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It is an obvious fact that small businesses do not have the financial resources of large national and international companies and that means that their marketing budgets are going to be much smaller too. This might suggest that the chances of smaller businesses being able to compete on Google for search traffic are slim, but thanks to SEO, that is definitely not the case.

The first fact we need to outline is that when it comes to Google’s ranking algorithms it does not know how big a company is, how much profit it makes or how big its marketing budget is. When crawling that company’s website and analysing everything else that contributes to ranking the currency isn’t cents and dollars, it is links and optimisation.

You could argue because of their substantial budgets large companies can afford to pay marketing teams or outsource to large agencies, and that is true. It is also the case that those resources will afford them the means to build up their backlinks, content and social media profiles quicker, and to a greater degree, than a small company that only operates in one city.

However, it is also the case that larger companies tend to veer their marketing budget more towards paid advertising than small companies do, meaning that they often ignore many of the actions and optimisation that could improve their organic rankings. This often mean a small company with a properly optimised website and an ever-increasing number of backlinks, can outrank bigger companies, especially when it comes to ranking locally.

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If you have researched SEO in any way you will have undoubtedly discovered a lot of discussion about keywords. Keywords and their importance to SEO have had many business owners scratching their head wondering how they work.

Even to those with a modicum of marketing knowledge keywords can be a source of huge frustration as they try to work out which ones to optimise for, and where to have those keywords positioned on their website, or on other websites in links back to theirs.

The reason why the positioning of a keyword is so important is that Google has a pecking order of those positions which their algorithm refers to when it is calculating the relevancy of the keywords. The pecking order is in effect Google’s order of importance, and how much weight it gives to a keyword in determining its relevance.

How that order is was decided upon, only Google knows for sure, but the consensus amongst SEO experts is that it relates to the difficulty with which anyone building and ranking a website would be able to position a keyword. The harder they think it would be, the more power they give it in terms of ranking for the keyword, and the easier it is, the less power it gets.

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If there is one aspect of SEO upon which more content is written than any other, then, ironically, it is content. Ironically is probably the wrong word to use as ‘Justifiably’ would have been more appropriate, given how important content is to SEO and helping websites rank.  One reason so much is written about content is because it is a very effective way, and in most cases, a straightforward way, of enhancing a website’s SEO, especially in the eyes of Google.

However, its perceived easiness is the main reason why so many business owners get it entirely wrong when they create or purchase content for their website. The result is it does more harm than good, and the business owner is left scratching their head wondering why. It need not be that way, because if you follow some very simple principles, you can make content SEO friendly, and better than that, you can enhance the experience of visitors to your website, which can only lead to better conversions.

Make It Interesting and Unique

It is hard to fathom, why, to this day, some webmasters and even some SEO consultants who should know better, put content on websites that is no more than filler. It is there for no other reason than to exist with not one iota of thought towards anyone who might wish to read it.

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Google voice search is one of the fastest growing web technologies at the moment. It involves people asking their phone a question and receiving one single answer, rather than the traditional list of results that’s presented on a normal search engine results page.

One of the main reasons for the increase in the popularity of voice search is the rapidly improving ability of artificial intelligence to recognise human speech and infer meaning. And since speaking is a lot easier than typing, people have begun to adopt the technology. With this in mind, voice search optimisation has become a key feature of most experienced web developer’s toolkits.

Why should I optimise my website for voice search?

By now you should be realising that you probably do need to do at least some sort of voice optimisation on your website to make sure that you’re taking advantage of the emerging market. Although we don’t have a lot of up to date facts about the voice search industry, here are a few of the facts that we do have:

  • There were already 33 million voice-activated devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa in circulation in 2017.
  • In 2015 65% of all US smartphone owners used voice assistants regularly. One can only imagine that this number has grown rapidly over the past three years.
  • Over 20% of Google’s search queries in 2016 came from voice searches. Again, one can only imagine that this number has grown exponentially.

To put it simply, voice search was becoming popular even a few years ago. It’s all around us today, and it’s therefore essential to make sure that you optimise your website for Google voice search.

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There are certain comparisons that are made where the evidence provided by data, does not match what the majority of those with an opinion will tell you. A classic example is when people ask whether HTML or WordPress is better for SEO. Let us say from the outset that most of the empirical data and statistics indicate that neither HTML nor WordPress has an advantage over the other when it comes to SEO.

Now we must clarify what we mean by an advantage. What we are talking about here is whether sites built using WordPress, for example, will rank higher than a site built with HTML, when all other factors are equal. The fact of the matter is that Google doesn’t place any great emphasis on what a website is built from when it comes to ranking them.

To confirm this, do a random search on Google and click through to each of the top ten websites. For each one, if you then press CTRL+U on your keyboard the source code will appear. Using the find function in your browser type in ‘inc’. If the search finds that in the code it is a WordPress site, and if not then it could be either a HTML site or one built using another less popular Content Management System (CMS).

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