SEO Services Company NZ Clickthrough Wed, 13 Jan 2021 02:46:40 +0000 en-NZ hourly 1 SEO Services Company NZ 180 180 Website Performance: Discover A Lighthouse At The End Of The Tunnel Tue, 8 Feb 2022 1:51:00 UTC Website Performance: Discover A Lighthouse At The End Of The Tunnel
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Remember the days when you could build a website and the mantra was, "If you build it, they will come?"

Well, those days are long gone! Nowadays, building a website and filling it with helpful information is not enough to ensure your website can be found by your customers and clients. While content is indeed King, the performance, accessibility, SEO and quality of your website is definitely Queen. There has to be a way to audit your website - and the Chrome DevTool Lighthouse is it!

What is Lighthouse?

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. It can be used to analyse and give a full report on what slows down your pages as well as tips on how to fix these problems.

Lighthouse generates reports that notifies users about performance issues or flaws with their site such as accessibility, correctness and more. Lighthouse runs audits against any public website which makes it easier than having someone manually audit your site's content making Lighthouse great for SEO purposes. 

How Can Lighthouse Help Me?

Lighthouse is a way for businesses to make sure that their websites are running optimally. Lighthouse allows you to identify issues with your website and fix them before you or your competitors notice. Lighthouse analyses three main areas:

  • Performance
  • Quality
  • Correctness

It does this by running tasks that assess your website to see if it performs well, is accessible and user-friendly for all, and that everything on the site is up to date.

Lighthouse analyses various elements of a page such as the DOM tree, network requests, resource timing and more. It runs every task in three different ways:

  • Lighthouse runs tasks as a real user would, taking into consideration common device performance and accessibility issues.
  • Lighthouse runs tasks with three popular JavaScript libraries to simulate the common browser APIs that your site may be using.
  • Lighthouse can run on your local machine, or you can run it over an existing website.

How Do I Run Lighthouse Over An Existing Website?

In order to run Lighthouse over an existing website, it need to be added as a Chrome extension that you can download here:

This Chrome extension will always be the latest version and is updated around every six weeks so having the Lighthouse Chrome extension installed is always the best option. 

How Do I Use Lighthouse?

If you choose not to use the Chrome extension you can also use Lighthouse by opening up your Chrome browser and going to the Lighthouse website at:

Once Lighthouse has loaded, all you need to do is click on "perform an audit", choose your settings and Lighthouse will give you a report with any issues it finds during its analysis of your site. 

Why Do I Need To Know How My Website Is Performing?

As mentioned earlier, in the golden days of early internet, businesses could build a website and expect it to generate traffic all by itself, however these times are well and truly over.

Competitiveness and the sheer number of businesses competing for pole position within the search engines means that in order to remain at the top, your website needs to be fast and appealing.

According to research conducted by Lighthouse, 50% of people abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Lighthouse also found that on average a modern mobile website will take 2 seconds just to blink before rendering!

So how do you compete? How do you ensure that your website can be found online? The answer to both of these questions is: optimisation.

How Can Lighthouse Help With SEO?

Lighthouse reports allow you to keep track of all of your website's performance metrics which means you can always see a history of how a page has been performing.

This means that Lighthouse can help with SEO by allowing you to track a page's ranking over time and create a graph, Lighthouse calls it the "waterfall".

The Lighthouse waterfall is important because it allows you to keep an eye on your site's performance history which, in turn, allows you for example to figure out the impact of a site redesign on your pages' ranking.

Lighthouse has also been used by some companies as a way to check whether or not competitors are following their best practice guidelines and thus discover any errors that their competitors may be making.

Lighthouse can not only help you analyse your own website, but it can help you become a better competitor online.

What's The Big Deal With Accessibility?

Accessibility is one of the most important aspects of website design, yet it is often overlooked. This is a shame, because making your website accessible to everyone has many benefits, both for your visitors and for your business. 

What Is Accessibility?

Accessibility is the idea that your website should be usable by everyone, regardless of their needs or ability. There are many different types of disabilities, which can affect people in a variety of ways. When you design and develop your website, you need to keep these users in mind at all times.

Why Is Accessibility Important?

Everyone should be able to use the internet, not matter their circumstances. Accessibility is important because it will allow people with disabilities, or health conditions that affect how they access websites, to be able to follow what’s happening online.

From a business perspective, it makes sense too. After all, just because a person has a disability, it doesn't mean they don't want to spend money online!

Lighthouse audits a site on all of its major pages and alerts you to any errors that may affect a user’s experience. Lighthouse runs all its audits in a completely separate process from the Lighthouse client app, so if there are any accessibility issues they won’t impact your site score. 

What If This All Sounds Like Gobbledegook?

Then you've come to the right place! Here at we're masters at making sense of the gobbledegook! We can make even the most confusing online processes look like child's play!

With an expert team of digital marketing consultants, we specialise in all things digital and have an aim to help all New Zealand businesses grow through sound search engine marketing practices and education.

What's more, we're more than happy to answer any questions you may have about Lighthouse and provide you with a performance audit of your website based on Lighthouse data and our own successful proprietary algorithms. 

Lighthouse: In A Nutshell

Lighthouse can be set up in such a way that there is no excuse not to use it, making it a very simple and effective tool for any business to use. It should be considered an essential part of your website arsenal

Lighthouse makes sure you know exactly what needs to be fixed in order to create the best possible experience for your visitors.

However, gathering and analysing the data is one thing; making sense of it all and being able to take action is another..... and that's what we do best!

Contact our friendly experts with any questions and discover what we can do for you and your business today!

Getting Familiar With Google Optimize Sun, 26 Sep 2021 9:06:00 UTC as a whole

They provided Google Optimize and Optimize 360 for free in 2017 and made it easy for businesses to grow simply by focusing on the customers they wanted to target. Yet, not everyone is aware of what Optimize is or what it can do for their business. You can learn all that information and more below.]]>
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In recent years, Google has pulled out all the stops to make sure everyday small and large business owners can optimise and tailor their sites to specific internet users rather than users as a whole.

They provided Google Optimize and Optimize 360 for free in 2017 and made it easy for businesses to grow simply by focusing on the customers they wanted to target. Yet, not everyone is aware of what Optimize is or what it can do for their business. You can learn all that information and more below.

What is Google Optimize?

Google Optimize is a tool for site testing and personalisation that allows you to make test site changes without complex development cycles and development teams. It has also been built on top of Google Analytics, which provides you with further site-enhancing options and site metrics.

This tool can be a game-changer for businesses trying to deliver a personalised experience without understanding what works and what doesn’t. You can identify the different features that customers are enjoying and those that aren’t working in a real-world environment for key target audiences.

For a more detailed understanding of Google Optimise, attend one of our training courses in SEO or Analytics

Google Optimize Features

Engagement is the key goal for any business in the digital sphere trying to grow its customer base. Therefore, you can expect Optimize to offer a variety of features to help with this very goal.

Testing & Personalisation

Not all business owners will get it right the first time, so Optimize allows you to test, test, and test again until you get results. They offer many ways to do this, such as A/B and A/B/n testing, multivariate testing, split URL testing, server-side experiments, and site personalisation.

With A/B and A/B/n testing, you can test multiple versions of the same page on your website to see which one works best for your users. Multivariate testing goes more in-depth, allowing you to test elements within a page.

If you’re unsure how well separate pages are doing compared to each other, you can make use of split URL testing or redirect testing, which allows you to test individual pages against each other with different URLs.

More advanced Optimize users might look at server-side experiments to deploy variants on their own systems, then use Optimize to view reports and compare results.

Finally, testing and personalisation features of Optimize also include personalised experiences. You can use these various forms of testing above to build a custom targeted site from the ground up or launch a site version were able to test with success.

Visual Editing

With diagnostics and a responsive editing tool, you can use Optimize to create new page variants and personalise them to see which performs the best. You can do all of this without having to recode your site each time.

Customisation Options

After extensive research, you likely know who your target market is and how they browse the internet. Use this information to your advantage with Optimize’s customisation tools. You can customise your site based on device, operating system, and browser and even reach visitors based on their shopping behaviours and geographic locations.


One of the primary reasons for testing various pages and site elements is to find out what’s working and what isn’t. Optimize offers a reporting feature so you can see how your experiments performed in the real world.

With this feature, you can review a summary of your experiment, overviews of improvements, objective details, and more.


You likely have an objective with any site change you make, so it’s only natural for Google Optimize to offer both system and custom objectives on which to build your experiments. You can also set your goals from Google Analytics as objectives in Optimize.


One of the most convenient things about Optimize is how seamlessly it integrates with other tools you use to manage your site engagement. You can use all your customer insights to make informed decisions about site changes by integrating Analytics, Google BigQuery, Firebase, Google Ads, and AMP.

How Does SEO Work With Google Optimize?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves improving both the quantity and quality of traffic to your site or web page from search engines like Google. This traffic tends to be organic, resulting from site changes and optimisation over time, such as keywords, metadata, and linking.

As many people optimise and refine their sites using tools like Google Analytics and Google Ads, you can experience a harmonious relationship when you sign up for Optimize. Remember, one of the many highlights of Optimize is that you can integrate it with other Google tools.

As a result, any of the objectives and goals you worked toward on Google Analytics can be built on in Google Optimize. If you’re unsure how to integrate Optimize into your current SEO strategy, contact SEO experts in Auckland to walk you through it.

Is Google Optimize Right for Me?

Google Optimize might be right for you if you want to:

  • Identify which parts of your site require improvement
  • Make text and image changes to test what works the best
  • Tailor experiences to your customers without building new sites
  • Test different site variations
  • Engage with your customers

Now might be the right time to delve into your site testing options to see how you can create a better user experience for your target audience.

The Need for Speed - Why Fast Websites Are Crucial in 2021 and Beyond Tue, 24 Aug 2021 21:54:00 UTC
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Think about how many times you’ve exited out of a website because it didn’t provide a user-friendly experience. It might have had poor loading time or didn’t function properly on your desktop or mobile device. 

Rather than wait for it to load with the patience of someone familiar with dial-up internet, you likely looked elsewhere for the information, products, and services you required. After all, your time is precious, and that particular business is probably not the only one offering what you need. 

Understanding your own behaviour can help you predict the behaviours of your customers, as well. If you don’t prioritise page speed, you aren’t prioritising business success. Now might be the right time to start focusing on your load speed, understanding why it matters and ensuring it meets your customers’ expectations.

It Creates An Overall Better User Experience

As previously mentioned, page loading speed plays an integral part in a positive or negative user experience. If pages load too slowly, you’re at risk of losing a potential paying customer. In contrast, a fast-loading site can lead to better engagement and possibly even increased sales.

So, how do you define a ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ site? If your site loads in under 1.7 seconds, it’s going to be faster than approximately 75 percent of other sites. Total loading in 2.9 seconds means your site is around 50 percent faster than others, and loading in five seconds makes it slower than approximately 75% of other websites. 

Studies performed by Amazon found that for every 100 milliseconds of improved load time, they saw a one percent increase in revenue. Google also discovered that if internet users have a negative experience on your mobile site, they’re 62 percent less likely to purchase from you. 

Google Sees Page Experience As Important, Too…

In June 2021, Google announced that it would be rolling out Page Experience signals as important ranking factors. These came into effect from mid-June and would impact how visible sites would be on search engines based on how well they helped users find what they were looking for. 

The two most important ranking factors to feature in this new update were core web vitals and mobile friendliness. Core web vitals consist of interactivity, visual stability, and, most importantly, mobile page loading performance.

Mobile Page Speed is an SEO Ranking Factor

Even though your core focus is on making sure your customers have a memorable purchasing experience, search engine optimisation can be another crucial reason why addressing slow page loading can be important.

In 2018, Google made mobile page speed a ranking and indexing factor. Traditionally, Google used to crawl, index, and rank desktop versions of your site, but switching to mobile was able to provide better results for internet users.

At the time when mobile page speed became a ranking factor, mobile sites had an average load speed of around 15 seconds. Since more than half of site visitors would leave if loading took more than three seconds, this update made it crucial for business owners to address their site speeds.

FYI, you can learn more about how to improve your site speed on one of our SEO courses

How to Check Your Load Speed

It’s all well and good to identify loading speed as imperative for a positive customer experience and SEO purposes, but how are you supposed to know if your site is fast enough? Google provides a Landing Page evaluation tool, and you can also seek help from digital marketing or local website design Auckland experts. 

On the Landing Pages page, you can identify which pages require improvement, check mobile friendliness, and determine the conversion tracking compatibility rate for your landing pages. 

1. Sign in to your Google Ads account and click ‘Landing Pages’ on the page menu.

2. Identify pages that aren’t optimized for mobile by checking the ‘Valid AMP click rate’ and ‘mobile-friendly click rate’ columns. They will appear as less than 100% if they aren’t mobile-friendly.

3. Review the ‘conv. tracking compatibility’ rate to determine which pages are correctly configured for conversion tracking.

4. Click ‘view expanded landing page’ to see landing page URLs for each page.

5. Click ‘test’ in the ‘mobile-friendly click rate’ column to use the Google mobile-friendly test.

6. Click ‘test’ in the ‘valid AMP click rate’ column to use the AMP validator test 

You can also see which pages were interacted with the most by checking the clickthrough rate and impressions columns. From here, you can filter the most valuable data for your needs. 

How to Make Your Mobile Website Load Faster

Due to loading speed’s importance for your online presence, it’s crucial to identify the best ways to make a noticeable difference. SEO experts can be your first port of call since they have access to a broad range of tools to optimise both desktop and mobile websites. 

However, there are also other small changes you can make, such as:

  • Using compressed images
  • Keeping redirects to a minimum
  • Creating clean design
  • Relying on Google AMP
  • Turning browser caching on
  • Prioritising mobile SEO

It’s Time to Improve Your Website Loading Speed

With improved customer engagement, potential for increased sales, and vastly better ranking opportunities, there’s every reason to start focusing on your loading speed without delay. 

Soon enough, being at that 15-second average mobile loading time may start to impact your online business reputation. Take the time to review your current page speeds and decide whether you’re ready to take action.  

A Basic Guide to Google Web Stories 2021 Mon, 28 Jun 2021 2:56:00 UTC
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You may have noticed that your favourite social media platforms are jumping on the story bandwagon in recent years. You can tap your screen multiple times and enjoy an immersive story experience that entertains and informs at the same time. 

Google is no different. In 2018, they announced the release of AMP Stories, which were powered by AMP technology. However, in 2020, they rebranded AMP Stories as Web Stories. Now, many innovative companies are incorporating them into their everyday marketing.

If after reading this article you are still not sure what Web Stories are, then consider attending our SEO courses

What Are Google Web Stories?

If you’ve got something important to say and you want to shout it from the rooftops, Google Web Stories are how you can do it. Google describes them as being “visual stories that feel like yours, because they are”. Essentially, they are full-screen experiences that offer complete immersion for customers and viewers. 

Each panel of a Google Web Story can include videos, graphics, and other fun features that allow you to create a story that is unique to your business. 

Unlike Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms, Google Web stories are also not limited to Google as a platform. Instead, you can host them on your own website. 

You can also incorporate calls to action, Google AdWords, and even links to provide your customers with everything they need to take action during and after they have seen your story.

How to Create Your Own Google Web Stories

The last decade has been an exciting time for new marketing techniques. We’ve learned about the importance of having websites, using best SEO practices, and being present on social media. Therefore, it’s only natural that you’ll be looking at your options surrounding Google Web Stories. 

As you may know, planning makes perfect. Before you jump right into creating your story, plan it out first. Remember, these stories consist of multiple panels with graphics, links, videos, and CTAs. By planning how you want your story to look, you can streamline the process for your web story creation. 

Having a coding engineer in your marketing team is going to put you on the path to success with your Google Web Stories. They can build your story from scratch while making it unique to your business. 

However, even if you do not have a coding engineer to help with this code-dense marketing technique, you’re not without choices. Below, we will run through a few ideal Google Web Stories creator tools. 

WordPress Plugin

WordPress is the most popular content management system globally, with around 75 million websites using it to produce standout website designs. With so many people using this CMS, it’s not out of the question for WordPress to offer a plug-in to assist with your Google Web Stories. 

This plug-in is an editor within your WordPress platform that allows you to utilise page templates without having to design them from scratch yourself. You can also gain access to WP’s media library and customise the colours and text styles of your story. 

Make Stories

Almost as popular as the WordPress plug-in is Make Stories. This is a code-free piece of software with easy-to-use drag and drop features to create a unique Google Web Story. There are dozens of different elements to use and full support for a variety of platforms like WordPress, widget embedding, and more. 

Newsroom AI

Newsroom AI is a free and paid site that offers a multitude of different features to help you create an exciting Google Web Story. You can sign up with your Google account, create a story, then view reports to see how well it is doing. The more familiar you become with Google Web Stories, the easier it can become to create stories that convert.

Why Use Google Web Stories in 2021?

Google is always coming up with exciting and innovative features for small businesses and large corporations to take advantage of. Some of them may suit your needs, and some of them may not. 

So, why is Google Web Stories turning out to be a must-have marketing tool in any business’s toolbox? There are many reasons why this feature can be worth a closer look. 

Another Way to Drive Traffic To Your Site

You’ve got social media. You’ve got Google AdWords, and you’re starting to appear in Google search images. Google Web Stories is yet another way you can drive traffic to your website. There is no harm in making sure that more customers than ever before can access your products and services on the internet. 

What’s more, because you can make Google Web Stories and Google AdWords work in harmony, you’re able to get more bang for your SEO buck. 

Viewers Love Them

As a viewer yourself, which would you rather see: A webpage full of text with no graphics - or short and snappy graphic panels with all the information you need being displayed in a fun and innovative way? We know what we’d choose… 

You can still get your message across to your customers, but you are using Google Web Stories to make sure it’s a fun, immersive, and relatable way. 

The Content is Yours

When you create stories on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you are using their tools to do so. In many situations, you can’t use that content anywhere else – unless the two platforms are linked through their ownership by the same company. 

With Google Web Stories, the content you create is yours to do with as you please. You have created it yourself through a third-party tool (like those mentioned above), which means you can put them anywhere with compatibility. 

How Do You Find Google Web Stories?

Before learning about the benefits of Google Web Stories for your own business, you may be racking your brain trying to remember where you had seen them before. As it turns out, these stories can turn up in several places – and in a multitude of different ways. 

You might have seen them appear as a unique result after searching for something in particular in the Google search engine. In the USA, people also see visual stories appearing in a grid view and carousel. These features may end up here before long. 

Web stories also feature in Google Images, so be on the lookout while you’re planning your next exciting web story.

What Do I Do Next?

Google Web Stories are an exciting marketing technique that many businesses in Aotearoa can see the value in. However, like any new feature, they can take time to learn. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of online tools available to assist with the Google Web Stories creative process. You can also contact marketing companies to help with making sure your web stories are on the right track and being seen by the right people.

A Guide to Google Ad Certification Sun, 20 Jun 2021 23:30:00 UTC
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Have you ever heard someone refer to themselves as a Google Ads certified professional? This isn’t a self-proclaimed title. Instead, people with that title have undertaken Google Ad certification assessments to be able to provide Google services to others. 

In 2021, there were six Google Ad certifications on offer, along with the Google Analytics certification. Any individual can benefit from going through the certification process if they want to pass their knowledge onto others or eventually gain the Google Partner badge

However, knowing how to start or even gain the necessary knowledge to pass the assessments can be tricky. We’ve included some helpful information below to put you on the right path.

What Are Google Ad Certificates?

As previously mentioned, six Google Ad certificates form part of Google’s official accreditation. These certificates allow people to demonstrate that Google recognises them as online advertising experts. 

Having this accreditation certainly helps when you’re trying to offer online advertising and marketing services to an individual or business. The certificates are offered through Google’s online training program called Skillshop, which provides Google professional tools and solutions.  

What Google Ad Certificates Are Available?

Given that Google Ads is a multi-faceted platform with a lot for the average person to learn, the entire certification process is split into parts. You can study for all certificates, or just the ones that capture your interest. 

