It’s crazy to think that Google has only been around since 1998. For those of us that remember the days where you’d have to rifle through heavy encyclopedias to find information, the time seems at once so long ago and yet not so long ago. Nearly 2 decades since its inception, the search engine giant and its algorithm now greatly dictate how we use the web, what we find on the web and how we build websites in an effort to rank higher up in Google’s search results.
With each passing year, each passing day really, Google’s algorithm evolves. As they continuously find ways to fine tune their program to build a better search experience for all, the SEO industry is kept on its toes and web developers scramble to get the inside scoop. For business website owners keeping up to date with Google’s SEO ranking factors is a must, if they want to remain relevant and move their way up the search results pages.
SEO techniques that were once kosher may now be irrelevant. In fact, what once was ok may now belong to black hat SEO tactics that if Google detects will result in penalization. Realizing that people tried to con their system by stuffing content full of key words, buying links, duplicating existing content and so forth, caused the search engine to just get smarter.Read more: The State of Google’s SEO Ranking Factors in 2017
The internet thrives on content. It’s the very thing that attracts customers to your website, keeps them on your page enthralled in reading and when it’s great – it prompts your website fans to share it through their social media channels, email your URL to a friend or pass the info along in a conversation. Great content draws more eyes to your website, driving traffic and brand awareness, which is what every website owner wants.
Not only are you helping to inform and educate your readers by crafting good content that is specific to your industry or niche, when you generate content on a consistent basis, you are also boosting your website’s SEO efforts. The more web pages you have, the more information and presence you’ll have on the web for Google’s search bots to read through and index in their results. This means the more likely your website will show up in the SERPs (search engine results pages) when users are looking for the info you’ve written.
But what to write? Well, first things first – whatever form your content takes on it should be original, well-researched and relevant to your target audience. You want to create content that addresses the questions and concerns your ideal customers would go to the internet to find. Think about the things that you often get questioned about regarding your industry or service and use that intel to create topics that address these often-heard concerns. Chances are other people are looking for the same info and these people can be your potential customers.Read more: 5 Types of Content to Drive Website Traffic & Amplify Your SEO Efforts
Business owners, bloggers, and anyone who wants to drive traffic to their website has probably spent time perusing the web for tips on how to optimize their website for search results. Search Engine Optimization a.k.a. SEO is a fast-changing field with the search engines themselves updating their algorithms without warning. What was once effective may no longer be relevant. That’s why staying up-to-date on what works and what doesn’t is of the utmost importance for those who want to see a return on their SEO efforts. Here’s the scoop on the current SEO state of affairs and some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid:
SEO has evolved immensely over the years and correspondingly, search engines have done the same. Gone are the days of optimizing content around a single keyword or flooding your content with keywords in an effort to get the search engine’s attention. Actually, if you go that route search engines will take notice, however it won’t aid your SEO efforts. In fact, they’ll consider your keyword-heavy content spam and penalize you accordingly.Read more: Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2017
Let’s face it – we google everything now. Whether we are looking to find a service, a date, information about someone we’re set to go a date with, a definition, a recipe, this list can go on and on and on - the fact is we live in a search-happy world.
The point is, as a business owner – regardless of your industry - your company’s website and your brand’s online reputation is pertinent to your business’ success. When someone goes to research your company online, you want the results that show up to be in favour of your company. To achieve this, you’ll want to manage your online reputation by creating easily searchable content that lends credibility to your business.
You'll want to make sure you're doing the following to protect your company’s online reputation:
For many businesses, their website is the first interaction potential customers will have with their brand. You want to make sure that this first impression is a great one. That means having the basics in place, like a great web design, your contact information is easily accessible and your product or service offerings are clearly and succinctly stated.Read more: Protect Your Company’s Online Reputation
Happy 2017! Tis that time of year when we set out to develop new habits in an effort to make this year the best one yet. Alongside diet, health, and wellness goals - business goals also enter the list of new year’s resolutions made. Whether it’s finding ways to be more productive, more efficient, increase sales or get more traffic to your website – making a conscious effort to better your business is the first step. The next part, is getting down to the doing. In an effort to help improve your online marketing this year, we are listing 3 simple SEO resolutions that you can make to improve your website today:
Duplicate content is an SEO no-no that results in lower rankings and less traffic coming to your website. When the same content appears in multiple places across the internet, search engines have a difficult time deciding which version is the original, the best, or the most relevant. As a result, search engines don’t know which version to include in their index and which version to rank when a given query is made.
Avoid duplicate content appearing on your website by not plagiarizing someone else’s copy to begin with. Copy and pasting something from your competitor's website won’t do you any favours when it comes to ranking better in search engines. By all means, take a cue from them and gain inspiration for the verbiage you’d like on your own site but don’t just steal it and think that search engines won’t notice.Read more: 3 Simple Website SEO Resolutions for 2017
Having a pretty, modern, mobile friendly web design is one thing. However, if your site doesn’t work properly – well, your web visitors will probably just drop off and head elsewhere on the net to find what they’re looking for.
