Plain speaking: Search Engine Optimisation

SEO and SEM at Barefruit Marketing

In light of our recent pledge to serve our clients as Plain Speaking Creative Thinkers, we’re here to demystify two of the most underrated acronyms in marketing; SEO and SEM. I know what you're thinking "Aren't they the same thing??" Put simply, nope. Here's why...

Search engine optimisation and search engine marketing are two separate marketing strategies that work hand in hand to drive traffic to your website. However, any traffic is not, in fact, good traffic. You want to be attracting quality over quantity i.e. potential customers rather than bots or people who are just going to bounce straight off your site - which in the long-run affects your ranking negatively.

So what is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation is the process of maximising the amount of traffic to your website. This is done by ensuring your website ranks high in the results returned by search engines, think Google, Bing etc. SEO consists of on and off-page activities including keyword optimised blog content, building authentic links from other sites to your website and optimising page content.

...and what is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing is a form of internet marketing that utilises paid search avenues such as Pay Per Click (PPC) Google Ads. Then there is paid Social Media marketing – but that’s another post altogether! Another method is landing page creation which is ideal for converting click-through traffic into leads. SEM is a customisable solution for any business wanting to drive traffic to their website

Through a whole range of tailored solutions, you can utilise SEO and SEM to work wonders for your website. If you’ve been contemplating looking into this service for your business, you can find out more here or register your interest below for more information.

learn more

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Related Tags: Graphic Design Gold Coast

What does Earned Media mean for your business?

earned media
Earned Media – a marketing buzzword and an important part of your marketing mix, but what is it, how can you get it and what do you do with it once you have got it?! Read on…

Earned Media, in a nutshell, is publicity. More precisely it’s publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media. Such as editorial coverage by a media outlet, user-generated content, product or service reviews online, social shares and general word of mouth. Consumers are social animals. Whether they’re a journalist or a social media user, they crave conversation and good ideas.

So if you want to attract positive attention and new customers, feed that to them. But, make sure you’ve covered all bases first and start creating content – content, content, content.

1. What are your customers saying about you? Do an online health check, see what they’re saying about you – Google yourself, check TripAdvisor and Facebook, do customer surveys and see if there is recurring feedback. It is highly desirable for your brand to be mentioned in a positive way.

2. Distribute and amplify your content. Customers want knowledge and content. This can take many forms depending on the channel, for example, written, imagery, video or podcast. Consider the impact a positive news story can have for your business?

3. Build credibility. Grow your product or service, reviews and testimonials. Ask your loyal customers to leave a review, ask them if they would recommend your services. When your customers become the channel, that is Earned Media via word of mouth.

With an explosion of new content channels and publishing platforms, it’s never been easier to reach potential customers. Yet it can seem very daunting and knowing what content will work in what channel, takes some planning.
If you would like help growing your profile, we can help with your Public Relations, Social Media Management, Search Engine Optimisation and more, give us a call!

You can also read up on some of our top tips on utilising Hashtags, improving your SEO and the importance of quality graphic design.

 

Related Tags: SEO BALLINA

Juicy Tips

tips to grow your hashtags

Do you know how to get your Instagram account noticed by the right audience and grow your following?

Do you know how to get your Instagram account noticed by the right audience and grow your following?

Hashtags are a great (and free) way to reach new clients and followers.

You can use up to 30 hashtags per post, but it’s important to use them wisely or your posts will not reach the right target audience. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without, so it’s worth spending some time forming a hashtag strategy to grow your account.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

#bespecific

Use hashtags that are relevant to the content you are posting. This way you can reach people who are looking for what you are offering. By using too generic or popular tags, you run the risk of your post being quickly buried in the hashtag feed.

#dontusebannedhashtags

Instagram may block a tag from use if it has been inappropriately used in the past. To check this, search for the tag then click ‘recent’. If blocked, no recent images will show and you’ll see a message from Instagram advising recent posts have been hidden. Using a broken tag will make your other tags useless.

#testwhatsworking

If you have a business Instagram account, you can view insights for each post to see what is and is not working. The insights function will tell you how people found your post via hashtags.

#createbrandedhashtags

Having a brand or product specific tag is a great way of building brand awareness, and a community. Add your hashtag to your profile and encourage your clients to use the tag on their own posts to spread the word about your business, and regram their posts (if relevant).

If you’d like to talk about your Social Media Management or Marketing Strategy, contact our team on 1300 328 034.

Don’t forget to follow us too @barefruitmarketing

The importance of a marketing plan

Help yourself, your business and most importantly your customers

Q. Can you tell me how to get to Timbuktu?
A. Not without a map.

Our region is home to some of the most awesome products and services, but how do you cut-through the clutter and get your message to the right audience?

With a simple marketing plan!

So many clever people in business put their marketing plan into the ‘I’ll do that later - it’s a bit hard’ basket. But how will you tell people how great you are without a plan?

We understand this. Running a business is busy enough, but really we promise you, it doesn’t have to take long to map out where you are, where you want to be and how you are going to get there.

