What’s the first thought that comes to mind when I say Search Engine Optimisation? Let me guess … is it “Frustration?” “Waste of time and money?” “Pain?” Do you get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach at the mention of this geeky acronym!? Well, however you feel about SEO, it’s critical to your website’s and business’s success. And today I have all your SEO questions answered by one of the world’s leading experts on this very dark art.
Dana is President & Partner at Kick Point, where she applies marketing into strategies to grow clients’ businesses, in particular, to ensure that digital and traditional play well together. With her deep experience in digital, Dana can separate real solutions from wastes of time (and budget).
Now, let me guess … If you’re like most small business owners, you’ve spent plenty of time and money on getting your website live. There was probably tears involved, pulling out of hair and just sheer frustration as you found someone to design it, build it, populate it with words, pictures and videos (that you had to create) … and then finally you screamed at your webmaster “I can’t do it anymore … just hit the big green button and send it live!”
At that point, you heaved a big sigh of relief, knowing your work there was done and you could get on with much more pressing business matters like attracting great people, calling in outstanding debt and deciding which coffee machine to get for the staff kitchen.
But here’s the thing …
Whilst having a website is important for any business … getting it live is simply the start of an ongoing process. You see, your website is a needle in a gigantic haystack called the Internet, and your next (and ongoing) challenge is to ensure it gets found by the right people who are ready to buy.
And that’s where SEO (AKA search engine optimisation) steps in … a dark art for most small business owners who either don’t understand it are frustrated by it, have spent money hand over fist getting others to implement it for them or … all of the above.
Well, I’m putting a stop to that here and now. Get your SEO right and your website can all of a sudden become an enquiry-generating, money-making machine. And who better to help us do that than Dana DiTomaso who I was kindly introduced to by past guest and SEO legend Rand Fishkin, who was the founder of MOZ, one of the world’s leading SEO agencies.
With Rand no longer operating in the SEO space, I emailed him a few weeks ago asking who I should chat to get an update on SEO tactics for small business owners as we head into 2019.
His immediate response was Dana, a Partner of the Canadian-based digital marketing agency Kick Point.
Now, when Rand Fishkin recommends someone, there really is no need to look elsewhere … so I emailed Dana asking her to appear on the show, and she immediately came back with a “Hell yeah!”
I then sent a simple email out to my list asking you, my precious listeners, for your most pressing SEO questions. And boy oh boy, was I inundated.
So, thanks for your responses, your questions have formed the basis of this and next week’s episodes.
Your SEO questions that Dana DiTomaso answers in Part 1 of this two-part SEO series are:
What is and what isn’t SEO?
And is it completely pointless if your website is poorly designed and populated?
How does Google work?
How do we stay up-to-speed on what Google wants?
Dana then overviews some basic fundamentals to get right:
Ensure the basics are handled eg. Title tags, load times, image labeling etc
Mel of Chocolate Beige Designs:
Is SEO really worth the effort or would our time and money be better spent investing in social media, and instigating conversations on social platforms with potential customers?
How can we best use blogging for SEO purposes?
Emily Keown of A Box Full of Matches:
How do you ensure your SEO efforts bring quality clients not a quantity of bad clients?
Jason Naylor of We Do Photography:
How do we use Schema (rich markup) on our website, and what’s the best use of it? Especially for a photographer (is it listacles^, is it reviews, is it something else?).
^A listicale is a short-form of writing that uses a list as its thematic structure, but is fleshed out with sufficient copy to be published as an article
Luke Krestensen of iCprint:
Why do so many SEO companies promise results and deliver nothing?
Kirrilie Smout of Developing Minds:
How do you find an expert who will work by the hour, and be prepared to teach you – rather than complex packages which tie you up with commissions and then they own all your adverts etc…!
Maree Harris of People Empowered:
What do I look for when choosing an SEO expert?
Sam Hemphill of Meeum:
What constitutes duplicate content?
Arn Betteridge of SignatureClothing.com.au:
Would love your guest to give a list of the ranking factors they see as important.
What are the main ways Google displays search results?
Eg. Featured snippets, product listing results, image carousels, answer boxes etc.
Anna Smyth of Solihah Designs:
What can a small business do from an SEO standpoint when faced with competition from multi-billion dollar companies with huge SEO budgets?
Matthew White of Ergoflex:
Forgetting one moment about the specifics of SEO, how much money should you really pay an agency or person each month?
Fairina Cheng (Jewellery):
What’s the best way to find topics to cover that will actually lead to people taking a valuable action on my site after reading the content (e.g. make a purchase, book a call, encourage further exploration of the site)?
I’ve written an article that brings organic traffic to my website. However it’s on a very general topic (the difference between 9ct and 18ct gold) rather than appealing to my specific audience (people who want untraditional custom jewellery). It’s one of the top most visited pages on my site, however people bounce off the page without exploring further once they have the info. I’d like to be able to replicate that but for a topic that will actually make them want to explore my site further!
Julie Ryburn of MoneyQuest:
How often should content be updated to assist in Google rankings? And does the quality of images have an impact?
Nicky Grummitt of Gfence:
I have a web developer in my team. What do I ask them to do? How do I know it’s working?
Sean Gannon of Lumosia:
Are there some ‘go to’ websites to get ‘easy’ backlinks for our content to start to get backlink traction?
Is a link on a social media platform considered a backlink?
Dan French of French Enviro:
How do we use SEO and keywords to best test ideas and offers?
DANA DITOMASO INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION
I want to start off by asking you what is and what isn’t SEO?
I think it’s probably easier to start with what it does not because SEO over the years I’ve been working in this field for 18 years now SEO has really grown from being really specific technical and content changes made to a website so you improve your rankings and Google and now it is everything that encompasses so many different aspects of online marketing…
Click Here to Download Full Transcription
— Timbo ? (@TimboReid) November 22, 2018
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