Technical SEO may sound like a complicated topic. To a degree, it is because Technical SEO involves the development of your website. However, it’s important to understand and learn its basics so that you’ll know there are other ways to improve your website’s search rankings in addition to basic SEO. 

We’ve also done our best to make the topic of Technical SEO easy to understand. The most important thing is to keep in mind is that your website needs it.

What Is Technical SEO? 

Put simply, Technical SEO refers to implementing on-page technical changes or improvements that will further optimize your website and give it a boost up the search rankings.

A good way to differentiate basic from Technical SEO is that the former refers to off-page strategies and processes designed to drive traffic to your website. Examples of these strategies include blogging, social media marketing, and email marketing. 

6 Qualities Of A Technically Optimized Website

For sure you have a list of go-to sites that you click on to get information about topics that interest you. Chances are, you enjoy these websites not only because the content is useful, relevant, engaging, and compelling. 

You love going to these sites because the overall experience is just amazing. Time going to these sites is time well-spent. They make it easy and convenient for you to get the information you need.

Now compare your experience with these sites to those that get you frustrated and angry because it requires too much time and effort to get things done. 

Sites where you get awesome user experience are technically optimized websites. Most likely, you’re not the only one who clicked off the website feeling satisfied. There are others who came away with the same wonderful experience. 

And collectively, these wonderful experiences are pushing these websites up Google’s search rankings.

The same can’t be said for the sites that are a nightmare to access.

What makes a website technically optimized compared to other websites? There are seven qualities that define a technically optimized website:

1. The Webpage is Fast and Easy to Download

In boxing, the popular saying is “Speed Kills” which means a faster boxer will always win versus his slower opponent. In the world of Technical SEO, a slow-loading website will kill your chances for moving up the search rankings.

Digital technology has spoiled Internet users. They have grown impatient and want information available as fast as possible. If a user clicks on your site and the web page does not load within three seconds, he will abandon the search.

Search engines are well aware that slow-loading pages affect user experience. If your page does not load to the satisfaction of the users, Google will penalize you in the search rankings.

Conversely, fast-loading pages will be rewarded with a boost up the search rankings. 

If you’re unhappy about your page loading speed, give us a call or email us at Mountaintop Web Design. We’ll get your web pages downloading in a flash!

2. Searchable by Web Crawlers

Practitioners of off-site SEO optimize content by integrating high search volume keywords that can be tracked and indexed by the search engines’ web crawlers. Keywords are the most frequently used search terms by Internet users to launch a query.

Embedding keywords in your content makes it easy for web crawlers to find and index your web page for future reference. 

Technical SEO functions as a control center on your website. You can block web crawlers from accessing specific web pages or create parameters such as identifying the specific pages that can be indexed. 

If the idea of restricting to certain pages appeals to you, connect with us. As experienced web developers, we can do this for you by using the following:

  • Robots.text.file
  • Meta robots tag

These are files containing code that guide the web crawlers on your site. The robots.text.file instructs the web crawlers on the pages they can access while the meta robots tag sets page restrictions. 

We recommend having a professional web designer or developer handle this because one mistake can be costly. You might unknowingly block access to the most important pages to your site. 

3. The Website is Secure

Would you continue the search if you see the “Not Secure” notice before the URL? 

At a time where hackers attack a site every 39 seconds, it pays to secure your website especially if you’re engaged in e-commerce. Online shoppers are wary of giving their confidential information to e-commerce sites that are not secure. 

There are many ways for us at Mountaintop to secure your website. But the most basic step that you have to take is to acquire SSL certificates. 

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer certificates encrypt data that is transmitted from your website. You can read more about SSL certificates in our article, “SSL Basics: Why You Need It To Protect Your Website From Hackers”.

SSL certificates are not expensive and are easy to install. Most importantly, SSL certificates assure the user that your site is safe to explore and transact with. 

Another good reason to have SSL certificates is that Google has included it as a search ranking factor. 

4. You Can Find a Sitemap

Do you remember your first time at Disneyland? Being in such a massive place for the first time in your life can be an overwhelming experience. 

“How do I get to Tomorrowland?” 

“Where can I buy an ‘Alien Turkey Leg’?” 

“Where are the restrooms?”

The site map that they give you at the entrance sure comes in handy!

An XML Sitemap does the same thing for search engine web crawlers. It’s organized in terms of images, text, posts, tags, and includes details on when the pages have been updated. 

With an XML Sitemap, the web crawlers won’t miss the important content on your website. 

Web designers will incorporate an internal linking structure on your website. The purpose of the internal linking structure is to connect all of your site’s content. However, having an XML Sitemap ensures the search engines that your website is well-organized and will make the web crawler’s job easier. 

5. No Duplicate Content

Let’s assume you have an e-commerce website in the U.S that sells disinfectants and sanitizers. Your analytics show that there is tremendous demand for your products in the Philippines. 

You decide to open a distribution network in the Philippines and set up an e-commerce website with the “.ph” suffix. To maintain consistency, the Philippine website has the same content – text and images – as your U.S website. 

It’s a good idea to standardize content. However, having duplicate content will confuse the search engines. Which URL will the search engine prioritize? In the end, you might be ranked lower for the same content.

The quick fix is to download a canonical link plug-in from Yoast. A canonical link plug-in tells the search engine which URL you prefer to rank for. By installing this plug-in, you eliminate the problem of duplicate content.

6. No Dead Links

Your website must remain dynamic. You should always look for ways to make it better by improving user experience. Sometimes, you might decide to remove certain pages that are no longer relevant. 

If this is the case, make sure you have the URL redirected to the new page. Otherwise, your user will end up in the dreaded “404 Error Page”.

You know what we’re talking about! It has probably happened to you several times. You probably felt frustrated as everyone else does. 

What we can be sure of is that your user experience is less than desired. You don’t want your site visitors to experience the same frustrations as you have. 

Conclusion: Why Is Technical SEO Important?

Why is Technical SEO important? Can you achieve the desired result with just off-page or basic SEO?

Yes, but adding Technical SEO to your optimization strategy will make it better.

Google’s search ranking algorithm goes through frequent adjustments because the Internet’s biggest search engine is continually looking for ways to improve user experience. 

Many of the search ranking factors that influence Google’s algorithm are based on user experience. A good example is site speed. If your website does not load within 3 seconds, the user will abandon the search. 

Search bots are constantly collecting information about your web pages to assess how it responds to its users. 

By improving the technical aspects of your webpage – page loading speed being one of them – search bots will have a favorable assessment of your site. To reward your efforts, Google may push it up the search rankings. 

Combining off-page or basic SEO with on-page or Technical SEO is a great way to improve the visibility of your website to the search engines, increase site traffic, and help it climb up the rankings. 

Let’s technically optimize your website! In this age of the new normal, more people will be using the Internet to get things done. If you’re not ahead of the competition, you may have a hard time catching up.

Give us a call and let’s come up with a Technical SEO gameplan!

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your community.

If you ask 2 different writers about how to create content for SEO, you will get 2 different answers. Ask a few more content writers and you’ll likely get variations of how to create SEO content. 

Why are there so many different approaches to SEO? Copyblogger described SEO as quite possibly the most misunderstood concept of Digital Marketing. The reason for this is that SEO has exploded in popularity in the past few years. 

In the race for the top spot in the search rankings, SEO practitioners are continually looking for an edge over the competition. The techniques and principles of SEO evolve as the online behavior of consumers change. 

You have to find out the “how” and the “why” people are searching for content before you can create the “what”.

In this article, we will simplify the process of creating content for SEO. We will give actionable tips that you can immediately use to get your webpage climbing up the search rankings.

Writing For SEO – The Dilemma Facing Content Writers

SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps your content get found on the Internet by using a combination of techniques and processes to develop strategies with the purpose of increasing your visibility to the search engines. 

Search engines like Google track and index content with web crawlers. These web crawlers are guided by a search algorithm that evolves to reflect the online behavior of Internet users.

That’s the dilemma facing content writers – creating content that conforms to the search engine algorithm while at the same time writing content that appeals to the audience. 

“How do I write content that is optimized and yet, still appreciated by my readers?”

With the rules of the SEO changing frequently, it’s hard to keep up with the discipline’s best practices. 

For example, one of the fundamentals of content writing for SEO is to maintain a keyword density of 2% or lower. 

