Search Engine Optimisation articles is a place for my Search Engine Optimisation musings. Where the seminars tell you how success is achieved with all the detail, the SEO articles give you peeks at the detail. The SEO Articles show you glimpses of the Search Engine World Domination you could achieve for your websites niche. Search Engine Optimisation Articles (or for the American spellers Search Engine Optimization articles) - Case studies, latest Search Engine Happenings, and insights into the world of SEO. The post dates go back to 2007, when Michael started SearchMasters. He cut his teeth in SEO when starting an online restaurant booking business in 2002. Jonathan now shares his musings here.

September 24, 2018

The Hustle in Link Building

In my opinion, link building is the hardest aspect of SEO. The 80 / 20 rule is so true in an SEO campaign - 80% of the effort with seemingly no effect until the last 20% shows the fruit of the work. After I have a client’s landing pages well optimised for a search phrase, have rounded up the “easy to get links” like NZ business directories, press release sites and relevant association/industry websites, the...

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May 31, 2018

Bee Hive Rental Whanganui – Higher Rankings With infonews

The hive rental pages on Canaan Honey started their life as 8th on Google with the existing strength of the website and proper onpage optimisation. We wanted to get the rankings higher, and so on the 5 May 2018, added a photo, hive rental article and profile page into The journey to higher rankings is an interesting one. Good things take time, and adding links into the specific hive rental page did not increase...

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May 17, 2018

How to 301 Redirect A Domain Without Hosting

SearchMasters hold over ten domain names that are variations of our name, to protect our namespace. I used to redirect the domain names via my cPanel and Windows Host Manager, however, I prefer to keep the DNS separate from hosting so that moving servers is easy. It came in handy for my recent move from HD Net to AWS. This blog post came out of my response to a domain redirect question on Stack Exchange,...

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April 18, 2018

Google Reviews Best Practice - Are Reviews Important In Ranking on Google Local?

I am often asked about whether Google My Business reviews will help improve the ranking of a business in Google’s local results. By local results, I am referring to the businesses that appear in a special box at the top of Google when you search for a brand, service business or a phrase containing a location name. For example: You might want to earn for Google Reviews to improve your Google Local ranking, push down...

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March 16, 2018

SearchMasters Website Rebuild with Jekyll

If you have browsed our website before, you would have noticed that the website has been refreshed. Behind the scenes, not only has it been refreshed but we removed the content management system. That’s right, this website does not have a content management system and is all but static html files. The upgrade has been part of an exciting season of moving our hosting from a dedicated server with HD Net to Amazon Web Services....

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March 12, 2018

How to Safely Add Sitewide 301 Redirects

SearchMasters built a tool to crawl the variations that homepage URLs often have, and provide advice based on the results. It has since been taken down, but the advice is still of great use. Potential variations of a domain include Each of the above with filenames such as /index.html, /index.php etc Whilst every URL returns the same content, Google sees them as duplicates of each other which impacts how the website...

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February 10, 2017

Check Localised Google Search Results with Google's Ad Preview Tool

SearchMasters’ search engine rank tracking setup consists of a virtual desktop running Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) so that we can make the most of the low subscription fee of AWR desktop vs AWR cloud. For most clients, we run monthly ranking scans, and then analyse the results, and for other clients, we do weekly or even daily scans. The scans can take quite some time to complete, depending on the number of keywords and search...

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January 30, 2017

SEO Review of Neighbourly Business Directory Listings

Neighbourly launched its business platform in 2015, allowing business to create a listing in the local directory. The directory focuses on connecting local residents to the business by means of the local directory, however, the listings are crawlable by Google rather than being protected by a login-wall. I created a listing for SearchMasters, advertising our Palmerston North SEO services. I met someone at a Manawatu Chamber of Commerce meetup, and when I mentioned SearchMasters, I...

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October 07, 2016

How to create a Bootstrap exit popup and time delay popup

Over the last few weeks I have been asked by two clients, who each sell the same product but in a different country, to build a popup as a tool to improve conversion on their website. I have built two different types of popups, for two different purposes. An exit popup, prompting the visitor to order a free splashback sample before leaving. A time-delay popup, prompting the visitor to view the product showcase YouTube video...

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May 20, 2016

Passionate Young People, Changemakers Tribe at Sort it Expo 2016

Today I was lucky enough to hold a stand at Sort It Expo Palmerston North, to represent Palmy Changemakers Tribe, whom are a part of the National Changemakers Tribe. Changemakers Tribe is all about connecting like minded young people so they can collaborate on projects and ideas they are passionate about. In June (after Massey University exams have finished) we will be holding an Open Night of Awesomeness to connect youth and young adults with...

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February 12, 2016

Google Tag Manager Ecommerce Tracking

Analytics ecommerce tracking used to be comparatively easy. Now, Google Tag Manager ecommerce tracking has a vast range of options available and its very easy to get it wrong. This article looks at installation of the code for recording transaction details following sale. In addition, you are able to record various steps along the way including adding and removing items from the cart. In particular, this installation is for Google Tag Manager ecommerce tracking Business...

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December 02, 2015

Choosing SEO Keywords - Using Google's Keyword Planner

When I first look at a website to potentially optimise, some of the questions I ask myself are “are they specifically targeting a keyword with a page?”, “Are they ranking as expected for that phrase” and “is the phrase ideal to target?” Choosing SEO keywords, that is, choosing effective keywords to target, is a difficult process that can be made easier with Google’s keyword planner tool. The thoughts and hunches I form, become the hypothesis...

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October 14, 2015

Heat Pumps Auckland

There is a new entrant to the Heat Pumps Auckland and New Zealand market. Heat Pump Masters is operated by SearchMaster’s Michael Brandon and is a lead generating website for New Zealand heat pump installers. img]/images/heat-pump-masters-auckland.jpg/img] The journey to the top ten for organic verses paid listings is a lengthy one. It is based on proper on-page Search Engine Optimisation as well as a solid linking strategy over a period of months. Once top...

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January 15, 2014

Updating a Godaddy Certificate on cPanel

How do you go about updating a Godaddy certificate on cPanel? I like to have secure email for clients on my servers - secure pop and smtp via So I have a secure certificate with Godaddy that I have just updated. In cPanel/WHM, you need to add the certificate details and the private key to “install a new certificate” (being the renewal of an existing one). I had the certificate download from Godaddy, but...

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December 07, 2013

index.php to root redirects

As well as non www to www redirects, there is a need for redirects from index.php or index.html to the root of a domain. See the redirect check for a customised recommendation for your website. The general rule In SEO, we want one url for each page of content. Redirects from non www to the www version of the url, from index.php to /, using only /content/ rather than /content/pg1 in a multi page document…...

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