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Posted on 20th Mar, 2017 by Kayla Paul
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.
@localseoguide please don’t assume we WON’T have different indexing for mobile. We are still experimenting, but it may happen
— Gary Illyes ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (@methode) September 28, 2015
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.
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.
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:
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.
Posted on 8th Mar, 2017 by Samantha Whitewood
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.
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.
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
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:
Posted on 1st Dec, 2016 by Kayla Paul
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:
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.
Posted on 12th May, 2016 by Courtney Mills
We recently hit the “go live” button on one of the biggest website projects we’ve ever taken on.
Therapy Focus is Western Australia’s largest non-Government disability therapy provider. They needed a website that catered for it’s very broad audience.
With a wealth of information and resources on offer, we knew we were in for a challenge.
With over 40 pages, a blog, payment gateway and events page, this was quite a build for our team. However, we are truly proud of the end result.
See the Therapy Focus website for yourself here: http://therapyfocus.org.au/
Posted on 18th Feb, 2016 by Courtney Mills
The Loan Panel came to us with a vision: To take it’s finance services to customers across Australia.
With offices opening in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, The Loan Panel wanted us to expand their online presence to these cities.
We began with a new website that incorporated all the office locations. Then we formulated a plan that leveraged their existing online footprint and replicated it for the new East Coast markets with a focus on local SEO strategies.
We’re pleased to say that just 4 months in and the results are very impressive.
Posted on 18th Nov, 2015 by Courtney Mills
Our latest client website is hot off the press and it’s a good one (but aren’t they all!)
As an alternative to the status quo, Amanda Energy provide an innovative energy delivery service to Western Australian businesses.
They needed a website that portrayed this uniqueness and we’ve just delivered.
Judging by the feedback that Amanda Energy’s Marketing/Media Manager, Penny Grant, has provided, we’d say the client is pretty happy with the site too:
Bonfire were a pleasure to deal with. They catered for all our needs and opinions on the website and helped with direction along the way.
Would highly recommend for any business looking to increase their Google appearance and ranking.
Thank you Bonfire!!
You can visit the new Amanda Energy website here: http://amandaenergy.com.au/
Posted on 2nd Nov, 2015 by Courtney Mills
Helping a brand new business get online is a great challenge for the Bonfire team. All areas of our business are involved – website designers, graphic designers, BDM’s and the digital services team.
Perth Painting Professionals (PPP) was no exception.
As PPP is a new business, we leveraged Google AdWords and a new landing page to get them online, quickly.
Here are just some of the results that have been achieved:
Congratulations to the whole Bonfire team on the job well done. As you can see from the case study, PPP owner, Hayden Lister, is extremely happy.
Posted on 28th Aug, 2015 by Courtney Mills
We’re excited to announce the launch of a brand new website for our client, Trinity on Hampden.
Trinity on Hampden is a hidden gem in the middle of Nedlands. Within Trinity College, it offers affordable guest accommodation and a boutique conference centre.
They just needed a new website to promote their offerings and that’s where we came into the picture.
Stephanie was a pleasure to work with on this build and had some lovely feedback for us:
Working with Bonfire from the start has been an absolute pleasure. From my first conversation with Alex, who answered all my queries and assured me that Bonfire would go above and beyond to meet our expectations. To working with Elton and his team to design and get our website live. Elton was great to work with, he tackled everything with enthusiasm, insight and expertise. His response time and follow up was immediate which I valued greatly when trying to keep a project on schedule.
We highly recommend him and Bonfire as a company and look forward to working with you all on future projects.
You can see the new Trinity on Hampden website for yourself here: http://www.trinityonhampden.com.au/
Posted on 24th Jul, 2015 by Courtney Mills
After forcing webmasters to wait 10 months, Google has confirmed that a new ranking algorithm update has been released this week.
Panda 4.2 brings good news for anyone who was penalised by the previous update. If you took the right action to fix your mistakes, then you should notice a positive change in your organic ranking.
However, it could be a while before you notice this.
In the past, when Google has released an algorithm update, its impact has been immediate and widespread. However, this release is different. It’s being rolled out so slowly that webmasters are unlikely to notice any sudden impact to their website’s rankings.
Google’s lips are sealed as to why they have taken the “go slowly” method, but they can confirm that it will likely impact around 2%–3% of English language queries worldwide.
Our CEO, Clay Cook, makes a point that if you’ve forgotten to make changes to your website, then it’s a little too late. “Despite this update being a “slower” release than normal, there is no point rushing any sudden changes to your website. They will not be picked up by Panda 4.2.”
Being proactive instead of reactive is always a good approach. “It’s still early days, but we’ve noticed very little impact to our clients website rankings from this update and we don’t really expect to. This is because our approach to SEO is to be proactive. If webmasters continually update their content as part of their overall SEO strategy, then their website is less likely to feel the wrath of Google.”
If you do find you’re website has been negatively impacted by the update this time round, then use it as a timely reminder to implement the required changes to increase your content quality. You just never know when Panda 4.3 may arrive…
Posted on 7th Jul, 2015 by Courtney Mills
There’s no denying that mobile shopping has skyrocketed in the past few years and there’s no sign of it easing up anytime soon.
However, many retailers are being left behind. Currently, only 30% of Australian retailers offering a mobile website.
Our CEO, Clay Cook, has shared some advice for struggling retailers in The West.