SEO & Social Media ~ a Powerful Case Study

Australian companies, for the most part, lag far behind international companies when it comes to both social media and SEO.

What about the ROI they cry, terrified of doing even just one tweet.

Well, we’re living proof of Social Media ROI, and one of many examples is when Sally from Aussie Farmstays contacted us after seeing us on Twitter!

As Sally already had nearly 11,000+ followers on Twitter and over 3000 fans on her Facebook page, she approached us to first concentrate on her Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and as she’d been thinking of getting SEO done for quite a while, having her jump onboard our 12-month program was a dream – good to be approached by people who are self-convinced – ready to go.

the outback tours australia sydney holidays travel blue mountains

At the 6-month point we achieved for her:

– A quadrupling of organic traffic.

– Significant improvements across her 20 most crucial search phrases.

– Organic presence on the first page of Google so much stronger that Sally’s been able to reduce her Google Adwords Spend by 50%.

This graph shows the massive boost in momentum she has gained from our SEO work – the numbers on the left show unique users per month:

seo case studies sydney australia search engine optimisation

The improvements in her Organic Rankings, from first data recordings taken on 1st November 2011 to the recordings taken on 12th April 2012, are as follows:

Abercrombie Caves Tours – from #39 to #3.

Jenolan Caves Tour – from #38 to #8.

Mudgee Food & Wine Tour – from #31 to three results on the first page – #4, #5 and #6.

Mudgee Wine Tours – from not being seen on the first ten pages – to #9 and #11.

Adventure Tours Australia – from #101 to #10.

Australian Outback Tours – from #90 to #11.

Farmstay Australia – from #24 to #6.

Blue Mountains Day Tours – from #65 to #11.

Horse Riding Blue Mountains – from #21 to #10.

Farmstay Australia – from #24 to #6.

Outback Experience Tour – from #68 to #4 out of 23 million results.

Tours Sydney Australia – from not being seen on the first ten pages – to #11 out of 35 million results.

Adventure Tours Australia – from not being seen on the first ten pages – to #10 from 9.7 million results.

Click on this graph to see close-up how search results have improved for specific search terms over a 6-month period – the numbers on the left show Google rankings – this is a graph where figures heading south is a (very) good thing:

seo rankings graph sydney australia

Social Media Expansion

Sally has just recently started on Pinterest where her Blue Mountains page is set to be significantly expanded to take advantage of the global fascination with this exotic region of Australia.

Website Videos

Sally already has a fantastic array of high-resolution website videos that have been published on Youtube and embedded in her website. They are beautiful storytelling videos with great Australian folk music, interesting characters and inspiring Australian landscapes, all filmed on her tours – to view them all, click here.

Future Targets

Through recent analysis we’ve now SEO-ed her Contact Us page to begin to rank for the highly competitive search phrase The Outback.

That one may take years – but it’s the kind of long-term strategy that progressive, media-savvy companies such as Aussie Farmstays are willing to make to invest in their business five years from now.

Interested in taking an Aussie Bush Adventure? – Email Sally via: sally <at>

And for more info on our SEO and Social Media programs and/or training, email Stewart Dawes


Hypnotherapy vs Hypnosis: a Sydney Hypnotherapist Gets Gold


An SEO case study of how Sydney hypnotherapist Sandra Cabot balances the words hypnosis and hypnotherapy to attract best ROI from search engine optimisation …

While social media is a very worthwhile investment in the future of your business, many company directors stress about the short term return on investment.

It’s true in fact that many businesses succeed rapidly on social media – but for those who haven’t learnt to fast-track it all through one of our courses or our social media management, you need to know that SEO – search engine optimisation – will not only fill the gap while social media gathers audience and momentum – but in most cases, when SEO is done aggressively and correctly, it creates so much ROI that assigning some of that excess revenue towards social media becomes a no-brainer.

In the case of Sentience Therapies, the Sydney CBD-based business owned by Sandra Cabot, it all comes down to a range of crucial search terms which have enabled her to cease all magazine advertising and concentrate entire on the online realm.

These terms are:




Also crucial are hypnosis sydney, hypnotherapy sydney, hypnotherapist sydney, hypnosis for weight loss, quit smoking hypnosis, relationships hypnotherapy, and hypnosis for depression.

One of the aspects of our SEO work is placing Offsite SEO articles on high traffic websites. We’re blessed to own three lifestyle websites which attract over 3,0000 unique users per day, and when articles appear on these sites, the links to our clients’ websites create a world-beating effect.

