There are many great web designers and marketers in Albury Wodonga. The range and quality are impressive; just search "Marketing Albury" or "Marketer Albury" or should you? Marketing services Albury, maybe?

At the end of the day, you want someone local to your area. You want a guide you can trust to transform you into your business's aspirational identity by setting achievable goals.

The purpose of this article is NOT TO GET YOUR BUSINESS as a small/medium business in beautiful Albury Wodonga, I want to see local agencies flourish and deliver quality marketing services to the area. I want to see agencies follow a best-practice approach and use StoryBrand to take businesses to the next level.

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Let's start by saying you want someone local who knows what they are doing and can deliver you outcomes. For me, it's always about outcomes and not just marketing fluff. Web Designers and creatives in particular, can be really excellent at fluff that takes six-twelve months to cut through but I shouldn't pick on just them. They are exactly who we need to develop something that is going to be aspirational to your customer's identity in a beautiful but meaningful way.

Keeping work local and jobs in regional centres like the Murray area is really important to me. I'm in the sister town of Wagga up the road and have no affiliation with any of the agencies we're going to be talking about. I will start by saying that I do have some bias towards agencies that work differently to an IT guy who also might know something about building a website but nothing about planning, strategy, content and a customer persona. for this reason, I would avoid "agencies" that have IT in their name.

It's funny because I was that IT guy, I studied IT at uni and used my trade for many years, delivering functional results for the Australian Army in the way of a web-based database system that solved a problem.


Introduction to the "why?" or the "problem" that needs to be solved

Let's also be clear about setting expectations; I'm a 20+ year web developer, not a copywriter, not a designer, not a photographer. So my perspective on what agencies should or shouldn't be doing to grow your business whether it be in Albury or Wagga will be different from that of the rest. However, as I mentioned, I am outcomes-focused and have the need for clarity in communication.

I'm, a bit of what is called a StoryBrand evangelist.

Unfortunately, none of the agencies I've seen in Albury have really implemented StoryBrand in their portfolio.

Be aware that one of Regional Web Developers' primary goals is to see marketing companies in regional Australia do marketing better, better than some of the agencies in the cities.

This leads me to the next point if you are a marketing company in Albury or Wodonga, I would expect part of your services would be websites. SEO and websites are my specialty. I work with agencies mainly design-based throughout the Riverina area from the Murrumbidgee to the Murray in Albury. I am part of the RWD support network if you need web development or SEO skills met.

What experience have I had with a marketing business? I have operated a separate business in Wagga for the past 15 years, where we have worked with many big-name national businesses with millions in revenue. Over 200 businesses rely on my web development and operation skills to keep their businesses online daily.

It is important to be clear about what you want from a marketing agency and to be realistic about what they can realistically achieve for you.

The first thing they will want you to do once you are onboard is to understand your business better and make some discovery processes. You may or may not have a marketing strategy already, but this will start the process of going down the rabbit hole to define how to communicate to your ideal customer, where they are, and what tactics to use with them etc. etc. how will you transform them into their aspirational identity and solve their problems?

I like to outline processes and do SOPs for clarity and brevity so below in an ordered hierarchy list is some of the key terms your going to come across.

As a business owner, you don't need to know too much detail behind each but you just need to know enough so you know the marketing agency you're speaking to is legit.

Marketing Strategy - Part of your business plan - how to achieve marketing goals - sometimes confused with a "Marketing Plan". It is however more strategic. Will you trust a third-party company to contribute to your business plan? I ask this question because usually a business engaging a marketing person isn't expecting this engagement. They are expecting they need a website, some social media work or a logo. Tactical problems fulfilled. A graphic designer will attempt to switch from a task based solution to a strategic solution because their's more value in this than simply moving pixels around. They become an adviser or consultant instead of what you really wanted them to do in the first place. The later thought is exactly what you as a business owner needs but have you got the right web designer or agency for the job?

