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SEO experts please!

Discussion in 'Search engines etc' started by YoungNomad, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. YoungNomad

    YoungNomad Member

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    Hey guys

    My real estate website, LIVEin, ranks pretty well considering I haven't engaged in any SEO.

    I want to change this, and was hoping some of the resident SEO experts could email me at

    tamerik@youngnomads.com.au

    Before you email, please check the site www.livein.net.au and let me know what you would propose to do, cost for doing the work, and the benefits you envisage.

    I have Google Adwords which works great, so no need to suggest this :)

    Thanks guys (and girls!)
  2. kbrookes

    kbrookes Member

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    Firstly absolutely gorgeous site!

    But you should get rid of the splash page. The rest of the site is excellent, but the splash page is a great way to have a high bounce rate.

    Plus, it's Flash. And you've got no metadata, so search engines see almost nothing when they go to your home page.

    Check it out here: http://www.webconfs.com/search-engine-spider-simulator.php

    If you absolutely must have your Flash splash page, then you can't neglect the metadata for that page, otherwise you get an organic search result like this:

    [​IMG]

    Zero description, so users have absolutely no idea what you do.... and no reason to click on you when surrounded by much more relevant links.

    Next, you say that LiveIn ranks pretty well, but I'm curious for what search terms?

    I'm only scratching the surface, but as far as I can see you're ranking highly for the keyword 'Erik Tyler', but I haven't found any other terms that you're doing really well on.

    The reason for that seems to be this URL:

    http://livein.net.au/property-sales/about-us/erik-tyler/

    Which on the face of it, isn't a problem, except that the page is a bio for Adrian Southern.

    You've got an AdWords campaign going, but my (admittedly minimal search) turned up just two paid ads for two keywords ('canberra rental' + 'rental canberra').

    The trouble with those keywords is you're not only in competition with other property groups, but with any rental group at all - my research showed that of the top ten competitors for those keywords, four of them are car companies.

    It looks like those two keywords cost you around $2.25 per click and the competition for them is large, including searches performed by users with needs irrelevant to your site.

    Here's a freebie: 'houses for rent in canberra' has over 18,000 local searches per month and a CPC of just $0.09. There's more where they came from.

    Now as I haven't managed to find a live version of your ad, I'm not sure if the ad just takes you to that splash page.

    If it does, you might as well just throw away your ad spend - you've got two options: property sales and property management. Which of those is relevant to a searcher looking for a property to rent?

    Neither.

    The average punter needs it simple and clear. Rent or Buy. 'Property Management' says something else entirely.

    I had to go into the listings to figure out if I could actually rent from you because your terminology is geared towards getting property owners to list with you, not having renters search your site for a place to live.

    This is really important when it comes to your adwords campaigns. Google looks for relevancy: it provides what it thinks are relevant results for search queries. If you have a high bounce rate then Google assumes your site is not relevant to that particular query - your CPC rate can be adjusted upwards to favour sites that provide more relevant results.

    One the other hand, if you get it right your CPC can be reduced by producing more relevant results.

    The ideal scenario with adwords is to have different ads for different keyword groupings and for those ads to go to very specific landing pages relevant to the advertising.

    Further, by providing more relevant results for what users have been searching for you increase your own conversion rates.

    Is this something you track? Do you have conversion tracking setup for your various 'thank you' pages or on anything else you want users to take action on?

    I know I got diverted away from SEO talk, but I feel that there really isn't a lot more I can say on the matter for the moment: the splash page will kill a lot of your organic search stone dead.

    Alongside the URL problems and terminology issues, there's work that could be done, but I don't think you'd easily see the benefit you're looking for - i.e. high placement in organic search for real estate queries in Canberra.

    There's a lot of competition going on. Not to say you can't do it, but I think you could do it quicker and more effectively with a better AdWords campaign.
  3. jaycar

    jaycar Member

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    Hi Erik

    I have sent your email address to someone I use at www.theexpertseocompany.com to see if he can help you with your web site. They are based in Melbourne.

    I hope that's ok with you.

    Cheers
  4. altima

    altima Member

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    Hi Eric,

    I like great analysis that Kelsey done, a good job.

    I'll add just couple comments (while I am not really big SEO expert, worked with them a lot):
    - seems that you web site is developed on Wordpress, it has very good SEO tools and plug-ins, so technically there should be not a big problem to do an optimization;
    - almost nothing done with SEO currently, so I guess that even small efforts will return visible result in close future;
    - do not kill your good graphic design with cheap and dirty SEO :)

    Good luck!

    Alex
  5. kbrookes

    kbrookes Member

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    Thanks Eric!

    My data was by no means complete, and of course I wasn't going to go really deep for a Forum Freebieā„¢ - I just called it like I saw it.

    That said, I had to double check everything - I had trouble believing that such a meticulously presented site with what seems like some great clients would be so poorly represented in SEM.

    It's entirely possible they're using 3rd party domains or subdomains in their SEM, in which case I would've missed it entirely.
  6. DavidM

    DavidM Active Member

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    Just wanted to give a thumbs up to Kelsey. Great overview of what needs to be done. Thumbs up.
  7. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Good job indeed though personally I have almost always found that where Google indicates keywords can be had cheaply it does not last - sometimes not even for an hour!

    Over the years I've chased many a promising looking low cpc keyword because it looks cheap in the keyword tools, got it at QS 7 or above with a decent ad and landing page only to see it blow out to $2 or more as soon as Google felt like it!

