No one is going to deny that SEO is one of the most powerful forms of marketing in the planet. Showing up right when and where your prospects are asking questions about your product or service is not only a way to reach new customers; it is also a way to demonstrate your expertise and generate trust in the minds of your prospects at the exact time when they are evaluating a purchase decision.
SEO is so powerful that it can double or triple your business’ revenue.
It is ALSO true that the SEO Auckland industry is in a state of crisis and SEO consultants’ credibility is at an all time’s low.
Big promises. Flashy sales presentations. Mediocre Results. Lots of money spent. Locked into contracts. Reports that mean little. Excuses. Explanations that “SEO takes time”.
You know what I mean. Digital marketing can be frustrating.
But I’m not here to tell you that getting first page results is hard. You already know that.
The reason for this article is to show you how you can bypass the mountain of problems associated with SEO for your business, and give you the information you need to enjoy search engine optimisation success.
Skip the problems. Enjoy long term organic search traffic. Sounds good? Keep on reading.
Because in this article I will share with you the 3 Fundamental Truths Your SEO Consultant Won’t Tell You.
With this knowledge you will be able to get your business to the top of Google’s search results in a matter of days, without waiting weeks (or months!) or getting locked into expensive SEO contracts or dealing with unnecessary agency complexity.
Why the SEO industry is in the state that it is… is beyond the scope of this article.
I have my own hypothesis which I may share with you in the future.
For now let’s stay focused on the task at hand: how to skip the problems and get top search engine rankings (in days) for your business.
Fundamental Truth #1 – An Obsession For High Competition Keywords Will Stall Your SEO Strategy Indefinitely
The diagram below describes the way your prospects are using Google every day.
(*click on the image to be able to zoom in…)
Different prospects in your market are at different stages in their decision making process.
Some of them are only researching and not planning to buy anything yet. Some of them might be thinking about buying but they are not sure what is the right product or service for them. Some of them are ready to buy and they are deciding who to buy from.
Each one of them will come to Google with a question in their minds:
“How do I …”
“Where do I…”
“What’ the best way to…”
You get the idea.
Think about it for a moment.
In fact, take a moment to go look at Google.com right now.
What is there to do?
Short answer: not much. Unless I bring a question to Google, it doesn’t really serve any purpose. Nothing to browse, no updates of what my friends are doing.
Everything I do in Google begins with the question I am trying to answer or the problem I am trying to fix.
What you need to do as a smart business owner is understand what questions your prospects are asking in Google and provide answers for them.
This is the right time to STOP… breathe in… breathe out… and read the sentence above again.
I recommend you do it at least 10 times. Maybe even write it down in your own handwriting, and read it every day.
Because when you internalise this concept you’ll stop competing head-on with 99% of the other business owners in your market who hired expensive SEO agencies to rank in Google.
When your SEO Services agency tells you: “Mr or Mrs Business Owner, you need to rank for the main keyword in your market”, what they are not telling you is that this keyword is very competitive and you will need a lot of link building in order to get your rankings.
Now, link building is a very complicated matter. The link popularity algorithm revolutionised the search engine market in the early 2000s and it allowed Google to become the best search engine in the world. But things have evolved and getting high quality links require an incredible amount of work and exceptional content quality (something that may not be realistic for a lot of business owners who want to attract high quality leads to their websites but don’t want to become full time bloggers!)
So what would an seo company typically do for link building? They will typically build some low quality links in the form of paid guest blog posts… or even worse… PBNs. If your SEO company is not clear about this, and their reports on the link building are confusing or obscure, you bet this is what they are doing.
The good news is that you can let other business owners and their SEO agency partners fight it off to see who ranks for the top search results.
Obsessing about a first page search result is not a strategic way to run your digital marketing.
What the smart business owner will do, instead, is focus on the overlooked, unsaturated space where 80% of the search activity is taking place.
Let me be more explicit… I want to make sure I am getting my point across here…
99% of business owners think they need to rank for their main term + location.
Chiropractor North Shore
They will focus all their energy into ranking for these main terms. (And link I said, your SEO company will happily play along with this because it’s an easy excuse to justify their work.)
Because 99% of competing businesses ALSO want to rank for them, it’s a losing game.
Only 3 competing businesses will ever make it to the Top 3 at any given time (doh…)
Everyone else will get almost no benefit for all the hard work and investment they put into their SEO.
Sounds like a good strategy? Definitely not. A good digital marketing agency working on your organic search should know better.
So what should the smart business owner do instead? Focus on the overlooked, unsaturated, underserved search market where most of your prospects are ACTUALLY spending their time and making up their minds about what they are going to buy and who they are going to buy it from.
Publish content that answers their questions, builds your credibility and trust, and paves the way for your prospects to successfully answer their questions and solve their problems.
This is where keyword research is key. Good keyword research is NOT running your main keyword in some of the SEO tools and coming up with a list of keywords that you should rank for.
