• 31/10/17 Website Branding

    How to Use Social Proof to Increase Sales on Every Page of Your Website

    The internet is loaded with skeptics. And it should be, shouldn’t it?

    Any random sociopath person can call themselves an “expert” overnight. How do you know you can trust them, instead of someone else?

    As you know, internet searchers will do their research. They want to find as much evidence as possible to support their inkling that you’re the best person or company to solve their problem.

    And you can build their trust with what’s called “social proof.” This is evidence, which doesn’t originally come from you, that boosts your credibility and shows you can deliver on the promises you make.

    How can you include social proof on your website so you aren’t simply just another company or even a good choice, but the obvious choice?

    Use these simple ideas:

    Case Studies

    For SMBs, case studies fly way under the radar. Practically no one uses them. But large corporations do. And they shell out a couple thousand dollars to have them written and designed persuasively.

    You don’t need to do that. But case studies work for every customer type. And they work especially well for service-based companies.

    A case study is simply a detailed story that shows:

    • What your customer’s life was like before using your solution (the problem)
    • Why they chose you, instead of competitors
    • Additional obstacles they experienced as you understood their situation
    • The solutions you recommended and implemented for them
    • What their life is like after using your service (the positive benefits they now get)

    500 words do the job. 1000 – 1500 words offers intimate detail and a highly convincing story.

    Don’t mention your company throughout because that makes your case study look like advertising. Make your customer the hero. And then include a 2-3 sentence paragraph at the end.

    Case studies are powerful enough to have their own main navigation item which appears on every page of your website.

    Testimonials

    Every SMB has these. But the way they implement them leaves so much more room for opportunity.

    Most go like this:

    “John is awesome to work with. Highly recommended.”

    *Sigh*

    Well, that’s what your website readers do when they see that anyway. They’ve seen testimonials saying exactly the same millions of times.

    To get testimonials that do one heck of a lot of convincing and persuading, I recommend Derek Halpern’s “Perfect Testimonial” formula:

    • The customer describes the problem they were experiencing using one sentence
    • The second sentence describes the actions they took or the solutions you implemented
    • The third describes the results they experienced

    But customers don’t write testimonials describing that, do they?

    So how do you get one?

    Two ways:

    • Offer to write the testimonial for your customer yourself. Then, send it to your customer and let them approve it. This works. But it’s not ideal because testimonials are more convincing when customers use their own language. Yours will come across as written by an experienced professional.
    • Do a 15-minute interview. Record it. Write the testimonial and use words and phrases your customer uses verbatim. Then send it to them to revise or approve.

    Is this worth your time?

    Absolutely!

    Other testimonials amount to just putting words on the page. These tell a brief story (just like case studies) which is a powerfully convincing sales tool.

    To maximize their effect, place them strategically throughout your website (see our web design services). Don’t bury them on a “Testimonials” page. No one reads those. You might as well not even put them on your website if that’s what you do.

    Instead, depending on the message of your testimonials, you could place them:

    • By a contact form
    • Next to a clickable button
    • Throughout your sales page
    • On your home page
    • In your about page

    Stay Tuned for Part 2!

    Look, the nice thing about the web is that you have nearly infinite opportunity for creativity. So, that means these are just a couple ways to integrate social proof to score more sales.

    That also means much more exist.

    I have time for just these two today. So stay tuned. More coming soon!

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  • 30/10/17 SEO

    4 SEO-Boosting Shortcuts for Businesses with Little Time or Money

    Do you do the same SEO fundamentals nearly every other business does?

    That’s a recipe for achieving the same results.

    Those results may not be bad.

    But how will you ever get ahead of your competition?

    You’ll always be neck-and-neck.

    So let’s say you’re an SMB. You have little time or money. What SEO tactics can you use to get ahead, without sinking a lot of time or money into them?

    Check out these ideas:

    Curate Top Content from Around the Web on Your Blog

    As long as you provide the original source, it’s fine to use other people’s content on your blog.

    You’ve probably experienced information overwhelm, right?

