Archive for Australia SEO

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 topseos.com’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 .com.au extension generally prefer pointing to another .com.au. 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 google.com.au or .country extension here. Sometimes this will resolve to a different country extension based on the computer’s location. To avoid this simply type google.com/ncr 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 google.com.au 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 google.com/ncr 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.

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