5 tips to defining your marketing plan:

1. Define your audience or audiences – be realistic, it’s not everyone in Ballina.
2. Think about what you are selling and what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is – why should your customers choose you over your competitors?
3. When and where does your audience hang out? Where will they be open to hearing about you… on social media, in the car, in a newspaper, at the bus stop?
4. Allocate some $$’s. You have to invest something in marketing and, depending on where your audience are hanging out, it doesn’t need to break the bank. 
5. Make everything measurable – even the small things need to have goals so you know if you achieved them or not. What do you want your investment to return for you? Email addresses, walk-ins, referrals.

Bonus tip: step and repeat and keep on measuring.

Now that’s a plan every business can start with. The new financial year is coming so get your plan happening and if you need a hand give us a call.

Your Barefruit Team 

What is GDPR & how it affects your business

GDPR

So... what is GDPR?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a hot topic at the moment.

In short, the GDPR is a new data privacy regulation that aims to give individuals in the EU (European Union) protection and control over their personal data. It is designed to give greater protection to an individual’s personal information and how it’s collected, stored, and used. There are strict requirements placed on companies that possess the personal data of people located in the EU.

With these new regulations coming into play on May 25, 2018 it is important for businesses to know how it could impact your data collection, and what you may need to do to make sure your business is compliant.

How does it affect your business?

Potential Fines

After May 25, 2018, organisations that aren’t in compliance with GDPR’s requirements i.e. significantly breaching people's online privacy, will face serious ramifications that could include large fines (up to 4% of a company’s annual global turnover or €20 million), which vary based on the severity of the infraction.

It could also make companies liable if their security systems are weak and customers' data is hacked.

How can you avoid these big fines for non-compliance?

If you’re collecting personal data from an EU resident, such as IP address, cookies, location data, name, and email address, you must obtain explicit consent. 

Obtain Explicit Consent

The consent should be:

  1. Voluntary. Have the user take affirmative action.
  2. Specific and informed. Make sure people are aware of what you’re collecting, how it’s being used, and whom it may be shared with.
  3. Unambiguous. Don’t disguise with redirects to terms of service overflowing with legal jargon.

 

How is it relevant to Australia?

Given the GDPR is a European Law, it would seem to have little relevance for Australia. Any company with customers in the EU will be affected.

Strict Privacy by Default

Strict privacy settings should be the default setting. A user shouldn’t have to go into their settings to make manual changes to opt into stricter settings.

Rights to Data

Under GDPR, individuals have greater control over how their personal information is collected, stored, and used. Individuals have a right to access their data, which means the right to know where, why, and how their data is processed. This includes the right to request a report to access their data. Additionally, individuals have a right to be forgotten, which means their data can be deleted.

Breach Notification

Organizations have a duty to report certain types of data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours, unless the breach is harmless and poses no risk to the individual. If a breach is concluded to be high risk, the company must also inform the individuals impacted.

How does your business take action?

Make sure your Privacy Policy is up to date

Ensure your privacy policy is updated to address GDPR. Discuss what information you collect, how it’s used, and any third-party service providers you share the information with. Include the process to follow to invoke the right to access personal data or the right to be forgotten.

Remember, while your privacy policy will reference the requirements of GDPR, having it installed doesn’t mitigate your need to obtain informed consent.

Google Analytics

If you use Google Analytics you may be collecting user ID/hashed personal data, IP addresses, cookies, or behaviour profiling. To be GDPR-compliant while using Google Analytics, either 1) anonymise the data before storage and processing begin, or 2) add an overlay to the site that gives notice of the use of cookies and asks for the user’s permission prior to entering the site.

Retargeting Ads and Tracking Pixels

If your website uses retargeted ads, pixels or cookies to capture personal information to remarket to your audience, you must inform website visitors of this immediately when they enter your site and obtain informed consent.

Email Opt-In

On the subscription form, have a checkbox for the visitor to consent to everything they’re about to subscribe to. If your newsletter uses tracking pixels to see when they open it, put a visible disclaimer before they subscribe. Verify if your email service provider offers GDPR tools.

Affiliate Links

If you use affiliate links, you need to get consent for cookie usage. Consent must come before the visitor clicks the affiliate link because a cookie will be placed on their browser to track sales activity.

Display Ads

If you have ads on your website from a third-party ad server, upon entering your site, users should immediately consent to your use of a third-party server that collects user data for advertising and marketing purposes. If your ad server uses cookies to gather data on the visitor for targeting purposes, inform visitors upon entering your site and get consent for using cookies for this purpose.

Contact Forms

Before users submit their information in a contact form, get their explicit consent with a checkbox.

Comments

Before users can leave a comment, get consent by using a checkbox and disclose that your site will store their comments and, as needed, information relating to the comment such as the date and computer’s IP address. Let them know how the information is used. Also, include a reminder that some information may be displayed publicly, such as name or URL, if they’re submitted with the comment.

Product Sales

If you’re selling services or products to EU residents, only collect necessary information from your customers upon checkout and obtain explicit consent prior to submitting the purchase to let them know how you’ll use that information.

Concerned about GDPR compliance?

 

If you’re interested in getting our assistance on this matter, please call your Account Manager or Director and we can discuss the potential impacts on your business and craft a solution for you.

