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So you've built a beautiful website. Naturally, you want it seen by as many potential customers as possible.  The simplest solution is to get your site ranking at the top of relevant Google searches. But how?

You've probably seen plenty of agencies advertising Search Engine Optimisation services, but you've likely also heard plenty of horror stories from other business owners. People who've spent thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars with SEO professionals, without seeing any improvement in their ranking, or worse, seen their ranking drop!

So how do you climb to the top of Google without being taken for a ride? How do you know a bad-operator when you see one? This article is your beginners guide to choosing an SEO professional when using Oncord.

Do you really need an SEO professional?

Before you start shopping around for the right provider, it's important to determine if you actually need Search Engine Optimisation services at all. An SEO provider will always tell you that your current SEO is in dire straights and needs improving. There's little incentive for them to say otherwise.

On top of this, the nature of SEO means that there's not a 'yes or no' answer to this question. Your SEO can always be improved, but whether your company should invest in SEO services is a different story. 

The simplest way to assess your current SEO is to think about the terms your potential customers are likely to be searching for, putting those into Google and seeing how you rank.

One thing to consider is that Google will rank sites that you have visited previously much higher, so it's important to perform the search in an 'Incognito' browser mode to get a more accurate picture of the results. If possible, try to use a device you've never used before, like a friend's computer, to perform the search. This will stop your own site from artificially ranking higher in the search just because you've visited it before.

When performing the search, put in the terms that are most important for your business to rank for. So if you're a plumber in Brisbane, search for 'Plumbers in Brisbane'. Perform this with a number of different search terms your potential customers might be attempting to search for and take note of where your website appears. 

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If your Australian business or online presence operates under a .au namespace (com.au, net.au, org.au or asn.au domain names), you should consider registering your matching .au domain in order to protect your brand.

It's now possible to run automation workflow steps on related contacts, and we've made improvements to how companies RSVP to your events. It's easier to add contact records to Groups. You can add new captions and text descriptions to images and image galleries. Customize the height of full-height sections throughout your website. Send automated emails to your customers when their credit card is going to expire soon. 

All Oncord powered websites using our name servers now include anycast DNS, which improves the time that it takes visitors to connect to your website globally. There are also plenty of other new features to explore, and the help section of our website has been further expanded with some new videos and content.

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