A recent Morgan Stanley study predicts that by 2020 most web browsing will be done on mobile devices and not on desktop PC’s.
Some web statistics have current traffic to the average website with as much at 58% coming from mobile devices. The question becomes, do you believe in the growth of mobile device surfing options? Do you find yourself using your mobile device to find a business, phone number or product? Odds are if you do it, so do your customers.
If you find this to be the case, then the next question is…is your website designed for the “mobile revolution?” In my experience, the answer is probably not. Here’s why:
Most websites are written for 800 x 600 screens to satisfy the average user who access websites via a 15/17 inch monitor. Something very different than the experience the user is subject to on their mobile device. The solution? Employ technology so your website can detect when the user is accessing the site via their mobile device. This way, your web page can be displayed with the same content, but in a format compatible with browsing on a smaller, mobile device. With critical information like the company phone number and location, you can convert more mobile users into mobile buyers.
Check our your Google Analytics to see the number of mobile users on your site right now. Need help getting more information and statistics from your website, give us a call.
Facebook continues to try to fight against compromised accounts. I know the other day I was online in Facebook when an old friend started talking to me about her trip to England where she was mugged and needed money to be able to get home. The story was quite in depth and the ability to reference that person’s friends and family was impressive. All except the part where I know that person is not in England. I let her know he Facebook as compromised and she should go to: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=420 to submit to Facebook to have the account taken down.
If they have not changed the account email you can try the “forgot your password” link and reset it. Likely they have changed the password and started send spam. How did they get in? Most likely through malware on your PC or browser. Facebook is too large to verify every account so typically they will just delete you so you can start your Facebook like all over again, bummer.
If you are going to use Facebook on a public computer, try out their new feature, temporary passwords. You have to already put in your mobile phone number into Facebook. Then text “otp” to 32665 and get a password that will work for only the next 20 minutes.
It is either innovative solutions like this or more security questions like what color was your favorite dog…
Facebook announced an online press conference which was held yesterday. The internet was a buzz about a possible Facebook phone or Facebook tablet-like device. Instead they announce 3 rather simple features around privacy and control. I found the anti announcement odd because if you are a Facebook user you know that Zuckerberg and his team change whatever they want about the interface whenever they want without warning or consultation. Anyway enough confusion here is what these changes can do for you and your presence online.
1. Groups. New groups feature will allow you to group your friends and have different statuses to different groups. I think most will pass over this feature but for our business customers this means they can use their main Facebook account but create a “Clients” group and provide selective information and posting. I think this may really help break the barrier to entry for some business people afraid to merge their business and personal Facebook life.
2. Download your personal data. This is an interesting new option. You can download recent posts/information/pictures kind of like a WordPress backup. I think this is an attempt to create a standard in interoperability between social media platforms. When I first read about it I was hoping it was a way to EXTRACT all your personal data out of the hands of Zuckerberg but no luck its just a backup.
3. A new Dashboard for apps. Those pesky applications which keep piling up can now be more easily added and removed like your iphone Apps. A nice feature but hardly worth a press conference.
So there it is in a few short paragraphs… I will be holding my won press conference to announce that I just had a press conference shortly.
I have to confess – I find the growing situation between Google and China to be very interesting both in terms of an ethical and business standpoint. In short, the situation is this:
In the past, the Chinese government required Google to sensor search results on topics they find objectionable. Last Monday, Google began sending Web searchers in mainland China from the China-based Google.cn to Google.com.hk based in Hong Kong where an “open” Internet is available. On Tuesday the Chinese government responded, using Internet filters to prevent results from being displayed for certain search topics. For example, searches related to pro-democracy returned errors saying the page couldn’t be displayed and in certain cases, the web browser disconnected for a short time. Clearly Google risks significant revenue by taking the stand they have, yet they’ve also likely gained quite a bit of respect from many users. In my opinion the situation is a game of “chicken” presently. The Chinese government hasn’t prohibited Google from doing business in China and Google hasn’t stopped censoring searches on the Google.cn domain. Yet, the situation is definitely tenuous. So what would you do if you were Google? Their stock dropped 1.5% this week on news that they’re effectively “thumbing” their nose at potentially the largest market. Interesting. Very Interesting.
A ton of information exists about this topic. I’ve included a few links below – silently glad that none of them are sensored…
This is a good video by Matt Cutts of Google. The webmaster channel is worth keeping tabs on over on YouTube. Keep in mind that Google won’t give away any secrets and will pretty much always say content is king. But buried in the videos are little nuggets of information into the world of the Google algorithm.
