10 Ways To Future Proof Your SEO

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Over the years SEO went through some drastic changes thanks to Google's algorithm updates. Every time a big update was released, like Panda or Penguin, we saw a huge shift in rankings. Some websites were all of the sudden launched to the top of their SERPs, while some were completely filtered out by Google, becoming completely invisible for search engines. The fact that Google's updates can create such havoc is really important since you have to focus on those SEO aspects that almost definitely won't be changed in the near future. We'll show you some of the best ways you can use to future-proof your SEO and avoid losing your ranking literally overnight.

#1. Get Familiar with Google's Algorithm Updates

The single best way to predict how algorithm updates will shape the future of SEO is to get familiar with its past. Knowing exactly what Google targeted over the years may prove invaluable for setting up your own SEO strategy, the result being not having to worry about the ensuing chaos that might hit you or your business. You'll know what to expect, when to expect it, and to what extent the changes are changing search results. Also, even more importantly, you'll figure out some of the things that the Big G values and rewards for, like high-quality content, or great user experience. Knowing your enemy is half the victory, even though Google isn't exactly anyone's enemy. Or is it?

#2. Go Mobile Friendly

Mobile devices have taken over as the number one option when it comes to initial searches on the search engines. And the gap keeps getting wider, as more and more people use mobile devices every day. When Google released its Mobilegeddon update, it targeted websites that weren't optimized for mobile devices, but only for mobile device SERPs. The thing is that being mobile friendly is unlikely to ever become a bad thing, so you really can't go wrong with it. It's a no-brainer really, a no risk - high reward type of thing. Go with responsive web design, keep user experience top-notch, and you'll be all set for the future.

#3. High-Quality Content

Ten years ago you could write any gibberish in about 300 words, all while stuffing two dozen keywords in the headline, and you'd be able to climb the SERPs. This is because search engine algorithms weren't able to recognize the good from the bad, they only cared about keywords and links, even low-quality ones. But all of that changed and content is now an extremely important factor when it comes to organic search ranking. Through multiple updates, websites that had high-quality content always came on top, as they were rewarded for their diligence and originality. Today, if your content satisfies the needs of your visitors, Google will recognize it through a number of metrics, like time spent on a certain page.

#4. Evergreen Content

There aren't many businesses that succeed at creating the right content first time. They either do it to promote their sales or to highlight positive customer experience. While this is fine, this type of content doesn't last very long and it doesn't bring too much to the table when it comes to both visitors and search engines. Instead, you should focus on creating evergreen content, the type of content that you'll know is going to be relevant in a couple of years. Are you a pizza store owner? Cool, have an article written about different types of doughs and what are the best ways to achieve perfect crust. Like we said, the future is all about delivering what your visitors need, and evergreen content will do just that.

#5. Keep Your Reputation Unharmed 

Reputation is already a minor factor when it comes to ranking with search engines, but it's likely going to become more important over the next few years. If your website is linking towards a number of low-quality websites, Google will recognize it and trust you less, thus decreasing your rank. The reason for this is obvious - when you're linking towards a certain website you're vouching for its quality and credibility with your own reputation. If the website is for any reason filtered by Google then you'll feel the consequences as well. This is why you always need to focus towards linking only towards websites that truly deserve it.

#6. Brand Names are Losing Impact

For a long time, brand names were a big factor when it comes to SERPs and they had way easier time to reach the top. However, with the shift towards mobile devices brand names started losing impact. Users are mostly using mobile devices to search for generic restaurants, stores, or monuments near them so it's only natural that the importance of global brands diminishes for certain search queries. This is why SEO Company Australia recommends focusing on products/services instead of trying to climb through your brand's name. Of course, increasing your brand awareness should always be the thing, but not for the needs of SEO.

#7. Be Trustworthy

Google has developed its algorithms so well that they're now said to be able to recognize if you're giving your users facts or false info. This is because Google wants its users to stop relying on external links for trustworthiness, which is why you'll always want to double-check anything you write on your website. It's much easier to spread a rumor than to write a fact-backed article, but you'll have to do it nevertheless if you want to be rewarded by Google.