Digital marketing experts like the team at Clickthrough can assist with the studying and training process to ensure you’re as prepared as possible to take your exam. 

We offer personalised training for: 

  • Google Ads Search Certification
  • Google Ads Display Certification
  • Google Ads Video Certification
  • Shopping Ads Certification
  • Google Ads Apps Certification
  • Google Ads Measurement Certification

Google Ads Search Certification

This certificate provides proof that you have mastered Google search campaign building and optimisation. Once you are certified, you will be able to make use of automated solutions to boost your campaign performances. 

Google Ads Display Certification

Are you trying to achieve specific goals with your display strategies? This certification can show you what’s possible. Once you’ve gained your certificate, you’ll be able to develop effective display strategies and achieve your goals. 

Google Ads Video Certification

Both Google Video and YouTube are fast becoming effective advertising methods. With a Google Ads Video Certification, you’ll understand the best approaches for reaching your target audience through these platforms. 

Shopping Ads Certification

More and more people are relying on Google to find what they need to buy online. With Shopping Ads Certification, you will learn how to optimise your shopping ads for the best results. 

Google Ads Apps Certification

By undertaking the Google Ads Apps Certification, you’ll be able to confidently create Google App campaigns while taking advantage of the many advanced optimisation options. 

Google Ads Measurement Certification

Knowing how your digital ads are performing can make all the difference to your future strategies. With the Google Ads Measurement Certification, you learn the importance of metrics and how to use them to improve your ad performance. 

What is Google Analytics?

You may now have a basic understanding of Google Ad certifications, but what about Google Analytics? This is a separate certification that provides you with a Google Analytics qualification. 

This web analytics service is offered by Google and allows you to track and report your website traffic, ROI, social networking sites, video, and more. The benefits of using Google Analytics, studying for the test, and subsequently gaining your qualification means that you can confidently use this tool to improve your business – and the businesses of others. 

Once you’re ready for the free test provided by Google, allow between 60-90 minutes to complete it. There are 70 questions in total, and you are required to receive an 80% pass rate to gain your Google Analytics Individual Qualification, which is valid for one year.

Benefits of Gaining Google Ad Certification

After hiring the experts to help with Google Ad Certification training, you may wonder what kind of benefits you’d receive from gaining your certification. 

The main benefit you can gain from the process is being able to tell your clients that you’re a certified online advertising professional. You also earn a personalised certificate and can begin using your newfound knowledge for your business and other people’s. 

But the benefits don’t end there. If you meet all the requirements, you may be able to help your company earn a Google Partner or Premier Google Partner badge. Businesses can acquire this badge by having at least one Google Ads certified affiliated member who also meets other criteria.

Preparing for Google Ad Certificate and Google Analytics Assessments

The idea of taking assessments and studying after having left school years before can be daunting. You may not even remember how to study or how to take an exam. 

Fortunately, one of the best ways to prepare for your Google Ads or Google Analytics assessments is by bringing in the experts. Personalised training from digital marketing experts can help you understand which information is relevant to your assessment, which may not be clear from simple Google searches alone. Google also provides plenty of information through their official avenues, such as Skillshop.

How to Get Certified

Even thinking about gaining Google Ads Certifications can lead you to feelings of overwhelm. We’ve covered a lot of information above, but it really is a straightforward five-step process. 

Step 1: Create your Google Account

Step 2: Get set up in Skillshop

Step 3: Prepare for your exams. A digital marketing expert can provide the necessary training

Step 4: Pass the exam with an 80%+ pass rate

Step 5: Gain your certification. You can then choose to connect with Google Partners.

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?

Google has offered us more control over our business advertising methods than ever before. By gaining your Google Ads Certifications, you’ll be in the best possible position to control both how much you spend on marketing and how you make it work to your advantage. There’s no better time than now to get your training underway.

SEO Best Practice Tips for eCommerce Videos Mon, 17 May 2021 2:00:00 UTC so many options. Yet another to join the ranks in recent months has been video for eCommerce.

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Google has released a number of innovative features in recent years that have enabled eCommerce business owners to stand out from the crowd. From keyword and site architecture to on-page SEO and technical SEO – there are so many options. Yet another to join the ranks in recent months has been video for eCommerce. 

It almost seems like video and eCommerce are now working hand in hand, with site owners being able to take advantage of several benefits with just a few minor site changes. If you’re ready to take your eCommerce site to the next level, here’s how Google may help you to do it.

Understanding How Product Videos Work

Before you get the camera rolling to produce a product video for your eCommerce site, take a moment to understand how they work in relation to Google. See how other people are doing it, and you may get to grips with the benefits a lot faster. 

You can see videos on the Google Search results page and also on the videos tab. Often, they come with summary text, a playback duration, and a thumbnail image. In recent months, Google has also introduced a key moments feature. This lets you navigate certain video sections to find the most relevant parts to you. 

For example, if you need to learn how to install a radiator in a car, you don’t have to watch the entire car building video to find it. Instead, you can skip to the part that shows you how. 

Using Video On Your eCommerce Site’s Product Pages

One of the best places to include video on your eCommerce site is on your product pages. They can be instructional videos for how something works or installs or a simple video that shows the target market using the product. While there’s nothing wrong with imagery on a website, a video can add another element that helps people make a purchasing decision. It also doesn’t hurt that your video may appear in Google Search.  

Putting Videos into Blog Posts and Articles

Product reviews are a big part of online shopping. If you are posting an article or blog post that compares one branded product with another, a video can improve the user experience. 

You can even include videos in your blog posts about what your company has been up to, such as new product manufacturing, community ventures, or something else. 

Connecting Videos with Social Media

Every week, 45% of YouTube and Facebook users watch over an hour of videos. Of those videos, 85% on social media will be watched without sound. Videos certainly have their place on your eCommerce site, but they also have value on social media platforms.

Fortunately, many of the leading social media platforms manage indexing for you, so there’s no need to worry about improving your video exposure on these platforms.

Running Livestreams

If your eCommerce site has all the bells and whistles, including live stream embedding, you can use these features to your advantage. You can schedule live streams, or run them at random, to interact with your many customers and would-be customers. If you use Broadcast Event structured data along with Indexing API, you can also have a ‘LIVE’ badge appear to garner more interest.

Live streamers that record while they stream can also get additional bang for their buck by embedding their live streamed video on their website for later viewing.

Adding Video Structured Data

If you’re not familiar with the inner workings of your website, it can be worth relying on a digital marketing team for this step.

For your best chance of having Google recognise your video on Search, include video structured data on any pages with video content. This multi-step process involves adding specific properties, validating your code, and making sure your page is accessible to Google.

Give Your Videos Their Own Page

Even though you can include videos on your product pages, blogs, and articles, it can sometimes be beneficial to give them their own page, as well. The type of traffic you get from a video with its own page may be different from that you’d see when that visual content is mixed in with other information. There’s no harm in duplicating the video across more than one page on your site.

Submit a Video Sitemap File

To make sure Google can find the video content within all your web pages, create and submit a video sitemap file. A sitemap has extra information about the videos you have on your web pages that may not be easily discovered during site crawling.

There is more than one way to go about this process. You could create a separate sitemap for the video or embed a video sitemap within your existing sitemap. You can also host more than one video on a web page. With this option, each sitemap entry is the URL for a page with one or multiple videos. You just have to make sure that each site map has fewer than 50,000 URL elements. If you’re unsure how to create a video sitemap file, consult an SEO and marketing business for help.

Benefits of Video Marketing

It might seem like a lot of hard work to include videos on your eCommerce site, but it can be worth it. Many business owners have reaped the rewards of making a few small changes to accommodate this latest feature.

More Views

Would you prefer to read an essay or watch a video to learn how to do something? It goes without saying that a video will be a far more popular option for instructional purposes. You may also experience more views on your video than if you simply posted a video transcript on its own.

Google Prefers Them

The next time you search for something in Google, notice how the search engine shows you the results. In many situations, video is the more prominent offering, followed by helpful articles.

While you may optimise any blogs or articles you write about something, it’s worth putting the same SEO effort into your videos. The views and conversions may just surprise you.


They Make Your Business More Credible

Every day, around 18,000 scam websites make their way onto the internet. Sometimes, they list fake products for sale that you never receive. It’s no wonder that some online buyers have trust issues.

Fortunately, you can gain the trust of your customers with video. After all, what kind of scammer would go through the effort of creating a video about their company, morals, values, and products if their goal was to make fast money?

Is It Time to Look at Video for eCommerce?

Whether you’re trying to improve your digital presence, or you simply want to take advantage of Google’s many innovative features, there’s value in dabbling in video. Why not try your hand at creating a video today? You never know how important it might be to your eCommerce store’s popularity and sales.

Essential Guide to Core Web Vitals 2021 Sun, 31 Jan 2021 1:41:00 UTC Core Web Vitals.]]>
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Google is always coming up with new and innovative ways to improve the user experience for those browsing the internet. One recent announcement that Google made in late 2020 with user experience in mind was Core Web Vitals.

When these performance factors are unveiled in June 2021 to work in harmony with your existing UX signals, you can expect your Google Search Console to look a little different. 

Get ahead of the curve by learning about Core Web Vitals before they are released so that your website can be in the best position to take advantage of them. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are essentially a set of factors the influence your webpage’s user experience. All elements have page speed and user interaction in mind: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

Each of these Core Web Vitals will work in harmony with your other web vitals, such as mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS, and no invasive interstitials. These new factors will be visible in your Google Search Console enhancements section, and they will ultimately join the rest of your page experience metrics to form a fuller picture of your page’s overall UX.

Why Do You Need to Learn About Core Web Vitals?

You might be thinking, ‘Oh great, here’s yet another thing I need to do to make my website rank. I’ll just ignore it.’

At the moment, page experience isn’t an official Google ranking factor, but it will become one in June 2021. As previously mentioned, they will combine with the metrics already in place so that each of them will form an essential part of your potential customers’ user experience.

At the moment, most people already know that mobile-friendliness, a malware-free site, HTTPS, and few pop-ups are considered essential by Google. Before long, Core Web Vitals will be, as well.

Breaking Down the Core Web Vitals in 2021

To the average website user, LCP, FID, and CLS will not mean much. You may not even know how to manage these areas to ensure your webpage is performing as well as it could. We’ll address each of these components below. However, you can also reach out to a digital marketing company like Clickthrough for assistance.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) refers to the length of time it takes for a page to load from a user’s perspective. This feature differs from other page speed measurements like First Contextual Paint and TTFB because it measures how much time it takes for someone to click on a link and see most of the content on the screen.

You can measure your LCP score now by using Google PageSpeed Insights. This feature allows you to see the areas of your website that could do with improvement. It will measure what passes and what doesn’t while also showing you which URLs require page performance improvements.

The ultimate goal of reviewing your LCP is to ensure that every page on your site hits LCP within 2.5 seconds. For pages with several high-resolution graphics, you may need to revisit the design of those pages while also focusing on some of the following things:

  • Upgrading your web host for faster load times overall
  • Removing large page elements that slow down your LCP
  • Removing unnecessary third-party scripts
  • Addressing your bulky CSS that can contribute to slow LCP times
  • Setting up lazy loading, which makes images load when someone is scrolling, rather than all at once

First Input Delay (FID)

Equally as crucial as LCP is First Input Delay (FID). FID refers to the time it takes for users to interact with your page. This is not an essential feature for all websites, but it is for many. What’s more, Google views it as incredibly important for understanding how real-life users interact with your website.

FID measures several interactions, such as:

  • Clicking on site navigation links
  • Choosing menu options
  • Entering emails into forms
  • Opening accordion text on mobile phones and other mobile devices

Google’s Search Console measures your FID information in the same way it does for LCP. It shows you which pages are performing well, which need improvement, and which are performing poorly.

Not all websites will see the value in this Core Web Vital because not all pages require interaction. For example, blog and news websites only require you to scroll down. There is often no need to interact in any other way. If that’s the case, sometimes FID will not report on your site.

If you have had a look at how your website performs for FID, and you need to make any improvements, you can use some of the following methods:

  • Using a browser cache to improve load content time
  • Removing non-essential third-party scripts
  • Minimising JavaScript usage where possible

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

The final of the three Core Web Vitals is Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). This refers to a page’s visual stability as it loads. Essentially, if anything moves around your page as it loads, you’ve got high CLS, which is not desirable.

Like the other two Core Web Vitals, you can get an idea of how each of your webpages is performing in your Search Console. Fortunately, making changes tends to be relatively straightforward, even for those website owners who don’t consider themselves savvy web developers.

We recommend some of the following tips for improving your CLS if it ranks as poor:

  • Make sure you reserve space for adds
  • Use set dimensions for media like infographics, videos, images, and GIFs
  • Add any new UI elements below the fold to avoid them pushing content down as the page loads

What Do I Do Now?

Google announced Core Web Vitals would be becoming a vital page performance measurement at the end of 2020. However, they’ve given website owners six months to act from that announcement date.

You now have until May to start planning for website changes to align with Core Web Vitals. You don’t have to do anything until May, but you may like to begin reviewing page elements that likely impact how well your pages will perform with these metrics in mind.

You can also get in touch with a digital marketing company for assistance in making sure your webpages align with the latest changes and are in the best possible position to rank in Google search results.

Why Your Marketing Staff Need to Understand the SEO Basics Wed, 13 Jan 2021 1:30:00 UTC
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Search engine optimisation (SEO) is not something you naturally know how to do. It’s a relatively new concept and one that has continuously evolved and developed as the years go by.

However, as new as it is, there can be a lot of value in being the early bird that gets the worm. If you haven’t yet put steps in place to ensure your marketing staff understand the SEO basics, then now might be the time.

It’s Easier Than Ever Before

If arranging accommodation and travel for your team to attend an SEO eLearning course was one of the main reasons you didn’t consider it, that’s no longer a problem.

While COVID-19 has ravaged the world, it has also enabled previously in-person events to proceed online, including SEO and marketing courses.

More and more event and programme organisers are developing learning modules that key marketing staff can access with ease. They can stay in the comfort of their home – or your business – while learning valuable information to improve your digital presence.

SEO Is Constantly Evolving

Even if you have learned some SEO techniques in the past, that doesn’t mean your training is over, and you no longer require education. Just like the medical field, technology and best practices are continuously evolving include new information surrounding organic searches, natural searches, paid and unpaid searches, and more. 

Let’s take a look back to where we were, to where we are now. Reviewing this article in just five years would produce even more dramatic differences.

Mobile vs. Desktop

When SEO techniques first became known, there was a massive emphasis on desktop computers. We were targeting our content and websites to computer users. With over two billion people now using their mobile phones to access the internet, there has been a dramatic change in best SEO practices.

Google now rewards websites that are mobile-friendly because it understands the changing trends. It wants you to change with them.

Quality Content

When SEO was in its infancy, websites were easily able to rank for keywords. Some website developers, marketing teams, and business owners would stuff their sites full of poor-quality, duplicated, and keyword-drenched content. It wasn’t about doing right by the viewer; it was about being seen in search results.

Now, it’s all about quality. Google will prioritise a website featuring informative and well-written content over one that just has keywords galore but no true substance. While you can still integrate keywords and long-tail keywords to benefit from natural searches, you just have to do so while making sure you’re benefiting the reader. 

Link-Building Schemes

Early on, website creators realised that if they used fake links from different sources, they could increase their rankings. This became known as a black hat SEO technique.

When Google caught on, they penalised, de-listed, and banned those who took part in this shady business. Now, they encourage website owners to focus on natural links through guest posts and links from authoritative websites.

These few examples have shown a dramatic shift in behaviours in just a few short years. If you don’t keep up with SEO education, there’s every chance you’ll be left behind with techniques and skills that are no longer relevant for putting your business image front and centre.

Organic Search Can Be Your Best Source of Traffic

It’s easy for a marketing team to throw money into endless advertising avenues to direct traffic to your website. You might end up spending several thousand dollars on platforms you can’t track or monitor, with the hope that at least a few ad viewers made it to your site.

The reality is, organic search traffic is one of the best ways to improve your business’s web performance. The more time and effort you put into improving your site’s SEO, the more organic results, or natural searches, from which you can benefit. This means your marketing team and you, as the owner, save money while potentially benefiting from more web sales.  

You Can Build Credibility and Trust

You know your business is trustworthy and credible, but do your customers, and by default, Google? If Google and other search engines have no measurable data to confirm you’ve got a trustworthy and credible site, they won’t display it as such.

It takes several elements to build up that trust, including the use of on-page elements and content, quality backlinks, positive user behaviours, and algorithms. Requesting that your marketing team learn the basics of SEO could mean big things for consumer trust and your website’s future popularity.

You Can Provide a Better User Experience

You might think that the best user experience on a website is one based on looks and feel. Sure, effortless navigation and the best graphic design are essential components of a business website. Still, there’s more to the picture, and it can begin before your prospective purchasers even land on your site.

By using SEO techniques like keyword research, searcher language and intent, title tags, and meta descriptions, you are laying the foundation for solving a consumer’s problem.


Keywords are commonly searched words related to the products and services you are selling. When you include these in your website’s content, they may appear in the Google search results when someone looks for those specific words. Searcher Language & Intent

It’s important to put a lot of thought into the keywords you’re going to use because searcher language plays an integral part in SEO. Not everyone looking for the products you sell will know the exact name for them.

For example, you might stock scarlet footwear. You can include this term throughout your site, but what if people are only searching for red shoes? Being able to use variations can be crucial for increased web traffic.

Searcher intent can often require clarity, as well. If your business offers shoe repairs, you may attract two types of searchers – those who want someone to repair the shoes and those who want advice on how to repair shoes themselves. The inclusion of long-tail keywords in your web content can make this clear.

If your marketing team is not familiar with the intricacies of how people search and what they search, encourage them to undertake SEO research.

Title Tags

A title tag is the text you use as the clickable link in your search result. You typically have around 70 characters to work with, so creativity is vital. You want to use language related to your keyword, but you also want to grab a potential purchaser’s attention.

Meta Descriptions

Another thing your marketing team shouldn’t neglect is the meta descriptions used for each page of your website. These allow you to expand on what you stated in your title tag.

However, you have up to around 300 characters to play with for this body of text. Use the space wisely, as it’s crucial to add valuable information that also encourages people to find out more.

You Can Tap into the Local Market

If your marketing team is only familiar with SEO on a national or international level, then the next best step is focusing on a local level. With more and more businesses taking advantage of the benefits that SEO brings, it’s a hot market out there.

Be specific with your local SEO practices to bring in purchasers from the same town, city, and region as you. This process can include using local citations, a Google My Business listing with updated contact and location information, and local, relevant backlinks.

User reviews can also improve your local presence. Each time someone searches for something specific in your area, you are more likely to appear on someone’s device with reviews, contact information, and the proximity of your business to them.

SEO Is Affordable

There are multiple marketing avenues that a marketing team can tap into. They can go to the extreme end with promotional events and giveaways. Or, they can opt for more traditional platforms like newspaper and radio advertising.

However, these costly forms of advertising don’t always have sustainable results you can track. SEO not only provides real-time data so you can see what’s working and what isn’t, but it’s affordable, as well.

Setting up an SEO-friendly website takes very little of your time and money. You can then spend as much as you want to on PPC ads while you wait for your organic, unpaid search  growth to kick in. Many businesses then rely on a combination of PPC and SEO to keep the momentum going.

I Want My Marketing Team to Learn More; What Do I Do?

If your marketing team hasn’t yet heard about the magic of SEO, then there’s no better time than now to fill them in. You can leave them to their own devices to browse the internet for information on the best ways to improve web traffic through SEO or sign them up for an online learning course. This small amount of time, effort, and money can serve your business well in the years to come.

What Is Your Real Source of Conversion? Fri, 11 Dec 2020 1:46:00 UTC Google Analytics will show you just what channel your customers used to access and purchase your products. You might think, ‘perfect, now I can stop every other advertising and marketing method and just focus on the one that’s performing the best!’]]>
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A quick glance at your Google Analytics will show you just what channel your customers used to access and purchase your products. You might think, ‘perfect, now I can stop every other advertising and marketing method and just focus on the one that’s performing the best!’