The nugget of this video is a reminder that content is king also means reaching out and sharing in communities. Find a forum where you have some expertise and share your expertise. Don’t try to throw backlinks in every signature, instead provide real advice and value and people will find you. Give out links more sparingly and be surprised how much more strength you will get then link spamming.
At ITP we do believe relevant and quality back-links are important to your sites ranking but there are so many more wrong ways to do link building. Share your link building struggles and successes.
It has been estimated that 70% of all business transactions begin with a search. Even if that is 50% correct, that means over a third of business transaction begin with some type of search function. Clearly, coordinating all effort toward appealing to those searches is necessary to drive business to your website. Logically then, it follows that doing so is a matter of knowing what people are searching for. From my previous post we know that finding out what search terms (i.e. keywords) need to be targeted isn’t a matter of simply guessing. So how do you employ them to get people to find your site? Include them in the right areas of your site in the right proportions. Here’s how:
Domain Name – admittedly using a keyword or a combination of keywords in your domain name is not often an option, however, doing so on landing sites IS almost always an option. More about this in a later post. Suffice it to say for now that this can make a huge difference in how search engines rank your site.
Metatags – “Meta” information is simply user-defined data that is added to your site specifically for the search engines. It is, for the most part, unseen by visitors to your site and should be crafted using keywords. It’s important to mention, however, that not all search engines even use metatags in their ranking algorithms. So it’s still valuable to include your keywords in your metatags, just know that certain search engines – Google especially – will ignore the data.
Site Title – This is the name that appears in top of your browser. Often you’ll see website titles like “home” or “welcome” or some other name that lacks keywords. Including a keyword or multiple keywords in your site title can make a big difference in your site rankings.
Anchor text of Links – For sake of simplicity, let’s divide the links on your website into 3 parts: the name of the link, the string of characters that says where the text goes, and the tool tip for the link (the anchor text). The tool tip is text that shows up when you hover your mouse pointer over the link. Make sure your anchor text includes your keywords
H1 & H2 Headers – These are the titles of your articles and or sub-articles. Resist the urge to title the different articles on your site with catchy or nifty titles – unless they include your keywords.
Content – I talked about how keywords should be used in your content in a few of my previous posts, but for the most part using your keywords 2 to 3 times within the first 150 words is a good starting point. Additionally, keeping your keyword usage within 2% to 5% of your total word count generally works out best.
In a number of my previous posts I used the term “keywords” and I did so for good reason – they play an absolutely critical role in all your online marketing efforts. Yet, until you know what keywords are it’s pretty tough to incorporate them into a search engine optimization strategy, much less tactically employ them in a manner that will drive business to your door. So let’s start by defining what keywords are…
In the simplest terms, keywords are words that people will use when searching for your products or services. For example, a business in the Chicago area looking for accounting services may type the following phrase into a search engine: “Best Chicago Accounting Firm.” Each word in the phrase, “Best Chicago Accounting Firm” is a keyword. Now clearly, if you’re our hypothetical Chicago Accounting Firm you wouldn’t use any of those keywords by themselves because it wouldn’t make sense. No one is going to do a search using only one of those terms – at least not anyone looking for an accounting firm in the Chicago area. So we use terms “Long-tail keyword” or “Short-tail keyword” to describe the type of keyword “phrase” we’re talking about. True to the description of each term, Long-tail keywords are longer search phrases and Short-tail keywords are shorter phrases. Each type of keyword traditionally provides different benefits, results, and traffic, but I’ll post more about keywords and how they directly relate to search engine optimization in my next post. Stay tuned.
Unlike other advertising mediums (magazine, yellow pages, radio, tv, etc.) the online world moves fast, often changing by the day. It’s part of what makes online marketing so challenging and intriguing. It also means that in order to succeed you have to be better than your competition. So understanding what factors matter the most can make all the difference. Here’s a quick list (and maybe a little recap from previous posts) of the things you should pay close attention to as you engage in your online marketing efforts:
Keyword in your domain name – whether it’s your main site or a landing page having the proper keyword(s) in your domain name is critical.
Age of domain – not much you can do about this, but it’s important to note that there’s value in the duration of time you’ve owned your domain name.
Title of Web page – Pretty self explanatory here.