Just as a profile pic can only tell you so much about a person, it’s only when you engage with them that you truly discover whether or not you’re compatible. A website is much the same, if links don’t connect or if when engaging with the website you get easily annoyed because you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, well – no second date and see you later, you get it.
A poor user experience is a killer for your website and in turn for your business, especially if your online presence is your primary marketing tool. So, what UX web design mistakes do you want to avoid? Listed below are some common web design mistakes that lead to poor user experiences and how you can fix them ASAP:
Web visitors want to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. When they have to jump through hurdles to find what they’re looking for, you’ve got a web design mistake on your hands. Poor information architecture is the culprit and to fix it, you’ll want to think of your website as a user rather than as an organization when creating your sitemap.
Organize your website’s content as per what your audience needs to know. Take the time to look through your current website analytics to understand your users’ behavior and in turn prioritize content accordingly. Contact information should be prominently displayed in the header or footer of every page. Category names should accurately describe the content that will be found once the link is clicked on.Read more: UX Web Design Mistakes to Fix ASAP
Launching a new website for your small business is exciting. You’re marketing your start-up to the online world to spread word of your offerings and want to ensure the first impression you give is no less than great. That means, having a professional web design that is clean, modern looking and easy to navigate. Your web visitors want to find the information they’re looking for quickly and without difficulty. To make certain your small business website is a success, be sure to follow these simple steps:
First and foremost, having a mobile friendly web design is the first step in creating a successful website for your small business. You want a responsive design that scales to size in either portrait or landscape viewing mode, regardless of whether it is viewed on a desktop, tablet or smartphone. The fact is, people are searching on the go daily, using different devices to access info as needed. When web visitors have to pinch and swipe and perform all kinds of finger tricks and squint in an effort to find your business phone number, it’s annoying and irritating. Prevent your web visitors from leaving your site immediately by having a responsive web design.Read more: 6 Simple Tips for a Great Small Business Website
With nearly 1.79 billion active users, the Facebook community doesn’t appear to be getting any smaller. The amount of traffic the site generates alone, ends up being reason enough to create a Facebook page for your business. Not only do you get out in front of a greater audience, you can do so for free.
We know, we know – but what of Facebook Ads? Advertising on the giant social network is definitely a worthy investment for those operating in a business to consumer market. With targeting features, a lower cost-per-click average than Google AdWords and the ability to include eye-catching graphics, Facebook advertising is definitely something every small business owner should consider.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Today we’re focusing on the basics of what your Facebook Business page should and should not do.
Bringing it back to basics we’ve listed below 5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for your businesses’ FB page.Read more: Your Business Facebook Page: Do’s and Don’ts
Typography isn’t typically what business owners think about when having a website designed. Generally, they’re thinking about what key lines of business they want to highlight, what words will be used to describe product offerings, what graphics will be paired alongside descriptions to properly reflect the brand and image they want to project online.
But, this commonly overlooked element of your website’s design is crucial when it comes to retaining your web visitor’s attention and comprehension. Typography plays a huge role in the overall feel and personality of your brand, your message and how all of this is received when web visitors view your web design.
Typography isn’t simply the words on the page but rather the way the words are presented. It goes beyond font choice even and involves typeface choice, line length, leading, kerning, tracking – all of which probably sounds like mumbo jumbo to you but to your web designer, matters immensely.
Let me explain:
Typeface: Typeface and fonts are different. A typeface refers to a group of letters, numbers and characters that share the same design or style. For example, Arial and Garamond are common typefaces. Think of typefaces as font families.
Font: Now a font, is a specific style of typeface with a specified width, size and weight. As an example, Arial is a typeface, whereas Arial 10pt bold is a font. Note the latter’s specifications.Read more: How Typography Affects Your Web Design and Conversions
It’s easy to spend money these days – far too easy. You can just tap your debit or visa card, tap your phone, tap a mouse and presto you’ve paid for an item. Granted, it wasn’t always this way. To make things easier for consumers, tech companies armed with brilliant UX designers honed in on removing barriers during the purchasing process to well, make it easier for us to shop.
Facebook just last week introduced “Marketplace,” an addition to its iPhone and Android app that facilitates buying and selling within your local community – a kind of Craigslist/Kijiji built right into Facebook. Interestingly, Marketplace’s debut has been made on the mobile version of the app, rather then on desktop. Although, it is set to release on desktop in the next few months – Marketplace appears to be responding to the fact, that shopping on your phone is the new norm.Read more: How Mobile Web Design is Changing the Way We Shop