In other words, if your blog has a total word count of 1,000 words, the number of high-ranking keywords used should not exceed 20. Otherwise, Google could flag you for keyword stuffing and penalize your webpage in the search rankings.

On the other hand, you can create a 5,000-word Buyer’s Guide that’s stuffed with more than 200 keywords and still rank high in the SERP. 

Keywords are a crucial component of SEO because they reflect the search patterns of Internet users. Keywords give you an idea of how a consumer launches a search query. 

Integrating these high ranking keywords into your content will enable the web crawlers to find and index your content faster. 

However, the fundamentals of SEO state that the keywords must be used in the content exactly as how they are phrased by consumers when launching a search.

So how do you use “digital marketing Colorado” in a sentence? 

There are SEO practitioners who say adding “in” or using punctuation marks to make the keywords grammatically correct will render the keyword powerless. 

At this point, you can see what all the confusion is about. A content writer is taught to create impeccable content – one that is grammatically correct, free of spelling errors. 

With the growing influence of the Internet, now, he has to reorient his way of thinking and create content that “appeals” to the search engines. 

So how do you reconcile the dilemma?

Creating Content For SEO – Writing For People

The truth is, there is no dilemma. 

SEO best practices will change to reflect how people search for content. The algorithm is in a constant state of change – and it’s people – your audience that’s leading the search engines. 

Thus, to simplify the process of creating content for SEO, only focus on the golden rule:

Write for people – your audience- first.

Here are 5 actionable and useful tips on how to create content for SEO:

1. Establish a Writing Process

Content writing for SEO involves a different process because you are trying to laser-target your audience. You have to know what they want to read about; what topics interest them and how best to present the content to entice them to click on your URL over another.

Establishing a writing process gives you an organized manner of uncovering the interest of your audience because it reduces the guesswork. When writing for the Internet, research is not limited to the subject matter itself.

Here’s a writing process for you to consider:

  • Topic Research 

Review the numbers or metrics of your current content. Which ones generated the highest engagement rates? Which types of content got the most likes or shares? Which types of content have resulted in the longest time on your page?

As we discussed in our blog “10 Must-Have Tools For SEO Content Writers”, Google Keywords Planner is a wonderful tool for topic research. 

Another online platform you can use to get topic ideas is “Answer the Public”. This is a keyword tool that gives you ideas for topics based on what people are talking about in your industry.

Create a large database of topics, organize these on a spreadsheet, and categorize them according to the subject matter.

  • Keyword Research  

Google Keywords Planner is an effective tool for keyword research and it’s free. Another free SEO tool you can use is Ubersuggest which was developed by Digital marketing wizard Neil Patel,

If you don’t mind paying US$99 per month, subscribe to SEMRush which is an amazing SEO tool that streamlines the keyword research process. 

Similar to the topics list, organize the keywords in a spreadsheet, and arrange them in order of monthly search volume – from highest to lowest. 

  • Subject Matter Research 

By now, you should have an idea of what to write about. The next step is to read up on the subject matter. 

Even if you’re an expert on the topic, doing a bit of research will do some good. At the very least, you can update your knowledge or get a quick refresher.

Identify at least 3 reputable sources of information particularly if you plan to include statistics or numbers on your content. 

These websites will be used as hyperlinks to verify your information. Adding at least one reputable link to your content will improve SEO and enhance your brand as a reliable resource. 

  • Create an Outline

An outline helps you structure the content of your article. It gives you a perspective on the continuity or flow of information of your content. 

What’s important is that readers have an easy time following the “train of thought” of your content. Within the first few seconds of reading your blog, they should be convinced that they clicked on the right URL.

One of the best techniques is to use statements or ask questions that make the reader think to himself “Yes!” within the first 100 words. We applied this technique on this blog – which is probably why you made it to this section!

  • Set a Timeline for Drafts

You can go about this in 2 ways.

First, set a timeline based on a target number of words. For example, review a draft after every 1,000 words.

Second, set a timeline based on the time spent writing. Studies show that we can maintain 100% focus no more than 90 to 120 minutes at one time. After 90 minutes, it’s possible you can no longer maintain 100% focus.

It could be time to step back and review the draft thus far. 

Setting timelines for drafts keeps you on schedule and lowers the risk of making embarrassing mistakes on your content.

  • Implement QA Measures

Before you publish your content, run it through a QA or Quality Assurance process. Here’s an example of a QA process that we implement at Mountaintop Web Design:

Step 1 – Run content through Copyscape to check for originality.

Step 2 – Run content through Grammarly to check for spelling and grammar errors.

Step 3 – Perform a “manual review” or read the content one more time to check for continuity, tone, and look for errors in grammar and spelling. 

Once you publish content, it’s there for people to read. When it comes to brand building, first impressions last. Don’t take chances. Perform QA procedures until you’re 100% confident about the quality of your content.

2. Choose the Type of Content to Write About

77% of Internet users read blogs. 

Businesses that blog regularly get 97% more website traffic than businesses that don’t blog. 

These stats prove frequent blogging helps build businesses. 

But content isn’t just blogging. There are other types of content that you can create for your audience:

  • Articles – Think of content that’s good enough to get published in a newspaper.
  • Buyer or Product Guides – A type of long-form content that’s packed with information such as product reviews, recommendations, technical specifications, pros and cons, images, and shopping links.
  • Infographics – A type of content that delivers information via images or graphics. 
  • How-To’s – Informative, well-structured, and organized form of content that is very popular with the audience and gives your webpage a boost in Google’s SERP.
  • Listicles – Similar to How-To’s, listicles rank very well in Google’s SERP. If someone writes an article “10 Smart Home Based Business Ideas In 2020”, you can outrank him by coming up with a larger list such as “15 Top Home Based Business Ideas In 2020”.

The key takeaway is to give your audience a variety of content to read. You can create a Content Calendar and schedule the publication of each type of content. 

3. Summarize the Parameters of Your Content

The parameters of your content refer to its qualities. For example:

  • Length – How long is your blog? Generally, long-form blogs or those that exceed 2,000 words generate higher traffic and are more effective in building your business brand. 

However, the average time spent on a blog is only 37 seconds. How long is a blog that takes 37 seconds to read? The average person reads 265 words per minute. 

The bottom-line: If you consistently publish optimized content that is well-researched and impeccably written, your reader will spend more than 37 seconds on your blog. For better results, go for long-form content.

  • Images – Adorning your content with high-resolution images that are relevant to the topic will surely increase viewership. 

For the purposes of optimization, use original images. There are plenty of stock photos that you can download from the Internet but Google rewards webpages with images that are unique to its own.

Keep in mind that high-resolution images can slow down the webpage’s download speed.

  • Purpose – Are you using content to build your brand or to sell products and services? The purpose of your content will determine your choice of keywords.

For branding purposes, use keywords that have the highest search volume per month. However, if you’re selling products or services, you can opt for low search volume keywords but the competition is high. 

A situation where the search for keywords is low but competition is high indicates businesses in your industry are getting good results with these keywords in their PPC or Pay-Per-Click ad campaign.  

This low search/high competition SEO strategy can be used if you’re running a content marketing campaign alongside a PPC campaign. 

  • Tone – The golden rule when creating content for SEO is to write for people – your audience. You’re the acknowledged expert in the field – that’s why people click on your webpage. They want answers, not more questions.

Write in a manner that your audience will easily understand. Don’t try to impress them with technical jargon. They’re here to learn not to be confused. 

Your tone should be conversational; informative but never dismissive of your audience. 

4. Create a Posting/Distribution Schedule

Once you have completed your content and are confident of its quality, you may now shift your focus on creating a posting and distribution schedule.

Identify the channels or platforms where your content will be posted. In addition to your social media pages, you can reach out to other relevant websites and ask if you can post your content on their page.

You should also come up with a posting schedule. How often will you publish content? 

In social media, you can publish at least one piece of content per day. But choose the correct social media channel for your business. 

Image-driven products are best posted in highly-visual and generally “social” networks such as Facebook and Instagram. In these types of social media networks, it would be better to post 3 to 5 times a day.

5. Monitor the Performance of Your Content

Which types of content are performing very well and which ones aren’t? Website analytics and social media insights will give you valuable data on how your content is performing. 