    Your customers do too. So, make their lives easier and include links, excerpts, videos, podcasts, and images of the most useful content in your niche.

    This makes you a valuable resource for your visitors. And it doesn’t take nearly as much time as creating your own content.

    Use Infographics

    Some think infographics are past their prime. True…they’re not the new shiny thing they used to be.

    But they still work quite well. And you can create one, regardless of your niche.

    See this gigantic one from Hubspot:infographic

    That one probably costed them several thousand dollars.

    You’ll have to outsource them. But they don’t have to cost a lot – especially when you factor in the SEO power you get in return.

    Infographics work best for service-based businesses. And they’re effective for companies that sell products too.

    Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

    What could a website like this possibly have to do with helping you get serious SEO juice?

    Quite a bit.

    Let me explain how HARO works.

    First, you sign up for free at their website. Then you choose categories where you have interest.

    HARO works two ways:

    • You can solicit pitches to get quotes from other blogs and website owners (a more time-consuming way to build connections and SEO juice)
    • You can answer questions blog-based reporters asked, get a quote as an expert, and also get a link (the less time-consuming method)

    For certain niches, HARO makes total sense.

    You’ll build connections with small, medium, and even household-name brands. And just a few links from big names can be total game-changers.

    Include User-Generated Content (UGC) Wherever Possible

    People trust content generated by users much more than that created by businesses.

    Why?

    Your business could have an agenda and a completely biased position. Whether you actually do or not doesn’t matter.

    People naturally assume you do.

    But when other users create content, those assumptions go out the window. They assume the user has a more objective, and possibly completely unbiased, view.

    Examples of user-generated content include:

    • Blog comments
    • Facebook comments
    • User photos or images of using your products or service
    • Testimonials (written or video)
    • Social media posts
    • Reader questions you answer on your blog

    And here’s a list of 39 if you don’t already have enough ideas.

    User-generated content is unique, which attracts more user attention, and rewards from search engines.

    It absolutely works.

    Which Makes Most Sense for You?

    I’ll be honest…not every SEO technique above works for every business. For example, if you’re not a persuasive writer, you won’t get as much from HARO (although sometimes they ask for phone interviews).

    So you have to consider what strengths you and your business have, and then use the right techniques that make the most sense for you.  

    Once you hit on the right ones, you get an incredible return on your SEO for the time you invest.

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  • 30/10/17 SEO

    3 Ways Social Media Can Actually Hurt Your SEO

    Do you realize that if you don’t integrate your social media with your SEO, you throw away tons of traffic and sales?

    Social media actually doesn’t cause high search rankings. Focus on that keyword “cause.” However, websites that rank well have powerful social media presences too.

    SearchMetrics found a high correlation between social media and search rankings. So while social media doesn’t cause high search rankings by itself, it’s certainly an important factor.

    Taking a look at the reverse side of the coin…how can you actually hurt your search ranking when using social media?

    Learn a few lessons by checking out these tips:

    You Don’t Use Social Media to Get as Many Quality Links as You Should

    The power in social media isn’t in the amount of links you get. Yeah, it absolutely can generate hundreds of links.

    But you miss the real value of social media if that’s your focus.

    With social media, you want to build relationships with the powerhouse influencers in your niche. Because everyone else with quality websites follows them.

    And just a share or two can lead to several high-quality links.

    In SEO, those links have much more value than winning hundreds from moderately-known websites.

    You Create Just Another Profile Where You Share The Same Old Content

    You’ll get some value from this. But only the bare minimum. So you hurt your SEO because you don’t take full advantage.

    Basically, you’ll keep pace with your competition. Or stay slightly behind.

    Most companies create yet another blog post on the same old topic. They offer little new or valuable information. And they share the same from third parties.

    To drive your social shares through the roof, you need to be different. If you’re in a niche where literally the same old stuff comes out all the time and you truly don’t have anything new to say, present your content in a different way.

    A 2000-word blog post (once per month) chock full of videos, images, diagrams, data tables, actionable tips, humor, fierce opinions, or challenges to conventional thinking sets you apart.

    Few companies have the patience to do anything like that. And most think you need to be short and quick to capture attention (which isn’t true).