Good and effective keyword research is about understanding your audience, knowing how they are using the search engines, and identifying a content strategy that will allow you to position yourself as the authoritative source of answers to the questions that they are asking.
SEO experts promising first page results and selling their SEO services focusing only on the main competitive keywords in your market are missing the BIG PICTURE.
Think about it. When a prospect asks a question and their question is answered by you. Who do you think they are going to trust when they are ready to buy?
Fundamental Truth #1 Two-Sentence Summary: Don’t engage in a fierce competition for the high competition keywords in your market. Instead publish content that delivers answers and solutions that your prospects are trying to resolve in Google.
Fundamental Truth #2 – Your Website Is Not Strong Enough To Take All The Load
There’s 8 figure companies running websites with talented writers and content experts publishing content day in and day out.
Slowly but surely they are taking over every conceivable corner of the internet with their fantastic content written by professional writers with search engine training. They can also afford expensive SEO services and monitor their search engine results constantly to beat the competition.
SEO is a lot more competitive in 2021 than it was 10, or even 5 years ago.
There’s no need to panic though. As a local business, you DO have an edge when it comes to ranking for search results and local keywords in your market.
For example, while Zillow might be one of the most powerful websites in the planet, a local Real Estate Agent from an Auckland suburb does have an advantage in the algorithm when it comes to deciding what’s the most relevant website for local prospects searching for a Real Estate Agent. This is why an SEO Auckland strategy for a local Auckland business has a local advantage against an international competitor.
The same is true for any type of business and any industry.
But even then…
There are local websites that are far more powerful than your business website. Local media articles, industry specific websites and directories and not to mention your competitors that have invested in SEO longer than you have. SEO Auckland strategies have been available for quite so even local Auckland based businesses are raising the competitive bar everyday.
They’ve been employing SEO services for a few years already and they have an edge over your website. No matter how hard you play catch-up, they will always keep the edge as long as they remain vigilant.
New Zealand has a vibrant community of business owners and entrepreneurs, and the “secrets of SEO” have been out for quite some time. So it’s only natural that New Zealand search engine optimisation has become a competitive landscape.
Hence the headline for this fundamental truth: your website is not strong enough. You need to publish strategic content in other websites too.
Let me rephrase that: you need to publish strategic content in MANY other websites too.
Hundreds of them.
And not just any website. They need to be authoritative websites (authoritative in the eyes of Google’s algorithm).
So when you publish your content in them, they rank in Google almost immediately. Sometimes in hours. Sometimes in days.
Enter the world of Content Marketing Amplification.
Fundamental Truth #2 Two-Sentence Summary: The content that you publish in your website has slim chances of ranking because there are far more authoritative websites in your market. Instead of waiting months and investing multiple 5 figures growing your website’s authority, publish your content across hundreds of highly authoritative websites that rank almost instantly.
Fundamental Truth #3 – A Few Rankings Is Not Enough, You Need Omnipresence
Ranking for a few keywords is nice. Most SEO services will want you to focus on that. It allows your digital marketing agency to focus on a few search results which they can show to you and include in their reports.
In fact, if you’ve dealt with an SEO agency in the past you know how they will brag about it and make it look like your investment is paid many times over because your website is ranking for such and such keyword in the search results.
And yet… this ranking is not really moving the needle in your business.
You are not getting flooded with new calls or leads.
This is a frustrating situation because you don’t have much to complain about to your SEO consultant. After all, they delivered the rankings and search engine results they promised.
However… what do you care about SEO rankings if you are not increasing your sales and revenue?
What’s going on here? Are people not using Google anymore? How come you are not getting more business if you are ranking for such and such keyword?
An effective SEO strategy should grow your bottom line. Organic search can deliver highly qualified leads to your website in the short and in the long term.
The reality is that people ARE using Google to find local businesses, services and products. Organic search is still the best way to reach your best prospects.
A search engine prospect is worth many times over an advertising prospect. Increasing your visibility in search engines WILL result in more prospects interacting with your content.
As a result you WILL generate more leads and sales from your website when your search engine optimisation campaign is a long term success.
But… here’s the thing…
A few isolated search engine rankings won’t do the job.
You need to consistently show up when your prospects ask a question in a search engine. In their minds, you need to be omnipresent.
Every time they ask a question in a search engine they should see your brand.
When this happens often and consistently you have entered the ranks of digital omnipresence. Congratulations. It’s a good spot to be in.
Let’s play a quick game for a second.
Most famous reality TV celebrity family in the world…
Did the name “Kardashian” pop in your brain?
Ok let’s go again…
Biggest search engine in the western world…
Our brains associate “Kardashian” with “reality TV celebrity”, and “Google” with “search engine” because they are omnipresent in the world we live in.
This type of omnipresence is what you want to replicate in a smaller (obviously MUCH smaller) scale with your business and your prospects.
An effective search engine optimisation will do this for you.
As a local real estate agent you want your prospects to think of you when they think of real estate.
As a business consultant you want entrepreneurs in your market to think of you when they think about launching or growing their business.
