JPEG Turns 25!

 

Anniversaries of anyone – or anything – can be an exciting time! It’s a great opportunity to reminisce about the “way things were,” but with the anniversary of the JPEG turning 25, things are a little different. The JPEG has been a core standard for image compression, staying “current” […]

Reach the Pinnacle of SEO

Google wants organic, high-quality content because that is simply what we want.  It’s really that simple.

The SEO path will forever be a long and winded, yet exciting path to follow. It’s always evolving and introducing new methods that can boost search engine rankings, and you truly need to stay […]

How the New Changes to Google’s Paid Ads will Affect Your SEM

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you have probably heard that Google has now revised their desktop user interface to eliminate ads from showing on the right sidebar. This is a huge change that affects many people, and it’s important to understand why Google made this adjustment, […]

Getting the Most Out of Your SEO Content Marketing

Without utilizing excellent SEO marketing practices, you are missing out on a large amount of potential traffic. Although high quality content is vital to gaining traffic organically, you can’t expect that everyone is going to be able to just find you online. SEO content marketing strategy is similar to […]

What You Need To Know About White Hat SEO

SEO can seem like a real pain to learn, and for this sole purpose, many people skip right over it. However, what they don’t know is that without utilizing Google’s SEO (search engine optimization) properly, they aren’t getting the traffic and success from their website that could be a […]

Why Social Media Can’t Be Forgotten For SEO

Social Media; it truly rules the industry if you invest your time into it correctly as it is one of the best tools for showcasing your content and generating those leads. While many people solely focus on SEO practices for rankings, social media can sometimes be shoved under the […]

Google’s Phantom 2 Places Praises The Best Websites and Content

The latest update from Google is here and it’s official; as of April 29th, the Phantom is changing the kind of content websites are providing… after originally being planned for release back in 2013. This is long overdue! The name of this Google algorithm update, Phantom 2 has the […]

How to Test Your Website for Responsive Design

With the very first responsive web design being introduced in 2010, it’s safe to say that this style of websites has certainly taken off in popularity. Apple launched the highly sought after mobile tablet devices called iPads which completely changed the way that we use the web today, and […]

Email Marketing Does Play a Part in your SEO

Email marketing is something that should certainly be a significant element within your online marketing tactics, and as long as it is done correctly, it truly has the ability to be extremely effective with a high return on investment. It also has the ability to work in combination with […]

Mobile Friendly Websites Are Getting Google’s Praise starting April 21st

google-algo-mobile-friendly

 

Google has taught you a lot, and the truth is that if you aren’t staying up to date with their information, you’re missing out on the most optimal experience that can be provided from a search engine. Since there is a […]

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SEO

 

Anniversaries of anyone – or anything – can be an exciting time! It’s a great opportunity to reminisce about the “way things were,” but with the anniversary of the JPEG turning 25, things are a little different. The JPEG has been a core standard for image compression, staying “current” for decades while other pieces of technology and software continue to go through iteration after iteration seemingly every few months.

New Horizon for Image Compression

As the JPEG turns 25, we are now beginning to hear about faster and more efficient image compression formats being developed that could potentially cut photo file sizes by 60 percent or more. The group responsible for the JPEG, the Joint Photographic Experts Group, has been developing the successor of the JPEG called JPEG XL.

With a more effective and more efficient compression format, users of JPEG XL would be able to store more photos on their mobile devices and personal computers, save more on their bandwidth usage by using less data to download what is essentially the same image, and have the ability to store even more files on their cloud storage.

 

The Race for the New Standard

JPEG XL isn’t the only image format that is being developed, which means that it’s a race for a handful of different “groups” to create the new standard for image formats and compression. Below are just a few of the image and video formats being developed in the hopes of creating the “new standard” for images/video.

  • AVIF (AV1 Image Format), developed by Mozilla, Google, Netflix, and more.
  • MIAF (Multi-Image Application Format), which is a simpler version of HEIF.
  • HEIF (High-Efficiency Image Format), which is currently supported by Apple and Microsoft.

As a user, all of these new “standards” will mean more effective image compression when downloading and uploading images. These image formats, from JPEG to the JPEG XL and all of its “competitors,” drastically reduce the data storage size of the image without losing a lot of the quality of the image. These compression formats pull out less-necessary data from the file while retaining the heart of the image.

The challenge with having so many different image formats being developed and supported by different, large entities is that if there is no one true “standard” for the “new image format,” then the market (including both the users of the formats as well as the supporters/developers of the formats) will be severely divided. When a market is divided like that, it becomes challenging for creators of hardware (such as phones and computers) and software (such as the apps and websites that you use) to focus on which formats to fully support.

If the image format isn’t chosen as “the” image format for the majority of the market, then it’s harder for it to get adopted and used by everyone, and that could mean that the general user base of the public and developers of hardware/software will continue to use older formats like the 25-year-old JPEG.

