I think you’ll agree with me when I say getting more FREE traffic to your website from organic Google Australia search results would be pretty awesome.
More traffic to your business website can mean:
- More customers finding out about your business;
- More leads for your sales team to convert; and
- More credibility for being ranked near the top of Google search results.
But what should you do if you don’t have any budget to spend on hiring a professional SEO agency in Australia to help?
No, don’t worry.
In this article, I’ll show you step by step exactly how to search engine optimise your website and improve your rankings with 100% free tools!
Are you ready?
Note – Don’t waste your time reading this if you already have so much traffic & leads that your business is set for life. However, if you could use some extra traffic to your website, keep reading!
Skip to a Section Within Our SEO Australia Guide:
- Quick 30 Second Summary
- Free Tools Used in This Guide
- Section 1 – What is SEO
- Section 2 – Why bother to rank your website in Google Australia
- Section 3 – How does Google decide which website rank for certain search phrases or keywords?
- Section 4 – Step by Step SEO process for ranking in Google Australia
- Audit Website SEO
- Correct SEO errors found
- Setup Google Search Console and Google Analytics
- Setup Google My Business page
- Identify Quick Wins in Google Search Console
- Keyword Research
- Prioritise Target Keywords
- Create Content Based on Target Keywords
- Build Backlinks to Your Site
- Track, Monitor & Report Results
Quick 30 Second SEO Summary
Here is a super short summary of this 5,000 plus word post:
- SEO is actions you take on and off your website to improve its ranking in search engines.
- SEO is valuable for businesses because millions of people around the world use search engines to research products and service BEFORE they buy them.
- Google decides which pages rank the highest based on an algorithm which assesses over 200 factors with quality of website content and back-links being the most important.
- The step by step process of performing SEO on your website includes:
- Audit Technical Website Aspects;
- Correct Errors;
- Setup Google Search Console & Google Analytics;
- Identify Quick Wins;
- Research Keywords;
- Prioritise Target Keywords;
- Optimise current content and create additional content for search engines;
- Backlink Building – build online properties and conduct outreach to gain links from quality websites;
- Track, Monitor & Report results; and
Free Tools Used in This Guide:
- Technical Audit:
- Website Page Speed:
- Broken Backlink Checker
- Brokenlinkcheck.com – brokenlinkcheck.com
- Google Apps
- Keyword Research
- Keywords Everywhere – https://keywordseverywhere.com/
- Answer the Public – https://answerthepublic.com/
- Ubersuggest – https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/
- SE Ranking – https://seranking.com/keyword-suggestion-tool.html
- Content Writing
Section #1 – What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation.
SEO is the process of increasing your websites ranking in the organic search engine results for specific keywords related to your businesses products and services.
The higher your website ranks in search engines, like Google, the more traffic your website will receive and therefore the better chance you have of generating new leads for your business.
Gaining clicks to your website through organic search is different to paid search s like Google Adwords whereby business owners are required to pay for each and every click .
When talking about SEO, Google is often the focal point as Google is by far the most commonly used search engine with millions of people using their website every day to look for new information.
Section #2 – Why bother to rank your website in Google Australia?
Imagine you’re looking for a good air conditioner installer in Melbourne.
What’s the first thing you do?
You type into Google Australia “air conditioner installer in Melbourne”.
After checking a couple of the reviews, you open up the websites of the top 3 results and get more information about possible air conditioner installers.
Then you call up the best looking one and order their services.
Welcome to 2022!
Consumers are searching in Google BEFORE they find products or services which makes the top page positions in Google highly coveted!
Section #3 – How does Google decide which website rank for certain search phrases or keywords?
There are many factors that Google uses to determine which pages should in search engine results.
Google has stated that they use well over 200 factors (and growing) to determine keyword rankings.
Whilst Google keeps the exact factors used to rank websites a secret, studies have shown the most powerful factors contributing to rankings are the:
- Number of links pointing from other websites to yours;
- Quality of the links pointing to your website; and
- Content on your website that is:
- Long and Detailed (at least 700 words and even up to 2,000 words!)
- Contains the ‘search phrase’ or ‘keyword’ in your URL, headings (h1, h2, h3 etc), body, image tags, meta description, meta title
- Full of rich media like images, video embeds and custom graphics.
