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Google updates its algorithm hundreds of times each year. But a few of those changes matter significantly more than others. Some of the changes that are most material in the last 6 months follow. Ignore them and risk your place in Google rankings at your own peril.


Page Load Speed

Google has tools to allow you to see how fast your pages load. On mobile we know users are less patient than on a PC and the rule of thumb is 3 seconds. If your pages take longer than that, users are starting to give up. And Google is also going to give up. If your pages take longer than that Google will now reduce your ranking in search engines. Search for Developer Page Speed test to see how your website fares. If it is slow talk to your web developer to optimise your page loading time.


Local Results

Especially for physical businesses and for regional businesses this is paramount. Another edit that will impact your Google rankings is claiming your business’ location. This is easily done via Google My Business, and these listings are critical. You must ensure your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) are consistent with all mentions of your business online. You can also foster this with submissions to business directories to build the ‘citations’ inbound to your site, improving the strength of your location in Google’s eyes.



Google is looking to answer questions for people as quickly as they can. Sometimes this means they answer the question before the user goes to ANY websites for more info. Google “scones recipe” and you will see the first listing is not a search result, but a snippet. What are the questions in your industry you can answer that might help your business and brand dominate these Rich Snippet results? If you think you have one then get your SEO or Digital Marketing agency to structure your info for Google to consider them for certain questions.


Technical Layout

Mobile friendly layouts are a must today. Mobile searches make up 60% of all searches, nearly half as many as PC searches. Your website MUST work well on mobile or Google will penalise your rank. And this is very east to check, simply look for Google Responsive Website test. Additionally, popups are now considered a no-no. If you have intrusive popups for users when the page loads then Google will be penalising your site since earlier in 2017.


Content and Links

Lastly and probably most importantly Google looks for quality content that is popular and well linked to by other parties. Quality content on your home page and strong internal linking within your site will help signal to users and web crawlers that pages in your site that are most valuable. Valuable pages equals better Google rankings.


Search ranking and the principles that guide it are constantly changing. But following these few principles will ensure you are aligned with the simple tenets that Google continues to guide marketers and website owners in order to have your website rank well for topics you are an expert in. As always, if you have a question we would love to hear from you.

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Mark Jones is the Managing Director of Your Digital Solution. A specialist Digital Strategy, Marketing and Technology consultancy in Brisbane.

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top seo experts Brisbane

Measuring the behaviour of your website users will lead to more profits. It is that important.

We have all heard that “what gets measured, gets managed”. In our physical operations their is often only financial data available. With digital tools we can now track customer behaviour, this is a powerful tool to tell us if we are becoming more or less appealing to more users. Today we will look at the three top metrics that can be your guide to staying on the right track to more profits.

Websites and mobile apps offer a range of benefits to your business. But the often overlooked advantage is the data they create. Data that allows you to KNOW what customers are responding positively to, rather than GUESS.

For a while I have followed the commentary of Aunash Kaushik, Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist (his real title). He is considered one of the world’s leading lights on what data leads to better business decisions for increased profits. And why not, he sits on top of the world’s biggest data capturing monolith. He should have a better perspective than most!

BOUNCE RATE: The number one metric to focus on is Bounce Rate. Bounce Rate is the percentage of single visits that leave your website from the landing page without going any further. The bounce rate indicates that the page the user has landed on, from an ad, email or another website link, is not relevant or not what they expected. This means the page has not clearly delivered on the expectation the user had for what they might find. And if you have paid for the user to take that link then this is clearly a bad situation.

If every link is a promise of what a user might find, then clearly the promise has not been met; not a good start in building a new relationship. It is rare to get a bounce rate below 20%, but a good goal is to achieve around 35%. Anything over 50% is something to actively work on reducing. To improve bounce rate review the ‘promise’ you make in your advertising and ensure that promise is clearly met with the first impressions of the landing page. Typically this means the call to action on the landing page must align with the promise of the link that got the user there. You might also find the traffic you are acquiring is low or no value and should be reviewed.

LOYALTY: The number of times the user visits within the given period. For a typical retailer it might be per month, for a service it might be visits within a week if the user is nearing an actual purchase. Loyal users are often past customers, or new ones planning to purchase. And any returning purchaser is more likely to be an advocate so the more of these you have, the better. If loyalty is low you may need to look at more content, connecting with other similar communities and making more regular updates to your online products.

RECENCY: This shows how quickly users are returning to your site between sessions. As this number builds we see users are more inclined to purchase or make enquiries and you find your website will convert far more strongly. To find Recency go to Behaviours in your Audience reports in Google Analytics and you can review New Vs Returning users, the Frequency & the Recency of users. All of which imply the Engagement you have with users and therefore the likelihood of them becoming a customer and in turn repeating purchases.

So go look at these measures for your website and monitor them weekly and monthly and in a few weeks you will be sure to start to see an improvement in the quality of traffic and likelihood of sales will rise.

Mark Jones is Principal of Your Digital Solution, a Brisbane-based digital strategy agency. Mark contributes to various media outlets as a contributor on business strategy, marketing and technology. This article first appeared in the following group of newspapers in Mark’s weekly column:
Daily Mercury – Mackay, The Morning Bulletin – Rockhampton, The Observer – Gladstone, NewsMail – Bundaberg, Fraser Coast Chronicle, The Gympie Times, Sunshine Coast Daily, The Queensland Times, Warwick Daily News, The Northern Star – Northern Rivers, Daily Examiner – NSW North Coast, The Chronicle – Toowoomba.

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