    Your social posts should have emojis, hashtags (not appropriate for every network), and a chatty, personal message (versus just the title of the content being shared).

    That’s how you max the SEO value of your social posts.

    You Focus Too Much Time on Follower Count

    It’s the most obvious way to measure success, isn’t it?  

    Follower count, unfortunately, only appears to show a measurement of success. But in reality, it doesn’t do anything for SEO.

    Google’s Matt Cutts, the former head of web spam and SEO, explains Google doesn’t use social signals because it can’t measure things like follower count:

    What should you do instead?

    Use social tools to figure out what content people in your niche like.

    Create your own unique version. Share it.

    Keep chipping away to see what earns the most shares. Content which generates shares also gets links. Followers will come. And links boost your SEO.

    Social Media’s Now Your SEO Ally, and Not a Time-Sucking Enemy

    Done right, you can manage your social media profiles in just minutes per day. It takes time to optimize to that level of efficiency.

    Done wrong, however, and social media consumes hours per week while failing to yield any real results.

    Keep these three tips in mind. They’ll generate you a flood of value over time with the consistent application.

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  • 23/10/17 SEO

    The 10-Minute Guide to Reworking Old Content to Boost Your Search Rankings

    Google was founded in 1998 with a vision of making the internet the best it can be for searchers.

    Was that their original thinking? Actually, I don’t know.

    But it certainly became that over time. And while the web isn’t a perfect place where you go the exact answer to your question every time, Google’s done an amazing job of making it more useful than ever.

    If you think about it, you’ll remember all the junk websites that came up years ago. Now, when you search, you get an informative, useful answer to your question most times.

    At the same time, Google’s forced businesses of all sizes to up their content game.

    And if you don’t, you cease to exist.

    It works. Brian Dean, a popular SEO blogger, doubled his traffic by updating one of his blog posts.

    So, if you’ve been at SEO for some years, you may have older content that’s not as high in quality as you have now.

    What Gaps Exist in Your Niche?

    Ever analyzed the content landscape in your niche? That’s the first key to winning the game.

    Don’t write content in a vacuum, without knowing what else your readers see.

    Regardless of your niche, you’ll find “gaps.” To find content gaps, ask yourself these questions as you check out your competitors:

    • How far in-depth do their posts go? Where could you go deeper?
    • Do they lack a clear, conversational, and down-to-earth style?
    • Do they routinely share real-life stories to clearly illustrate their points?
    • Does the author sometimes share a personal experience from their own lives to build their relationship with the audience?  
    • Could I improve the visual attractiveness of my content with videos, images with data, infographics, and my own hand-made images to make ideas easier to understand?
    • Is there an original way I could approach a topic that no one else has already done?
    • What hasn’t already been said?

    FYI…as you update your blog posts, Google notices. And, it gives preference to updated content in its search rankings.

    Work on Your Headlines

    When you create content, you should spend a good hour or so by writing different headlines.

    Don’t forget to keep that focus keyword in there!

    …But you’ll want to write out 20-30 options to choose from.

    You can use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to help with this. View the score you get like so:

    • 40-59: Don’t use that headline!
    • 60-69: Nice work. You’ll get noticed and a decent amount of traffic.
    • 70-74: Really good title here.  You’ll get excellent engagement. Your title will easily be more noticeable than that of most competitors.
    • 75+: Nearly impossible to get. You’ve written an amazing title if you score here.

    With your titles, make the point clear. But try to elicit an emotion of curiosity too. It’s the most consistent way to get clicks on your titles.

    Here are a few examples so you see what I mean:

    • What Should Your New Password Be?
    • Why Do Chinese URLs Use Numbers, Not Letters?
    • Top SEO Trends from the Past 6 Months

    Basically, give the idea away. But, not the entire thing.

    It’s kinda like going on a first date. Sell yourself. But don’t overdo it.

    Writing curiosity-peaking headlines takes years to perfect. But you can do a serviceable job right away.

    Just Google it and modify the headlines you find for your own use.

