Are You Ready for #Mobilegeddon?

You may have heard that Google will be conducting a ‘mobile friendly’ update to start April 21. It will be anything but ‘friendly’ to your search traffic if you have not made your website responsive or created a mobile only site which mirrors your desktop website, with the correct annotations.

Google made an official announcement, on February 26th, that mobile-friendliness will become a major ranking signal and ‘will have a significant impact in our search results.’ Looking at our Google Analtyics stats, I see that our mobile (smartphone) traffic accounts for almost 30% of our traffic. Ouch. This could mean a big hit to our organic traffic if the website is not mobile friendly. Luckily, we have a responsive website, but there are still some improvements to be made for this update.

The Google gods don’t always tell us about their updates. If you remember Panda and others, we are often left wondering WTH when our traffic suddenly dropped off. This time, they are not only letting us know, but they are also giving us tips and tools to prepare for the update.

Tools to Check Your Website for Mobile Friendliness

Use these tools to help test and find out how to improve your website for this update.

Mobile Friendly Test
Tests your website to see if it is mobile friendly
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Page Speed Insights
Primary to making your site mobile friendly, is that ‘above the fold’ content must load quickly – under one second! Check your page speed here:
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Make your CMS Mobile Friendly
If you are using a CMS, like WordPress, Drupal or Blogger, go here for tips on how to optimize your CMS website.
https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/website-software/

Are you prepared for Mobilegeddon? Take the Poll!

Website Traffic Tip: Stop Linking to Your Home Page!

When you practice inbound marketing, you want to encourage visits to your website with links to content. You do this to drive traffic, increase your social signals and encourage visits from people who are getting to know you. One mistake novices make, is to link back to their home page, over, and over, and over again.  Don’t do this.

You want to link to content, like an educational blog post or landing page with a valuable offer, instead of your home page. This creates ‘deep links’. You want to deep links because:

  1. this gives your website authority and credibility with the search engines
  2. you will have an increased opportunity to rank for your keywords
  3. you are providing your potential customers with content they want to read.

Write this down. Don’t forget. Deep link.

2 Free APPs to Make the Most of Your Content Writing

To rank highly in the search engines and succeed at inbound marketing you need to create content. Written content is the easiest and least expensive content to create.  You don’t need to invest in graphics or video software.

It’s Not so Easy!

Writing, however, can be a daunting task! If you have not trained to write professionally, then you might wonder if it’s good enough for the world to read. Even if you have been trained to write self-doubt can create issues. Perhaps you are blocked by a fear of criticism.

The content you write needs to be not only grammatically correct, but also engaging and relevant to your audience. To check for spelling and grammar, you can run your copy through your word processor’s spell and grammar check. Evaluating relevance and engagement is more difficult.

Yes, you could have several people read your content. However, their opinions may be subjective. Or you might work alone and not have the luxury of having others proof and read your content.

Never Fear. There’s an APP for That

I, too, suffer from content writing insecurity. In my quest to improve I’ve come across two cool tools that help me and which I hope will help you.

Atomic Reach

atomic engager score 73%

Atomic Engager scores the engagement of your content and offers tips for improvement.

Atomic Reach will score your content ‘… to show when your content is optimized for your target audience.’ The APP goes further by offering concrete tips and suggestions for improvement. The improvement areas cover:

  • Title
  • Audience
  • Structure
  • Linguistics

Atomic Engager Lite is free. There are also paid options.

My first attempt at writing this blog post garnered a score of 54%. Not bad. However, the APP tells me I need to go for a score of at least 60% for optimal audience engagement. The APP also gives tips and suggestions for improvement.

Using some of the writing tips and suggestions, and after several revisions, my next score improved. The score was 73%.

Try it. You’ll like it.

It’s Not All About You – Customer Focus Calculator

Customer Focus Calculator

Customer Focus Calculator Scores the Engagement of Your Content

The next APP to try is Customer Focus Calculator. You must know that customers have pain points and problems to be solved. Your job is to write content that will satisfy those needs. But how do you know if the content you write is doing its job? Enter Customer Focus Calculator.

