Gary Vaynerchuk Sydney Event Review

Last Month I was lucky to buy a few tickets to the Gary Vaynerchuk Sydney event for some of my team members at Prosperity Media. It was a great talk by Gary he dropped some great gems of information such as

How he took his family wine business from $3M to $60M a year. Gary now runs Vayner Media which does $100M a year.

1. When Google ads came out, he owned the wine keywords at 5c a click.
2. His email open rates were as high as 91% in the 90s.
3. Understand the context of your audience.
4. Don’t romanticise how you make money, the market doesn’t care.
5. Big shifts are happening. Pay attention and don’t hold on to things that don’t work any more.
6. Educate yourself.
7. Put in the work which matches your ambition.
8. Generations of attention doesn’t last that long.
9. Be sure your team is involved with key social sites Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube as over 50% of time online is spent on these channels.
10. Be Humble in business and think about your companies legacy don’t build shit!
11. If you are still working a full time job you are not an Entrepreneur.
I was also able to give back to young marketers by giving away over 20 tickets to this event to people who could not otherwise afford to attend which was nice to give back =)

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 6.17.57 PM

Finally I was able to meet Gary one on one and ask some questions about growing a digital business and to also present him with a gift Cronulla Sharks Jersey.

Tips when hiring a SEO & Online Marketing Employees in Australia

When you are looking to hire a SEO or Online Marketing employee you need to think about the different areas the hire will be involved in for example will they fit in the the following categories –

– Agency SEO
– In-House SEO

Usually an Agency SEO will be use to working with multiple projects at once.

Whilst an In-house SEO will be good at working with internal stake holders to get a project pushed forward.

When you hire a SEO you also need to be mindful that their are multiple different specialists for example –

– Technical SEO Specialist
– Link Acquisition Specialist
– On Site Specialist
– Content Specialist
– Team Lead
ect ect ect it goes on.

Another important point when hiring a SEO is to think are they going to be doing the work in the trenches or will they more a more client facing SEO.

Here are some basic questions you can ask a new hire –

1. What is your go to SEO blog or resource – This is a great question to see if the SEO is keen on the industry and knows all the top sites such as MOZ, Search Engine Land and others.

2. How good are you at Excel – Most SEOs will need to be good at Excel to some degree, if they do not have Excel skills to boot it could mean drama.

3. Can you code – If they know basic HTML, and other coding languages this will assist with project work.

4. Are they a good TEAM player – With any SEO project the best results come from when everyone works as a TEAM.

5. Do they run a Affiliate website or WordPress Blog – This is a good question to ask because it shows if the SEO has honed in on their skills outside of work.

6. Ask Technical Questions in the interview things such as What is a Canonical Tag, What is the HreFlang tags, what is the difference between Penguin and Panda see if they can break down the basics.

7. Ask process driven questions such as what is your process for picking up on site issues, what is your link acquisition process.

After over 10 years in SEO this is just a small sample of the types of questions you can ask.

You really need to find out what works best for the role and base the questions via that.

Six great sales and marketing books you should buy now.

Each year I try to read around 20 books a year, the thing is if you have been running a business for many years you can still pick up a few tips from one book which can add revenue for your business. My advice is to take some time each night before you go to sleep and read 30-40 pages of a book. I wanted to share six great books I am reading at the moment below. The main focus for books I usually read are on running business, marketing, growth, sales and the body.

1. The Lean Startup – Eric Ries (Rating 4/5)
– A book on running startup businesses lean.

2. Double Double – Cameron Herold (Rating 4.6/5)
– A book focused running business, marketing, growth ect.

3. Pitch Anything – Oren Klaff (Rating 4.3/5)
– Sales focused book based on selling anything.

4. The Ultimate Sales Machine – Chet Holmes (Rating  4.5/5)
– Sales focused book based on strategies.

5. The 10x Rule – Grant Cardone (Rating 4.7/5)
– Book on life and sales and how you should be doing everything 10 times.

6. Predictable Revenue – Aaron Ross (Rating 4.5/5)
– A book on growing software business.

What are you currently reading please share it in the comments below, if you want to recommend any great books please also list them below.