    Then, keep a Word Doc with the titles you find to refer to later. They get your creative juices flowing faster.

    Like It or Not, Content’s Never Done

    It’s just the way content works. That’s exactly how business works.

    You always work towards improving. One step better each day. Sometimes, you make a giant leap.

    And now you know what to aim for next with your content. It’s a good thing you do.

    Most small businesses simply do not have this awareness. So you have a huge competitive advantage they’ll likely never even use.

    no responses
  • 14/08/17 SEO

    Learn How Google’s Algorithms Work Together

    While they mostly work independently, Google’s algorithms share data with one another occasionally. And this, without any human intervention.

    Why should you care? Because this affects how you should optimize your website. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing how search works. Machine learning, for example, determines which ranking signals to adjust for specific types of searches. Google’s Hummingbird update (in late 2013) allowed Google to better understand conversational speech.

    So those are the kinds of things I’m talking about here. When you understand how Google’s algorithms work together both now and in the future, you know how to best position your own website for higher rankings in the future.

    How Google’s Algorithms Currently Work

    At this point, Google has something like 200 or more ranking factors. Each signal gets a certain amount of weight…some more than others. Some are directly addressed by Google’s core algorithm, while others are their own algorithms that do their own work and feed the result to the core algorithm. Google’s PageRank, or the amount of authority/ranking power a particular web page has, is an example of the latter.

    How Google’s Algorithms Will Work in the Future

    Let’s just create a hypothetical example to show you how Google will work in the near future. Say, for example, you have 6 ranking factors: A, B, C, and X, Y, and Z.

    A, B, and C are offsite factors (links pointing back to your site). X, Y, and Z are onsite factors (how fast your page loads, where your keywords appear on your page, and the PageRank of your page).

    In the future, each factor will communicate with the other, thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning. They’ll only offer the pertinent information the other factor needs to know to do its job.

    All factors then work together to produce the final search result. But, that search result does not have an algorithm operating behind it.

    This speeds up how the process works. Will it lead to faster changes in the rankings?

    Sounds like it should, but we’ll have to see.

    The Difference This Makes to Your Search Rankings

    Google will place even more weight than it does now on your website’s ability to match the intent of the user’s search. You must have the best resource for the search made.

    That means you have to know who else ranks for your search. And then you have to beat the living daylights out of their page.

    And you must make sure that every search factor that affects your rankings plays to this. Because they’ll all communicate with one another and assist in producing the final search result. It sounds the same as how Google works now, but the effect is as stated before: Google will match searches to user intent far better than ever before.

    So much so, in fact, that you could notice a dramatic change in Google’s search results in the next couple years. Smart website owners will create the most solid answer to the intent of the user’s search starting now. And then you can watch while your competition scrambles to react.

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  • 09/08/17 SEO

    4 Ways to Protect Your Website from Negative SEO

    Did you know it’s easy for your competitors to build spammy, crappy backlinks to your website to damage your rankings…and you have basically nothing you can do to stop it?

    It’s 100% true. There’s nothing you can do to stop your competitor from finding ways to build links to your site from porn, gambling, and even illegal websites back to yours. These links can decimate your search rankings.

    And you can’t necessarily trace it back to a specific competitor either.

    Of course, it takes a competitor with a little conscience to actually do that. But it does happen.

    And you can’t file a complaint with Google about it.

    How do you protect yourself from something like this? Here’s how:

     

    1) Create Valuable Content and Constantly Promote It

     

    Google knows every website has a certain amount of lousy backlinks. It’s to be expected. But if they see a clear pattern evolving, that’s where you run into danger.

    The best defense is valuable content your ideal customer can put to use to solve a problem they have right now. They’ll naturally share it. And you can promote this content to earn links too.

    Google loves it. So keeping this going on an ongoing basis is your top priority.

    2) Perform Regular Link Audits

     

    Your SEO will know how often to do a link audit for your website. This could be as often as monthly. But it may be appropriate to do quarterly link audits or even every 6 months to a year.

    Not every website gets targeted for negative SEO. But being ready and catching attackers proactively is a great defense.

