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Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a beautiful thing. Search engine marketing (SEM) with PPC advertising has its place in most businesses, as well. Everyone has
Clickthrough services a range of small, medium and large brand and company websites and eCommerce web stores throughout Auckland, Wellington and NZ.
What is an SEO service?
A Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) service is normally provided by an SEO company, also known as an SEO agency.
If you Google “SEO Auckland” or “Auckland SEO services”, you will see a range of organic SEO service providers in the search engine results pages.
SEO is the process of helping a website and, if required, the local Google Maps listing of a business, rank better in the organic search engine results pages (SERPs).
The term “organic SEO” also gets referred to as “natural SEO” or “free SEO” rankings, in contrast to Google Ads, which is considered to be a “paid” form of search engine marketing (see next section).
What is Google Ads?
Google describes its Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords and Google AdWords Express) service as “an online advertising solution that businesses use to promote their products and services on Google Search, YouTube, and other sites across the web.
Google Ads is also referred to as search engine marketing (SEM), Pay Per Click (PPC) and Cost Per Click (CPC) marketing. Google Ads campaign types currently include:
- Search & Display Network campaigns
- Shopping campaign
- Video campaign
- App campaign
How quickly will it take to get SEO results?
We live in a would of instantaneous gratuity where everything needs to happen immediately, including results. However, we liken SEO to a marathon, more than a sprint, where you get results for continuous effort. Even AdWords takes ongoing nurturing.
Consider the following points before you decide if an organic search engine optimisation program is right for your business:
- Which search terms are you targeting? Are you operating in a highly competitive industry? Case in point, ranking for highly competitive search terms such as “SEO Auckland” takes a lot more effort than targeting lower volume, less competitive search terms such as “SEO services company in Auckland”.
- Over 70% of clicks from the search engines come from organic search, not paid search (AdWords). But like all important sales tools, it takes constant time and effort to get a website to the top of the organic search engine results pages and stay there.
- The days of using aggressive SEO tactics, such as keywords stuffing and buying excessive amounts of backlinks, are thankfully long gone. A modern SEO strategy requires regular amounts of excellent content, white hat link building and a focus on also improving the user experience (UX). Modern day search engine optimisation is a lot more labor intensive and costly to get right. Though the upside can be sensational.
- The constant updates by search engines like Google, also ensure search engine optimisation remains a marathon, a battle against the SEO elements, to stay ahead of the game. A challenge we thoroughly enjoy!
How to measure your SEO results?
With 80% of New Zealanders using a search engine before they buy, SEO is now established as a key tactic for generating results.
Here are a few tips to measure the effectiveness of your natural search program:
- The goal of an SEO program is to generates click throughs from a search engine to your website or eCommerce store. The user then has to decide if they want to make a purchase or contact you. As such, it is of vital importance that you also measure how well conversion related tactics are complimenting your SEO campaign. For example, heatmap tracking shows you what improvements need to be made to your web pages to convert more visitors from the search engines to sales.
- Tracking organic rankings is key, especially when you group them into similar terms (e.g. by area “Auckland city”, “Auckland North Shore” or service “SEO service”). Also benchmark your terms against competitors. Grouping similar terms allows you to pinpoint where your rankings are growing or in decline.
- Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Regular technical and onpage analysis of your SEO strategy is vital, especially when using open source CMS systems that can be buggy. So run an SEO audit of your strategy an a regular basis.
- Ensure you analyse the backlink profile of your website. Unfortunately, linkspam and negative SEO tactics are now the norm in New Zealand. And its your company that gets penalised, not your SEO services provider, so run your own diligence and keep an eye on metrics such as your SEO trust score and monitor for spikes in referring domains and backlinks.
Tips to select the best SEO & SEM Agency
Choosing the best SEO & Google Ads agency to match your needs is a critical yet complex decision. Read our blog article or the following to guide your decision making:
- Do you need an eCommerce SEO or Google Shopping specialist, or are you looking for an SEO agency to optimise your brand, local services or company website? Bear in mind, Search engine optimisation & PPC marketing has become very specialist.
- Do you need a large corporate SEO/SEM services provider, a boutique provider or a contract AdWords or SEO expert? Your decision should be guided by:
- the level of risk you want to take e.g. a contract SEO expert would be higher risk
- whether or not you want to be a key client e.g. most boutique providers don’t take on clients that compete
- if you want to be part of a diverse client portfolio e.g. a corporate SEO provider with a large client portfolio
- What are the primary SEO or Google Ads issues that need to be addressed and how these map to the competencies of the companies you are considering? For example, if your main requirement is for technical SEO services, then select an SEO agency that is strong in technical SEO.
- Does the SEO provider use a white hat SEO approach, do they outsource their SEO to an offshore provider that uses a more aggressive and risky approach?
- Can the agency walk the talk? For example, if you Google key local search terms like SEO Services Auckland or SEO Wellington, you will want to the SEO agencies website ranked at the top.
How much does SEO cost?
Search Engine Optimisation is dynamic with many moving parts that can be beyond the control of your SEO Agency (e.g. Google Updates), which makes pricing an SEO project quite tough. Nonetheless, here are a few tips to guide how much money you should spend on your organic search program and how to discern between the various SEO pricing options:
- Start by setting your program goals. Ask your search marketing partner to benchmark performance, then forecast your SEO & Google Ads goals for the next 12 months. An example goal may be to increase sales from SEO by 45%. Be sure to set short (e.g. 3 month), medium term (6 month) and long term goals that help you understand if the program is on track.
- When you set your SEO goals, ensure your SEO company takes into account market factors such as the competitiveness of the search terms you are targeting with a SWOT analytics of your key competitors. Also ensure they conduct a detailed SEO audit of your domain and provide you with an initial roadmap of SEO activities, with pricing.
- Once you’ve set your goals, ask your agency to propose a plan with pricing to achieve those goals. Also be sure to ask which SEO services are included in their budget and which services are additional. For example website copy writing, onpage implementation and listing fees.
- Finally, set aside a contingency budget for unforeseen changes in the market that may require additional SEO or Google Ads investment, such as Google Updates, new market entrants and incresed competitor activity.
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