blog - seo

Google Announces Deadline For Mobile-Friendly Websites

March 18, 2015

Filed under: Website


Google quietly announced that from 21 April 2015, they intend to change their mobile organic algorithm to put more emphasis on mobile-friendly or responsive websites. In short, websites that are mobile-friendly will be favored in search results and search rankings over those that aren’t. This change is part of Google’s efforts to improve the overall user experience.


Google’s blog post on 26 February 2015 stated, “As more people use mobile devices to access the Internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps.”


Google determines a page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, such as Flash.
- Uses text that is readable without zooming.
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.


What this means for you is that if a potential customer searches for your site from a mobile device such as a Smartphone, Tablet or iPad after the 21 of April, and your website is not mobile-friendly, you will automatically be trumped by any competitors who are.Use this simple Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool from Google to check if your site is mobile-friendly.


Although the announcement indicates that this is a change to mobile search results, there has been growing speculation that mobile-friendliness will also impact desktop rankings in the future. To avoid losing business to your competitors, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your website design is mobile ready to help it rank well on Google.

If you wish to speak to us about how to fix issues with mobile usability or about making your website responsive, contact us as our team is standing by to help you make sense of it all.

Tags: google, mobile friendly, responsive, responsive websites, mobile ready, seo, mobile devices, algorithm

10 Ways To Maximise Your Website

September 17, 2013

Filed under: Business


The number one internet myth is the belief that all you need to do is: “Build it and they will come.” Business owners are stumped when they are NOT inundated with new business or have their phones ringing off the hook once they launch a new website. It’s a little like buying a fancy seaside mansion, moving into it and forgetting to tell everyone your new address.
 


 

It is vital that your website is:

  • Well organized
  • Meets the needs of your users
  • Delivers the company objectives and goals and
  • Offers accurate and interesting information.


There are many ways to tweak a website for more visitors and higher sales. Let’s look at some of the key factors to optimize your website.


1. Simple Design
Users want content that is easy to look at. Don’t overload your site with pop-ups, flash or sliders. Have a consistent and clean navigation bar. Effective use of typography and colour makes for a striking website. Use visuals strategically as users pay attention to images that aid and support textual content.


2. Optimise Images
If it takes more than 5 seconds to load, your users will leave. Reduce the size of your image files to 72 dpi and crop any unnecessary parts of the picture. Use appropriate file formats to dramatically decrease the file size of an image, such as: GIF, JPEG or PNG.


3. Ensure Readability
Get to the point as quickly as possible and stay away from industry jargon. Use easy-to-understand, common words and phrases. Keep your sentences short. Paragraphs should be 3-4 lines. Use headings and sub-headings to get your key points across. Introduce bullet points and graphics to break text and add visual interest.


4. Clean Navigation
The top navigation bar is your prime real estate. Include your best information here by mapping out how you want your visitors to get from A to Z on your website. Your visitor should be able to locate what they want as quickly as possible. Keep the wording used on your navigation specific, direct and to the point.


5. Colour Contrast
One of the most important aspects of any design is colour. People have an emotional response to colours. It not only creates impact, it helps create movement and directs a user around the page. Select complimentary colours that help showcase the values and services you’re trying to promote.


6. Content Creation
Great content is what keeps your customers and your community coming back for more. You need to know your audience and identify the type of content they’re interested in. Create content your readers will want to talk about and share such as a blog posts, a how-to video, an infographic, a personal experience, research, topical issues or just entertainment. Make it easy for people to share your content by including social share/bookmarking tools.


7. Responsive/Mobile Friendly Design
Many business websites are created to look good on a desktop computer monitor. However, with more people accessing the web over mobile devices, it's important to ensure your website is tailored to work across multiple mobile devices such as smartphones, iPhones, iPads and tablets. Responsive means your site will automatically reconfigure itself, or respond to suit the size and type of devise a visitor is using. It’s all about enhancing the user experience to enable people to easily do or find what they want over their mobile.


8. Cross Browser Compatibility
Not everyone coming to your website will be using the same web browser. It’s important to ensure that your website is usable across the popular browsers and mobile devices. A broken website looks unprofessional and could drive potential customers away.


9. Website Promotion
You need qualified traffic, make more sales and increase your customer base. Promote your website via:

  • Business Cards
  • Vehicle Wrap
  • Signage
  • Email Signature
  • Social Networking (online and offline)
  • Slide Share
  • Sponsorships
  • Blogging
  • Infographics
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Article Submission
  • Participation in forums and Q&A’s
  • Business Listings and so much more.



10. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is a marketing technique to make a website more visible to search engines, improve its rankings and result in more traffic. Find good keyword phrases. Update pages with strong fresh content. Write valid HTML. Make your links part of the copy. Always check for common errors while writing. And don’t neglect image alt attributes.


