Last updated 5 months ago
Since Mobile devices are getting hotter ever hour as we move into 2013, should businesses take advantage of mobile devices in their websites? Does a business need to create a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) approach to leverage mobile in addition their regular website SEO? The answer to both questions is most definitely YES.
One needs to start with a basic Mobile Device strategy, and then decide what other web phenomenon can be used to create enhanced Mobile SEO results. For example, by combining unique characteristics from Mobile, YouTube and Social Media- we may find new opportunity doors opening for search results, bringing even better results to businesses. This article describes 3 simple steps to enhance your website beyond mobile for a fresh look in 2013:
1) Develop a Mobile Search Strategy,
2) Add YouTube videos to your website and Mobile solution,
3) Extend your social media footprint.
Get even more content marketing results by combining Mobile SEO, YouTube SEO, and Social Media SEO efforts.
Develop both Mobile Device & Mobile SEO Strategies
Mobile users are searching for content that is mobile friendly. Business owners can step ahead of their competition early in 2013 by making updates to their websites ahead of their competition. With less than 10% of today’s websites that are mobile friendly, a business can definitely get ahead of competition by starting now with their own mobile solution. But beyond creating a mobile friendly website, what does one do to attract searches and get real customer results?
That is where a basic Mobile SEO strategy is needed. A great article by Bryson Meunier- “Mobile SEO is Not a Myth…”, suggests Mobile SEO ideas for a mobile unique environment to enhance Mobile SEO performance.
Knowing how search results are different between desktops and mobile creates a business advantage for mobile friendly websites. Google keeps making changes to search parameters as they try to enhance the searchers experience. Savvy business owners will need to keep one eye on Google changes, and another on their smart phone search results. Mobile SEO adjustments are not needed daily, but over a period of time, as analytical data provides the measured results for making strategic updates.
Also knowing how Mobile SEO can take local SEO to a new level of interactivity can help some business verticals; particularly where the business needs to build its local market reach. Mobile smart phone users often commute and travel to different cities. As an example, a salesman or other traveler may be looking for a restaurant, gas station, or local entertainment spot- and these searches might be added to the base mobile devices living in a particular area. Being able to target searches from a local area gives businesses an ability to capture potential customers coming into an area- much different than targeting only local desktop searches.
In addition to Mobile SEO, one might also investigate including Mobile Paid Search ads, with your Mobile SEO solution to enhance your search results even further. Because there are so few websites that have been converted to mobile friendly solutions, Mobile paid ads can give your mobile website a real advantage while your competition is playing catch up in 2013. Take advantage of the window of opportunity that Mobile paid ads can bring, before your competition recognizes the need to even have a mobile website.
2: Add YouTube videos to your website and mobile solution
YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google this according to an article on 5 Essential Tips for Your YouTube Channel. Adding fresh new SEO relevant video content to your web solution can enhance your Mobile SEO results. Although YouTube is still building its SEO relevance, 2013 will be the year to plan to add quality video SEO content to your web solution. Make sure that your video content is also Mobile SEO friendly, which will further distinguish your web solution ahead of your competition. YouTube videos are playing a larger role in creating relevant, fresh, quality, entertaining content for SEO search engines to find. Combining mobile searches and video SEO opens up new opportunities for businesses to stay ahead of competition in search results.
Not only does YouTube rate as a fresh new SEO source for your website, it also plays highly into search results for social media content. Although in some rating systems such as Nielsen, YouTube may not be considered as a social media entity.
See SEO for YouTube- Best Practices to get a basic understanding of what steps a business needs to take with SEO practices for your YouTube Videos. It is not just a simple matter of uploading videos, but steps are required to enhance your video’s SEO search position. Consider producing your videos in High Definition quality, because this improves your YouTube rankings. Video tags are also very important part of building your YouTube SEO position.
3: Extend your Social Media Footprint to enhance your Mobile solution
Mobile Internet users are overtaking wired Internet users in the next couple years, but the shift is happening faster for Social Media, this according to an article by Hootsuite CEO, Ryan Holmes. Social, Local, and Mobile (SoLoMo) is a term people will be hearing more often in 2013. Social networks sharing location information from their mobile devices, is becoming integral part to some social media environments. Certainly Business to Consumer (B2C) retailers will find new opportunities in 2013 to provide innovative offerings to consumers through SoLoMo. When creative offerings become accepted as part of the social media mind set, then SoLoMo will become a standard for new business opportunities in 2013.