You simply enter your URL and company name. The APP will then calculate the customer focus of your content. I entered the URL of a web page I wrote and found that the customer focus was 61.9% on the customer and 38.1% self focus. Whew. Glad to know this page is more about our customers than about us.

Suffer No Longer

So you see, there’s no need to agonize any more about the quality of your content. Give these APPs a try.

Let me know if they help you by leaving a comment.

Be Found Online – Top 10 Tips

 

seo-biz upIn my day job, I am frequently asked to evaluate websites and recommend strategies and tactics to attract visitors. I also work on our corporate website to continuously improve its ability to attract customers. The efforts have been successful with a 50% increase in organic search! As you may know, organic search can significantly reduce the need for you to spend money on Search Engine Marketing, such as Google Adwords.

In this  post I want to share my top 10 tips to be found online through organic search.

What is SEO?

First, you need an understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It simply means optimizing your website in a way that will make a search engine’s spiders able to efficiently “crawl” and index your website. The content you create, the keywords you target and the way you optimize each page relate to SEO.

As you go about creating, or revising, your website and its content, keep the following tips in mind.

Top 10 Tips

1. Know Your Customers, or ‘Personas’.

Develop customer profiles, or Personas, to help you create valuable and relevant content.

‘Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.’ Hubspot

google-yahoo-bing2. Research Keywords

  • Researching keywords that people use to find your website is one of the most valuable actions you can take to increase your Search Engine (SE) ranking.
  • The simplest way to research keywords is to search for terms that you think your customers will use to find you. Or you can use free or paid tools.
  • Make sure you use your keywords in title tags, H1 headlines, alt tags and your content (if working with a web developer they should be able to help you with this).

 Bonus Tip: Long tail keywords like ‘Cost of widgets in Toronto’ are better than individual keywords, like ‘widgets’, which is too broad a search term and would have a tendency to return unrelated search terms .

3. Continuously Create Content with New Web Pages & Blog Posts

  • Remember that content is king
  • When creating content think about the value to your customers that you want each page to provide first, and then which keywords match that value.
  • A website with accurate well-placed keywords but with very poor content will not rank well.
  • Blogging regularly is a great way to increase SEO rankings.
  • When shared on social networks a blog can increase total traffic to your website.
  • Blogs help businesses to satisfy both customers and SEs by providing:
  • Relevant information
  • Backlinks from other blogs and high quality sites.

4. Make Your Content Unique

  • Make sure you’re not duplicating content – Google will penalize you and send your rankings to the bottom of the list.

5. Name Your Web Pages with Descriptive URLS

  • Choose descriptive URLs that accurately describe the content you’d expect to find on the page.
  • The cleaner and more descriptive a URL is (not longer) the easier it will be for a SE to identify the relevance of the content on a page.

6. Backlinks

  • Backlinks are links that lead to your website.
  • To SEs the number of backlinks is a strong indicator of the quality and popularity of your website.
Social Media

Engage in Social Media

7. Engage Frequently on Social Media to Increase Your Business’ Social Signal

  • Social signals are the new link building tool.
  • Google measures your website’s ‘pulse rate’ on social media channels.
  • Allows you to create many backlinks when you post web pages or blog posts to, for example, Facebook, which link back to your website.
  • Creates an opportunity for others to share your content, which will help increase your social signal and SE rank.

8. Include Photos and Videos

  • Get extra search ranking points by including photos, images like InfoGraphics, videos and audio files where possible.
  • For images, make sure you use alt tags and for videos, include short descriptions.

9. Think Local

  • Incorporate your location(s) into your website content wherever it makes sense and be sure to have a page of content setup for each location that you serve.
  • Get listed/claim your pages in location based services and directories like Google+, Google Places, Yahoo listings and Bing Business Pages.

10. Keep It Fresh!

  • Search engines are content and link hungry. Add new content on a regular basis.
  • Update not just the content but also the look of your website, if it’s not been done in the past 2 years, so that your company maintains an up-to-date image with your visitors. If you don’t yet have a website, you need to get one.

To get the most out of your online visitors, you also need to think about how to convert them to leads … but I’ll leave that for another day!