Tag Archives: Google

Google Has Done it Again… small businesses need mobile friendly websites – STAT!

Stats showing small business need mobile friednly websites diesgn. Smart phone  search increase 17%, tablets 28%,, desktop searches down -1%

If you haven’t heard already you may be one of the few left on the planet who doesn’t live and breathe all that is the internet. What is being referred to as  “mobilegeddon” (don’t you love tech-nerds?) or, Google’s mobile website algorithm change launched last week. Small businesses need mobile friendly websites now more than ever. The algorithm change was announced two months back very clearly by Google and they actually went ahead and launched it on the pre-determined deadline, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. What the change means to small businesses who do not have mobile friendly websites is that your company website will either not come up in mobile Google searches or if it does, it will come up so far down it might as well not come up at all.

I can hear some of you now, ‘So, what? Most people search our site from a desktop computer.’  ‘We provide a service, people don’t search for us on their smart phones or tablets, they wait until they get home and research on their computers.’ Not so my friends. “In the final three months of last year, estimated 29 percent of all U.S. search requests – about 18.5 billion – were made on mobile devices.”   – comScore.com

The increase in numbers from desktop to mobile searches will continue to grow. The largest percentage of mobile searches currently are done by people shopping for products, however local services searches are not far behind. “Searches with local intent are more likely to lead to store visits and sales within a day. New Google research says that 50 percent of mobile users are most likely to visit (the store) after conducting a local search, while 34 percent of consumers on tablets or computers will go to a store.” – Search Engine Watch

Mobile searches are steadily increasing for local services including, home healthcare services, restaurants, home improvement services and more.small businesses need mobile friendly websites now to come up in those search inquiries.

  “According to Google, 56% of searches on smartphones have local intent. ” – Wordstream

Searches-Infographic2Google is the top-ranking search engine claiming two thirds of United States web searches and even more in other countries. Mobilegeddon has the potential to effect sales volume especially for small businesses who have not had a strong reason to upgrade to a mobile friendly website yet. If we give an example of  a residential home builders website in Lansing who has not upgraded the website since mullets were in style, compared to a national residential home builder with a mobile friendly website targeting Lansing clientele – where would you place your cards on search results?

Not sure if your small business website is mobile friendly or not?

Check out Googles “Mobile-Friendly” test page in its developer section. Type in your website URL (domain name) and see the results. (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.

Mobile Friendly Website Solution for Small Business

If you do not have a mobile friendly website and you are ready to make the change, you have a few decisions to make. First you can choose to keep your desktop website as it is and create a completely separate mobile website to satisfy mobile users (and Google!). The drawback to this solution is you now have two websites you must maintain. The other option is a responsive website. Responsive WordPress websites format to fit which ever screen size a visitor is using. On a desktop monitor the website looks good on the screen without unplanned scrolling or clicking. On a tablet it condenses slightly to fit the screen with limited scrolling and on a smart phone the navigation will collapse to a drop down screen. All of this is automated with a responsive website design. The other benefit of a responsive website design with WordPress is small businesses can now update their own website without programming knowledge. Updating is also easier because you only have to update one site instead of a desktop website and a mobile website.

Mobile-Friendly Website Design considerations:

  • design web pages so that they load quickly
  • make content easily accessible
  • page scrolling up and down (as opposed to left to right swiping)
  • make call to action buttons (like BUY NOW!) easily seen and touched even on small screens
  • make your contact information clickable – click to call, click to map location
  • make your text size large enough to read on small devices

No budget for a small business mobile-friendly website right now?

Or do you have a mobile-friendly website on order but all the local website design firms in Michigan or your state are booked solid a few months out? Since Google searches do show local listings first make sure all your local information is current. Get a Google+ page set up if you haven’t already, check your Yelp listing. Get your website listed on Google in Google MyBusiness section. These steps will help while you are working toward upgrading your website to mobile.

If you’re one of those small businesses who need a mobile friendly website right away, give us a call today! We are taking  orders and turning custom designs around as quickly as possible. We also provide mobile-friendly  Wordpress responsive website design solutions for those of you who want the freedom to access and update your own website .