Now this is an extremely simplified view of the factors Google uses.
For those who are just starting out ranking their website in Google, these are the two highest impact tasks you can do to improve your website’s ranking are:
- Write high quality, detailed and long content; and
- Ask other website owners to link back to your high quality content.
If you do those two tasks you will get a lot of return for your time.
Section #4 – 10 Step SEO Process for Ranking in Google Australia
Bare with me as none of this will make sense yet.
But below is a typical SEO process a consultant will perform on your website:
- Technical Website Audit;
- Correct Errors;
- Setup Google Search Console, Google Analytics & Google My Business;
- Identify Quick Wins in Google Search Console;
- Research Keywords;
- Proritise Target Keywords;
- Optimise current content and create additional content;
- Backlink Building – build online properties and conduct outreach to gain links from quality websites;
- Track, Monitor & Report results; and
I have laid out in the sections below step by step how to conduct end to end Search Engine Optimisation on your own website with 100% free tools!
Step 1. Technical Website Audit
The first step of the process should be to conduct an audit of the website’s current state.
Basically we’re trying to find any issues that may be restricting your websites ability to be visible in search engine results.
I have split up the Technical Website Audit into five easy to follow steps that will be pretty close to what a professional would do for you:
- Conduct a quick overall technical audit using Woorank;
- Check the page speed;
- Find any Broken Links; and
- Get a detailed report on your content quality.
Conduct a quick technical Audit using Woorank (14 day free trial)
Woorank (link) is a technical audit tool which will help you find some minor errors that could be impacting on your website:
- Woorank – https://www.woorank.com/
I randomly picked an accountant company in Cheltneham called noelmay.com.au and ran it through Wooranks audit tool.
You can check the full results of the technical audit here: https://www.woorank.com/en/www/noelmay.com.au
This report showed that the website is in pretty good shape overall but that the following improvements could be made:
- Meta Description – improve the length;
- Keyword Consistency – keywords defining the topic (accounting) need to be placed consistently in different elements of the web page including meta title, meta description, heading tags (h1, h2, h3 etc) and image tags;
- Mobile friendliness – the website doesn’t render well on mobile devices making it difficult to read;
- Image compression – images can be compressed to improve site speed;
- CSS and Java compression – scripts on the site can be compressed to improve site speed;
- Cache files – web page files can be cached to improve site speed;
- Low number of back-links – links to the site need to be build to improve visibility;
- Low social shares – the website has not been shared much on social media indicating the content isn’t engaging; and
- No Facebook or Google Plus page – the business does not have either of these social media accounts.
This report will give you a great starting point to finding simple errors to be fixed to help your site rank.
Check Website Page Speed
Page speed is an important factor in both determining your search engine rankings and keeping browsers happy.
Browsers as a general rule have a very short attention span and will often make a decision in less than 5 seconds whether they will stay on your website and read your content.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your website loads as fast as possible to get the best possible chance of browsers staying on your site!
As a rough rule, you want your website to load in less than 2 seconds.
There are two good free site speed tools I use:
For this example I’ll go ahead and use Pingdom.
Enter your URL and select the test from a location that your potential customers will visiting you from.
In this case, Melbourne is the most likely location of someone looking for this accounting business.
You will then get a summary output which will give you some insights about your website load speeds (you can view the output in full here):
In this particular case the page load speed of 3.76 seconds is a little high given how small the page size (501.6kb) is.
Typically you’d expect to have a page load speed of around 1 second per 1 mb.
Given this, we will need to dig further into the cause of the slow load times by looking at the “File requests” section (see below).
This shows that the locating of the domain (noelmay.com.au) and the loading of an image on the domain are taking around 2 seconds.
This needs to be corrected to ensure a faster load time and better ranking in Google.
Find any Broken Links
Broken links on your website are not only bad for browser experience but can also impact on the way Google ranks your website.
Therefore, it is best to check that your website doesn’t contain any broken links!
There are plenty of free broken link checkers out there, but I prefer to use brokenlinkcheck.com because it is simple to use and gives you the exact source of your broken links:
- Brokenlinkcheck.com – brokenlinkcheck.com
It takes a little while to run but its worth the wait 😉
Link by link, go through the output screen and fix the broken links on your website.