Before you do, though, take a moment to think about your own shopping habits. Do you typically search for the product you want, click on a Google Ad, then make your purchase? In all likelihood, probably not.

Instead, you might search for a product in Google, click on a website to learn more about it, check out a blog post, or something else.

Sometimes, you might have even come across a product through an email newsletter, on a social media network, or through a referral site before finally making the purchase via a Google Ad that day – or days later.

That Google Ad is getting all the credit, but it was the multiple other channels that did all the hard yards. It would be like giving one All Black all the credit for scoring a try and disregarding all the other players, even though they played a part in getting that try-scorer the ball.

How Does Google Analytics Work?

At face value, business owners and marketing companies use Google Analytics to show a business’s eCommerce transactions and conversions. Typically, the last thing a customer clicked on before making a purchase is shown as the conversion.

For basic information regarding transactions, this method of data is sufficient. In fact, this free web analytics service is one of the best analytical tools out there for marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO).

However, something was lacking – and that was a depth to the data. That’s where Multi-Channel Funnels under the umbrella of Google Analytics comes in.

What is Multi-Channel Funnels?

If you or your E-marketing team is using the latest version of Google Analytics, they may have seen a new feature called Multi-Channel Funnels. If you can’t see it, make sure you have goals enabled before clicking on the ‘Conversions’ tab in the left-hand column, followed by ‘Multi-Channel Funnels’.

This function offers in-depth reports on the various marketing channels that work together to create conversions for your business. So, in this case, every single All Black is being praised alongside the one that scored the winning try. The best part is, you can see what’s working from start to finish of the buying process and what may require some tinkering.

Multi-Channel Funnel Reports

Whether you’re a PPC manager or a business owner, having five new report options available can make you feel like you have full control over your marketing campaign. You can now see the full path-to-conversion over 30 days, or even up to 90 days, by adjusting the search results.

This includes seeing the various customer interactions with your channels – such as social networks, display ads, organic searches, paid searches, and affiliates.

1. Overview Report

The overview report forms the first part of the Multi-Channels Funnel section. It allows you to compare your conversion numbers and assisted conversions over your preferred time period. There is also a tool called ‘Multi-Channel Conversation Visualiser’. See for yourself how the different channel combinations led to a sale.

2. Assisted Conversions Report

Using Assist Interaction Analysis or First Interaction Analysis, you can determine how many sales and conversions each of your channels initiated, aided in, and completed. The Assisted Conversions Report will also show the value of those sales.

3. Top Conversion Paths Report

Perhaps one of the most desirable reporting features of Multi-Channel Funnels is the Top Conversion Paths Report. This report shows you the most popular conversion paths that led to sales and conversions. It also shows you how many conversions there were from each path and their value.

What’s particularly interesting about this report is how many different channels can work together for a single outcome – a sale. You might directly pick up most of your customers through Google Shopping or Google Ads, but that’s rarely the case.

Instead, it can be a combination of paid advertising, organic search results (through methods like SEO copywriting), referrals, and direct. You can view the basic channel grouping path or create your own custom channel groupings. This report also offers the option to display the data by the source, medium, AdWords, and other traffic.

4. Time Lag Report  

Think about your own shopping habits and the typical timeframe for making a purchase. When you decide you need a new washing machine, do you look for one online then purchase it the same day? Or, do you view different sources, read reviews, then, days later, go back and make your purchase?

Sure, we’re all capable of making impulse buys. Still, the average person may not always purchase an item on the same day they begin looking for it online. But how do you know for sure? One of the newest report offerings from Google Analytics’ Multi-Channels Funnel is the Time Lag Report.

This report outlines the conversion paths that take place within 0 to 12+ days. You may notice in your own reports that the sales values from conversions that took the longest tend to be higher. As a rule, people tend to spend longer mulling over their options regarding big ticket items.

These time lags can also explain why you sometimes see conversions from a previous month appearing in the following month’s AdWords data. People took their time making sure your product was right for them.

5. Path Length Report

Related to Time Lag Report, the Path Length Report outlines the number of interactions a visitor had with your website before they converted. What businesses tend to see with this data is the higher the cost of an item, the more interactions a customer can have with it before deciding to buy it.

So, What Is Your Real Source of Conversion?

Your paid ad may have been the deal clincher, but there is some truth in not putting all your eggs in one basket. By ignoring the other conversion paths, you are potentially locking yourself out of the very conversion paths that lead to the golden egg.

Every conversion path has its place, from paid and organic searches, referral sites, and affiliates to social media platforms, email newsletters, and custom campaigns. Thanks to this new report tool, Multi-Channel Funnels, you can analyse every conversion path to ensure you’re covering all bases and providing the clearest route to a sale.

The debate, PPC vs. Organic SEO Fri, 13 Nov 2020 3:56:00 UTC
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Most businesses with a digital presence in New Zealand would have by now heard of the term ‘SEO’. It means search engine optimisation, and is the process of optimising your website and digital offerings to generate leads or sales from the search engine results (Google).

You then get to benefit from organic growth, often with the help of digital marketing experts.

When you hear the word ‘free’, your ears probably perk up – and so they should. Free traffic to your website with the possibility of new customers? What a great deal! And it is – but you have to be in it for the long game. SEO, as you will quickly learn, is a marathon, not a sprint, that takes a combination of long term effort and smarts to get right.

Which is where PPC comes in.

PPC vs. Organic SEO

After you have optimised your website to ensure you’re in the best position to achieve organic growth, there can be a waiting period. But suppose you want to benefit from near-immediate exposure. In that case, you may see the value in pay-per-click advertising (PPC).

PPC is a Google offering that allows you to create a search campaign ad that appears in Google when selected search terms are used. When someone searches for those keywords and your business pops up, they can click on your ad to head to your website. You are then charged for that click. You don’t have to pay for the ad when it is not clicked.

Why on earth would someone choose to pay for PPC advertising when organic SEO is free? Because PPC advertising can bridge the gap immediately, while your organic SEO works its magic in the background.

For example, you may have just launched a brand new website, which will take 3-6 months to rank well in the organic search results. In this instance, we’d recommend using Google Ads to provide your business with immediate clicks, leads and sales while the SEO rankings build.

Eventually, your SEO can begin to offer better results than your PPC campaign. You can then choose to end that campaign or keep it ticking away in the background if it’s delivering the results you desire. We recommend using a combination of both techniques.

Topic comparison

Search term comparison

These graphics offer a comparison of Google Ads vs. SEO. As you can see, the two start relatively even in results. But the more “seasoned” the SEO becomes, the more valuable it becomes for lead generation.

Does Competition Make a Difference?

The complicated part about SEO and PPC is that there is no blanket rule for how they will work for you. Each industry is different, and, as the graphic below shows, even each part of New Zealand is different.

That’s why it can be a good idea to leave your PPC ads and organic SEO growth in the capable hands of a digital marketing team. They have the best tools and skills to make sure they use an approach that’s as unique as your business for the best results. Because, yes, competition does make a difference.

In this graphic, you will see a breakdown by region of the use of Google ads (PPC) and SEO. From this, you will see that with more competition in the North Island, businesses are using a mixture of SEO and PPC to achieve desirable results for their business.

Given that three in four New Zealanders live in the North Island, it makes sense for there to be more businesses to cater to those people. By default, that can mean more competition.

The hospitality industry is a fine example of this competition. In 2017, there were over 17,000 hospitality businesses in New Zealand. So, how could you make yours stand out from the crowd? Well, one popular way is digital marketing with PPC and SEO.

Using Google My Business

One way to combat growing SEO competition is by making use of Google My Business and Google Maps. Google My Business can work hand in hand with your current and future SEO and PPC techniques.

This free tool allows you to create a business profile that integrates with Google’s search results and maps. On it, you can list your business name, photos of your business (including products and services), along with phone numbers, websites, and addresses. Essentially, this profile can include anything that assists in making sure your business is as easy to learn more about as possible.

The beauty of Google My Business, too, is that it offers insights into how your customers are connecting with you so you can find out what’s working and what isn’t.

You can see how many people used the ‘call’ function, how many website clicks, the number of direction requests, how many people followed, and even how many people made bookings through your Google My Business Profile.

This graphic shows the popularity of Google My Business and its projected growth past 2020.

Setting Up Google My Business

Not every business owner is tech-savvy, and that’s okay. You will be pleased to know that setting up your profile takes just a few steps. Alternatively, a local SEO company will be able to assist with your profile’s creation and other local SEO techniques.

  1. Sign in to your Google Account or create one using your business email domain.
  2. Enter your business address and position the marker on your location.
  3. Choose how to display your business on Google Maps – this can include whether or not you serve customers at your address or whether you deliver your goods and services.
  4. Choose your business category.
  5. Enter your phone number and/or website URL.
  6. Verify your account.

Why Use Google At All?

All this talk of Google Pay-Per-Click ads and organic SEO, you may be wondering why Google is an ideal option when there are so many other platforms out there.

Some other platforms can indeed serve their purpose for your business. Take Bing, for example. It only makes up around six percent of the market share. Still, it can suit some companies targeting the very New Zealanders who rely on this search engine over Google.

In saying that, Google makes up around 90 percent of the market share. It’s hard to look past that statistic when you’re trying to boost your business image.

Is it Time to Act?

With so much competition throughout New Zealand, there’s every reason to tap into the available resources to improve your online presence. Using a combination of search engine optimisation for organic growth and pay-per-click advertising, you may experience growth that traditional advertising methods have failed to deliver.

SEO Copywriting in 2020 Fri, 16 Oct 2020 3:54:00 UTC SEO copywriting is just a new concept.]]>
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Content marketing has always played a significant role in drumming up interest in a product or service, even if SEO copywriting is just a new concept.

Cast your mind back to World War I when the U.S. Army wanted recruits for American forces. They came up with the “I Want YOU” campaign featuring Uncle Sam. Even though the world has changed a lot since then, one thing hasn’t: the importance of targeted writing to lure in prospective purchasers.

Both copywriting and SEO writing are integral for reaching people, engaging them, then turning them into paying customers.

The problem is, you can’t just put words on paper or a web page and immediately expect them to bring customers in their droves. It pays to have an understanding of both copywriting and SEO writing, their differences and similarities, and how to use them to your advantage.

What is Content Marketing?

The internet is full of information on marketing, including how to market your business, how to build your customer base, and how to earn more money in business. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information.

But one thing that appears like a shining light through a blanket of fog is content marketing. Understand what it is and how it works, and you can build a solid foundation to work from.

Content marketing incorporates creating and sharing content to attract, engage, and convert ‘leads’ or customers. It can exist in many forms, like email newsletters, press releases, blog posts, web pages, social media, and video.

No matter the form of content marketing you use, they all involve using words to achieve your end goal. How those words form can ultimately be based on your target market and can influence your customer base in the future.

Copywriting and What it Involves

Under the umbrella of content marketing is copywriting, which is produced to turn a slightly interested person into a paying customer. Copywriters put together a lot of different content, such as landing pages, web pages, emails, direct mail, print advertising, video, and audio scripts.

But they don’t just put together a whole bunch of words and wait for them to work their magic. They incorporate several different elements to ensure those words are what people want to hear before purchasing a product or service. Take note of these elements below.

Customer Targeting

When you market a product or service to the public, you think long and hard about who will buy it and who it will appeal to. It would be best if you did the same thing when writing content about that product.

Many businesses work with copywriters to put together a buyer persona. This allows you to narrow down the desired demographics in a target audience that sets your content’s tone. You can then shape your words to address a problem or pain point, then offer the solution – with that solution being your product or service.

An Emotional Response

Being able to tug at heartstrings is an integral part of content marketing and copywriting. You also see it in SEO copywriting. Appealing to a prospective purchaser’s emotions is also a sound way to generate a lead where word counts are limited.

Think about all the emails that make their way into your inbox every day. Dozens of them probably end up in your trash bin because their subject line didn’t capture your attention. Copywriters must be able to form emotional subject lines that recipients can’t help but want to open.

The average open rate of emails across U.S. industries is 22.1%, which means around 80% of consumers aren’t opening emails. Attention to detail in copywriting could change that.

SEO Writing and What it Involves

In recent years, you may have seen a lot of information on the internet about SEO, or search engine optimisation. While it’s a powerful tool for lead generation, it’s also one that’s changing all the time. As a result, many businesses are noticing the benefit of leaving it in the capable hands of an SEO expert.

The goal of on-page SEO, or SEO copywriting, is to form content designed not only for your reader/potential customer but also for search engines. In saying that, a business must achieve a balance.

Too much focus on catering to a search engine can result in a technique known as black hat SEO. If caught adopting any black hat SEO techniques, you may receive a penalty from a search engine such as Google. Penalties may include being downgraded or delisted from the search engine.

Blackhat SEO Techniques

Some of the more well known black hat SEO writing techniques include private blog networks, often called “link farms”, keyword stuffing, article duplication, comment spamming, link buying, and content cloaking.

One of the best ways to avoid accidentally falling into any of these traps is by letting a content marketing specialist in Auckland or nationwide take care of your SEO needs.

Keyword Research

Once you know what not to do with SEO writing, you can focus on what you should do to master content creation for your business. Keyword research is an integral part. It involves discovering what people are searching for when trying to find products and services that you offer.

For example, if you are a bakery in Ponsonby, your business might rank well if you include keywords in your content such as “bakery in Ponsonby”, or “baked goods in Ponsonby”. There are plenty of keyword research tools online to make use of, or a content marketing expert can provide assistance.

Readers First, Search Engines Second

It’s easy to get so caught up in the latest SEO algorithms that you focus all your attention on them. Truthfully, content marketing is about putting your reader first. Create content they are asking for, and you’ll gain momentum from it – with a helping hand from SEO.

Google’s primary focus is on making sure that content is relevant. If it’s appropriate for a reader, you’ll benefit from it being shared online or even used in backlinking by other businesses.

But Don’t Ignore Algorithms Altogether…

Of course, writing for the reader is paramount. Still, it’s also worth being aware of SEO practices that can benefit your business and content. These are changing all the time, so it’s worth asking an expert for a helping hand to make sure you’re doing all the right things regarding your content marketing direction.

The Similarities and Differences of Copywriting and SEO Writing

Under the umbrella of content marketing, you have both SEO writing and copywriting. What they both have in common is that they are a form of content designed to generate leads for your business.

They first lure the reader in, engage them in what you are offering, then turn them into a paying customer who believes in your product or service. But that’s ultimately where the similarities end. From that point, these two writing styles become much different.

SEO writing is largely for websites. It’s writing that you target towards readers while also keeping in mind that search engines can help it be seen. Copywriting, on the other hand, has a broader spectrum.

It features on websites, but it’s also something you use in radio ads, TV ads, printed products, newspapers, emails, the list goes on.

SEO writing is also about bringing in a generally interested person, warming them up, then turning them into a buying customer. Copywriting in other avenues relies on that customer to already be interested in what you may have to offer but building on that buyer persona voice to clinch the deal.

Copywriting and SEO writing might be two different things. Still, they are both necessary things for your business while focusing on content marketing. Are you unsure where to begin? It might be time to bring in the big guns to work out where content marketing could take your business now and into the future.

Bing Advertising – Worth it in New Zealand? Mon, 7 Sep 2020 5:00:00 UTC Google Ads and search engine optimisation, as well.]]>
You can listen to this article here:
When you start looking at various advertising platforms for your business, there are a few key players. You might look at social media advertising, but you probably also see the value in the likes of Google Ads and search engine optimisation, as well.

But what about the small players in the game, like Bing, for example? Is Bing advertising worth it in NZ, or is Google the best and only option? Read on to find out.

Bing vs. Google – What’s the Difference?

Both Bing and Google are search engines – that much they have in common. You enter a search term, like SEO Auckland, get the results you want, and move on with your day. Still, there must be a reason why the two have such dramatically diverse followings. The two search engines are actually quite different.

Content Understanding

If you are starting to work on your SEO content and metadata, but you’re yet to choose a search engine to advertise on, then it pays to do this first. Believe it or not, both search engines understand your content in different ways. So, by optimising for one, you’re not necessarily optimising for the other.

Bing, in a way, is more conventional. It’s very clear in its expectations of how you format your keywords, page titles, and comprehensive metadata. Google is quite complex in how it interprets data. So, it’s in your best interest to outsource this task to a digital marketing expert to get better bang for your buck.

That’s not to say that you can’t use the same method for Google as you would for Bing, but you may experience vastly different results on the two search engines.

Domain Types

Google and Bing prefer and promote websites differently. What may rank highly on Bing may not on Google, and vice versa. The differences may not seem huge, but they can be.

For example, Bing tends to prefer top-level domains, such as .edu and, that sees a lot of traffic and/or has been online for some time. So, if you have an official website, then Bing may be an excellent option for you.

In saying that, Google has a far freer approach. As long as your website is popular or commercial, Google sees it as favourable.


Any SEO and marketing expert in New Zealand will tell you that backlinking is essential. This process involves adding links naturally to the SEO content of your site. However, both Google and Bing view this process differently.

Google believes that the more links on your site, the better it stands out, and the more authority it has. While Bing encourages backlinking, it doesn’t see it as the be-all and end-all of SEO importance. Both search engines, though, see the quality and relevance of backlinks as more critical than the quantity. So, bear this in mind.

The Social Stance

If your business has quite a massive social media presence, then you may want to put a lot of thought into which search engine you advertise with. One places more importance on your social media presence than the other. This can either be to your detriment or benefit.

Google has openly admitted that it doesn’t factor a company or individual’s social media into its search engine ranking – at least not at a base level. Bing, on the other hand, does. If you regularly receive a lot of likes, comments, shares, and retweets, Bing loves you. You can rank highly as a result of how popular you are on social media.

But is the Following there to Use Bing?

Google has a massive following and for good reasons. It has nearly 90 percent of the global market share, boasts a seamless platform, and even assists with personalising your searching experience. But that doesn’t mean other players in the game, like Bing, are lagging. They just fill up a different part of the market.

Some people prefer Bing because it has a desirable rewards programme. You can earn points while you search, and then spend those points at Windows and Microsoft stores.

Features such as this, and many others, are also seeing Bing growing at a rapid rate. In fact, its growth is faster than Google, right now. At this stage, around six percent of New Zealanders use Bing, but that figure is set to change.

And then there’s the target market. Your decision to use a search engine other than Google can be based on where your potential customer base is. The profiles of Google users and Bing users can be vastly different, and that might be what you’re looking for.

Bing users are often older, wealthier, and less tech-savvy. If that’s the market you’re trying to tap into, then Bing advertising can be worth it in New Zealand.

PPC Advertising Cost – Google vs. Bing

Now, more than ever before, spreading your business dollar further is crucial. So, looking outside of Google’s PPC platform may be worth your while if you need to save money. For the Google Search Network, the average cost-per-click is between $1-2. It’s less than $1 on the Google Display Network.

Bing’s cost-per-click is around a third lower than that of Google, at an average of $1.54 across multiple industries. As this search engine has fewer advertisers, there is less competition and, as a result, a more affordable ad campaign option.

Comparing Top Features

It’s only natural to wonder if Bing advertising is worth it in New Zealand. After all, it has relatively comparable features, but with one boasting a far larger market share than the other. So, if you were to compare those top features of each search engine, how would they stack up?

Local Searches

The ‘shop local’ trend has well and truly taken off, with more people than ever before keen to shop in businesses near them, rather than far away – or even in another country. When you search for something locally on Bing and Google, how do the two compare?

Both search engines bring up a map, but the results they bring up can be different. Why? Because Google will focus on your exact position and what’s closest. In contrast, Bing will provide a much broader view. They both show local results, but Bing brings in its results from a more general radius.


Gone are the days when you had to carry around a huge paper map to find out where you are and where you need to be. Both Bing and Google offer maps with expected arrival times and roads to take. The main difference between the two, though, is the time it takes to get to your destination.