H1 & H2 tags – Header tags, especially your H1 and H2 tags, should be properly worded and, ideally, specific to the keywords your targeting.
Competition of the keywords – know your keywords and compete them intelligently.
Keyword density – Articles you write, blog entries, pretty much all content can benefit from good keyword density. In general, using a keyword 2 to 5 times in first 250 words of any content is a good rule to follow.
Frequency of updating – Search engines like change. Keep it fresh and make them happy.
Internal link structure – I’ll be posting more about the dynamics of website links in the future, but for now, ensure you have a logical link structure for your site. And be careful not to create a link structure too deep. No more than 3 layers deep if you can.
Next time, more about keywords – how to find them and what to do with them when you do. Stay tuned.
So you’ve completed your site and now you’re ready to unleash it on the world. Congratulations, if you used all the good design principles detailed in my previous posts, you’re probably a long way ahead of your competition. But now you need to put your site somewhere. Your Internet service provider is a good option, right? Hmmm….Well, if not your Internet service provider, certainly the firm that designed your site then, right? Or how about just going to one of the large hosting companies? The price is right and with the amount of sites they host they’ve got to be good at it. The answer is a resounding “maybe.” In short, a few simple factors are going to make all the difference. Knowing these can make or break your online marketing and SEO efforts.
The good news is these factors are pretty simple: bandwidth, who-you’re-with, and location.
Bandwidth – pretty simple stuff here. Whoever hosts your site needs to have enough bandwidth to serve your site to all those who want to see it. There aren’t really any “sure-thing” tests or tools you can use to verify this, but this information should be provided to you by your hosting company in your agreement. Verify data throughput maximums and check to see if there are any bandwidth guarantees.
Who-you’re-with – this criteria may be the most important of them all. Ultimately, the other sites hosted on the same server as you make a difference – both in terms of the server’s ability to deliver the site (too many sites can bog a server down) and even more importantly, the type of sites that are on the server. Want to be hosted with pornography sites? Probably not. The sites your website “commiserates” with makes a difference. Use this tool to check and see who you’re hosted with. You might be very, very surprised.
Location – the facts are that many of the largest hosting companies and data centers are located domestically in Florida and Texas. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if your business is located in or near either state (or if many of your customers are). However, if you’re located quite a ways away from either of those locations and many of your clients/customers are local, this can make a difference in the time it takes for your site to load. Is it likely to be a huge difference? No, probably not. But how many times have you waited 4 or 5 seconds for a site to load and gotten frustrated? The fact is that even as ridiculous as a few seconds sounds, people don’t expect to wait so why make them? Ultimately you want to drive people to your site and get them to become customers. Hosting your site in a local data center may not be the answer, but then again if you have a quality data center near you it is probably worth looking into.
Ultimately, your decision on where to host your site can make a difference in how the search engines look at it and how quickly it loads for people. Both should be considered very seriously.
Next time we’ll talk about how to be better than your competition. In the online world you don’t necessarily have to be good, you just have to be better than your competition. Stay tuned.
Came across an interesting study which says that PPC and SEO go hand and hand. Here at ITP we preach a balanced approach to SEO. We suggest that what works in one industry or for one company may not work for another. PPC is a stop gap while on page SEO is building for some, for others its a money maker everyday no matter what they do on page.
This paper is interesting because it suggests that having BOTH PPC and organic listings create a stronger response. This verifies some of the concepts we preach of balance and holistic approach. Read the entire study or here are some of the highlights. Keep in mind this is just one study but it isn’t interesting information. If you are doing only PPC give us a call or if your only showing up naturally assuming you don’t need any PPC lets talk about that too.
- On average, the impact of organic listings on paid advertising is 3.5 times stronger than vice-versa, possibly because of the tendency of consumers to trust organic listings more than paid ads.
- The positive association between paid and organic listings increases advertisers’ profits by at least 6.15% when compared to profits in the absence of either of them. The positive association is strongest when advertiser-specific keywords are used and weakest when brand-specific and generic keywords are used.
- Click-through rates, conversion rates and total revenues are higher when both paid and organic listings are present simultaneously than when paid search ads are absent.
- The combined click-through rates are 5.1% higher when paid and organic listings are present simultaneously than when only the organic listings are present.
- The combined conversion rate increases 11.7% when paid and organic listings are present simultaneously than when organic listings alone are present.
- Paid search advertising drives up to 54% of total revenue growth.