#8. Don't Cut Corners

As we already mentioned, some black-hat techniques used to work really well when it comes to SEO, but that time is long gone. You can no longer abuse a loophole and expect to get on the top of the SERPs, mostly because there aren't that many. However, even if you do find a way to rapidly increase your ranking quickly, think twice about it because it might cost you in the long run if Google decides you've played dirty.

#9. Think About the Users First, Search Engines Second

The sole reason why all the updates from Google are hitting the SEO world so hard is because most of the businesses concentrated their efforts on satisfying search engines. Google has tried to increase the value of user experience through a number of updates, and the chances are they will continue to do so. If you focus on the keywords that your target audience is going to use, you'll inevitably satisfy both the user and the search engine. The same goes for your content, link quality, website speed etc. By satisfying your users you'll most likely be rewarded for it when it comes to organic search ranking as well.

#10. Respect Google's Rules

If you want to stay on Google's good side you'll clearly have to respect their set or rules. You can find everything from technical aspects to quality guidelines in their Google Webmaster Guidelines. By ensuring you're respecting those guidelines you'll also ensure to avoid their penalty, which is something you definitely want if you're looking for a brighter tomorrow. You'll also find the best practices that Google rewards, so it's definitely a must-read for anyone looking to improve their ratings.

Final Thoughts

Users are becoming the most important thing when it comes to SEO, and your strategy for the future should reflect it. Focus your efforts towards fulfilling their needs and being there for them (through quality Customer Service, or by being diligent on your social media accounts with replies) and you'll more than likely stay out of harm's reach. Google has the power to reward and destroy online businesses, so you should definitely try to stay on good terms with them. 

How to Measure SEO Results

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, September 12, 2017



The only way to determine whether to expand, contract or curtail your SEO campaign is to accurately measure results. The first step in this process is to properly define “results.”

Results, as they apply to SEO, should be defined as measurable and meaningful improvements in lead or revenue generation attributable to the SEO campaign.

Using the proper definition of results is quite important in SEO because results often are evaluated in terms of improvements attributable to the SEO campaign that do not cause measurable improvements in lead or revenue generation. For instance …

  • Rankings are a poor measurement of SEO effectiveness. High rankings in themselves produce neither leads nor revenue. Further, rankings are very fluid and inconsistent these days, since Google delivers organic results to users differently, based on the user’s browsing history, geographic location and other factors.
  • Organic website traffic is a better measurement than rankings, but is still far from ideal. Suppose an SEO campaign generates 10,000 new organic visitors to the website, and zero sales leads and zero online revenue. Is the SEO campaign a success? Would you continue to invest $2,000/month in SEO based on those results?

Organic traffic is an indicator of successful SEO, since there is probably going to be some correlation between traffic and lead/revenue production. This is true only if the traffic is relevant and the website does its job of channeling visitors into a conversion funnel(s).

Track Conversions

To determine if SEO is producing conversions, a company must track them. It sounds easy and obvious, but amazingly few organizations do this properly. Consequently, they cannot really measure the results of their SEO investment with much accuracy.

The first step in measuring SEO results is to accurately track phone and form conversions attributable to the SEO campaign.

Form conversions — the submission of a website’s inquiry form — are easy enough to capture through Google Analytics and other backend website analytics platforms.

Phone conversions — phone calls placed as a result of discovering the company’s phone number via organic search — are not captured through these analytics platforms. A company must install phone tracking on its website through the assistance of a call tracking provider.

Without form and phone conversion data, measurement of results will be incomplete.

Validate Leads

Tracking conversions is a great start, but still not enough for lead generation SEO campaigns. Another step is needed — validating sales leads.

Lead validation is the process of listening to recordings of phone calls and reading form submissions, to separate sales leads from other types of conversions. Other types of conversions include spam, auto-dialers, incomplete forms, sales solicitations, customer service inquiries, inquiries for products/services the company doesn’t sell, personal phone calls, etc.

Our findings, based on reviewing well over 1 million conversions, show that about half of all conversions are not leads. If a company fails to validate, it may think its campaign is doing twice as well as it really is!

Lead validation is not typically done in SEO campaigns. If you are not validating, be sure to evaluate how much emphasis you are giving to raw conversion data in your calculation of SEO performance.