10 Tips from 10 Years in SEO & Online Marketing

October 2015 marks over 10 years since I started my career in SEO. It all started back in October 2005 when I first discovered SEO and started testing tactics and learning all I could! I grew from having limited SEO knowledge to speaking on the main stage at global conferences like SMX and Online Retailer.
Many things have changed over the last 10 years and I decided to put together 10 tips from my 10 years in SEO & Online Marketing.

1. Aim to build a brand for your self – Start by making your own blog, Twitter, Facebook page, Google+ and use the same name across multiple channels. Add content weekly and keep your users updated also aim to have exclusive content where possible. It is also highly important to build an email list on your blog because you can continue to tap into this user base on a long term basis.

An example of some blog content which I have made over the years that has done quite well – (An interview with an ex-Googler in Sydney) (A case study on traffic growth for a client of our business)
(10 Tips to get more traffic from Google Images)
+ 100’s more online!
Aim to build content so great that even the competition will love it (example below) that been said content has slowed on the James Norquay blog recently!

2. Find a mentor who can help develop your career – Finding someone who you can call for advise on life and business is highly important. I have had numerous mentors over the years in my career from numerous areas been client management, business development and building technical skills. You can always learn something from someone more skilled and with more experience so be sure to listen and take notes!

3. Learn where your skills lie and hire people to help build out other areas of your business – You quickly learn that you can not do everything in business and sometimes it pays to hire people who can assist in building out other areas of your business or add to your own skill set. For example you may be fantastic at client management though you might be lacking in sales skills so this might mean you need to hire a business development management for your business.

4. Learn when to say NO to some new business – You simply can not say YES to every lead your business receives. Be sure to pre-quality all new leads and ask questions.
– Ask questions such as who are the main competitors.
– Find out what work has been done in the past on the clients sites, this is highly important with any digital work especially with SEO projects as they can carry potential legacy issues.
– Know what the expectations are of the business.
– Try and get to understand the budget break down for digital of the business.
– Find out what internal resources they have to assist your business.

My company Prosperity Media usually only accepts around 35% of leads we receive the other 65% are not the right fit for our business.

5. Stay active on social media, help people where possible and contact industry leaders – Staying active on social media is highly important for developing your business. It can also be a great way to gain new business leads. Further to this do not be afraid to contact industry leaders and be sure to look for opportunities to help industry leaders where possible because it can help with future content amplification (example attached)

6. Stay up to date with industry news and keep clients informed at the same time – Staying up to date with the latest trends online is a great way to build your knowledge on a daily basis you need to spend at least 30 minutes reading blogs and absorbing information. Two great sites I recommend for this are: – A great site made by Moz & HubSpot – A great site made by Sean Ellis.
SearchEngineLand – A great site for search engine news.

Also be sure to keep clients in the loop with news in the market. Clients are usually busy and they do not have time to read every blog online so you need to inform them of the latest updates if they are highly important send the updates over instantly though it also pays to send weekly updates!

7. Try and get press for your business or your own personal brand –
Always be on the look up to get involved with round up posts or take the opportunity to respond to press calls on sites like Source Bottle. One press lead and link to your site can lead to 100’s if not 1000’s of visitors to your site so it is worth spending the time to help reports out!

8. Try and attend conferences and also try to get a speaking spot at events – Conferences are a great way to meet people in the industry and share stories. You also have the opportunity to learn new tips and network with like minded individuals. Also try and speak at conferences I have spoken at many over the years and it has been a lot of fun along the way and they act as a fantastic way to generate new business leads.

9. Test new marketing software each month because the right tools and software can save you plenty of time – From Accounting CRM’S to link research tools you really need to test new tools because having the right tools can save your business and staff hours on a monthly basis.

Some great tools we are using currently include:
Trello – A great tool for to do lists and team management
Asana – A great tool for team management.
Freshbooks – A Great tool for accounting and finance management.
Ahrefs – A great tool for link analysis and research.
SEM Rush – A great tool for monitoring search traffic for competitors (PPC/Organic)
Link Research Tools – A great tool for link research, Link analysis and management.
Screaming Frog – A great tool for large scale site analysis up to 50,000 page range.

10. Try to take time away from SEO and Digital make time for hobbies and stay active and focus on having a positive mind – You need to learn to switch off on weekends and do other things. Picking up hobbies such as going to the GYM or playing a sport are a great way to forget about the week gone by. Also try to limit work and work emails on weekends and make the time for you!

