SEO in Practice – Interview with Josh Moore
An Interview with Josh Moore, head marketing fanatic at digital marketing agency, Duoplus
Andrew: So Josh, what are the benefits of SEO, and getting ranked higher in Google Organic Search?
Josh: If you get your business to rank higher in Google for the keywords your target market is searching for, then your business is going to get found more easily. You’ll get more traffic to your website, more customer enquiries and more business.
Research shows that on an average, the #1 ranked site in search results gets 32.5% of clicks. The #3 site gets 11.4%. Whereas the #10 site, the last place on the first page, gets only 2.4% of clicks.
As an example, TRT, just down the road from Duoplus, design, manufacture and sell specialty truck trailers – house removal trailers, for example. They also sell cranes, and truck and and trailer parts. A search for Grove Crane will show that, other than Manitowoc who make Grove Cranes, TRT are ranked #3 – so they will likely get phone calls and inquiries from anyone purchasing a Grove crane.
On the other hand, truck parts is a highly contested keyword in NZ. Today, if you search for truck parts Auckland, TRT are #3. But Truck parts Hamilton are #6, and truck parts Christchurch are #9. So they are far less likely to get leads from Hamilton and Christchurch.
Andrew: Is it true that 92% of people only look at the first page of search results?
Josh: Absolutely! So it’s important for your site to be on the first page – so TRT will be ok. But that’s not the final aim. Getting higher up the first page will significantly increase the amount of search engine traffic you receive. So that’s the goal for TRT – to be in the top 3 for all the keywords they are ranking for.
Research has shown that 50% of users who search for a local business on a mobile device visit or call that business within a day.
Andrew: What does that mean in practice for some of your Hamilton clients?
Josh: For our Hamilton clients, as well as any of our local business clients throughout New Zealand, it’s essential that their business ranks in the Local Google Organic Search and Google’s Snack Pack (the Google Map Listings). SEO in Hamilton is essential for the success of any local Hamilton business.
For example, one of our Hamilton SEO clients, Goldstar Heat Pumps, is getting ranked in Google Snack Pack as well as well as ranked #1 in Google Organic Search Listing when someone searches for “heat pumps Hamilton”. This has helped them generate more sales and significantly grow their business in Hamilton.
Andrew: So, what do you need to do to make your business rank higher in Google?
Josh: There are a number of things that need to work together to get your website ranking higher.
To improve your Hamilton SEO results there are two main areas that affect your ranking overall.
30-40% of search engine ranking is based on the content and code on your website. This is called On-Page Optimisation.
60-70% of ranking is based on factors on other websites, mainly links from other sites that point to your site. This is called Off-Page Optimisation. This is a long process of building up your site’s authority in the eyes of search engines.
Andrew: OK, so what would On-Page Optimisation look like?
Josh: One of the first things you should always do is have your targeted keyword included in Page Titles, Meta Descriptions and H1 Tags of your site.
Andrew: Sounds complicated!
Josh: That’s why you call your favourite digital marketing agency in Hamilton 😊
Andrew: Fair enough. So for Goldstar that could be “heat pumps Hamilton”?
Josh: Exactly. And if you’re not aware, an H1 tag is simply the main heading on your page – and there should only be one!
Andrew: Great. What’s next?
Josh: Another easy thing to check is that the Page Title length is not more than 60 characters and Meta Description within 300-320 characters.
Andrew: Meta Description?
Josh: A Meta Description is simply text that you include, that describes what the person searching can expect to see on the web page if they click on it. It also helps search engines like Google to find pages that match what the person was searching for.
Also, maybe I should have mentioned this before, but make sure the targeted keywords are also included in page URLs.
These are just great clues for Google to know which websites and which pages will match the person’s search terms.
Andrew: That makes sense
Josh: Yeah totally, and while you’re doing URLs, make sure the location that you’re trying to rank for is included in your Page Titles, Page URLs and H1 tags.
So, with Goldstar again, one of their URLs is www.goldstarheatpumps.co.nz/locations/hamilton-and-the-waikato/ and their H1 tags is Hamilton & Waikato’s Heat Pumps Specialist.
Andrew: Ok. I’m sure there’s much more, but what about Off-Page Optimisation?