Consistently monitoring the performance of your content will allow you to streamline your efforts and repurpose more resources toward creating content that delivers the desired results.

Conclusion

Writing for the Internet is much different than writing an article and sending it over to the editor of a glossy magazine for review. 

Before the Internet, all a glossy magazine needed was an eye-catching cover with compelling headlines to stand out from a hundred other glossies at a newspaper stand. 

When you’re publishing content on the Internet, the objective is to get found. How can your webpage stand out and be highly visible versus millions of other websites in your industry?

This is why you need SEO to create compelling content that ranks high with the search engines. 

Do you need help writing SEO content? Give us a call or drop an email. At Mountaintop, we have a track record of writing high-quality content that ranks very well in Google. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has continued to gain popularity over the years because it helps businesses maximize the returns on their digital marketing investment. SEO has become the difference-maker for content writers. 

Writing online content means writing for your customers. For your efforts to yield results, your content must be searchable on the Internet. 

As most entrepreneurs have learned, being an expert in your field is not enough to ensure your website’s ranking in the search results. For your valuable information to be found, it must be optimized.

To give your optimization strategies a boost, we’ve created this list of 10 must-have tools for SEO content writers.

1. SEMRush

SEMRush is a favorite SEO tool for content writers. It’s easy to use and effective. What SEMRush does is to extract the high-ranking keywords used by the websites that are ranking high in the search results page.

An interesting feature of SEMRush is the Writing Assistant.

Writing Assistant is a tool that gives immediate recommendations on the best keywords to use for your content. It does this by analyzing the keywords used by the highest-ranking web pages.

For example, you can download the Writing Assistant app and have it installed as an add-on for Google Docs. 

Turn on Writing Assistant before you start composing on Google Docs. As you type, Writing Assistant will run a check on your content for SEO quality. It will break down your content into 4 categories:

  • SEO friendliness
  • Readability
  • Tone
  • Freshness or originality

To get Writing Assistant, you must first have a SEMRush account. A free version of Writing Assistant is available but if you want more in-depth features, sign up for the Guru Plan which costs $199.95 per month.

2. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a definite must-have for digital marketers who want to run a laser-focused SEO campaign. 

Google Search Console gives you all the necessary information you need to assess how your website is performing. You will know which web pages are popular with the audience and the keywords they use to access your website.

You will also get data about the number of pages that have been indexed by the search engines. 

Its search analytics feature will give you the following insights about your website:

  • Total clicks
  • Total impressions
  • Average Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
  • Average position in the SERP

All of these data can be used by the content writer to fine-tune your optimization strategies. Your content writer will know with certainty the types of content he needs to create to increase the visibility of your blogs and other forms of online content. 

3. Yoast Real-Time Content Analysis

Yoast is one of the most popular plug-ins for WordPress especially for content writers looking to shore up their SEO strategies. Yoast’s Real-Time Content Analysis is a valuable resource for SEO advice in addition to providing features to help your website move up the search rankings.

Yoast’s Real-Time Content Analysis is a cloud-based tool that won’t cost you a cent. You can hop on the cloud at any time and use this valuable tool to sharpen up your content and make your web page more visible on the Internet. 

Create and then, edit your title. Optimize your meta description. Use its integrated analytical tools to guide your content writing process. To be more certain, Yoast’s Real-Time Content Analysis will give you sneak peek and see where your SEO efforts will place you in the search engine results page. 

4. Google Keyword Planner

Similar to SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner is another mainstay in the SEO toolbox of many content writers for 3 very good reasons.

First, Google Keyword Planner is free! All you need to access Google Keyword Planner is a Gmail account. 

Second, Google Keyword Planner is customizable and easy to use. Simply set your desired settings – target country, language, and list of keywords – and you’re good to go. 

Third, Google Keyword Planner is complementary to SEMRush. How? Use Google Keyword Planner to check the monthly search volume of a particular keyword. Not only will you see data on volume but Google Keyword Planner will give you Keyword Ideas. 

Choose a high volume keyword idea and type it into the Google search box and launch a query. Google will present a list of websites that are relevant to the search query.

Copy and paste the URL of the website in the first position of the SERP onto the search box of SEMRush then click enter. SEMRush will retrieve all of the keywords used on the web page. Repeat the procedure for websites from the 2nd to 5th positions in the SERP. 

You will have a spreadsheet of keywords that have been proven to help web pages rank high in the SERP.

5. Website Auditor’s Content Auditor

Website Auditor has come up with its own SEO tool called Content Editor. Think of Content Editor as Word with SEO features. This wonderful SEO tool will give you tips on how to optimize your content as you’re transposing ideas from your mind to the keyboard.

Title and meta descriptors are very important to optimize your page. As you’re preparing your respective descriptions, Content Editor will give you a preview of what your SERP will look like plus an idea of what your competitors’ SEO strategies are. 

A challenge for content writers, especially for those writing Buyer’s Guides or Product Reviews, is to keep track of the keywords used in the content. Sometimes a 6,000-word Buyer’s Guide will need more than 100 keywords integrated into the content at least once. 

Content Editor has a keyword counter that will help you keep track of the keywords you need to include on your content. 

6. nTopic

Writing online content is much different than writing for a glossy or submitting a research paper to your college professor. The ideal content for online publication goes beyond well-researched material and having no errors in grammar and spelling.

Content writers often write without knowing if the words they use are relevant to the topic or not. Some words may not be associated at all with the subject matter you are writing about. 

Google considers topic relevancy as an important ranking factor. If Google does not consider your content as relevant, your web page may find itself down in the search rankings. 

nTopic is an SEO tool that works to improve your content by letting you know if the keywords are relevant to the topic by giving you an nTopic score. If the score of your content is low, nTopic will give recommendations on how to make it better.

nTopic claims in its website that a web page sees a 4% increase in the search rankings after implementing the improvements the software recommended. 

7. KWFinder

KWFinder is almost like an all-in-one SEO tool for content writers. 

Similar to the other SEO tools discussed above, KWFinder will give you a good number of keyword suggestions. In addition, KWFinder will give you other useful data such as:

  • Search Volume per Month
  • Cost-Per-Click Figures
  • History of keywords – how popular these keywords have been over the years

You will also be given comprehensive information on the current position of the keyword you are using. 

KWFinder is not a free SEO tool. The Basic Plan will cost you US$49 per month and will help you find 100 keywords per day. 

The most expensive plan is the Agency which costs US$129 per month and will help you find up to 1,200 high-ranking keywords per day. 

8. Scoop.it

According to studies, to drive more traffic to your website and to increase search rankings, the ideal blogging frequency is 11 times per month.

Even the best content writers will have a hard time sustaining a pace of 11 optimized blogs per month. But you need content – high-quality content – to give your website a boost up the SERP. 

Your next best option would be to pack your website with high-quality and optimized curated content. 

Scoop.it will do just that for you!

Scoop.it is a content curating machine that scours the Internet in search of articles that are unique, useful, informative, and relevant to your website. Of course, these articles have been optimized for search engines.

By publishing high-quality curated content, you can enhance your brand, open up potential connections with influencers, and provide your followers with relevant information. 

9. SpyFu

SpyFu is an SEO tool that does exactly what you think it’s all about -spy on your competitor’s SEO strategy!

Simply type in the domain name of your competitor and SpyFu will retrieve a number of valuable pieces of information that you can use to fine-tune your own SEO strategy.

The treasure trove of SEO information includes the following:

  • Organic keywords your competitor is ranking for.
  • Adwords for PPC your competitor is using.
  • Keywords your competitors have used that yielded poor results.
  • Keep track of the keywords your competitors are actively bidding for.

Then, type in your website. 

SpyFu will recommend the best keywords you have not used or spent on for your PPC campaigns.

This is a wonderful SEO tool to have because you will know exactly how your SEO strategies are measuring up versus the competition. 

10. WooRank

WooRank is an online tool that does a comprehensive audit of your SEO strategy. In real-time, WooRank will give you valuable information on how your SEO is doing – the strengths that deliver results and the weak points holding it back.

But WooRank won’t stop there. 

Once the weak points of your SEO strategy have been identified, WooRank will propose an action plan that can help deliver the desired results. 

An interesting feature of WooRank is its Keyword Tool that helps you find the best keywords for your content, keeps you updated on your ranking versus your competitors for targeted keywords, and tracks the performance of your keywords over time. 

