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.

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 –
http://jamesnorquay.com/an-interview-ex-member-matt-cuttss-search-quality-team/ (An interview with an ex-Googler in Sydney)
http://moz.com/ugc/increasing-organic-seo-traffic-by-400000-unique-visitors-a-month (A case study on traffic growth for a client of our business)
http://jamesnorquay.com/10-tips-to-get-more-traffic-from-google-images/
(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!
DejanSEO

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)
Twitter

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:
Inbound.org – A great site made by Moz & HubSpot
GrowthHackers.com – 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

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

Event-Fab
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.

Event-Luke

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.

Event-James

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.

head-of-seo-pieter-verasdonck

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.

Event-Andre

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.

Rod

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 – http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/advanced-online-marketing-conference-marketing-automation-digital-growth-tickets-12615612637

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 –

Pieter-Jon-Cooper

Cyrus Shepard and Jennifer Sable Lopez from Moz

cyrus-jen

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

Cyrus-Presentation

* 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. http://www.disdit.com/ and Money Robot anchor text checker decent link penalty tools. https://websiteadvantage.com.au/SWAT-Google-Webmaster-Tools-Exporter

* 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)

James-Norquay-SMX

Thanks to chrisburgess.com.au 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

Jon-Cooper-Advanced-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

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

* 1,000 video test group.
* Executive Section BIO mark up works well.
* validator.nu
* Add all content to Freebase.com 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.

How Kogan is winning Click Frenzy with Smart PR and SEO

So over the past 24 hours we have noticed Kogan doing some smart PR where he “leaked” the deals for his Click Frenzy offers and also started his “Click Frenzy” site around 12 hours earlier compared to the organizers site.

Kogan has also claimed that it is unfair that one organisation controls Click Frenzy and I agree 100% with his statements. The funny thing is Click Frenzy has even assisted Kogan by providing additional free PR by saying they are going to sue him for infringing on using the partial match term “Frenzy” in advertising. It is impossible to claim some one can own such a generic word as Frenzy.

An example below shows how Kogan would be attacking a considerable amount of CTR from this campaign.

click-frenzy-kogan

1. Kogan is dominating Google news listing results
2. Kogan is Bidding on Google Paid Results for long tail keywords.
3. The branded website Kogan.com ranks 2nd organically for the term “Click Frenzy”

Now I decided to test out some tools too see where this URL which Kogan is ranking in 2nd spot is being promoted. I ran the URL using Ahrefs/ Majestic and noticed the links are not yet crawled so I just check the link citation on Google (see below)

click-frenzy-kogan-SEO

It seems that from a off site point of view the following sites are been targeted:

1. High Quality PR sites via his release (with links back to his targeted landing page)
2. Sharing the links via Facebook pages.
3. Sharing the links via deals websites such as Oz Bargain.
4. Even some directory citations have been done.

Today he has even followed it up with another press release around the legal action (great play)

Kogan also has one of the best landing pages for Click Frenzy where users can instantly see the deals on offer, I tested out some other companies landing pages you have to click deep into the site to even find the deals. My guess is Kogan’s bounce rate would be good compared to the others which would be high as they would not be converting.

It is evident some one is pushing some out reach on this domain, doing SEO and rolling out some fantastic PR.

Overall I think this is great work by Kogan and his digital team, they have not even paid to “Click Frenzy fee” and it is evident they would be yielding the best CTR from organic and news listings.

Update 4.55 pm – 20th November –

We had some readers of the blog email in to notify us that Kogan also owns the domains click-frenzy.com.au and click-frenzy.com which do in fact infringe on the trademark which Click Frenzy holds. Both are currently re directs to the Kogan site. One is even a PR 2 from internal links and a few external links. That being said these trademarks were approved in 2013 by the look of it and Kogan has held the domains since last year.

Update 9.38 pm – 22nd November

Just had some one from Power Retail email me about the article, they said that the main concerns they had were only around the targeting on “Click Frenzy” as a term and not “Frenzy”. At the time of posting this article things were mainly only targeting Kogan Frenzy apparently prior to this he did target click frenzy heavily. That being said using re directs on click-frenzy.com.au & Click-Frenzy.com > Kogans Click Frenzy landing pages is some what a grey had SEO strategy.

