Ignite your digital marketing

HOW TO OPTIMISE YOUR SITE FOR GOOGLE’S MOBILE-FIRST INDEX

Posted on 20th Mar, 2017 by

Ever since Gary Illyes’ announced Google’s mobile-first index (MFI) in 2015 and its official confirmation in late 2016, there’s been constant buzz around the topic. In particular, whether sites that have not implemented mobile friendly mark-ups and responsive website design are being penalised.

But before we jump to conclusions, let’s first take a look at exactly what the mobile-first index is and how it affects not only marketers, but all businesses with an online presence.

WHAT IS THE MFI?

In one of our recent blog posts, we mentioned the rise of mobile search and how Google have started to show a preference for mobile content rather than desktop.

The mobile-first index is Google’s way of responding to both the rise of mobile technology and recent statistics indicating that most Google searches now happen on mobile. This means Google will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of content, rather than the desktop version.

SO, I NEED A MOBILE WEBSITE?

The short answer is yes. The mobile trend is on the up and is showing no signs of slowing down, so as a business owner or marketing manager, adapting your website to suit this change will ensure your website’s ranking won’t be compromised and may give you a one-up from your competitors who are yet to make the change.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NEXT?

If you’re guilty of not having a mobile-friendly website, don’t stress just yet. There are some simple things you can do to get started:

  • Check your site is mobile-friendly. Before making any changes, we suggest testing your site first with Google’s Mobile Friendly test. This will tell you how easy it is for users to navigate your site on mobile and will also recommend some changes that can be made to increase mobile-friendliness.
  • Learn more about ‘mobile’. The best way to ensure you’re obliging by the rules is to educate yourself, and what better way to do this than by taking advice straight from the rule makers themselves? This Mobile Friendly Website Guide explains what is needed for an effective mobile site.
  • Implement. Whether you attempt to do this yourself, or you seek out the help of an SEO agency, it’s no secret you will need to make changes to your site to optimise it for the mobile-first index.
  • Rinse and repeat. If you’ve made changes, check the effect of those changes with the tool in step one. This isn’t the only indicator of a converted mobile site, but it will give you a topical view.

IN SUMMARY…

As Google begins to prioritise mobile pages, it’s important to ensure your site is not only up-to-date, but has also been optimised for search. Being mobile-friendly is simply one aspect of a digital campaign which should be used in conjunction with an overall strategy aimed at making your site easier for visitors to use.

Ultimately, it’s important to keep in mind that as more people begin to search using mobile, more opportunities will arise for your business to improve its offerings and better meet consumer demands.

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HOW TO HIRE A CREDIBLE SEO AGENCY

Posted on 8th Mar, 2017 by

Google released a document on Valentine’s day providing valuable insight into how brands should go about hiring an SEO agency, including guidelines on what to look out for and avoid when choosing and hiring an SEO specialist.

Included in this document was a video by Google’s Developer Programs Tech Lead, Maile Ohye. In the almost 12-minute video, Maile offers her advice on how to identify a legitimate SEO provider as well as what exactly constitutes ‘good’ (and bad) SEO. Curious to know which practices make the cut by Google? We’ve summarised the video below.

“An SEO’s potential is only as high as the quality of your business or website”

– Maile Ohye

GENERAL SEO HIRING PROCESS

Unfortunately, there are a number of SEO agencies out there who don’t play fair, often using illicit techniques in an attempt to manipulate search engines. These techniques, and the agencies that use them, should be avoided at all costs as Google does not easily provide ‘second chances’.

To avoid getting locked into a contract with one of ‘these’ SEO agencies, Google has provided an agenda to follow when interviewing and selecting an SEO provider. These are the steps Google recommends brands take when choosing an SEO:

STEP 1: Conduct a two-way interview – ask relevant questions to ensure they’re sincerely interested in you and the success of your business.

STEP 2: Check their references – the agency should offer you a list of clients willing to talk to you about their experience. If they can’t offer this, you should be cautious.

STEP 3: Request an audit – a good agency does their homework. Ask them to complete an audit, identifying any potential website issues and how they suggest to improve them, as well as what impact these changes are estimated to have on your digital campaign.