Conclusion

To compete for the top spot in the search rankings, SEO is an absolute must but your SEO game must always be on point. 

The rules of SEO are constantly changing because the online behaviors of consumers are likewise shifting from time-to-time. You have to stay on top of your audience and find out what motivates them to perform a search. 

The 10 SEO tools we discussed in this article will eliminate the guesswork and ensure you have solid data to design an effective content marketing strategy or improve upon your current one. 

If you need help in fine-tuning your SEO strategy, give us a call or drop an email. We will get in touch with you right away.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

If you have made it to 2019 without ever doing a PPC campaign, and have been thriving as well, you can consider yourself very lucky.

PPC is considered one of the best ways to drive all sorts of things: traffic, sales, revenues, engagement, brand awareness, and so on.

The only catch (and there’s always a catch) is that you can’t always afford your own in-house PPC specialist, and need to outsource this task.

Here is what you need to know about the process in order to make it work to your advantage. 

What are your goals?

Before your campaign is launched, you need to define the goals you wish to achieve with it. This will determine the way your campaign will be crafted, the audience it targets, and ultimately the money you spend on it.

These goals can include:

  • Raising brand awareness: great for small or up-and-coming brands that have yet to establish a reputation with their audience
  • Generating more leads: great for established businesses looking for new clients
  • Driving conversions: great when you want to increase sales

Depending on these goals, your campaign will need to be set up, managed, tested, and optimized in a different way. When talking to your prospective PPC expert, make sure you communicate your goals so they can know where to start plotting.

While we are on the subject of goals, all of them need to come with a certain set of KPIs that will measure their success. According to Search Scientists, the four best ones you can choose to track are phone calls, impression share, conversion volume, and CPA. They will depend on your set of goals though.

What will this service cost?

The price of PPC campaign management will depend on a lot of different factors:

  • Length of campaign
  • Business niche
  • Competitors in your niche and what they are bidding 
  • Keywords you are targeting, etc. 

Ultimately, if you are running a small to mid-sized campaign, outsourcing this task will cost you less than hiring, training, and having an in-house PPC manager coming to work every day. Also, outsourced experts often have more experience and expertise than someone you could hire full-time.

You will not have any additional charges either: no tools, no study materials, etc. The expert will already have everything they need to succeed. 

How to choose an expert? 

If you want the best for your campaign, look for a Google Premier Partner, as only about 3-5% of PPC Google Partner companies achieve this status. However, you will most likely pay more for these Partner companies.

You are also advised to hire a specialist rather than a generalist. Just because someone has experience with SEO, email marketing, copywriting, design, and PPC, doesn’t mean they will actually have the expertise to make your campaign a successful one. 

Learn more about the website services we off

What is your bid budget?

Determining your bid budget can be tricky, especially if you don’t know who you are bidding against (and you won’t know this until the campaign is running). An outsourced expert who does nothing but PPC for a living can help you come to a figure you are comfortable with, which can also bring in the best ROI.

Then there are also the strategies you may not know how to use to your advantage, like Geo Targeting, Dynamic Search Ads, or Ad Scheduling, which can affect the cost of your bid, but can also bring in a lot more clicks and impressions. Leave this part of the strategy to your expert, rather than trying to force a decision on them. 

What sort of time constraints are you working with? 

This is another point that should be communicated clearly, and something you need to know the answer to before you outsource your PPC management to someone. 

Do you have a specific deadline by which you need to reach a certain goal? Are your ads time-sensitive, i.e. are you promoting a holiday sale? How fast do you need to get things off the ground?

All of these things will determine what sort of specialist you need – someone who can get things done asap, or someone who has a couple of hours a week to monitor your campaign. 

Bear in mind that when working with PPC campaigns that run on a tight schedule, you need to be available to your specialist, and answer any questions they may have about your company or products.

How to manage your own business while someone else is managing PPC 

While we’re on the subject of availability, another very important aspect of outsourcing PPC campaign management is what you do with your own time and business while the campaign is running.

If it goes according to plan, you will need to be ready to handle the increase in calls and sales. Is your customer support team ready for this? Does your sales team have everything they need to close deals? Is your storage ready to handle more orders over a short period of time?

Before you launch the campaign into the world wide web, make sure you, as a business, are ready for it. If you offer next day delivery, don’t go back on this promise due to the unexpected influx of orders. If you offer customization options, don’t allow your customers to wait for ages to get their products, just because you were not ready. 

Once all this is in place, try to stay focused on the work and the business side of things. While it is important to be aware of the analytics of your PPC campaign, don’t micromanage or try to assert yourself with your PPC manager. Give them the space they need to do their job well and be available for answering questions if need be. 

Be aware that there are plenty of PPC companies out there that are not exactly experts – so come prepared to your meetings, ask the right questions, and be ready to make a switch if you need to.

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There are many website platforms that you can use to build your website. At Mountaintop, we have studied and built websites with most of these popular platforms. Our knowledge and experience have led us to one conclusion.

When it comes to designing, building, and managing websites, WordPress is the best platform to use. We are not alone in this assessment. 30% of the top 10 million websites use WordPress.

Here is a shortlist of statistical evidence that shows why WordPress websites rule the Internet:

  • 48% of Top 100 Blogs under the Technorati advertising platform run using WordPress.
  • 22% of all newly-registered business website domains in the United States use WordPress.
  • More than 74 Million websites use WordPress.

For these reasons and more, we strongly recommend WordPress as the website platform for our clients.

9 Benefits Of Using WordPress For Your Website

Over the years, clients have come to us complaining about their current website platform. Among the common complaints were as follows:

  • The website was hacked; in some cases, the website was infiltrated by cyber-criminals multiple times.
  • The website frequently broke down or did not function properly.
  • The website was difficult to update and manage.

Our first recommendation is to transfer the website to the WordPress platform. As expected, despite the long list of problems with his website, the response from the client is always:

“Why should we transfer to WordPress?”

1. WordPress Is Free

Let us start with an easy one – WordPress is for free! You can download WordPress, install it, and customize it according to your needs without spending a dime.

However, you still have to pay for your domain name and web hosting which are needed to install WordPress.

The domain name is what Internet searchers will type on their browser’s address bar in order to visit your website.

An example of a domain name is www.mountaintopwebdesign.com.

The web host is the platform which houses the servers where all of the assets and files of your website are located.

2. Easily Customizable

Are you thinking of starting a blog site? How about a business website or an e-commerce website? WordPress has thousands of website themes or templates to choose from.

These templates are highly customizable. A standard WordPress template comes with its own panel which showcases different options that allow us to change the look of your website.

We can play around with the various color selections and match them with the ideal background. Likewise, we can design eye-catching website sliders for your homepage. A slider is also known as a slide show.

This is a great tool for highlighting the key selling points of your business. We can display your signature products or perhaps a few powerful testimonies from your regular customers.  

We can also adjust the “feel” of your website. WordPress comes will plugins which function like apps. Each plugin has a specific function that can introduce a new feature to your website.

3. Google LOVES WordPress

When he was still a software engineer for Google, Matt Cutts referred to WordPress as one of the best software for the search engine giant. WordPress will help your website move up the search rankings because it is designed to accommodate SEO principles.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of using various techniques and strategies in order to rank high in the organic or natural search results of the search engine.

By using WordPress for your website, you are already several steps ahead of the competition. This is because WordPress websites are constantly upgraded with plugins that help optimize content, functionality, and overall user experience.

What are the key ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm?

  • Website Speed
  • Navigability
  • Image Optimization
  • Text Optimization
  • Mobile- Responsiveness

These are all made possible with WordPress.

4. Easy to Manage

WordPress knows that not all of its users are tech-savvy. That is why they built-in a management system that functions to update the platform whenever a new version, plugin or program is available.

Of course, as small business owners, the majority of your waking hours should be dedicated to running the day-to-day activities of your business.

Even if WordPress can send you automatic notifications of software updates, because of your busy schedule, you might overlook it.

This is the reason we recommend that our clients avail of our Extreme WordPress Care Plans.

These are programs which we developed to help clients focus on the demands of their business by leaving their WordPress website to the care of our highly-experienced and capable, professional website designers.