Eg some Offsite articles are:

Hypnosis Sydney

Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss

Our client’s success from this dedicated SEO work has enabled her to begins Twitter management with us which has subsequently led onto Facebook management. Her social media profiles have grown strong as you can see:

Sandra Cabot on Facebook

Sandra Cabot on Twitter

In her own time, with our encouragement & tips, she is also dabbling in:

Linked In


For more info on the SEO and social media management & training we do call Stewart Dawes on 1300 321 814.

Furniture SEO: a Sydney Tale …


There is some debate on which wood is best depending on what one is looking for. Pine furniture, though, is somewhat a favorite among furniture makers for the lightness of its color and resistance to shrinkage. It also goes well with most anything and blends in any office or home setting as pine bookcases, wonderful TV units, office furniture or study desks. There has to be the right feel to it. A vision sometimes a memory attached. Wooden furniture seems to always to evoke a response that way.

Carving a name into the furniture shop business is a slow process. Repeat customers is crucial in being able to be remain on top of Sydney furniture shops, one built on trust and customer satisfaction. Buying lounge furniture or filing cabinets is not an everyday occurrence as say buying clothes making quality of the product of primary importance.

And so the historied realm of furniture shops has arrived in the internet age, and competition is fierce among them!

As part of a new phase in short string key phrase ranking we’ve begun this journey for Habitat Furniture and are recording their present rankings so we can observe them in the coming 2 – 6 months:

Furniture stores #65 out of 186 million searches

Bedroom furniture – not seen first ten pages out of 89 million results

Dining room furniture – not seen first ten pages

Dining Tables – not seen first ten pages

Entertainment Units #33 out of 68 million results

Lounge furniture – not seen first ten pages

TV Units – not seen first ten pages

Filing cabinets #45 out of 45.1 million results

Study desks – not seen first ten pages

Office furniture – not seen first ten pages

Pine bookcases #49 out of 3.57 million results

Pine furniture – not seen first ten pages

Furniture shop #20 out of 398 million results

Furniture shops #7 out of 71.7 million results

Furniture shops in Sydney #34 out of 8.48 million results

Pine furniture shops – not seen first ten pages

Furniture stores #66 out of 186 million search results

Timber furniture – not seen first ten pages

Sydney furniture shops #8 out of 8.48 million results

Sydney furniture stores #13 out of 2.15 million results

Furniture Sydney #52 out of 53.4 million results

Accommodation Hunter Valley: an SEO Odyssey



With the rise of directory-style websites ranking high on Google such as Wotif and LastMinute, the travel industry is one of the hardest arenas to crack for small tour companies as well as boutique accommodation places such as B&Bs and farm stays.

One such small yet very luxurious place to stay is Englewood Ridge whose primary goal was to rank somewhere reasonable for the search accommodation hunter valley which has around 27,000 local search enquiries per month.

Among the tasks we implemented for them were:

1. Onsite optimisation of their website.

2. A pinterest page with links to their website.

3. Offsite articles on very high-traffic websites such as

A article focussed on self-contained accommodation hunter valley

A Fresh Magazine article about accommodation in the hunter valley

A article about Things To Do In The Hunter Valley

Englewood Ridge began their campaign with a good ranking for self-contained accommodation hunter valley but were a lowly #41 for accommodation hunter valley.

They supplied the following lists of search terms:

self contained accommodation hunter valley #4 / 320 searches per month
self contained accommodation pokolbin – not seen first 10 pages / 36 searches pm
self contained accommodation lovedale #12 / Zero pm
self contained accommodation rothbury #2 / Zero pm
hunter valley self contained accommodation #5 / 320pm
hunter valley accommodation house #15 / 880pm
hunter valley boutique accommodation – not seen 1st ten pages / 320pm / local 260pm
hunter valley accommodation #41 / 27,100pm
hunter valley accommodation houses #13 /  Zero pm
hunter valley guest house – not seen 1st ten pages / 720pm / local 590pm
rothbury accommodation #8 / 1600pm / local 480pm
lovedale accommodation #50 / 590pm / 480pm
accommodation rothbury hunter valley #28 / 46pm
accommodation lovedale nsw #48 / Zero pm
accommodation rothbury #11 / 1600pm / 480pm
accommodation in rothbury #10 /  1600pm / 480pm
house accommodation hunter valley #12 / ZERO pm
hunter valley house accommodation #12 / 880pm
accommodation lovedale #17 / 590pm / local 480pm
lovedale accommodation hunter valley #19 / 91pm

