Hope all is well in your bubbles and you are finding ways to keep your spirits high.

As we heard on Monday, Alert Level 4 is set to remain in place until at least midnight Friday for most kiwis, and at least midnight Tuesday for Aucklanders. Not the news any of us wanted, but let’s hope we can start moving back down the Alert Levels soon.

Last time we entered a nationwide lockdown, we came to learn the vital importance of a digital presence for your business, so today we want to talk to you about an important element of online marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO).

How many of you have ‘nodded and agreed’ in a conversation about SEO before, secretly hoping there’d be no questions fired your way. You’re not alone –  ‘SEO’, ‘keywords’ and ‘Google rankings’ are popular buzzwords, but are often backed up by a lot of hot air, smoke and mirrors.

That’s not to say they aren’t important strategic marketing tools (they are!), but it’s more a commentary on the wide variation in the quality of advice and expertise abounding on these subjects.

Those of us wanting to grow profitably should seek to understand all the online marketing tools available to us, and we must be equally aware of where to go for credible and, importantly, up-to-date advice. After all, it just takes one new Google algorithm to mess up your strategy.

Lucky for you, you’re part of team Grow NZ and we’ll only ever put you in touch with companies we’re proud to put our name behind.

Read on for the latest news on SEO and our recommendation on who to speak to if you’d like further support.

And don’t forget you could be entitled to subsided business support from us, find out more here.

Want to join the SEO conversation?

SEO is an important but often over-simplified and over-rated tool.  According to our online marketing partner, Semrush,  SEO is defined as the art and science of persuading search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem.  

BUT, approach with caution any business that promises they can guarantee “#1 on Google” or to “get your business on the first page.” The truth is, no one can guarantee this as your rankings also depend on what your competition does or doesn’t do, which is not something we can control, regardless of how much we would like to!

What good SEO will always do, however, is deliver you free, or ‘organic,’ website traffic by encouraging a search engine to show your content to its users in the organic part of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

The role of keywords in SEO

For starters, ‘keywords’ is a slightly misleading term, as what we are really looking for are combinations of words that your target audience is likely to use in search queries – essential knowledge for a good SEO strategy.

Semrush offers a Keyword Magic Tool that allows you to find out what your customers’ keywords/phrases may be,  based on your market and your competition.  Once you’ve identified your keywords, or key search phrases, you can build these into your SEO campaign.



What happens if my competitors and I all use the same keywords?

If your competitors are doing their job properly, they will be selecting the same keyword phrases as you! So, a smart SEO strategy uses ‘keyword difficulty’ alongside search volume to develop a strategy that balances opportunity with the ease of ranking.

This is where  Semrush’s expertise really comes to the fore. Semrush has developed its own Keyword Difficulty (KD) score to show you how much SEO effort it might take to organically rank a page in the top 10 results on Google using a certain keyword.

These scores are the safest way to play the SEO game.

Using keywords with low KD% scores will help you find low hanging fruit for your campaigns. The higher the percentage is, the harder your competition for rankings will be, and the more work you will need to do before seeing results.  It’s a great indicator of where you’re best to spend your marketing dollars.
Semrush has just updated its tool to align with changes in the digital space and now offers more keyword accuracy than any other tool available.

Discover Semrush’s new Keyword Difficulty Tool

Grow NZ x Semrush

We’re big fans of Semrush and their scientific approach to a subject that baffles many (even supposed ‘digital marketing experts’). If you’re working with us on an online marketing campaign, there’s a high likelihood we will be partnering with Semrush to help you maximise your results. SEO strategies are particularly useful for any business wanting to crack the overseas markets, including  local tourism businesses preparing for when the borders do reopen.

If you’re wanting more traction online, we’d be happy to talk you through your options. Just drop us a line at info@grownzbusiness.co.nz.

Some businesses may qualify for a support subsidy of up to 50% via our Business Sustainability Programme.    Tourism businesses could qualify for 100% subsidy. Find out more.