How I turned a $200 into $xx,xxx using SEO

So any time some one hears the word “inheritance” they instantly thing millions and millions of dollars yet in most cases this is not the case and personally I never like to think about inheritances I would rather be self made when it comes to money.

Today I have a different story about a family friend who passed away in 2005. Basically she did not have much money at all but she was once of the nicest people you would ever meet. We knew this lady because my dad use to work with her when he was younger so he kept in touch with her as she was like the mother figure of his office back in the day.

So in 2005 I was building websites and messing around with SEO at the same time, when they said you have been left $200 in the will. At the time I didn’t think much of it because I was working on numerous projects at the time. I thought to my self I would really like to turn this $200 into something more and make several thousand from it.

After working on SEO for a while I know it was going to be a good strategy to build traffic from. I thought quickly what were some ways I could yield revenue and traffic over a few years?

Back in 2005 SEO was different, you did not have all the big blogs like you do today, you did not have Twitter you did not even have Facebook to a degree. Most of the information was found by talking with like minded professionals on MSN or AIM messenger or by using Forums such as Digital Point and Webmaster World. Back in the day I was very active on these forums and used them daily and has thousands of posts.

How did I make $xx,XXX from SEO?

First step with any new site I work on is to pick a domain name, I went with a brand-able LLLL.com basically because short and easy to remember names will never loose money, out of the $200 that was like $50 gone. I think I purchased the domain from eBay.

So what were the next steps?

I decided my tactic to grow traffic was to build around 1,000 landing pages from keyword research in the funny images niche, basically what I was going to do is use a whole heap of images I had made, taken or acquired and build 1,000 content pages based on these images and match it up to the keyword research I had done.

First up was picking some keywords?

Keyword like EMO, Myspace, Car Names, Motivational Posters they all yield HUGE traffic but the thing is that they pay VERY poorly. Here are some of the top keyword to the site.

Keywords

So from this keyword research I went and custom coded like 1,000 landing pages, at the time the site was built on HTML lol (old school) basically did a whole bunch of one page content quickly it was not he best content, also set up all the correct image tags. Then I used a whole bunch of web 2.0’s to push links to all the highest yielded search volume keywords. Back in 2005 web 2.0’s and other low level strategies such as high volume directories and article sites were a viable strategy in Googles eyes they were fine.

So some of the biggest wins for this site were from Google images search and also keyword search for the keywords above and more.

Now how did we make XX,XXX? from this site

Their were some strategies:

1. Adsense was a easy money maker:

So with 2.7 million impressions the site paid very poorly, it is probably wise to go with a higher paying smaller traffic niche in today’s market.

Revenue

2. Links sales

Back in 2005-2008 Google had no problem with people paying for links, we use to sell like 20 x side bars for a good price on yearly basis.

* Please note I would not advise any to to buy or sell links in 2013!!

3. CPM advertising.

We also use to run some CPM against the site.

How much traffic did the site get overall?

The site had well over 1,600,000+ unique visitors from organic search, sure this is only a small view of my total sites traffic overall I have driven well over 20 million + unique visitors from organic search to my sites

Extreme tracking

But yeah please note I have not used Extreme Tracking since 2006 hehe..

Overall what were some key take aways I can still use today?

1. Keyword Research is still highly important with any project.
2. Getting a brand-able domain name is still important.
3. Getting traffic from Google Image search is still important.
4. Do not use Extreme Tracking unless you have gone back in time to 2004.
5. Long tail traffic is still king, their is so much volume in the long tail.
6. Remember to network with like minded people to share SEO strategies and ideas, to this day I still connect with affiliates and people who can share information which is not found online.
7. Remember if some one gives you $200 you can still make $xx,XXX from it with SEO.

So overall I turned the $200 inheritance to over $xx,xxx from SEO. The site still lives on today from 2005 – 2013 and it still brings in a few bucks each month with ads, it still gets a few hundred visitors a day.