Regardless of what happens, it will be interesting watching to see what happens and which image format will come out on top – or if the JPEG will continue to hold its position close to the top until a new successor is chosen by the entire market.

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Google wants organic, high-quality content because that is simply what we want.  It’s really that simple.

The SEO path will forever be a long and winded, yet exciting path to follow. It’s always evolving and introducing new methods that can boost search engine rankings, and you truly need to stay current with the times in order to truly reach the pinnacle of SEO. Here is everything you need to be know to becoming a master at SEO today.

The Impending Doom of Penguin

One major thing you have to be aware of today is Google’s impending Penguin update. It’s an attack on spammy links, and as such, any websites that have poor quality links will not be rewarded. Ouch! Additionally, anything that seems unnatural will be viewed as questionable in the eyes of Google, and can do a significant amount of harm on your SEO and rankings.

The good news is that there are many services available online that analyze link quality, and can help reject any link(s) that could cause you problems.

Penguin works in correlation with Google’s Panda and Hummingbird updates in order to deliver more accurate and reliable results. Panda is all about rewarding high-quality, organic content, whereas Hummingbird is used to improve search engine’s capabilities, such as being able to understand words and semantics. However, no matter how in-depth your understanding is of these Google updates, you can never truly predict how such changes will affect each website.

SEO and Social Media

One of the most powerful marketing tools for the past several years, and very much so in 2016 is social media. It has introduced a new platform for business to interact with their customers, but what may surprise you is that it also has a large impact on SEO. While there is a vast array of social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Pinterest are amongst the most popular ones. Having likes, posts, shares, comments ad ultimately, followers can significantly expand your business within branding, and within search engine results as well.

Multi-Screen Marketing

Internet searches are increasingly being performed via mobile devices. As such, mobile optimization is no longer an option, but a necessity to becoming successful. It’s so important that companies that do not have a mobile optimized websites are likely to be penalized by Google. The key is to not only have multi-screen marketing, but to ensure that each page loads quickly. Since the average Internet user has a very short attention span, your website speed is crucial to ensure low bounce rates, as it can take mere seconds for customers to abandon a website because the page doesn’t load promptly.

Content Creation

Content is an incredibly important factor in order to reach the pinnacle of SEO, as it’s no longer a place to stuff keywords (and hasn’t been for quite some time). Instead, it’s all about quality over quantity.    Since Google’s algorithm is becoming even more intelligent, it will pick up poor quality content, and penalize the website in the meantime. Ensure that all content provided is valuable, engaging, useful and relevant to your viewers, and
Google will correlate with this. Additionally, longer content has been proven to be more beneficial than short, shallow pieces.

Voice Search

Many people are now starting to use voice searches as opposed to typing out queries. This is crucial to recognize because people using voice-related tools to search the Internet will do so in a manner as if they were talking to another person. Having a similar conversational tone within your content can bring a huge boost in traffic.

Click-Through Rates

Search engines have amazing capabilities that can track how many times a viewer clicks on a website from the search engine result pages, and then returns to look for another website within the same search. Ultimately, this tells Google that the first website clicked on did not have valuable information, which brought the viewer back to find one that does. Click-through rates could also be a strong indicator that said website is optimized for search engine optimization, but doesn’t follow in suit with high-quality content. It’s crucial to maintain a good CTR, and can easily be done with engaging content.

Track Your SEO Strategies

Everyone should be using Google Analytics to track the progress of their SEO tactics. You can instantly comparing before-and-after statistics, which then allows you to make adjustments and updates to your website to further your success. These kinds of comparisons allow you to see what changes may have contributed to a decreased traffic, high bounce-rate, etc. so you can make alterations to your SEO strategies as needed.

The bottom line is that Google wants quality over quantity. The trick to SEO is to truly be as genuine, engaging and unique as possible. Anything that appears to be a tactic in the eyes of Google will certainly be frowned upon. However, with these tips, you will be sure to reach the pinnacle of SEO in 2016.

 

If you would like more information on SEO as well as a free SEO analysis on your web brand visit us @britecode.io/marketing

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you have probably heard that Google has now revised their desktop user interface to eliminate ads from showing on the right sidebar. This is a huge change that affects many people, and it’s important to understand why Google made this adjustment, and what it means for you.

On late February of 2016, Google rolled out a revised desktop user interface without right-hand ads.

 

What Has Changed

Although Google’s user interface has appeared to remain the same over the years, there have actually been many changes that have been implemented. For example, back in 2007, Google did not always show any top ads, and if they did, it was usually only one or two organic results.

serp circa 20

Screenshot circa 2007

Today, Google’s search pages show four ads at the top, as well the beginning of a map section. Additionally, some of the ads now have six lines, as opposed to the previous maximum of three lines.

serp-today

Screenshot 3.2016

Cost Per Click Prices will Increase

Since there are fewer available ad spots on the search result page, Cost Per Click prices will increase. In other words, advertisers will have to up their bids in order to get above the fold impressions. However, some say that with the additional fourth spot and ads still remaining at the bottom of the page, the change isn’t so drastic. But there is still a lesson to be learned about mobile bidding, and it’s that you need to be at the top positions to get those clicks. There will be significantly more competition for the top spots, which increases Cost Per Click prices. When this increases, the value of organic ranking will also increase because Adwords is all about the value of keyword.

