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Mark McCrindle Research Helps SEO

Oftentimes, SEO is looked at in a vacuum, and a company does not take the time to look at industry trends. This is unfortunately a grave mistake. Viewing information provided by Mark McCrindle Research and other firms that focus on delivering actionable insights is an important part of a search engine optimisation campaign. How can a company select the appropriate search queries to target unless it first conducts proper research? Of course this is a rhetorical question, since the answer is ‘a business cannot make educated decisions without such knowledge’.

This type of research typically is not part of that involved during the keyword selection phase of a SEO campaign. Unfortunately, this is to the detriment of the organisation that fails to do its homework. Using data from Mark McCrindle Research or another agency can provide a significant competitive advantage over others in the industry. Therefore it is worthwhile to view the research provided Mark McCrindle and other smart individuals to assists with SEO efforts. Rather than simply diving into Google’s keyword research tool, first read a research report by Mark McCrindle that details key components of an industry before commencing the selection process. A business can then eliminate many keywords that are not suitable for a website. Frequently competitors unnecessarily target certain keywords they could avoid, but failed to take this initial step. Thus part of starting a search engine optimisation campaign is investigating key industry drivers beforehand. The smarter SEO companies know that this adds significant value and can assist in the process. Follow the guidance in this post to gain an edge over others whom do not conduct the proper research.


Best SEO Company Listings by Top SEOs

The Top SEO’s website claims to list independent rankings of the best SEO companies, but how independent is this list? Many people and businesses looking for an SEO company actually trust this website and might hire a firm based on their ‘independent rankings’ and listings. This is generally a grave mistake since the best SEO company listings are far from independent. Rather, the list is compiled of firms who pay the website to place consider them the best. Not a bad business model for Top SEO’s, but also not a legitimate means for anyone to decide on the best company to hire.

Using Google Australia type ‘best SEO company’ into the search box and hit enter. As indicated in the screenshot below it is easy to see why companies are willing to pay Top SEO’s money for their listings. The website holds positions #2, #3, and #4, for that particular query and dominates thus dominates the search page.

best seo company

The company listed #5 as the best SEO company would otherwise appear #2 if it were not for these three listings. Fortunately, one firm placed above them. However, this illustrates that those looking to hire any type of firm or purchase any product should practice caution when following listings of review oriented websites. This holds true since many websites, such as Top SEO, receive fairly decent compensation for listing a company as the best. Explore their website and you can find the information regarding payments received is disclosed. However, most individual researching, simply peruse the site and never end up reading that disclosure. Rather these visitors trust that the rankings are ‘independent’.

Simply use caution when looking at and set of search results. When visiting a website after typing a series of keywords it makes since to take a look at any biases associated with the site’s owners. Checking this can help all people, whether searching for the best SEO company or any other service. Do you know of any other examples of such sites? Please feel free to post them in the comments below.

Revised post and added the following copy on 12/06/2012:

I received a little flack for adding a link with the anchor text ‘best SEO company’ and pointing it to a specific company’s webpage. Thus I wanted to provide clarification as to the reason for such for adding such a reference (not that an explanation is needed).  The bottom line reason is that the link is illustrative of top the site referenced in the picture above. Should another site of held the #4 position then I would a used a reference to that URL instead. Those who consider my actions unfair, please comment below with reasons why it is unjustified.

I received a little flack for adding a link with the anchor text ‘best SEO company’ and pointing it to a specific company’s webpage. Thus I wanted to provide clarification as to the reason for adding such a reference (not that an explanation is needed).  The bottom line is that the link points to the site referenced in the picture above and falls just underneath’s website. Should another site of held the #5 position then I would a used a reference to that URL instead. Those who consider my actions unfair, please comment below with reasons why it is unjustified.

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International Search Engine Optimisation

There is an increasingly large distinction between search engine optimisation in a country such as Australia (notice the s in spelling) and SE Optimization (notice the z) in the United States. The difference is more dramatic amongst locales that speak different languages . The most common question I hear is whether it is worth obtaining a top level domain for the country one wishes to target. The short answer to this question is ‘yes’. However this only holds true if done properly. Otherwise, especially for company’s based in the United States, it is smarter and easier to focus solely on the .com extension.

Now what constitutes using a country’s domain extension properly? First, if similar content is hosted on another country’s TLD then using another extension is a best practice. Additionally, it makes certain that the site is truly targeted to the appropriate region.