Google overestimates – possibly to allow for any minor delays – but Bing can be a little more precise with no time to spare. What’s more, Google will offer information as you travel, such as telling you that the route you’re taking bypasses a closed road, roadworks, or a bridge. Bing doesn’t offer such information.

Making the Decision: is Bing Advertising Worth it in NZ?

The answer is yes and no – depending on your goals. Both search engines offer the same functionality, but their features can cater more towards you or against you.

Fortunately, if you want to try both – you can. If you are currently with Google AdWords, you can transition much of your campaign data over to Bing. However, you’ll need to set up your display ads, conversion tracking, and similar, from scratch.

If you’re not sure which search engine is right for you, then you can also ask the experts. Search engine marketing teams across NZ are more than happy to look at your business structure and advise you on the best advertising platforms to suit your unique needs.

The Importance of Keyword Research and What it Means for Your Business Mon, 29 Jun 2020 5:02:00 UTC
You can listen to this article here:
You’ve got a product or service to sell. You’ve got a website. You’re ready to serve hundreds of customers. But where are they, and why is no one visiting your website? Out of many possible reasons, your keyword research (or lack thereof) could be to blame.

Keyword research involves analysing the search terms that people are entering into search engines so that you can provide a solution to a problem.

In basic terms, you have to find out what people want and then deliver it with strategic use of words. Sounds simple, right? It can be, but only if you know what you’re trying to achieve.

Read on to learn the importance of keyword research and how you can incorporate it into your business.  

Have a Targeting Strategy

Without having a strategy regarding keyword research, you’re flying blind. Think about the people you are trying to attract and what you are trying to sell them. Who are they? What do they want? What are they searching for online? By knowing who your target audience is, you can establish a set of keywords that you can naturally incorporate into your website.

When you work with a search engine optimisation company, you can design a persona to help define your targeting strategy. A persona is a fictional character, but one that’s based on your ideal customer. 

This persona incorporates who that person is, what their goals are, and what their barriers are. Once you know who you are trying to attract, you can begin to understand the kinds of words and phrases your site needs to have to draw them in for a closer look.

Without this vital step, you and your chosen SEO company can waste a significant amount of time and effort optimising your site for keywords that are irrelevant to your website and offerings.

Keyword Research for Content Creation

As you now know, carrying out keyword analysis can show you what people are searching for. That’s helpful, but then you need to make sure you’re giving them the things they are searching for.

For example, if someone is looking for a digital marketing company in Auckland or even a rugby coaching website, then produce content on your site that addresses that search. You can achieve this through site content and blog posts featuring information on you as a digital marketing company in Auckland, the services you offer, and who you can help.

Now, when people search for a digital marketing company in Auckland, you’ve got a solution ready and waiting for your target market to discover.

Get into the Nitty-Gritty of Keyword Research

Simply having a single word that people might search for isn’t enough to impact the click-through rate or Return on Investment (ROI) of your organic search strategy. Let’s say you sell shoes, along with hundreds of other businesses and companies in New Zealand.  

For example, if you are a specialist shoe etailer, then creating content with generic “shoes” as your primary keyword may not help you achieve the results you desire. Instead, it’s worth talking to your local SEO expert about long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are more specific key phrases or keywords that can often receive less traffic but have a higher conversion rate. Someone looking for shoes may only be browsing, but someone looking for “women’s brown leather cowboy boots” has something very particular in mind.

With fewer businesses competing for that keyword, you may find yourself front and centre, ready to handle inquiries for that kind of footwear and generating a lot of sales.

And What About Location?

Alongside descriptive keywords, you can also focus on location-based keywords. These are words and phrases that help you to rank for a specific town, city, region, or country.

For example, a shoe retailer may like to research the popularity of “shoe shops in Ponsonby, Auckland,” as opposed to “shoe shops” on its own. The more detailed you can be naturally, the better your chances of appealing to your target market.

Choosing the Best SEO Provider

Believe it or not, your success with online sales can come down to who you choose to help with your digital marketing strategy and SEO. In this situation, the adage of if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is, comes into play.

Cheap SEO providers may rush the keywords research process, or even outsource it to contractors who don’t know your area or even your country. Rushing this crucial process can undermine the results you are seeking, and can even have a detrimental impact on your search engine ranking.

When you’re looking for an SEO company to help with keyword research, then find one that offers the full package. A marketing agency that puts time and effort into developing a persona can have a surprising effect on your online presence.

Ethical Marketing and Why It’s the Best Option for Your Business Tue, 12 May 2020 5:03:00 UTC
You can listen to this article here:

Ethics are something that every business aims to have in every facet of their business. They want their staff to be ethical, their practices, and even their customers.

But what about their digital marketing? Is there a guideline or protocol for how to make sure you’re marketing your products in the most ethical way? Read on to learn the ins and outs of ethical marketing, and why it’s the best option for your business.

What is Ethical Marketing?

There is no single way to describe ethical marketing, for it’s a multi-faceted term that has various applications in the digital marketing world.

But, in a nutshell, you would say that ethical marketing is a philosophy. It’s making sure that in all parts of your digital marketing plan, you’re thinking about what’s honest, what’s responsible, and what’s fair.

The problem is, the term ‘ethics’ is incredibly abstract. What one company may see as “ethical,” another may not. Even customers of those businesses may have varying views about what they see as an ethical form of digital marketing. They can then form their own opinion of the company based on their beliefs.

Ethical Marketing Principles

While ethics can be subjective in a variety of marketing avenues, there are a few blanket principals you can apply to your digital marketing strategy. And if you’re not sure if you’re on the right track, then a company skilled in such marketing methods can also lend a helping hand.

  • Open and honest discussion in all marketing decisions
  • A common standard of truth
  • Transparency in who a marketer pays for product endorsement
  • Fairness to consumers on who is marketed to
  • Abiding by a high standard of personal ethics
  • Compliance with government and professional organisation standards
  • A defining line between news, entertainment, and advertising
  • Consumer privacy

What is Unethical Marketing?

Digital marketing is a marathon rather than a sprint. Still, some businesses are eager to get to the top of Google search results or to see instant results. So, they resort to unethical marketing practices that don’t necessarily paint their business in the best light.

You may be wondering how you can spot an unethical marketing practice, especially since what you define as ethical is not concrete. Fortunately, most marketing specialists in New Zealand can help with that. They will even formulate ad campaigns that are entirely ethical and offer the best chance of conversion.

Some examples of unethical digital advertising practices include:

  • Exaggeration – false claims about a product. An example of this would be “this coffee can keep you awake for days”.
  • Puffery – rather than objective claims, an advertiser acts subjectively. An example could be “the warmest socks in the world” but not being able to back up that claim.
  • False comparisons – comparing two brands (your own vs. competition) with a misleading or inaccurate claim.
  • Unverified claims – making a claim, but not explaining how.

Black Hat Marketing

This then leads us onto black hat marketing, which is a form of unethical internet marketing that can destroy a company’s online presence when caught out by Google.

Once again, digital marketing is about playing the long game to see results. It can take the best SEO practices over a length of time to deliver the results the business desires.

However, through choosing the wrong SEO and marketing specialist in NZ, or by making unethical choices, some businesses may find themselves dabbling in black hat marketing.

This form of marketing offers near-immediate results, but by using both unethical and sometimes illegal practices. On the other side of black hat is white hat, which an ethical strategy that marketing companies adopt.

What Black Hat Marketing Aims to Achieve

Black hat marketers set out to trick search engines into offering a higher ranking in search engine results. It does this by showing web pages for commonly searched phrases that may not relate to the term being searched.

For example, you might be searching for “top marketing specialists in NZ,” but a shoe store using that term might show up in the search results instead. The goal of such a technique is to drive as much traffic to the website as possible.

Given that search engine reputations can suffer from not offering what people are looking for, they take a hard-line approach to punish those who adopt black hat practices.

What Are Some of the Common Black Hat Marketing Strategies?

It’s essential to be aware of unethical marketing practices so that you know what you shouldn’t do when it comes to marketing your business. These are unethical practices that you would never find a reputable NZ marketing agency using.

  • Stuffing keywords into hidden text, tags, and no-scripts
  • Increasing the volume of inbound links by using pages dedicated to listing links. This process is called link farming.
  • Showing different websites to what the keywords outlined – in a process known as cloaking.
  • Stuffing meta tags with keywords in what is commonly referred to as meta keyword stuffing.
  • Creating blogs with no original content. This involves taking articles from other publishers to generate traffic. You may hear this process referred to as “splogging” or a “scraper blog”.
  • Secretly loading a user’s computer with fraudulent cookies, even if they don’t click on a link. This process is called cookie stuffing – and not in the delicious way.

Best Digital (and Ethical) Marketing Strategies

While black hat and unethical digital marketing techniques may shoot your page to the top of the search results, you won’t be there for long. Both immoral and illegal marketing techniques can see your website banned from even appearing in search results.

Therefore, it’s always in your best interest to adopt sound and ethical marketing techniques. You can plan these out yourself, or rely on an SEO company in NZ to help.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of ethical digital marketing. It allows you to improve your search ranking, generate leads, increase sales, and improve exposure and traffic.

The key to a successful social media marketing campaign is consistency and quality. Fortunately, there are plenty of digital marketing companies in NZ that can offer tips and tricks on how to work on this.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing / Google AdWords

Sales-ready leads are something that every business owner aspires to have, and that’s what PPC marketing can offer. Why not talk to your local marketing expert about how to use PPC marketing to your advantage?

This form of ethical marketing allows you to reach targeted customers and without waiting for results. Your return on investment (ROI) is also quite high, as you only pay when an interested potential customer clicks on the link.

Given the complexities behind setting up a successful PPC campaign, it’s worth checking in with a marketing guru to get the best results.

Search Engine Optimisation

You might think that building a pretty website is enough to get the customers visiting in their droves, but it takes more than that. Search engine optimisation can be paramount. Adopting the best on-page SEO strategies can be a recipe for success, but it can also take expert assistance.


  • A unique domain name
  • A country code top level domain (, .nz)
  • Adding keywords to your title tags and meta descriptions
  • Using keywords at the front of your title tags
  • Adding keywords to H1 tags
  • Removing duplicate content from your site
  • Adding long-tail keywords to your site
  • Creating SEO-friendly URLs
  • Updating your content often
  • Optimising your images with metadata and correct sizing
  • Using a keyword in the first paragraph of your content
  • Adding internal links and high-authority outbound links
  • Checking spelling and grammar
  • Having an SSL certificate

There are dozens of best practices in the realm of search engine marketing, so don’t be afraid to spend a bit of time learning the ins and outs of the marketing world.

How to Get Started with Ethical Marketing

It can be quite overwhelming to get to grips with marketing strategies you can and can’t adopt. The last thing any business owner wants is to lose the gains they have made through practices they didn’t realise were not ethical.

One of the best ways to start your new digital advertising journey on the right track is by enlisting the help of an E-marketing expert. Form a plan, learn what approaches work the best, and watch as those customer leads roll in.

Upskill with eLearning Tue, 21 Apr 2020 5:04:00 UTC COVID-19 spread throughout the world. ]]> For several years, businesses have been transitioning from traditional bricks and mortar models to those that incorporate an online and digital presence. That transition might have been slow, but efforts were certainly ramped up as the respiratory disease COVID-19 spread throughout the world. 

Now, businesses are making sure they can provide service during New Zealand’s alert level 4 lockdown by moving as much as they can online.

However, several companies are sure to have noticed a slow-down during this time. This means there is certainly not as much to fill the working week as there was before. While you could focus on getting a few odd jobs completed around the home, wouldn’t your time be better spent doing those things for your business that you just never had time for before?

eLearning can help

E-learning is the process of learning a new skill online or partaking in educational programs online. With the entire country at home, it’s now more relevant than ever before to use the internet for guidance on how to manage parts of your business.

Does your business need to upskill in a particular area, such as search engine marketing or social media marketing? Are there things you could be doing better to manage your current and future customers during this trying time? You don’t need to sit in a classroom to learn new skills to benefit your business. Everything you need is now at your fingertips in the digital world.


Many people in lockdown are using this time to paint their fences, tend to their gardens, and scrub their homes from top to bottom. Those are all worthwhile things to do, but DIY skills can also relate to learning new skills online that could ultimately put your business in a strong position once the alert levels in New Zealand are lowered.

Traditionally, SEOsocial media marketingGoogle Ads, and analytics are all things that businesses could learn about from experts in person. While those services and training sessions will still be available once the lockdown is lifted, they are now available online in the interim. You have more time, so why not take advantage?

By learning these skills online yourself, you and your business experience a multitude of benefits. You have more control over your costs and expenditure related to marketing, and you don’t have to pay an agency to look after them for you. As you are learning things that can boost your business profits, better cash flow is also a likely benefit.

Learn Digital Marketing from Experts

You’re at home, and businesses are around you at home, so you can guarantee that digital marketing experts in New Zealand are also at home. As a result, you don’t have to learn new, valuable skills for your company on your own. E-learning is about tapping into the knowledge of experts as you would in a classroom setting, but in a purely digital sense.

The best SEO and marketing experts are on hand to help business owners and their teams learn SEO, social media marketing, and more, in E-learning courses online.

Benefits of Managing Digital Marketing Yourself

There will always be search engine marketing companies ready and able to manage your firm’s online presence. However, there is also no harm in learning the skills to take care of it yourself.

In this particularly trying economic time, cutting costs and saving money is paramount. It’s crucial not to stop your current online marketing practices, but savings can be made through managing those practices yourself.

E-learning courses dedicated to teaching you those skills can offer several benefits. You come to understand why e-marketing is so important, and you learn about the many techniques that can be relevant to your unique business model.

Everything from Google ads and analytics to social media marketing and content now makes a whole lot more sense. Better yet, you now have the time to give them as much attention as they require.

Find E-Learning Courses to Suit Your Business

When it comes to learning digital marketing strategies for your business, you’re not short of options. An abundance of E-learning courses are available online, such as SEO & SEM short courses, SEO training courses, social media short courses, and more.

Think about what you want to achieve in your business after lockdown, and how you can gain momentum during the lockdown. The more you learn, the more likely you are to come out swinging.

Action is the antidote… Thu, 2 Apr 2020 4:05:00 UTC COVID-19 has the world firmly in its grasp. But even though everyday life and business feels uncertain at this point, and every fibre in your being says stop spending money, there has to be a voice of reason that says otherwise.]]> We’re in extraordinary times as a coronavirus called COVID-19 has the world firmly in its grasp. But even though everyday life and business feels uncertain at this point, and every fibre in your being says stop spending money, there has to be a voice of reason that says otherwise.

Spend money to make money...​

After all, if there’s anything that remains true through these troubling times, it’s that you have to spend money to make money whether you feel confident in doing so or not.

While curbing spending on products and services can be a way in which you get through these uncertain economic times, there’s one area that requires consistency, and that’s your SEO investment. The buyers are still out there, so the marketing techniques to put your business to the forefront have to be, as well.

Not convinced? Read on to learn why you shouldn’t let COVID-19 affect your SEO practices.

Avoid a cash crisis...​

It seems like the entire world is at home. No one is walking the streets, non-essential bricks and mortar businesses are closed, and money is changing hands at a slow rate. But you can keep cash flow ticking over by boosting your organic search engine marketing results.

Bear in mind, that while people aren’t roaming the streets, they are scrolling the internet. To pause your SEO services now would be to reduce your presence when more of the world is on the web than ever before. 

Initial reports indicate Google search ads are seeing a 7% loss compared to January 2020, but do you know what’s increasing? Organic search visibility.

That means you need to continue to create content that contributes to your brand strategy. Good content also boosts SEO performance and leads to trust, and trust leads to sales. Sales allow you to keep that cash flowing, all the while building a brand that’s ready to thrive once COVID-19 is shown the front door.

Make every dollar count...​

During tough economic times, every dollar counts. That’s why search engine marketing is something that many businesses can get on board with. You know where every dollar is going and whether or not it’s leading to the results you are trying to achieve.

It’s also one of the most cost-efficient investments you can make during COVID-19 and one that requires continuous investment to give bang for your buck.

Having a search engine marketer on your team, too, can prove valuable. As soon as they see that something isn’t working, they can play with keyword phrases, move your budget, and make changes that reflect the current purchasing mood.

Everything related to search engine optimisation and marketing is trackable. Look at your sales. Look at your leads. If you’re not getting value for money, then change it. You have full control over this form of marketing – you can’t say the same about non-digital marketing.

So, right now, create SEO-focused content related to your industry. Keep your site up to date for those who will be visiting it. Check your current campaigns and make sure your message is relevant. You’re then on track for results both now and when the new market emerges at the other end.

Embrace the digital age...

Diversification is a wise move in any business that is starting to lag behind the times. But during the tough economic climate brought about by the coronavirus COVID-19, you have an opportunity. That opportunity is to diversify business practices to stay afloat.

Some businesses may not have been all that keen or invested in the digital age. Given that many countries are putting their citizens in lock down, the digital platform is now all that several non-essential businesses have. Use this time as an opportunity to brush up your skills, work on your SEO practices, and give your business that new edge it has been waiting for. Now is the time for your business to shine.

Prepare for the new normal...

We know from past experiences that things do and will get back to normal. Even if that ‘normal’ is different from the one before COVID-19 reared its head. 

SEO is about consistency, and stopping and starting will prove more harmful than keeping your practices going – even through tough times.

It’s also important to note that the media can drive the fear cycle, with each sensationalist headline more profitable for them than the last. It’s important that you do not freeze. This virus is serious, but we will get through it and the market will re-open, hungrier than ever. You need to ensure your business is ready, by having a strong organic search strategy, or it will leak fresh revenue to competitors. 

If you haven’t put much thought into search engine optimisation and online marketing techniques, then now’s the time. The entire world is online, and SEO can help make sure that your business is seen more so than one that has let its practices slip.We’re in extraordinary times as a coronavirus called COVID-19 has the world firmly in its grasp. But even though everyday life and business feels uncertain at this point, and every fibre in your being says stop spending money, there has to be a voice of reason that says otherwise.

Spend money to make money...​

After all, if there’s anything that remains true through these troubling times, it’s that you have to spend money to make money whether you feel confident in doing so or not.

While curbing spending on products and services can be a way in which you get through these uncertain economic times, there’s one area that requires consistency, and that’s your SEO investment. The buyers are still out there, so the marketing techniques to put your business to the forefront have to be, as well.

Not convinced? Read on to learn why you shouldn’t let COVID-19 affect your SEO practices.

Avoid a cash crisis...​

It seems like the entire world is at home. No one is walking the streets, non-essential bricks and mortar businesses are closed, and money is changing hands at a slow rate. But you can keep cash flow ticking over by boosting your organic search engine marketing results.

Bear in mind, that while people aren’t roaming the streets, they are scrolling the internet. To pause your SEO services now would be to reduce your presence when more of the world is on the web than ever before. 

Initial reports indicate Google search ads are seeing a 7% loss compared to January 2020, but do you know what’s increasing? Organic search visibility.

That means you need to continue to create content that contributes to your brand strategy. Good content also boosts SEO performance and leads to trust, and trust leads to sales. Sales allow you to keep that cash flowing, all the while building a brand that’s ready to thrive once COVID-19 is shown the front door.

Make every dollar count...​

During tough economic times, every dollar counts. That’s why search engine marketing is something that many businesses can get on board with. You know where every dollar is going and whether or not it’s leading to the results you are trying to achieve.

It’s also one of the most cost-efficient investments you can make during COVID-19 and one that requires continuous investment to give bang for your buck.

Having a search engine marketer on your team, too, can prove valuable. As soon as they see that something isn’t working, they can play with keyword phrases, move your budget, and make changes that reflect the current purchasing mood.

Everything related to search engine optimisation and marketing is trackable. Look at your sales. Look at your leads. If you’re not getting value for money, then change it. You have full control over this form of marketing – you can’t say the same about non-digital marketing.

So, right now, create SEO-focused content related to your industry. Keep your site up to date for those who will be visiting it. Check your current campaigns and make sure your message is relevant. You’re then on track for results both now and when the new market emerges at the other end.

Embrace the digital age...