Organic Click Through Rates will Decrease

With the new changes, users now have to scroll down the search page to find the organic results.  If we look back at the comparison of 2007, you’ll see that today, Google has increased the size of the map and local results. While the local search results were decreased from showing seven to only showing three, the amount of screen shown was increased to actually such results. As a result, organic results were again, pushed further down the page. Now, with the fourth ad spot being available for highly commercial search queries, the organic results are being pushed even further down the page, which is why those top positions in Google are so favorable. However, results that appear lower on the page tend to have a lower click through rate, and this is expected to decrease even more.

Third party CTR data shows a rapid drop in the CTR as position increases. This winner takes all phenomena has been discussed extensively and is why top positions in Google are so valuable.

 

ctr

Source: Advancedwebranking.com/ctrstudy

Value of Organic Rankings

You may be wondering how a decreased click through rate and increased cost per click will affect SEO. This can easily be determined by using a formula that calculates the value or organic rankings.

Monthly Organic Value = Monthly Volume x CTR of Position x Adwords CPC

This exact formula takes the cost of running Adwords campaigns as an equivalent for the organic results. The keyword planner provides approximate cost per clicks, as well as the monthly number of search for said keyword. Then, the estimated click-through rate is then provided for that keyword. Thus, an estimate in the value of organic rankings is provided.

What this essentially means is that there would be no reason for advertisers to pay a flat fee for organic listing, as opposed to paying for Adwords. However, paying Google for an organic slot isn’t even an option, but you get the jest of it.

SEO is Still Here

Now, it is unfair to say that these are the exact changes that will be seen for CTR and CPC. However, the prediction is that Cost per Click will increase more than the actual organic Click Through Rate decreases. If this is accurate, it means that the value of an organic position will also increase. Thus, companies will be more willing to spend even more money on programs that improve their rankings.  This can also be said for local SEO, as more small businesses will be eager to appear in the local 3-pack of Google.

So, what does this all mean? Google’s user interface is still quite far from becoming a page strictly of paid-for-ads, and SEO still has a significant amount of power and value to businesses. Things will certainly be more competitive, especially for those ad positions, but with a strong SEO strategy, you can still prevail within the search results.

Conclusions

While we are still a long way from a Google UI that is all ads, the most recent change by Google notches us one step closer. For people questioning the value of SEO, these most recent changes will only make the organic results more value to businesses. Here is what we see happening:

  • Adwords CPC will increase especially for competitive niches. Advertisers will be forced to ante up or get out of the auctions.
  • Organic CTR will decrease due to the new fourth ad on highly commercial search queries.
  • The estimated value of an organic ranking will increase because Adwords CPC will increase at a higher rate than the decrease in organic CTR.
  • Everything gets more competitive leading more businesses dabbling in SEO or PPC to make real investments or get out.
  • Map pack rankings are the low hanging fruit for small businesses but Google has already amped up the competition with their 7 to 3 Pack.
  • SEO is NOT dead!

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Without utilizing excellent SEO marketing practices, you are missing out on a large amount of potential traffic. Although high quality content is vital to gaining traffic organically, you can’t expect that everyone is going to be able to just find you online. SEO content marketing strategy is similar to placing a massive billboard along the highway of the busiest city – only for the internet, sans the massive price as well. All you need to do is think outside of the box, get a little creative, do some keyword research and know who your audience is. Here are 10 effective SEO content marketing tactics that will give you the best results for your efforts.

Infuse SEO From the Beginning
Learn SEO right from the beginning and infuse it into your content right away because learning these marketing practices afterwards will call for a lot of backtracking (and time lost). If you write for your audience and provide high quality content with SEO in mind as soon as you start your project, you’re only moving in one direction – and that is forward.

High Quality Content
Busting out some generic information infused with SEO isn’t going to ‘catch’ like it will if you put some time and effort into the quality of the content you’re providing. Google loves authentic websites that aren’t only providing content for SEO purposes, and if that isn’t a benefit in itself, good content will propel itself as soon as it’s published.

Mobile Friendliness is a Must
Google recently released an update that they will favor websites that have a responsive design. In other words, your website should automatically adapt to whatever device it is being viewed from, whether it’s a Google tablet, phone, iPhone, iPad, desktop, laptop or any other kind of the hundreds out there. Why is having a mobile friendly website that much more important? Statistics show that more and more people are going online via their phone. Thus,  without being able to view your website properly on mobile devices, you could be losing a lot of potential traffic.