STEP 4: Decide if you want to hire – discuss with other decision makers within your business whether they think this agency is a good choice. Before deciding on an SEO agency, make sure all internal stakeholders are on board.

BONFIRE TIP:

You should leave your first meeting with a potential SEO agency feeling impressed and holding a proposal which indicates extensive research into both your company’s current position in the market, and your website.

ADVICE/KEY TAKEAWAYS:

In addition to the hiring process recommendations, Ohye also shared some useful insights on SEO basics as well as common misconceptions. Here are a few we found particularly agreeable and commonly find ourselves explaining to clients coming to us with limited search knowledge (or previous bad advice).

“SEO is not black magic” – SEO isn’t magic and it won’t work overnight. If an agency is promising instant rankings, avoid them, as they’re likely to be practicing bad SEO – this could cause irreversible long term damage to your domain and could greatly affect your digital standing with Google.

SEO suggestions should align with google best practices – ask the SEO to corroborate their strategy recommendations with supporting documents from Google e.g. an article from their help centre, a Googler response in their forum or a video (like this one).

Good SEO aims to improve the searchers’ entire experience – recommended changes should aim to not only create a search friendly site, but also a user-friendly site.

Quality SEOs will be genuinely invested in your business – they will be interested in learning about your business from a holistic stand point and genuinely care about your business goals, customers and other existing marketing efforts.

Good SEO takes time – allow 4 months to a year before you expect to start seeing real search results from strategy implementation. There are a lot of components in a good SEO strategy, and unfortunately no magic tricks to make them work faster.

An SEO’s potential is only as high as the quality of your business or website – investing in a user-friendly website will significantly help every SEO strategy implemented. You can’t build a home without a solid foundation.

“One of the biggest holdups to improving a website isn’t [the SEO’s] recommendation, but the business making time to implement their ideas.”

– Maile Ohye

IN SUMMARY…

The road towards finding a legitimate SEO agency is not an easy one. However, the outcome of your choice is vital to both the health of your campaign and business. These guidelines should help with the decision process and ensuring your business is left in capable hands.

You can watch the full video by Maile Ohye, titled How to Hire an SEO, here:

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TERMITRUST CATCH THE BONFIRE BUG

Posted on 7th Feb, 2017 by

With such a high demand for both residential and commercial pest control experts in Australia, Termitrust sought to partner with Bonfire to help gain an advantage within this highly competitive industry.

Having already established 33 centres across the country, the Termitrust team not only wanted to ensure their website was of the highest SEO standard, but also wanted to drive business growth through a strong digital strategy.

Almost two years later and Termitrust have continued to thrive both online and offline. Together, the Bonfire and Termitrust team have curated a personalised strategy, targeting multiple locations within AdWords and SEO. Due to the seasonal demands within the industry, we continue to adjust these campaigns relative to seasonal changes, delivering results that have been nothing short of impressive.

This partnership has achieved:

  • An 81% increase in organic traffic to the website year-on-year
  • 35% of this traffic attributed to AdWords and 33% SEO
  • 53% of goal completions were driven from AdWords campaigns
  • An increase in keyword ranking of 2,332 positions

We would like to commend all team members involved with this campaign and look forward to another great year. For the full case study, please click here. To learn more about the pest control experts Termitrust, visit: https://www.termitrust.com.au.

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SEO Trends You Need To Watch In 2017

Posted on 31st Jan, 2017 by

Which SEO trends will thrive in 2017? And more importantly, how can I stay on top of these trends for my business? These are some of the top questions circulating marketing and business minds in the new year. Here’s what the digital experts at Bonfire HQ have to say…

Below are the predicted 2017 SEO trends that our search experts believe will have the biggest impact on digital campaigns this year.

Mobile-first indexing
Statistics show that most searches occur on mobile, with more than 50% of search queries happening from mobile devices. Consequently, Google has already begun to test mobile-first indexing. There have been murmurs that Google will soon prioritise their search listing rankings based on the mobile version of content, rather than desktop.