The only cost out side the $200 is your Time and determination, also please let note back in 2005 things were far easier with SEO compared to today!

The State of SEO in Australia

Some one asked me a question recently at an event, they said: “James if you were going to pick some one to do your SEO who would it be?”

Now I take a look at the Australian market and some of the strategies that companies are using, some of these strategies really do shock you, after some quick analysis you find poor quality SEO tactics such as the following been used:

1. Linking to the company website from 200 clients site with exact match terms such as “SEO” or “SEO + GEO”.
2. Using link networks where they link to clients and their own website.
3. Using a clients website and making pages on it to link to competitors.
4. Using any other dodgy link building methods which involve quick wins but no long term results.

Now the thing about the type of spam above is that it just creates projects where my company has to come in and fix up all the problems caused by this type of low quality work.

Now any one who has been in SEO for a long time knows you need to involve the following in today’s market.

1. Low use of direct anchor text targeting.
2. High quality links on related content pages.
3. Using effective content marketing methods to drive links/ traffic and sales ect ect.

Don’t get me wrong link building has changed and things have become far more difficult then the early days back in 2005 for example where most things worked with limited time and effort. Link building is far more advanced now, you need to involve a strategy which is long lasting and will provide long term results.

Now to answer the original question, who would I pick to do my SEO, I would probably go with a company in the US or UK who knows their stuff. Their are only a handful of Australian companies who know what they are doing and truly have invested interest in SEO.

Tips for selecting a company to do your SEO

selecting

Every time I go to business events, read online forums or use social sites, I always notice a raft of people who have been ripped off by a suspect online marketer or SEO, as I work in this industry I do not like to see people loose money. Now the problem with the SEO businesses is that many people get into the business because they see it as a fast way to make money with little knowledge, a common trend is you see a car dealer turned SEO, you see a magician turned SEO you see pretty much any one start to do SEO because they think they can learn it easily. This is simply not the case to be an effective SEO it takes years of training and years of learning different strategies. You may be able to pick up a few articles and learn the basis in a short period of time but learning more and more areas of SEO and Online Marketing takes time and testing.

As I have worked in SEO for 10 years, both in house and agency side I have seen my fair share of businesses and know a thing or two about selecting companies for work.

I have decided to write some points for businesses looking to use/ hire a new SEO company, it is best to ask these questions before signing on the dotted line. These questions could potentially save your business time, money and stop you from getting a Google penalty.

Ask questions to the company when you are seeking a new business to do your SEO!

1. Ask the SEO business for case studies related to your industry or related industries. If you work with companies who have worked in similar niches it can save every one time.
2. Ask for current or past client testimonials, from brands which have a name in the market or where you can physically call the business.
3. Check too see if their strategies lie in lines with the Google guidelines, ask questions based off the Google guidelines found here: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66356
If their strategies do not line up with Google’s start to think twice.
4. Ask some technical questions to the business, it could be something such as: What are your thoughts on hreflang? what are your thoughts on QDF? what are your thoughts on schema markup? do this over the phone or in person it is better to see how quickly they can respond.
5. Ask for the Top 5 on page and top 5 off pages strategies they will aim to use on the account.
6. If you feel you need to bring in some additional fire power ask a friend who works in IT to ask them some questions.
7. Look for passion, if you meet some one you can pick up if they are passionate about something, if they do not seem passionate and act like a drone then it may be a sign to look for another company.

Setting KPI’s with the new SEO business

You would want to set KPI’s for the SEO company, sure enough things are not going to happen over night so have specific goals for the next 3 months, 6 months, 12 months.

KPI’s can be things such as:

1. Increase in organic and branded SEO traffic.
2. Increase in conversions from organic traffic.
3. Increase in referral traffic as a result of link building.
4. Any other KPI’s such as face to face hours with the client.
5. Link building reports been sent each month – If the SEO company is not sending link building reports each month it is a sign that they are up to no good.
6. Month reports been sent each month.
7. Quarterly business reviews to check on progress.

Overall I hope these tips give you some good insight when picking a new SEO/ digital company to work with. In the end of the day it is about transparency and making sure you work with a business you can trust.