Put simply, we will manage your WordPress website for you. From updating plugins to improve functionality, mobile-responsiveness, site speed, and security, you can sleep soundly every night knowing your business is in good hands.

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5. WordPress Is One of the Safest and Most Secure Website Platforms

A lot of responsibility comes with being the most popular website platform on the Internet. With more than 23% of websites running on WordPress, that means hackers are working overtime to break through your defenses.

Hackers will constantly try to find vulnerable areas on your website which they can use as entry points to steal your valuable data.

WordPress is not oblivious to this and regularly issues updates on security plugins and website system upgrades. Unused and outdated plugins can easily be overridden by hackers and before you know it, your data is all gone.

Even though WordPress makes it easy to update plugins, fortifying your website is a more sensitive and technical matter. This is another reason why you should seriously consider our Extreme WordPress Care Plans.

Sign up for one of our Extreme WordPress Care Plans and we will protect your website’s assets from the consistent, almost daily attacks from these malicious hackers.

6. WordPress Can Accommodate Various Types of Media

Gone are the days when a website was primarily used as an online marketing brochure. Today’s websites are more dynamic and interactive. It is no longer enough to pack your web pages with optimized text content. The Internet community is more demanding. They want high-quality images and videos.

WordPress has an answer for all of your multimedia concerns. It has a built-in media up-loader which can accommodate different types of media.

Do you want an interactive and compelling homepage that will help you generate leads and increase conversion rates?

We can embed your explainer YouTube video on the home page so you can get more views and opportunities for sales. We can do the same for your Instagram photos and SoundCloud audio files.

7. WordPress Is Mobile-Responsive

As we mentioned earlier, mobile-responsiveness is a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm.

What does it mean to be mobile-responsive?

It means that when someone clicks on your URL from a mobile device, your website should set up nicely on his screen. If a mobile user has to zoom-in to read your content, chances are he will leave and go to your competitor.

If your website is not responsive to mobile devices, not only will you lose potential business opportunities but Google will penalize you down the search rankings.

WordPress has designed templates that are fully mobile-responsive. These templates are not only beautiful to look at but also highly-functional. We can set and improve these designs so that they can set up faster and more efficiently on mobile devices.

8. Do You Want to Blog? WordPress Has a CMS

CMS stands for Content Management System. This means you can publish blogs on your WordPress website.

Why should you blog anyway?

People who go on the Internet are always searching for content. And the cornerstone of any content marketing strategy is blogging. Studies have reported the following benefits of regular blogging for businesses:

  • 23% of Internet time is spent reading blogs.
  • Companies that blog have 97% more indexed pages.
  • Websites that have a blog page have 434% more indexed pages.
  • 61% of consumers have made their buying decision after reading a blog.
  • 81% of consumers from the US trust advice from a blog.

For your blogging strategy to be effective, you should be publishing content at least 16 times a month.

If this schedule is too much for your busy schedule, outsource it to us. Many of our blogs have been cited by renowned websites such as UpCity as among the best in the U.S!  

9. Integrate Your Social Media Accounts with WordPress

Before social media, a restaurant that was opening for business had to spend thousands of dollars to prepare and publish marketing collaterals such as press releases, full-page ads, advertorials, product shots, radio air-time, and hire an expensive publicist to put everything together.

With social media, traditional marketing channels have become obsolete. That restaurant would only have to open a Facebook page to build followers, a Twitter account to mass market special promotions, and an Instagram page to highlight the main products.

At very little cost!

Add to that the ability of your WordPress website to integrate your social media accounts. It would be easier to distribute content from your website to your various social media accounts so you can have more visits.

Your website has become a central online hub for your business. Your digital marketing strategies can create inbound traffic that is necessary to drive more traffic to your website. It is an effective way to open up your sales funnel and potentially convert followers to paying customers.

Conclusion

The Internet is home to billions of consumers searching for content every single day. In order to capitalize on its available opportunities, your business should have a website.

And you should only settle for the best website platform on the Internet – and that is WordPress.

If you are thinking of setting up a WordPress website, give us a call and avail of our free 30-minute consultation. We will let you know how we plan to design and manage your website so it can deliver the best results for your business.

If you are not happy with your current website platform, transfer to WordPress! We will help you get started! We a ranked as a top WordPress Developer and top WordPress Web Design company.

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2018 was a big year for PPC or Pay-Per-Click Marketing. Google Adwords was re-branded as Google Ads. The change was not all cosmetic. Google Ads was improved with new features, tools, campaign types, and targeting options.

Since branching out to the world of advertising in 2000, Google has leveraged its Internet dominance to generate a staggering US$116.3 Billion in ad revenues in 2018.

The number accounted for 85% of Google’s total revenues in the same year.

Not surprising, other companies saw the success Google had in advertising and followed suit:

  • Bing Ads revamped its offering to include new targeting capabilities, the availability of more reports plus other interesting new features.
  • Bing Ads collaborated with social media platform LinkedIn to introduce LinkedIn Profile Targeting.
  • Amazon’s aggressive push into PPC Marketing as more consumers continue to use its platform to search for more products.

Despite the challenges posed by Bing, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other PPC Marketing platforms. Google Ads remains the gold standard in the industry.

What Is PPC Marketing?

PPC Marketing is a process where the advertiser – you – pays the agency every time someone clicks on your ad.

The great thing about PPC Marketing is that your ad is placed in the sponsored results section of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

For example, you are in the business of selling remote control drones. You decided to use PPC Marketing to post ads on your latest product – remote control drones with high-resolution cameras.

Whenever someone launches a Google search query “remote control drones with high-resolution cameras”, your PPC will appear in the SERP that has all the URLs on the topic.

Thus, with PPC Marketing, the probability is high that your ad will attract a buyer who is genuinely interested in your product.

With PPC Marketing, you can be assured that your ad will be published in full view of targeted customers – those who have a strong intent to purchase your products or services.

Consequently, PPC Marketing can give your website a search ranking boost!

You can read more about PPC Marketing in our article, “SEO vs PPC: Which One Is Better For Your Business?”

The question you must be asking is “Should I invest in PPC Marketing? Will the investment be worth it?”

If you ask the good people at Google, they will tell you, “Yes! By all means, you should invest in PPC Marketing!”

Google has every reason to take a strong stand in favor of PPC Marketing. According to the search engine giant’s 2016 report, advertisers earned an average of $8 for every $1 spent on PPC Marketing.

4 Reasons Why Your PPC Marketing Campaign Is Not Delivering Results

That number should be enough to get your eyes and mouth wide open and give us a call here at Mountaintop Web Design.

However, we would like to emphasize that Google’s reported ROI on PPC Marketing is just an average. There are advertisers who fell short of their goals.

Why is your PPC Marketing campaign falling short of its targets? There are 4 factors that can have a dampening effect on your PPC Marketing campaign.

1. Choice of Keywords Is Too Broad

Similar to online content, your PPC ads have to be optimized. Thus, it is very important to have tightly-focused and precise keyword research.

The keywords that you are using in your PPC ads must match the intent of the target consumer as closely as possible. If your choice of keywords is too broad, your ad will be displayed to a wider or diverse audience many of whom may not be interested in what you are selling.

For example, you are in the business of selling specialized diesel engine pumps. If you used the keywords “Diesel Engine Pump” or “Diesel Fuel Injector Pump” in your ad, it will be placed in SERPs where prospective customers could be looking for just ordinary diesel engine pumps.

However, if you chose “Distributor Fuel Injector Pump” or “Common Rail Fuel Injector Pump”, you would be streamlining the search to consumers who have a need for these specific types of fuel injector pumps.

Thus, the chances of a prospective customer clicking onto your PPC ad will be much higher than if you opted for more generalized keywords.

2. The Message of Your PPC Ad is Disjointed

When creating a PPC ad, your copy must be aligned with the headline and the intent of your target market. Otherwise, the message of your ad will be disjointed and will not resonate with your target market.

Conceptualizing an effective PPC ad is a two-step process. First, the headline you plan to use and the content of the ad copy itself should match or correspond to the keywords you are bidding on.

Second, the message your PPC ad is conveying should provide answers or a clear-cut solution to the needs of your intended market. When a consumer runs an Internet search, he is looking for solutions that can help address a particular problem.

In order to be clicked on, your PPC ad must present itself as a potential solution to the problem or issue that is presently confounding the consumer.