About the Author:James Norquay has worked in the SEO and digital marketing field in the Australian market for 10 years. James started working in the field by developing his own network of content websites. These sites generated over 20 million unique visitors, which he later sold. He then moved into consulting, working directly with companies such as Virgin Mobile, Open Colleges, David Jones, Woolworths, Apparel Group, Maurice Blackburn, Travel NT and Citi Bank to drive SEO and inbound marketing growth.
He currently works as Consulting Director at a high performance SEO and Inbound Marketing Company called Prosperity Media based in Town Hall – Sydney. The team works with ASX listed companies, funded startups and mid-sized business.

Also added on Linkedin

The-Entourage Unconvention Sydney Review

On Saturday I attended The-Entourage’s unconvention Sydney event in Sydney. I went along on the day as a friend of mine Pieter was interested to attend. I was also interested too see speakers from companies like UBER, Airtasker, Canva and Rewardle and how they all have grown their businesses over the years to now be worth millions of dollars.

Now I have been running my current business for three years which I started from the ground up and I have also sold businesses in the past along with been in online marketing for over 9+ years. I will admit am not really the main target group for the conference as it is really focused for individuals who have yet to start something and are keen to get motivated.

From the day my two favorite speakers were Tim Fung from Airtasker. Tim seemed to be one of the only presentations on the day where he actually showed the crowd how he built his business and what growth tactics he used many of the speakers on the day gave far more general style talks. Tim talked about numerous areas of how Airtasker grew traffic in the early days from Guerrilla PR stunts to ASO (App Store Optimization) he also provided some good frameworks for Startups.

I also liked the talk given by Ruwan Weerasooriya, as it was quite an inspiring presentation about his life and how he went from been a university drop out to starting a ISP, web dev company, Taxi advertising business, Cafe Advertising business and now a ASX listed Rewards Program business for SMB’s.

From the day I decided to select 10 inspiring quotes or pieces of advice and share them below –

1. Lean Startups principles are a must have for any startup business owners.

2. Get out their and be a street fighter in business and be sure hustle 24/7 to gain new business.

3. Focus on building an amazing team around your business.

4. Unique PR stunts that have a feel good story work really well, but make sure the marketing communication is rehearsed.

5. Integration with business partners and app store optimization are good ways to grow traffic.

6. Gumtree is a perfect market research place to see what Australian potential customers are looking for.

7. Tim Fung shared a great graph from Paul Graham @ Ycombinator on Business timelines –
 Paul Graham Ycombinator Timeline

8. At Scale Stage get your business processes and efficiencies in to your company. Otherwise you never Grow & Scale.

9. Become self sufficient business and fix the leaking boat before asking for investment.

10. During the gold rush most gold diggers didn’t get rich, the hardware stores did!

Overall if you are looking to start a business I would say the Unconvention is a good event for you to attend. If you are an established business owner and startup community member the event may not be ideal for you. Tho as I was talking to some other business owners on the day who were established they all said they attend because they want to get motivated from the talented speakers on the day I will admit they do fire you up.

Thanks to the team from The-Entourage for putting this event on.

Google Penguin Roll Out October 18th

penguin 2.0

Over the past 12 hours today their has been plenty of discussion online regarding a fresh penguin roll out in various markets around the world. This could be a test yet from the amount of discussion and the movements we are seeing it seems far to big to be a test.

Many Affiliates and well known SEO’s moved to Twitter to note the release or to mention significant volatility in US, AU and UK based serp’s rankings for penguin affected sites. Also their is quite a bit of discussion on various SEO forums.

Example tweets to note the movements

1. Jacob King – Well known Black Hat/ Affiliate

2. Chris Cemper – Well known SEO based in Europe

3. Rae Hoffman – Well known SEO based in the US:

4. Australian SERPS recovery noted for a client by Marie Haynes:

5. Kane Jamison noted client recovery:

We have noticed some good improvements on a client who targets US/AU from a domain. The website was affected by a prior penguin release on around 20 landing pages. All these landing pages are now back ranking top 1/2 pages for a highly competitive niche which is a great result for this client.