Get a detailed report on your content (Headings, Image tags, Meta tags, Word Count and much much more!)
There is another FREE tool (up to 500 URLs on the free version) which I use on all of my client audits called Screaming Frog:
- Screaming Frog Spider – https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/
The software that you need to download onto your computer which can crawl your website to gather a large rank of SEO data to help you correct errors on your website.
This tool is more for SEO professionals, but it is really useful for understanding your websites:
- Headers (h1, h2, h2 etc);
- Image alt tags;
- Page titles;
- Meta titles;
- Meta descriptions; and
- Content word count.
Step 2. Correct errors found in step 1
Now that you have identified SEO errors on your website you’re going to have to go ahead and fix them!
If you are not familiar enough with amending the coding or content management system (i.e. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla) then I suggest that you hire a developer or somebody that knows that they’re doing.
If you want to have a crack yourself – make sure that you backup your current site before having a go!
Google is a great resource for finding step by step guides on how to resolve the technical SEO errors you are trying to fix.
From the example that we used above there are a number of tasks which need to be completed including:
- Improve page speed;
- Compress image size;
- Add keywords to headers, meta tags, title tags and content;
- Increase word count on pages with less than 500 words;
- Fix broken links;
- Add social media pages; and
- Create mobile responsive website version.
Step 3. Setup Google Analytics, Google Search Console & Google My Business
Setting up these tools will give you data on visitors to your website including:
- Number of visitors;
- Location of visitors;
- Device (i.e. desktop, mobile, ipad) of visitors;
- Keywords visitors used in Google to find your website;
- and much much more!
In order to get setup all of these accounts you will first need to register a gmail.com email account:
Setup Google Analytics
Google Analytics will tell you a lot of detail about the visitors to your website including how many visitors, where the visitors live, what devices visitors use, which websites send you traffic, which pages are the most popular, how many visitors convert to leads and much much more!
In order to setup Google Analytics (after you have a Google account) you need to visit:
- Google Analytics – https://analytics.google.com/
It takes three steps to configure Google Analytics to get the data from your website:
- Sign up with Google analytics and provide details about your website;
- Add the tracking code provided to your websites server (multiple methods available); and
- Review the multiple dashboards available in Google Analytics.
Google has more detailed instructions on how to setup here – https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1008015?hl=en
Once Google Analytics is setup, wait a couple of hours and your site (assuming you’re receiving traffic) will start to see some data trickle through.
Below is an example of the Google Analytics dashboard from one of my sites:
This data is super useful to monitor and track the search engine optimisation improvements you are making to your website.
Setup Search Console (formerly Google Webmasters Tools)
Google Search Console is one of the most important search engine optimisation tools.
Google Search Console gives you the ability to:
- See all the “Keywords” which your site is ranking for (important for quick wins)
- Submit a XML sitemap and tell you how many pages have indexed in Google
- Provides stats and issues raised by the Google robot
- Set URL (http:// or http:www) you wish to use
- Set the Country (i.e Australia)
Setting up Google Search Console is similar to Google Analytics.
You need to visit go to the Google Search Console website sign-up and follow the verification steps to track website data:
- Google Webmater Tools – https://analytics.google.com/
Setup Google My Business
Also, while you’re going with your fancy new Google account you may as well setup and configure your Google My Business page.
Setting up Google My Business is similar to GA & GSC.
When you’re logged into your Gmail account go to this website and follow the setup instructions:
- Google My Business – https://business.google.com/
Why install Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free, very easy to setup dashboard where business owners can manage their business profile in Google.
Creating a Google My Business profile for your business is a no-brainer as it will help customers find you (even if you don’t have a website yet!), improve your overall website rankings and help build trust with new customers.
When someone searches for a local term, for example “Plumber Melbourne”, you might notice that a map listing will populate with 3-5 of the top businesses name, phone number, address and reviews (see image below).
All this information comes from their Google My Business page – which is why Google My Business is a must for all business owners, even if you don’t have a physical location!
Step 4. Identify Quick Wins in Google Search Console
One of the quickest ways to improve your rankings is to optimise for keyword that you’re already almost ranking for.