We returned the research with these interesting search considerations:

accommodation hunter valley 27,100pm
luxury accommodation hunter valley 1,000pm
hunter valley hotels 22,200
hunter valley cabins 1,900
hunter valley 246,000pm
hunter valley getaways 1,000pm
accommodation hunter valley pokolbin 590pm
hunter valley 5 star accommodation 590pm
hunter valley resort 5,400
hunter valley accommodation packages 480pm

Like all SEO, work is still in progress, but between 11 November 2012 and 16 January 2013 – just over two months – their ranking for accommodation hunter valley jumped from #41 to #11 – within shooting distance of those directory websites and just one position off the first page of Google – for a search phrase that returns 2.53 million search results. All we can say is …. watch this space!

For more on SEO or social media management email Stewart Dawes

Key Link:

social media training

Most Searched Terms: Accommodation Hunter Valley, Accommodation Rothbury, Accommodation Lovedale, Accommodation Pokolbin, Wine Country, Places to stay in the Hunter Valley, Social Media Training, SEO Sydney, Social Media for Business.


Travel Industry Social Media

Blue Mountains tour operator SALLY BRAY writes very honestly about her experiences as a small business operator who personally engages with social media …

Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures is a boutique tour company running tours from Sydney to the Blue Mountains and into the Aussie bush west of the Mountains.

Established in 2007, the business was understandably at first slow to attract the international visitors it caters for , since it is difficult to market directly overseas as a startup, and in the travel industry tour companies need a reputation to be represented by overseas agents.

After a slow first few years the company slowly gained traction in its market. The experiences offered on tours, farmstays, caves tours, wine tasting, horse riding, Blue Mountains attractions, wildlife parks and general sightseeing in the bush were popular with clients and the tours were ranked highly by those who travelled.

But the challenge was to spread the word further and faster to increase the customer base to a sustainable level.

As the owner operator of Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures I was keen to try anything that could increase the number of customers I attract and the number of tours I run.

Everyone was talking about Social Media, so I took the plunge. The first site I joined was LinkedIn. LinkedIn – a professional networking site – supposedly gives individuals in related fields the opportunity to connect, and pursue business together. I know people who swear by its benefits, especially those in Human Resources and anyone looking for a job. But personally I have found LinkedIn to be fairly useless for connecting with the kinds of professionals who could be of benefit to me (eg travel agents or wholesalers who are selling tour product.)

Then I tried Facebook and set up fan page for the business. I struggled to attract fans (apart from all my friends) so I paid for ads.

Facebook Ads are very focussed. You can choose the gender, age and interests of those you want to see your ad and you can choose to pay as little or as much as you want.

From the ads I attracted 1000s of fans and I routinely get more fans who find me organically (I stopped paying for the ads a long time ago) and every post I make attracts lots of Likes.

So has Facebook been worthwhile?

I’m still deciding. I know I have had one booking from a client who found me directly on Facebook. But I don’t know if my page has influenced any other client’s decisions or been seen favourably by anyone who may have been seeking to do business with me. I don’t spend a lot of time on the page, with one good photographic post per day at the most, so I don’t feel I’ve wasted a lot of time and energy, but the jury is still out on whether it’s all worth it.

Then there’s twitter. Personally I don’t know why people bother with Twitter, but they do and they’re possibly people I can market to, so I tweet at least once a day and follow people so they’ll follow me back.

I have over 16,000 followers, and I’ve had interest in my tours generated from the site. I do not know if I have had any bookings. Thankfully the whole twitter process doesn’t take a lot of my time, because if it did I’d give up.

And most recently I have made a Pinterest site. I am yet to be convinced that it has any value. I haven’t seen any yet, but as with the other sites, I’ll keep chipping away at it, as long as it doesn’t take up my valuable time.

Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all generate hits on my websites, but I don’t know if any of those hits have led to sales. The three social media icons look good on my websites and a changing scroll of posts, tweets and images helps my websites to look fresh and up to date. So I’ll persevere with all three and see where they take me.

Unless I start having so many tours to run that I have no time for social media.

Aussie Farmstay Websites:

Blue Mountains Tours

Tours From Sydney

Outback Australia Tour

Most Searched Terms: travel industry social media, tours from sydney, blue mountains tours, outback australia tour, blue mountains tour operators, travel companies  near sydney, social media management, social media for small business, social media training.

Financial Education

Can social media help with financial education?

Such are the questions being posed by Alisdair and Zoe at Future Map as they chart new courses for Australian businesses interested in staff development.