As a wedding planner you want soon to be brides to think of you when they have to plan their wedding.
There has never been a better time with the digital tools that are available to us, to build this type of search engine optimisation omnipresence in a small scale to dominate your corner of the market and to become the #1 leader in your area.
Especially in New Zealand when 99% of your competition is still stuck in “Mainstream SEO Doom” and ignoring these 3 fundamental truths.
Fundamental Truth #3 Two-Sentence Summary: A few top rankings won’t move the needle for your business. When you achieve digital omnipresence your prospects are going to recognise your brand and as you acquire “niche celebrity” status your closing rates will increase because prospects know who you are before they contact you.
We are living in exciting times. The post-Covid economy won’t be forgiving to those who don’t adapt. The opportunity is available for those who are ready to embrace change and become the new leaders of the coming digital economy.
If your New Zealand local business, professional or coaching practice is slowly starting to run dry on leads and customers, it is an early warning sign that you should set the right foundations to achieve digital dominance.
If you are getting stuck with high maintenance clients that take too much of your time, it is a symptom that you don’t enjoy digital omnipresence. If you did, you would have the freedom to choose your dream clients.
If you don’t feel confident about raising your prices and you feel like you are a glorified contractor running laps around your clients’ demands, it’s a symptom that you don’t enjoy digital omnipresence. If you did, you would be able to raise your prices and weed out the clients who don’t see the real value that you provide.
Now… I want to end this article by asking YOU a question:
Are you willing to take your business to the next level, build your digital omnipresence and be considered an authority in your market?
Because If you do, and you are serious about it, you should fill out the application below.
(Scroll down a bit, you’ll find it at the bottom of this page.)
You’ll be asked a few questions about your goals with your business and your specific situation.
After you submit your application I will go over the information and if I believe that we might be a good fit to grow your business together I will invite you to schedule a Zoom session at a later date.
Regardless, I sincerely hope that this article opened your eyes to a different way of understanding your digital strategy and to avoid following the crowd and doing what everyone else is doing. Because if you do, you’ll burn your budget competing head-on with everyone else who is doing the same thing.
And like Peter Thiel rightly said: Competition is for losers.*
To your success,
* Peter Thiel is one of the founders of… you know… Paypal. You might have heard about it? 🙂
He is also a billionaire and a serial digital entrepreneur. I guess you could say he knows a thing or two about running a business and the digital economy.
Well.. the point that he makes, is that when two or more businesses are in competition with each other because they offer the same services, sooner or later they engage in a race to lower their pricing or cost of services.
It comes a point where lowering the costs means diminishing the quality of the service in some way. This is the beginning of an unhealthy spiral.
The end result?
Struggling businesses lower prices and destroy value.
Unhappy customers get poor results, wasted money and their problem is still not solved.
Search Engine Optimisation FAQs
Is SEO in New Zealand different than international SEO?
Yes. Google New Zealand favours Kiwi websites heavily. Generally speaking, when given the option of ranking 2 webpages of similar quality and trust factor, the local page will outrank the international.
Is Auckland SEO different to SEO for different regions in New Zealand?
Yes. Search engine optimisation needs to account for local factors of relevancy. People have different search patterns and search needs in different regions. Your Auckland SEO strategy needs to include both topical relevancy and local relevancy.
How do search engines decide which website deserves to rank at the top of search results?
A few years ago I would have said you mostly need a lot of good quality links. Things have changed and now Google is a lot smarter. The most important asset in your search engine optimisation is a solid keyword research strategy. The second asset is your content.
Can my company in Auckland rank for other regions in New Zealand too?
Yes, but you need to become relevant on each of the regions you want to rank for. You’ll need to publish content related to each regions you are targeting. Then you’ll start receiving organic traffic from each of those areas.
What SEO tools do you highly recommend?
You don’t need to spend money on SEO tools. You can do all the keyword research you need with free tools. At SEO Marketing we use a stack of SEO tools that save us time and make our workflow more convenient. But this is only because we live and breathe SEO.
How do you know what search terms I should rank for?
By doing good keyword research that shows you how your prospects are using the search engines to answer their queries.
Will search engines penalise my website if I don’t follow only white hat SEO guidelines?
It’s possible. As a general rule you want to steer away from any SEO expert or SEO company that is not 100% clear and transparent on how they are building links to your website.
How fast does my website need to load for SEO?
Website speed plays a big role in search engine rankings and your website should under no circumstances take longer than 3 seconds to load. Having said that, the faster it loads, the better it will perform. Avoid unnecessary wordpress plugins and keep your code clean. Use cloud hosting and cache solutions, and minify code for best results.
Do you provide search engine optimisation training?
Yes we do. At SEO Marketing we like to partner with entrepreneurs and business owners that understand the true value of SEO and are willing to take part in the process.
What is the most important factor in search engine optimisation?
Content relevancy, followed by quality, followed by usability, followed by trust, followed by link popularity.