Call 03 85455900

Get the latest search news straight to your inbox!

From the category archives:

SEO Video Blog

Facebook Ads Blitz Google

by Jim on April 16, 2014

This post is not about beating up on Google. It is really more about how much cheaper it is to sell stuff via Facebook, for one of our clients anyway. A few weeks back I did a show on Facebook vs Google. I introduced you to a couple of new audience features we were playing with. Last week I launched a campaign for one client using the new feature. Scroll to the end of this post or watch the video to see the results.  At the same time we ran a campaign on the Google display network targeting the same products. Here are the results.

Google Display Network Campaign

Ad Creative

We used over 13 different creatives and let Google serve the one that got got the most clicks more often.

Impressions or reach

In the last 7 days we’ve had over 77,000 ad impressions.

Click through rate

This was actually quite good for a display campaign at 1.15%


The average CPC was really cheap. Only 31 cents. The total campaign cost to date is $257 for 837 clicks.

Google display ROI

Nada, zilch, zero, nothing, doughnuts, not one fricken sale.

Facebook Custom Audience Campaign

Ad Creative

We used 1 piece of creative

Impressions or reach

In the last 7 days we’ve reached about 3500 people.

Click through rate

Around 2.5%


For this campaign we did optimised CPM as we were bidding for actual conversions. Total cost at time of making my video was about $34

Facebook Custom Audience Campaign ROI

8000%. Not a typo. We spent $34 and sold around $2700 worth of product directly attributable to the campaign. I sh-t you not. Watch this week’s video for a closer look at the data.





If you have been hit with a manual penalty from Google it’s your lucky day! I know it may not feel like that when you see your traffic and rankings plummet but the alternative of dropping away without knowing why is a far greater dilemma. By getting a manual spam action, it allows you to quickly address the specific issues and then beg Google for forgiveness. Or as my dear old Dad would say, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Unfortunately if your rankings drop from an algorithm change there is no clear path to reconciliation and usually it will take a lot longer to recover. If you have got the manual spam action it will look like this.

Manual Spam Action

Manual Spam Action

Here are the steps to get back on track.

Step 1. Disavow EVERYTHING!

– well at least every link from the time you started buying links. Even the good ones. Google’s Matt Cutts has said that this will show real remorse and contrition so they are more likely to absolve you from your sins quickly. Well he didn’t quite use those words but that was the gist.

Step 2. Submit a reconsideration request

- If you have completed step 1 properly you should hear back fairly quickly. Hopefully you get a message like this

Manual Spam Action Revocation

Manual Spam Action Revocation

If you have not disavowed properly Google will issue you a notice after every reconsideration request saying you missed a few links and to try again. This can go on for weeks so it is best to just disavow enmasse.

Step 3. Do some real SEO

– chances are you have neglected your site when it comes to real SEO. Creating great content, sharing it and having a well functioning site are the things you need to be focussed on. Forget about the backlinks.


Facebook Ads Vs Google Ads

by Jim on April 2, 2014

You may have heard that since I learned of the new types of ads available on Facebook from the Beers Blokes and Business episode “What’s Up Zuck?”, I immediately started trialling it for ourselves and some of our clients. I admit that up until then I had not been much of a fan of Facebook ads. My trials of them in the past had resulted in all the demographics you can eat but with little to show in the way of real traffic. As I wrote in my digital marketing post, this year I have not only sold my house using facebook ads I’ve also got good traffic to our website and my videos for a fraction of the cost when compared to say Google Adwords. On Monday I took some of our team to a training session of Facebook ads run by @sportsgeek Sean Callanan.

Cost of Traffic Between Facebook & Adwords

Do you know how costly adwords is for SEO related keywords? REALLY costly. I know this because last year I threw a bunch of money at an adwords campaign for ourselves. You are looking at between $15 – $20 per click for SEO keywords. You could argue that those are highly relevant clicks and therefore more likely to convert. The user intent is that they are looking for an SEO company. You would be right of course, however when you compare that to the traffic I can get from Facebook It makes you stop and think.  Earlier this year I ran a short campaign on Facebook to get traffic back to our site. Over the course of 10 days I got about 350 clicks. This would have cost me say $7000 on adwords. From facebook the cost was just over $200.

A Massive Cost Difference

adwords vs facebook

How and who you are targeting makes all the difference

The reason you can get better click throughs on Facebook now is because they have greatly improved their ad targeting by letting you create “custom audiences” as well as massively improved the way in which the ads are delivered into the users stream.

When To Use What

I’m not saying Facebook is an adwords killer. What I am saying is that you need to use these venues very differently when it comes to an adspend. For instance for ourselves I will never buy SEO keywords in adwords again. It is ridiculous but I buy other keywords that are only around 80 cents CPC. The keywords we are buying for ourselves in adwords are cheap and are showing real buyer intent. I am using Facebook to build our general audience, much the same way I use the videos. I’m targeting people in Facebook who can benefit from our content but not really doing any sort of sales pitch. I think this works given the difference of the venues. People in Facebook have not asked to see my ads where as people in Google really have, given the keywords I am buying.

Scary Creepy Good

Have a look at today’s video to see some of the scary creepy good things you can now do in Facebook. It may surprise you. Special thanks goes out to Sean Callanan & Steve Vallas for converting me :) .