Diversification is a wise move in any business that is starting to lag behind the times. But during the tough economic climate brought about by the coronavirus COVID-19, you have an opportunity. That opportunity is to diversify business practices to stay afloat.

Some businesses may not have been all that keen or invested in the digital age. Given that many countries are putting their citizens in lock down, the digital platform is now all that several non-essential businesses have. Use this time as an opportunity to brush up your skills, work on your SEO practices, and give your business that new edge it has been waiting for. Now is the time for your business to shine.

Prepare for the new normal...

We know from past experiences that things do and will get back to normal. Even if that ‘normal’ is different from the one before COVID-19 reared its head. 

SEO is about consistency, and stopping and starting will prove more harmful than keeping your practices going – even through tough times.

It’s also important to note that the media can drive the fear cycle, with each sensationalist headline more profitable for them than the last. It’s important that you do not freeze. This virus is serious, but we will get through it and the market will re-open, hungrier than ever. You need to ensure your business is ready, by having a strong organic search strategy, or it will leak fresh revenue to competitors. 

If you haven’t put much thought into search engine optimisation and online marketing techniques, then now’s the time. The entire world is online, and SEO can help make sure that your business is seen more so than one that has let its practices slip.

Risks of using old school SEO tactics Mon, 16 Mar 2020 4:14:00 UTC New Zealand SEO companies that continue to use cheap, outdated and dangerous tactics to boost organic rankings.]]> Google’s latest updates are exposing New Zealand SEO companies that continue to use cheap, outdated and dangerous tactics to boost organic rankings.

The fallout in the NZ SEO industry is brutal for both SEO NZ companies and, unfortunately, their clients, who often don’t realise what tactics their optimiser is using until it is too late.

The message from Google is clear: adopt modern, content led search tactics that help Googlers find answers to their search queries, or lose your most valuable source of online leads!

Cheap SEO is like Google on steroids

Cheap search engine optimisation tactics, like buying low quality backlinks, are like steroids to an athlete – they can provide a quick boost, but ultimately destroy your domain or get it penalised. Similar to doping penalties, ranking penalties can last for years, or even forever.

SEO companies now have to work a lot smarter and harder than before to achieve results, which has accelerated the purging of SEO cowboys from the NZ search industry.

We anticipate that in 2018, the New Zealand SEO industry will be pushed to achieve a higher standard, benefiting true SEO professionals, Googlers, and most importantly, our clients.

Google penalises you, not the SEO company

Bear in mind, Google penalises your website, NOT the SEO company. YOU are ultimately accountable for the SEO tactics that are applied to your website, not the SEO company you have contracted to do the work. We recommend you conduct regular due diligence (AKA SEO audits) of the methods your SEO company uses.

To help you, we’ve listed below the top three good and bad SEO tactics you need to be aware of as we head into 2018.

Three SEO tactics to avoid in 2018

  1. Do not buy or acquire low quality websites to link back to yours.
  2. Do not produce thin, low quality web page content that is also not unique e.g. web copy that has been duplicated from another website or poorly written copy.
  3. Avoid over-optimizing your web pages for their target search terms e.g. repeating keywords too many times.

Three SEO tactics to embrace in 2018

  1. Regularly produce unique, well researched website content that appeals to your target audience.
  2. Use SEO tactics that enhance the user experience of your website, in particular, the mobile user experience.
  3. Earn backlinks from relevant websites naturally, or not at all.

For more information on our modern SEO approach, or for an assessment of your SEO tactics, contact one of our friendly New Zealand SEO experts on 0508 254 258, or learn SEO best-practice at one of our popular SEO training courses for managers.

Fight, flight or freeze. How to keep moving forward during a crisis. Mon, 16 Mar 2020 4:06:00 UTC reported, with over 6,500 deaths.]]> As most business owners and employees will now be aware, a Coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, is rapidly spreading around the world. As of March 15, nearly 170,000 cases had been reported, with over 6,500 deaths.

As a New Zealand business owner, the virus has probably triggered one of three reactions in your business: fight, flight, or freeze. These are the natural responses that can serve a purpose in the right moments but can also stop us from doing what’s best for our business.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the decisions you need to make during this trying time.


With several countries in lockdown and people staying at home to keep themselves safe, it’s not uncommon to notice a significant slump in business revenue. But you can fight back by focusing your online marketing budget on short-term activities that drive short-term revenue and cash.

Rather than focus on the long-term goal of profitability, look at ways you can sustain revenue right now, while putting future activities on the backburner until the worst has passed. That might require you to cut costs and budgets, as several companies have already done, on those tasks that were previously aimed at long-term growth.

Price adjustment is yet another ‘fight’ method that can sustain you in the here and now. Keep those sales rolling in, even if it means you have to operate with a slimmer profit margin. The goal is to keep your business ticking over.

In the same breath, competitive packages can be a way to sustain your business through this challenging period. Look at what your competitors are doing and consider following their lead. Your line of business can dictate what those packages could be.

Businesses may also like to factor in the official call for social distancing. With hundreds of thousands of people choosing to stay at home to do their part for minimising the spread of COVID-19, you can look at different options that make it easier for your customers to do business with you.

Offer free shipping on their order, “no contact,” shipping directly to their door, and start offering online services if you don’t already.


Running away from the virus is potentially not going to be the best option for any business. Instead, it’s essential to put a plan in place that will keep customers working with you – even if it’s not in line with your traditional business model.


Some businesses and companies may decide to ride out the storm in what is known as “freeze” mode. This is where you do nothing but try to keep the business ticking along as usual.

While freezing is an option, it’s paramount to understand how COVID-19 can impact your target market, their behaviour, and how they’re thinking. Understand what their needs are at this time, and how you can meet them.

It’s only natural to do nothing because you fear making the wrong business decision. Still, the consequences of doing nothing can be far greater than if you were to do something.

Have You Got an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan?

Businesses with employees may now be putting their infectious disease outbreak response plan into practice. All employees should be aware of this plan, how to implement it, and how to ensure continuity of operations in the face of a genuine disease outbreak risk.

As a rule, businesses should start by:

  • Keeping sick employees at home and away from the workplace
  • Reiterating hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Carrying out routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces

Your infectious disease outbreak response plan should identify health risks to your employees and work-related exposure. Make sure all your HR policies are consistent with those outlined in public health recommendations.

Consider whether you can enact flexible work practices, such as remote working and social distancing, and if you can operate on a skeleton staff to minimise any impact.

Furthermore, a long, hard look at your supply chain can outline what, at the very minimum, you need to keep your business running like a well-oiled machine. Who are the critical links from manufacturing through to suppliers and distributors? Know who you need to contact in the event of a problem, where someone in that chain can no longer deliver due to health and safety concerns.

Last, But Not Least, Keep Yourself Safe

New Zealand has eight confirmed cases of COVID-19, as of March 15. That number is expected to rise. However, we can all do our part by keeping ourselves safe and taking all necessary precautions.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Practice good respiratory hygiene, and be on the lookout for changes in your health – such as difficulty breathing, a fever, and a cough. Stay home if you are not feeling well, and contact your health care provider as soon as possible.

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and maintain social distancing of at least three metres between you and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

As a business owner, such a disease can cause endless amounts of stress. However, the more prepared you are, the better the outcome for you and your team.

Review Me: Why Getting User Reviews for Your Business is Important – and How to Get Them Tue, 18 Feb 2020 4:07:00 UTC When you enjoy a meal at a restaurant, you’ll often find that a waiter or waitress will visit your table and ask how everything is. You might be halfway through swallowing a piece of steak, so the timing isn’t great, but you give them the feedback they’re asking for anyway.

Restauranteurs ask for that feedback because they want to make sure you are happy with the service and food they are providing. In the online world, though, reviews are a little more crucial. In written form, Facebook and Google reviews are not only relevant for finding out if people are happy, but are also helpful for your SEO.

The same concept applies to the restaurant scenario, though. If you want to find out how you’re doing, you have to ask. Read on to learn not only why Google and Facebook reviews are so important, but how you can get them.

How Do User Experiences Translate to SEO Benefits?

Okay, we’re not going to lie. It does seem a bit weird to think that a customer saying “they changed my car tyre fast” is going to draw visitors to your website or have any profound effect on your SEO. But you’d be surprised.

In the same way that backlinks tell Google you’re a trustworthy business, reviews tell customers and Google that you’re trustworthy, as well. Of course, the more positive the reviews, the more positively your business will be viewed.  

You know your business is trustworthy already, though, so why bother fishing for reviews from customers? It’s important to understand just how powerful Google now is.

Up to 90 percent of consumers will read a review about a business before they visit it. Online reviews can also impact up to 70 percent of purchasing decisions. Still not convinced? Then how about knowing that nearly 75 percent of consumers say that a glowing review of a business will make them trust that business? Trust us; Google and Facebook reviews are the way of the future. So, are you in?

You’ve Convinced Me, Who Do I Ask to Give me a Review?

Hopefully, most people will be kind enough to give Google and Facebook reviews without being asked, but some people do need a prompt. However, it pays to be quite selective of who you ask if you want to show your business in the best light for SEO purposes.

For example, you possibly wouldn’t ask someone for a Google or Facebook review who has just yelled at you for not serving them right on closing time. You can certainly have confidence in asking someone for a review who was over the moon with the product and service you provided. Don’t feel the need to ask every single customer for a review, for it might not work in your favour.

How Do I Ask for Google and Facebook Reviews?

It can feel a little weird asking someone whether they like you or not. Fortunately, the digital age we live in means that it’s definitely a more widely accepted practice than it used to be. You don’t even need to ask them to their face.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the death of email was predicted, but we seem to have gone full circle. Now, it’s a goldmine for businesses to access their customers and provide tailored marketing solutions. Use it to ask for reviews.

When you send a product off to its new home, you want to make sure that the recipient is happy with it. Within a week, send a customised email out to thank them for their business, the purchase of X product, and a short message that says you hope they will visit again soon.

You can then provide a link to a reviewing platform – bet it Google or Facebook (or both) – asking them to review their experience with you if they get a chance.

Keep the email short and sweet. A novel won’t capture anyone’s attention, and it will most likely end up in the bin folder along with everything else.

If email contact isn’t applicable for your business (and it won’t be for all), then there are other ways to ask for Facebook and Google reviews. Leave a review card with their order that offers instructions on how to leave a review. You can also link your Google reviews to your website to encourage people to leave reviews of their own accord.

Alternatively, for larger purchases, you can make a phone call. Follow up to make sure they are happy with the product, then ask if they would be happy to leave a review online.

Reaping Review Rewards

Asking for reviews for your business isn’t hard work, but it can seem like yet another thing you’ve got to add to your ever-growing list of business tasks. But think of the payoff. The more people that leave positive reviews, the more trustworthy your business can be seen in the eyes of Google.

Your ranking on Google may even benefit as a result. So, what are you going to do the next time you deal with a particularly happy customer? You’re going to ask them to put that in writing.

How the Multi-Channel (PPC + SEO + SEM) Approach Actually Works Fri, 24 Jan 2020 4:08:00 UTC 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 that single thing that works for them, but what happens when you combine them into one package?

Magic. Magic happens.

Increase Your Viewership

Both search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising are designed to improve your website’s ranking. But when you use these two approaches together, you can take advantage of many cohesive attributes that actually work better together than apart.

The on-page optimisation component is about playing with your metadata and keywords that allow the search engines to crawl your site with ease. You then complement that with external links from different sources that add relevance and substance to your site.

Finally, you open your wallet and invest in pay-per-click advertising, an SEM strategy. This is where you pay for people to follow a link to your website or landing page. The low cost per click can be quite an attractive lure for many business owners, but you also need to pair this investment with a sound strategy for customer conversion.

If your search engine optimisation is going well, or your PPC advertising is, then you might not feel that utilising a multi-channel approach will offer any benefits, but Google has already admitted that the two do go hand-in-hand.

You may appear at the top of the food chain for organic results, but that doesn’t mean your potential customer will click on your website purely because of that result. In fact, Google said that around half of the clicks on ads were not replaced with organic clicks once businesses decided to stop investing in PPC advertising.

Find Out What’s Working

Many years ago, businesses could only measure their success in specific platforms with schemes such as “bring in this coupon for a 10% discount”. It was their way of not only offering their customers a good deal but also making sure that, for example, newspaper advertising was right for them.

With the digital age comes the demise of the newspaper and similar advertising methods. People want to find out what they are spending their money on, and whether their investment is turning into customer sales. That’s what the multi-channel approach can offer.

When you pair SEO with SEM, including PPC advertising, you are covering all bases for the best chance of securing that virtual trolley checkout. With Google Analytics, you can see which ads are being clicked on the most, which keywords helped people to find those ads, and which subsequent conversion options on your website led to a sale.

Without that combination, you merely see how many people are checking out on your website, not what actually made them do so.

Read the Data

So, you now understand that search engine optimisation and PPC advertising go hand in hand, you need to make sure you’re capitalising on that relationship. And that involves reading the data correctly while making smart choices with your money.

Reading the data involves looking at the keywords you have put in place throughout your PPC campaign, then comparing how the click rate compares for each option. Running your PPC campaign alongside your organic one with the same keyword data can also help you work out which offers the best conversation rate. The more you know, the better equipped you are to adjust your campaign and workin with your budget for the best result.

Your site’s search data can also fall under this category. Find out what people are searching for on your website. You can then use those keywords in your PPC campaigns knowing that they are precisely what people are visiting you to receive.

Using Your PPC to Help Your Organic Strategy

The multi-channel approach involves having your SEO and SEM advertising methods working together. However, it’s not out of the question for your pay-per-click campaigns within the realm of search engine marketing to carve out their own road for other methods to follow.

Most people know that organic results can take a long time to work. You can often wait for eons only to realise the way you set your campaign up didn’t work how you intended, as well. With pay-per-click, the results are near-instant.

Therefore, you can use the best-performing ad copy from your pay-per-click advertising to work out quickly what is going to work for your organic strategy. Save hours, days, and weeks mulling over test campaigns and identify that sure-fire recipe for success at the same time.

Strong Apart, Better Together

In this digital age, it can be hard to know what works. SEO and SEM with pay-per-click advertising, they all have their place solo, but there’s no denying they can move mountains together. What are you waiting for? Start looking at ways you can make your organic and paid advertising work hand in hand, or find an SEO and advertising expert who can help. The results may surprise you.

Guide to choosing the best SEO agency Sun, 6 Oct 2019 21:18:00 UTC
You can listen to this article here:

Critical tips for selecting the best SEO agency​

Selecting the top search engine optimisation agency to meet your needs is a daunting, yet necessary, task. We crafted this guide to help you select a partner that will suit your company culture and help you achieve your SEO goals.

Tip #1: Set your organic SEO goals. ​

This sounds anecdotal, however goal setting is a crucial first step that is often glossed over.

Start by setting the goals for your organic search strategy. Define what you want to achieve with your SEO program and by when. For example, do you want your SEO program to generate x number of leads (email and calls), $ amount of sales or both? We recommend setting your SEO goals per month, quarter and for the year. 

Note: SEO rankings are an important metric to track. However, we recommend you treat rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) as a key performance indicator (KPI), rather than a goal. Ultimately, rankings generate clickthroughs from Google to your website, though those clicks won’t always translate directly into a lead or a sale, for reasons such as usability issues with your website.

Why start by setting your SEO goals?

Goals are key for tracking the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO program and identifying what needs to stop, start or continue. Goals are also a key reference point for trying to pinpoint why your clickthroughs from search are not translating into leads or sales. 

Finally, presenting your SEO goals to your potential SEO partners allows them to estimate what approach and investment is required by them to achieve your goals. 

Tip #2: Define your primary SEO requirements.

Conduct a high level audit of your existing SEO strategy before you contact potential SEO suppliers as your findings will help filter out SEO suppliers that don’t have the SEO expertise you need. 

Consider contracting an SEO expert to audit your website against key SEO factors, such as the following, before you approach SEO agencies.

Does your website need SEO friendly content?

Does your website have deep content, that answers a variety of questions your audience is searching for? Does it provide content such as videos, podcasts, blogs, FAQs, product reviews and product guides. Or is the content on your website too thin or outdated.

Does your website have major 'technical SEO' issues?

Is Google struggling to understand the meaning of the content on your web pages? Have your pages being tagged correctly and is Google able to index the key pages of your website, in priority order? How long does it take your website to load on a mobile device?

Does your website need trustworthy links?

Low quality backlinks to your website are like steroids, they assist in the short term though ultimately get you penalised. Does your website suffer from too many low trust / low quality / spam backlinks? Has your website built enough backlink authority over time?

Tip #3. Invite three SEO agencies. ​

You are now at a point where you can invite a few SEO agencies to pitch to be your SEO partner. We suggest inviting no more than three agencies, or you will end up getting confused. 

Consider using the following questions to filter out agencies you don’t think will be a good fit for your company culture and SEO requirements. 

  • How long have they been incorporated / in business as an SEO agency? 
  • What do they see as the main focus point for your SEO strategy (see previous section)?
  • What is there core focus, content, technical SEO or backlinks (see tip #2 above)?
  • Do they mainly work with small, medium or large websites?
  • Do they service competing companies?
  • Where are they based? 
  • Who will service your account? 
  • What is the notice period / term of the contract? 
  • What experience do they have working with your Content Management System (CMS)?
  • What other services do they provide e.g. copy writing, design, trainingGoogle Ads?
  • What is their recommended price and what is included (see next section) and excluded in their price?
  • Do they provide advisory support only or do they also provide SEO related implementation services (see next section)?

Tip #4. Beware of hidden costs.

Most New Zealand SEO companies provide advisory services + link building only. This means you need to also budget time and money for implementing the recommendations your SEO provider makes. Be sure to clarify with the SEO agencies on your short list which of the following services they implement and which you will need to budget for over and above what you pay them. 

  • website content creation (videos, blogs, web page copy, etc)
  • onpage implementation, such as loading header and image tags into your content management system
  • making changes to your Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager tracking system if it is not tracking accurately 

Next steps.

We appreciate selecting an SEO agency is a daunting prospect, though it is a crucial decision you need to get right. If you want further information or a confidential chat, tips or advice, email or call one of our friendly SEO experts on 0508 254 258.

Google’s June 2019 Core Update Mon, 22 Jul 2019 5:31:00 UTC
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Here’s What We Know So Far…

  • It went live on June 3rd.
  • It was a significant update.
  • It has affected a large number of sites rankings.
  • Sites with multiple listings on the same page may have seen a decrease in those listings but a strengthening of the remaining listings.

What Type of Sites Were Affected?

  • Health Sites
  • eCommerce Sites
  • Cryptocurrency Sites
  • News Sites
  • Finance Sites
  • Gambling Sites
  • Travel Sites

What Does Google Say?

Google’s John Mueller was asked in a Webmaster Hangout what to do if a site is suffering a traffic loss due to the update. His answer provided insights into understanding what is happening.

He did not suggest fixing anything specific and the reason there’s nothing specific to fix is because a core update encompasses a broader range of factors.

“I think it’s a bit tricky to explain because we’re not focusing on something very specific where we’d say like for example when we rolled out the speed update.” – Google’s John Mueller.

The key take away here is don’t panic and make rash changes – keep following Google’s guidelines for quality content.

Here are the kinds of questions Google suggests you should ask yourself:

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?”
The Importance of a Quick Website Load Speed Wed, 27 Mar 2019 4:32:00 UTC eCommerce store needs to know the answer to this question. People are impatient and a slow website will have them bouncing in a matter of seconds.]]>
You can listen to this article here:

Is your website lightning quick on desktop and mobile?

Any business owner with a website or eCommerce store needs to know the answer to this question. People are impatient and a slow website will have them bouncing in a matter of seconds.

If you can speed up your website it will make a massive difference not only for user experience and conversions, but for your search rankings as well. Here’s why.

  1. First impressions count
  2. A quick website load speed creates a strong first impression. It shows customers that your business is professional and reliable. ‘Fast’ equates to ‘trust’ and ‘confidence’ in the online world. A website that loads quickly will attract new customers and keep your existing ones coming back for more.