Josh: Yeah for sure. That’s what we spend a lot of time doing because we are totally results driven. Everything we do is about getting the results the clients are after. We know that we can help people grow their website’s ranking in search engines. And the whole point is making it easy for your existing and potential customers to find you with ease.
With Off-Page Optimisation, the first thing to do for your business’s Google profile, is to make a Google My Business Listing. It’s the most important listing that you need to have, to get your business ranked in Google for Hamilton. It’s a totally free listing service provided by Google to help businesses get found on Google search results.
At the most basic level it provides all the information that you would expect of a business directory, including the business’s name, address, phone, hours of operation, reviews, links to website, directions to the business, photos.
Google My Business helps your business appear right when people are searching for your business on Google Search and Google maps.
It is a vital step to take in your SEO efforts, be it in Hamilton or across New Zealand. Don’t miss it.
Andrew: So Google are actually helping businesses to be found!
Josh: Yes and no. Google are primarily making sure they can find the answers that the people searching are looking for. So, everything they do is for the person searching.
This means that Google are not interested in any tips or tricks that businesses might try and do to manipulate their ranking.
Basically, if you make sure your page matches the intentions of the people searching for say, printing business cards or product labels – and gives them the most accurate and helpful information about those topics, then Google will give you a higher ranking than a printing page with only products and prices.
Andrew: What does that look like in practice?
Josh: Well, we’re actually getting back to on-page optimisation here – the readable content on your web pages.
One of our clients is Virtual Print. Virtual Print are a brilliantly innovative and online printing service based in Hamilton but providing printing services right across New Zealand.
If you want to do some label printing for your new or existing products, they don’t simply list labels and tell you a price. They go to some effort to tell you how labels can help, to describe what kind of labels they can provide, even down to what paper they print on.
Then they give a wide range of the types of labels that businesses might need, and how that would work.
But they go even further that that, to include tips for label printing so that you get it right first time.
Andrew: Ok… got it! What about off-page?
One of the things we did to get Urban Homes consistently ranking higher than any other building company in Hamilton, was getting links back from other local Hamilton and Waikato websites, blogs or directories.
Andrew: That doesn’t sound terribly difficult.
Josh: Actually, it’s harder than you think, and it can be quite a niche skill.
It’s not about getting links from just any website. Google has cracked down on spammy link building activities that many companies were using to increase their ranking.
Google wants to see links from a variety of relevant sites, with relevant words in the link – words that people are searching for. This could include other websites in your industry, social media, business directories, blogs, and so on.
Google is also looking to see that the have been links built up over time. If a whole lot of links appear all at once, Google can be suspicious that you’re gaming the system and can penalise your site.
Probably the most important and challenging aspect is to find links from pages that are well known and frequently accessed by lots of people in your industry. A link from a powerful site in your niche is a lot more valuable than links from unknown sites.
Andrew: So, what would this look like for Urban?
Josh: When we started with Urban, they were solely Hamilton builders. So, we got links from other Hamilton tradies, Hamilton business directories, general directories with “builder” as a category, or any building related blog.
And that takes a lot of time and effort. Building a large enough number of links from a wide variety of sites is next to impossible to do on your own. And it would certainly take away from your ability to focus your attention on your customers and building your business. That’s why we take care of it for people.
Andrew: Makes sense. Now that Urban have become a regional building company, with house and land packages in Coromandel as well as Hamilton and Cambridge, what has changed for their SEO?
Josh: It is certainly more complex now, because they are now trying to rank highly in multiple towns, so the impact is diluted.
At the moment we are focusing on building new links to their site each week, and over time this tells Google and other search engines that their site is important. We work with a wide variety of quality sites to build content and links that point to your site.
The important thing is to focus on creating real, genuine links. It is very important to stay well away from anything spammy or automated.
Andrew: So what sites should we target instead?
Josh: If you can get a link from a website that has high domain authority that’s way better because the higher the domain authority, the more power the link has and the more this helps with getting ranked higher in Google.
Andrew: So, bottom line?
Josh: Search engine results take months to build up but they are enormously beneficial for getting your perfect target market to your website.
Andrew: Thank Josh. Any final words?
Josh: We love helping businesses grow, so if you need help with SEO in Hamilton or anywhere in New Zealand really, give us a call today. We specialise in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google Ads campaigns (which used to be called AdWords) from our office based in Hamilton, and we’d love to hear from you.