Archive for December, 2013

How SEO Will Shape Up In 2014

December 31, 2013

As the new year dawns, SEO forecasts are rampant, with webmasters and business owners trying hard to predict what the coming year holds for SEO. The two major highlights that mark the transition between the years 2013 and 2014 are the Google Hummingbird update, and the overlap between mobile and local. Talking of the Google Hummingbird, it has essentially crystallized the relationship between screens and their users, emphasizing on the need to effectively “design” language. The coming year will shift the current state of the web from being structured around privatization and power, to celebrating wildness and a deep sense of community.

As opposed to many of the previous updates from Google, the Hummingbird update actually gives SEO pros a reason to celebrate, as it is leading to more localized organic results for non-geo modified keywords. This can be seen as a gateway to more opportunities to attract local traffic in 2014, with an increase in the keywords triggering local results. Local businesses can benefit significantly by replacing catch-all location pages with regional vertical pages for their business, with specific content for each place of business.

With statistics showing that 46 percent of shoppers (nearly 1 in 2) use their phones to research local products and services, having a mobile-friendly website for your business in 2014 will not just be an option, but an absolutely critical task, essential for the profitability and longevity of your business. SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile) is likely to become more relevant than ever in 2014, as it is highly probable that search engines will begin indexing maps with an aim to create a directory of user preferences.

If you are looking to up your SEO game in 2014, the following is a list of some basic tips and strategies that can help you sail through:

  • Create great quality content, with each page having at least 300 words
  • Use text-based navigations
  • Use geo-tagging to let search engines and users actually see where you are located
  • Ensure that your hosting server is up and running with no less than 99.9% uptime
  • Detect broken links using software like Xenu, and address them immediately
  • Work on a citation building campaign, creating accurate citations on relevant directories
  • Use “share of voice” to address the entirety of SERPs for your business

For more information on how SEO can benefit your business, call us at – (855) 375-9654

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Increase Your Conversion For Users Browsing Through Mobile Phones

December 24, 2013

Mobile search is definitely the hot topic in the world of SEO, with nearly all brands finding that a major fraction of all their searches are coming from mobile devices. Mobile SEO is a multi-faceted process, in which it is important to understand the differences in how people search on mobile devices as compared to desktops, and adopt techniques to ensure the site’s mobile content can be properly viewed and crawled by search engines. The following tips guide you on the essential elements of mobile SEO, and effective ways to increase conversion rates on your mobile site:

  • The most important aspect of mobile SEO is understanding how keyword search terms by mobile users differ from those of desktop users. Mobile users typically use shorter tail phrases and perform searches that are more local in nature. In addition to this, they are more likely to rely on Google’s Autocomplete to complete queries. It is important to take these factors into consideration when optimizing meta titles and descriptions for your website.
  • Considering that a vast majority of mobile users are likely to be connected to social media networks 24/7, it is a good idea to develop online content with a social-first, mobile-second approach.
  • Pressing a navigation link on a touch-screen device can be cumbersome, which is why you might want to consider a vertical menu for your mobile site.
  • Make sure that you actually develop an exclusive mobile site for your users, or adopt responsive web design, instead of requiring users to pinch and zoom on your desktop site.
  • Form-filling on mobile sites can be extremely cumbersome. Keeping form length on mobile sites to an absolute minimum by eliminating optional fields can help to significantly increase your conversion rates.
  • While you might get away with forcing registration on a desktop site, this is sure to backfire on a mobile site, where users are a lot less likely to put themselves through the hassle of filling out details, unless they absolutely have to.
  • Another way to increase conversion for mobile users is to offer quick payment options, to reduce the friction at checkout. You can do this by saving payment details of previous customers, and accepting quicker options like PayPal.
  • Considering that a large number of mobile users have local intent, you can boost conversions by offering in-store pickup.

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Google Penalty For Repeat Offenders

Decmember 16, 2013

Being penalized by Google can be a major setback for website owners, with revamping your entire website and SEO strategy seeming to the only situation. However, this is not always the case, as is evident from the infamous Interflora example, where the website was back in Google’s good books just 11 days after being penalized. In the recent video by Google’s distinguished engineer, Matt Cutts, Google explains how this works, and how Google has a stronger penalty for repeat offenders than for a one-time spammer.

The bottom line is that if you receive a spam warning from Google once, you need to be extra cautious from that point on, ensuring that you do not tread close to the black hat SEO territory again. It is also important to keep a close check on other details of your SEO strategy, which could lead to your blacklisting. Once you decide to disavow links that are getting you into trouble, there are two approaches that you can follow. The first and more aggressive one is to disavow all links basically scratch from scratch, leaving only those that are obviously harmless. The other approach is more subtle, tackling one link at a time, eliminating only the ones that are definitely dirty, and going on until the penalty is lifted.

According to Matt Cutts, the first approach is the better one for those who want to bring their website back into the index immediately. This approach works well to resurrect a site that despite having a good domain name or great content has been killed by spam. Even though going the route of every single link the website got over the past year or year and a half may seem as too large scale an endeavor, that is the kind of impact Google is looking for when reassessing a penalized website.

Thus, if you are willing to recover from a bad backlink penalty, the best approach to follow is to simply disavow all the links that you got to your website during that particular frame of time. If you feel that disavowing all the links is too radical an approach, you must at least remove every link that seems suspicious. This could be your gateway to get back to into the index quicker- if you are lucky enough, within 11 days, just like Interflora managed to.

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How To Convert One Time Customers Into Repeat Customers

December 6, 2013

The holiday season is undoubtedly an exciting time for online business owners the world over, with the sales peaking at an all-time high. However, the inevitable reality that follows this thrilling period, is the slump that is sure to follow. Business persons are increasingly focusing on how to work their way around the valley that follows their seasonal peak, and break the trend of their sales cycles. Aptly referred to as a “hangover cure”, the basic goal of this strategy is to find a way to convert possibly one-time customers to repeat customers, or even better, lifetime customers.

The first step to achieving this goal is understanding the potential scenarios through which these one-time customers could be encouraged to make a repeat purchase. Considering the fact that the mentality of customers shopping during the holiday season is usually one of purchasing a one-time gift, these scenarios could include:

  • Buying again for themselves- It could be possible that while buying a gift, they could like something for themselves, which could prompt them to revisit your website to make the purchase.
  • Buying another gift– If they have a positive experience while buying a gift from your website the first time it is possible that they would want to return later during the year to buy the same gift, or something similar, for someone else.
  • Recommending the website to others: Finally, if the holiday shopper is impressed with your services, there is a strong chance of them telling others about it, which could result in more customers for you.

So how exactly can you keep in touch with these customers and prompt them to take one of these actions? Some of the most effective channels to do this include:

  • Email marketing: Design an email marketing campaign with a personal touch exclusively targeting customers who made a purchase during the holiday season.
  • Social media: If you find a way to make these customers follow you on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, your job of being able to get back to them is half done.
  • Special offers: Considering that a special holiday offer is what first brought them to your website, presenting them with more exciting offers could be just what is needed to tap on their mentality.
  • New products: Launching new products and announcing them through emails and social media is a good way to maintain your brand’s visibility and encourage one-time customers to revisit you in the low-tide months.

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