    A slow website creates the opposite impression. ‘Slow’ equates to ‘unsafe’ and ‘untrustworthy’. Customers that have trouble with load speed are less likely to visit your website again. A Kissmetric study found that 40% of people abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load, that’s a large chunk of your audience that won’t be returning!

  3. Mobile users expect speed
  4. Since more people use Smartphones for browsing, rather than desktop connections, a quick website load speed for mobile is vital. Trying to access a slow website when you’re on the go is frustrating and customers are impatient. Busy people demand quick answers, and want even faster speeds for a mobile site than they do for desktop sites. They’ll abandon sites that don’t give them what they need immediately.

    Test how fast your site loads on mobile with Google’s Test My Site.

  5. Fast websites convert better
  6. Slow load speeds not only drive potential customers away, they drive away your sales. If your website loads quickly on mobile, more people will potentially visit your site rather than a slower competitor. The Kissmetric study above says 40% of people abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load. If you have 100,000 visitors a month, and your website takes 4 seconds to load, that’s 40,000 potential customers a month that you’re missing out on converting.

    Ideally you want a fast website so people visit, browse and buy. With a slow website people tend to abandon rather than buy.

  7. Quick load speed may be good for organic SEO
  8. Fast mobile websites could potentially rank higher on Google. Website load speed is one of Google’s many ranking factors and in July 2018 it announced that speed would now be a ranking factor in mobile search results (but there’s no guarantee that improving your mobile speed alone will improve your ranking position).  

    As Google says, “a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”

  9. Accelerated Mobile Pages
  10. If you’re looking for faster mobile web experience for your customers, then switching to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an option.

    Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source framework formulated by Google, that can be used across a variety of platforms such as Shopify® and WooCommerce. It aims to improve your page speed and create a faster mobile web experience for your customers. This doesn’t necessarily improve engagement but it does give your site the chance to improve your ranking position.  

Here are some pros and cons of using AMP:


  • Extremely fast page load speed
  • Google starting to display AMPs in search results
  • Potentially higher rankings in organic mobile search results
  • Potentially higher chance of customer conversion.


  • Can be confusing to set up
  • Reduction in branding elements
  • Still in its infancy so capabilities not known.

For further reading on AMP, check out Neil Patel’s Definitive Guide to Accelerated Mobile Pages. As he says, Google hasn’t yet made AMP a ranking factor, so a well optimised mobile page is perfectly fine at the moment.

Are you ready to increase your website speed?

Fast website speed is a critical matter, especially for mobile users. A slow website affects your customer’s experience, it affects your SEO, and it affects your conversions.

As SEO experts, ClickThrough can test your site and help you improve your site speed. Get in contact with us today.

The rise of digital marketing training Wed, 20 Feb 2019 4:21:00 UTC
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You can listen to this article here:Five years ago it was ok just to get by with digital, but companies are now finding that in order to stay relevant and succeed, an online presence is crucial. Over the past three years we’ve particularly noticed a rapid surge in requests for SEO, Google Ads, Analytics and Social Media training. There’s an increasing demand for skilled digital marketers who can help businesses succeed in the digital world.

Here are the 5 most important factors that we think are driving the growth of digital marketing training in New Zealand.

The boom in digital marketing and digital advertising

The overall upsurge in digital marketing training in New Zealand reflects the growing importance of digital to a company’s bottom line. Digital marketing and digital advertising have become an integral part of the marketing mix. The internet is such an accepted part of people’s daily lives, that going digital is the only way to reach them. The stats back up our observations too.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) report for 2017 reveals that digital advertising is leading the way. According to the ASA report, in 2017 digital advertising generated $785 million dollars worth of revenue – that’s 30.65% of the total advertising revenue in New Zealand. This was up $2 million on 2016 figures. Trailing behind digital marketing in second and third place were TV at $566 million and newspapers at $353 million. This shows just how popular a medium digital advertising is right now and how it’s growing even more so. Businesses are jumping on board with this trend and looking at how they can increase their involvement in digital.

More ways to connect and engage with customers

Digital marketing goes beyond traditional marketing, and has opened up more ways to connect and engage with existing and prospective customers. Businesses can now use digital channels such as:

  • Company blog
  • Search engines,
  • Google ads
  • Display advertising
  • Social media
  • Email / e-newsletters.

The biggest benefit of using digital marketing is that many forms are extremely cost-efficient, more so than traditional marketing. Digital marketing is also ever changing, due to the rapid developments being made in technology. You need to move quickly and adapt to change if you want to keep being relevant to your customers.

Staff that quickly need to upskill

Since everything is turning digital nowadays, businesses have an increasing need for staff with digital skill-sets. The shortage of digital marketing talent in New Zealand (and around the world) means that businesses and digital agencies are recruiting inexperienced staff, or perhaps staff who have done a Digital Marketing diploma with a lot of generalised course content. These staff need to quickly build their digital marketing skills, so businesses are sending them on short training courses for more specialised up-to-date training.

Tech savvy millennials

Millennials are incredibly tech savvy, especially around social media, and businesses have to get onboard or risk losing buy-in from this sector of the market. Making sure that millennials are part of your digital marketing campaigns, and overall strategy, is a smart move. Marketing to millennials requires the recruitment of younger, more tech savvy marketing staff who are ‘in touch’ with this generation. This ensures you stay on top of new trends and current platforms. This is a young target market that craves culture, community and experiences, so you need to produce online advertising content that has a high engagement level. The millennial staff that you train up are not just digital marketers, they’re your secret weapon to reach Gen Y.

Businesses taking digital marketing in-house

Businesses may have previously outsourced digital marketing to an agency but a lot of them are now creating their own in-house digital marketing services. Not only can companies enjoy a significant cost savings by keeping marketing in-house, they can also avoid having to deal with poor account servicing by digital agencies. Many businesses complain of a lack of transparency with agencies, and not having control over their data, so going in-house is a way of taking back that control. A critical element to making in-house marketing successful though is hiring staff with the right skills to achieve your company’s digital marketing goals. Digital training is necessary to get staff up to speed, and that’s what we’ve been seeing recently.

How can Clickthrough help?

At Clickthrough we provide training courses customised to each company’s requirements and designed to help boost your staff’s skills in SEOGoogle AdsSocial Media Marketing and Google Analytics. Our Clickthrough trainers are experienced Google Certified tutors who will get your staff up to speed quickly, and ensure they have their finger on the pulse of digital marketing. Find out more about our training courses 2-for-1 Xmas offer or contact us today to book a course.  

Boost Xmas sales with Google Shopping Wed, 12 Dec 2018 4:33:00 UTC online webstore offer Google Shopping? As it is starting to dominate online retail marketing in New Zealand. As the need for a dynamic online presence transitions from a nice-to-have to a must-have, consumers have had to adapt to the way they research, evaluate and buy goods and services online. So let’s take a look at what Google Shopping actually is and how it works in favor for many.]]> Does your online webstore offer Google Shopping? As it is starting to dominate online retail marketing in New Zealand. As the need for a dynamic online presence transitions from a nice-to-have to a must-have, consumers have had to adapt to the way they research, evaluate and buy goods and services online. So let’s take a look at what Google Shopping actually is and how it works in favor for many.

What is Google Shopping?

In its simplest context, Google Shopping works in conjunction with Google Ads and Google Merchant Center producing SEO-configured search results. It’s a highly-ranked ecommerce tool that should be part of any marketing strategy for businesses selling both virtual and tangible products.

Goods can be segmented into pricing, brands and even best-seller type campaigns to maximise your return on advertising costs – it really is digital marketing at its best for online retailers! It’s a well-developed platform that’s easy to use and, in a sense, basic to manage.

The best part of a service like this is that potential customers are able to view a retailer’s products and price at the top of Google’s search results pages (SERPs), before even viewing the website. This benefits both buyers and sellers as the eye-catching images at the top of the SERPs saves the consumer time of extensive price and product comparison.

How does Google Shopping work?

Google Shopping only works with ecommerce websites built on platforms such as Shopify®Shopify® PlusWooCommerce, Magento® and BigCommerce®. Google Shopping uses both Google Ads and Google Merchant Center to generate search results of a retailers’ products. Google Merchant Center stores product details as a Google-friendly format to assist with search accuracy. Google Ads is a platform where your actual campaigns can be managed including budget, bidding, and performance analysis. The setup and management of Google Shopping ads isn’t as straightforward as regular text ads, with emphasis placed on the content on your website landing pages and bids rather than keywords.

Note: a well-written, SEO-friendly ecommerce website will ensure Google Shopping works most effectively for you, as it uses title and product information from your website to generate the most accurate results and ultimately drive people to your site.

Tips to maximise the potential of Google Shopping

Depending on the nature of your business and how it operates, getting the most out of your SEO optimisation and Google Shopping strategies could prove to be very beneficial, though quite complex. However, there are a few ways to simplify without compromising profitability. Let’s look at a few points below:

  1. Product information – Your website content needs to be very product-specific for Google Shopping to do its job. Ensure your product titles and products information is directly and strategically connected. Some keywords rank and convert far better than others making keyword research a critical component for any campaign. Another point to remember is that Google Shopping displays only an image, the price, a short title and the retailer – meaning you’ve got a lot to convey within a tight representation, so make it count!
  2. Remember what people are ‘searching for’ not ‘looking for’ – If what you’re selling isn’t your own, (i.e. from a manufacturer) your clientele are more likely going to be searching for the product’s name, not necessarily your specific business. It’s important to optimise title information to reflect this.
  3. Selling your brand – Even though you may want your business to be known as ‘the place to buy it’, you’ll still require product information optimised with key search terms. Adapting to this may entail an overhaul on webpage content to enhance Google Shopping results.
  4. Make it unique – Content duplication quickly becomes problematic among ecommerce sites. Just like a lousy SEO strategy, Google Shopping works the same way and may backfire as a result of content repetition. Also, be sure to use key features and attributes, using the entire character limit for Google Shopping product descriptions.

So if you’re not at all involved with Google Shopping and Google Merchant Center, or perhaps you’ve just scratched the surface with a basic campaign, then you are going to truly miss out from the Christmas season splurge. Allow yourself to hold the competitors edge and start maximising that sales potential with an optimised Google Shopping strategy today!

For more information on how to leverage Google Shopping to ramp up your online sales this Christmas, freephone 0508 254 258click here to contact us online or learn more about Google Shopping on our Google Shopping training course.

Avoid an SEO penalty, rank like a super hero Wed, 5 Dec 2018 4:09:00 UTC
You can listen to this article here:

While appearing on the front page of Google is a coveted position, you don’t have to resort to black hat SEO techniques to get there. If you do, you may find yourself slapped with an SEO penalty for trying to manipulate search engine results.

Even if you’re not deliberately trying to outwit Google, we’re all guilty of bad habits from time to time – spammy backlinks, poor content and an abuse of anchor text, being some of the most common. Do any of these sound familiar?  

If so, keep reading for some tips on how to avoid these penalty-inducing practices.

Spammy backlinks

Adding backlinks to your website from other relevant and authoritative websites is a good thing. Google interprets this action as helpful because you’re assisting searchers and making your website a more valuable resource. In Google’s eyes your authority, your relevance, and your ranking, are all worthy of a boost for doing this.

But some site owners try to take short cuts. They buy or exchange unnatural links or start mass producing guest articles with links to try and get Google to boost their ranking. Even if you do manage to enjoy being on the front page of Google, these spammy SEO practices will ensure that you lose your enviable position rather quickly.

As mentioned, Google doesn’t have a problem with backlinks but they have to be acquired in an organic way and strictly white hat. Red flags will go up if you get a large amount of backlinks in a very short time.

So how do you get organic backlinks and avoid an SEO penalty?

Create awesome content for a start, then people will want to link to it and share it with their followers. High quality, relevant guest posts are another way you can get backlinks, but the content you provide needs to be genuinely valuable to the site owner’s audience.

Poor or thin content

Offering rich, useful and unique content for searchers, can not only raise your link profile it can boost your Google ranking in general, and protect you from an SEO penalty.

Much like cleaning out a wardrobe of old clothes that are wearing thin, Google tends to weed out sites with low quality or shallow content. If you consistently post content that has little value for users you could find yourself slapped with a manual penalty or hardly ranking at all.

Here are some examples of what Google considers to be poor or thin content:

  • Content that has been automatically generated by a programme
  • Pages that link to affiliate sites that don’t have much information
  • Scraped content or content that has been stitched together
  • Low quality guest blog posts
  • Doorway pages that are designed to boost SEO.

You may notice that duplicate content hasn’t been listed above. This is because Google doesn’t always penalise for this unless it’s done deliberately to deceive users.

So how do you avoid an SEO penalty for poor or thin content?

Go through your website and identify pages that contain a low word count, that have been pieced together or that don’t really add value to your site. Look at ways you can improve these pages to provide useful information to searchers and answer questions they may have.

The content must be engaging and interesting to read rather than just a bunch of facts. Write your content with a persona in mind, tell a story or ask a question to raise the engagement level.

Abuse of anchor text

We’ve all been guilty of it at some point or another – hyperlinking anchor text that takes a user to a site with no relevance whatsoever to what we’ve been writing about. Outbound links are good right?

Unfortunately, like spammy backlinks, an abuse of anchor text can be seen as over-optimisation by Google and you could be penalised for it.

Here are some types of anchor text that you should avoid:

  • Exact match anchor text – using your targeted keyword/s for links
  • Naked anchor text – using a URL instead of relevant text for links
  • Repetitive anchor text – using ‘this page’ or ‘click here’ for links

Here are some examples of anchor text that Google considers more useful:

  • Partial match anchor text – including your keyword along with other words in the link to mix up the text
  • Branded anchor text – including a brand name in the link text to build authority
  • LSI keyword anchor text – including search terms related to the main keyword in the link to make your content more understandable for Google.

In general, aim to create anchor text that consists of words and phrases that closely match the topic of your hyperlink.

Final thoughts

If you suspect that you have been the victim of a Google penalty, don’t panic, contact one of our Auckland SEO or Wellington SEO experts today. Google is continually updating its algorithms and re-evaluating sites. If you follow the tips above and your long-term SEO strategy is free of tricks, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Discover your site’s SEO health status by using our free SEO audit tool or read about our SEO training courses to improve your skills and better manage your in-house SEO services.

Futurecasting Social Media Trends in 2019 Mon, 3 Dec 2018 4:22:00 UTC social media trends move so quickly that people can hardly keep up with them. With that said, it is fairly easy to make some predictions, based on the current trends. While social media stalwarts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even SnapChat aren’t going anywhere, the ways in which people use them may change. ]]>

Sometimes it seems as though social media trends move so quickly that people can hardly keep up with them. With that said, it is fairly easy to make some predictions, based on the current trends. While social media stalwarts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even SnapChat aren’t going anywhere, the ways in which people use them may change. This, as well as some adjustments in the world of influencers, as well as the rise of an entirely new generation, will showcase just how much social media matters in 2019. Read on to learn more about these predicted trends.

Video Will Rise To the Top of the Content Charts

YouTube has been a popular social media platform for years. Now Facebook allows people to upload videos, as well as Instagram stories and highlights. It’s clear that the public wants to see videos on their social media feeds. This makes sense since videos allow them to learn more about the people that they follow, making things even more personal. With that said, even businesses are getting in on this trend, having their marketing departments create videos that work in a similar manner to commercials. In 2019, you’ll see more videos getting shared on these networks, and the advances in posting them (including video sizes and lengths) will move forward as well. You might even see some new forms of social media pop up, especially if a company can find a way to beat YouTube at their own game.

It all started with bloggers. Brands paired with them in order to promote their wares. As blogs slowly began to fall out of favor (although the blogging “trend” is far from over), influencers took over. Now, consumers are becoming more and more aware of the “personas” that influencers push, and their depictions of that perfect Instagram-led life are seen as false. This tarnishes their brands, as well as the ones that they are paid to promote. Look to see more organic and natural influencers take their places. These people won’t be afraid to show their flaws, and their fans and sponsors will reward them. However, this change won’t take place overnight.

Generation Z Is the New Target

Millennials (also known as Generation Y) have been pushed aside in favor of the next up and coming batch of adults – Generation Z. Those born between the years of 1995 and 2005 are either just entering the workforce, going to college, or starting their teenage years. Like the Millennials before them, this group of kids has plenty of disposable income, as well as an attachment to social media. They grew up with smartphones, understand how to use this technology, and aren’t afraid to showcase their purchases to their friends, family, and thousands of social media followers. They’ll be the group that many young-skewing brands target through social media, and you can expect some of them to figure out how to professional influencers (as long as they are “real” and don’t try to depict an idealized perfect life.)

A New Form of Social Media Will Emerge

It’s been a few years since a new hot social media site has launched, so the world is due. The last big, popular site, SnapChat, launched their IPO in 2017, but the company actually started in 2011. It’s been over seven years since something new and hot has launched in the social media world, which, when you think about it, is centuries as far as technology is concerned. At some point in the next year, expect to see a new form of social media pop up. It might be something that allows users to create and share videos, but it might be something else altogether. In fact, when you consider the fact that technology and trends seem to be cyclical, this new form of social media might just be text based. Maybe something based off of the roots of Twitter?

There Will Be an Increase in User-Generated Content

Essentially, social media is user-generated content. This is nothing new. The main difference between it and the overall user-generated content trend is the ways in which this information is used. For example, you’ll see more national ad campaigns created by global companies that ask their fans to send in pictures and videos to be used in their commercials. While some of these campaigns might be competitions, it might be something as simple as “use this hashtag” and we might use your post. Since everyone wants their moment in the sun – even if that “moment” is more along the lines of a few seconds – there will be thousands of submissions. This is something that will definitely gain more of a foothold in 2019. Brands are realizing that they can utilize the content produced by their fans for their own gain, in a way.

Guest Author Bio Links

Facebook –

Twitter –

White Hat SEO Tips Fri, 19 Oct 2018 4:10:00 UTC
You can listen to this article here:

Once upon a time, in the ever-expanding universe of Google, all you had to do for a good ranking on the search engine was stuff as many keywords as possible on a web page. The approach worked very well for quite some time, even though there was hardly any attention paid to the quality of the content on offer. Then Google’s focus shifted to quality factors such as content, load speed, mobile experience and the quantity and quality of natural backlinks pointing to a web page.

Why acquire natural backlinks?

The first question that may pop in your head is what are natural backlinks?

Simply put, a backlink is a direct hyperlink to your website from another website. Backlinks can be acquired naturally, using what is known as white hat techniques, or unnaturally using black hat techniques, such as buying links. Black hat SEO is essentially forbidden by Google and most often leads to a penalty or a permanent ban. 

Natural links tell Google’s search algorithm that the information you offer to a particular audience may be what they are looking for. They act as a ‘vote’ of confidence to Google that your content is reliable, important and trustworthy. The more ‘votes’ from quality sources, the better it will rank.

Easier said than done though. Every website out there is looking to rank at the top of Google, which is another way of saying that the competition for getting quality backlinks is cut-throat intense. It has also spawned a nefarious industry of link brokers, that sell low quality, high risk links to SEO companies in bulk, which is forbidden by Google.

The good news is that we have put together a quick guide to help you acquire natural backlinks that, coupled with best practice onpage SEO, will help boost your website from ‘Clark Kent’ to ‘Superman’ in Google’s search engine results.

Tips to get natural backlinks

Website content is a small term, but it encompasses a wide range of communication methods such as web page copy, articles, videos, blogs and inforgraphics. Ultimately, a combination of the various methods will help boost the value of your content to webmaster, Google and your visitors.

Blogs and Articles

The written word still holds sway no matter who you are targeting. Once you curate interesting written content on your own blog, a necessary first step, you can spread your wings and look to contribute content as a guest blogger on related, high authority websites.

You may wonder why waste your energy and effort creating content for someone else’s blog? It is an opportunity to reach out to gain referral visits from a wider audience, position your business as a thought leader in your industry, and gain referral backlinks to your website. These links back your site can most often be placed in the author bio section or within the body of the blog post.