A goal could be "Build strong brand", "attract engage delight", "attract your ideal customers"

Marketing Plan - It includes details about tactics to the ideal customer identified in the marketing strategy, timelines, budgets even a SWOT. This could be a yearly plan with milestone goals and reviews against those goals.

Digital Marketing Plan - Look at your marketing channels or avenues to build a strong brand or promote your product or service more effectively. (Annual)

Multichannel Marketing Plan - How will you engage audiences differently on different content social media channels. includes the ideation behind content marketing. Scheduling etc.

Marketing Campaign - It's about executing the tactic from the plan. How to promote an event or launch a website. "Who", "What", "Where" and "How" it is done.

Content Strategy Plan - Oh, the term sounds so fancy, so complicated it's even a bit scary, but wait it's really not really that hard!

Let's start with what is a "content strategy" start with your goals, and figure out what sorts of tactics might be able to achieve your goals.

Say for example you want better brand visibility. An SEO-type strategy could be still considered content-based as the content that brings in the customers is set in the short META that is displayed within the SERP. This is also what is known as an inbound strategy. But wait, this doesn't sound like something I'd get my web designer or graphic designer to do. It's more copy related isn't it. The answer is in the goals and the best agency will engage the entire team to be on the journey and have the same mission not isolating this to the "creative team" alone.

Figuring out the type of content strategy that needs to be run is based on the following questions:

  • Who?
  • What Problem?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What content formats? Think video, audio, etc.
  • What channels?
  • Who will be doing the work?

The structure of a content strategy:

To find a marketing agency or agencies in Albury Wodonga, start by researching the different options available. There are many marketing firms located throughout the area, so it can be challenging to determine which one is best for your needs.

They all have different strengths and weaknesses. You need to align to the one that is going to bring you results and services you best.

Start with word of mouth recommendations and reviews to know who rather than just doing a google "Marketer Albury".

Here's why:

Paid Ads


Google My Business

A great place to start and the best thing about these guys are they "should be local" and "trusted"

- Starfish Marketing - I'd put this one to the top of my list. She seems to value community and I'm on the same page as her with a lot of my values. She's local the only question i would have is do you outsource overseas?

Digital Marketing Bee - Strong on SEO and fast becoming one of the best in Albury. Again I would ask the question do you outsource or do you value your local community and jobs to stay here in Albury. The answer may be we just have basics done overseas but I personally would stick to an agency that I know is all Australian.

Platform Marketing - These guys are in the growth phase and new to the market in Albury. Their approach is almost perfect and someone I'd want to engage for my "brand". they are small and use SquareSpace to compete which is why I probably hadn't heard anything from them compared to marketer bee.

- Albury Wodonga Creatives - A collection or collab approach to providing services from Aimee Chan. An excellent place to start for Photography and video. Note their site is also SquareSpace.

"Public Relations" Albury is another area or search term worth considering that probably isn't as heavily SPAMed with redundant out-of-town Albury marketers that said..

morispr is one such agency that aligns its services to Public Relations - These guys are not in Albury and market themselves as a celebrity directory that is cheap.

Your first click will take you to a contact page "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" like it's some sort of award. Interesting is they present themselves in different industries hoping to grow this way listing the following service areas many of which are completely different you wonder how they hope to specialise in such a diverse range of areas.

Public Relations Service Areas

  • Public Relations
  • Celebrity & Influencer
  • SEO, PPC & Online Reputation
  • Event Management
  • Event Public Relations
  • Personal PR
  • Social Media & Digital
  • Project Positioning
  • Brand Positioning
  • Consumer Connections
  • Digital PR
  • Startup Development
  • Celeb Coordination
  • Film Publicity Design Artist
  • Web Design & Development

It seems like you can add the letters PR after just about anything and make a job out of it.

What do you think about these service areas? How do they relate to your Digital PR in Albury? Are they a clear match for your needs?

One thing I like about Googleing "marketer Albury" is it isn't quite as heavily littered with search results from people trying to make money from the Albury market from outside of the Albury Area.

Compared to "Website Albury" this is probably a better term to search for as an end consumer.