Do Email Marketing
Email marketing has a fine line between bombarding your customers with too many emails, or not enough and for this exact reason, many businesses are afraid to indulge into an email campaign. The most important thing to determine is what works for you and your audience. While some business may thrive on a daily email of discounts, others are better off providing a weekly recap. While you do have to be cautious when selecting the email marketing you wish to do, it should never be left out of your SEO content marketing strategy completely.

Spotlight Content
Your website is probably full of different kinds of content, whether it’s different categories and tags for your blog posts, or a website, blog, service page and so much more. It is important to spotlight incredible website content to further engage your audience and keep them coming back. If you have recently written a piece that really sparks interest, show it off with a spotlight. Maybe you have some new deals this week – put a spotlight on it. Make the best portions of your website stand out.

Use Social Media
All of your content, especially the stuff you choose to be spotlighted on your website as mentioned above, needs to be shared across your social media pages. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus are excellent places to share your content to get some views and more importantly, to go viral. Again, people won’t always find your content organically. You need to advertise it, show it, debut it and social media is an excellent place to start and should never be skipped out.

Collaborate With Experts
Social media can also be incredible for networking, and provide you with many opportunities to collaborate with experts within your niche. It also gives your audience a new voice and information that you may not have provided yourself, and with that, they’ll share it and get more views heading back to your website. So, network and collaborate.

Pay for Promotion
With so many ways to promote your content without having to put out a dime, it is easy to disregard promotion that comes with a price tag. However, there are some services that are certainly worth it and the fees are fairly minimal. Some of the most traditional ones being Google AdWords, Twitter and Facebook ads and PPC campaigns. There are also other content distribution companies such as OutBrain, Tabooa, and literally so many more.  Explore these options and find some that work for your niche, content and audience. Promoting your content has never been more affordable. Forget about those expensive billboards and television commercials.

Never Duplicate Content
While it is okay to promote your content on social media platforms several different times, you never, ever want to duplicate your content completely. Sure, retweeting your content link is okay, but you typically want to revamp the 150 characters that are attached to it. People will get sick of seeing the same stuff. So, don’t try to rehash the same stuff repeatedly.

Analyze Your Statistics
If you have no idea what’s working for you, you risk being stuck at a standstill. Get in a habit of viewing your rankings, statistics and traffic to your website. See what is bringing you the best traffic, and tweak the areas that don’t seem to be working for you. If you don’t analyze your stats, you won’t know how to improve and grow in success.

In a nutshell, marketing your high quality content is really all you need to create a successful marketing campaign. These 10 tips will make sure that you are providing what Google and your audience wants, while also ensuring that the most amount of people are going to see it. After all, you’re just selling yourself short within diving head first into these marketing practices.

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SEO can seem like a real pain to learn, and for this sole purpose, many people skip right over it. However, what they don’t know is that without utilizing Google’s SEO (search engine optimization) properly, they aren’t getting the traffic and success from their website that could be a potential had they taken a couple of minutes to figure it out all. That’s also not to mention that SEO isn’t a difficult thing to learn. You just have to stay on top of it, so let’s get you started with White Hat SEO.

What Is White Hat SEO?

Great question, and an even greater place to start when figuring out SEO. White Hat SEO is all about the ethical things you can do to improve the ranking of your website within Google’s search engine. How is this different from regular SEO? The white hat tactics are geared more towards your audience as opposed to the search engines per se, while still following the search engine rules and guidelines that Google has put in place. “White Hat” also refers to the good kind of computer hackers; the ones that use their expertise to secure your system as oppose to exploiting it.

White Hat SEO Techniques

SEO is packed with all kinds of techniques and tools you can practice to place your website at a higher ranking, and the white hat ones pertain to gaining long-term results as opposed to immediate ones like PPC (pay per click). While complying with Google’s webmaster guidelines, you must also be providing the same quality of content that Google indexes, and one of the most important things you could know is that white hat SEO focuses on the people as mentioned previously. Thus, the content you provide can’t just be for Google rankings, and must be readable, high quality content that people can actually use.

White Hat VS. Black Hat

Now, you must be sure not to get white hat SEO and black hat SEO confused because the latter is the bad of the bunch and pertains to malicious hacking tactics. The techniques are very deceptive and manipulate the search rankings to get you a better ranking… Until Google catches you, that is. One of the most common black hat SEO tactics is keyword stuffing. So, black hat is bad, and white hat pertains to good content that is authentic.

That’s also not to mention that Google will find you if you are manipulating their search engine rankings, and then you’re penalized and not getting much for your websites. So, it is crucial to not only follow Google’s SEO guidelines, but to also practice the white hat SEO techniques.

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Social Media; it truly rules the industry if you invest your time into it correctly as it is one of the best tools for showcasing your content and generating those leads. While many people solely focus on SEO practices for rankings, social media can sometimes be shoved under the rug but it does have the potential to be just as beneficial, and when combined with SEO, you’re creating a killer marketing plan. Since SEO is forever changing, it’s so important to stay consistent with the rules. One of the most monumental changes was in 2013 with the Google Penguin and Google Panda updates. This is when a more integrated strategy became priority, which is one of the main reasons social media is so vital to internet and search engine success.