Please comment below if you have noticed Penguin movements today and noticed any recovery.


Advanced Online Marketing Sydney Event October 22nd

On the 22nd of October Prosperity Media will be hosting an Advanced Online Marketing event at the Vibe Hotel in North Sydney.

The event will run between – 1pm – 6pm

1.00 pm – 1.10 pm – Event Start & Introduction.
1.10 pm – 1.50 pm – Fab Capodicasa
1.50 pm – 2.30 pm – Luke Metcalfe
2.30 pm – 3.10 pm – James Norquay
3.10 pm – 3.40 pm – Afternoon Tea – Coffee, Drinks, Scones, Cakes ect.
3.40 pm – 4.20 pm – Pieter Verasdonck
4.20 pm – 5.00 pm – Andre Weyher
5.00 pm – 5.50 pm – Rod Jacka
5.50 pm – 6.00 pm – Event End & Closing Notes
6.00 pm – 7.30 pm – Networking Drinks

About the Speakers

Speaker 1: Fab Capodicasa
Topic: Advanced Marketing Automation for eCommerce.
About: Fab has a deep expeirnece in Online Marketing working in the field for over 13 years, more recently working with brands such as Marketo.


Speaker 2: Luke Metcalfe
Topic: Advanced Data Mining & Data Scraping.
About: Luke has been a web miner since 1998 and CEO/CTO/Team leader since 2003. Luke has build huge web properties and recently exited a startup to a US based corporation.


Speaker 3: James Norquay
Topic: Effective SEO Strategies to drive traffic.
About: James Norquay has over 9 years experience in online marketing working for some of Asia Pacific’s largest brands and startups.


Speaker 4: Pieter Verasdonck
Topic: Re Marketing & Advanced Online Marketing
About: Pieter has over 10 years experience in Online Marketing working with some of the largest brands in Australia and Europe.


Speaker 5: Andre Weyher
Topic: Anatomy of a search quality review
About: Andre has over 5 years experience in the Google Search quality team working in the European market. Andre Was interviewed on this blog 2 years ago so he will have plenty to say.


Speaker 6 : Rod Jacka
Topic: Conversion Optimisation
About: Rod has over 16 years expeirence in web analytics and conversion optimisation. Been a well known name in the global web analytics market.

Some tickets are still available here –

Instapage vs Leadpages – PPC Gorilla Marketing Battle

So today I noticed some aggressive PPC marketing by both Instapage and Leadpages:

When you search for Leadpages the first PPC result is for Instapage as per below:


When you search for Instapage the second PPC result is run by Leadpages:


Now from a conversions point of view it is evident that these tactics may work. Yet the question it so what degree!
In some cases this strategy can make your brand look less favorable if you go into the market and attack another company. In this case each company is going after one another so you would say it is fair. Yet in a high end brand situation it could be risky to employ such tactics via PPC.

From a search volume point of view Leadpages is the clear winner as per trends data below, so you can see why brands are hitting the terms hard –


If you pull competitive data on both of the companies you see they also must run clients Adwords from sub domains within the specific sites which is interesting to see.

Overall I thought this specific case of brand term marketing was a interesting one.

The question is would you employ this strategy for your company?

Highlights from SMX Sydney 2014

SMX Sydney wrapped up for another year a few weeks ago and I was lucky enough to be part of all key events.

I have decided to share some notes I took from the conference along with some photos from the various events. Please be aware you may find some spelling mistakes and also limited notes during specific sections.

26th May 2014 – Day 1 – Networking Dinner

Prosperity Media the company I founded hosted a dinner event at Phillip’s Foote for international speakers and local conference attendants on the Monday Night. We were luck enough to have some great international SEO’s show up for the dinner including the following names-

+Jon Cooper – Founder Point Blank SEO (USA)
+Jennifer Sable Lopez – Head of Community MOZ (USA)
+Cyrus Shepard – Head of Content Moz (USA)
+Jon Quinton – Agency Director (UK)
+Pieter Verasdonck – Director of Inbound Marketing Croud
+Matthew Forzan – Operations Director eWeb Marketing
+Woj Kwasi – Founder Kwasi studios
+Jock Purtle – Founder Digital Exits

Photos from the dinner below –

Pieter and Jon Cooper from Point Blank SEO having a few drinks –


Cyrus Shepard and Jennifer Sable Lopez from Moz


Sorry for the low quality photos, overall the dinner turned out to be a great event with all speakers and attendants having something interesting to share.