Stay connected!

Why is website content king?

By Connie Sweet

Content, content and more website content. Every move we make in internet marketing is to drive more content. From content management systems of custom designed websites, to blog entries, to custom infographics, to white papers, our travels around the web are leading us to more and more website content everyday.

As a marketing firm our days are filled with designing and developing unique content for websites, blogs, social media and business print communications for ourselves and our customers. We write and design new website content and upload it to websites through content management systems (the administrative area or back end of a website). We do this because Google told us to.

As we all know Google is the largest search engine on the web, the second largest (at last check) is YouTube, owned by Google. We do what Google says because we want positive results.

What drives the need for all of this website content?

Googles’ strategy for feeding content is truthfully helpful to all of us. For many years search engines we’re pretty much worthless because many ‘SEO experts’ abused the system and dumped keywords and phrases into websites that had nothing to do with the search term people were entering. Websites selling watches would saturate their sites with keywords like ‘graphic design services Lansing’, ‘website design services mid-Michigan’, etc. to get organic traffic to their website. So a search for ‘website content services in Lansing’ would send you to an e-commerce site that sells watches and doesn’t have anything to do with website content services.

Googles’ content driven approach matches actual relevant website content with keywords. When prospects do search for graphic design Lansing, Michigan the search engine will look to see if graphic design and Lansing, MIchigan are mentioned in the website and if so, are the terms relevant to the other information on the website. For instance is there also mention of logo design, website design, etc., other terms that are related to the search query. This results in more accurate results when search queries are entered in search engines.

A few blog articles covering graphic design will help. The other component that feeds the results are key content pages throughout the site with more details on the subject. Along with regular blog entries, your website pages should offer information about your specialties.

Take a look at some of your competitions’ website content and evaluate against your website. Do they have five pages discussing their service in detail and you have one small paragraph? They win. They will win the search war and they may also win the customer because their information answers the visitors questions instantly.

So if you have content why isn’t your website coming up higher in searches?

Enter the frequency quotient. Search engines also place relevance on how current a websites’ content is. A search robot will crawl thousands of websites each day. If new website content is not detected since the last visit, the bots will skip over your site and not index it again. If your competition adds new website content to their site regularly and search bots crawl and index it each time, they will always come up higher in search results than you.

Unfortunately, this requires businesses to create and post relevant website content on a regular basis to compete in the market place. This can be burdensome for small companies who do not have the work force, time or budget.

Options available for driving website traffic

  • compile and create original website content in house
  • outsource content to an internet marketing firm
  • purchase internet advertising including google adwords, social media, etc.

New businesses, especially small start up companies who come to us first for a website design typically attempt the first option for adding website content. Sadly, more times than not other business responsibilities take over and entrepreneurs realize four months have passed without one blog entry or website update. (This goes for social media posting too.) Now desperate, small businesses start looking into other options.

What to consider when choosing to outsource website content development

  • amount of website content to post to be relevant to your target market
  • types of website content that will resonate with your target market
  • do they offer a variety of content, writing, graphics, etc.
  • custom, original content
  • where content will be shared (industry forums, groups, LinkedIN, Facebook)
  • who will moderate online responses
  • what is an affordable monthly budget

What to be cautious of when choosing to outsource website content development:

  • one sized fits all policy
  • limited product solutions
  • tricky SEO practices
  • duplicated content
  • outsourcing / guest blog posts, etc.

Keep in mind website content is not just page copy or blog posts, content is also photos, graphics, logos, e-books, pdfs, and infographics, etc. Mixing up the types of content presented helps to reach a variety of prospects. Considering our eyes process visuals 90% faster than straight text, using graphics on your website can capture the visitor quicker and leave a lasting impression. Another benefit to adding graphical content to your website is that the content is easily shareable in social media and messaging.

As with all marketing, to achieve the best internet marketing results an individualized plan for each business is key. The good news here is this custom approach requires less effort and less expense when implemented correctly. Give us a call today to review your website and discuss what forms of website content will help you to win the organic or paid search war.