The Value of Social Media

Many businesses know that they should be doing social media, but just have no idea where to start or can’t see the value of investing time into updating a 140 character Twitter status or posting a picture onto Instagram or Facebook. While it may all sound like fun and games, there’s much more behind it. Since Google’s search engine optimization practices place emphasis on high quality content that is also getting shared and noticed, while also receiving link backs to your website, social media could be the key you’ve been looking for. Here are some statistics that provide definitive proof that social media brings value to your marketing and SEO.

  • When it comes to making a decision about a purchase, 46% of people online use social media to help.
  • There are approximately 25 million active business pages on Facebook.
  • There are approximately 25 million active business pages on Facebook.
  • 80% of small businesses use social media already, and 94% of them say that they use it specifically to improve their marketing.
  • 3 out of 5 small businesses say they have gained  a new customer through social media.
  • Approximately half of small businesses use social media for their own learning, such as networking.

Social Media Benefits Your Content

There are many ways that social media can benefit your content, which is a huge component to successful SEO practices as of Google’s current guidelines. Here are some of the most popular ones.

It Gives You Reach

Without social media, the only people finding your content are those who stumble across it or search for it directly. This doesn’t leave you with much opportunity to reach potential leads. Utilizing social media is kind of like placing your content on a billboard. People see it. It gets the word out; giving you reach to current and potential customers. As a bonus, your content can then be instantly shared beyond your audience. This also sometimes results in some link backs that are 100% organic. As long as you’re producing high quality content that people want to see and share, and taking advantage of social media, you’re golden. You’re getting that reach to potential, new and old customers.

The Opportunity to Collaborate

Networking is definitely one of social medias largest benefits, as you can connect with people and other businesses within your niche, as well as outside of your niche. By creating these business relationships, there are many opportunities to collaborate together, whether it’s a sponsored giveaway or contest, or even shared content and links. The platform is there, so start sharing your ideas and collaborate.

A Source of Inspiration

Use your social media as a source of inspiration. If you have no idea what to write about for this week’s blog posts (which you need to stay on top of for SEO purposes), log onto your social media accounts and see what people are talking about. Instantly, you’ll have a couple of ideas popping up that are trending, current and wanted. That’s also not to mention that if you infuse some inspiration into your content, it encourages others to share, and suddenly, everyone is everyone’s muse. This can definitely generate more leads.

Brand Recognition

Your social media accounts allow you to put a face to your brand; provide an authentic appeal to your company. This is a huge trend within the business industry as people want to be able to relate back to the company that they’re purchasing from or utilizing. It also keeps you active; people will see that you’re creating constant content and that your gears are always grinding with something new. This too, can generate new leads.

One of the most important things that you could ever know about integrating social media into your marketing plan is that you must be authentic with it. You can’t go and create these social media profiles, post one thing, and never touch it again. You also can’t create a bunch of random accounts on the same platforms and have some clients here, other’s there and everything scattered. Create one account per social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and provide consistent content and interaction. While this does require frequent effort, the results can be very beneficial as you’re investing in furthering your SEO and marketing strategies. So, focus on your SEO rankings – yes. However, don’t forget about thinking outside of the box and finding new and creative ways to engage, connect and promote your content. Social media is an excellent place to start that can also provide you with the Google rankings that you want.

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The latest update from Google is here and it’s official; as of April 29th, the Phantom is changing the kind of content websites are providing… after originally being planned for release back in 2013. This is long overdue! The name of this Google algorithm update, Phantom 2 has the internet industry stirring, eager to stay on top of Google’s ever-changing regulations, and of course, they’re rankings! Now, these changes are specific to the content quality of your site, and there’s no need for you to panic. Following this new update is so easy, and even easier if you’ve already been producing high quality content for your site, which you really should have been doing anyway.  However, it is highly recommended that you still take the tie to find out what is different with the Phantom 2 from the previous Panda and Penguin updates, and more importantly, find out how it will affect your website and the quality of your content.

Google Wants The Best

One must always keep in mind that there are copious amounts of elements that Google uses for ranking, and this one is said to be a calling for quality, placing high importance on the quality of the content that you provide. In other words, your website should really provide an optimal user experience, and Google is giving ranking kudos to those that do just that. This could also be why they recently placed emphasis on responsive design websites as well. It all makes sense because high quality content is a win-win for everyone – the website owner, the users, marketers and advertisements and of course, Google. So, if you produce thin content with not much substance or utilize some sort of bots, you could be in trouble. Google is narrowing in on its target.