The Question Will Come …

Ultimately, companies will grow dissatisfied with their SEO efforts unless they see revenue flowing in as a result. Impressive growth in organic traffic and high visibility on page one of Google may be thrilling at first and encouraging for a while, but eventually someone high up in the organization will ask, “This is all great, but what’s our ROI on all of this SEO work?”

Successful marketing managers, directors and agencies are always prepared to answer that question, and the very best do not even wait to be asked.

Author Bio:


Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at 
Straight North, one of the leading Internet marketing agencies in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. With more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, Brad has been featured in leading online publications including Moz, Smashing Magazine and Forbes.

SEO Ranking Factors of 2017

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, June 29, 2017

There are many ranking factors that get taken into consideration when trying to rank in Google. Even many of the best SEO’s are ill-informed.


For this reason it’s important to go with an seo services company that understands all of the following:


Content is King


The biggest ranking factor in 2017 is good content. Long gone are the days of ranking pages with thin or poorly written content. If you go and look at the top search results for any number of keywords, you’ll notice the top ranking pages often have over 1000 words of unique content.


Aim to produce quality content and try and bulk it up as much as you can without making the quality of the content suffer.


Keywords and Content Relevance


Adding relevant keywords to your content is very important. If you're trying to rank for “dog training” it would make sense to include that keyword as well as other relevant keywords into your content.


Keywords are important because they tell Google what your content is about.


Backlinks


Every now and again you’ll hear an uninformed SEO or a Google employee say something along the lines of “backlinks are dead” or “backlinks no longer rank websites”. Any SEO with websites that rank will disagree. Backlinks are still one of the top ranking factors and this likely won’t change anytime soon.


That being said, Google is getting very good at recognizing un-relevant or low quality backlinks so it is always better to go with quality over quantity when building links. Getting backlinks on real authority websites will always be one of the best ways to help rank your website.


User Metrics


In my opinion the most overlooked ranking factor by most SEO’s is user metrics. Ever since Google released their RankBrain algorithm, they have been making it well known that they are monitoring user behaviour and taking it into consideration when ranking sites.


What does this mean?


Let’s say you're trying to rank for “dog training” and your website shows up on page 1 due to keyword relevance and backlinks. Except Google notices that your bounce rate for that keyword is very high. This tells Google that your content is not relevant to their users that have searched for that particular keyword and it is highly likely that your rankings will drop.


This is why it is very important to create quality content, and aim to create content that keeps users on your site. Having a high bounce rate is a bad sign to Google, and something that should never go overlooked.


If you aim to produce quality content with relevant keywords, the backlinks and user metrics should come naturally and you will be on your way to the top of the search results.


SEM and SEO Strategies: The Secret Sauce of Winning

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, June 19, 2017

Other than consistency, you need patience if you are to come up with an exceptional marketing strategy. Learning more about your readers is one of the most important parts of helping your strategy evolve over time.

As an online businessman or woman, increasing the number of your sales is a very important thing that everyone is running after. There are very many sites, blogs and social media pages that offer all sorts of solutions to this problem. However, it’s important to make sure that you always verify any information, methods or tools before implementing them. If you aren’t the DIY type, you should find an SEO Agency that is both effective and affordable to work with. Search engine marketing (SEM) though effective, it can get quite expensive at times. Both SEM and Organic SEO strategies can be used for the purpose of coming up with an effective marketing campaign. Here are some tips of creating a winning digital marketing strategy:

ü  Define Your Goals and Target Audience
To better have a good handle on your digital marketing strategy, you need to first define what your target audience and goals are. Knowing what you are looking for from your content is going to help you come up with a strategy that will be designed to fulfill that. With a clear goal and an idea of what your success looks like, you are already halfway to a great marketing strategy.

Having a solid definition of your target audience will also play an important role when you are developing relevant and engaging content. For example if you own an SEO Agency, your model target audience would include the businesses that you intend to work with in the future.

ü  Content Type and Ideas Brainstorming
Before you can create an online marketing strategy that’ll be beneficial for your business; you need to know that there are different types of content that you can use. These include things such as EBooks, podcasts, info-graphics and social media to mention a few. With your target audience in mind, its best to follow the type of content they seem to favor. Any successful SEO Agency will be making use of most of this content.