You can check this by logging into Google Search Console.
Go to the “Search Traffic” and then “Search Analytics” section of “Search Console” (see image below).
This will provide a list of keyword ‘queries’ that your website is already ranking in the search engine results for.
Make sure that you have “clicks”, “impressions”, “CTR” and “position” checked with the radio button on “Queries”.
Click the “Impressions” results column to sort the column by the largest number of impressions.
Look for opportunities where you have a high number of impressions (100+ per month) and the “position” is between 10 and 20 (which is the 2nd page of Google).
To find out which page is already ranking for a certain keyword, click the keyword under the “Queries” column.
This will display only the data for that particular query and not the whole website.
Then change the radio button at the top of the screen from “Queries” to “Pages”.
This will give you a list of pages (hopefully just one) ranking for the query.
Now that you know the keyword query and page to optimise, it’s time to update your page with some new content.
I’ll teach you more about optimising content shortly, but for the moment add:
- another 200 – 300 words of content adding extra detail about the target keyword
- the keyword to meta title and meta description
- images and include the keyword, naturally, within the filename and alt tag
- embed a video from YouTube relating to the keyword
Step 5. Keyword Research
Keyword Research is an important process where try and find keywords that potential customers will use to find your businesses products and services.
Keyword Research is typically conducted using a range of expensive software, but for the purpose of this guide we’ll show you how to complete basic keyword research for FREE!
At the end of completing Keyword Research we will result in a list of keywords and an estimate of monthly volume difficulty of ranking.
When you get the Keyword Research right and write the right content on your website, you can setup your business website up to receive boat loads of free traffic from search engine results.
Alright, let’s get to it!
First off, you’ll need to install Keywords Everywhere to your Chrome or Firefox browser:
- Keywords Everywhere Plugin – https://keywordseverywhere.com/
Keywords Everywhere is an awesome free tool that adds search volume, cost per click & competition data to Google Search, Answer the Public, Ubersuggest and many other platforms online.
Ideally, we’re looking for keywords related to our businesses products and services that has:
- searches > 100 per month; and
- competition < 35.
The easiest way to show you how to do Keyword Research is to use an example – so let’s use a Melbourne Plumbing Company.
Seed Word 1: My initial starting point will be to Google Search “plumber Melbourne”:
As you could imagine, it would be extremely beneficial for your business to rank highly for plumber Melbourne.
This keyword has a huge monthly volume estimate of 3,600 searches per month, high competition at 0.78 (100 max) and the high cost per click (CPC) of $33.76 – which tells me that this keyword would be very difficult to rank ;(
The next step I do is scroll down to “Searches related to …” at the bottom of the screen.
This will show me other similar searches the people have used that are related to “Plumber Melbourne”.
Unfortunately, all of these keywords are also highly competitive (0.70 to 0.93!) so they will again be difficult to rank.
At this point I would use the Ubersuggest tool to suggest other similar words to “plumber melbourne”:
- Ubersuggest – https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/
When I run “plumber melbourne” through this tool I get “516 Keyword Ideas Found For plumber melbourne”.
Unfortunately, you need to manly sift through the list, but after a while I find the keyword “bathroom plumbing” which looks interesting with a decent 210 searches per month and a competition of 0.39.
If our example plumbing company provides bathroom plumbing service, this could be an attractive keyword to target.
Another Keyword Suggestion Tool you can use for FREE is by SE Ranking:
- SE Ranking Keyword Tool – https://seranking.com/keyword-suggestion-tool.html
When I type in “plumber melbourne”:
And they automatically provide you with a great dashboard displaying some great information about your keyword including search volume, search engine ranking positions (SERPs), advertisers and similar keywords.
Seed Word 2: My next seed word would go down a level to one of the specific services my plumbing company provides for example ‘blocked drains’.
Therefore, I search in Google “blocked drains melbourne”:
This would be a great keyword to rank for as it is specific to the service and the location that I’m providing it from.
The volume is great and the competition is a little on the high side, but still worth adding to our keywords list.