How to Have a High-Quality Website

In short, it doesn’t take much to have sufficient quality that Google won’t be disappointed with. Some things to take into consideration is to ensure that your website is well-organized and easy for your users to navigate through. The URL that you use, as well as your site’s loading speed should also be of priority because Google will certainly dock those that don’t follow. As mentioned previously, responsive web design is also a huge bonus and plus in the eyes of Google (and your viewers), and lastly, content. Never underestimate your content – especially now with the Phantom update.

quality-control-571148_1280The Basics of High-Quality Content

It’s very easy to produce high quality information. You just have to accompany it with relevant images, and, at best, custom-designed infographics that are, of course, also relevant.  The content should also be formed around excellent keywords specific to your niche and what the user is looking for, and the content should be natural – not robotic or too rehearsed. However, that’s not to mention that sometimes ‘thin content’ seems realistic. For example; if you’re advertising your carpentry services on your website, it would make sense to have simple, straight forward sentences such as “I am a carpenter and ready to take on any task you have”. Knowing how to enhance this will come with great benefits. Try to add in your geological location and incorporate content that is going to be helpful to those looking to do some carpentry in their home. Remember, Google is all about websites providing the best user experience, so even if you can provide simple and basic content, elaborate. That is the key.

Is Your Content Good?

An easy way to check out how good the quality of your website is, take a look at your Google Analytics and measure the audiences’ engagement. Look for the time that is spent on the site, a low bounce rate and even how many times the content gets shared. If your numbers have significantly taken a drop lately, your Google Analytics are another place to look to see why the sudden change. It could mean that the quality of your content has to be enhanced.

Practice the Google Quality Guidelines

As a website owner, you should know and practice the Google Guidelines like its your bible.  Here are some very important things to remember that are specific to ensuring that you are producing high quality content on your website.

Re-Read Your Content

It’s easy to write a piece and think it’s flawless, but you’ll be surprised at how many errors can be found in your content. Go over everything that you write – at least once. As for the content that you already have produced and published, look over that as well. Scan over your homepage and if you don’t have much information (or SEO practices infused on the main page), it is something to consider. Remember, Google wants the best user experience. There are only basics, so take the time to read, understand and follow Google’s quality outlines. This is a surefire way to see how Google separates good quality from the rest.

No Shortcuts

It can be easy to want to bust out content infused with SEO, but Google is catching on to these things. You really need to forget about the shortcuts and invest the time to creating content that is informative and that the audience wants to receive. As mentioned previously, unnatural sounding content is not favored by Google. So, try to flip the switch a bit and see yourself as a view of your website. Would you find the information on your website useful, sharable and make you want to come back? If not, you may want to go back up to the “re-read your content” step and revamp your content, and avoid shortcuts in the future so that you don’t have to waste time going back and fixing everything once again.

Luckily, this new Google algorithm update is so easy to comply with. You just have to provide content that is good; that makes people want to read and share and visit your site again. No more bots, or generic information. Do the work and Google will reward you, thanks to the Phantom 2.

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With the very first responsive web design being introduced in 2010, it’s safe to say that this style of websites has certainly taken off in popularity. Apple launched the highly sought after mobile tablet devices called iPads which completely changed the way that we use the web today, and the way in which we communicate with one another. Things have definitely changed within the technology industry, and since the big peak of success with responsive design, it has only become much more widespread. Despite it’s popularity, many people actually have no idea what this term means, and focus solely on having a website that works properly. They don’t necessarily place importance on hyperlinks that can link to other pages with more specific information, or even on coding and imagery that takes too long to download. People just want to design a fast loading page that is easy to use, but very rarely do they know that they can still get that and so much more with a responsive design. Let’s take a look at your web design and see how we can improve it’s responsive design.

Ranking with a Mobile Responsiveness

When it comes to investing time and design into your website, you always need to keep Google’s guidelines for ranking close in mind, and your mobile responsiveness is a ranking component. Only recently, Google announced that whether or not your website is user-friendly when viewed on mobile devices will be a ranking factor. So, as of April 21st, if you haven’t been placing importance, you may start seeing your Google search engine ranking taking a plunge which is never a good thing. This update has been nicknamed Mobilegeddon, and it’s so vital to your success that it has made news all over the world. To get you on the the ride, you need to first test the mobile responsiveness of your website, and find out what you can do to enhance it.

What Is a Good Responsive Design?

macbook-606763_1280One of the biggest benefits of having a responsive design is that your website will automatically adapt to all different screen sizes and resolutions. Simply put, regardless of the device that you’re using, responsive design will ensure that you have optimal usability with all the functions working efficiently and properly – or in other words, the same, on each device. So, for example your menu bar or social media sharing buttons you see when using a desktop won’t disappear when viewed from a mobile device, tablet or something else.

 

You Need a Responsive Website

Everyone benefits from having a responsive design website; both the site owner and the viewers. If you don’t currently pay close attention to the information provided in Google Analytics, there’s no better time to start doing the opposite because with the data, you can find out how many people are visiting your site from specific devices, such as a mobile device or tablet, and you can also see how long they spend on your site. If the majority of mobile device users aren’t staying longer than a couple seconds or a minute, you may have just found the problem – you don’t have a responsive design website. Some Analytic settings also allow you to see how many of those users go on to purchase something from the site or join your mailing list. This is all important information to pay attention to at all times, but it could really be all you need to convince you that you need a responsive website.