Social Media is not just a capability for B2C, it also is starting to be more relevant in the business to business (B2B) market place as well. Turn the social media noise into music is a YouTube video about social media geared to a B2B scenario.
Like most other website enhancements, Social media itself provides a significant stride forward in your web solution. However the real pizzazz for 2013 is to combine social media with your SEO approach. See an article – SEO and social media get married, which discusses what happens when SEO and social media join forces to build a strategic approach to content marketing.
Summarizing Mobile SEO and Beyond for 2013
A mobile website solution is a great idea to enhance your website for 2013 and Mobile SEO should be a natural extension. However, taking further content marketing steps to enhance your Mobile website solution with Social Media and YouTube videos will leave your competition wondering what happened to their website. And don’t forget to follow SEO best practices for each enhancement.
1: Have a Basic Mobile Device website Strategy - enhanced with Mobile SEO
2: Add YouTube Videos to your website solutions - enhanced with Video SEO
3: Build a linking Social Media footprint - also enhanced with Social Media SEO best practices.
Mark Colestock, a digital marketing strategist at WSI DigNet, helping businesses with their online marketing needs.
Last updated 6 months ago
There’s probably about a dozen other clichés marketing agencies can use to describe how the search engine giant plays the tune and we just dance to it (see, there’s another one).
For years digital marketing firms have been playing cat and mouse games with Google. The factors that the search engines use to determine where a website should be ranked in the search results were just too easy to be manipulated by those of us who made a career of it. Some of us played by the rules (white hat SEO) and some of us “bent” the rules (black hate SEO).
Search engine marketing is no longer about Websites; it’s about “Web Presence”. Search engines have decentralized the criterion they use to decide which Web pages rank where for what keywords.
In my opinion you can no longer rely on classic SEO techniques alone to get your Google love. I recommend a total 360° multi-dimensional approach that addresses all of the elements that the search engines currently factor into their algorithms. Below is an overview of the various components that typically go into our strategy:
At the end of the day, search engines look for the same thing that people look for…content that is related to what people are searching for at any given time. You have to optimize, produce and manage content that is not only designed for search engines, but is relevant to your target market.
You will have to do extensive keyword analysis to determine the optimum keywords to ensure success. The most popular keywords are not necessarily the best. We prefer to target “niche” keyword phrases that relate directly to your target market. Targeting multiple highly relevant phrases will allow you a better opportunity to obtain higher rankings across more keywords that are directed to people farther down the buying cycle. (As opposed to targeting fewer harder to obtain “general” phrases).
The output of almost all Website platforms is HTML code. It is the basic building block of the Internet. Other code such as Java script or Flash is a barrier to search engines indexing your Website. You will need to ensure that your Website is built on a search engine friendly platform. Adobe’s Business Catalyst platform, Wordpress, and basic HTML are always good choices. There are plenty of others as well.
A search engines' goal is to display the best “user experience” they can find. That means that the actual structure of the website is a major factor in determining where your website will be placed on the search result pages. Also consider how many clicks it takes for a visitor to get to any of your pages on your site. If it is more than 3…it’s too many. It’s annoying to your visitors, and search engines recognize that.
People don’t wait more than a few seconds for your Website to render before leaving, and neither do search engines. Make sure that you use high-speed hosting and a site design that is not heavy with extraneous code which slows down the Website.
Search engines factor both internal and external links. Each Website, directory or social property that links to your site is considered a “vote” for your Website. Why else would someone link to your site unless you provided valuable information? It is important to note, that not all links are created equal. Some incoming links are more valuable than others.
Search engines also factor “Internal Linking Structure’ (pages on your site that link to each other). Linking unrelated pages can be detrimental to your efforts. However linking relevant pages strategically in a “silo” structure will increase what we call “link juice” and consolidate the relevancy of your keyword themes.
Search engines love blogs because by their very nature blogs are updated frequently…and search engines like fresh relevant and original content. Blog posts are indexed relatively quickly and are treated as a Web page of information by the search engines. Search engines rank Web pages… not Websites. You will want to ensure that your blog posts are designed to rank for specific keywords, but not at the expense of your human visitors.
No longer just a buzzword, search engines factor what they call “Social Signals” that indicate that you are interacting with your target market (thus indicating that you are relevant). Aside from the obvious advantages of interacting directly with your consumers and driving traffic back to Your Website, best industry estimates are that Google factors between 9% - 14% of their search ranking algorithm based on social signals.
