How did your journey begin in search engine optimisation?

I first began looking for different ways to make money online. I had experienced changes at my day job from the resulting economic downturn, and I came to the realisation that being an employee at a large corporation wasn’t secure anymore.

After searching online for a while, I came across an ad for entrepreneurs looking for ways to build an online business. I’ve always been interested in business but hadn’t taken the necessary steps to get started. Anyways, so I decided to opt into the email campaign and receive a bunch of video trainings that would literally open my eyes to what was possible.

This training was all about affiliate marketing…something I hadn’t even heard of before.

So I began to watch and learn and implement. They type of affiliate marketing this particular company were training on was paid advertising or PPC. Basically creating relevant Facebook pages and sending ads to targeted audiences with links to sign-ups, downloads or purchases.

I quickly realised though this was difficult to get a start with such a limited budget. I was prepared to spend $500 per month on Facebook ads, but really to get enough data to make the ads work, I needed to commit between $1000-2000 per month. Dollars I just didn’t have.

I didn’t want to just quit on this whole affiliate marketing thing though, so I began to look for ways to get my offers out there, which is when I stumbled across Search Engine Optimisation. I had already created my first Word Press website, all I had to work out was to get this to rank on Google.

I built my first affiliate type website and ranked it for multiple search terms following the resources I found across the Internet. I became addicted to watching YouTube videos on how to rank stuff on Google, I then applied these tips, some worked and some didn’t. Luckily for me most of the strategies worked, and my first little affiliate site generates a small amount of cash each month.


Can you tell us about the city that you live in?

I live in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. The city has history as a steelmaking region and manufacturing still holds as one of the top employment industries. I have grown up in Newcastle my whole life and enjoy the lifestyle it brings with beautiful beaches, great restaurants, awesome sporting events and short drive to the Hunter Valley vineyards.

 aardvark works interview

Have you always been business minded?

I think I have always been business minded, however for whatever reason I have never taken the required steps to commit to either starting my own business or purchasing an existing one. I remember when I was an apprentice; I would search for businesses for sale and I would even enquire about them. I guess the fact nobody in my family had operated a business before, made it a daunting thing to proceed with until now.


When was your business founded?

I founded Resilient Digital in June 2015. It was time to live and learn by my own wins and failures.


Tell us about the core function of your online business?

My core business is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for local small to medium businesses. I identified that businesses in Australia and more specifically my local Newcastle area were slow at picking up the digital economy so to speak. Still now I get resistance from business owners with online marketing, primarily because they haven’t been educated effectively.

So it is our mission to educate and help the many SME businesses with SEO, to improve their brand awareness across the Internet, and to ultimately improve their revenue.


What type of clients does your business catered towards?

I would love to say any client will suit our business, however it’s just not possible. Our ideal clients will have an established business with a healthy customer base. They will have an established marketing budget that includes online marketing. Although SEO provides the best ROI for any type of online marketing strategy, it does require a certain amount of search volume on Google for it to be viable. So if a business has a product or service with low monthly search volumes, then SEO is not a marketing strategy they should deploy.


What’s the biggest frustration for with small business owners with a website?

 I guess the biggest frustration is convincing small business owners they need a website that is both mobile responsive and converts visitors to customers, and they then need to have it optimised for search engines. Many people whether business owners or not just don’t understand how search engines work, and why a website will show up in the results pages. Everyone I talk to think that if they have a website, then they will get found on Google…. its just not the case.


Tell us about the philosophy behind your business?

We have a simple philosophy we stand by. The only way to improve our clients search engine results is to proactively create unique and highly engaging content about your products and/or services that’s relevant to people and search engines. Any process or strategy that attempts to automate or shortcut this can get your website banned from the search results and damage your online reputation.


What is your future plans your business?

Short-term plans are to build authority and trust for myself in Newcastle within the business community and long-term plans are to grow the business past 20k per month revenue and help over 100 small businesses owners grow their business to new levels.


What is your prediction-moving forward into 2016 for SEO?

I feel search engines are getting smarter and there is no real shortcut to getting rankings. It will require a website that is optimised for people i.e. low bounce rates, high click through rates, etc. and content that gets shared across multiple social networks. I think Google will still recognise backlinks as a high-ranking factor therefore creating quality content that other blogs will link to be important. I also think it will take longer for websites to see movement in rankings as Google’s algorithm becomes more robust.

How can local business owners get in contact with you?

Anyone looking to improve their websites visibility on Google for related search terms can call me on 1300 792 704 or simply Google search SEO Newcastle and you will find my website Resilient Digital for more details.