Check your Google Analytics by going to the site, click on the site you wish to review, then select Audience > Mobile > Overview.

Somethings to check out include; Bounce Rate, Pages/Session, Avg Session Duration and Goal Conversion Rate.  If your numbers are much lower than those associated with desktop usage, there’s one way to fix that, and it’s with a responsive design website because the data is telling you that people viewing your site on tablet and mobile devices are not receiving the best experience.

It’s Time To Test Your Site for Mobile Responsiveness

If you are unsure as to whether or not your website is mobile responsive, there are some tests and tools that you can do online that will see how your website runs and appears on mobile devices. However, let’s first focus on the simplest of tests to see if responsive design is definitely the issue. If you’re on a desktop, load your site that you want to test and make the browser narrower by dragging the bottom corner. If your website is responsive, the elements of the page will adjust so that they are still there. You just may have to scroll to see them. If you’re on a mobile device, go to the site that you want to test and see how it loads. If it takes a long time or if it looks exactly the same way as your desktop version (not shrunken down so you will likely have to do copious amounts of scrolling to see the entire thing), then you don’t have a responsive design. Everything should collapse to minimize the scrolling from left to right, allowing you to see everything as you scroll down.

Testing Multiple Devices With Online Emulators

Running simple tests is an excellent option to see if your site is responsive or not, but with the massive amounts of tech devices out there, from iPads to Google Tablets, Androids, iPhones and so much more, you want to be sure that your site appears properly across all of them. Here are some websites to use to test the performance of your website.

MobileTest.me

multi-devices

With this website, you can test your site with 6 popular mobile devices, such as the iPhone 5, and Google Nexus. All you have to do is click on the device you want to test, enter the URL of your website and within a couple of seconds, you’ll have your results with page links and other data, allowing you to browse the site via the emulator.

Responsinator

This emulator focuses mainly on Apple products, but does include some Android machines. The benefit of this website is that you don’t have to test each device individually. You just enter the URL, and scroll through the data provided.

Am I  Responsive

The process is similar with this website; enter the URL and receive the results. However, you don’t have to scroll as the data for the generic devices are right at the top and you can click each to see more specific information and use the site as normal.

Google’s Mobile Friendly Test

Of course, Google offers a testing tool as well and since Google’s regulations basically rule the internet, you can’t go wrong with this.  It’s called Google Mobile Testing Tool and the process is simple to follow.

What do I do Next?mobile-722946_640

If you site shows that works across all devices, you’re good and there’s no need for you to do anything. However, if your site doesn’t work, there are a variety of options that you have. The first is to convert your website to a responsive one which can be very hard or very simple to do. So, definitely do your research and find a responsive theme. You can also opt for a mobile theme. Although, it will make your website responsive on mobile devices as well, you still aren’t considering tablets and other viewing devices out there. You can also redesign your site to have a mobile responsive theme from scratch. Although timely and not always the most affordable option, you can ultimately achieve the best results with this option.

Once Your Website is Responsive

So, you have selected and option and made your website responsive. Now, you have to test it. Some things to pay attention to is whether your website is easy for users to use, is the content easy to read and is it easy for the users to find and follow your Calls to Action? Give your site a detailed once-over as if you were an ordinary user yourself. Go through different pages and elements and fix any problems that you come across.

Google making the changes to place emphasis on websites that are responsive is truly a win-win for everyone. In fact, some even say that it is long overdue and since it is beneficial for everyone – from the designers and theme builders, to the website owners and users and everyone in between. With so many websites not being responsive, jumping on this trend can boost your ratings in Google and send you record-hitting traffic.

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Email marketing is something that should certainly be a significant element within your online marketing tactics, and as long as it is done correctly, it truly has the ability to be extremely effective with a high return on investment. It also has the ability to work in combination with your SEO strategies. The secret is that it has to be done right; and so many businesses do it so wrong. So, if you’re interested in generating new leads (who isn’t?) while revamping your email strategies to further your SEO and entire marketing plan, it is time to listen up and learn the ropes of proper email marketing.

The Direct Marketing Association studies show that the return on investment from email marketing is approximately $40 for every dollar spent.

HubSpot, on the other hand, shows that your email subscriber list actually degrades by 22% each year. HubSpot did go on to say that the reasons for the decrease in email subscribers is a result of job change, abandoned accounts and unsubscriptions.

While these two statics may seem like an oxymoron, it does definitive proof that; 1) email marketing can be incredibly effective, and 2) email marketing is something that you must do correctly in order to receive continuous benefits, and this is exactly how SEO comes into play.