10 content marketing for SEO and a blog update

Hello every one, I hope you have been well. Firstly I just wanted to say thank you if you are reading my blog, sorry I have not been posting as much in recently times as I have been very busy consulting for a select group of clients I work with at my new company and also working on some new projects I am developing for the global market. That been said but I will aim to post some fresh new content on the blog in the coming weeks, I also have a few new themes I have recently purchased and will customize for this blog as the design is in store for a change soon.

Last week I attended my meetup which I run to give a presentation on Content Marketing examples which work for SEO. A good mate of mine Jamie Andrei https://twitter.com/jamieandrei also presented on Content Marketing.

Online Marketing Sydney
Online Marketing Sydney
Special thanks to dennis graham for the image: https://twitter.com/DennisGraham7

Also be sure to view the slides below:

12 Top Picks for SMX Sydney are you attending?

SMX-Sydney

Last year I was lucky enough to speak at SMX Sydney on the main stage to talk about the subject of Effective In-House SEO where I talked about my time working for Virgin Mobile as a lead SEO. This year I have decided to attend as a general guest. It is going to be interesting seeing the conference from a speakers point of view and then from an attendants point of view.

* For those who do not know I have also decided to set up my own consulting business and also work direct with a few select businesses and start ups via http://professionalseo.com.au

Now I have looked over the agenda for next Wednesday and Thursday and have picked out the speakers I will be seeing.

Day 1 – 3rd April

1. Optimising Humans! The Art of Data-Driven Social Marketing – Marty Weintraub (I have seen Marty present before in videos he is great, so this will be an interesting presentation.)
2. SEO Tools of the Trade – Andre Weyher (I know Andre quite well, I have actually interviewed him here on my blog and shared many beers with him over the last year, lets see what he has to say.)
3. eCommerce SEO, How to Avoid Common Pitfalls – Jon Quinton (I have read some of Jon’s SEO posts in the past, he seems to be quite decent, have never met the guy so we will see what he has on offer.)
4. Successful In-House SEO – Motoko Hunt (I presented on in-house SEO last year, so lets see what is on offer in 2013 from Motoko Hunt)
5. Google Webspam – What are they looking for? – Brian White (It will be interesting too see what Brian White has to say in his session, may have to ask a few questions)

Day 2 – 4th April

6. Behavioral Psychology Meets Web Marketing – Rand Fishkin (Been using SEOmoz for years, know Rand is capable of some great ideas so hope he pulls out the goodies for this presentation)
7. Conversion Rate Optimisation for SEOs – Richard Baxter (Have seen Richards posts on numerous sites in the past so it will be good too see what he has on offer.)
8. Advanced WordPress Optimisation & Security – Bastian Grimm (Have been told by a few European contacts at Bastian is the man to see in regards to WordPress optimisation, as I run like 30 sites on WordPress it will be worth seeing. So lets see what he has on offer.)
9. Programmatic Optimisation – Bill Hunt (Have been told that Bill Hunt is worth seeing as he has a wealth of knowledge on SEO so will be worth checking out from an in-house SEO point of view)
10. Ten Link Building Tools, How to use them to get links – Paddy Moogan (Paddy Moogan is well known for link building, and as I have been doing link building for 8+ years it will be good too see what he has to say.)
11. Link Building Post Penguin – Richard Baxter (Will be good too see what Richard has too say about link building.)
12. SEM + CRM = ROI Heaven – Mark Vozzo (Have seen mark present in the past, he knows his stuff. If you want to see a data driven and informative presentation, I advise you check out Mark Vozzo)

Two other speakrs I will try and see if time allows are also: Dejan Petrovic (Day 1) & Akiva Ben-ezra (Day 2) (both worth seeing in my eyes as they are very experienced SEO’s)

I will also be attending the following networking events:

* Pre-SMX Meet up – 2nd April – Sign up here: http://www.meetup.com/Sydney-SEO/events/104204182/

* SMX Sydney Networking Cruise – 3rd April

So yeah if you are at any of the above events, feel free to come up and have a chat about any thing SEO related or random things like what is good to do in Sydney.