3. Google Gives Your PPC Ad a Low-Quality Score

Google will review your PPC ad and determine your Quality Score or QS. Your score will depend on 2 factors: overall quality and relevance of your ad. Google measures these factors by keeping track of how many people actually click on the ad after it has been displayed on the SERPs.

Essentially, a lower QS means fewer people are clicking on your ad. While Google will measure your QS, it will be up to you if want to implement changes and improve the ad so that more people will click on it.

4. Poorly Designed Website Landing Page

Getting an Internet searcher to click on your ad is one thing. Giving him the best User Experience when he gets to your website landing page is another.

What will the site visitor see when he lands on your page? Will he readily find solutions to his pain points? Will your landing page content provide the answers to his questions?

Your efforts to find a customer do not begin and end with the PPC ad. Likewise, your landing page must be optimized to help increase conversions.

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How Much Will It Cost To Run A PPC Marketing Campaign?

In our article, “How To Setup A Low Cost But Effective Digital Marketing Campaign”, we discussed the ways in which you can run a digital marketing campaign that can deliver results without breaking the bank.

PPC Marketing was not included among the best low cost strategies in the article. However, we mentioned PPC Marketing as an option that you can consider especially if you have a larger budget for marketing.

If you are thinking of including PPC Marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy, for the reasons stated at the beginning of this article, Google Ads would be the best platform to launch your ads.

Google Ads uses a bid system whereby you, the advertiser, will put in a maximum bid that you are willing to pay for every click or cost-per-click (CPC) your ad receives.

The rule is simple: the higher your bid the more advantageous the ad placement will be.

According to Google, the average CPC for advertisers in its platform is $1 to $2 on its Search network.

While this reported average CPC may seem attractive, the true cost of your PPC Marketing campaign will depend on 5 factors:

  • The competitiveness of your industry.
  • The competitiveness of the keywords.
  • Your Quality Score (QS).
  • The bid of your competitors for the keywords.
  • The quality of your competitors’ ads.

Google estimates that small and medium-scale businesses spend an average of $9,000 to $10,000 per month or $108,000 to $120,000 per year on PPC.

According to a study conducted by WebFX, the most expensive keywords come from the following industries:

  • Legal
  • Financial Services
  • Insurance
  • Retail

The financial services and insurance industry combined to spend an average of $1.2Billion in PPC ads every year. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, averages $50 Million for PPC ads per year.

The WebEx study identified the following keywords as the most expensive:

  • San Antonio Car Wreck Attorney – $670.44
  • Accident Attorney Riverside CA – $626.90
  • Personal Injury Attorney Colorado – $553.08
  • Structure Settlements – $539.82
  • Austin Drug Rehab – $463.05

78% of the most expensive keywords pertain to the legal industry. A far second is about Water Damage at 8% and coming in third at 6% is insurance. Business Services account for only 1% of the most expensive keywords.

However, putting in the highest bid is just one part of the PPC equation if you want to get the best placement. As previously mentioned, Google will consider your QS to determine the placement position of your ad.

Your QS is calculated based on 3 factors:

  • Relevance of your ad to the keywords.
  • Click-Through-Rate or CTR which is the number of clicks your ad generates as a proportion of the number of views it gets.
  • The quality of your landing page.

Using these 3 variables, Google has come up with is Ad Rank formula:

Ad Rank Formula = (Max CPC bid) x (Your Ad’s QS)

For example, if your maximum CPC bid for a keyword is $1.00 and Google gives your ad a QS of 10, your Ad Rank will be 10.

In an auction, the advertiser who ends up with the highest Ad Rank will be awarded the top advertising spot.

Google calculates the amount the advertiser pays per click with this simple formula:

(Ad rank of the ad below yours) / (Your QS) + $0.01

From the above formula, we can see that your QS will have a big impact on the cost of your PPC Marketing campaign. You can actually spend less and still acquire the top advertising position if Google gives you a high QS.

Conclusion

Google Ads is a good PPC Marketing platform to begin with. One of the biggest advantages of using Google Ads is that it gives you 4 ways to stretch your PPC Marketing budget.

First, Google Ads has a feature that allows you to create daily budgets whereby you can allocate more money to campaigns that are focused on promoting your top selling products.

Second, you can set the time and date that you want your PPC Ad to appear. Thus, you can increase your bids only for specific hours of the week.

Third, Google Ads has an interesting feature called geotargeting which lets you set aside more funding to reach target customers in a specific geographic area such as a neighbourhood or city.

Finally, if you believe most of your customers are living the mobile lifestyle, Google Ads has a device targeting feature which lets you use some of your funding to deliver your PPC ad directly to people using a particular type of mobile device.

Is PPC Marketing worth it? The answer is “Yes” provided the following conditions are met:

  • Keyword research is highly-focused and targeted on specific, not broad or generalized keywords.
  • The message of the PPC ad copy must be clear; it must resonate with the intent of the Internet searcher and provide solutions to his concerns.
  • Likewise, the landing page of your website must be optimized and aligned with the message of your PPC ad copy. It should provide the answers the Internet searcher is looking for.

Your focus should be to come up with a PPC ad that will elicit a high QS from Google. The better your QS, the higher the probability of landing the top advertising spot. You can lower the CTC even if your max bid is not the highest.

Are you ready to add PPC Marketing to your digital marketing toolbox? Give us a call and we can set you on the right track to PPC success! We are ranked as one of the top PPC Agencies according to Design Rush.

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Whether you are a start-up or a business that has been running for a while, people you meet will surely ask one question:

“Are you on social media?”

There is no denying the power and influence of social media. Of the 4 Billion people who are on the Internet every day, almost 3 Billion are on social media. That’s 75% of the daily Internet users and nearly 40% of the world’s total population.

If you want to build an online presence, you should be on social media.

Or do you?

Is social media the be-all and end-all of online marketing?

Is it possible to survive in a competitive industry without the benefit of social media?

Not only will you survive a competitive industry without the benefit of social media, but you may even thrive.

Is Social Media For Everyone?

If someone wants to lose weight, one of the first things he/she will probably do is take up running.

And why not? Running is a basic skill we learn growing up. It is an activity that you can do anywhere and many people have gotten great weight loss results from running.

However, running is not for everyone. If you have weak joints, running can lead to serious injuries. Likewise, using poor running technique can lead to chronic pain in your feet, knees, and lower back.

Moreover, it is not the only way to lose weight. You can swim, bike, walk, play ball, or work out in a gym.

Of course, exercise alone will not make you lose weight. You have to follow a strict, low calorie, healthy diet. A combination of exercise, diet, and good quality sleep will lead to long-term, sustainable weight loss.

The same can be said about social media. It is not for everyone and social media is not the only way to market and promote your business.

Social media has gained prominence as an online marketing strategy because every business website that writes articles about growing your business invariably has a section devoted to social media.

In fact, we have written about social media in our articles “How to Launch a $100 Digital Marketing Campaign” and “5 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need to Invest in a Digital Marketing Strategy”.

Social media has become such a force of nature that you can easily get swept away by its power and influence.

Big companies such as Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Nike, and Walmart are active on social media. So are major influencers such as Neil Patel, Tim Ferris, Sir Richard Branson, and Warren Buffett.

Social media marketing is also inexpensive. Once you have created an account, you can reach out to people you know and work your way through their contacts list so you can grow your own followers.

From there, it is just a matter of posting content frequently.

Easier said than done.

7 Ways To Grow Your Business Online Besides Social Media

If you haven’t seen quantifiable results from your social media efforts, you are not alone. It takes time to grow your followers organically.

You need to put thought and purpose behind your content. After some time, you will have to use social media analytics to help you pinpoint the types of content that generate the highest levels of engagement.

And it doesn’t end there. The best way to validate your social media efforts is to convert interest into sales. That is an entirely different ballgame.

Just because everybody – or more accurately 3 Billion people – are doing it doesn’t mean that you should also.

It may not be for you.

There are other ways to grow your business online besides social media.

1. Mobile-Responsive Website

If you have a website – good. If you have a mobile responsive website – great!

It would be difficult for your online marketing efforts to bear fruit if your audience cannot access your website from a mobile device. 57% of online traffic comes from mobile devices, especially smartphones.