However even with the right content in mind there’s still the need for some relevant and useful idea. Brainstorming fresh ideas can be a bit tricky especially on a regular basis. There are some tools and blogs online that offer insight on how to brainstorm fresh ideas; make good use of such resources for better results.

ü  Understanding Basics of SEO
Finally, you need to at least have the basic of SEO if you are to come up with an online marketing strategy that’ll be beneficial to you. Search engine optimization is very important when it comes to creating a winning strategy.

Any competent SEO Agency will show that quality content will always rule over quantity. To build some credibility and establish yourself as an expert, you need some time and effort. Make sure that you don’t overflow your articles with keywords, you might end up being sniffed out by Google and be punished.

Conclusion
Visiting other e-commerce sites on a regular basis is a very good habit for any new marketer or online businessman. Even when you are working with an SEO Agency, it’s important that you have some ideas as to what is going on in the market. There are also numerous helpful learning materials and tools for search engine optimizations which are both affordable and free.

The Ultimate Beginners Guide to SEO

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, June 05, 2017

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is separate from search engine marketing, SEM, which focuses on designing ads to come up alongside search engine optimized content, though the ads require SEO in addition to being designed to entice someone to click it. SEO simply focuses on optimizing your site and content to improve your visibility in the search engine results.

In this beginner’s guide to SEO, we’ll explain what SEO is, the different types of SEO and how SEO has been changing. We won’t go into the nitty gritty of how website design affects SEO or how your search engine optimization needs to change in response to Google’s latest algorithm change. Instead, we’ll give you a high level introduction to the subject.

An Introduction to SEO

Search engine optimization is not intended to maximize traffic. In fact, that can be counterproductive if you generate a lot of traffic, but people bounce off the page quickly. Google will then downgrade your search engine results page ranking. The actual goal of SEO is to put your content in front of people who could be converted into paying customers. It will put product directory pages in front of those whose search queries suggest they want to buy something like what you’re selling. The goal of SEO is often to put content in front of casual informational queries to build brand awareness and answer user questions while promoting your brand or service as part of the solution.

Types of SEO

Local SEO refers to search engine optimization to rank well in localized searches. Local search engine optimization uses a mix of keywords related to the actual query with local results. For example, someone searching for “restaurants by me” will be shown restaurants that search engines think are in their vicinity. If your local SEO is too broad, focusing on the metro area, but not your exact address, the “near me” result will ignore you unless you’ve actually put “near me” in your business name.

Conversational SEO or voice search refers to SEO for conversational queries asked of information appliances in the home and infotainment systems in your car. The ideal match in conversational SEO is when the content is titled or subtitled with the exact question the user asked of the device. Conversational SEO, by definition, uses long tail key search terms unless you’re asking a question literally everyone is asking.

App SEO, or ASO, is search engine optimization for apps, skills and other pieces of software someone installs. You need to apply search engine optimization to your app installation page so that it is found on the App store and to ensure that customers who want to install your app install yours versus a fake one bundled with malware. What is SEO for product pages? It is typically considered another form of standard SEO.

Keyword based SEO is the traditional form of search engine optimization. It has traditionally relied on optimizing the density of the specific searched term in the content, getting extra points for including those terms in article titles, meta tags and page descriptions. Google has altered its algorithms to penalize excessive keyword density as well as poor quality content, such as when it repeats the key search term awkwardly in the content. Google has penalized stuffing the article description and tags with the keywords for quite a while, though it has penalized sites that use unrelated search terms that generate a lot of traffic for far longer.

SEO Strategies

The type of SEO to pursue depends on your type of business or service. If you are a service provider for a local area, you need to rank well for local SEO because someone on the other side of the country seeing your webpage will never pay for your services. If you make money from people installing your app, the app page needs to be properly categorized, designed and tagged in a way to show up in the top few spots of those looking for that type of app.

If you sell a product, you need to write content with SEO that puts it in the right stage of the sales funnel. Articles comparing your product against its competitors are for people in the final stages of the sales funnel, while product directory pages should show up for those searching for exactly that product or who seem to want to buy your product.