27th May 2014 – Day 2 – SMX Conference at Luna Park

Jeffrey Preston

The keynote presenter on the day talked about in-house SEO and what you should get right with the process.
Key take away from the session were working with developers and the importance of structured mark up on content.
* Jeffrey Preston is the In house SEO Disney

Marty Weintraub – Aim Clear

* Use Google Webmaster Tools for data
* Use Adwords data in Google analytic’s
* Use Landing page level analysis
* Calculate SEO competitive traffic value
* Future of SEO is competitive traffic analysis methods.
* Authority labs relatively cheap rank tracking.
* Search metrics, conductor, bright edge.
* Good tools: Spyfu, Recon, Adgooroo, SEM Rush.
* Search Metrics must be really good because Bright edge is suing them!
* Time to get over keywords and I will get into concepts.
* Use Yoast for WordPress to tag content/ content
* Luna metrics is also good.
* Start caring about traffic share now.

Jon Quinton – Build Visbile

* SEO Strategy – Service Strategy.
* In house SEO push on pressure to deliver financial goals.
* Client in question has had a bad experience of SEO in the past so they are reluctant to use your service. You need to present the business case.
* Budget doesn’t come from thin air you need to effectively understand where the budget comes from.
* Global SEO clients may set budgets for various regions. Make sure that you think about all regions when setting a budget.
* Keep KPIs simple, achievable ect.
* Keep reports simple and make very specific points.
* Data reports – Data, revenue, activity reports on what are we doing,
* Commentary on what we are doing.
* Good Tools for reporting – Trello, Basecamp, Google Docs, Asana
* AWR with trusted proxies, Tracking a large amount of data for all clients at the agency.
* email the client before the client emails you
* 1 page documents can work well for clients to show a quick analysis.
* Custom dashboards work well for clients.
* Export custom dashboards into excel so the analysis will be more enjoyable.
* Match up Google Analytics data with log file data.
* View screaming frog on clients site to look for analysis, then cross check the data with organic traffic from GA to look for correlations.
* Compare number of requests per page via Google bot and then cross check it with landing specific data (organic search)
* Look at referral traffic and easy one to provide analysis via.
* SEO tools for excel is a good tool to use.
* Has out link building been effective – volume of links/ social metrics.
* look at conversion paths for new content marketing campaigns.
* Simplicity is the key.

Simon Dunwoody – Ikon

* Google Adwords is like a drug once you get on it you can not stop. Well the vaccine is SEO 😉
* Call tracking provides a whole new data set of target areas.
* Use call extensions

Cyrus Shepard – MOZ


* Google scraping heavily on numerous results
* Different words refer to different things.
* AlchemyAPI
* ConceptNET API
* Structured Data use highly important –
* Freebase for analysis on data.

Greg Boser – USA

* Zillow good example of responsive design.
* I had to make some client calls so I missed most of Greg’s Presentation.

Jon Cooper – Link Building

* Prospecting
* Looking elsewhere for linking opportunities.
* Looking cross geographically for links for example using DMOZ to reverse engineer the strategy.
* Quantify content opportunities
* Filtering down on metrics.
* Link qualification.
* Reaching out to less websites.

Funny tweet from Viper Chill During Jons presentation –

Jen Lopez – MOZ

* Spend time to implement a YouMoz post, grammar are highly important.

Overall it was a great start to the day with some fantastic content.

It was now time to get onto the SMX Boat Cruse and enjoy a few hours cruising around the harbor.

28th May 2014 – Day 3 – SMX Conference at Luna Park Shez from Rmoov presented on getting your head in the penalty game. and Money Robot anchor text checker decent link penalty tools.

* During the second day at Luna Park I was presenting in the morning so I decided to take limited notes, I was tweeting some content when I found interesting points.

during the morning session I presented on the topic using Social Media for SEO and Traffic (you can view the full presentation below)


Thanks to for the photo.

Some Tweets from people who saw the presentation and provided some feedback –

Overall their were some fantastic presentations during day two of the conference.