    Link audits should be done both onsite (because hackers can gain access to your site and mess with your internal linking) and offsite for reasons explained before.

     

    3) Disavow Bad Links When They Are Found

     

    While Google places all the onus on you to report bad links, at least you have a method of defense. Google’s Disavow Tool allows you to report bad/spammy links that show up on your link profile. Then, Google will remove those links from counting against you.

    However, the process can still take months to take effect. You’ll get hurt, but at least you can minimize the damage.

    Why doesn’t Google just change their algorithm so bad links count for nothing, instead of penalizing you?

    I don’t know. No one does. But the fact is, they’ve done nothing about it.

     

    4) What about Fake Negative Reviews?

     

    Yep. These happen too. Fortunately, you can defend against them also. Just make sure you have good reason to believe they’re fake. For example, you haven’t made a big mistake at your company that would lead to all these negative reviews.

    Fortunately, you can use Google My Business to quickly flag the fake reviews.

    You don’t need to panic about possible negative SEO. It’s rare. Google does try to help curtail the efforts of negative SEO attacks by identifying the patterns and not factoring them toward their search results. But, they make no guarantees.

    So ultimately, it’s on you or your SEO to constantly monitor your website for unusual activity so you don’t find yourself in a messy situation.  

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  • 05/08/17 SEO

    Should You Use Google’s New Website Builder for SMBs?

    You’ve likely heard of Wix, the do-it-for-you website builder. Popular competitors include Weebly, WordPress, Jimdo, and Squarespace, and there’s tons of others too.

     

    The problem with Wix, and many of these (except installing your own version of WordPress), is they aren’t the most SEO-friendly. Sometimes, their templates don’t load the fastest. Some available designs are quite ugly and don’t offer a simple experience. And comparatively speaking, Wix isn’t all the cheap.

    People use Wix because it is easy (and advertised heavily), and at just a few bucks per month for their starting package, it appears relatively cheap.

    But for the above reasons, it’s not necessarily a good long-term choice.

    Now, Google Sites enters the fray. While Google naturally competes with Wix and other similar options, it’s not necessarily designed to do exactly that.

    If you’re considering a business website, and need one fast, does Google Sites make sense?

    Learn more about the new tool below:  

    Who Should Use Google Sites?

    The builder is designed to be easy to use. It even automatically populates some of your business information from your Google My Business account.

    Google’s really intending their builder for small local businesses who need just a single page. That could be:

    • Churches
    • Any kind of non-profit
    • Restaurants
    • Clubs

    They actually don’t give you a ton of control over editing the page. They keep what you can do pretty basic.

    But with who this tool’s intended for (the 60% of businesses across the world who don’t have websites), that makes sense.

    Google Sites Does Good SEO and Ranks Well

    This makes sense. Google’s own tool should darn well rank well in its search rankings.

    I read some comments from black hat SEOs. They found Google Sites rank fast and well.

    However, since Google has direct knowledge of these sites, if you push too hard on getting back links or other borderline SEO tactics, they’ll pull you out of the rankings fast. So, while you can do solid SEO and rank well, make sure you know exactly what you’re doing or that you hire someone who does.

    A Few Cons About Google Sites

    Google Sites definitely wasn’t made for more advanced web users. And it’s not for you if you like to spend a lot of time learning new things and want to have tight control over your website’s design.

    You can’t openly edit the CSS/HTML code. That limits your SEO capability and visual design to a degree. The designs themselves aren’t that pretty or innovative.

    You get a fairly barebones system, and especially so when compared to Wix, Weebly, and other similar platforms.  

    Conclusion: Google Sites Works Well for Small (Or Non-Existent) Budgets, and SMBs Who Want to Build Their First Web Presence

    If you have a budget of a couple thousand dollars per month, you’re much better off hiring a professional SEO or internet marketing contractor or agency. You have much tighter control over your website, which means you can deliver the experience your users want. And you can do more to benefit your rankings and win more customers.

    But if you’re new, don’t have a large budget, and simply want to be present online and maybe pull in a few customers, Google Sites makes sense.