You can use a variety of tools to identify keywords and search terms that generate significant traffic, but aren’t already dominated by domains that you have no chance of dislocating from the top few slots. Selecting terms that simply have little competition is a poor strategy unless you are going to have a high conversion rate for those who read your content. As the artificial intelligence behind the search engines gets smarter, it is better able to measure the quality of content and grade it relative to the intent searchers have when they use key search terms. For this reason, how well the content is written and fits what the AI thinks the user’s intent is matters more than keyword density.

Search engine optimization focuses today on the content you create and the website’s design, since the bots that scan each page to categorize it cannot yet watch videos or interpret images and categorize them. These types of content still require SEO, such as optimizing the video title to come up in searches for the issue the video explains and using descriptions for each image or infographic so that it ranks well for searches. For example, pictures of your product, whether shared on your home page or Instagram, should have a file name and description that describes the item and mentions your company name or brand name.

SMO Vs SEO

SMO stands for social media optimization. SEO is aided by SMO, since the sharing of links via social media is given more weight by search engines than the mere quantity of links scattered around the internet. You should also apply SEO to your company’s social media accounts so that people know which one is your company’s legitimate social media profile. Standardized social media profiles used by a company increase its domain authority or trust factor by the search engines, indirectly improving the search engine results page ranking for your home page and any link you share via social media.

Conclusion

SEO has moved from keyword density to the optimization of content to the user’s intent as determined by the AI behind the search engines. The main types of SEO include local SEO, application SEO, conversational SEO and keyword based SEO. Modern SEO strategies require designing content that converts visitors to paying customers and showing up at the right stage in the sales funnel for the intent of the visitor. SMO affects SEO and you can apply SEO to social media profiles that are the center of SMO.

Looking for an SEO company? Here’s how to find one

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, May 11, 2017

If you are just dipping your toe into the world of search engine optimization, the process can be daunting – that’s for sure. But the truth is that if you do business online, you will benefit from boosting your search engine rankings, so finding the right way to optimize your site is important. Most business owners own there don’t really have the time or knowledge to handle their own SEO needs themselves, so they look for an SEO company in Toronto to help. Here’s the problem: there are so many companies out there that specialize in SEO, it can seem insurmountable to find the right one for you. Here are a few tips on helping you find the right SEO company for you.

Check their work

Before you hire an SEO company, check out how they do things. We’re not talking about their search-engine rankings. Unless they are a very established company, if they are using white-hat techniques it can take a very long time to get ranked very highly. What we mean is how they have done their own onsite SEO. How do you do this? For starters, do a Google search for their company name. They should be the first result that is returned in the SERPs. Then, check out their meta description (the few lines that appear under their site name in the search engine results page). Does the description make you want to click through to read more? Do their social media pages show up first, too? If the answer to these things is “yes,” you can be reasonably assured that they know what they are doing. If the answer is “no,” move on to another choice.

Check out their portfolio

On their website, a good SEO company will list case studies, recent clients, and customer reviews on their website. It’s a good idea to pay attention to this. If the company you are considering hiring doesn’t have this information proudly displayed, there might be a reason for it. Don’t take a list of clients at face value, either. Ask for URLs to sites the company actually worked on, and check that they are telling the truth. It’s not nice to think about, but not every company is honest about the work they do, and it’s easy to be duped into working with a less-than-reputable company if you don’t do your due diligence.

Talk dollars and cents

As with any service, SEO services come at a variety of price points. Most companies will have their packages listed on their website, but a reputable company won’t simply point you in the direction of their packages and pricing when you make an inquiry. A good company will ask you for information about your company, your goals, your existing web presence, and more before offering you a quote or making a recommendation for your SEO needs. Steer clear of any company who places firm limits on keywords. A reputable firm will often charge hourly, by a fixed monthly price, or by way of a one-time fee for specific job with a start and end date, such as performing an SEO overhaul of your website.