Content Marketing
2016 highlighted the importance of quality website content for digital campaigns. In 2017, we believe this will be taken a step further. No longer will it be enough to merely produce content, but in a highly competitive market, businesses will need a structured content marketing strategy in place to ensure they can compete. It’s also predicted that with the rise in mobile searches, content will shift away from lengthy pieces and favour quality over quantity. Businesses are anticipated to adopt ‘dense’ content strategies; providing useful information in the most efficient possible format.

Algorithmic Machine Learning (AI)
Algorithmic machine learning was first introduced by Google’s RankBrain in 2015. We anticipate another update like this in the near future, some of which may go beyond the scope of search to encompass other digital areas (i.e. data collection and interpretation).

Voice search
We expect voice search to continue gaining traction in 2017. With platforms like Google Home and others of the like we believe this marks the beginning of a revolution inspired by voice search. This will cause a shift in traditional keyword discovery, meaning SEO agencies and businesses alike will need to be prepared to see more contextual, natural search phrases increasing in search volume.

Accelerated Mobile Pages
As Google begins to prioritise mobile, we expect to see a rise in Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP is a Google initiative to speed up mobile browsing, by building web pages for static content that render fast. It is an open-source slim HTML coding standard that when implemented, allows web pages on mobile phones to load instantly and ultimately improves the user experience. Google has already started favouring pages that have made the coding changes to optimize their mobile pages with AMP.

What Next?
It seems 2017 is heading in a direction where the reliance on technology will soon be stronger than ever before, for both consumers and marketers. It is imperative that marketers recognise this as soon as possible, and shift their strategies accordingly. Collaborating with technology providers is heavily encouraged, as it’ll allow businesses to gain an advantage over their competitors. To stay ahead in 2017, we believe it’s imperative that SEO marketers and business owners keep a close eye on these trends and are prepared to adopt strategic changes when necessary.

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Who Said Old Dogs Can’t Learn New Digital Marketing Tricks?

Posted on 1st Dec, 2016 by

In today’s highly competitive market, the ability to operate and sustain business practices for over two decades is truly an achievement in itself.

During their 25 years in the industry, City Beach Veterinarians have witnessed an innumerable amount of changes to their business and marketing landscapes and have continued to operate despite this. Among other things, we believe the owner’s profound understanding of the importance of acclimatising to their clients’ changing needs has been a key player in this process.

Despite being online for over 8 years, City Beach Veterinarians saw the need to strengthen their online presence by bringing it in line with the needs of their clients – this meant a streamlined booking process. Owner, Neville Robertson, sought the assistance of Bonfire and expressed his vision to not only increase traffic to a newer, more efficient website, but also to cement their position as a leader in Perth’s extremely competitive veterinary market.

In collaboration with our digital services team, the website was built by our experienced web designers and developers in only a matter of weeks. The new site not only showcases their business, but also brings together the necessary practical and functional benefits of a well-designed platform.

After engaging with Bonfire for over 2 years and successfully launching their new website, City Beach Veterinarians have produced some spectacular results:

  • 128% increase in traffic SEO since campaign launch
  • SEO delivers over 78% of website enquiries
  • Business is experiencing constant growth
  • 90% of selected terms are ranking on the 1st page of Google

Our team at Bonfire are thrilled with the results achieved by the City Beach Veterinarians campaign and wish Neville and his staff all the best with their new and improved website. You can visit their website here.

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Australian SMB’s adoption of digital is improving: Deloitte

Posted on 28th Nov, 2016 by

This year’s Deloitte Connected Small Business report has highlighted the increasing implementation of digital strategies by Australian SMB’s.

Since 2013, there has been a fifty percent increase in the number of businesses boasting an advanced level of digital engagement through activities like online advertising and search engine optimisation.

It’s unsurprising that a greater level of digital engagement pays off. Revenue growth, innovation and increased employment are some of the key benefits.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • SMB’s at an advanced level of digital engagement were one-and-half times more likely to have experienced revenue growth over the previous twelve months compared to those with only basic engagement
  • SMB’s with an advanced level of digital engagement are more than fourteen times more likely to display innovation in new products or services
  • SMB’s with an advanced level of digital engagement are more than eight times more likely to experience employment growth
  • Over half of Australian SMB’s are still operating at a basic to intermediate level of digital engagement, with only nine percent at an advanced level

Our CEO, Clay Cook, has shared his views on the report with Campaign Brief, including rallying the industry as a whole to come together to break down the misgivings and barriers that are preventing businesses from increasing their adoption.