Mobile-responsiveness is also a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm. If your website is not mobile-responsive, it will not lead to a pleasant experience for users. Google will penalize your website in the search rankings.

2. Optimize Web Content

Writing online is different from writing a college term paper. Yes, you have to check your work for spelling and grammatical errors and the content must be thoroughly researched.

However, when writing Internet-based content, you must always have optimization in mind. Optimizing content makes it easier to get found on the Internet. The fundamental component in content optimization is the use of keywords.

Keywords are the words and phrases used by people to launch a search query. When integrated into your content, keywords will make it easier for the search bots to find and index your page for the SERP.

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3. Content Marketing

A 2018 global survey conducted by Smart Insights showed 20% of marketers believed content marketing was the online process that would have the most significant impact on business.

It should be no surprise because people continually search for content on the Internet. No just any ordinary content. The material that you publish must have the following qualities:

  • Fresh, original
  • Relevant
  • Usable
  • Informative
  • Well-researched
  • Easy to read

By consistently posting quality content on your blog page, you will be able to build a solid base of followers organically. They will consider you a valuable resource in the industry and trust the quality of your content.

Include a blog page on your mobile-responsive website. Then pack it with optimized, keyword-rich, and high-quality content.

4. Integrate Chatbots

Customer service a key component of every business. Great customer service means having the needs, concerns, or issues of your followers and patrons addressed right away.

Chatbots are becoming the norm in how customers interact with websites. In one study, 15% of respondents reported that they have interacted with chatbots over the course of a year.

Chatbots are a convenient way of managing customer service. First, they give precise answers. Second, they are not affected by emotional outbursts or stressful situations. Third, chatbots do not get sick and can run 24/7.

However, if a chatbot gets stumped, make sure it can be programmed to transfer the inquiry to a human customer service agent.

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing may not be as hip or cool as social media but it may well be a more effective online marketing process than Facebook or Twitter.

Take a look at the statistics comparing email to Facebook and Twitter:

  • Number of users – Email: 2.6 Billion, Facebook: 2 Billion. Twitter: 313 Million
  • Percentage of users who check these processes first thing in the morning – Email: 58%, Facebook: 11%, Twitter: 3%
  • Percentage of people who use these processes at least twice daily – Email: 91%, Facebook: 57%, Twitter: 14%
  • Users who made a purchase because of these processes – Email: 66%, Facebook: 20%, Twitter: 6%
  • Customer Acquisition- Email: 7%, Facebook: <1%, Twitter: 0%

Lastly, email has a higher ROI at 21% versus Facebook and Twitter combined at 15%.

6. Search Engine Directories

In the old days, when someone wanted to search up a business, he/she would use the Yellow Pages telephone directory. Today, that person would use search engine directories.

And yes, the Yellow Pages can be found online. This time, YP has other search engine directories as competition. These search engine directories include Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo! Local Listing.

Having your business listed in an online directory is an effective way to get found. This is especially true for retail-type businesses.

According to Google, 80% of Americans use search engine directories to track down a business. 50% of the search has resulted in a visit to the store and 18% of those visits resulted in a sale.

You can read more about search engine directories in our article, “Why Should Retail Locations Be Listed in Search Engines”.

7. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a good strategy to use for building your brand, establishing yourself as an authority, creating natural inbound links and driving traffic to your website.

There are blog sites that allow guest writers to share content on their website. However, it is a good idea to check on the authenticity and reputation of the blog site before making your inquiry.

In the same manner that there are good guest blog networks, there are also bad guest blog networks. You will know who they are because their ground rules sound spurious.

For example, these bad guest blog networks will not allow you to edit content or remove spammy links. Also, a visit to their site will yield a “treasure trove” of poor quality content.

Conclusion

Social media is a great way to build your business online. However, it is not the only way. Also, it may not be the best way to grow your business. As you have read, there are other tools that you can use to give your business the online presence it needs.

The bottom line is, a digital marketing strategy should not be dependent on only one tool. It should utilize a good number of processes that can provide your business with different avenues to achieve its goals.

From there, you can use Analytics to determine which processes are generating good ROI and which ones aren’t. Analytics is an effective tool for fine-tuning your digital marketing campaign.

If Analytics show that your social media marketing strategy is not delivering the results, find out why. Identify the weaknesses and try to institute improvements.

If upon further analysis, the results are not to your satisfaction, do not hesitate to repurpose the resources to other processes that yield better ROI.

Hopefully, we were able to give you some level of objectivity toward social media. Yes, it is powerful and influential. However, it may not be for everyone.

The good thing is there are other tools at your disposal which can be more effective than social media.  

If you liked this article, please feel free to share it. And if you want to learn more about how digital marketing can grow your business, please do not hesitate to give us a call or an email.

Consult with us for 30 minutes free of charge!

We hope to hear from you soon.

Extreme WordPress care - what types of plans we offer

Do bad guys always wear black? A popular theme in Hollywood is the classic battle between good and evil. More often than not, the good guys are in white and the bad guys are in black. Case in point is HBO’s smash hit, “Westworld”. In the TV show, visitors to a western theme park are asked to choose between a white hat and a black hat. If you choose a white hat, you’re the hero. If you choose a black hat – well, you guessed it – you’re the villain.

Does the analogy hold true for marketers? Are marketers who choose white hat SEO strategies the good guys? Conversely, are marketers who choose black hat SEO strategies the bad guys?

More importantly, should you use both strategies in your digital marketing campaign?

To have a better understanding of the two, let’s discuss White Hat and Black Hat SEO strategies in detail.

What Is White Hat SEO?

White Hat SEO strategies use techniques and tactics that strictly adhere to Google’s guidelines. The primary objective of marketers who use White Hat SEO strategies is to enhance the website’s visibility on the Internet.

Here are a few examples of popular White Hat SEO strategies:

1. Creation of Quality Content

Google is very particular on User Experience or UX. When someone lands on your website, Google expects that visitor will find only quality content. This means content that is useful, unique, informative, and relevant. Likewise, it should not have errors in spelling and grammar.

Quality content will compel action from the reader. He/she could share your content in social media or use it as a resource link to his/her own website. If your website consistently publishes quality content, Google will reward you with higher search rankings.

2. Integration of Keywords

Keywords are the words and phrases that people frequently use to launch a search query on the Internet. Search bots or web crawlers index content that contains these keywords. Thus, integrating keywords will make it easier for your content to get found on the Internet.

There are 2 things you need to keep in mind when using keywords.

First, use the right keywords. This means keywords and phrases that are relevant in your industry. You should perform keyword research before writing your content.

Among the most popular tools are Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush. You can read more about keyword research in our article “5 Best Keyword Research Tools For 2018”.

Second, keep track of keyword density. While there are no clear-cut rules on keyword density, many SEO experts advise a ratio of 1 keyword per 200 words.

Google will penalize you for keyword stuffing, a technique whereby a page is overloaded with keywords. The purpose of keyword stuffing is to trick Google into thinking the content is relevant.

3. The Use of Relevant Backlinks

You know your content marketing strategy is on the right track when other websites are linking back to you. It means these websites find great value in your content.

For Google, backlinks are a seal of approval. The search engine giant will reward you with higher search rankings.

However, you have to make sure the websites that are linking back to your page are relevant to your industry. Consequently, these websites must also be reputable and consistently publish high-quality content.

4. The Use of Meta Descriptions

There are some SEO practitioners who believe meta descriptions are no longer significant. We are here to tell you that having well-written meta descriptions can help drive traffic to your website.

Meta descriptions consist of a few sentences that describe your website. The purpose of the meta description is to entice people to visit your website. It tells Internet searchers what your website is all about.

Thus, a meta description is not written for search engines. It is written with the potential site visitor in mind. You should not use too many keywords in your meta description.

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What Is Black Hat SEO?

In contrast, Black Hat SEO strategies employ techniques and tactics that do not conform to the guidelines of Google. Marketers who use Black Hat SEO strategies are mavericks; they operate outside the confines of the “law” and are willing to bend the rules to get the job done.

Here are a few of the most popularly-used Black Hat SEO strategies:

1. The Use of Irrelevant Keywords

We discussed the important role keywords play in getting your content found on the Internet. However, the keywords should have relevance or value to the site visitor.