 

Top Dublin SEO Alliance flying the flag for excellent standards in Search Optimization

Barbara Spagnola - Friday, April 07, 2017

Our SEO agency is made up of two businesses that have merged up to form a stronger and the best SEO agency in providing top notch services to our clients, our main objective to combine our skills together is for the benefits of our clients, our agency is situated in Dublin and Ireland that is formed by Eleanor Greavy and Paul O’Reilly,the benefits of us coming together is that we have the best skills now and resources that ensures that any business in online industry gain control over the rest of the competitors in the online business.

When it comes to giving the best services, we are ranked above all the other SEO companies and digital marketing agencies for all the major and most competitive SEO terms.

Our agency works with well established, ambitious, growth oriented businesses who recognize the massive opportunity provided by SEO and who wish to control their market -locally nationally or even globally.

There is no other place that we are well known for our outstanding services like in Dublin it is easy to determine who are the absolute experts and specialists in this industry, Google themselves share the same information.

Our stream of Services

We offer services to typically well-established business with an understanding of the value of SEO whom already know that want an SEO expert to have control of driving rankings and traffic for their website on an ongoing basis

Secondly, we offer services to developed businesses that may already have an in-house team and need and SEO expert to work alongside them in consultancy or training role. Furthermore, if your business and website are relatively new then perhaps your resources may not stretch to our ongoing monthly services but you may be interested in our custom SEO Audit and Action plan or our SEO setup services to help get your business off on the right footing.

Thirdly, our SEO audit is a deal for any businesses who are uncertain about how to proceed with their SEO or who may perhaps just want to arm themselves with a little more information specific to their website and categories before retaining the ongoing services of an SEO agency.

Our services are not limited to anyone if you are unsure as to which services that you may need from our SEO agency we have experts that are always available therefore do not hesitate to consult us through our online number and we can continue to discuss your online goals resources and objectives.

Our Top-notch SEO strategies

  • Excellent onsite optimization: that is, we make sure that the contents, tags and keywords of our clients are getting the necessary traffics that they may need.
  • Proper social setup that is good communication between us and our clients
  • Content publishing and social buzz around your content
  • A consistent level of high authority links back to your website

Our main objective is to make sure that your website is setup to the highest SEO standards through excellent technical setup, website structure, onsite optimization and branded network and we also make sure that we monitor your google search console for errors.

When looking for an SEO agency to trust we are the here for you.

6 Tips on How to Get ROI for Your SEO Efforts on Your Website

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, April 06, 2017

6 Tips on How to Get ROI for Your SEO Efforts on Your Website

Not every business has realized what the internet has to offer. Marketing at this level is affordable as compared to offline marketing and also you can reach customers across the geographical boundaries without hurting your budget. Your SEO needs have to be well addressed if you are to get the desired results for your website. The following tips will apply for you to achieve this:

Ensure you have a well-structured website

A website whose structures are well in place will help the readers or visitors navigate it with ease. This also goes for the search engines and thus a huge contributor to the quality of your website’s SEO. In that case, your web designer should work hand in hand with your SEO Melbourne expert to guarantee this.

Focus on one keyword phrase on your page URL

You do not want a situation whereby you have stacked a couple of keywords in a single URL. This will be wrong for SEO purposes as search engines will have a hard time indexing those URLs for ranking purposes. You have to keep it a maximum of one keyword phrase so that readers can know what is in that page before they can even open it.

Instead of underscores, use hyphens to separate words in the URL

Underscores should not be included when you want to separate words or phrases in your URLs. Once used, they do not break up the words when they are indexed by the search engines which can affect the quality of your SEO. You should thus replace them with the hyphens so that when indexed they can appear as separate words which will be good for your site’ SEO.

Create a catchy title

Your content may be top notch but if the title is not that interesting, then you may not get the proper traffic to that content or website in general. You have to pay more attention to the kind of titles you put up for your readers. The title gives the reader an idea of what they will find. If it is catchy, then they can proceed to read it. It might be the break or make aspect for your SEO Melbourne campaigns.

Include a Metatag description for your title

Such a description will be the first thing a potential client or reader will see before they can open the link to your website. It should be short, clear and ignite a call to action for the reader. In short, it should entice the reader to open the link and continue reading. You can include the keyword in this description to help optimize it for search engines. This is how you get to win through the first impression on your reader.

