5 Huge SEO tips for your small business

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SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has changed drastically in 2015 and continues to evolve and become more complex on a daily basis. In this article, I will provide you with 5 useful tips that can propel your business in 2016!

Website Analytics

The first action you should do is to take a serious look at your web properties and determine where you currently stand compared to your competition. Start with your own website and take a look at the analytics to determine the volume of traffic and traffic sources. Hint: bounce rate, page speed, and engagement (time on page as well as task completions) are key factors that play a huge role in determining where you will rank in the search engines. Make sure each webpage has a strong call to action and make sure you have clear goals setup for users to complete on the website. You may want to consider removing that telephone number and making a click necessary to reveal the phone number. Algorithms vary for different industries so there isn’t a specific set of instructions I can provide that will cover all the categories.

Domain Analysis

Many great tools are available that will stun you with the amount of information that you can find about your website along with your competitors. These tools all have a free account options that will provide you with limited amounts of data. The point here is to determine where you fall in the search engines and how much effort will be required to move to a higher position. Hint: These tools are great for finding niche keywords that your competitors are ranking for and you’re not since the phrases don’t appear on your website. The title tag is probably the most important element on the page in determining how you will rank in the search engines. I would pay special attention to the title tag, meta description, and the H1 tag. The meta description needs to be a strong call to action to entice users to click on your listing above the other listings on the page. A few tools are listed below and depending on your budget, you may want to consult with a digital marketing professional that can provide the technical insights that you would probably miss such as the anchor text ratios, backlink profile and site audit details.

Ahrefs.com

Majestic.com

SEMrush.com

Social Media

Welcome to the year 2016. You don’t need backlinks (links on other websites that link to your website) to rank anymore. Are backlinks still important? The answer is yes. So, how else to you rank without backlinks. The answer is social media. In 2016, it’s all about branding and people talking about your brand on various platforms. You need to be active on social media if you wish to continue ranking and make sure people are talking about your brand and sharing your content. Hint: even if your website has low domain authority and low trust flow, you can still outrank websites with higher domain authority and trust flow by going viral on social media platforms. Those social share buttons on your website are important and a good technique is to float the buttons so they are viable on the webpage as the user scrolls.

Buzz content research tool

Rock your social media with this tool

Goals

Here comes the actionable part of running a successful website. You need to set goals for your SEO campaign and determine what steps need to be taken to obtain those goals. Hint: Most business owners come to me and say I need to get my website to rank in the first three results for these specific phrases. A better strategy is to diversify your web properties and get traffic from multiple sources. This way you can have multiple and diverse listings on page one of the search engines. A video ranking, website ranking, blog ranking, and profile listings can all be ranked and dominate the entire first page. In many cases, it’s quicker and cheaper to boost a profile listing. Determine your budget, and set reasonable goals to drive more traffic to your website. Before you set your SEO goals, it’s important to ensure your website can convert and doesn’t have navigational or technical issues that causes traffic bounces. Tools are available that actually record the mouse movements of actual users on your website and you can see how people interact with your website. This is super critical for e-commerce carts, website forms, interactive features, goal conversions, navigation, and website funneling.

Website recording software

SEO reseller program

Organization

If you are going to succeed with your SEO strategy in 2016, you need to be organized. If you don’t have a backend to your website with a list of all your web properties, this is a good start. It’s important to have business data, critical renewal dates and goals listed in a single place where all team members can access at any time. I use a spreadsheet with separate tabs to list all my SEO related items such as keywords, rankings, backlinks, web properties and goals.

Geo tag your images to improve local rankings

I feel like I gave some valuable information in this article and if you eyes didn’t grow at one point or jaw drop, I obviously failed. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your coworkers and other small business owners. I would also like to thank the true geniuses that provide me with a wealth of SEO knowledge and are the true brains behind the scene. Thanks to Semantic Mastery and many others.

More information can be found here.

from Website Design Company Santa Cruz | Astriden http://ift.tt/1q8KWBq
This article was first seen on this blog.