A benefit of using the appropriate TLD is that websites with the same country extension tend to include links that point other website within the same county more frequently. This is provides a nice boost for search engine optimisation purposes. As an example, if a web property is designed for Australians then it makes sense that numerous other domains with a extension generally prefer pointing to another For example a blog post about SEO on a U.S. website such as this one is more likely to reference another U.S. website. However, a blog post on an Australian search engine optimisation site is more likely to point to the landing page of a company that provides SEO in Australia. These are all reasons that an international domain name makes sense for numerous companies.

An interesting way to test and see what search results look like in another country is to visit or .country extension here. Sometimes this will resolve to a different country extension based on the computer’s location. To avoid this simply type into the browser’s URL bar, press enter, and then go to the appropriate Google site for that particular country.

One thing that is quickly noticeable using the technique above is that when visiting there are many more search results with the .au extension then the .com extension. Thus it is fairly easy to realise that in some way shape or form the fact that these domains use .au helps them to obtain higher search results in Google Australia. Certainly Agilis Marketing does not want to turn away any business, but there are certainly times when it makes sense to deal with a local SEO company. This is especially true if the website is local only in nature. Thus a flower shop in Sydney has little reason to hire a Virginia Beach online marketing firm – unless the shop has global expansion plans. Likewise, the converse also holds true. During such instances finding a trusted partner company is key; The Web Showroom in Surry Hills, Australia is one such company for those in need of local search engine optimisation only. Otherwise, Agilis Marketing has no reason to refer you elsewhere :) ! Similarly, this Australian SEO company would also possess little reason to refer a company someplace else in the reverse situation.

Hopefully, this post provides a little extra insight on factors to consider when deciding on the proper way to setup an international SEO campaign. Additionally, using is a little known, but valuable way to gain insight onto how search results look in various countries without the need to physically travel to that locale.

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Is SEO for a Website in Sydney Australia Different?

Please accept my apologies for the long delay between posts to all those who are loyal subscribers to the Agilis Marketing Blog. I wanted to explore if SEO for a website in Sydney, Australia is much different than that in the United States. As an individual residing here, it seems reasonable that I can offer more meaningful insights than anyone whom has never actually encountered the differences. Thus I wanted to touch on a few key differences that I noticed right off the bat between the two geographies and that also are include insights to consider with any type of international SEO initiatives. These are possibly quite obvious to some people, but are much more apparent after living and working in both geographies. After dealing with multiple businesses, web design companies, and others involved in the process there are definitely noticeable differences.

1.) SEO for a website in Sydney, Australia is much less competitive.

The volume of searches in the Sydney region and for that matter all of all Australia is much smaller compared to major regions and the United States as a whole. Of course this fact does not mean that SEO for a website in Sydney is less competitive than the U.S. Actually, certain areas are more competitive since there are more firms competing for a smaller segment. A perfect example of this is the website design industry. There are numerous web businesses located in the CBD and a finite number of companies with offices in this location. Thus the phrase ‘website design Sydney’ is fiercely competitive as numerous outfits all vie for top rankings in the SERPs for this query. This illustrates a situation that is an outlier, generally the search phrases are much less competitive in Australia.

However, since the search volume is lower it does impact marketers’ perceptions on the perceived benefits of investing in SEO rather than other mediums. Hence, companies may elect other forms of marketing than search engine optimisation as a means to grow revenues as the benefit gained from these efforts is falsely viewed as minor. As a result, these companies never enter the arena and it creates less completion for the ones that use this form of online marketing. This results in enormous opportunities for companies whom understand this concept, and diminishes them for ones that do not.

2.) Cost structures for performing SEO and all website design work are much different.

Australian labor is generally much more costly than that in the United States. The differences in minimum wage laws combined with compulsory time off for full time employees makes operating any business, including an SEO firm, much more costly in absolute dollars. This can create a more difficult environment for companies to pay for a search marketing company, the associate website design modifications, and also for an online marketing company to provide its services at price points that make sense to businesses.

3.) Search engine optimisation is a growing industry in Sydney.

Despite the hurdles imposed by the different cost structures mentioned, the fact that Sydney is a much less competitive arena to obtain top rankings utilising SEO techniques tends to far outweigh the former, especially when dealing with well run organizations that grasp this concept. Once can attribute this to the fact that even thought the costs are generally higher compared to the United States, all business operating in Sydney successfully need to deal with the higher expenses and it thus creates a level playing field in this regard.