Research before you choose the keywords to optimize

Not all keywords will bring out the best out of your content or SEO efforts. You have to know which keywords are the most searched on search engines. This will require extensive research and keyword management as new keywords will pop up every other week. Look for a SEO Melbourne manager to take you through all the ropes on how you will stay on top of this aspect for quality SEO.

Improve Conversions in 2017 with These UX & Web Design Tips

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, March 16, 2017


At a time when SEO and social media are grabbing all the attention, it is easy to overlook web design in the quest for improvements in conversion numbers. Falling into this quicksand is dangerous as any positive changes driven by enhancements in SEO and social media tactics will undoubtedly be undermined by neglected web design elements. This is proven by the fact that 46% of web users will pin credibility of your company to your web design and that 38% of people will leave your website if they feel your website is unattractive.

“It is easy to register a great domain name and put together a few pages of website for your company web presence” says Brendan Wilde at domains4less.co.nz. “However, converting websites are those where a lot of work has gone into the UX Design”.

 This piece takes a look at vital tips you can implement to ensure your web design doesn’t take away from your conversion rate optimisation efforts.

Cut Down on Options

You can boost conversions in web design by limiting the number of choices users have. This is backed by Hicks Law which (paraphrased) basically says that the higher the number of options for a user the longer the length of time it will take them to make a decision. In web design, the longer length of time often translates to no action taken at all. So, cut down on any multi-choices, multi-call-to-actions and other similar choices. Users shouldn’t have to decide if they are to read a review, purchase a product, check out other variants of a product or share the product on social media all at once. Have a clear plan with every page as you create a website.

Deploy Age-Responsiveness

Are you targeting millennials or baby boomers? You can grab their attention more by designing pages with images and landing page speak that they can relate to.  Design elements specifically targeted at a demographic will yield better results than generic ones. Interestingly, it doesn’t matter if you are a multi-demographic business, you can create specific landing pages per demographic, as you create a website and direct members of the group to your offers to it.

Embrace Artificial Intelligence

Chatbots have been around for a while but there is no better time to use them than now.  They can be used in web design to provide automated responses to customer related question round the clock. Conversational chatbots are efficient when they save customers from trawling the FAQ section on their own.

Adopt Load Speed Friendly Design

A second of page load delay can lead to up to 7% reduction in conversions.  You need to ensure that there are no design elements hampering page load speed. Fortunately, there are lots of free tools that can be used to troubleshoot design-based page load speed problems. Google’s Page Speed Insights is the most popular but Pingdom, GTmetrix and KeyCDN are great options as well.

Use F-Layout

Researchers have demonstrated several times that users tend to start viewing a page from top left to right. They then move downwards into the lower parts of the content. The bottom right gets the least amount of visibility. To deploy this design element in your web design, simply place design elements vital to conversion (such as CTAs) along the F layout on each page with less important bits in the lower visibility areas such as the lower right hand corner, right hand sidebar and footer.

Don’t Ignore Shopping Cart Marketing

If you run an e-commerce store, you need to use the shopping cart to promote other products. Most top online retailers use this to generate 10% to 30% in additional revenue. However, don’t forget the Hicks Law effect at this stage so pop-ups are a no. Place shopping cart marketing reminders in low visibility areas as mentioned in above otherwise shoppers can get confused leading to a lost sale.

CTA Animations

Call To Action buttons that are prominent are vital to making conversions. Shape, size and placement are well-know considerations. However, few people are taking advantage of animation. The animation should be subtle enough to attract attention without overshadowing the message or overpowering other important design elements.

Colour is still Important

It is easy to ignore the importance of colour in web design but it is dangerous. Colour influences usability, conveys the brand message and also determines the mood of the website. This is why colour must be chosen carefully to ensure that the overall result is in line with your brands emotional appeal. Applying a colour theme that matches your brand message in your design is as easy as grabbing pictures that are very close to the brand message and feeding them into the Adobe Colour Wheel. The end result will be a selection of colours that can be blended to generate the brand feel you desire.