Why you wasted your money on website redesign

I’ve been doing web development for a very long time and have witnessed the same website mistake being made over and over again. I actually cringe when I hear the words “we just had our website redesigned” and the words that typically follow. “We don’t get any traffic”, “we lost search engine rankings”, “we get some traffic but not sales”. So, what went wrong?

Big Picture

Let’s begin with the big picture. When things aren’t working you either throw them away or attempt to fix them. Typically, a business owner identifies the website as not performing and they instantly think it looks dated and needs a redisign but don’t really address the underlying issues that need to take place in order for a website to be successful. Worse yet, technical mistakes are typically made when migrating the website into a new structure. Yes, the new website typically looks a bit better and everyone feels satisfied for a few years until they continue in this never ending cycle or redesigns. The truth is, a successful website takes a lot of ongoing effort and strategy begins before the website is even built. Below are some things to be aware of when you redisign a website.

Technical Issues

Migrating a website to a new structure takes planning and steps must be taken to ensure it is done correctly. A common mistake I see is failing to implement 301 redirects from the old website links to the new website pages. This means all the old links on other websites, social media and print go to a 404 error page rather than to the corresponding new webpage. This is a major SEO ( search engine optimization) blunder as you want to pass rank from the old web page to the new page. Another common issue I see is failure to implement URL canonicalization which is another SEO blunder.

Pitfalls

One of the pitfalls of a redisign is copying into the latest web design trends. Your newly redesigned website might be cool today but not so cool next year. Do you have the budget or resources to redisign your website every time a new trend appears? Did you pick the wrong CMS system? Does your 5-10 page website really need a CMS system? A CMS does offer many useful plugins that can save on development time. However, you are talking a relatively simple website and putting it into a exorbitant amount of code and creating a dynamic, database driven website. Numerous problems can arise and I have seen companies with a CMS system spend more time and money on their websites than a static HTML / CSS equivalent websites. I won’t even mention security holes or the fact that your ever growing database and plugins will eventually turn your speed performance to a crawl. Frameworks are very popular these days since web designers can develop content quicker, but they do come with a price. The load speed time of your website is important for multiple reasons. Make sure the person that created or monitors your website is technical enough to identify and fix load speed issues.

Implementation

When you think of redisign you think of a graphic artist with creativity, right? Not so fast. A properly redesigned website should be developed by a team of people including business owners, marketing, programmers, SEO and graphic designers. If you’re a small business, ensure the person the that creates the website is either technical enough on the other issues (extremely rare) or you have another person that can fill the void and make sure mistakes are not made. Before you even start with wire frames or building the website, the SEO and marketing team should do keyword research and explore competition to see how much effort is required in your industry and a strategy to become competitive.

Cheap Labor

Were you limited on funds and went with the lowest bid for you redesigned website? Buyer beware as the phrase “you get what you pay for” comes into play. The cheap route could destroy your business and cost you plenty in legal fees. Are you sure the images, sounds, video, and code of the website are not copyright protected by somebody else? Even if you paid a pretty penny for your website, are you sure your web person purchased content such as images from a reputable source, or even purchased images? It’s a good idea to have the company purchase all content that is used on the website so the company is the clear owner and has a record if any problems arise. If any coding was done on the website besides HTML and CSS are you sure the code / database is secure? Typically, a programmer that takes a project at a very low cost is either inexperienced and may not be aware of security holes or will not spend extra time to ensure the code is secure.

Article by a website design company in Santa Cruz
First seen here and written by Astriden.

Benefits of using A / B split testing on your website

You can increase website conversion rates in a short period of time by implementing A / B split testing. This involves changing elements on a web page such as headlines, layout, call to action, images, colors to determine which combination produces the most conversions. A / B split testing is a wonderful marketing technique and software / web platforms are available to automate the process and provide detailed analytics.

If you need assistance implementing this on your website, contact the author.

from Website design company Santa Cruz | Astriden http://ift.tt/1oJYva0
This article was first seen on this blog.