When we scroll down to the ‘searches related to…’ we get some very attractive keywords to target including ‘drain cleaning melbourne’, ‘drain camera inspection melbourne’ and ‘blocked drain plumbers’:
Next Seed words: I would basically repeat the process above by using more words related to my businesses services and products. For the plumbing business in the example above, I would research further into services like gasfitting, hot water installation, bathroom renovations etc to build out my full keyword research list.
Using the example plumbing company, my Keyword Research List would look something like this:
- Seed word “Plumber Melbourne”
- bathroom plumbing, 210 volume, 0.39 competition (low)
- Seed word “Blocked Drains Melbourne”
- blocked drains melbourne, 590 volume, 0.57 competition (med)
- drain cleaning melbourne, 140 volume, 0.38 competition (low)
- drain camera inspection melbourne, 50 volume, 0.38 competition (low)
- blocked drain plumbers, 260volume, 0.65 (med)
- Seed word (Service #2)
- Seed word (Service #3)
- Seed word (Service #4)
- Seed word (Service #5)
- Seed word (Product #1)
- Seed word (Product #2)
- Seed word (Product #3)
- etc etc etc
Step 6. Prioritise Target Keywords
Unfortunately, you have a finite amount of time to complete SEO tasks and you will need to prioritise the keywords which you target.
When reviewing the keyword list you need to proritise based on two things:
- the services and products in your business which you most want to promote; and
- the intent that searches have when using particular keywords, focusing on the ones where searches are more likely to be close to buying.
Whilst you will need to decide yourself which products and services are the most important (highest margin, most popular etc) to promote, you will need to assess the intent searchers have for each keyword.
Keyword intent can be broken into 4 main categories:
- Awareness – Potential customer isn’t aware about what they’re looking for and they are most likely not about to buy something.
- Interest – Targeting these keywords, you will be telling people the facts or the features of your offering
- Desire – Focusing on the benefits of the end product
- Action – Customer is hot and most likely have their wallet near by ready to input it
Step 7. Create Content Based on Target Keywords
Content is the body text that goes on your website pages.
Taking the target keywords that you found in the previous step, you need to try and write the best possible article on the internet about this topic.
Your piece of content should:
- Be high-quality, long and detailed content (2,000 words+)
- Include numerous mentions of the target keyword and related synonyms of that keyword
- Include interesting images and videos
- Include links to high authority websites in that niche (think .gov.au or edu.au quality websites)
In order to rank your target keyword, you will need to sprinkle your keyword and variations of your keyword in the following elements:
- Meta Title
- Meta Description
- Header Tags H1, H2, H3, H4, etc
- Body Text
- Image Alt Tag
To find keyword variations for your target keywords, use this tool (just be aware that some synonyms won’t relate to Google Australia responses and shouldn’t be used in your content):
- LSI Graph – https://lsigraph.com/
When I run target keyword “Plumber Melbourne” in the LSI Graph I get these extra keywords to sprinkle through my body text:
- plumbers melbourne australia
- emergency plumbers melbourne
- 24 hour plumber melbourne
- blocked drains plumber melbourne
- plumber melbourne cbd
Content Worked Example
For example, if I wanted to rank for “Plumber Melbourne” I might structure my content elements like this:
Meta Title: Plumber Melbourne – Garry’s Plumbing Service
Meta Description: Looking for a good Melbourne Plumber? Then look no further. We’ve been providing plumbing services in Melbourne and surrounding suburbs for over 30 years.
H1: Plumber Melbourne
H2: About our Melbourne Plumbing Services
H2: How to hire a good Plumber in Melbourn
H3: Which Melbourne Plumbing Company Reviews to Trust
Body Text to include (at least twice): Plumber Melbourne, keyword variations (plumbers melbourne australia, emergency plumbers melbourne, 24 hour plumber melbourne, blocked drains plumber melbourne, plumber melbourne cbd)
Image Alt Tag: A Melbourne plumber doing a job
Outbound link: “Melbourne” achor text to http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Pages/home.aspx or https://www.plumber.com.au/
Word Count: 1,000 to 2,000
How to Write High-Quality, Long and Detailed Content?
Most people don’t like writing articles for their website, so the idea of writing a 2,000 word content can be a little daunting!
But it doesn’t have to be.
The easiest way to write a long article for your businesses’ website is to write a comprehensive “Ultimate Guide to [Your Industry]”.