3 of The Most Effective Ways To Collect Email Subscribers

Whether you are new to the email marketing strategy, are starting over from scratch or simply revision your approach to maximize on the benefits, there are 3 ways that you can increase the amount of email subscribers that you have. They are as follows:

  1. Registration upon purchasing a product (a huge benefit for eCommerce sites)
  1. Registration pages all over your website, preferably with an offer that encourages your audience
  1. Online events, such as webinars

 

Things To Do To Enhance Your Email Marketing

Once you have people subscribed to your content, you need to be able to keep them there – especially with HubSpot declaring a 22% decrease each year. Here are some things to consider.

Reach Your Current and Potential Customers

It is no secret that people spend a significant amount of time on the internet, and more so on their mobile devices than ever before. Now, a lot of mobile internet usage is spent in one’s inbox because people are checking their email regularly. After all, with a swipe upwards with your thumb for a reload, why not, right? Email is one of the best ways to get your message delivered; to reach your customers – old, new and potential.

Produce High Quality, Targeted Content

Content is key, and quickly becoming a vital part in SEO practices. Without content, you aren’t able to provide your customers with what they probably signed up to your email subscription for. With that said though, your content can be something you whipped together just to provide. It must be of high quality, relatable and targeted to your audience. As long as you’re producing things that your customers want to see, they should remain on your email list and may even be encouraged to share your content with others and the beneficial cycle begins.

Different Content for Different People

Many businesses produce one email for all of their clients but this isn’t always the best approach. Offering different types of services that your customers can subscribe to may be key. For example; whether they want all updates, just blog posts pertaining to one subject, or a combination of things. Offering more detailed and specific email subscriptions can increase the amount of people that sign up, and the more relevant the information is that you’re providing, the more likely it is to get shared. However, it is then absolutely vital that you don’t confuse the different categories of subscribers.

Offer Opportunities To Opt For Emails

A surefire way to get your email subscription offer out there without spamming your website is to provide an option for your customers to opt in at the end of your content. This could be at the end of a blog post, video service page or even on your social media accounts. It’s just a simple way to basically say, “Hey! You can get information sent directly to you!”

People Love Free Things

We cannot stress it enough; giveaways are the golden goddess of receiving what you want from your customers. People love free things. There are many ways in which you can use this to your advantage within your email marketing strategy. One of the easiest things is to offer free product to those that sign up for your email subscription. Mind you, this can get expensive if you have thousands of people opting in. To lower the costs and items you’re giving away for free, you could also host a giveaway to those who sign up, or even just a random one of the month to simply thank your customers. People love free stuff, and they love to feel appreciated.

Add An Overlay

When it comes to finding new ways to improve the conversion rate of your website, there are many forms of technologies to use, such as Bounce Exchange and SumoMe. Such services can actually enhance the conversion of your site by a couple of percentages. This is absolutely incredible, especially in paid programs, and you can actually see the true return of investment!

So, don’t only think about those SEO’s rules and guidelines to enhance your ranking. There is a lot of “outside of the box” tactics you can practice that focus on your content and audience which is very white hat SEO savvy. Google loves high quality content now, and email marketing is a surefire way to receive maximum benefits from your audience. You just have to make sure that you do it right because no one likes their inbox being filled with spam emails filled with content that no one wants to read. Who knew that email marketing could go hand-in-hand with SEO? Now you do.

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google-algo-mobile-friendly

 

Google has taught you a lot, and the truth is that if you aren’t staying up to date with their information, you’re missing out on the most optimal experience that can be provided from a search engine. Since there is a significant increase in people using their mobile devices to access webpages, chances are that you too, pull out your phone to find the latest information. You’ve probably also been frustrated with not being able to find relevant and/or timely results because not all webpages are mobile-friendly. What’s worse is when you can’t even find the information you’re searching for. Google has launched two new changes that will help users find more mobile-friendly webpages, and whether you’re the one searching for some content, or a company providing it, these important changes are definitely worth listening to.

 Change #1: Mobile Friendly Ranking

Google has a lot to do with the ranking within search engine results. As of April 21, they will be placing importance on how mobile-friendly a website is. As a result, businesses that provide a webpage that is up to date with mobile-use will have a better SEO ranking, and users will then be able to find such companies that provide relevant content. Google also provides a guide to help businesses provide a mobile-friendly webpage. Their webmaster tool also offers you the option to test just how mobile friendly your site is.

 

 

Change #2: App Content Ranking

Google will now be using information from indexed apps to help determine the ranking for signed-in users that have the application installed. This change is effective right now. What this means for you is that Google will be able to find app content that is relevant to what the user is searching for. Again, giving businesses a better ranking in the search engines and providing users with more relevant information from their searches. If App indexing is all new to you, then it is highly recommended to check out Google’s easy-to-follow guide that will teach you how to apply App indexing.

 

Google is constantly changing things up, but it’s always for the better of businesses and the users of its search engine. This leaves those search results (and company webpages) that don’t place importance on their online marketing strategy and customers’ experience in the dust… Or at the very least, further in the search engine results.

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