In order to make incremental improvements we must monitor and make incremental adjustments to certain KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as:
Average Time on site
Top entry pages
Top exit pages
Traffic by keyword
Analytics must be distilled into a meaningful report that can be analyzed to show trends and progress without all the noise of the raw data.
Search engines are concerned with the structural aspect of design, not necessary the aesthetic aspect. It is imperative to design the website around both usability standards and search engine preferences (which typically mimic human usability factors). Remember usability…
These 11 factors are just the main ingredients that go into search engine optimization. They don’t even address other aspects of an entire Web Presence Optimization program that includes profiles and pages from LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, and reviews on Google+, and Yelp and Citysearch, etc….
At the end of the day, its Google’s world, I just live in it.
Last updated 6 months ago
From time to time I like to showcase guest bloggers to weigh in on topics like social media and SEO. This week my fellow Digital Marketing consultant and Hurricane survivor Linda Waterhouse takes a look back on how some people abused social media during the recent disaster. Moral of the story is; don’t always believe everything you see on the Internet…
While most of the world has moved from @HurricaneSandy on to “The Next Big Thing”, here in New Jersey the hurricane is still very much on our minds. Many people have commented to me how the disaster brought out the Dark Side of Social Media during the storm. Since I am still getting photos emailed to me (both real and fake), I did a short exploration of how Social Media may have affected people during and after the storm.
Some of the images going viral were real images, but simply weren’t from the @Frankenstorm Sandy. One of the most popular were soldiers weathering the storm while guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (a real photo, but taken this past September).
Those soldiers earn my utmost respect at any time of the year so the image was a good reminder to all of us and was not dangerous.
@ComfortablySmug tweeted blatant lies Con Ed shut down all power in Manhattan and the New York Stock Exchange was flooded. These tweets reached many people very quickly and caused a lot of panic and confusion. Even respected organizations like CNN retweeted some of these lies before checking the facts. It is tweets like these during emergencies that can cause extreme reactions like riots or looting. Luckily @ComfortablySmug’s identity was found out and he publicly apologized and resigned from his job as a campaign manager. His tweets could definitely have had dangerous consequences.
The photo of the shark swimming in the streets of New Jersey is a great example of how plausible circumstances can make people believe in Photoshopped images. The shark swimming in the streets theme popped up after Hurricane Irene as well.
Social Media for the Greater Good
I am a firm believer in that people will find what they are looking for and in my search I found many examples of people using social media to reach out and help others. The day after #HurricaneSandy my neighbor reached out on Facebook for warm clothing that she could bring to Staten Island. People in the neighborhood she grew up in lost everything. Within two hours her truck was full and she was able to help quite a few people in trouble. During the time when gas lines were hours long, I saw many posts from people who used social media to announce which gas stations had gas.
Many people used social media to offer use of their houses for showers, food and recharging of devices. And as people regained their power, there were many offers of generators to people who still were without power at the 2 week mark.
Social Media is still Media and the same old rules apply – don’t believe everything you see or hear. Try to check out facts before reposting. And if you have some resources to spare, please consider checking out the American Red Cross or another organization to help out those in need.
See this Huffington Post article for both fake and real #HurricaneSandy photos.
Linda Waterhouse is a Digital Marketing Consultant and owner of WSI WebSystems in New Jersey.
Last updated 6 months ago
A landing page is, literally, where your online visitors ‘land’. It is your web page that is displayed when a visitor clicks an online advertisement, or a link from search engine results pages, or scans your QR code with a smart phone. This may or may not be your home page, but it definitely needs to be a page that is designed to convert quality leads into customers.
Visitors to your landing page will stay there only a few seconds before they decide if they have come to the right place. Your landing page can either grab their attention in those precious few seconds or it can make them click away from it. How can you make these visitors stay on to become potential customers? Read on…
Landing pages are critical to your Internet marketing efforts. Your landing page must be optimized to quickly provide visitors with essential information about the products and services you are offering; and what they need to do to get hold of them. Thus, the landing page must tell them:
About the same products or services that they were searching for online when they found you
What they need to do next to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, download your whitepaper, or whatever your conversion goal is
About links to other sections of your site that they may want to visit—do this carefully, without distracting them too much!
How can you improve your landing pages for greater conversion?
Headlines. The page must open with a few attention-grabbing lines that highlight the benefits to the prospect.
Visual appeal. Good visual design supports the content. However, the wrong graphics or too many images can distract from the offer and conversion goal.
‘Scannable’ pages. People should be able to scan or read through the page quickly, so use bullet points, simple sentences and crisp content.