Contact Us Today

3 JUICY TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR LOCAL SEO

3 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR LOCAL SEO

We try not to make things more complicated than they need to be. However when we start throwing out the terms SEO, Local SEO, On-page SEO, Off-page SEO we get that the mind drowns in a tsunami of jargon, and the good stuff runs the risk of getting lost in translation.

 

So why is Local SEO important?

Local SEO enables you to promote your business’ visibility for location-based searches, i.e. city, state, postcode, and ‘near me’ searches.

The effects of Local SEO are magnified if your business also has a physical location. According to a study done by Forbes, 95% of smartphone users have used their device to perform local searches, out of which 61% called the business, and 59% visited in person.

Competition in local SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) is becoming increasingly challenging, but there’s plenty of things that you can do to improve your positioning amongst your competitors, and give yourself the best chance of ranking locally.

 

Here’s 3 juicy tips to improve your Local SEO…

 

 

In at #1 - Claim and Optimise Your Google My Business Profile 

If you need Local SEO help the best place to begin is to claim your Google My Business profile. This business listing shows up in local searches, Google maps, and organic rankings in general.

To claim your listing you need to have a physical location and street address (not a P.O. Box). Google will then send a verification code by post to your address; the advantage of a verified business listing is greater SERPs dominance for brand searches, which can increase click through. 

Taking the time to fully optimise your profile by carefully selecting the business category, providing a precisely worded business description, adding contact information, business hours, images, videos and types of payments accepted will help to boost performance in local search. Google now allows up to 750 characters in your business description, however only 250 characters show up before getting cut off in the Knowledge Panel: this is a great place to use keywords specific to your business, and define your unique selling points that set you apart from the competition.

Google’s added so many brilliant features for you to take advantage of. As an example, you can activate the messaging feature, so that customers can text you direct from your business profile in search results.  

Another super cool feature launched last year are Google Posts that you can publish in your Google My Business profile. You can use the posts to communicate with your audience, letting them know about events, new products, updates to business information, etc, and these posts will appear in SERPs alongside your Google My Business listing. Google posts expire after 7 days, but it’s a great way to broadcast your latest news and put it before both old and new customers.

CHECK OUT YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE NOW

 

In at #2 - Get New, High-Quality Links  

If you’ve ever had one of our free SEO health checks you will have seen a lot of data that tells you about backlinks to your website, and linking domains. Backlinks are the links from another website, back to your website. Google analyses your backlinks to determine whether your website contains relevant, useful information.

Linking domains refers to the number of websites that link to your site, and this is where we begin to examine the authority of those websites. Backlinks are weighted based on that linking websites authority. Higher influence websites typically rank higher in search results. Not all backlinks are valued the same; the value of a backlink depends on the authority of the referencing website.

The quantity and quality of links directed to your website have a significant effect on local SERPs. To improve your Local SEO focus on building backlinks to your site from other websites owned by businesses and directories within your local community. This acts as an indicator to Google that you hold key relationships with other businesses, providing signals of trust and authority. Think about reciprocating links if the related services, or content may be useful to your customers.

Here’s a few ideas on how to get local backlinks to improve your Local SEO:

  • Look for local sponsorship opportunities;
  • Get involved in local community events, and get listings on their websites;
  • Become a contributor to local digital newsgroups, or the online version of your local press;  
  • Consider relevant local classifieds ads online;
  • Think about local business awards, such as the Chamber of Commerce;
  • Build relationships with local influencers;
  • As we said above, leverage local business relationships.

 

In at #3Prioritise Your Online Reputation by Focusing on Customer Reviews.

 Never judge someone by the opinion of others…  

Great advice, but when it comes to the digital world, it doesn’t quite work like that.

According to a 2017 consumer survey:

  • 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more.
  • 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business.

Being proactive about your reputation management is a valuable use of time. Online customer reviews are known to impact Local SEO, SERP rankings, consumer trust, AND click-through rates.

Google My Business reviews are a great way to fire up your Local SEO marketing. You need at least 5 reviews for Google to start showing your reviews against your business profile.

Apart from making Google happy and driving your SEO, customer reviews are powerful in that they give prospects a real indication of what it’s really like to use your goods or services.

Google loves customer reviews as it's unique content, usually of high-frequency, giving its search spiders something fresh to crawl. Couple this with the fact that your customers usually write reviews using words and phrases mirrored in the searches of your prospects, results in an increased chance of ranking well for keywords relevant to your business.

Google encourages you to invite your customers to leave online reviews through Google My Business. These reviews will appear next to your listing in Google Maps and your business’ Knowledge Panel in search results. The easiest way to encourage your customers to leave you a review is to provide them with a direct link to your Google My Business listing. According to a 2017 consumer survey, 70% users are willing to leave reviews and ratings if asked to.

Before you start check out Google’s guidelines for Google My Business reviews.

 

 

We hope that you find our juicy Local SEO tips useful.
Feel free to leave us a Google My Business Review if you’re inspired after reading our tips.

 

If you need help with your SEO strategy we offer a full range of SEO services, and SEO packages to suit your business needs.

Contact Us Today