4.) Google has clear website guidelines for optimising multilingual sites.

This point is arguable depending upon the definition of ‘clear’ and the constant changes Google makes. That caveat aside, Google does provide best practices that include implementation examples. One reason for such is to avoid potential duplicate content penalties. Another purpose is to ensure that the most relevant results for geography appear in the search results. A brief example of the later is the specifically suggested html encoding to different Australian English sites from ones that use United States English. Notice the usage of ‘optimisation’ rather than ‘optimization’ in this post as an example of the distinction between the two variations of the English languages. Commonly, ‘z’ is replaced by ‘s’ in Australian English.

The key takeaway is that SEO in Sydney, Australia is different from that in the United States of America. Understanding these differences is what is important in order to successfully implement and manage a SEM campaign. This holds true for search engine optimisation across all international regions even though these two locales are used as examples. Large and small companies can benefit from a keen grasp of these differentials. An established company or one that intends to create a multinational presence inherently needs more assistance in navigating the distinctions. However, business operating solely in Sydney also benefit drastically by understanding the best SEO techniques to implement in their geography.


Updated Case Study: Virginia Divorce Lawyers

This is an SEO case study that provides supports and provides updates to the original Virginia Divorce Lawyer entry from this blog in May of 2009. Now as predicted correctly in the posting the website is no longer in the Google penalty box and is appearing at the top of searches for law related terms. View SEO for Lawyers to discover more information on services tailored to law practices.

As mentioned in 2009, only the homepage started to display a Page Rank at that time, but such is no longer the case. The majority of pages possess a PR 2 or higher, the blog possesses the same Page Rank as the homepage and its entries also appear prominently in Google’s blog search. A general search for Virginia divorce lawyer shows the website on the first page of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, with top five placements in the latter two, along with noticeable and likely future moves up the ladder evidenced by an allinanchor search.

Now what are a few of the techniques that allowed this particular internet property to go from nowhere to the first page? The same steps and general properties as any SEM campaign plus a ‘trick’ that often helps with achieving such is what allowed the VA law site to reach these top search positions. Review this blog for more details but it essentially component one: strong on-page optimization of the source code coupled with part two: relevant external references to the lawyer internet location.

The ‘trick’ that assisted with the second piece of the puzzle is a variant of viral marketing. Type ‘legal blog template’ into Yahoo and notice that the website is in the number one and two positions. I created and then gave away a WordPress theme that lawyers can use to help build a website with a reference to this Virginia lawyers website built into the template. It provides an excellent tool for the community, while simultaneously assisting with the second component of the search engine marketing campaign.


Brent Yorzinski: Personal Reputation Management

Can anyone reading this honestly say they never search for information on an individual by typing their name into Google or another search engine? I, Brent Yorzinski, most certainly cannot make such an assertion. However, what about an individual’s personal reputation is truly revealed by simply typing in a name? The mere fact that this post appears in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), when typing ‘Brent Yorzinski’ is proof that name optimization, personal reputation management, or whatever catch phrase one utilizes is a form of SEO and that if desired an individual can use such strategies to create any type of online reputation desired. Those reading this on the same date it is published please bear in mind that reputation management, as any type of SEM takes time, thus this page might not appear on the major search engines for a couple weeks up to a few months. However, rest assured that within that timeframe or shortly thereafter, whenever an individual looks for Brent Yorzinski this article will appear as one of the top ten listings.

Now why will this particular posting show up when someone looks for details on Brent Yorzinski? Personal reputation management, as mentioned, is simply another form of search engine marketing and follows the same tried, true, and trusted principals as all forms. Certain companies supposedly specialize in managing individuals’ online reputations, but this is nothing more than a niche industry in the SEO market that generally overcharges and unfortunately caters to the average Joe, who understandably does not know details about the processes involved. Essentially, for this page to appear when Brent Yorzinski is typed into Google, there are two primary components generally required for that to happen.

The first piece is the content and usage of text within the page itself. Notice the careful usage of the name Brent Yorzinski throughout this piece. It is vital to point out strategic usage of the name since even though it is included multiple times certainly each sentence does not contain the name. Additionally, personal reputation management is another phrase utilized throughout the text and thus perhaps this page might appear in the SERPs for that phrase as well. The other component involves references from other websites. Ideally references should connect directly to this post with the anchor text: Brent Yorzinski. These references should follow Google’s general guidelines and appear on reputable sources throughout the internet.