Also by now your probably seeing a theme; I'm not a fan of Squarespace. A DIY tool for the end user to do their own website marketing work. What could be better for a bricklayer, a finance broker or another non-marketing type person that knows nothing about marketing and doesn't specialise in the area marketing? You can probably see what I'm getting at. Do what you do well and leave the rest to those that specialise.

Mass market tools like upwork, usually send your work outside of Albury and Australia and sometimes but not always overseas. Personally, I would avoid and dont' forget that what you pay the person isn't what they receive. Is it sustainable for them to stay in business if they donate 25% to the gig network providing the work?

Once you've identified a few agencies, like those above ask around for recommendations from friends and family.

What to Look for in an Agency

Strategy discussion - always start with a discussion not a zoom.

  • We’ll work together to develop a customized plan that will help you reach your goals, and we’ll always be focused on making sure that you get the most out of our services.

How to Evaluate a Marketing Agency

The portfolio is high on my priority of checks you can find what websites an agency has built by using a tool like keywords everywhere and checking backlinks. These sites may not be the ones they want you to see which is a good thing. Let's be transparent about what work we have or havne't done:

Starfish media - Site: - For me it doesn't tick my boxes although it might for some people. This site is targeted towards VA services and presents with a problem and solution style approach. From that perspective it achieves the goal.

Starfish media - Site: Again while it sells plumbing services and runs a WordPress style framework. Some technical problems here with text size and formatting.

Digital Marketing Bee - & I'm a fan of these guys staring only a few years ago DMB seems to do quality work but I am cautious about any use of external overseas services. The Border Cafe website is very nicely designed and laid out. It reminds me a bit of my work with Pulse+IT news. is also quite a nice example of sites they have built that aligns to a StoryBrand approach

Platform Marketing involvement with appears positive and professional. UX, messaging and the use of PWA technology sees this website is next level compared to many of Platform's local competitors.

Web Design Albury - Albury Web Design is dominated by Darren Harris from a local GMB profile to a strong Domain Authority and good SEO he has grown his portfolio throughout Albury and the Wagga area. I'm not a huge fan of his work but he has done a good job of his SEO.

How to interview an agency in Albury Wodonga

By interviewing an agency you can ensure your getting the right services and team to fulfil your goals. Don't waste their time and yours if you expect you won't use them regardless of if they fit the profile. Small marketing firms in regional Australia do not have time to waste on tire kickers who have no intent on going with you regardless of the outcome. Remember, sometimes you'll find companies promising you the world with no intent of following through.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, it is important to interview several agencies to get a sense of their approach and services. It is also important to consider what type of marketing you need help with, as each agency specializes in a different area.

As you've seen from my listing above their area lots of choices in the area but if you are looking to improve your brand agencies like OGA who don't even show up on a marketing Albury search shouldn't be so quickly disregarded. I've always thought OGA is the best in albury along with Webmatrix


What is this "Helpful" update?

Around a week ago we heard that Google’s “Helpful” update was coming and was going to shake up the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) world.

For those of you who haven’t heard much about SEO, there is an entire industry structured around getting your customers' sites to rank better and to provide them more leads. The problem, which seems to be simple from a customer's perspective, is so complicated behind the scenes specialists are needed.

I’m sure you’ve received that SPAM email, "Rank no.1 on Google for your keywords". A bold promise and one that tempts you to hit that “reply” button for a nanosecond. Maybe that’s not a problem for those targeting the simple unique keywords where competition is low, but there are hundreds if not thousands of factors involved here.

You can employ an SEO “specialist” for month after month and see no movement in your rankings despite them doing SEO “stuff”. It’s a tough area and one that I’ve avoided because it can be so hard going all your hours and efforts seem fruitless.

Combine SEO with paid campaigns or PPC and then an SEO specialist has at least “some” control to get those results they promise. Still, It’s not a matter of just throwing money at advertising, and they will come.

So now we’ve established a little about the industry and what SEO is let’s look at the latest update from Google and what you should be considering especially if you're pushing the boundaries on content generation. (and perhaps laziness)

Guidance from Google according to search engine journal is that this update focus on the question “Will your websites content help to people or is it designed to help search engines?”. Another term I’ve heard used is “people-first”. For a very long time content has been king and in saying that I mean quality content. We can never miss the one clear goal for Google to provide a better search experience for their user and the one they don't talk about as much, "to make as much money as possible for the evil empire."

Over the past three years we’ve seen a surge in what is called GPT-3 content generators. You input your keywords or topic and make some visual selections and these will generate a blog article for you quickly and easily. Being an average writer I was extremely excited about these when I first heard about them. I bought a few and was somewhat disappointed with what it produced.

There are however some good ones available that focus on improving your writing first and then helping with the depth of information you could be lacking. Writerzen is my favourite and not only will it allow you to do some initial keyword research up front to find topics worth writing about, it also generates a few sub-topic heading ideas to help with structure.

While we're on the topic of improving content I'll also mention some well known grammar tools which I'm in desperate need of. Grammarly by far is the next level and premium spelling and grammar checker. If you don't like ongoing, which none of us do, there's an affordable alternative Life Time Deal (LTD) you'll find on AppSumo called Linguix. I'm using Linguix right now to help me along my way.

Back to the main concern from Google, if you use a text generator simply for gains in SEO then it’s not necessarily focusing on helping humans but just getting leads to your site. In the past you could easily identify content generator content, but today it’s not as easy. Google think they have it beat in order to make good content rise to the top of rankings, and maybe they do.

Why should you care?

At the moment little is known about the exact impact or penalties of the update. You may remember the Penguin update 10 years ago that crushed the industry overnight. For most people this update is minor unless you’re paying an SEO consultant to write blogs to get you ranked higher. It’s the dodgy practices that you should steer clear of wherever possible, which has always been the case.

The update may drop your rankings or increase your them by just a couple. Unless you’ve been super obviously dodgy to get rankings I don’t see this doing much harm.

According to Search Engine Journal, it’s also not too late to get your "rank on" and the update is a continuous improvement for Google analysing sites' content to be “helpful” to humans or not. So update your sites and be helpful and make sure it’s readable by humans.

One quick tip which I'm going to try is to fix my FAQ page to have schema attached so that Google can see I'm trying to be helpful and answer my customers questions. What I'm hoping from this is that I might get what is known as a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) feature.

How can you check the impact on you?

Firstly, it’s not an overnight impact; we’re looking at rankings over the next couple of months to see if sites are effected. For RWD we use a tool called Ranktracker, but you may use something more well known like Moz or AHREFS.

The above tools will help you to check your ranking over time for specific keywords. I thought I'd also mention some other tools to check on the health of your site and even if your content is Siteguru. This tool is pretty low cost and simple for most people to use. One thing that often gets missed by designers or copywriters is that content is everywhere on a site. It's not just the written words on a page. Think META, alt title, image names, site architecture and hierarchy. Siteguru will work with you over months as a personal assistant to identify what to do next to move that needle.

What does it mean for RWD?

As many of you know, RWD is about getting local leads for local marketers to improve and support business in regional Australia. We have therefore targeted our locations based on keywords that had low competition or what is known as the golden keywords.

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Out of the 34 locations we’re targeting at the moment, we’re ranking in the top 10 for 3 of these locations. It’s a good start seeing how we haven't been going all that but what we’re now doing is monitoring these pages to see which ones have been effected and which ones haven’t or have improved. There’s always lessons in our failures that we can celebrate; we need to take away these and apply them to others to play the game.

google analtics

Some other resources

As to be expected, "Helpful" is a hot topic at the moment, featuring on thousands of websites but not all of them are worth checking out.

Here are a few of my favourites you might like to check in with:

And lastly, to throw in a bit of a dad joke, I hope this article has been "helpful" to you humans.

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Based in Wagga Wagga networking regional freelancers and agencies