The guide should be structured something like this:
- Table of Contents
- Interesting Point #1
- Interesting Point #2
- Interesting Point etc
- Summary of what readers have learnt
But what if you’re struggling for “interesting points” to write about?
- Then head over to Answers the Public:
- Answer The Public – https://answerthepublic.com/
- Enter your industry (i.e. Plumbing)
- Scroll to the ‘questions’ section
- Click “data”
- If you have Keywords Everywhere tool installed you should be able to see search volume next to each question.
- Make a list of questions with search volume higher than 10 per month.
- Convert the questions you found in step 6 into a sensible headline for your “ultimate guide” and simply write a 200 word answers.
- Answer 8-10 questions.
- Write an introduction and a conclusion, and you’re done!
For the example “plumbing” I found:
- who invented plumbing (10 p/m)
- who owns reece plumbing (20 p/m)
- what plumbing can i do myself (10 p/m)
- what plumbing do i need for a dishwasher (10 p/m)
- plumbing how to solder (70p/m)
- how plumbing works (10 p/m)
What If You’re Still Seriously Struggle With Writing?
Then the other alternative is to hire freelance writers to write articles for you from places like UpWork, TextBroker & Fiverr.
Where to Find Images
You can’t just copy and paste a nice image that you find in a Google Images search into your article. You need to be really careful checking the usage parameters of each image you use. There are a couple of good websites that have plenty of royalty free images including:
Another consideration with images is the size. This has a large impact on your site load speed so make sure that you have compressed your images as much as possible. WordPress has plugins that can do this automatically or you can use a website like this:
- TinyJPG image compressions – https://tinyjpg.com/
Step 8. Build Backlinks
A backlink is a link to your website’s URL that is located on another webpage.
There are two types of links:
- Internal (easy)
- External (harder)
These are links that you create on your website that link to the inner pages of your site.
Where it is natural for your browser to need a link to internal sections of your website, add a text anchor link.
External links are harder to get because typically you do not have the ability to publish on other websites.
There are many ways to build backlinks to your website, so today I’m just going to talk about the absolute basic backlinks that all Australia businesses should aim to have:
- Google My Business – we discussed setting this property up above. It is an absolute must to get this nice backlink to your business from Google!
- Directories – add your website to as many top Australian directories as possible (Neat list of the top one’s here: https://www.brightlocal.com/australian-citation-sites/). Make sure that you
- Social Media – create branded profiles on social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc) and add your URL to each profile and add links to your articles where possible.
- Blog Comments – Leave comments on other people’s blogs (Tip, Google search: blog [industry] “leave a comment”) and use your website URL.
- Guest Posts – offer to write articles for as an industry expert on other websites in your industry or local area.
- Email Outreach – ask other website’s to link back to your “Ultimate Guide” content.
Step 9. Track, Monitor & Report Results
Given all of the effort that you’ve put into the previous steps we need to measure the improvement in search engine rankings.
We’ve already done a lot of the hard working setting up Google Analytics and Google Webmasters tools in the previous steps.
We now need to review reports in these systems to see what changes have occured.
I suggest reviewing these systems and check for changes in visitor numbers and keyword rankings – don’t forget to hunt down those ‘quick wins’.
If you want to keep a closer eye on your target keyword rankings, you can sign up for a service like Pro Rank Tracker (there is a free version) that will send you an email each day with a summary of 20 keywords you wish to watch:
- Pro Rank Tracker – https://proranktracker.com/
Step 10. Repeat
Now that you’ve come to the end of the process, it’s time to return to the start and go all over again.
It is a digital marketing task that is a continually process of research, tweaking and evaluating the results of your efforts.
And for that reason SEO is never really done…only just started.
Final Thoughts on Ranking Your Website in Google to Get Free Traffic
Search engine optimisation seems simple enough in theory but as the awareness of its value to business continues to rise, so to will the competition to rank for certain keywords.
Therefore, you need to constantly monitor the performance of your website in search engine results and be ready to make changes when your rankings start to slide.
Hopefully this guide has given you the confidence to perform your own DIY in order to get your businesses website ranked in Google Australia and generating traffic.
Feel free to add your thought, experiences, opinions and questions in the comments below.