SEO consultant Sydney could benefit many businesses who are looking to increase their online presence and drive more targeted traffic to their websites. Unfortunately the SEO industry is not known for its transparency and this can be confusing for businesses that are wondering just what exactly they will be getting in return for their investment.
SEO industry has also attracted a lot of cowboys who employ “black-hat”
techniques that go against the policies of Google and the other search
engines. You should make sure that your SEO will be done using ethical
“White Hat” techniques.
Businesses that unwittingly employ an SEO
that uses these techniques may see short term results until Google
discovers the footprints left behind by these techniques, at which point
they will see a negative effect on their search engine rankings. The
black hat SEO offers quick fixes and is usually long gone by this point!
What’s With all the Hats?
term “Black Hat” comes from the old western movies, the bad guys always
wore black hats! The good guys wore white hats, you will hear ethical
SEO referred to as “White Hat” SEO. Remember the bad guys always got
their just deserts!
What Should your SEO be Doing for Your Business?
is important to know exactly what your SEO will be doing for you and
how they will provide you with measurable results. Be wary of any SEO
who offers a guaranteed ranking, it is impossible to guarantee a ranking
with Google or any other search engine!
Any SEO who can guarantee
results without even knowing which keywords you want to target is using
this as a marketing ploy, how could they guarantee results if you
wanted to compete for keywords like “Apple”, “Google” or “Facebook”?!
conducting keyword research it is impossible to tell how likely the
success of an SEO campaign will be and how long it is likely to take.
SEO is an ongoing process of research, testing and analysis. It takes
careful planning to identify the best keywords and to then put a solid
strategy in place to rank for those keywords.
On-site and Off Site SEO
takes into account factors that are both on-site and off-site. On-site
SEO entails an analysis of your website. It involves looking at many
factors including the site structure, use of keywords, the sites
content, page loading times and the HTML and CSS that the site is built
with. Good on-site SEO benefits the end user and also helps to avoid any
technical “Gotchas” that search engines don’t like, such as duplicate
A good SEO will start by analysing your site and making
recommendations to improve an optimise the site for both users and
search engines. Off site SEO involves creating relevant backlinks from
other sites to yours.
Each backlink is counted by the search
engines as a vote for your site. Websites are given an authority score
called Page Rank. Each time a site links to you it shares a little bit
of its page rank with you, links from high authority sites share more of
this page rank than lower authority sites. Incoming links to a site are
known as backlinks.
To Follow or to Nofollow…
links carry no authority at all, many links carry a nofollow attribute
that tell the search engines not to count that link as a vote.
Webmasters and bloggers might add this attribute themselves if they
don’t their link to be counted as a vote for the external site or it
could be automatically added by the platform they are using to publish
their content, this is often the case when a site offers its user to add
comments or content and the webmaster has little control over what
links get created by the sites contributors.
Links without the
nofollow attribute are termed “dofollow” and pass page rank from your
page to the linked page. In HTML there is no actual dofollow attribute,
dofollow happens by default in the absence of a nofollow attribute. You
should never nofollow internal links as this will cause any page rank
that would have been passed to that link to just evaporate!
Where Did You Get Those Links?
should ask your SEO how they will create backlinks, a good SEO will try
to build a varied backlink portfolio for you. This portfolio should
include high value links that are found in bodies of text such as blog
posts. These usually carry the most page rank but also require the most
work as the SEO will need to build connections with blog owners and
often provide the content themselves.
Any good SEO will look for
quality over quantity, anyone promising a high number of links is
probably best avoided. The search engines like to see “Natural Links of
Love”, a few high quality links will go a lot further than many low
Other linking strategies include using quality
business directories or commenting on blogs and forums as well as using
social media and social bookmarking sites.
Link exchanges are best
avoided as these two way links don’t look like natural links. Search
engines can see the Internet as a series of connected nodes and easily
detect unnatural patterns like this.
Your Business, Your Needs
SEO should talk with you about your business needs and goals and also
try to understand as much as they can about your target audience. If
they don’t do this then they are unlikely to pick keywords that will
attract and convert the right audience for you business. They should
conduct extensive keyword research and be able to identify the keywords
that will bring in more of the right traffic. Traffic is useless if it
should also be able to research your competition and tell you what
keywords they are targeting and also how much time it is likely to take
to compete for the same keywords. They should also be able to come up
with alternative strategies if those keywords are far too competitive
for your budget or to bring in traffic while you work towards competing
for the main keywords.
SEO takes time, it doesn’t happen
overnight. Your SEO should be able to provide you with a monthly report
that shows how you are progressing through the search engine results for
your keywords. They should also be able to run PPC campaigns on your
behalf and also create content and copy for your site.
will also be able to promote you via social media and advise you on
other Internet marketing techniques such as building mailing lists for
The Bottom Line
rate for an SEO varies an awful lot. Some agencies will charge upwards
of 1000 a month! A small business should be able to find a decent SEO
for around 300 a month, this depends on the level of service required
but 300 should buy you a good campaign targeting 5 keywords.
first month is usually a bit more expensive as this is the month that
the on-site SEO takes place as well as the keyword and competitor
Some SEO’s offer a very cheap service, you get what you
pay for and keep in mind that SEO takes a lot of time as it involves a
lot of research, analysis and content creation.
If the price seems
too good to be true then it probably is! Don’t risk falling foul of
black hat SEO techniques for a cheap price!
Mike Escott has been involved in web design, SEO and Internet marketing since 1998. Over the years he has helped many businesses startups to grow and develop their on-line ventures. He enjoys combining his experience in multi-media and marketing to create innovative solutions for his clients. Mike shares his small business SEO knowledge on his blog at and is always happy to hear from those who need a helping hand with starting or developing their websites an on-line marketing strategies.
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