Reinforce the call to action. No two visitors read a web page in the identical manner. To make sure your call to action is not missed, reinforce it more than once on the page and ensure that it is clearly visible.
Focus on a primary keyword. Define your product or service for each keyword and drive everything on the page to it. This means having many landing pages — at least one per ad group and ideally one for your each of your top keywords. Less confusion and decision making for your visitor means better conversion rates for your landing page.
Simple design. Simpler pages always work better for lead generation. If you find that some elements like navigation bars, visual clutter, and links to other sections do not aid the visitor in their decision making process, get rid of them.
‘You’, not ‘we’. Write about the prospect – more of ‘you’ and less of ‘we’. Your visitors only care about how taking that step (your call to action) will benefit them.
Ask for less. Keep your form simple. Get only as much information as you need immediately; you can always collect more during your lead nurturing process.
‘App’ less. Yes, not all computers run the latest fancy graphics or video apps, so think about whether you want your lasting ‘brand image’ to be a dialog box that says “you can't view this site because you don't have the latest version of…”?
Going Beyond the Standard Landing Page—Continue to Engage
Your landing page does not always have to be a final destination for a visitor. Use your discretion and decide whether or not your landing page can encourage further engagement with the same target audience. Without distracting from your specific conversion goal for that page, provide one or two teasers or links in the corner that allow them to explore more of your products or services. For instance, if your landing page promotes your new software product, you could benefit from encouraging registration to your upcoming free webinar about how to use the product. It pays to think beyond the short-term objectives of a landing page and integrate your online strategies for the long term.
Use “click paths” to capture implicit information, and design the landing pages to capture additional information about your leads, such as the keyword used, the search engine they came from, and the ad they clicked on.
A ‘thank you’ page is a must after you convert a lead. Other than being courteous, it’s also a great opportunity to develop the relationship by making another offer, promoting your blog
, asking for feedback, or running a poll.
The Key Takeaway
Don’t waste your online advertising budget by sending clicks to your home page! While a great looking website can grab the attention of your visitors, a strong landing page will keep them involved and get them to buy your products/services.
The landing page is the most important persuasion point for the user. Create targeted, product or service focused landing pages that simplify customer activity and improve conversions. The more compelling and clear your offer is, the more qualified your prospects will be. As a result, you will drive better conversion and garner greater return on investment.
For more specific information on HOW to go about designing an effective landing page, take a look at our SlideShare presentation Landing Page Design: Common Mistakes and Tested Techniques. It covers all the details you will need to design or supervise an effective landing page.
Last updated 7 months ago
Link farms, content mills, low quality duplicate content. After years of being manipulated by blackhat optimizers (that’s the bad guys) Google hasn’t exactly changed the rules to the game…they are just enforcing them…big time!
At the end of the day, Google’s mission (so they say) is to deliver the most accurate and user friendly results to the searching public (tat’s everyone). That means filtering out the reams of useless, duplicate, non-value added content that infests the Internet today. Face it, most of it was designed to attract the search engines…not real people.
It’s all about quality content now. Good content attracts incoming links (backlinks) from other websites, directories and web properties that link to you…without you necessarily linking back to them. Each relevant link is like a vote of confidence for your website. Not only are backlinks a primary ingredient in search engine optimization, those links can also drive legitimate traffic to your website.
Quality content is also what search engines look for when determining which website should be ranked higher on the search engine results page (SERPs). If you have something new, original and relevant to say about a specific subject… you win and your competition looses.
Even Social content is a factor with the search engines:
Bing uses Facebook Likes as a ranking factor.
Google is integrating their +1 (Google Plus) as a ranking signal.
Tweeting about your business helps Google index your content faster.
And let’s not forget that you can use your own social channels to promote your literary masterpieces. And if others like it enough to share it…well you get the point.
According to Brafton, 92% of marketers say that content creation is either very effective or somewhat effective for Search Engine Optimization.
Our experiences at Kreative Webworks is that quality copy, that is well optimized for specific keyword concepts (primary and supporting keywords) and used in the right outlets (on-site web pages, Blog postings supported by Social Syndication, News Releases, etc.) is what ranks quickly, and has the most “buoyancy (longevity).
This infographic on Content for SEO is packed with easy to follow information touting the benefits of quality Content Marketing. At the end of the day, Investing in original, high quality content is essential to your digital marketing efforts.
Have you been successful marketing with content? Let us know below and we’d be happy to compare notes and let you know how we do it.