Future Map provide financial education employee benefits training programs in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and regional Australia. Corporate wellness programs with financial literacy on the agenda helping employee engagement and retention.

They help with:
1. employee wellbeing programs
2. employee benefits
3. employee engagement
4. employee retention
5. remuneration and benefits
6. workplace productivity
7. employee financial benefits
8. financial wellbeing
9. staff reward and recognition programs
10. corporate super

And are able to assist with:

salary sacrificing
super contributions
financial literacy
improving team culture
capacity building
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
team building
communicating employee benefits
financial education
personal development

As well as:

talent war issues
team bonding
conference speaking
employee off-site support
benefits uptake
employee insurance packages
goal setting
personal finances

Contact Alisdair on 0405 138 613 for more info.

Key Links:

Most Searched Terms: social media training sydney, financial education melbourne, employee programs perth, social media for business australia.


Hearing Problems

Have you ever conversed with someone speaking loudly but you still can’t understand? Dined in restaurants and couldn’t hear what your friends are saying and only caught whispers? Or simply hear someone talking but you can’t quite make it out. These could be signs that you are suffering from hearing loss.

Statistics show that hearing loss or partial inability to hear is caused by many different factors and is not limited to age, noise and illness. Many people are unaware of the presence of environmental sounds at a level where sound becomes harmful. Sound is everywhere and damaging noise levels are quite common around us. However, people don’t usually associate noise as damaging and therefore is unaware of the risks. If one is exposed to loud sound at high levels or for extended duration, then hearing impairment will transpire.

Most people associate hearing loss with aging. After all, we expect to be just a tad deaf when we get older, or at least that is what we are led to expect. Truth of the matter is it could happen to anyone under different circumstances.

According to studies, Noise pollution remains the most constant environmental hazard accounting for hearing loss. Our world has gotten noisier and over the years an increasing exposure to noise has been noted inside and outside of homes, in the workplace and during recreational/leisure activities that affects not only adults but also children and adolescents.

The technology and high tech gadgets in this modern age plays a big role in this problem too. Listening to music nowadays usually involves devices that can bring the sound closer to the ear which increases the sound level.  These tools, especially at volume levels and closer proximity are capable of causing serious damage to hearing.  Most bars, clubs and restaurants also pump up the volume in their businesses to keep the ambiance alive as most of the customers prefer that kind of setting as contrast to the quiet ones. Not to say music shouldn’t be played loud, but perhaps not to the point that you knock your eardrums out.

Hearing loss is something that unfortunately can’t be healed over any period of time but there are a number of devices that can improve hearing and allow people with these conditions manage better in their lives.

In everything, it is best to be armed with knowledge and information. There is a number of measures that can be taken to prevent hearing loss. Educating friends and families about this can have an impact in their lives. As they say, prevention is always better than cure.

To find out more about hearing problems click the link.

Document Destruction Sydney

Back in the day, Paper Shredding was the kind of activity that was only seen carried out in James Bond, Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 story lines. It was a subversive activity designed to destroy crucial plot evidence and surely also an officious activity carried out in real life by criminals, fraudsters, white collar criminals and tax cheats.

However, nowadays Paper Shredding is a necessary activity for thousands of perfectly reputable, humane businesses. In fact these days, most companies and or people will require a Paper Shredding service at some point, whether it be regularly or just every now and again.

By law all tax documents are to be kept for 5 years (thank goodness this time frame has been reduced by 2 years from the previous 7 years that used to be required, all the more room to keep the other mounds of wonderful clutter in my life!) After this time people are free to dispose of all such material, however it is recommended that this is done securely by using a professional Paper Shredding service so that confidentiality can be assured and sensitive information isn’t obtained by people that it shouldn’t.

With the rising presence and associated power of the paparazzi in today’s increasingly inquisitive society, it is not just A grade celebrities that need to ensure their personal details are kept secure. Secure Paper Shredding services allow for everyday people to ensure confidentiality just as A, B, C… celebs do! Especially today in a world where information can be passed on and distributed at lightening speed across multiple communication channels, ensuring the security of private information is crucial. Remember once information is out there it cannot be “unseen”.

The trend of companies turning into paperless organisations also sees the need for secure Paper Shredding services to safely facilitate this change-over process.

These are just some of the reasons the need for professional paper shredding services is steadily increasing.

Are the documents you are disposing of safe from prying eyes?

Doyle Bros Waste Management Company offer a secure Document Destruction service in Sydney that ensures the utmost security for all your sensitive documents.