Matt Cutts released a video yesterday in response to a viewer question about being hit by an algorithm change or a manual penalty. He explained you should do all the usual checks in Google webmaster tools as well as making sure you have a healthy site. The big check he did not tell you to do which I think is the most important one is the site:yourwebaddress check. It’s usually the first thing I’ll do with any site prior to beginning work on it. For most business owners it’s a lot easier to do to than having a look at webmaster tools.

Andrea Moss Site.

As I show in today’s video a friend of ours, Andrea Moss is currently in a TV show called Real Housewives of Melbourne. Her new site, launched about a month ago. SHe asked me to have a look at it for her as it was not ranking for “Andrea Moss” which is pretty odd. The first thing I did was in Google. What became immediately apparent was that Google had only crawled 3 pages and they were weird URLs.

Andrea Moss Website

It didn’t take the team long to work out what was going on but the site: check is what started the ball rolling. Here are the things you can discover using this simple but effective check.


  1. Page count – has Google crawled too many or not enough pages. If there are too many in there chances are you have bigger problems.
  2. Page Titles – Quickly see a list of page titles and spot duplications
  3. Duplicate Descriptions – Not really a big ranking factor but something you should fix.
  4. Find Weird Pages – Sometimes Google can be crawling part of your site that you didn’t even know existed.
  5. Find Subdomains – on more than one occasion we have come across all sorts subdomains that have been setup for a client that they didn’t know where live. Quite often these subdomains will be a complete duplication of the main site.

See how we fixed Andrea’s site in today’s video. So when was the last time you did a site: check? :)




3 SEO Essentials

by Jim on March 19, 2014

For SEO there’s been some question around the value of backlinks from social sources such as Twitter & G+. Are they worth it? Should I spam the bejesus out of the networks with my backlinks. In case you’re wondering, the answer to the latter question is no. In today’s video I revisit some data from a client that we began work on about 3 months ago.  Below is the graph of their organic traffic growth.

SEO Melbourne ClientTheir traffic went from pretty much nothing to over 230/day by us just doing a few of things.

1. Be SEO Ready

This basically means have a tidy well functioning site for your visitors with the content clearly signposted. In the case of this site we had to do the following;

SEO navigation

We found that the site had many internal 404s that needed to be fixed as well as internal 301s. An internal 301 is bad as it is sloppy. (which reminds me there’s a few I have to fix on this site) . Why have a link on a page that is permanently redirected? Why not just link to the final destination. We also found there was not much strong linking internally to the target pages.

SEO Headings

This is a problem we see a lot, heading tags been used for style reasons. I know, I get it, you graphic designers out there are just trying to make it easier for your clients but if we get our hands on it we are going to change your beautiful heading tags so that they are proportionately correct and change that lovely formatting by using <span> or <div> . In the case of this client they had multiple h3s on a page above h2s.In fact at the time of writing this post I can see it on this page! Aaargh. My h2s & 3s look exactly the same. Hopefully by the time you read this it will be fixed.

2. Content Marketing & SEO

We are spending a lot of money on quality content. I’m talking thousands of dollars per month. It is so important. In my digital marketing post I discussed the various forms of 20th century marketing and their digital equivalent. For content marketing the only equivalent I can think of would be the old sausage sizzle for customers. In the past that was pretty much as close as business got to being social. Think of it this way, today you have to publish or perish. I don’t care where that publishing is, email, facebook, web whatever. For your business you need to be doing it. For SEO purposes of course I want you to publish on your website.

For this client we are pumping out a few posts a week. Not junk, Google fodder content. This is quality content that users are engaging with.

3. Share is SEO Gold

As you will see from this week’s SEO video Google is very hot on Twitter shares and G+ shares. This is great. It makes sense though right? A share is a backlink. A real citation. The difference today though is that Google can also put a value on who is sharing that content purely from authorship. That is the only backlinking we did for this client. Just twitter. Not spamming just sharing their content via their own Twitter account.


SEO Triage

by Jim March 12, 2014

It’s that time again kids when we get to review someone’s site for SEO. If you want your site reviewed just follow me on twitter @jimboot In this week’s video I take a look at a site that has just been inherited by a viewer. If you ever inherit a site you really should triage [...]

Read more: SEO Triage

Interflora SEO Spam?

by Jim March 5, 2014

So I would have thought the brand Interflora would have learned from it’s Google slap just over a year ago. Although that was the UK version of Interflora. It seems either that Interflora Australia is now engaging in backlink spam or someone is certainly trying to make it look like they are. SEO Spam Clues [...]

Read more: Interflora SEO Spam?

Digital Marketing Fuel

by Jim March 5, 2014

SEO is the foundation of your digital marketing efforts but the fuel that feeds both your SEO and social marketing is content. Breaking News SEOs! Guess what? The search engines love content. Who knew? Google loves it so much it wants to marry it. Of course most SEOs who know this believe that churning out [...]

Read more: Digital Marketing Fuel

SEO – only a part of digital marketing

by Jim February 26, 2014

Last week you may have read my article on digital marketing. A lot of business people I speak to are confused as to where they should be spending there cash online to promote their business. As much as I love SEO and it’s power it’s only part of an overall digital marketing strategy. Today I’d [...]

Read more: SEO – only a part of digital marketing

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Sensis Is Dead

by Jim February 20, 2014

Apologies to WH Auden. Sensis announced yet another 800 jobs gone in Australia as they continue their evolution into digital marketing. Ummm It’s 2014. Don’t you think you’ve left it a little late Sensis? In case you don’t know Sensis is the company that was responsible for the paper directories. In my digital marketing post [...]

Read more: Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Sensis Is Dead