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Bonfire to Develop a New Digital Strategy for Tiger Mist

Posted on 10th Nov, 2016 by

Bonfire has been chosen as the digital marketing partner of one of Australia’s largest ‘fast fashion’ companies, Tiger Mist.

The fashion label is recognised as one Australia’s social media success stories with an already enviable following, including over 800,000 Instagram followers. Their range of clothing is a favourite among fashion conscious females across the globe and is sold through big-name retailers including Myer, ASOS and Forever 21.

However, given the fast-paced nature of the fashion industry, multi-channel digital strategies are paramount for sustained success. Our team have identified several exciting market expansion opportunities for Tiger Mist, through an integrated search marketing strategy.

Despite being based in Melbourne, the Tiger Mist team don’t see this as a barrier and we’re in fact inspired by the results we’re achieving with Bonds.

News of this appointment has been featured in Campaign Brief and B&T.

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Sage Australia Bonfire

Sage Australia Looks to the West

Posted on 24th Oct, 2016 by

We’re thrilled to announce the latest company to partner with Bonfire – the Australian division of accounting software giant, Sage.

Bonfire has been tasked with overhauling Sage Australia’s Google marketing strategy. Combining a brand refresh with strong digital marketing campaigns, Sage Australia’s aim is to leverage the digital expertise and knowledge of Bonfire to increase its customer and partner numbers aggressively over the next 12 months. Bonfire’s first undertaking has been to overhaul and establish solid digital foundations for the brand.

Although based is Sydney, Sage’s marketing team looked further afield and was impressed with Bonfire’s thorough proposal and research process and the results we’re already achieving for other high profile service companies.

Sage Australia Campaign Manager, Anthony Pignatiello shares his experience with Bonfire to date:

Bonfire has provided exceptional customer service from the start. Despite being located on the other side of the country, their flexibility and responsiveness really stood out for us as an agency. Our account manager (Arno) always responds in a timely fashion whilst providing us with expert SEO advice that delivers results.

We are only at the start of our SEO journey with Bonfire, and we’re excited at the prospect of what this great partnership can achieve

We would like to officially welcome Sage Australia to the Bonfire family. Our digital services team are eager to hit the ground running on the campaigns.

News of this appointment was featured in B&T and Campaign Brief.

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The Wait Is Over – Google’s Real Time Penguin Is Here

Posted on 14th Oct, 2016 by

Google’s hotly anticipated Penguin ranking update has finally been released. It’s been a long wait for SEO agencies and website owners.

In late September, Penguin 4.0 was launched by Google, however it’s unlike any other previous Penguin update. Through this release, Penguin now operates in real-time and as part of Google’s core search algorithm. This means that ranking adjustments will now occur as Google re-crawls the web and existing penalties will be lifted much sooner. However, instead of demoting a website, Penguin 4.0 now devalues the link spam so that it is excluded from a website’s ranking calculation.

Our team have kept a keen eye on the “recovery” component of the update. We’re happy to report we’ve seen some strong improvements for clients who have engaged us to help fix penalties from previous SEO activities.

Bonfire CEO, Clay Cook, recently discussed the update with Campaign Brief, including providing some advice for website owners moving forward.

 

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EURO TECHNIK ‘LEADS’ THE WAY FOR BUSINESS GROWTH

Posted on 13th Oct, 2016 by

Generating leads through a strong digital presence is one of the main aims when it comes to SEO.

For Euro Technik, this was certainly the case.

One of the very few specialist European vehicle service centres in Perth, Euro Technik, came to Bonfire determined to use digital marketing to help get their business off the ground.

Not only did they want to penetrate their market through improved online visibility, they also wanted our team to deliver high quality leads that would generate solid business growth.

After 16 months, campaign results far exceeded expectations to the extent where we saw:

  • 4000% increase in business revenue
  • 10-12 new leads each week
  • 143% increase in organic visitors from July 2015.

Despite strong competition within their market, our team has worked diligently and we’re extremely satisfied with the results achieved through this campaign. We look forward to seeing this success continue for Euro Technik.

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