You need to constantly review and improve your internet presence and strike up a coordinated long-term effort between your business and marketing plan to ensure that you receive a consistent flow of visitors to your website.

Tags: website, website traffic, search engine optimisation, seo, content marketing, website promotion, responsive, mmobile, mobile friendly, optimise images, mobile devices, clean navigation, html

Using SEO To Help Grow Your Business

September 22, 2009

Filed under: General

Search engine optimization is a method of increasing the amount of visitors and the awareness of a website by ranking high in the search engines. The higher the rank of a website in the result of the search engines the better the chance the website will be visited by users.

Over the last few years we have seen the emergence of some major internet companies, with search engine giant Google now amongst the most influential on the internet. While there are other search engines such as Yahoo! and MSN, which have a place and a presence on the internet, Google is by far the most powerful. If you have no presence on Google, your chances of success will diminish drastically.

Here are some basic SEO tips included in the search engine optimisation tutorial you might consider doing yourself to get better search rankings and increased site traffic:
 

1. Keywords
It’s important to know which keywords to optimise for. If you are a retailer of gift hampers, it’s important to know what consumers type into Google while searching for gift hampers. There are many tools available on Google that can help generate this for you. Try the keyword tool in Google AdWords or Wordtracker

Do a search for your top keywords and analyse the results that Google throws up. View how many times a particular keyword appears in the title, in the description, in the URL and on the page content. 
 

2. Title
Ensure that the title of your page is not more than 60 characters. That’s all that will be read by Google. 

Once you are done analysing the search on your keywords, understand how you can structure the content in your title, description, URL and home page, in that order.  Ensure that you are higher than your competitor. Having said that, don’t try to use all your keywords in such a way that it’s non-meaningful or desperate. It’s a fight between quality and quantity.

It’s important for Google to know that you have not put junk in your title. The way they determine this is by checking if the words in your title match those in the content of your page. If they are not, you won’t do as well as you could. So figure how you can have those keywords on your home page, too.

If you and your competitor have the particular keyword in equal quantities on your title, the next factor becomes the placement of keyword. In this case, you have to ensure that the keyword in your title is before that of your competitor’s. For instance, if the keyword is the 25th character of your competitor’s title, yours should be anything less than that. This way you will feature higher.    
 

3. Multiple URLs and URL address
Don’t place all your keywords in your home page. Optimize all the URLs in your site for different keywords. It’s important to achieve a good balance between content and form. Don’t let extra content kill the design of your site. If your URL address contains the keyword, Google gives it more weight. 
 

4. Keywords Meta tag
Disregard this. Google has stopped reading this a while back. 

5. PageRank
A simple formula devised by Google to check relevancy and the quality of a site is PageRank. It’s a vote that shows how other sites look upon you. If site x points a link to site y, then that’s a vote of confidence in site y by x. This goes well in Y’s PageRank. The more quality links you have in your kitty, the better. Work towards getting more people to point towards you. Read up on PageRank on Google.

Sometimes sites which are less relevant as yours may show up higher than you. That’s probably because they have a higher PageRank than yours. Don’t worry. You can’t help that. Just work on yours. 
 

6. Content
Google will give more weight to content right on top than that below. More brownies will be given to content in H1 (header) tags than regular content. More weight goes to larger font than smaller. Negative marks will be given (and you will probably disappear off Google) if you try to hide content by making it non-readable (either making the font the same colour as the background or making it very small).

Ensure that you have your keywords in a higher density than other words. Quality content is more important than quantity. So, ensure that when you are filling your page with keywords, it still makes sense to the customer. Otherwise, they will leave your page in no time and all time spent on SEO will be worth nothing.
 

7. Images
Don’t use any flash, unless people know your URL and you don’t have to depend on SEO. If you do, use good images that compensate for the lack of flash. Googlebot stops when it sees flash.

Did you know that you could put a name to your images? There is something called alternative text. Use this in the best way you can. What is alternative text? In case your image does not show up in a browser, the alternative text describes the image for the user. So, if I have the company logo and that doesn’t show up for some reason, the alternative text will. So, don’t fill keywords there, but then again, don’t forget to put your company identity / or category in there. 
 

8. Age of your URL
This is another factor that Google considers important. A competitor’s site that is less relevant may show up higher if they have been around longer than you. There’s nothing you can do about this though. Once you cross the one year barrier, you will probably be in the same league as your competitors.

SEO is a high impact, high value tactic for reaching Customers online. It focuses on Customers seeking a business’s service and not the other way round. Many smart businesses are starting to see the potential long term benefits of a committed SEO strategy during tough economic times to get more bang for their buck, so the question asked is why shouldn’t you be doing the same for your business?

Interested in what SEO can do for your business? Speak to us.

Tags: search engine optimisation, seo, internet, optimisation, google, pagerank, customers, keywords

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