A quick word on posting your links on the guest blog: ensure that the keyword phrase you use in the anchor text (the hyperlink back to your website) will appeal to the readers of the blog. Don’t use irrelevant spammy words in your hyperlink.

YouTube Videos

YouTube is owned by Google and is the second-most popular site in the world with over 400 hours of content uploaded every minute. It is testament to the power and popularity of videos. After all, it made Justin Bieber into a bonafide superstar. Now we are not suggesting that you sing and dance to achieve natural links for your content. Far from it. What we are referring to is the immense potential of the medium, which you could, and should, utilise to your benefit.

The one advantage that video may have over the written text is that people  could find it easier to grasp the material at hand. You can keep the content short and sweet, like a teaser to what the audience will find on your website. Post a link to your websites directly from your YouTube videos, curiosity will then drive them to your content.

There may be those of you who are camera shy and would not want to risk it. To those we say that the videos we create for our clients take several forms, including a PowerPoint presentation, or even a video tutorial using a screencast.

Social Media Profiles

Maximise the reach of your blog articles by posting them to your social media profiles for two key reasons. Firstly, it boosts the profile of your company as an authority on a subject, secondly people may share your post generating secondary backlinks to your post.

Facebook and Twitter are probably the first names to register when we say social, but LinkedIn too offers a great platform where you can establish, through articles and videos, your expertise over your chosen subject. 

Press Releases

A press release may sound old school, but it delivers tangible results in our millennial, internet-driven world. The reason being that, when you break it down to the basics, a press release is new information that a business or a website is looking to share with readers. This perfectly ties in to our constant need for updates, and there are serious bloggers and journalists who are itching to get their hands on it. The result is that the press release links back to your website. Note: we recommend quality over quantity with press releases in particular. Rather get 4 or 5 links from high authority press release sources, than 300 links from lower quality press release sites. 

Concluding thoughts

In summary, building natural backlinks using white hat techniques that compliment your onpage SEO strategy is one of the most effective ways to rank better and drive targeted traffic to your site.

Most search engines, like Google, now dish out penalties to sites that use unnatural techniques, such as buying links, to acquire backlinks.
This means that top ranking positions in the organic search results will be rewarded websites that know how to implement best in class onpage SEO and use white hat techniques to acquire a regular flow of natural backlinks.

For more information on how to acquire a regular flow of natural backlinks, freephone 0508 254 258click here to contact us online or learn more about white hat SEO on our SEO training course.

Huge Google SEO update Aug 2018 Thu, 9 Aug 2018 5:11:00 UTC New Zealand SEO rankings. Some sites, that follow SEO best practices, are benefiting from the update, whilst others are languishing.]]> Have you noticed fluctuations in your SEO rankings? Google is busy rolling out a large SEO update that is impacting New Zealand SEO rankings. Some sites, that follow SEO best practices, are benefiting from the update, whilst others are languishing.

Tweet from Google

On August 4th 2018, Google Search released a statement saying the roll out of the changes should be done by mid next week, in other words, around the 9th of August.

What to do after this Google update?

  • Check your organic rankings for a breadth of keywords that you target.
  • Check your impression share in Google Search Console or another rank tracking tool, look for sudden drops or gains.
  • Check your competitor rankings, see if they have lost or gained.
  • If your rankings were impacted, then take action, don’t expect your rankings to just bounce back.

Which websites are typically impacted by a Google update?

  • Websites with low quality copy e.g. websites that duplicate or scrape copy from other websites.
  • Websites that use illicit link building strategies (these websites get hit the most), click here to read more.
  • Websites that provide a poor user experience and load slowly (test your website load speed here).
  • Websites that are not mobile friendly.

For more information on our SEO recovery service or if you need us to assess the impact of a Google update, contact one of our Search Engine Optimization recovery specialists on 0508 254 258click here to contact us online or learn more about best practice SEO factors for NZ websites at one of our popular SEO training courses.

The Google HTTPS Shakeout Starts Tue, 17 Jul 2018 5:12:00 UTC online store secure? Effective July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will start marking non-HTTPS sites in New Zealand as ‘not secure’ in its organic search results pages. After years of pushing for ‘secure by default’ web sites, Google will identify insecure sites in the Chrome browser.]]> Is your site or online store secure? Effective July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will start marking non-HTTPS sites in New Zealand as ‘not secure’ in its organic search results pages. After years of pushing for ‘secure by default’ web sites, Google will identify insecure sites in the Chrome browser. The clock is ticking, it’s time to upgrade your site from HTTP to HTTPS, or you can expect less click throughs from the New Zealand search results

Google has been actively trying to push this messaging for quite a while but until now, HTTPS has been more of a suggestion without any tangible benefits.

What is HTTP / HTTPS?

HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol (not secure) means your website is not encrypted and is vulnerable to attacks, which can let attackers gain access to website accounts and sensitive information, and modify webpages to inject malware or advertisements. HTTPS, or Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is designed to withstand such attacks and is considered secure against them.

As well as securing your site and your users information, Google has also suggested that this simple change could have some positive outcomes for your sites’ NZ SEO rankings.

Become HTTPS compliant

Come July 2018, if you haven’t secured your site, your users may see the above notification next to your URL in Google’s SEO NZ results pages.

The good news is, whether your site is on WordPress WooCommerceShopify®, Magento etc, we can help and the fix should not take too long. If you already have an SSL Certificate for your site, then you are covered!

Interesting HTTPS Facts

  1. Over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is now protected.
  2. Over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and Mac is now protected.
  3. 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default.

Please contact us if you are unsure by calling one of our friendly search engine optimisation (SEO) experts on 0508 254 258, or email

Our five top NZ SEO Audit Factors for 2018 Tue, 12 Jun 2018 5:13:00 UTC Unsure why your SEO rankings have dropped off in 2018? This blog presents Clickthroughs’ five most important SEO NZ audit factors for 2018, based on what we see working through the New Zealand and Australian search industry.]]> Unsure why your SEO rankings have dropped off in 2018? This blog presents Clickthroughs’ five most important SEO NZ audit factors for 2018, based on what we see working through the New Zealand and Australian search industry.

For starters, don’t base your SEO strategy on a DIY or free SEO audit of your site’s SEO health. If you want to build a home that appreciates over time, then you invest in a professional architect and planner. Your SEO audit is the foundation upon which your organic search strategy is built. It needs to consider your client acquisition strategy holistically, ensuring content, design, technical, content marketing and local searchoptimisation efforts integrate to be stronger than their parts.

What is a SEO audit?

Google NZ makes thousands of changes to the way it ranks websites every year! A proper SEO audit benchmarks your website against current New Zealand SEO factors and provides you with a prioritised road map of changes that need to be made to achieve top ranking positions.

Our top 5 NZ SEO audit factors, 2018

1. Speed thrills, friction kills!

Search engines want to rank sites that help people find answers to their queries fast, in particular, browsers on smart phones and tablets that use wireless networks. The first part of your SEO audit needs to assess if your website loads quickly, especially for browsers on mobile devices. Click here to read our recent blog on Google’s pending shift to its mobile first algorithm.

How quickly does your website load for desktop and mobile browsers? Start by submitting your website to Google’s mobile speed test to see how it fairs. Then email to discuss your results and find out what improvements are required.

Ultimately, a quick website (mobile and desktop) creates a better user experience and will improve your website’s SEO rankings.

2. Technical SEO

Search engines need to crawl and index your website’s content, or the content simply won’t rank! Content is king, though bear in mind, technical SEO is the castle upon which your website SEO strategy is built.

A technical SEO audit involves bench marking your website against search engine requirements for making your web content easy to crawl and index. A technical SEO audit is quite complex to understand and requires SEO expertise to fix, though it is a key reason why most large websites under perform in organic search.

For more information, read our recent blog about technical SEO.

3. On-page SEO

An on-page SEO audit assesses the accuracy of your keywords targeting and how well the code and content on the pages of your site are optimized for their target keywords, as opposed to an off-page SEO audit, which audits your sites backlinks and other external signals (see point 5 below).

An on-page SEO audit also includes an assessment of your website’s content against quality factors such as quality, uniqueness, topicality, and its potential to help your target audience find answers to their search queries.

4. Local Search (Google My Business or GMB Maps optimisation)

Over 75% of us use a search engine to find a local business. That said, some businesses, such as eCommerce stores, don’t necessarily need to rank in the local search maps carousel.

A local search audit reviews factors such as your Google My Business profile, local directory listings (AKA business citations), and whether or not your site uses local modifiers (Auckland, Sydney, suburb name, etc), how your website displays your office location(s), getting reviews of your business and so on.

The quality and quantity of backlinks acquired naturally from other websites to your web pages remains a key ranking factor. Backlinks should be acquired naturally, by creating excellent web content that other websites want to link back to.

Unfortunately, this has spawned an industry of SEO companies and spammers that buy or create backlinks to manipulate a site’s rankings or to harm your website.

Note: low quality weblinks from an external website to yours, whether solicited or unsolicited, may well result in your website getting an SEO penalty. You can read more about Google’s war against backlink spammers here.

An SEO audit of your site’s backlink profile includes using tools such as Google Search Console and Majestic SEO to review which websites are linking back to yours and identify harmful links.

For more information on our 2018 SEO Audit service, contact one of our Search Engine Optimization specialists on 0508 254-258click here to contact us online, email or learn more about best practice SEO audit factors at one of our popular SEO training courses.

Tips for crafting engaging social content Sat, 28 Apr 2018 5:22:00 UTC social media and for SEO benefits. ]]> Most businesses participate in content marketing and content creation as big part of their digital and marketing strategies. Yet not many manage to create engaging content that is extensively shared on social media and for SEO benefits. Our social behaviours have been widely studied, and researchers have found a number of reasons why people participate in online and social activities, such as looking for approval or affirmation, the need to engage with and communicate with others, and for the entertainment value social media offers.

How to use social content to get ahead

So what can you do with your content that will give you the edge over your competitors? We’ve put together some tips and ideas to help you.

  1. High quality content is crucial. Make sure you invest enough time into researching your audience and subject before you produce any content. Don’t copy content from other websites; your followers will be engaged if you create unique, real-time, contextual content that is easy to read and understand. Use bullet points, numbered lists and headers to keep your reader’s attention and point out important information.
  2. Write content that adds value. Remember who your audience is and write content they will benefit from reading. A good question to ask yourself is whether those who are reading your content would share it with their friends.
  3. Be visual. Use infographics and video content. Video is becoming one of the most powerful forms of content on social media, and is giving many businesses an edge when it comes building a strong presence on social media (and in the natural search engine optimisation results pages).
  4. Emotions are a powerful tool. Generating strong emotional reactions like happiness, anger or sorrow among readers can lead to a very successful social media campaign. We all love to reminisce about the good times, so include some content that is pleasantly nostalgic.
  5. Be trendy. Keep an eye on the latest industry news when creating content. And using amusing and sometimes offbeat posts, videos and infographics is a great way to engage with your readers.
  6. It’s not done once your post is live. Listen and respond to your follower’s comments, issues, questions and complaints. A successful social media marketing campaign is just that, a campaign, and requires careful managing, by you or an expert social media marketing agency. Even negative comments can be an opportunity for success if handled correctly.

Say Hello

Clickthrough has been working with clients to create unique, engaging content since 2009. Contact one of our friendly New Zealand social media marketing consultants on 0508 254 258, email or click here to submit an online enquiry form. We would be delighted to help you achieve more clickthroughs from social media marketing.CONTACT US.

SEO and Social Media, the new paradigm Sat, 10 Mar 2018 4:14:00 UTC SEO and social media marketing as activities requiring separate plans of attack.]]> Most New Zealand companies have some grasp of the intricacies of SEO and understand why it is good for business. But once you add social media to the mix, many see SEO and social media marketing as activities requiring separate plans of attack.

At Clickthrough, we take the modern view that search engine optimisation and social media marketing have a more symbiotic relationship, both helping each other to reach a successful outcome.

Get ahead with Social Media and SEO

But why is this? What makes a combined NZ SEO and social media strategy more effective than implementing stand-alone approaches?

The amount of Facebook likes won’t directly help you rank, but social media is a factor in organic SEO rankings when you get the right social media engagement and people sharing your social content to generate backlinks to your web pages.

This infers the quality of your followers is what Google is after, so don’t cut corners. Generate followers that engage with your social media platforms and share your content. Boosting your content using paid social advertising, to the right audience, will most definitely help!

Social media marketing helps build brand awareness and an audience, which increases the likelihood that people will click on your brand’s content in Google’s search results.

Excellent Search and Social needs great content

Social media sharing is a great way to bring more external sites linking to your content, remembering that the more diverse these links are the more authority Google grants to that content.

Your brand will carry more weight with Google the more you share socially, and good quality external sources endorsing your brand by linking to your content, will improve your domain authority.

Google loves good content wherever it can find it, and social media is a great place for that. Social media offers excellent opportunities to become involved in the local community, and through that posting locally-optimised content. Remember, search engines love local content.

An effective social media strategy will increase your brand awareness and brand presence, which in turn leads to an increase in branded searches on Google. And brand searches are the most valuable searches you can get!

Knowing all of this, are you looking for more synchronicity between your SEO services and social media strategy? Or are you only focused on SEO and want to become more social? Clickthrough has mastered the art of bringing SEO and social media together to achieve outstanding results, why not have a chat to find out what they can do for your brand.

Please contact us by calling one of our friendly consultants on 0508 254 258 or email Or learn more at one of our SEO courses and Social Media training courses.

Stats to help you dominate the SEO NZ results Fri, 24 Nov 2017 4:16:00 UTC ‘Should SEO be an integral part of your marketing investment?’ These SEO statistics are hard to ignore, even for those of you left disillusioned by low quality NZ SEO services you may have used in the past. With 80% of us searching online before we buy, your business simply can’t afford to marginalise SEO any longer. The statistics speak for themselves.]]> We’ve created an easy-to-view infographic below that addresses the question: ‘Should SEO be an integral part of your marketing investment?’ These SEO statistics are hard to ignore, even for those of you left disillusioned by low quality NZ SEO services you may have used in the past. With 80% of us searching online before we buy, your business simply can’t afford to marginalise SEO any longer. The statistics speak for themselves.

Still undecided how SEO fits into your marketing mix?

Learn more about best practice search engine marketing at one of our New Zealand SEO training courses, or contact one of our friendly SEO NZ and Google Ads marketing planners on 0508 254 258 to discuss integrating best practice search engine marketing into your marketing mix.

Google NZ Mobile Speed Update today! (July 4th) Fri, 24 Nov 2017 4:12:00 UTC Google ‘Speed Update’ that industry experts have been expecting for a while has been released today, July 4th 2018. From today, Google will be using mobile page speed as a New Zealand SEO ranking factor when working out mobile search results for many New Zealand websites.]]>
You can listen to this article here:

Updated: It’s official, the NZ Google ‘Speed Update’ that industry experts have been expecting for a while has been released today, July 4th 2018. From today, Google will be using mobile page speed as a New Zealand SEO ranking factor when working out mobile search results for many New Zealand websites.

You may have received the following message from Google:

“Mobile-first indexing enabled for

To owner of,

This means that you may see more traffic in your logs from Googlebot Smartphone. You may also see that snippets in Google Search results are now generated from the mobile version of your content.

Background: Mobile-first indexing means that Googlebot will now use the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking, to better help our (primarily mobile) users find what they’re looking for. Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have historically used the desktop version of your site’s content, which can cause issues for mobile searchers when the desktop version differs from the mobile version. Our analysis indicates that the mobile and desktop versions of your site are comparable.”

Studies show that when we go online the load speed of a page matters. We all want answers to our questions quickly. And any modern day marketer understands how critical it is to have fast web interactions no matter what industry sector you are in. We want information, answers to our queries, to buy or to pay our bills online quickly, and if load speeds are too slow we shut the page down and move on.

Google ‘Speed Update’, July 4th 2018

Web page load speed has been used by Google as a ranking factor for a while, but up until now that has been concentrated on desktop searches. July 2018 will now see Google using page load speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches as well. This aptly named “Speed Update” will mostly have an effect on those pages that are very slow, and will be rolled out across the NZ SEO industry regardless of the technology used to build the page.

Although mobile page speeds are increasing, the average time taken to fully load a mobile landing page is hovering at around fifteen seconds, which industry experts reckon is still too long considering that over half of those visiting mobile sites will leave that page of it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Better Results, Lower Cost

A faster mobile site doesn’t only lead to happier users, the latest research indicates that quicker site speeds also lower operating costs. For example, a fast site enables customers to self serve online rather than call your business for an answer, which can save you time and money.

This “Speed Update” is part of Google SEO trends pushing web owners to think about how performance shapes a user’s experience. Remember, a quality performance equals a quality experience which creates better results.

Get your free mobile speed test

Contact one of our friendly SEO NZ consultants on 0508 254 258, email or click here to submit an online enquiry form.

Our team of NZ SEO experts would be delighted to test the mobile speed of your website and provide you with tips and tricks to help you achieve more clickthroughs from mobile search, while saving your business money.

Google ‘Fred’ update triggers ranking fluctuations Sun, 12 Mar 2017 4:16:00 UTC NZ SEO blogs are buzzing about the massive fluctuations in rankings being observed in NZ and around the world. Did your rankings rise or drop with this change? Now would be a good time to get your rankings and your SEO Services strategy reviewed!]]> Breaking news! Google has started rolling out an update to its algorithm, dubbed by the SEO community as ‘Fred’. The NZ SEO blogs are buzzing about the massive fluctuations in rankings being observed in NZ and around the world. Did your rankings rise or drop with this change? Now would be a good time to get your rankings and your SEO Services strategy reviewed!

Which sites were fried by Fred, and which have benefited?

Google neither confirms nor denies the Google Fred update, though initial indications from SEO masters around the world is that it is an extensive update. Early reports show the update seems to be impacting websites with low quality back-links rather and websites with low quality content. Some webmasters report their sites have dropped 100’s of rankings, others have gone from nowhere to pole position in the SERPs! We recommend you read our previous blogs on back-links and content led SEO for further information on why your website may have gained or lost rankings with the ‘Google Fred’ algorithm update.

What have we observed in the NZ search results?

Over the past few days, we’ve noticed rankings continuing to fluctuate for New Zealand websites. We’re also seeing a few random results, such as weak web pages ranking 1st on Google then suddenly dropping out completely. We’ve also noticed the organic results from desktop browsers seem to be a lot more localised. We’re unsure how the rankings will settle, but if your SEO strategy has a link-building bias or is not content led, then you should be very concerned! On the other hand, if you’ve followed a content-led technical SEO strategy then relax, you’re no doubt going to enjoy the Fred update and future Google algorithm updates!

What should you do about ‘Fred’?

There’s not much you can do at the moment other than the following:

  • monitor your rankings and your competitors rankings over the next few days; don’t panic, expect fluctuations
  • if your planning on making technical SEO or content enhancements to your site, do them now and submit the new pages to Google immediately
  • stop any link-building activity now
  • keep an eye on your webmaster tools / search console account for any manual web spam penalties; contact us if you get a penalty or are concerned

If you’re concerned about the Fred update then contact one of our Search Engine Optimization specialists on 0508 254-258click here to contact us or learn more about best practice SEO at one of our popular SEO training courses.

Beware the ‘Snake Oil SEO’ salesman selling guarantees! Tue, 28 Feb 2017 4:17:00 UTC ‘Breakfast with Google’ event I attended, where the topics of offering SEO & Google Ads guarantees and other illicit practices were raised.]]> Companies are sick and tired of salesmen selling dodgy search engine marketing (SEM) guarantees, like the snake oil elixirs of the old Wild West. Here are my take-outs from a recent ‘Breakfast with Google’ event I attended, where the topics of offering SEO & Google Ads guarantees and other illicit practices were raised.

What’s Google’s policy on SEO performance guarantees?

A great question, best answered by reading Google’s policy on ‘False, misleading, or unrealistic claims’. In summary, it’s forbidden for a Search Engine Marketing company to guarantee a top placement in Google’s search results.