STOP STEALING FROM GOOGLE!

copyright symbol graphic with colorful graphicEver wonder what your name means? How will you find out? Look it up in the tome, the Dictionary of Names from Oxford University Press? No, you will do what I did and Google it. Go ahead, do a search, see what you come up with.

In searching ‘what does my name Connie mean’, Google graciously returned 8,280,000 results. Granted I did not go to every website citing the information. I went to four. All had different results. One spoke of the history of the name and how it is derived from Constance (I thank my parents for being kinder than that). Another provided a pretty little graph showing the popularity of the name (seems Connie peaked in the fifties) my third attempt landed me on a page filled with ads and a three word descriptive answer to my inquiry; ‘Connie means knowledge’. I really think I am much more complex and warrant more than one descriptive word! So, I took a chance at one more, which I believe is profoundly more accurate. This website states the meaning of Connie means “Queen of the House – a determined but also an awesome person who can always make you feel good and is a boy magnet.” Absolutely! This is what I am going to tell everyone my name means! So what that the website designers Mom was named Connie and people can enter their own interpretation of the name. I choose to believe.

To all writers, professional assistants, marketers, students, authors, please don’t limit your research to a Google search!

Don’t go to results page 72, click the link you think nobody will ever find and plagerize the content for your next newsletter, term paper, or website. That is stealing AND it could be completely inaccurate information! After reviewing multiple sites and finding similar facts you can then compose an original article or paper. If you are using proprietary information, quotes, statistical research, remember to cite your source and respect those who came before you and did the work.

The internet is getting smaller every day. Once I post this blog entry I can randomly select a sentence from it and do a search. Every website who has used my sentence will be returned in my Google search.

This also goes for Google Images – ugh, don’t get me started! When you search Google Images please note the disclaimer that states “image may be subject to copyright” that does apply to you too. What’s the best solution? Find the original owner and pay them for use, or hire a professional graphic designer or photographer to create an original solution. Appreciate the wonderful web of knowledge we have access to and share your wisdom, don’t steal others and think you will get away with it.

What are the consequences of Copyright Infringement?

If you use a copyrighted work without permission and your usage is not exempt under the law, you are infringing on copyright. If the copyright holder discovers it, they can then sue you for actual damage or loss of profits. The holder/owner may also choose to seek statutory damages up to $150,000 for each infringement. So if you have stolen a logo and used it on your business cards, letterhead, brochure, signage and website, etc. the copyright holder can sue you for statutory damage for each, or $750,000. Here is a list of damages and profits of copyright infringement.

If you use a copyrighted work without permission and your usage is not exempt under copyright law, you are infringing upon the copyright holder’s rights. The copyright holder can sue you for actual damages or loss of profits. The copyright holder may also seek statutory damages up to $150,000 per infringement. See Section 504 for additional detail.

Copyright law is not limited to just United States Citizens. In an effort to address international use concerns as the world wide web expanded.  The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 signed by President Clinton addressed this issue by implementing two 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties: the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

Depending on if you are citing an entire website or citing a specific article or page within a website following are the MLA (Modern Language Association) Style standards to follow for proper citations:

· If you can’t find all of the information, cite what you can find in the recommended order for each.
· In these examples we have provided them as single spaced; you should double space citations in your list.
· For more information on MLA citation styles, refer to the handbook and the website.

To cite an entire website that you have referenced in your work :

Title of Database. Date of electronic
publication or latest update. Name of
sponsoring institution or
organization. Date the information
is retrieved <URL

Example:  Connection Group Web and Design Tips. July, 2011. Connection Group. August, 2011, www.connectiongraphics.com

To cite a webpage, cite a blog or cite an online journal article use the following format:

Author. “Article Title.” Journal Title
vol.issue (Year): pages.
Date retrieved information
<URL>.

Example: Sweet, Connie. 10 Baby Steps for Small Business to  Grow in Social Media.
Web and Design Tips, 17 (2012) 1. Retrieved August 25, 2011, from
http://www.connectiongraphics.com/tips/

Be original! We are ALL connected.