    Fun and games :)
  8. kbrookes

    kbrookes Member

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    @DavidM - Thanks!

    @Aidan - you're completely right, of course. SEM is not a 'set and forget' activity!
  9. Jake@EmroyPrint

    Jake@EmroyPrint Well-Known Member

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    Whoarr!

    I have nothing really to add, but I just wanted to say what a fantastic post by Kelsey.

    Jake
  10. kbrookes

    kbrookes Member

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    Thanks Jake! :)
  11. lutrov

    lutrov Member

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    Erik, like others have already said, what you got here would easily cost you at least $500 if you went to a consultant.

    Kelsey, I'm not only very impressed with your expert constructive criticism, but also your willingness to find the time to offer all this valuable advice for free.
  12. JohnW

    JohnW Well-Known Member

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    Hi Erik,

    SEO is like tuning a racing car - its an ongoing process. You can make a basic vehicle go faster for very little effort and expense. However, if you enter an untuned go-kart in the Bathurst 1000, you can tune it up all you want, you still won't expect a high finishing place.

    The starting point for SEO must always be research. The issues are:

    a. Your website and the factors that inhibit its ability to attract referrals from the search engines
    b. How do potential customers search for your types of products or services?
    c. Your competitors - how strongly do they compete for the keywords you want to target?

    SEO is about attracting as many relevant search engine referrals as possible for the money available. Making changes to the words on your web pages would make some improvements to your SE referrals but they would be pretty minimal.

    You have had a bunch of good info from Kelsey on item "a". I particularly want to reinforce his comments about your Home page.

    Here is how Google "read" your home page on the 20th Jul: http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...et.au/ site:livein.net.au&hl=en&gl=au&strip=1

    It is COMPLETELY BLANK to Google!

    Your current Home page is killing you in terms of SE referrals. To revert to the motor racing analogy; publish a page of SE-readable, relevant text instead of your current home page and you will be upgrading your website from being powered by an untuned, 2-stroke 50 cc lawn mower engine to a 4 cylinder, supercharged race-tuned engine.

    I have had a very cursory look at your site and my first impression is that your most cost effective solution could be to start again from scratch. So much of SEO revolves around the basics of site structure and design. Your current site is not set up for SE relevance. Trying to implement SEO on a site with inherent limitations means you have to swim ten times as fast just to keep pace with your competitors.

    Implementing effective SEO on an existing site can be very expensive. You will find SEO companies quoting $ per keyword. Some will quote $ per month for 12 months. A very quick "guestimate" is that you could republish your entire site with a SE-friendly design and structure, a content management system to publish your new listings and with SEO training to your staff who publish your pages for around $4,000.

    This may not be the answer you wanted to hear but I have to tell you that trying to SEO your current site could be a waste of resources.

    If you want specifics, please PM me.

    Regs,

    JohnW
  13. Snowpie

    Snowpie New Member

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    Kelsey said it all.
    Youshould hire a good webmaster before than a good SEO.
    Flash page can look nice, but they are a pain in the *** for seo.
    Content is the key :)
  14. kbrookes

    kbrookes Member

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    Hi Lutrov,

    Pretty simple - I made a mistake. I had a great client for three or four years, but his work had grown to completely take over our business and I was working on site for him most days, long hours, etc. Very demanding work, but also very interesting and fulfilling. Then my wife got pregnant with our first and I had to make a decision - the job or my child.

    I chose my as-yet unborn son. We no longer had the breadth of clients we'd had previously - we'd focused on one to the exclusion of nearly all others. So we're rebuilding almost from scratch. Hence, I have a little bit of extra time on my hands! ;)

    /offtopic
  15. YoungNomad

    YoungNomad Member

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    The purpose of my post was to find someone who would work for me - not for free. I will be emailing those that contributed to follow up on.

    Secondly, this is a "forum" for business owners - I regularly give "free" advice to new business startups - which I also do in the "real" world for considerable cost.

    Thanks for your post though.
  16. mexham

    mexham Member

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    It is very good though that those whom replied to you posted it within the thread. There is a lot of good info there that I'm sure many others will find relevant and helpful upon reading through.
  17. Syed

    Syed New Member

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    Very nicely done website...

    Agree with Kelsey and rest...

    May i add... i can't view your website on my mobile
    You may want to consider this too...
  18. Tiggerito

    Tiggerito Active Member

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    I Just have to add that Kelsey's Analysis is excellent and I also agree with JohnW's comments.

    Many website developers will just create what you want and not argue if its actually the best thing to do.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who will tell clients "how it is" and not just say yes and take the money.
  19. FiveAussieDollar.com.au

    FiveAussieDollar.com.au New Member

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    I know there are many people who hate flash pages.. If you're really looking for high productivity, then you should remove the splash page.

    Look at all the high traffic sites, they don't have a splash page to start off with, it's always straight to the contents, as that's what google likes. Maybe you can get a site setup, then have a flash navigation at the top.

    As for SEO, you'll need to remove the splash page, as that's the root domain, you'll want to be ranked high on google, at least for a couple of keywords. At the moment, it's hard to get ranked on google because of the splash page.

    All the best.
  20. lutrov

    lutrov Member

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    It's shameful for our industry that there are still a number of so-called "professionals" who still recommend splash pages to clients.

    These people know nothing about the internet. They're just ripping people off and giving legitimate design professionals a bad name.

    Splash pages serve absolutely no purpose to the people that matter. All they do is scream "look at me, look at me", and that surely can't be the reason you want people coming to your site in the first place.

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