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  • 02/08/17 SEO

    Quick Guide to an SEO Strategy That Beats Your Competition

    SEO takes a year, and in many cases, up to 18 months to even start showing results. That time frame could be even longer for competitive markets like law or insurance.

    …But does it really have to take that long?

    Not necessarily.

    And you don’t have to cheat or use black-hat tactics to bypass your competition. Once you understand what most SEO companies and consultants do, then you simply do what they don’t do.

    By engaging in overlooked tactics used less often, you can rank faster for terms related to your business with less effort. And that means you’re not paying as much for results either.

    So…how could you sneak by your competition? Here are a few strategies:

    Rank Your Website for Tangentially Related Keywords about Your Products and Services

    Let’s say you’re a lawyer. DFW is an intensely competitive legal market. Try to rank for “personal injury lawyer Dallas,” and you’ve involved yourself in a massive undertaking.

    You can have that as a long-term keyword. But, if you want to rank faster, you might target keywords like:

    • Drowning accidents
    • Boat accidents
    • ATV accidents
    • Forklift accidents
    • Highway accidents

    …Or whatever’s related to exactly what you do (view our technical SEO services to see what we offer).

    Create a Blog Post that Highlights Influencers in Your Industry

    Known as “expert roundups,” these posts feature a provocative question that captures the fascination of leading thinkers in your niche and your customers too. So, you contact around 50 of them or so by e-mail. Maybe 100 if you’re feeling ambitious.

    Assuming you’ve identified a question that captures their interest, you’ll have no problem driving a flood of high-quality links…and perhaps traffic (potential customers) too.

    Why?

    You reach out to the experts once you’ve published your post. And because they’ve already agreed to participate, most are happy to link to it and share it.

    Constantly Link to Top Resources in Your Niche…And Let Them Know About It

    When you link out, you often want a link back. But here’s the thing: the big names where you want links from aren’t looking at their link profiles, eagerly ready to contact someone who links to them.

    So…you have to let the big names in your niche know what you’ve done. You can create a blog post of the top 20 resources on a certain subject to your niche.

    Let each person know that you’ve done so by e-mail. But don’t ask for anything. Simply allow them to respond how they want.

    Some will link back to you. And their links will have so much more power than yours that even if you only get a few back, they’ll far outweigh the link juice you send out when linking to them.

    Most SEO Competitors Don’t Do This

    Your competition often doesn’t use tactics like this. It’s difficult to estimate the amount of time and effort involved in many cases.

    What business wants to sell a service like that?

    That’s why, when you put these seo strategies to use, you give yourself a big leg up on your competition.

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  • 29/07/17 SEO

    3 Biggest Mobile SEO Mistakes You Can Make

    Fact: mobile sites that load in 5 seconds earn up to 2x more mobile ad revenue than sites that load in 19 seconds (according to Google).

    What’s the big deal about 19 seconds? That’s currently how long it takes for the average mobile site to load over a 3G connection.

    So that’s quite a discrepancy there.

    5 seconds is actually fairly generous. Google also says 53% of people will abandon a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

    So that’s really your goal: less than 3 seconds. How fast does your website load? Google actually offers a free online test to check.

    That’s the top SEO problem small and local business websites face. Let me explain some of the other leading ones:

    1) Not Using Rich Snippets (Schema metadata)

    Okay. Fair warning: kinda geeky stuff here. You may not have even heard of schema metadata.

    …And neither have most small business owners. But it’s a huge competitive edge because it often gets overlooked.

    Schema’s simply a small bit of code you put on your web pages to help search engines rank them where they should go. It helps search engines understand what your web page means, versus just what it says.

    It can give you a nice boost to your search rankings. With WordPress, there are plugins available that make this easy.

    If your website has static pages, schema can be hardcoded into each page also. It can also be time-sensitive, as it can help display upcoming events at your business (if you own a bar, for example).

    2) Not Optimizing Your Anchor Text

    This gets a little confusing. Any links from sites outside of yours should have a variety of anchor text. Less than 5% should have text exactly matching your keywords.