My high light was Richard Baxters presentation on actionable outreach.

29th May 2014 – Day 4 – SMX SEO Advanced Conference at Vibe Hotel.

Greg Boser – Foundation Digital

* Greg states site architecture is highly important
* Pyramid style hierarchy
* Deep crawl recommended yet expensive, ideal for enterprise clients
* Test 285 character description tags, multiple signals “Copyrighting 101” article.
* Title to read well and be part of the sales pitch.
* Authoritative sites do well from a ranking point of view on QDF (Quality Deserves Freshness) content.
* New site no generic anchor text for a year all branded
* Topical focus on majestic
* Relevant local signals for link building – Sydney links target Sydney only sites.

Cyrus – MOZ

* Test long title tags.
* Authority Labs is a great tool.
* Focus on building a high quality site
* Link will never die Google has no real replacement.
* Co-occurrence is important.
* Related topical content.
* Irrelevant pages linking can cause issues.
* Relevance of the linking domain is important.
* IMEC Lab – Moz testing different SEO areas.
* Longer content usually does better in SERPS.

Jon Cooper – Point Blank SEO


* Reddit sub reddit section for content ideas.
* Forums link building and sponsorship opportunity.
* Testimonials is a great way to get links.
* Product round up posts.

Jeff Preston – Walt Disney

* video implementation
* Implementation test –
70% success
20% Open Graph success
10% XML Video success

* 1,000 video test group.
* Executive Section BIO mark up works well.
* Add all content to a key element to knowledge graph.

Mobile SEO – Cindy Krum

* Page speed is highly important on mobile.
* 30% of mobile searches have a local intent.
* Mobile page speed tests are good.
* Mobile page speed insights are good.
* Do not use a .mobi domain they are not worth it.
* Doctor directory an interesting site.
* Test eCommerce pages on numerous mobile devices WAP errors can happen.

Jen Lopez – Moz

* Social is not a ranking factor
* Checkout Google ripples
* Google+ integration on Adwords is important.
* Stay consistent on your social channels.
* Rich pin validator.
* Keep company work on the same slide share account.

Give it up session – Can not share the notes from here.

Overall it was a great conference, I had a pleasure of meeting some fantastic international and local search employees. If you were at the conference please share some thoughts in the comments section below.

Why WhatsAPP is so valuable?

Why is Whatsapp so valuable?

So over the last few days the tech blogs around the world have been going crazy about WhatsAPP’s acquisition price. Facebook confirmed in a press release the sale price was 16 Billion in cash and stock with early investors in the company gaining a huge ROI. I have noticed many negative comments about the price paid for the APP, many people say it is a crazy price to pay for an APP I agree in some ways yet in others I can see where Facebook has merit in the buy.

Now I decided to do some quick research into the APP and one of the best usage data trends I noticed was the image below (Global messaging usage data)

Why is WhatsAPP so valuable?
Source: Onvao Insights

This data shows how powerful the APP is in various markets, the user base is well over 450 million which has jumped 200 million in the last 9 months. The app is also sticky with users with over 70% use age rate on the app.

I think the key reason that Facebook made the acquisition is for market protection, they are probably worried that a competitor in a similar business could purchase the app and develop it into a social network with the room to win in on a percentage of Facebook’s user base. That been said they also have purchased the APP to increase the overall use rate of the messaging product and as Zukerberg states “Connect the world”

The only concerns from an investment point are the following:
1. The only revenue the business has is the $1 per use use fee.
2. The users of the app are very anti- ads, the founders claimed they do not want ads on the product.
3. What happens if another competitor comes up in the market at the same pace? Will Facebook be forced to make yet another multi-billion acquisition.
4. Overall I think the price page was defiantly on the high side yet from the metrics above when you start researching into the product you can see why this was a strategic move they needed to make.
5. So overall it will be interesting to see where Facebook has a long term ROI strategy in this business.

Another funny twist in the story is that Facebook and Twitter both had the chance to hire the developer who was a founder of WhatsAPP, yet he was turned down. It was a hire worth several billion at that (refer to image below)


In addition to this many people are now in the market to develop an APP in the past we have written about how to promote you APP online, which may be helpful to users –

Let me know your thoughts on the WhatsAPP purchase below: