Ecommerce keeps flourishing. Research predicts that it will reach $4.88 trillion by 2021.
This sounds impressive, but what does this mean for you as an online retailer?
Well, the growth of ecommerce means greater competition. So, to stay relevant in the fierce SERPs, you need to invest in a solid SEO strategy and keep revising it to see what works or doesn’t work. To increase your rankings and gain users’ trust, you cannot afford to make any mistakes.
Here are a few common SEO oversights you should avoid.
Building a Website with Difficult Navigation
As an ecommerce website, you have thousands of pages to manage.
For instance, google site:amazon.com and you will see that there are 167,000,000 results. Even though Amazon is not an example of the most beautiful website in the world, you must admit that it’s easy to navigate.
Once you visit their site, the first thing you will notice is the intuitive search bar that even lets you browse products by different departments. A search bar is an inevitable element on any user-friendly ecommerce website, as it gives customers an opportunity to find the desired product faster and finalize the purchase.
Each product category has lots of filters, helping you refine your search by featured brands, packaging options, average product review, price, seller, availability, and so forth.
Their menu bar is also divided into sections that are further branching into more specific categories. The majority of your customers (especially those that haven’t made the buying decision) will use your menu to familiarize themselves with different products and compare them. Precisely because of that, you first need to write informative and descriptive menu labels that will help visitors find a product faster.
You should also simplify your menu and reduce the number of menu items to improve user experiences. Too many options can be overwhelming, distracting a customer from what they’re looking for. Simpler menus are also important for your SEO efforts.
Namely, those pages you link to are passing some SEO value. Therefore, if you’re linking to less relevant pages instead of focusing on the most significant ones, you won’t be able to maximize your traffic. Logically, your goal is to increase the exposure of those pages relevant to your customers.
Not Targeting the Right Keywords
Many online retailers forget what their priorities are when conducting keyword research. Namely, they spend too much time looking for popular search phrases relevant to their products that they forget to focus on search intent. Namely, your goal is to understand your searchers’ needs and know what kind of result they expect to see when they google a certain keyword.
This is particularly important now that voice search is exploding. Statistics say that 41% of adults perform at least one voice search each day, while this number is expected to jump to 50% by 2020. This is one of the numerous trends impacting the way we optimize our ecommerce sites.
First, voice search triggers the growth of local SEO. For example, 22% of customers perform voice search to find locally-relevant businesses. So, let’s say you’re targeting the Gold Coast market. In this case, including local keywords containing “Gold Coast,” creating local content around these keywords, and building links on local sites will increase your rankings and help you generate more qualified leads.
With the rise of voice search, you don’t have to spam your content with exact-match keywords anymore. Voice searchers use natural language and conversational phrases when interacting with search engines. For example, instead of typing “gold coast shoes online” into the search box, they will ask something like “What is the best online shoe store in Gold Coast?” You get how this works.
This is why you should start combining traditional keyword research tools with some additional resources like Q&A sites, social networks, or forums to understand your customers’ needs and expectations. Consulting SEO agency from Gold Coast may also be a wise move. As they understand your local market, they will help you align your keyword optimization and off-page SEO tactics with search intent.
Not Creating Authentic Content for Product Pages
One of the most common mistakes online retailers make is simply copying product descriptions from the manufacturer’s site to their product pages. This is bad for your online presence for a few reasons.
First, by simply copying content instead of creating your own, you’re missing out on an opportunity to stand out and emphasize the benefits of buying from you. Original product descriptions are highly engaging and persuasive, building trust with your customers and having them complete the purchase faster.
Second, search engines won’t be able to differentiate your content from the one on similar sites, which may impact your rankings and overall page visibility. Google won’t have a reason to index your content if it already exists on similar sites.
Finally, you may even get penalized. If your product descriptions are the same or similar to the content that already appears on another website, Google will observe it as duplicate content. Assuming that you’re trying to play the algorithm, it will penalize you.
Not Using Schema Markup on your Product Pages
Google is getting smarter each day, but it’s still unable to understand non-textual pieces of content. This is where schema markup steps in. We can define it as a language Google crawlers understand and use to get the information about your content. With its help, you will be able to explain the purpose of your content, including your email, phone numbers, price data, product types, ratings, descriptions, reviews, and so forth.
In other words, schema markup is a great way to get your content indexed and ranked higher in the SERPs. Above all, it gives you the opportunity to appear in featured snippets and put your products in front of the right customers. As such, it can have a massive influence on your organic rankings, clicks, and even conversions.
Not Increasing User Experience
You cannot expect to have a poorly-performing website and yet boost conversions. Only by making your visitors happy and building trust with them will you be able to turn them into paying customers. And, here are a few steps to take:
- Make your website responsive. We’re living in the mobile-first era, when providing outstanding, cross-channel user experiences should be your priority. Simplify your checkout forms and ensure all links work from mobile devices. Also, pay attention to how your content looks and feels on mobile devices.
- Invest in an SSL certificate. Google has started marking sites with HTTP as “not secure.” No matter how sophisticated your encryption tactics are, if you don’t have an SSL certificate to back you up, your customers will still see this warning. Unsurprisingly, this may make your ecommerce site less professional, impacting the time people spend on your website, as well as their engagement and conversions.
- Add security badges. Apart from HTTPS and mobile-friendly forms, security badges are an important element of the checkout process. They prove that your customers’ data is safe with you, inspiring them to choose you over competitors.
- Boost your website speed. If your site doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds, most of your customers will kick it without taking the desired action. So, to speed things up, compress your images, invest in the right CDN, minimize overly complex animations, minify the website code, and find a reliable host to ensure your site loads fast.
Not Inspiring User-Generated Content
Awesome website performance, gorgeous product photos, and high-quality descriptions are important, but they’re not enough to convert a visitor into a customer.
Did you know that most of your customers don’t trust branded content? Instead, 84% of them rely on online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This is exactly why you should allow customer reviews and ratings on your site. You shouldn’t be worried about negative user reviews hurting your brad reputation. Namely, some recent statistics say that product pages with diverse ratings drive more sales than those with stellar ratings only. This is also an amazing opportunity for you to provide exceptional customer support, help them fix specific problems, and turn them into satisfied users.
Asking loyal customers to write testimonials and publishing them strategically on your homepage or product pages is also an amazing way to demonstrate your trustworthiness. To make these testimonials even more relatable, include a customer’s photo, as well as their full name and even a job title.
Sure, just like with the content you create for your product pages or blog, you also ensure that these reviews are accurate and helpful. For example, you could let users rate peer comments according to their relevance. Amazon has introduced the amazing option that allows users to sort reviews by “the most helpful” ratings.
Over to You
If you’re making some of the abovementioned mistakes, don’t be desperate. I’m sure I’ve never landed on an ecommerce site that has no SEO issues. Your goal is to identify the main problems in your SEO strategy and stop wasting money on them. This is how you will improve your online presence gradually and I hope these tips will help you.
Using SEO to Improve Your Online Reputation
The search engine optimization game is constantly evolving and changing with the algorithms. While this powerful digital marketing method has been used for years as a way to rank websites higher in the SERPs and boost the visibility of websites in the eyes of the online audience, in recent years it has become an integral part of online reputation management. Quite simply, SEO helps your website rank higher, but more importantly in the modern business world, it can help your brand stand out as a powerful authority figure.
There is no denying that websites that rank higher have the potential to score a 20% CTR average, but imagine click-through rates on a website that not only ranks high in the SERPs but also holds a coveted position as one of the leading and most recognizable brands in the field. With all of this in mind, here are the five ways you can use SEO to manage and improve your online reputation.
Brand dissemination and community engagement
The modern consumer is a peculiar being. Highly inquisitive and curious, with a smartphone in their hand and an account on every relevant platform on the web, they will stop at nothing to find out who you are and where your true intentions may lie. In other words, the modern consumer does their research before deciding on a brand, and this research will mostly take place on social media.
Keep in mind that not only are potential customers researching your entire online presence, but that Google’s spiders are doing the same thing. This means that you need to disseminate your brand across the online world and provide all of the necessary information on every relevant platform that could help your rank higher and score positive reviews.
The better the reviews and the higher the engagement with your followers, the better your online reputation will become. With it comes better ranking and a prominent position in your industry. To initiate this snowball effect, make sure you’re:
- Present on every relevant platform.
- Providing detailed information about the company.
- Listing your products and services.
- Posting quality content regularly.
- Engaging with your audience in meaningful conversations and discussions.
- Answering questions and resolving community problems efficiently and effectively.
- Commenting on relevant topics other than your own to associate your brand with the solution.
Creating stellar content across the board
If digital marketers can agree on one thing, it’s that quality content has a significant impact on rankings, and that there is no excuse for posting subpar pieces with poor keyword integration on the web. If you want to make it big in the online world, you need to go above and beyond with your content creation, and it all begins with elevating the proverbial bar. Remember, only stellar content will make it into the top three listings on Google.
However, content creation is not just about answering a problem or integrating keywords – nowadays it’s also about organic brand implementation and storytelling. You need to immerse your readers into the topic in order to boost engagement, shareability, mentions, and of course, minimize your bounce rate. Combining stellar content with careful keyword and brand name integration will deem you worthy in the eyes of Google, and secure a top spot in the SERPs.
Building local authority with market-specific SEO
Another crucial element of authority and a stellar reputation in the digital realm is market-specific SEO. Focusing on local SEO can help your business stand out in your specific marketplace. This is an effective strategy for individual franchise outlets, local businesses catering to a single market, and even global brands who want to ensure brand consistency across the board. New York City is a prime example of the effectiveness of local SEO, as standing out in this bustling beehive has been a pain point for entrepreneurs and business leaders for years.
New York is a highly-competitive area, so it only stands to reason that an agency offering New York SEO services includes comprehensive strategies that use localized keywords to rank the brand higher in its niche and the local marketplace. This will allow the brand to rank higher in the local SERPs, boost brand awareness in the community, and build a more trustworthy relationship with the local demographic.
Emphasizing the video content form
Search engine optimization in its latest form ventures beyond written content and into the realm of video creation. With Google putting emphasis on brands that produce quality videos and integrate relevant keywords into video titles and descriptions, it only stands to reason that you should step up your videography game. Producing content in video form is an excellent way to improve audience engagement and disseminate your content on video platforms such as YouTube and the likes.
As the number of views rises over time, so will the video’s ranking in the SERPs. In turn, you will raise brand awareness and thus your online reputation – provided that your videos are as good as your blogs. Another factor you should take into consideration is how brand-audience communication can impact your rankings. Make it a priority to answer comments on your videos and inspire conversations for Google to take notice.
Mentioning your brand name with relevant keywords
On a last note, it’s important to acknowledge the power of positive association and repetition. Your brand name should appear in every post you publish, no matter the form, no matter the topic. This builds awareness and solidifies your brand in the minds of the consumers.
Combine your brand name with your most relevant keywords, and you have yourself a recipe for success when it comes to getting on Google’s good side. Associating the content with your brand will tell the algorithm that there is a relevant connection between the two, which will in turn improve your ranking and portray you as the authority brand in your niche.
SEO is the name of the digital marketing game, and it’s not likely that its importance for your long-term success will diminish any time in the foreseeable future. That said, SEO is also an ever-evolving science and art form, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and utilize the best practices to build your online reputation.
Nowadays, many companies leverage search engine optimization (SEO) in order to boost their visibility and exposure online. In the modern competitive landscape, SEO has become mandatory rather than just optional, especially if your company wants to outrun numerous competitors on the market. However, as beneficial as SEO is, there’s no denying the fact that it’s a time-consuming process that requires a lot of dedication.
As a matter of fact, it takes a bit of time before SEO starts to show viable results and companies must constantly monitor as well as improve their efforts. During that process, there are a lot of tasks that are repetitive and even mundane. These tasks can take a lot of your time but fortunately, they can be automated in order to streamline your SEO strategies and practices. That being said, here are a few of the key SEO activities you should automate to save both time and resources for your campaigns.
Keywords play a vital role in your SEO campaign. They are words or phrases your company ranks for in order to improve visibility online, thus allowing your consumers to find you more easily. Companies rank for keywords that are relevant for both their business and their customer intent.
What’s more, companies oftentimes change their keyword strategy based on a keyword’s performance and its ranking on SERPs (Search Engine Rankings Page). Therefore, you must always be up-to-date with how a keyword or keywords your company has opted for is performing.
However, search engines such as Google change and update their algorithms regularly. That’s why you must constantly adjust your SEO efforts in order to ensure good rankings for your keywords. You can automate this process and get weekly updates about keyword performance. That way, you can make more strategic decisions and adjust your campaign if need be.
On-page SEO audit
On-page or on-site SEO is a crucial activity for your campaign. You must regularly audit your website and ensure that all elements are SEO friendly. That way, you help both search engines and users better understand the context and the content on your website’s pages.
However, checking for problems on your website can be quite a daunting task. It may take you days to identify issues, and even then you may not find all of them. Luckily, automation can help you find all issues quite effectively. However, you must rectify the problems on your own. Nevertheless, it will still save you a lot of time. Here’s what automation can help you find.
- Broken or missing internal links
- Duplicate content
- Missing title tags
- Missing meta descriptions
- Unfriendly URLs
- 404 errors
- Redirects, and so on
Tracking the progress of your SEO activities and campaigns is vital. Companies oftentimes track metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to evaluate the performance of their campaigns and determine whether or not their efforts are bearing fruit. SEO activities drive various results you must track in order to determine if your efforts require improvements or not.
Going through the information from numerous metrics can be time-consuming. However, with automation, you can get regular SEO reports that will portray the whole picture. You can automate any analytic report and have it ready in a moment’s notice. This task is essential because you can have reports ready for yourself, shareholders, clients or upper management whenever they’re needed.
The link profile for your SEO strategy is one of the most important factors. According to Google, content and high-quality backlinks share the first place as being the most important ranking factors. Backlinks you create on relevant and reputable sources help build your visibility and exposure, as well as help improve your website’s domain authority.
Backlinks are also the key source that drives traffic to your website. That’s why it’s important to track your backlinks and monitor their performance. However, there are numerous backlinks to check through manually. That’s where automation comes in handy. You can automate backlink tracking and get updates about various factors, such as:
- The number of backlinks pointing towards your website
- The number of dofollow and nofollow links
- The most valuable backlinks
- Domain and page authority of websites
- Link status
- Trust and citation flow
One of the more important activities in SEO is competitive analysis. Your main competitors in SEO aren’t the companies who compete against you in the market but those who outrank you on search engines. Keeping an eye on competitors is vital for the success of your own strategies.
However, the point of a competitive analysis isn’t to copy your main competitors but instead, to identify gaps that can be exploited in order to gain a competitive advantage.
By automating competitive research and analysis, you can be updated about your competitors’ SEO strategies and efforts without wasting time to do it manually. That way, you’ll always have vital information regarding competitor backlink strategy, content creation and publishing, keyword rankings and so on.
Automation in SEO can greatly help your company save time and resources on mundane yet necessary tasks. That way, you can focus more on improving your own campaigns and your efforts instead of falling behind.
Nowadays, every business needs to have a functional website. Websites have become the face of companies and online consumers visit those pages to shop, get informed or educate themselves. That being said, businesses must meet consumer demands, expectations and needs when it comes to website browsing and experience. However, in order to do that, they must first ensure their company websites are visible, accessible and easily findable online. One of the best ways to improve website visibility in the online world is search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is a cost-effective marketing campaign that helps websites rank high on search engines, such as Google. Still, online market is overcrowded and highly competitive. So much in fact, that SEO is now mandatory for businesses instead of just optional. Without SEO, you have no chances of becoming visible online and you’ll only be overshadowed by your competitors. Also, SEO demands constant work to produce viable results, mainly because search engines oftentimes change the rules, as well as make modifications to their algorithms. Therefore, here’s a complete SEO checklist for website owners.
Important SEO aspects
To better understand SEO, you have to understand its aspects. SEO consists of three main categories: technical SEO, on-site SEO and off-site SEO. These activities help you improve your website’s visibility, authority, credibility and awareness online, among other things. Each category serves a specific purpose of helping both your audience and search engines understand your website and the content you produce.
Technical SEO focuses on the functionality of your website. On-site SEO focuses on optimizing your content and pages for search engines. Off-site SEO focuses on activates outside your website that help boost your reputation and trustworthiness. The more effort you place in optimizing your website, the higher rankings it will achieve.
As mentioned before, technical SEO focuses on the functionality and performance of your website. Website elements, such as speed, user-friendliness, responsiveness, security and so on, all influence customer satisfaction, which is one of the primary factors for search engine rankings.
Speed is crucial for bot your website and your consumers. The main reason is that literally no one today can tolerate slow loading web pages. In fact, 67% of consumers will abandon your website if it takes more than two seconds to load.
In addition, 47% of mobile users will abandon the pages if they do not load in three seconds or less. That being said, website speed is a crucial ranking factor, because search engines will penalize you for having a sluggish website. And, the reason they do that is that you’re unable to provide a seamless customer experience on your website, due to it being too slow.
Focusing on mobile users is more important than ever. As a matter of fact, mobile traffic has already surpassed that of desktop, which means that not having a mobile-friendly website is a career suicide these days. Fortunately, you no longer have to maintain two versions of your website. Instead, implementing a responsive design that can adapt to any device and screen size will satisfy all your customers.
Modern consumers are much savvier than they used to be, which means cybersecurity is one of their top concerns. Lacking proper security measures results in ranking penalty from search engines and guarantees that your customers won’t be satisfied with you. Implementing security measures is therefore essential for modern websites. For example, an SSL/TLS certificate is a good way to secure your website and ensure good ranking factors for your website.
On-site SEO are activities with a purpose of optimizing content and web pages on your website to be more SEO friendly. In other words, helping search engines understand the context and the content of your website and its pages. Search engines crawl your website and leverage information they’ve obtained to properly index and display it on search results.
Keywords are an essential aspect of SEO. When it comes to On-site SEO, keywords help match the content on your pages and posts with user intent. In other words, you must rank for keywords your audience most commonly uses when searching for something online.
Keywords must be researched carefully, so that you ensure your efforts are well-placed. If you have difficulties managing this on your own, you can look for the best search agency that can help you out with this task. That way, you’ll ensure that your website is well-ranked and relevant to your audience.
Content is king in the marketing world. Content on your website needs to be excellent and relevant, in order to engage your consumers properly. Content will help inform, educate and even entertain your audience while on your website. That’s why you must optimize it properly and ensure search engines can adequately display it on their results.
Titles, URLs, Metadata
Optimizing pages is important for SEO. Each page, post and piece of information must be optimized properly so that both search engines and your audience can understand it well. For example, include keywords in title tags for your posts so that it can match user intent.
Also, restructure your URLs to help search engines understand the content of your pages. In addition, include detailed information in Metadata descriptions to help your audience understand what your pages are about. Optimizing pages and their elements is essential for SEO and ranking well on search engines.
Off-site SEO are your activities outside your website. Promoting content on other sources serves a purpose of building credibility, domain authority and reputation for your website. Search engines reward websites with good off-site SEO with high rankings. The main reason is that search engines favor websites with good relevance and credibility.
Link building is an SEO activity of creating high-quality inbound links for your website. In short, the content you publish contains a backlink that leads back to your website. You accomplish this by guest posting your content on other relevant and reputable sources, such as other blogs and websites. In fact, backlinks share the first place with content as being the most important ranking factor on Google. The more quality backlinks you have, the higher your rank on search engines.
Even though SEO isn’t directly involved with social media, search engines do prefer websites whose content is popular on social media networks. Likes, shares, tweets and others make your content popular and influence user engagement, which means search engines are more likely to recommend content on their results that is viral on social media. Sharing your content on your own social media pages is a good way to start. You can also leverage influencers to further promote your content and create a much-needed buzz for your posts.
SEO requires a lot of effort, time and dedication before it starts showing viable results. A lot of web owners simply give up before that happens. However, SEO can vastly increase not just your website’s visibility and awareness, but also boost your organic website traffic. In other words, investing in SEO can greatly payoff if you’re willing to make an effort and wait for the results to start showing.
How to Increase Your Web Presence: 4 Strategies
Nowadays, most businesses operate online. That being said, operating in the digital world means that you must have a well-established presence on the web. The main reason is that the market is overcrowded with various other companies that are competing for their customers and their spot on the market. That’s why you need to find a way to stand out. However, even though businesses operate in the digital world, not every company has a good online presence.
Just because your business is out there, it doesn’t mean that people will notice it or become interested for that matter. Building a web presence means that you must make your company recognizable online and known to your audience. Otherwise, you’ll soon be outrun by your competitors. Building online presence takes time and effort. There are various strategies you can implement, but you must plan ahead and determine which strategies are best for your business. Therefore, here are a few powerful strategies to increase your web presence.
Build an awesome website
Websites are the core of every modern business. Without a good website, you have no hopes of developing your business further or increasing your web presence. The main reason is that websites are the face of companies. Your leads will eventually visit your website to browse through your company information, as well as your products or services. If you cannot provide an exceptional experience for your website visitors, you can be sure that they’ll abandon your pages and move elsewhere.
Online consumers have certain needs and expectations when it comes to browsing company websites. In other words, your website must be fast, responsive, easy to navigate, user friendly and safe, among other things. Being able to meet consumer expectations won’t just guarantee their satisfaction. Moreover, satisfied customers will more likely recommend you to friends and family, as well as give out referrals to other consumers. That way, your web presence will experience an increase, thanks to the satisfaction of your customers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a cost-effective marketing strategy that can help you improve your presence online. Not only that, but it can also help you boost your visibility, credibility and exposure in the online world. SEO helps you optimize your website so that it ranks high on search engines, such as Google. Ranking for the right keywords helps your website appear on the first page of search results. That way, your website becomes more accessible and easily findable by your audience.
In addition, content marketing, guest posting and link building are also excellent SEO activities that can help you increase your web presence. However, consulting with an SEO company may be a good idea if you have difficulties effectively leveraging such activities. In addition, SEO takes time before it starts showing viable results and it requires constant improvements because search engine algorithms oftentimes change. That’s why it’s important not to give up on SEO, because sooner or later, you’ll start seeing the benefits of your efforts.
Build presence on social media
One of the best ways to increase your web presence is through social media platforms. The main reason is that social media allows you to directly communicate with your target audience, while you effectively build awareness for your business in the meantime. Actively engaging in conversations with your audience on social media allows you to establish more personal relationships with them. After all, the more familiar people are with your business, the better your presence and visibility will be.
However, when building presence on social media, it’s important to determine which social media channels your audience prefers. That way, you can focus on networks that have value to your business, instead of wasting resources on building presence on every social network out there. In addition, you can leverage influencer marketing to gain more publicity and exposure. That way, you’ll increase your web presence by having an influencer supporting your business on social media.
Publish amazing content
Content can easily increase your web presence and help you position yourself as an industry expert. Good content is widely accepted by online consumers and it’s always a good way to deliver value to audiences, while gaining recognition in return. However, you must focus on relevancy and quality of your content. The more relevant and useful your content is, the more impact it will have.
That’s why it’s important to ensure that your content is authoritative, informative, educational and entertaining. Otherwise, it won’t yield the results you need to increase your web presence. If you’re not a well-versed writer or you feel preoccupied with some other aspects of your online marketing strategy, you should consider outsourcing your content to an outside agency. They have both the knowledge and the tools needed to create a solid content creation and promotion plan for you and tailor it to your goals. Remember, only impeccable content can go viral and take your marketing efforts to the next level.
Building and improving your online presence requires a lot of dedication and effort. Not everything you do will get you the positive publicity you need to make your business famous. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and develop a good strategy that will increase your web presence in the best way possible.
Content Marketing for E-Commerce
Over the past few years, content marketing/writing has been used by major brands worldwide to increase web traffic and brand awareness. These days, brands cannot expect to expand their work by simply making a website and listing their products; therefore, content writing plays a key role. Well-written content engages the audience in the brand and helps generate sales.
Planning to use content marketing/writing for your e-commerce business? Here are some ways to engage your audience while ensuring your blog ranks as high as possible in the eyes of Google/search engines.
Content Marketing for E-Commerce
– Our Tips
Engage your Audience
Starting with introducing your product or jumping right into your brand can tend to make your audience uncomfortable. Start with something different”
- A story: Stories are always fun and if you put some humor in it, there is a high chance that people will continue reading it.
- A video: An audiovisual way of communication is always better than just reading.
- Memes: It’s been trending on the internet lately and is a really good way to engage teenagers.
Search Engine Optimization
Most of the people start searching for their products in search engines like Google and if your website rank isn’t in the first or second page; there are high chances you won’t be getting enough leads. SEO strategy helps to improve your ranking on those pages and once they find your page and see that your content is engaging, chances of conversion increases.
PPC stands for Pay per Click and it is recommended to use this along with SEO. This technique helps:
- Advertise your product on a platform like Google AdWords
- Use competitive and most searched keywords
- You add your ads depending on the keywords searched by users then you set a bid according to your willingness to pay for each click.
Don’t Force Product Placement
As we already mentioned, thrusting your products into people’s face isn’t the answer. If you follow step 1, you can slip in your product on audience’s mind within the story for e.g.
- If your brand offers a washing machine, you can make the hero wash his clothes in the middle of the story using that washing machine. In this way, you are not focusing just on your product but you are also promoting it.
- You can also add photos to a person holding your brand and below you can mention a link to the same product.
Maybe you are doing everything right and you still notice that people don’t visit your website much. Then you have to focus on the keywords. Two main tools that can help you come with relevant keywords are:
- Google AdWords: Here you can search for any phrase or word and Google will suggest a list of relevant keywords and also it tells the average month’s searches and the competition (either high, low, medium) with respect to that word.
- Serpstat: This works by scanning your competitors ranking and finding those keywords that made their content in high ranking and not yours.
Developers, who are experts in building a website, often don’t understand the importance of SEO keywords. In fact, a good keyword can help you rank on the first page of Google.
We can’t stress enough about the importance of this. If your content is not regarding current situations or upcoming events, there are high chances it’s going to get ignored. The easy way to stay relevant is to talk about events: which can be divided in to-
- General holidays: e.g. Christmas, Thanksgiving etc. Again this will need a lot of research may be up to a month. You can introduce discount offers, gift hampers, provide various discount coupons or maybe share a cooking recipe for the big festival. As far as it’s relevant and going to attract people.
Fun holidays: Now this one doesn’t need a lot of research. These events usually involve prom days, farewell parties, the first day of spring. You can introduce your brand accordingly e.g. clothes that could be heavy or light depending on the occasion you are introducing it.
Desktops’ surfing is highly replaced by smartphones, which means most of the searches and readings are done on phones rather than desktop where the entire website is made and most of the time when these websites are opened on phone, they become slow or worse unresponsive.
- Make sure your website responses well on phone as well.
- Resize your content according to phone screens as well. Doing so can make your target audience satisfied and hence your sales can increase.
A good e-commerce site is the foundation of an efficient site. It is important for e-commerce sites to stay up for more than 99.99% time. If your site often experiences downtime, then you can lose a large number of visitors yet buyers
Social Media Marketing
There are multiple social media sites used by millions of people around the world. If you are familiar with the most famous one and you keep updating your content on them, there are higher chances of people stumbling upon it while scrolling down their newsfeed. Here are some of the famous sites:
- Facebook: Although it’s a bit older than the other sites we will mention, it’s still equally famous and is updated from time to time. There is a loyal fan base plus they have introduced a Facebook live option where you can simultaneously get feedback from your users.
- Instagram: This site is useful if you have great pictures of your product. Good visual representation of your product can result in the number of followers and buyers.
- Twitter: A really famous website, used by film stars and other popular individuals. You can add a short description of your product and add a link for people to follow.
- YouTube: This one is used for making videos. Videos are an excellent means of communication and engaging your audience. Also if they subscribe to your channel and open notifications, they are notified each time you update anything new.
All of these websites will increase engagement of your audience. Also, all of them offer a “Share” option which can help your content to reach from one person to several thousand people. Especially with Facebook group option, you can simultaneously address a large chunk of the audience by just one post.
The above-mentioned tips if followed along with devotion and excellent research capacities can help you generate a great number of new people as well as you can keep your present customers engaged by writing about things they value.
Mobile devices became an important part of people’s private lives, but the increasing usage of smartphones also forced companies to invest in this segment of the business. Mobile browsing already makes more than half of Internet usage globally, which is why 61% of marketers use responsive web design as part of their mobile SEO strategy.
If you want to build a sustainable and long-term business, you have to embrace the same concept and optimize a website for the mobile experience. In this post, we will show you the best mobile SEO rules you need to remember making an app design, for this using resources online such as Boston Bill SEO Agency could be really helpful for this.
Simple Design and Clear CTA
A mobile user interface is relatively small, so you need to create a simple design to avoid confusion. Make a small display adding relevant information only. This means you have to reduce and shorten menu items and also highlight CTA links or buttons. It’s the only way to ensure easy navigation through the user interface, allowing visitors to engage with your content.
Mind the Keywords
Regardless of the device, keywords represent an essence of SEO. Your content needs to fulfill basic keyword principles to be discovered by search engines:
- Keyword rich text: Make sure to add enough keywords and theme-related phrases to the content. Online tools and services like aussiewritings.com can help you write content that satisfies state-of-the-art SEO standards.
- Add keywords to titles: Each title must contain a primary keyword near the beginning to boost the SEO potential of your posts.
- Images: Write keyword-based image descriptions to enable search engines to recognize the visual content.
Design for Big Fingers
It may sound strange, but you have to pay attention to this detail as well. It would be perfect if everybody had thin and gentle fingers, but in reality you must design apps that work well for people with big and wide fingers, thumbs in particular. Doing so, you don’t chase away a large portion of visitors who don’t feel comfortable with app design.
Page Load Speed
Page load speed is paramount for mobile optimization. Traditional websites have been designed to fit the needs of laptops and desktop computers, so they underperform on mobile devices. Most users give up opening a website if they have to wait for more than 3 seconds, which means that you must dedicate extra attention to mobile performance. In order to avoid this issue, we suggest you test load speed on all devices before launching a site.
Create Landing Pages
As a serious business, you will probably run a lot of marketing campaigns to expand the base of customers. But you can’t keep adding new elements to the existing pages, so you should create a special landing page for each one of your campaigns. This helps you to keep all pages simple and minimalistic, but also appealing enough for the users to take action.
Mobile pop-ups recently became one of the search engine’s biggest enemies. Bearing in mind the size of the user interface, Google realized that intrusive pop-ups make the situation even worse. That’s why they decided to knock down the ranking of all websites that use this kind of advertising. The only thing you are allowed to use is age check or similar forms.
Limited Forms and Inputs
Pop-ups are not the only problematic element in the mobile design. Although not forbidden, registration forms and similar inputs will burden your app in case you don’t position them properly. You should not add more than one form on any given page, but even then you should try to save space by limiting the size of those inputs.
Compress Multimedia Content
Multimedia features such as videos or audio content can drastically slow down website performance, especially its mobile version. For this reason, you should create shorter videos or podcasts and compress them to make the least impact possible. It’s even better if you can avoid this kind of content, but if not – make sure to optimize it for the mobile experience.
Test on All Devices
The user interface looks different on different devices. Display size varies from smartphone to smartphone, while data processing depends on the software version. It can distort content and make it useless, so you have to test performance on all devices. Once the analysis is over, you can officially publish your mobile app.
Mobile usage drastically increased in the last decade, opening a brand new marketing battlefield for modern companies. Today, it is impossible to build a successful business without a good smartphone app. In this post, we showed you the best mobile SEO rules you need to remember making an app design.
Did you already implement these tactics? Which one plays the most important role in your business?
How To Get To Number 1 On Google Using SEO
When looking for a business in your vicinity that will sell you a perfect toy for your kids’ birthday or fix your favorite pair of shoes, where do you find it?
You search for it online, I suppose.
And, your customers will do the same.
Namely, studies show that 50% of the consumers that conduct local searches via mobile visit the store within a day.
This is exactly why you need to make your store more visible to your potential customers. And, to do so, you need to invest in a solid SEO strategy.
Here are a few local SEO techniques that will help you lift your rankings in the SERPs and drive more traffic to your site.
Write SEO-friendly and Unique Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
On-page SEO is immensely important for your ranking. The idea behind it is simple- once you do your keyword research and find all relevant phrases you want to rank for, you need to optimize your page elements for them.
And your title and meta descriptions are a brilliant starting point. These are HTML elements that get displayed in search results and tell both search engines and your customers what your webpage is about.
Writing these tags is considered pure art. In today’s highly competitive landscape, where there are numerous businesses similar to yours, optimizing their sites just like you, you need to stand out. Otherwise, you won’t engage your potential customers and your click-through rate will suffer.
Now that Google’s main search results are is 600px wide, every character you write is precious. You need to make sure your text won’t be cut off. Even though this may not be that dangerous for your SEO, it does look extremely unprofessional and unappealing. So, your text needs to be concise and, at the same time, informative.
- Your title tag should be approximately 50-60 characters long, while your meta description should be between 160 and 200 characters.
- To reach your local customers, add the name of the city or the area your business serves (SEO agency Chicago, Chicago SEO agency, etc.).
- Focus on implementing just one targeted keyword to both your title tag and meta description. Your aim is to place it close to the beginning of the tag.
Optimize your Site to Make It User-Friendly and Crawlable
To drive more traffic, convert customers, and jump to the first page of Google, your site needs to be impeccable. First, it needs to be user-friendly and easy-to-navigate. Second, its structure should allow Googlebot to crawl and index it effortlessly.
Apart from writing sweet title and meta description tags, here are some other elements of your website you should definitely optimize:
- Your domain name needs to be short, meaningful, easy-to-remember, and unique. Just like your business’ name, your domain name needs to be brandable. To make sure no one steals your branding idea, you could even consider completing your company registration, business name registration, and domain registration at once.
- The 2016 Google’s report highlights that 30% of all mobile searches is related to a company’s location. So, optimizing your site for mobile searchers is inevitable and it means adding easy-to-spot CTAs, making your forms simple to click on and fill in, boosting your site’s load speed, and making your phone number easily clickable.
- Add a map to help your customers find you.
- Show your most prominent customers’ testimonials. It’s not a secret that customers trust each other more than brands.
- Use Schema for local businesses to tell search engines what your site is about and showing that it is a local business and not a huge corporation.
- Make sure your NAP (your name, address, phone number) is prominent and correct.
Produce Quality Local Content to Earn Links
In today’s era of sophisticated Google’s algorithms and their initiative to penalize every spammy and unnatural SEO practice, earning links is directly related to creating top-quality content. It is what makes you authoritative and sets you apart from your rivals.
Start a blog
Start with building a blog on your site’s domain.
When optimizing your posts for search engines, ensure you implement local city and neighborhood information. To make your reach a bit wider, you should also include neighboring places and unofficial terms local customers use.
If there are any local news and events relevant to your business, elaborate them in your articles. This form of information is not only extremely valuable to your SEO, but also to your sites’ authority.
If you participate in charity events, sponsor any teams, or support any organizations relevant to what you do, make sure you let your customers know about it.
Most importantly, never focus on writing about your business. Instead, make your content insightful, engaging, and highly informative.
Sooner or later, people will start to see the value of your content and link to it naturally. And, as you already know, backlinks are the most prominent localized organic-ranking factor.
We all know that link building is the basis of every powerful SEO strategy. According to Moz’s research, link signals are the most significant localized ranking factor.
So, to boost your rankings, you need to have a detailed link building strategy.
Here are a few techniques you may want to try out:
- Start with publishing on relevant sites in your niche.
- Mention influential people in your niche in your piece of content and ask them to share it on their blog or social networks.
- Leave insightful comments on authoritative sites and blogs. Don’t overstuff your comments with links. Instead, aim to provide their followers with relevant information and answers.
- Find broken links on important blogs in your niche and offer your content as a relevant replacement.
A recent research shows that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, while 7 out of 10 will review your business, if asked.
The reason why people love reviews is that they tell them honestly if you’re good as you say you are.
So, the first thing you need to do is check your reviews.
If you have anything less than four or five stars on all major review sites, well, that’s bad.
Your poor ratings will drive your target audience off, triggering the drop in your brand authority and revenue.
On the other hand, by boosting your score by just one star, you will skyrocket your cash flow by 10%.
Now, getting reviews requires a long-term strategy you’ll have to stick to for the life of your company.
Once you receive negative reviews (You will. Everyone does.), make sure you remain professional while answering them. Also, use them to improve your business and provide your customers with impeccable products or services.
Now, where to get reviewed?
- Amazon Customer Reviews
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
Pro tip: When asking your customers for reviews, don’t ask for too many of them. A huge inflow of positive reviews may seem suspicious and may get you removed from some of these platforms.
Over to You
The number of your competitors is constantly rising. Precisely because of this, the only way to reach the first page in the SERPs is to invest heavily in local SEO. It will not only help you boost your rankings and traffic, but also turn your leads into conversions and boost your brand’s authority.
Your client’s website may be aesthetically-pleasing and ranking on top positions, but does it provide a good user experience?
This is one of the things that digital marketing agencies need to understand and an important task that any white label service provider needs to fulfill. You can’t get away with simply making a website attractive. Your client’s website needs to serve the purpose of their visitors, create an emotional connection when they interact with it, and take them on the journey from being someone who’s simply browsing the website to becoming a customer. And if you’ve done it right, visitors will return to it. More visitors can lead to more business for your clients, and this means plus points for your agency. That’s what a great user experience is all about.
The moment customers lose interest in your client’s website is the moment you should start thinking about changing things up. Not only in how the site looks, but in how it makes visitors feel. Everything you do to be successful in your online marketing efforts must focus on your users. To do that, here are a few things you need to understand first:
User Experience is not All About Usability
“My website has a two-step sign up process that’s easy for visitors to use; therefore my website has a great user experience.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
It’s common for some to think that making it easier for visitors to navigate a website means having a great user experience. But here’s what you need to know about user experience: usability is not equal to user experience. It’s one aspect that affects the entirety of user experience.
To fit usability into user experience, you need to answer the following:
- Is it easy for visitors to familiarize themselves with the website the first time they land on it?
- Can users move through the sequence of actions seamlessly?
- Is it easy for visitors to achieve their goals by using the website?
- Does the website prompt user recall the next time visitors use it?
If your answer to these questions is “No”, you need to analyze the website’s usability and fine-tune it to provide a better user experience.
Don’t Just Focus on SEO
Because search engines know when you do.
One of the things Google believes to be true is you have to “focus on the user and all else will follow.” And this is why the old ways of SEO—stuffing a page with as many keywords as possible—won’t work anymore. Google knows when you’re just in it for the rankings, not for the users.
This doesn’t mean you’re going to abandon SEO altogether. You still need to optimize your client’s website to be found by customers.
When I say that you don’t only focus on SEO, what I mean is you should focus on an SEO strategy that marries well with user experience. At the end of the day, you need a strategy that brings results and will make your clients happy.
A solid SEO and user experience strategy focuses on: who the target users are, what motivates them to interact with the site, and what their intentions are (or what they hope to accomplish on the site).
1. Knowing who the users are
SEO allows you to drive traffic to a website. But, here’s the catch: you don’t just drive any traffic. You need qualified traffic. How do you go about this? By better familiarizing yourself with who the target users are.
In fact, knowing your users is not just an important step in SEO and user experience design—it provides you with a springboard for your entire digital marketing strategy. You start knowing who your users are by identifying the following:
- Site usage patterns: Do users have a pattern they follow when they visit your client’s site? Hotjar allows you to check for a pattern that users take when they’re on a website. By knowing this, you can configure your client’s website to match user interaction.
- First click habit: What’s the first thing they click when they land on the site? If users are able to complete one task after the other from that first click alone, you can discern that pattern and identify more opportunities from it.
2. Identifying their intent and optimizing for it
A sound SEO and user experience strategy is not just about making a website rank, but actually getting users to click. And you do this by identifying the intent behind a user’s query. After all, what good will it do if your client’s site is ranking but isn’t aligned with the intent of their target users?
How do you identify and optimize for user intent?
- Top queries: If you haven’t dived into Search Console, now’s the time to do it. Looking at the top queries that your client’s site is getting allows you to understand what their target audience is searching for. Once you have a better grasp of this, you can start tweaking on-site elements (well-written headings, CTAs, and Meta tags) to match user intent.
- Content: As user experience is all about making visitors feel good about the website, having content that speaks to the intent of users is crucial. Think of it this way: when a user clicks on a link and finds that your content doesn’t match their expectations, you’re bound to lose them right from the start. Just like Rand Fishkin said, content that addresses the needs of users shouldn’t get buried under tons of content that’s talking about something completely different from what they’re looking for.
- Segmented landing pages: You can’t direct a user intending to purchase to an informational page, and you can’t direct a user looking for information to a checkout page—that simply breaks the funnel. When you’re optimizing for user intent, be mindful of where you’re directing users in the website.
The User Experience Journey Doesn’t Always Start from One Point
Most websites are designed with user experience starting at the homepage, and that’s where the problem lies. A user’s initial entry point isn’t always the homepage. If you’ve designed the user experience journey in a way that only caters to the homepage, you’re missing tons of opportunities.
This is where your creativity comes in. You need to map the flow and think of the different ways that will lead users to their goals. Combine what you’ve learned previously – who the target users are and what are their intentions. Using this as a guide, you can then determine the following:
- Where they come from (can be through organic search results, banner ads, emails, etc.)
- Where they will land on the website
- What processes are needed to fulfill their goals
By mapping out the user experience flow, you can fix what’s broken in the funnel and create a solid framework that offers maximum conversions.
Why do we optimize for the best user experience? We go back to the statement: everything you do for your online marketing efforts should focus on the user. It’s not all about the brand, but what users expect from that brand. And brands have the responsibility to meet those expectations. At the end of it, the “me, me, me” strategy isn’t going to cut it if your clients are seeking more attention from their audience.
Web Design Stats 2018
A business website is a veritable necessity today, and you may have been thinking about creating a new website for your business this year. These are some of the top web design statistics for 2018 that could help you to create an amazing and truly beneficial website.
Having a Website
1. As many as 29% of small businesses have not yet created a professional website. – Clutch.co
2. Small businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue are 30% less likely to have a website than businesses with higher annual revenue. – Clutch.co
3. Approximately half of website visitors are interested in the “About Us” page on a business website, and 65% view the business’s contact information. – Vendasta
The simple fact that your business has a professional website can be a boost to your business activity. For example, a website legitimizes your business to potential customers who are not familiar with it. It also makes your business visible through SEO and provides your contact information in the same way a phone book did a few decades ago. More than that, a website is always accessible to provide information to potential customers even when your office is closed.
User Experience (UX)
When designing a new business website, understand that the user experience that you create is just as critical as the visual identity that you establish online. Your website should be functional and easy to navigate as well as pleasing to the eye. An innovative website will be veritably useless if your customers do not know how to interact with it.
4. The customer experience that you provide will be the most important branding feature, passing both price and product by 2020. – VisionCritical
5. 95% of users indicated that a positive user experience is the most important factor when they visit a website. – Econsultancy
6. Your website’s conversion rate could increase by 200 to 400% with a well-designed interface. – Forrester
7. There is a $100 return for every dollar that your company invests in your website’s user experience. – Forrester
If you are not sold on the importance of investing in user experience, be aware that ESPN.com saw an astounding 35% profit increase after updating their homepage design based on user feedback.
Consumers today want instant gratification when using the Internet, and they can become very frustrated with websites that load slowly. If your website loads too slowly, your users may click away before even seeing your full website design.
More than that, Google uses your website’s load speed in part to determine its ranking. Specifically, if your server takes more than two seconds to respond, Google will reduce the number of crawlers that visit your website. These are a few website speed statistics to focus on:
8. Slow loading times for images cause 39% of users to stop engagement with a website. If delays are encountered during peak traffic times, 75% of users will click off the page and head to competitors’ websites. – Adobe
9. The problem of slow website speeds results in $2.6 billion in annual lost sales. – Econsultancy.
10. 47% of users believe that a website should not take more than two seconds to load. – Akami
11. Your conversion rate can decrease by seven percent if there is even a one-second delay. On the other hand, if you increase load speed from eight seconds to two seconds, your conversation rate could skyrocket by 74%. – Akami
To learn how fast your current website’s load time is, use PageSpeed. This is a free analysis and reporting tool offered by Google, and it provides separate reports for your desktop and mobile users.
As important as load time and the overall user experience are, the overall aesthetics are also critical. Users may make a decision about whether or not to do business with your company within less than a second of viewing your website. An appealing website design will encourage your visitors to spend more time browsing it. Take note of these website design statistics:
12. The first impression users have of a website are as much as 94% design-related. – Northumbria and Sheffield Universities
13. A single bad experience on a website makes users 88% less likely to visit the website again. – Gomez
14. 75% of user judgment about your business’s credibility is based on your website’s design. – University of Surrey
15. Approximately 38% of users who believe imagery or layout are not appealing will stop engaging with the website. – Adobe
16. Approximately 55% of users look at lists without bullets, and 70% of viewers look at lists with bullets. – Vendasta
A responsive website is one that provides the same user experience on any type of device. These are a few statistics you should know regarding responsive design:
17. 90% of consumers use multiple devices to visit the same website. – Google and IPSOS
18. 39% of a user’s time is on a desktop platform, and 61% of a user’s time is on a mobile platform. – Global Mobile Report
19. As many as 74% of users may return to a website again if it is properly optimized for mobile usage. – Google
20. 61% of users may develop a better opinion of a company if its website delivers a positive mobile experience. – Vendasta
The bottom line is that your business can suffer if your website is not responsive on both mobile and desktop platforms. More than that, your website may have better search engine rankings when it is appropriately optimized. This is also critical for a positive user experience and a faster load time.
At first glance, you may think that designing a great website for your business is about having an e-commerce platform or an informative site about your company’s services. While these factors are important, you can see that many elements of website design are critical. These factors can have far-reaching effects on your business’s bottom line.
eCommerce websites are becoming more and more popular and prevalent by the day, creating a thriving and competitive market. Although the market is growing, the competition means that it can be difficult for new and existing eCommerce businesses to break through the barrier and get themselves seen and heard. Unfortunately, this can only inevitably lead those businesses to be pushed out of the market. We’ve put together 3 strategies that will make your eCommerce website stand out, and be successful. As with most businesses, time and effort are required, but it will certainly pay off in the long run.
1. Choose the right web host: First and foremost, you must ensure that you choose the right web host for your eCommerce site. There are many web hosting companies to choose from, all offering similar plans and features, but knowing which one is right for you can be difficult, especially if the thought hadn’t even crossed your mind! Here are a few things to consider when deciding on your web host:
- Uptime guarantee – Ensure that your web host has an uptime guarantee, or at least a very good uptime record if they can’t provide a guarantee. Providing your customers, as an eCommerce website, with a site that is available at all times is essential to maintaining a loyal user base, and encourages more traffic to your business’s website.
- Speed – It’s a well-known fact that website visitors are impatient; if your website doesn’t load within 3 seconds, your users and your conversion rate will rapidly decrease. If your web host’s servers aren’t up to scratch or don’t perform well, this could be a huge detriment to your eCommerce website.
- Features – Does your web host offer 1-click installs, such as WordPress, Shopping Carts, etc.? Getting the most for your money is obviously important when purchasing any product or service, but is especially true when choosing your web host. If you’re just starting out your eCommerce journey, you may be surprised at how easy it is to create a website with an online store, with integrated cart and payment facilities all from your web host.
Choosing the right web host is often not something that’s on the top of every eCommerce business’ list, but it really should be. If your website doesn’t load fast enough or isn’t visible to your users, how are you going to generate any business to ensure your eCommerce site is successful? If choosing a web host is a bit of a minefield, there are plenty of hosting reviews available and designed for you to make an informed decision.
2. Implement and update SEO: As we’ve already mentioned, the eCommerce market is rapidly growing and is very competitive, so implementing a solid SEO strategy and keeping on top of it is another high priority task to ensure your website is successful. SEO can be complicated, but there are lots of guides on the internet to help you get on your way.
One of the key things to remember is to keep your SEO updated; we can’t stress this enough. If your SEO is not updated, then your conversion rates will decrease, as well as traffic to your website, and potentially your customer base. Google’s SERP factors are constantly evolving, so your SEO strategy must evolve with it. What you thought was successful last year, may get penalized this year, so research is a must. If SEO is not your specialty, or you’re finding it too hard to keep on top of, don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help. There are plenty of SEO professionals available to take your eCommerce website to the next level, and are certainly worth investing in, even if it is to get your feet off the ground.
3. Optimise for Mobile: As of January 2017, Statista confirmed that 90% of Japan’s mobile phone users were using their phones to access the internet; with 87% in the U.K., and 73% in the U.S. Those figures are quite extraordinary, but they pack a punch, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. When over 70% of a country are using their mobile phones to browse websites, you’ll want to make sure that your eCommerce site is mobile optimized.
If your eCommerce site is not mobile friendly, you could be losing out on a huge customer base, and giving away potential users to your competition – don’t let that happen! Responsive website design doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact, most CMS providers, such as WordPress, have themes and templates at the ready with very little effort required from you. Once created, there are a range of tools available on the internet to confirm how well your eCommerce website is optimized for mobile, outlining areas for improvement if required.
How do you build links to your website?
Every online business wants to reach the top and be the best on the market. That’s why the online market is so overcrowded in the first place. Nevertheless, the competition is ongoing and businesses implement different strategies that will help them reach the top regardless. One such strategy is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which helps businesses rank high on search engines and appear on the first page of search results. That way, businesses can improve their online visibility and allow their potential customers to easily find them online.
Link building is one of the most important SEO activities. Even though search engines change their algorithms often, thus changing the rules for SEO, it’s estimated that backlinks still account for around 80% of ranking factors for websites. The main reason backlinks are so important is that they build credibility and reputation of a website they link to; this is why it’s important that they come from reputable sources. Here are a few ways backlinks can boost your website traffic.
Build authority with backlinks
Backlinks are hyperlinks on a specific web page that point back to your website. Simply put, your website will appear on various web pages as a reference for further exploration or as a source of additional information. The more reputable and relevant backlink sources – i.e. websites that point back to you – will provide higher quality backlinks. Many business owners believe they’ll improve their SEO ranking by creating as many backlinks as they can, wherever they can.
However, that’s not the case. In fact, search engines, such as Google, penalize this activity. Instead of spamming backlinks, you should focus on building authority by creating high-quality backlinks. That means you should find websites and blogs that already have good reputation and authority, and are relevant to your niche to create backlinks on. This will undoubtedly build your own authority as you’ll be recommended by reputable sources. Not just that, but the audience on those sources will deem you worthy of attention and will want to check out what you have to offer.
Engage in guest posting
Guest posting on other websites or blogs is a great way to build relationships with popular people in your industry and for creating top-quality backlinks. Basically, guest posting is an opportunity to write and publish articles on someone else’s blog or website. However, you’ll have to find the right blogger or a webmaster and convince them to allow you to share your content.
You could use a reliable link building tool to help you identify prospects that are the most valuable to you and design a compelling outreach message. Furthermore, the content you want to publish has to be high-quality if you want your backlinks to have any real value. That means that the content has to be relevant, creative, informative and entertaining. That way, the audience from the blog or website you’re currently guest posting at, will find your content interesting enough to explore further and even check out your links.
Fix broken links
Broken link building is a great method for creating quality backlinks for your website and for boosting your web traffic. So what exactly is broken link building? Basically, you search for links that are no longer live on websites and blogs that are relevant to your industry and ask bloggers or webmaster to allow you to replace those broken links with links of your own. However, the content you provide has to be relevant to the content that was hosted on the broken link.
That way, you’ll help the webmasters fix their broken links, while you’ll also have an opportunity to create backlinks. Not only will you have backlinks on multiple sources, which will boost your web traffic, but you’ll also find out that it’s easier to fix a broken link than it is to create a new one. For instance, alerting a webmaster about a broken link may take a lot less time to generate a response than waiting for a response to an outreach mail.
Post content on social media
Social media is essential for every online business today. Various businesses build their presence on social networks and publish their content in order to drive engagement in their target audience. However, social links do not account for search ranking factors, but they can indeed boost your website traffic. Creating backlinks on social media can generate a lot of referral traffic to your website, especially if your content goes viral on social networks.
On the other hand, your social profiles do in fact rank in the search engines, so if someone searches for you by name or brand, chances are your social accounts may appear in the search results. Therefore, it’s important to maintain your social activity and publish content that will generate backlinks for your website on social media. Your social links may not influence your search rank, but they’ll definitely get people to visit your website.
Backlinks are one of the most important aspects of every SEO strategy. Not only do they improve online credibility, but they also boost website traffic by increasing the reach and exposure of online businesses. Having high-quality backlinks can greatly improve your business success, not to mention that search engines favor businesses that have quality backlinks as well.
Get to Know these Web Acronyms
Acronyms acronyms acronyms! Today it seems we’re drowning in a sea of acronyms. Everybody uses them in business. Some people use them for good, for example, to explain perhaps an otherwise complicated thing that requires some simplification. Others use them for bad, as a smokescreen to keep clients in the dark. Most of us, however, just misuse them because we take for granted that, when we engage in tech-speak, not everyone knows what we’re talking about. To the average “Joe,” this stuff is not innate knowledge.
This article is inspired by a recent WordPress training session we had with a client. After several months of working very closely with this client on their new Go Media Designer Site, they asked, “What’s a CMS? And do we have one?” A perfectly normal question to ask under any other circumstance. But with it being nine months into the project, it was a major red flag. It was at that moment when we realized that we hadn’t done a good job explaining things to them early in the process. We vowed to do something about it.
Go Media believes that the process of creating beautiful and intuitive, fully responsive websites should be presented in a manner that is easy to understand. Any self-respecting web design and web development team worth its salt sees the value in explaining “tech speak” to their clients.
In an effort to clear the smoke and mirrors, as well as the hocus pocus behind the business of web design and web development, we give you our Top 6 Web Development Acronyms explained:
Once again, this is the acronym that inspired this very article. CMS is short for Content Management System. A Content Management System is a computer application that supports the creation and modification of digital content (i.e., all the stuff that goes on your company’s website). A CMS is the very thing (i.e., application) on which your website is built. Here at Go Media, we’re big believers in WordPress for Web Design and Development. It’s our personal favorite. Just sayin’.
Short for User Experience, UX literally refers to the more palatable, emotional response we have toward the devices, gadgets, systems, and platforms we interact with on a daily basis. When it comes to building the perfect website (one that possesses beauty and functionality in spades), UX is HUGE! Providing a comfortable, rewarding UX experience through beautiful, fully responsive web design (see Go Media Designer Sites) that’s fun to use is what we strive for.
Short for User Interface, this rather beautiful, perfectly contoured little acronym kind of looks like the very thing it refers to. User interface can be a thing of beauty. At its core, it concerns the way in which people interact with your website and just how user-friendly your website is. The quality of a website’s UI is really determined by how well the site is designed.
User Interface can also be very compelling, because, in order to fully understand it, you start getting into the emotional and physical responses that individuals have to your website. For our purposes, however, we’ll cut to the chase. Translation: Your website should feel intuitive and easy to use, and it should look good too. Seek out the Web Designer who possesses the skill to create a dashing website that is beautiful with a satisfying user interface. Beware the web designer who neglects to tell you exactly what UI means.
Pronounced like “gooey”, the GUI, or Graphical User Interface is UI’s kid brother. Graphical User interface refers to the overall look and feel of your website and all the little things [represented as graphic elements] that visitors to your website can click on to access information: icons, menus, buttons, images & video, etc.
At Go Media, we take GUI very seriously (despite the fact that it kinda reminds us of salt water taffy, which we love by the way). In addition to being talented Cleveland Web Developers, we’re also accomplished graphic designers. The two go together like hand and glove. GUI is what happens when we put our heads together. The overall look and feel of your website plays a major factor in the success of your business. Seek out the Web Design firm who understand the importance of getting GUI right!
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the search rankings of your website through a series of metrics and procedures such as keyword analysis, code optimization, onsite optimization, and link building. Confused? You’re not alone.
At its most basic, SEO is simply a matter of taking the right steps to improve your website’s global profile. In terms of marketing your business these days, SEO is THE hot property. More and more businesses see the value in it. The process of “getting optimized” as we like to call it is necessary in managing an effective online strategy for your business.
Short for Call to Action – a CTA is a prompt on a website that tells the user to take some specified action, such as ‘Read More’, ‘Contact Us’, or ‘Buy Now’. The CTA generally takes the form of a button or what is known as a hyperlink (i.e., a special link that visitors to your website can either click, tap, or hover over to access other parts of your website).
So there you have it. Hopefully we debunked some of the mysteries behind these common but confusing acronyms. Heck, if you found this article helpful (and we hope you did), print it out and take it with you the next time you’re in the market for a new website. To paraphrase the great Sy Syms, “An educated consumer is the best customer.”
Plan on building a website for your business? Don’t get lost in a sea of acronyms. Drop us a line. We’ll remove the guesswork.
How Strategic Branding Can Help your Business
One way to stand out from the competition and make a mark on the internet for your business is through strategic branding. You’ve likely noticed branding via offline platforms, which is when companies use a tagline or some other identifying tactic to keep the brand in the mind of consumers. Think about some of the billboards you pass on a typical day, for example. However, branding on the internet is an entirely different game.
With so many different choices on methods for branding online, it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true ways to brand online that will benefit your business and not cost you much out of your overall marketing budget.
- Develop a Street Team
Street teams originally started out as a way for the music industry to promote artists, but has developed into a method that all types of businesses use. About 33 percent of consumers say they trust a message from a company, which isn’t great, but 90 percent of consumers trust a recommendation from someone they know, even if they just know the person in passing.
This is where your street team comes into play. You should have a database of fans who will go out and tell others about your company and products. This can include social media influencers, people who have been customers for many years and brand ambassadors who you send free products in exchange for their word-of-mouth advertising.
Red Bull utilizes a street team/brand ambassadors to get the word out about its product. The way it has implemented its strategy is to have tiers within the team all the way down to student ambassadors who will recommend the product to their friends.
- Content Marketing
91 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing to promote to potential clients, making it one of the most popular B2B online marketing methods. You’ve probably heard that content is king, and in some ways, this still holds true.
However, you have to ensure the content speaks to your target audience and provides some value to them. Gone are days where businesses could keyword-stuff a page, drive traffic and find success. Today’s savvy business owners expect and demand value for their time.
- Make Connections
Small businesses need a convenient way to get active online and begin building that brand image. One key thing is figuring out how to connect with other small businesses, but statistics show that businesses with better listings receive as much as 347 percent more searches than those with subpar listings. A company called Manta helps with Google AdWords placement, figuring out SEO for local listings, social media timing, online reviews and preparing for mobile search traffic.
One example of a company using this platform is Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services. The company specializes as a developer of industrial sites and office buildings, so the ability to connect with other businesses is a real help.
- Social Media
Get everyone in the company versed in how to use social media to promote the business and then allow those who seem to be savvy to promote on your behalf.
Studies show that leads that are generated by employees via social media are about seven times more likely to have high conversion rates. The key is training employees on what to say and what not to say or to simply ask them to retweet and share.
- Customer Service on Social Media
Every day, there are 2.1 million negative social media posts about U.S. brands, which means people are very likely to go online and voice their complaints. Since your goal is to please your customer and show others you care about your customers, it is a smart move to hire customer service specialists to handle social media complaints. The reps simply reach out to those complaining and offer to fix the issue.
JetBlue airlines is an excellent case study of how to use social media to respond to your customers in a pleasing way. When customers complain, it immediately responds, asks for flight info and provides an update.
- Persistence Pays
A person has to see your branding approximately five to seven times before they remember it, as a rule of thumb. Of course there are exceptions to that rule, but it goes to show that you need to put your eggs in more than one basket when it comes to online marketing. Think about where your target demographic hangs out online. If most of them are on Pinterest and a specific crafting site, then that is where you’ll advertise, as well as by using AdWords with a similar keyword range.
- Mobile-Friendly Emails
The number of people using mobile devices to access emails has risen by 180 percent over a three-year period. With more and more people using their mobile devices to get online, it is a smart practice to take those emails you’ve collected and send out a message here and there. You can offer stories about your company, discounts, free shipping, customer testimonials, etc.
Groupon sends out emails several times a week that are segmented to offer specials that particular group of subscribers would be interested in. This highly targeted form of advertising has been quite effective for the site. Those emails are also mobile friendly and can be easily read on a personal computer or a smartphone.
If your company isn’t focusing on branding online yet, then you can see why it is vital that you do. You can easily expand your customer reach by doing online marketing. The key is to be smart about where you spend your marketing dollars. Even though online marketing is a fraction of the cost of traditional print advertising, you can still waste a lot of money if you don’t go into it with a very specific strategy and marketing plan.
Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She enjoys researching the latest design trends and always has a cup of coffee nearby. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner
Does your website crawl?
In internet speak, “crawl” doesn’t mean that your website or web page is moving or loading slowly. It means your site’s SEO, or search engine optimization, is working. SEO means your desired audience will find you…in the most positive, most lucrative stalker-esque way. But where do you even start to have powerful SEO?
Keep it Simple.
An important first step to know when building a website for strong SEO is to build it with good, clean code atop a reputable CMS. CMS, or Content Management System for those of you just getting started, is the system that helps you organize and publish your content. WordPress is inarguably the very best, most accessible CMS available to the masses. It offers everything you need to get you well on your way toward being found by the search engines. WordPress is inexpensive (great for your bottom line!) and super customizable. It has the best open source CMS Award and over 143,000 lines of code. Add in organized page structure, rich meta data in each post, strong navigational links and easy page indexing, and the fact that it’s used by 100 million+ websites…well, it just seems foolish to use anything else. And while we love a good time as much as anyone, Go Media doesn’t believe in being foolish. We use WordPress as our CMS platform for nearly every single website we build.
Actionable Tip: Once you have a powerful platform like WordPress backing your website, you can then take advantage of the unrivaled SEO plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast to really take control of your SEO efforts. All of the custom WordPress websites we develop at Go Media in Cleveland come with Yoast’s SEO plug-in installed.
Keep It Clean.
That’s right, no twerking. A clean website on the backend means an easy website to find and an easy design for your customer to use. Win-win! What factors are important for optimization? Start by utilizing effective hierarchical navigation. Good menus help your visitors find what they need faster. You want every click you can get. The search engines keep track of your clicks and consider more unique clicks to mean more relevant content. Be sure to use “pretty permalink” URLs. This means use your.com/about and not your.com/?pid=123. Do you use meta tags? You should! Meta tags like title should be appropriate for the content and one-of-kind. This helps people AND the search engines (<– notice a pattern here?) understand what they’re about to read. Not only will your customer be happy, you’ll be happy.
Thorough HTML template elements are another factor the search engines look for. You’ll want to use things like alt and title attributes for images & links. This ensures elements like anchors <a> are more descriptive. Not only does this assist users, especially those with any accessibility impairments, but the search engines will essentially award you for these. You’re helping them understand what every little detail of your website is about. There are even more hardcore elements and attributes we could touch on like microformats and RDFa, but we’ll just stick to the basics here.
I know this sounds like a lot of hard work, but keeping your site tidy and organized on the backend helps improve your SEO on the frontend. Go Media puts in countless hours to follow best practices for SEO. This means our sites have SEO that sets our clients’ hearts aflutter and their customers flocking. Why? We know our stuff, and we make sure we are putting our best foot code forward.
Actionable Tip: Want to know everything good and bad about your website from the leader in search? Want to dig deep into ways you can improve your SEO and fix obvious problems? Give Google Webmaster Tools a spin! You can profile nearly everything.
Keep It Rich.
At a fundamental level, search engines simply try to match text phrases and make a best-guess on the context. This “context” typically stems from groups of topics, across the web. If you’re well associated with your topic group, by way of links, the search engines consider you to be more relevant to the context of the search. The number of people pointing to you and how high-quality these links are help with your page ranking. And your page ranking helps with SEO. It would be easy if you could just jam a ton of content in your website and call it a day. Go for it, but your pagerank will absolutely not rise. (Thank you, Google and SEO guru, Matt Cutts.) Instead, have a point of view. Craft your content with your desired audience in mind. No one wants a fluff piece, least of all the search engines. Once you have your content in place, keep in mind that page ranking and all the other factors in optimization are a dynamic beast. Poor writing and poor content = a poor SEO rank. And we don’t want to be poor now, do we? Of course, Go Media works to attract high-quality links so that other websites direct their readers to your expertise… just another way we have your SEO back.
Actionable Tip: Before you write an article, take a moment to think about the keyword phrase you want to rank well for. Focus on one keyword phrase per article. For this article I wanted to connect Go Media with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Find a Partner in Crime.
When working with a web design firm, ask about their SEO efforts and make sure they follow best practices. You know the lingo now–ask smart questions and ensure they have the tools to help your customers find your business online. A lot of people can make a pretty website, but a pretty face doesn’t get you that far in page ranks. That’s why Go Media uses the 50+ years of human-labor on our team to create robust, creative, USABLE WordPress websites with SEO best practices in mind. We know how to build an amazing website like we know the back of our hands. We’re not actually sure what that expression means, but we can tell you that when you partner with us, we will help your website succeed and have stellar SEO. No one can promise a #1 page ranking, but we can promise you a good time and a killer website. So if you need web design help — don’t be shy!
WordPress SEO by Yoast Tutorial for Dummies
Ready to enter the wild world of Search Engine Optimization?
I promise that, by the end of this simple tutorial:
- You will no longer shrink under a desk whenever “SEO” is mentioned in conversation
- Your websites, web pages or products will begin to bubble to the surface in more searches
- You will feel more confident, and (gasp) maybe even become the SEO master, in your workplace.
It is possible, young Jedi.
What is SEO?
Per Wikipedia, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.
This video by Search Engine Land explains SEO quite simply and nicely –
Tutorial Time –
For the purposes of this tutorial, I am going to show you how I worked my SEO magic on this very blog post, created and written on Go Media’s ‘Zine in WordPress. To follow along, you’ll need to install the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.
The goal of our tutorial is to take our blog post up in ranks, giving it the most excellent rating possible per our WordPress SEO by Yoast’s strict standards.
To gauge your progress by Yoast’s standards, you’ll want to view the SEO Check indicator on the right in the Publish panel. When the SEO keywords and content has been fully populated, this will turn green. But not before cycling through the following colors, starting with N/A or not applicable (meaning, you haven’t started your process) to:
- Bad = red
- Poor = orange
- Ok = yellow
- Good = green
Thinking of working through these indicators, to me, is kind of like playing a game, and if you see it this way, it can actually be kind of fun. (Yes, really!)
Ready to go to green with me?
The General Tab
Let’s start by scrolling down to the WordPress SEO by Yoast form under the Editor. Here, under the General Tab, is where all the magic happens.
1. First, let’s start by choosing your Focus Keyword.
For the purposes of this blog post, I started off with a brainstorming session to land on my keyword phrase, “WordPress SEO by Yoast Tutorial.”
As you’ll soon learn, the focus keyword or keyword phrase is pretty much the most vital element of the plug-in, so do assure that whatever you pick is well thought-out, relevant and natural. This should match what you think the user, a layperson, would type into Google.
This also gives Yoast the info it needs to test the rest of the fields. You’ll use the Focus Keyword/phrases to populate the rest of your fields here under the General Tab. Keep in mind, this focus keyword or phrase will most likely make an appearance not only in your content, but oftentimes also in your title, captions, URL and more. Make sure it will work across the board.
If you need more help, check out Yoast’s post on choosing the perfect focus keyword for more on this topic. The best part about the plug-in is that when you start typing keywords relevant to your topic in “Focus Keyword” space, Yoast will automatically give you like-options to choose from. Soolve is another great place to search possible focus keywords/phrases.
2. Now, let’s select our SEO Title.
Your SEO Title is the title that will appear in Google’s search results. Your keyword should be reflected here. (Be careful, it’s limited to a fixed width, so don’t get all wordy on me.) I chose “A WordPress SEO By Yoast Tutorial for Dummies.” As you’ll notice, I’ve included my exact keyword phrase, “WordPress SEO by Yoast Tutorial” here.
3. Let’s get into our Meta Description next.
Your Meta Description is the small description under the title in your Google search. It MUST be plain english and NOT just a bunch of keywords. However, you want to intersperse keywords with your explanation to be successful. (Again, limited to a fixed width. Go over and you’ll get a deduction, so to speak).
4. Now click “Update” in the upper right hand side of our screen (the Publish panel) and take a look at your SEO Indicator. How are you doing? If you’ve moved from N/A through bad to poor and above, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, don’t worry. There are still many ways we can improve.
5. Let’s take a glance at our Snippet Preview.
Your snippet preview gives you a glimpse of what the typical search engine excerpt of the page will be.
Because of the hard work we’ve already put in, it should look all nice and neat. Remember, if you’ve gone over the fixed width, it might be looking kinda wonky. Fix that.
Now. We’re all good. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Let’s move on!
6. Gain brownie (or shall I say greenie) points by adding your keyword to your page url
Warning: If you are working on your SEO retroactively: think long and hard about whether you want to change your URL. If you do, make sure your 301 redirects are in place.)
7. Continue to “power up” by adding your keyword to your article heading, if you so choose.
8. Do a little dance.
If you’ve followed all of the steps as listed above, you’re already golden, or shall I say, green. Check the upper right hand side of your screen, where after “updating” your post, your SEO indicator should be giving you a virtual high-five. Your focus keyword notes, as shown below, should also be reflecting the positive changes you’ve made in your Article Heading, Page Title, Page URL, Content and Meta Description.
If that sounded too easy, in some cases perhaps it was.
There are times when your focus keyword or phrase may not fit into all of the boxes as nice and neat as illustrated above. Perhaps your heart is set on the focus keyword, “WordPress SEO by Yoast Tutorial” but you are sold on the title “How I Came to Love SEO and You Can Too”. Perhaps your focus keyword just doesn’t work into your header or content the way you’d like. All you can do is you best: follow your instincts, while mindfully working with the plugin, too.
9. If you haven’t yet hit your “green” rating, head over to the “Page Analysis” Tab to find out how you can improve, and therefore more towards that green light you’re striving for. More on that next time!
Remember, relax and enjoy “playing the game.” Stay tuned to the ‘Zine for some more tips on how you can work towards that green light.