Perhaps this post could induce Agilis Marketing to start assisting individuals looking for personal reputation management services as it will prove a clear cut example of its effectiveness. Either way the takeaway remains the same; managing one’s online reputation is no different than any other form of online marketing or SEO, careful usage of the proper words such as Brent Yorzinski and references from other internet properties will help ensure this is a page people see when the referenced name is entered into a search engine.

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EBay Determines Next SEO Client

Recently Agilis Marketing underwent quite a few changes in order to better serve its customers. At this juncture, the company is now a boutique SEO shop that caters to a maximum of a few additional clients per month with the larger portion of the emphasis focused to help grow existing clients’ businesses. As existing clients know this is not a departure from the current strategy, but it seemed worthwhile to place a blog post highlighting such in part to help prevent companies and individuals whom are looking for a onetime solution that such a large portion of search engine optimization purport to provide. SEM is an ongoing process and Agilis Marketing is focused on investing its time with clients whom understand this. Anecdotal evidence clearly illustrates this is the best for all parties involved.

Keeping that strategy in mind provided the idea of utilizing EBay to determine Agilis Marketing’s next client. Usage of the auction site to select a client is likely a onetime event, but it seemed like a unique way to for an established marketing company to choose its next client and an equally appealing venue for customers to select an SEO provider.

Please bid @ EBay by clicking the following link:

What does my company receive if it wins?

At first glance this might appear to contradict the vision stated at the start of this posting, but as prospective customers will notice this is not the case after looking at what is included:

  • Essentially a complete SEO starter kit for a potential long term client and provider relationship.
  • Up to 40 hours of marketing consulting on a new or existing web property.
  • Extensive keyword research, trends, and analytics, and a suggested focus based upon such.
  • Contextual references from other internet properties that point to the clients’ website.
  • Structuring of the website to include an appropriately optimized hierarchy.
  • Individual coding of web pages to ensure compliance with Agilis Marketing’s SEM standards

As likely already noticed, bidding starts at $500, the company does not mind taking a few thousand dollar hit if the bids do not reach a breakeven point, but it is unfair to existing customers if there is little interest in the auction and a company receives all that included for twelve cents :) .

As mentioned please submit all bids must go through EBay by clicking the following link:

Please note that Agilis Marketing will spend a maximum of 40 hours for all the above; do not expect coding of over 1,000 static pages – if such is desired contact Agilis Marketing first or ask a question in the comment section below. Clients with larger websites are welcome to bid, but there is no such thing as a free lunch, thus please describe the projects objectives and we can arrange an appropriate premium for additional services. Please note that the company’s one new client for this month is determined through this eBay Auction thus it is still necessary to bid for the basic package.

Thanks in advance to all those whom elect to participate and best of luck bidding on the SEO campaign!

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Online Reputation Management Industry

First mentioned on this blog in July of 2009 and revisited in May of 2010, online reputation management as predicted is turning into a key growth niche in the SEM industry. Please take a look at the image included in this post from Google Trends for online reputation search volume. Notice that it barely existed in 2007, 2008 to 2009 saw firms entering the market and in 2010 there is small but nice uptick. Expect to see the chart move exponentially in the future, as reputation management on the internet is still in its infancy.

google trends online reputation

When typing ‘Online Reputation Management’ into Google there are now a host of firms specifically targeting this area; obviously some with more expertise than others. SEO and SEM companies are somewhat behind the eight ball on this trend and rather traditional marketing are dominating the rankings despite the fact that the majority of these firms do not possess nearly the same expertise and experience required as the key players in the internet marketing industry. Agilis Marketing intends to change that.

Expect to start seeing Agilis Marketing in the top search listings for these associated terms in the near future. It is somewhat disheartening to see all these newly formed companies or subsidiaries touting services in which they possess little expertise. That is one reason I am now committing, focusing, and positioning my firm to become the leader in this arena. Customers deserve a higher level of knowledge by service providers and Agilis Marketing is going to deliver. Please help us in making advances in this industry by referencing this posting or contacting my company to discuss how we can assist you or your company in achieving an excellent online reputation in the SERPS and other places throughout the internet.

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