your website.

Why Internal Links Help Power Your SEO

One of the most important points about internal inks is that you control them, unlike many of your backlinks. This means that you can specify both their origin and their destination to maximise the SEO benefits of each one.

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