Testimonial Videos

These types of videos have been made popular in the last few year as more startups use them. However, while many use them to explain products others use them for full-on persuasion, driving up conversions. Using videos of real people highlighting features and benefits of using your products and services will help your target audience to overcome any fears and objections. Don’t forget to use real people that your target demographic can relate with, in these videos as you create a website. For example, don’t use testimonials from a stay-at-home mom to market services or products targeted at young adults.

Use Design Elements that Grab Attention

You have less than 8 seconds to impress any visitor.  Therefore, you need to use carefully targeted design elements to draw attention and boost conversions. Some top tips include: making headlines large and benefit-driven, use of eye-catching imagery, use of bold but simple CTA buttons, use of interactive content like video and multimedia, animated exit pop-ups and subtle hover effects.

Use Human Faces

A face on your page triggers a warm/social feeling in visitors, giving your content and offerings far reaching powers. This is why your articles, testimonials, CTA forms and similar important design elements should feature faces. A photoshoot for the business staff for use on the website is a good start but you can also offer incentives to have client pictures in testimonials.

With these tips, you can see opportunities you have missed in the past with your web design. It is not too late to shake things up!

5 Best SEO Strategies for Growing Your Dental Practice

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, December 05, 2016

The dental world is becoming competitive as many dentists are marketing their services online. If you are finding it difficult to get clients for your dental services, you need to market to your target audience. Even though you are skilled and you have a good dental experience, if your business is not visible, you won’t get clients. Therefore, you need to stay ahead of your competitors and invest in dental marketing. Nowadays, SEO has become an important marketing strategy for dentists and you should try it out because a proper dental marketing will help increase the visibility of your business, drive more clients your way and increase your revenue. Here are some best SEO strategies you can adopt to grow your dental practice.

Keyword Research

For a successful SEO strategy, carry out some research and analysis on your keyword. However, make sure you use relevant keywords while taking care of the competition. To find new and pertinent search terms, use keyword research tools, such as Google Webmasters, Google Analytics, keywordtool.io, and keyword.io, among others.  Nevertheless, avoid using keywords that are already competitive on the market.  Instead, choose keywords that you can easily dominate, and generate more traffic to your website.   Most important, use keywords that is hyper-targeting.

Relevant and targeted content

Ensure your content is service focused since search engines rank only pages and not the entire site.   For your homepage to be listed, ensure, you optimize it for your services. Therefore, when creating your website content, ensure its original, and covers the topic or service you are providing deeply.   To prove you are an expert to your audience, create content that is rich and helpful, instead of stuffing your pages.

For example, if your services involve teeth whitening, go a step ahead and create a page which answers all questions from your customers.   You can provide answers on the benefits and disadvantage of teeth whitening, the duration it takes, the process involved, why it is an option among others.  It is advisable you use questions that your patient has been asking, to create quality and elaborative content, by applying your expertise.

Optimize your on-pages using title tags

An optimized page has many elements, such as being viewed on many devices.  Besides, they are keyword targeted and accessible by crawlers.  However, on-page optimization is both time consuming and tedious, but it is a great reward. In the process of optimizing your pages, ensure you have title tags. The text is a description of your page and gets displayed in your browser tabs, on external sites, primarily on your social media, and on result page of the search engine.

However, when creating the title tags;

•    Ensure the primary keywords are at the start of your title tag.

•    Maintain your title tags at 50-60 characters.

•    Have the user experience in your mind, by ensuring the title tags are attractive, to motivate the viewer to move to your site.

•    Have a consideration of your brand.  You can place your brand name at the start of the title tag if your dental practice is well established.  However, if the practice is just starting, avoid including your brand name at the title tag, or at the end.

4.    Build Links to your site

To increase your Google rankings, build links to your site from external sources.   Some of the strategies of building links to your site from the web are commenting on blogs that have articles related to your service, creating press releases and making citations on appropriate local and dental directories, such as Yelp.com, Facebook.com, YouTube.com, Yellowpages.com, among others. However, when you are making profiles and keying in your information on both local and dental directory websites, ensure your phone number, address, and business name are the same.

5.    Create social profiles

Ensure you have social media profiles for your business.  However, to enhance your organic search results and search listings, create a Google + profile. However, ensure your profiles have your logo, detailed description that has links to your site, photos of your services, your address and hours of operation.