    Now with internal links, from one of your own pages to another, the game changes. Google doesn’t penalize you for optimized anchor text. At the same time, your anchor text gives Google signals about what keywords your pages should rank for.

    On top of that, your website visitors don’t want to see optimized anchor text on every link. Otherwise, they become suspicious you’re trying to game Google’s algorithm and leave.

    You should use the same key phrase 50% of the time at max. To mix things up, you can use variations of it, or different phrases entirely, like “click here.”

    3) Not Breaking Up Your Content for Scanning Readers

    Your website visitors read around 28% of your content at most. Possibly less than that. Otherwise, they just peek at your headline, sub headers, and a few paragraphs of text here and there.

    So you can’t have big long blocks of text. Your site shouldn’t be like reading a print magazine.

    Write like this post. There are 3-4 sentences per paragraph (or so). A few paragraphs per subhead. Short sentences. Even broken ones (just like this one).

    This reduces your “bad” bounce rate (the number of people who visit your website once and leave because they can’t find what they want). And it keeps visitors on your page longer. It also indirectly makes your content more shareable.

    Google pays attention to all those metrics when ranking your site for search.

    Does the “Perfect Mobile Website” Exist?

    No. There’s no such thing. But you can create one that makes your users, and Google, happy. And when you do, you’re rewarded with gobs of traffic consisting of people eager to buy from you.  Contact us today for high-quality SEO services to optimize your site for mobile.

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  • 15/07/17 SEO

    How To Prep Your SMB Website for Voice Search

    The numbers on the use of Google’s voice search disagree in specific, but they all agree on one major trend:

    explosive growth.

    From 2015-2016, voice search grew from 0% of all Google searches to around 10%. This includes all major voice search options in the market, like Google Now, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana.

    A recent survey of 39 leading SEO experts resulted in voice search becoming the third most powerful SEO trend in 2017. Mobile optimization and epic content were slightly ahead.

    The reason for this may be that voice recognition has increased dramatically in recent years. For example, Google Now had accuracy well below 80% in 2013, and it now sits well above 90%.

    Regardless of how you choose to interpret the data, it’s clear voice search is too powerful to ignore both now and in the future.

    How Do You Optimize Your Website for Voice Search?

    Google doesn’t yet offer voice search data to the public (although it may in the future). Until that data are released, you can’t create a perfect voice search optimization plan.

    But that doesn’t leave you helpless. Not at all. In fact, you can easily optimize for voice search now.

    First, start with Google’s answer and question boxes, which you’ve seen before. They look like so:

    The answer box at the top may be out of your reach. Typically, Google reserves that for highly reputable websites. Ones that have been around for years and years.

    Ditto for the question box.

    But, they both give you valuable data to optimize around. Look at those questions and answers, and BOOM! – you’ve got extensive data to build FAQ pages (which rank well in and of themselves).

    You might even consider building FAQs not just in your main navigation menu, but directly around specific products and services.

    Not only do they help you optimize for voice search, but they also are incredibly useful for your users. Answer thoroughly and honestly, and your website visitors put their trust in you, keep coming back, and eventually buy. Give generic, boring answers, and your customers have no reason to stay at your website instead of visiting your competitors. And you can also save money by not having to spend as much time on your customer service.

    And The Content Ideas Gush Out From There…

    Now, simple FAQs are great. But, you can go into even further depth (and usefulness, which is what web users want) by giving detailed answers to these questions in blog posts (view our content marketing services to get great content for your blog). You can make e-books that you sell.

    You could also create lead magnets out of these and use them to offer an incentive for people signing up to your list. Remember, your e-mail list has your most profitable customers on it. They love you.

    Or, you could create a video blog answering the question (especially if you’re a tradesman of some kind). You could turn this into a podcast also.

    From the example above, if you’re a lawyer, you could create an ultimate guide to apartment rental law.

    Wow! All that from a few questions and an answer?

    Yep.

    You could spend a full year, or even couple of years working part-time and creating massive content that answers these questions.

    For now, this is what you can do. And you’ll only be building future security around your search rankings by doing it.

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