Call them today on 02 9999 2111 and see how they can help you secure your paper trail, or visit their site by clicking on this link: Document Destruction

SharePoint Melbourne

Many workplaces nowadays suffer with a lack of motivation from employees regarding embracing new software. Every so often companies invest in expensive software aiming to improve workflow and reduce the amount of time people spend doing time-consuming activities only to see later down the track that the software is not being used correctly or not being used at all. Sometimes that happens because the software is not user-friendly, making employees look for old or other ways of getting their work done. But other times the fault is on the organisation as it didn’t consider training their workers in order to get the most out of the computer program.

SharePoint is a case which, in spite of being extremely user friendly, will certainly be better used if your staff is properly trained. Basically, SharePoint aims to easily connect employees and to manage and share files, projects, costs and much more. And although it seems fairly simple the software is capable of assisting in the most complex tasks. So when it’s decided it’s time to move forward with the organisation, it’s best to make sure to hire a serious company to do the job of SharePoint development. For example, a company that has a great SharePoint Melbourne presence might be a good choice if you’re located in Victoria.

Managing files with SharePoint for instance is pretty straightforward. People can update and upload documents straight from Microsoft Office and it also allows co-authoring which means employees can work on the file at the same time (however this works better if everyone is using the same version of the software). This practically ends with those times of sending several emails back and forth with different versions of the same document.

And among the many features, search is one of the features that is worth training staff for. On SharePoint is possible to create different folders for different projects or even to define tags, which will gather all the files under the same subject. But imagine if every employee decides to define a different tag for the document or to create different folders, or if they decide that one document should be in one specific folder when it really should be under another one. Finding a document on those conditions would be nearly impossible and what was supposed to facilitate everyday work will only create chaos. Therefore thinking ahead, working with the teams and training staff is the key to a successful search strategy.

So it’s not only about getting the right software for your company. It’s about getting the right company to develop it for you according to your organisation needs and about training employees to make the right use of all the investment the software represents.

Most searched terms: SharePoint Sydney, SharePoint Development, WebVine, search strategy, SharePoint Melbourne, software development, SEO, SEO Sydney, Sydney Social Media Workshops.

Paul Keung



Californian businessman Paul Keung approached us to create and manage a social media profile to augment the influence of his USA ferraris for sale business.

As his business was steeped in local contacts through being San Francisco born-and-bred, Paul had not needed to develop any social media whatsoever – in fact he’d never needed to even develop a website.

It’s been an interesting journey discovering which social media profiles Google is willing to give good rankings to – and which it will not support at all.

For instance we can currently say that, having lost the bidding war with Facebook to acquire Instagram, after Facebook doubled Google’s $500 million offer to $1 Billion overnight, Google is taking revenge by simply not ranking any Instagram content or profiles anywhere with its search results.

We created a lively Instagram account for Paul to see if we could give this profile the best possible chance of ranking on Google for the extremely obscure search terms of Paul Keung California but it simply didn’t rank – even after six months, nothing.

The ethical question whether Google should be “fixing” its rankings based on revenge vs market domination is a compelling subject in itself and one we look forward to writing about further as there’s increasing examples of this happening.

One of the interesting side-effects of developing Paul’s Instagram account has been the opportunity to target California and Californians via Instagram using hashtags such as #losangeles #california #sanfransisco – even Paul’s tiny home-town #encinitas has a lively hashtag feed going as it’s such an exhilarating spot for tourists – fantastic for fresh lobster straight out of the water.

We had to ensure that his profiles were not mixed up with other various Paul Keungs such as the Jonathan Paul Keung in the United Kingdom, the very successful Paul Keung in Hong Kong, the Paul Keung in Christchurch, New Zealand, or the Paul Keung in Canada. Of course you’d assume the next ports of call for Paul Keung would be Facebook and Linked In – however he has profiles on both of those so they have no bearing on Google results whether we expand them or not – so instead we fortuitously dug straight into Twitter.

We were blessed on Twitter by being able to singularly grab a number of still-available names relating to his business.

Finally every urbane hipster of the male variety – thinking five years ahead – now needs his own Pinterest profile, so we got out the virtual pin-cushion and started pinning. While a very enthusiastic entrepreneur and angel investor, Paul’s interests are extremely varied – everything from Californian wine aka #caliwine to adventures in New York, Sydney, Paris, London – where he spent many a summer in his youth, to China, Hong Kong and Europe.

Next of course will be – even though we loathe it – Google+ … what a horror it is.

Then there’s Kik, Snapchat and of course all the thousands of other social media platforms that just keep on sprouting up – like we need ever more of them.