  • So why do some search marketing companies continue to guarantee top ranking results? I believe it is because they’re desperate for more business.
  • How do these companies maintain top ranking positions for your website? The truth is they seldom do, they assume you’ll stop monitoring your search rankings. And when you complain your SEO guarantee is not being met, they spam your website with high risk backlinks to resurrect your rankings! As mentioned in a previous blog, spammy backlinks are like steroids; they give your site a false boost in the rankings, but ultimately destroy your domain.
  • What’s the best practice alternative to an ‘SEO guarantee’? Appoint an SEO company that’s engaged in building your brand and its content online. And avoid companies that manage your SEO strategy through false guarantees and backlinking.

What about Google Ads performance guarantees?

It’s impossible to to guarantee a top ranking position in Google’s paid search results.

Google uses a sophisticated system, called AdRank, to determine which ads get displayed in which position. While we understand the principles of how AdRank works, no search engine marketing company knows exactly how AdRank works, so they can’t guarantee a top ranking position.

What’s Google’s policy on backlinks?

Any link that is not acquired naturally is considered SPAM. Note: this includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site. Click here to read Google’s full policy on link schemes.

So why do so many SEO companies continue to push link-building as their primary SEO strategy? Because it’s easier to implement and higher margin than doing proper SEO.

Speed thrills and friction kills?

Here are a few interesting statistics I noted from the event I attended:

  • 40% of us leave a website if we can’t find what we’re looking for in 3 seconds
  • we check our phones +150 times per day
  • 62% of us use mobile search to find products and services

Let’s just say we don’t go online anymore, we now live online! Click here to read more stats like those above.

Going forward, Google will put even more emphasis on mobile search and rewarding websites that load quickly, and that help people find answers to their search queries (quickly). You must ensure your website is fast and that your content helps people find what they are searching for within a click or two. Speed thrills, friction kills!

For further advice on how to build your SEO rankings using an integrated brand and content strategy or want to chat about creating a mobile marketing strategy, call one of our Search Engine Marketing specialists on 0508 254-258Click here to contact us or learn more about search engine marketing at one of our popular SEO training courses.

Is Google your top salesman? Or are you leaking money? Mon, 20 Feb 2017 4:34:00 UTC New Zealanders search online before making a purchase. How many sales does Google send your way from SEO or Google Ads every day? Or does your website leak a fortune in lost sales to your competitors?]]> An astounding 72 % of Millennials view search as their most trusted source of information! Furthermore, over 75% of New Zealanders search online before making a purchase. How many sales does Google send your way from SEO or Google Ads every day? Or does your website leak a fortune in lost sales to your competitors?

How should search influence your buyers?

Customers tend go through a fairly complex set of micro steps before deciding whether to make a purchase and what to purchase. At Clickthrough, we generally lump the customer buying process into three stages; the beginningthe middle, and the end.

Here’s a quick summary of how we use Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to directly influence prospects at each stage of the buying process:

  1. The beginning. During this stage, people are becoming aware they need something. Their browsing mode tends to be quite passive. We recommend using online advertising, such as the Google Display Network, to help prospects gain awareness of your product or service.
  2. The middle. During this stage, people start actively researching products and services, most often visiting websites, reading reviews, etc. Ranking well in the paid, local and organic search engine results pages is a must.
  3. The end. Search engine marketing tactics such as remarketing, where your ad ‘follows’ people that have visited your website and helps you reconnect with them by showing relevant ads across their different devices.

Is Google your top salesman?

As highlighted above, search engine marketing needs to play a critical role throughout the buying cycle. You will be amazed how your sales take off when you use search engine marketing properly. Have a think about these questions:

  • Does your business understand the importance of search engine marketing?
  • How much time and money does your business spend on Google Ads and SEO?
  • How does this compare with the amount of time and money you spend on recruiting, hiring and training your salesmen?

For further advice on how we can make Google your top salesman, call one of our Search Engine Marketing specialists on 0508 254-258click here to contact us or learn more about search engine marketing at one of our popular SEO training courses.

Evil SEO # 2: the SEO implementation myth Sat, 4 Feb 2017 4:17:00 UTC implementation. Yet, most SEO companies provide SEO advice only and rely on you or your developer to actually implement their recommendations. Before you sign a contract with an SEO agency, be sure to clarify who will be implementing their SEO recommendations or the following will probably happen: ]]> Modern SEO requires ongoing analysis and accurate implementation. Yet, most SEO companies provide SEO advice only and rely on you or your developer to actually implement their recommendations. Before you sign a contract with an SEO agency, be sure to clarify who will be implementing their SEO recommendations or the following will probably happen: 

  • your SEO costs spiral out of control as you have to pay your web developer to implement complex SEO recommendations they don’t understand
  • your web developer doesn’t implement the SEO recommendations correctly and you have to pay your SEO company to re-check the work the developer does
  • you spend a lot of time project managing your SEO provider, copy writer, web developer etc! 
  • your SEO company lacks accountability for their work, everyone else gets blamed!
  • your SEO company starts using unethical SEO techniques as a work around to achieve short term results (read this related article about linkbuilding)

Unethical work arounds

We recently wrote an article, Content is King, Technical SEO is the castle, that highlights why ‘technical SEO’ is the foundation of any SEO strategy. Good technical SEO, whether you’re targeting local Auckland SEO searches or NZ wide search terms, requires expert developer support or implementation by a team of  SEO implementation experts, such as those employed by Clickthrough.

However, most technical SEO recommendations don’t get implemented for the points raised earlier in this article. As a consequence, SEO companies find it easier to focus on building SEO-backlinks to your website, a shortcut that is forbidden by Google, rather than build the technical, design and content skills required to implement SEO best practices.

SEO contracts, don’t be misled

Look out for terms and conditions in an SEO contract that highlight exactly what SEO implementation work will be done by the SEO company. If you’re not sure then ask the SEO company for clarification BEFORE you sign the SEO contract. The chances are the SEO company will be providing advisory work only, leaving you to manage the implementation!

Is your web developer SEO friendly?

Most web developers are geared to do project work, rather than service SEO requests. To be fair, SEO has become a very specialist task that developers shouldn’t have to specialize in; most technical SEO recommendations should be implemented by your SEO company. That said, we recommend you check the following with your web developer before putting pen to any SEO contract:

  • that they are willing to work with your SEO company
  • that they have the time and skill to implement any SEO recommendations 
  • what their hourly rate for implementing SEO will be

For further advice, call one of our SEO implementation experts on 0508 254-258click here to contact us or learn more about SEO implementation at one of our popular SEO training courses

Content is King, Technical SEO is the castle Mon, 30 Jan 2017 4:18:00 UTC NZ SEO companies tend to emphasise the importance of the quality of your website’s content a great deal. Content is most definitely king. However, if search engines can’t crawl and thus index your content then your site will be severely hampered from ranking well in the NZ SEO results pages. The five complimentary building blocks for successful SEO are:

  1. the quality of your site’s content (words, videos, images)
  2. the quantity and quality of websites that link back to yours (read our previous article about backlinks here)
  3. the design of your website (load speed, user experience, etc)
  4. the onpage optimization of your site (how well your content is optimized for its target search terms)
  5. the technical SEO of your site (how well search engines can crawl and index your content)

As mentioned earier in this article, SEO companies emphasize the importance of the quality of your website’s content a great deal. Content is most definitely king. However, if search engines can’t crawl and thus index your content then your site will be severely hampered from ranking well. In other words, the technical SEO of your site should be the castle upon which the foundation of your SEO strategy is built.

Do technical SEO during a redesign

If you are deciding to redesign your website, then we strongly advise you hire a technical SEO company during the redevelopment phase, or as most often happens, you will spend a lot of time and money trying to fix the technical SEO aspects of your new website after it launches. You may even have to redesign the site again and spend a fortune trying to make up the SEO shortfall until your rankings recover! For more information, call one of our technical SEO experts on 0508 254-258 or click here to find out how we can integrate best-in-class technical SEO into your website.

When to use Google Ads, SEO or both? Mon, 9 Jan 2017 4:19:00 UTC NZ search engines through organic SEO. Since then we’ve evolved our thinking quite a bit on how Google Ads and organic SEO should work together as symbiotic digital marketing tactics. ]]> When we founded our company in 2009, our main goal was to help our customers get traffic from the NZ search engines through organic SEO. Since then we’ve evolved our thinking quite a bit on how Google Ads and organic SEO should work together as symbiotic digital marketing tactics. Ultimately, we encourage our clients to primarily focus on SEO and not become overly addicted to Google Ads for the following reasons:

  1. there’s a lot of waste with Google Ads e.g. false clicks from competitors, offshore lead generation companies, people looking for work click your ads, etc (and you pay!)
  2. organic SEO generates a better quality visitor than Google Ads (hint: compare your web analytics stats SEO Vs Google Ads)
  3. Google Ads cost-per-click keeps going up
  4. people using online assign credibility to websites that rank well in organic SEO

Here are a few tips to help you decide when to use SEO and when to use Google Ads to achieve more online. You should also read our ‘Search & Social Media‘ blog article to find out how SEO and Social Media Marketing (SMM) can combine as powerful allies.

New Websites focus on Google Ads initially

It is becoming increasingly difficult to rank new websites in the organic search results. SEO is a long term investment; the more patient you are with the results, the longer you stay at the top! You can use deceptive SEO tactics to boost short term rankings but you will eventually be penalized and have to start all over again (click here to read about ‘deceptive SEO‘). The best practice approach we recommend for new websites is as follows:

  1. target local search for SEO rankings (if relevant)
  2. ensure your new website is well optimized for SEO
  3. invest in an Google Ads program to generate immediate results
  4. continue to invest in an organic SEO program
  5. trim your Google Ads investment once organic rankings improve

As mentioned above, Google Ads advertising provides instant results, whereas the SEO process can take months before decent results are observed. Bear in mind, it can also take a few months of optimization before an Google Ads campaign reaches it’s full potential.

We’e noticed a rapid increase in the percentage of users who search using mobile devices rather than computers. Yet very few companies bid for their own branded searches in Google Ads. Even fewer use Google Ads for mobile devices, where the paid search area that appears at the top of your phone, is so important. We recommend companies bid on their own and competitor branded searches, especially with mobile search.

With Google Ads you can immediately target a broad range of new keywords, keyword variations, and test the performance of certain keywords before you target them with your organic SEO strategy. This makes Google Ads quite lucrative when you need a presence in the search engines for searches related to new products, competitor activity, seasonal searches and terms you don’t rank for with your organic strategy.

Organic SEO gets you a presence in the organic search engine results pages only. However, Google Ads has a search and a display network that can extend your search presence to over 90% of people on the Internet. As Google explainsThe Google Ads Search Network reaches people when they’re already searching for specific goods or services. The Display Network helps you capture someone’s attention earlier in the buying cycle. The Google Display Network allows to you connect with customers with a variety of ad formats across the digital universe. This network spans over two million websites that reach over 90% of people on the Internet. It can help you reach people while they’re browsing their favorite websites, showing a friend a YouTube video, checking their Gmail account, or using mobile sites and apps.

With organic search, Google ranks the page(s) on your websites it believes is most relevant to a search term. With Google Ads, you can link your ads to any page on your website. This flexibility provides certain benefits, such as the flexibility to create Google Ads that link directly to themed landing pages e.g. for special deals. For more information, call one of our Search Engine Marketing experts on 0508 254-258 or click here to find out how we can help you select the best search engine marketing tactics for achieving more online.

Video on the Google Display Network

Align your SEO and Social Media Marketing (SMM) Fri, 6 Jan 2017 4:19:00 UTC We’re often asked if companies should use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Social Media Marketing (SMM) to grow their business online. Ultimately, search engine optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) are complimentary digital marketing tactics, that when combined, become very powerful allies. Here are a few tips to help align your SEO and Social Media Marketing strategies to achieve more online.

Align your SEO and SMM Content Strategies

Both SEO and Social Media marketing requires excellent content (copy, images, videos, etc). Start by aligning your social and SEO content creation strategies. An aligned content strategy will boost your SEO rankings and your social media reach (read more below).

Syndicate your Social Media content for SEO backlinks

External links from other websites to your website will boost its rankings in Google. Using your social media channels to broadcast your website’s content instantly opens it up to new readers who could share it further and link back to your website. Having an active social media profile also builds credibility, which in turn encourages people to share your content and link back to your website (assuming you post quality content).

Social Media content ranks in SEO

Google is not able to crawl the entire ‘social web’ though it does rank a vast amount of social media content and company profiles e.g. social media profiles are often near the top of the search results for companies and brand name searches. We recommend using a ‘Social SEO’ expert, like Clickthrough, to help set up, align and optimize your social media profile pages. Call one of our Social SEO experts on 0508 254-258 or click here to discover how we can help you achieve more from your SEO and social media marketing strategy.

Video from Google on how social media signals influence Google Ranking Algorithms

Evil SEO # 1: backlinks! Mon, 5 Dec 2016 4:20:00 UTC New Zealand SEO industry – buyer beware! This is the first of a series of articles that highlight the most dangerous and deceptive SEO techniques you need to watch out for. ]]> There’s a lot of dodgy search engine optimisation doing the rounds in the New Zealand SEO industry – buyer beware! This is the first of a series of articles that highlight the most dangerous and deceptive SEO techniques you need to watch out for. 

Note: deceptive SEO tactics may generate a short term gain in the search engine results pages, but will ultimately destroy your domain. We urge you to not only judge the performance of your SEO strategy on rankings results, find out from your SEO agency what tactics they’re using to get those results.

Linkbuilding, the root of all evil!

Google still views the quality and quantity of relevant links from other websites (called backlinks) to your web pages as a ranking factor. Unfortunately, this has spawned an industry of lazy optimizers that buy links from link brokers and other dodgy sources to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google’s search results.

You should read Google’s Quality guidelines for link spam here before you take on an SEO company. Or contact us for a confidential chat and analysis of which websites are linking to yours if you are concerned. Trying to get an SEO penalty lifted is a long, arduous process. Be proactive, get a backlink checkup so you can take action if required.

Your Website Gets Banned, not the SEO Agency

We hear from a lot of website owners their SEO agency only uses ‘safe’ or ‘white hat’ link building tactics. Let’s be clear, any backlinks that are not acquired naturally are considered by Google to be manipulative / deceptive and will probably get your website penalised. If you’re paying an SEO to ‘get safe links’ or ‘natural links’, the chances are you’re violating Google’s Quality Guidelines. If Google detects your website has violated it’s guidelines then your website gets a rankings penalty or removed the search results, whilst your SEO company moves onto it’s next victim i.e. you carry the risk.

Google provides the following advise for acquiring natural backlinks to your website. Ignore this advice at your peril: ‘The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.’ 

Watch this Google Linkspam Video

Watch the video below for more information from Google on how to avoid and treat ‘linkspam’. You can also read our related article about Google Penguin 4.0 or call one of our SEO experts on 0508 254-258click here to contact us or learn more at one of our popular SEO training courses.

Great SEO Requires Constant Nurturing Thu, 3 Nov 2016 4:30:00 UTC SEO is a process of continuous improvement and adjustment, not a once off project. ]]> There’s a growing myth in New Zealand that SEO is a once off project or can be treated in short bursts. Let’s be 100% clear on this. Search Engine Optimisation requires continuous effort.  SEO is a process of continuous improvement and adjustment, not a once off project. 

SEO is a program, not a project

Your website needs ongoing SEO support or it will slip behind your competitors in the rankings. Here are a few factors that highlight why your website needs constant SEO maintenance to stay ahead of the pack.

Negative SEO

More and more websites are being spammed with thousands of backlinks from low quality, spammy websites. Spammy backlinks may ironically help your website organic rankings in the short term. However, if the linkspam continues then your website will get banned from the search engines results pages (SERPs). You need an SEO specialist to monitor which websites are linking to yours and take swift action when backlink spam is detected.

Being spammed? Watch this Google Linkspam Video

Google Algorithm Changes

Google changes it’s algorithm 600 times per year. Some of these changes are minor, some are major and very few updates are announced. The principles for successful SEO remain fairly constant, though the nuances of each update stack up quite a bit. Capitalizing on SEO updates requires constant monitoring and rapid adjustment by a team of SEO experts.

Growing Competition

There are three types of companies. Companies that ignore SEO, companies that treat SEO as a minor ‘tech’ tactic and companies that embrace SEO as an integral part of their online sales and marketing mix. The former type pf company understand that, like all sales and marketing tactics, a website requires continuous search engine optimisation to stay competitive and ahead of the competition. Unfortunately, companies that treat SEO as an afterthought tend to dabble in SEO then complain that it does not work. If only it was that easy!

New Product Development

As businesses evolve, new products and services are introduced, whilst others are disestablished. This means new areas of your website are created and need to be optimised.   Or content needs to be removed or de-optimised. Bear in mind, when you remove content from a web page, it will stop ranking for the terms associated with that content. Either way, you’re changing the content structure of your website and it needs expert SEO to make the adjustment. These are only a few of the factors that highlight why your website needs to be constantly optimized. For more information, call one of our SEO experts on 0508 254-258 today, click here to contact us or learn more at one of our popular SEO training courses.]]>
Google Penguin 4.0 Released Tue, 20 Sep 2016 5:28:00 UTC Google announced on Friday, September the 23rd, it’s rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm. As mentioned in Google’s press announcement, Penguin is one of over 200 signals it uses to determine rankings.]]> Google announced on Friday, September the 23rd, it's rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm. As mentioned in Google's press announcement, Penguin is one of over 200 signals it uses to determine rankings. The advice to webmasters remains, build great websites with compelling content and your rankings will grow. Here are the key changes Google mentions in its press release:

  • Penguin is now real-time. Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google's algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed. With this change,
  • Penguin's data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page. It also means we're not going to comment on future refreshes. Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.

For more information on how this may impact your SEO rankings, some SEO training or for a no obligations chat, call 0508 254-258 or click here to get in contact with one of our Google Penguin 4.0 SEO experts.

UX will become a key ranking factor in 2017 Thu, 8 Sep 2016 5:29:00 UTC SEO and Google Ads, when designing and optimizing your website.]]> Google wants to rank websites that help browsers find answers to their search queries. Google wants webmasters to SEO their site so that it provides an engaging user experience (UX) for the user. The UX of your website will become an increasingly important organic ranking factor in 2017. Here are a few tips we recommend you follow, to achieve better results from SEO and Google Ads, when designing and optimizing your website.

Write for users, not just SEO

The days of writing web copy that heavily repeats search terms are long gone. Keywords density is not a ranking factor and will destroy the user experience. They say website design turns heads and web copy closes the sale. You need to write web copy that compliments the user experience and persuades action. Each web page should target a set of key search terms. Though we recommend sprinkle similes and derivatives of your keywords throughout your web page copy rather than repeat the same keyword several times.

Website load speed is important

Your website needs to load quickly. A fast loading website provides a better user experience, in particular for browsers on mobile devices. If the goal of Google is to help users find answers to their search queries then a website’s download speed is most definitely a ranking factor. We rate website load speed as one of the more important ranking factors. Click here to analyze your websites performance on Google’s PageSpeed tool.

Your website must be mobile responsive

The number of browsers on smart phones is increasing rapidly. Most websites in NZ receive over 25% of their visits from browsers on devices (smart phones and tablets). Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer optional, it’s a must. We recommend the following:

  • optimise your content for mobile devices
  • signal to Google when a page is formatted for mobile
  • ensure Google can crawl resources
  • test your website across multiple mobile devices to eliminate bugs

Here’s a list of recommended resources on the subject:

Website engagement metrics

As mentioned, Google wants to send users to websites that help them find answers to their search queries. Webmasters need to track their website engagement metrics, like bounce rate, time on site, page views and conversion funnel completion rates. Websites with poor engagement and conversion metrics signal to Google that the website is either not relevant or not well designed.

For more information on how the user experience (UX) impacts SEO performance or for a no obligations chat on how we can help improve your SEO and the UX of your website, call 0508 254-258 or click here to get in contact with one of our SEO & UX experts.