For example, you are writing a blog on how a robotic vacuum cleaner can keep your home clean without any fuss. Then, within your content, you write in the following sentence:

“LeBron James can surely use a robotic vacuum cleaner to sweep the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.”

The sentence includes the keywords “robotic vacuum cleaner” but it has absolutely no relevance to the article. Instead, it uses popular search items “LeBron James” and “Golden State Warriors” to trick search engines.

2. Bot-Generated Content

Black Hat SEO practitioners will often use automatically-generated or bot generated content to capitalize on keywords and give the search rankings a boost.

No doubt you have seen examples of bot-generated content. They are usually located in the comments section of a blog. A bot-generated content is very easy to spot because they make no sense!

It reads like a random comment that has no relevance to the topic whatsoever. The only component of a bot comment that has value is the keyword.

3. Installing Doorway Pages

Let’s say you are planning to visit Italy and indulge in your passion for fine art. You want to prepare an itinerary which covers the best art galleries in Florence. You run a search query on the “best fine art galleries in Florence Italy”.

When you click on one of the URLs featured on the search results page, you don’t land on the website of an art gallery in Florence. Instead, you find yourself on a website selling herbal supplements.

This form of Black Hat SEO trickery is called installing doorway pages. Put succinctly, doorway pages are fake pages that are packed with keywords to help the website get found. You just won’t find what you are looking for.

4. Integrating Invisible Links or Text

Black Hat SEO practitioners know the value of going stealth mode. They will “plant” links on pages where you can’t see them right away.

Examples of these types of tactics include setting the font size to zero, using white text on white background, and integrating a link in a small character such as a comma or a period.

What Are The Penalties For Practicing Black Hat SEO Strategies?

If you break the law, you will get punished for it. On the Internet, Google is the law. Whenever the search engine giant announces changes on its search ranking algorithm, you should pay attention very carefully.

Google frowns upon Black Hat SEO strategies. In fact, Google institutes changes on its search algorithm to make sure these Black Hat SEO strategies get shut out. Here is an updated list of changes in Google’s search algorithms:

  • Penguin – Designed to stop inappropriate linking practices
  • Panda – Designed to slow down content farms. A content farm is usually an agency that employs a large group of writers to create high-ranking content. The purpose is to increase page views and attract more advertising revenue.
  • Florida – Designed to stop keyword stuffing tactics.

If you are caught using Black Hat SEO techniques, what penalties should you expect from Google?

1. A Drop in the Search Rankings

If you notice a sudden drop in the search rankings for your website, that is Google’s way of telling you to stop what you are doing and clean up your strategies.

You will have to comply with Google’s algorithm, implement the necessary changes on your SEO strategies, then file a reconsideration request which will ask the search engine to run another audit on your website.

2. Banned in the Search Rankings

Although it rarely happens, the possibility exists that Google can ban you from its search rankings. Google will not hesitate to pull the trigger on websites that continue to practice deceptive SEO strategies.

A ban from Google will sound the death knell for your business. No one will be able to find your website on the Internet thus, affecting lead generation, site traffic, and sales conversions.

In the event that you do get banned, you should try to appease Google by cleaning up your SEO strategies before applying for a reconsideration request.

Conclusion – Should You Use Both White Hat And Black Hat SEO Strategies?

Both White Hat and Black Hat SEO strategies serve the same purpose – to enhance website visibility so you can climb up Google’s search rankings.

However, with Google constantly reviewing and changing its algorithm, it would be best to stick to White Hat SEO tactics. You cannot pull the wool over Google. The search engine will eventually see what you’re up to.

Interactions on the Internet may be driven by digital technology but they are purely emotional by nature. Black Hat SEO tactics can be annoying. No one wants to be misled. It will reflect on your reputation and affect your brand identity.

Finally, keep in mind this beautiful quote from American author, Arnold Glasow:

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”

White Hat SEO strategies will require more effort because you will have to build your followers and links organically. They will keep you on the straight and narrow path. Running a business is hard enough as it is. You should minimize the risks instead of adding to it.

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How do businesses start? It all starts with an idea. That light bulb moment is triggered by a moment of inspiration. You have an idea for a product or a service that addresses the needs of a specific market. You believe that you have the experience and expertise to turn your idea into a product with a price that people are willing to pay for.

The next question is going to be a bit more tricky:

“Do you have the experience and expertise to get your product or service in front of the people who may find value in it?”

How Much Should You Spend To Market Your Business?

Marketing is an important function of every business. It helps you build your brand, bring awareness to your products and services, and enhances your reputation as a valuable resource in the industry.

However, in times of economic difficulty, marketing is quite often the first business activity to be cut. This is especially true for small business owners where capital is tight and access to funding is very limited.

According to a survey conducted by HubSpot, securing an adequate budget is the third biggest challenge in marketing.

Small businesses are hesitant to allocate more resources to fund marketing campaigns. Their focus is to keep the business afloat. This means paying off their monthly costs of operations, suppliers, and creditors. Savings are set aside to tide the business over in the event the stream of income slows down to a trickle.

The question is, “How much should you spend to market your business?”

A study conducted by Sageworks revealed that on average, a small business spends an estimated 1% of its annual gross revenues for marketing and advertising activities.

Thus, if a small business on average generates annual gross revenue of $350,000, the owner or proprietor would set aside 1% or $3,500 to take care of its marketing activities for the year.

Is $3,500 a lot of money to spend on marketing?

Alternatively, is $3,500 enough to effectively support a marketing campaign?

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, that’s not much”. Meanwhile, others may be thinking, “Wow! That’s a lot! I can’t afford that!”

The truth is marketing does not have to break the bank. There are ways, methods, and techniques that you can use to ensure your marketing campaign does not lose its stride.

Building The Foundation Of A Cost Effective Marketing Campaign

Before we discuss the best ways to market your business without breaking the bank, it is important to build a solid foundation for your marketing campaign to stand on.

Without a solid foundation, your platform will crumble and fail. The pillars of the foundation are processes that you must undertake before actively working on your marketing strategy.

1. Conduct Research

Research gives your marketing activity direction. The purpose of research is to collect information that will give you valuable insights on your target market; the demographics, likes and dislikes, demand preferences, and tastes.

You need research to help you identify trends and patterns; uncover the latest developments in the industry, potential growth areas as well as risk factors. Research helps you determine what your campaign should be about; its purpose and objectives.

2. Create a Buyer’s Profile

A buyer’s profile is simply a summary of characteristics, attributes, and behavioral patterns that define who your audience is. It will give laser-like focus to your marketing strategies; you know who your market is, their needs, interests, and concerns.

What information should be included in a buyer’s profile?

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Educational Attainment
  • Profession/ Occupation
  • Income Bracket
  • Civil Status
  • Number of Dependents
  • City
  • Preferred Social Media Network

3. Define Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

Some marketers refer to the UVP as the USP or Unique Selling Proposition. Although they essentially mean the same thing, we prefer to use “Value” instead of “Selling” because the word has greater significance and meaning when it comes to brand building.

As the term implies, UVP refers to your unique offering to your target market. It should answer the question, “Why should you choose me over the competition?” There must be something about your business that will influence the decision-making ability of your target market.

4. Focus on Building Your Brand

This is the third time we have mentioned brand building in this article – and it may not be the last! We cannot simply overemphasize the importance of building your brand. By brand building, we don’t mean just logos and catchy taglines.

Your brand is how your market perceives your business. It is a gradual transition from “what you are” to “who you are”. As such, it is a process that will take time and consistent effort.

All of the tools, techniques, strategies, and processes that you plan to incorporate in your marketing campaign must be aligned with your brand.

5. Identify Your Marketing Objective

“What do I hope to accomplish with our marketing campaign?” This is the underlying question that must be answered by your marketing objective.

A marketing campaign can have different objectives:

  • Build a trustworthy reputation in the industry
  • Acquire followers
  • Promote business, products, and services
  • Generate Leads
  • Increase sales conversion rates
  • Improve search engine rankings
  • Drive more inbound traffic to the website

Ideally, you should only have one objective in order to remain focused. However, you can break down your singular objective into several smaller goals.

For example:

Primary Objective – Increase search rankings

Smaller Goals:

  • Acquire followers
  • Generate Leads
  • Build a trustworthy reputation in the industry
  • Drive more inbound traffic to the website

6. Monitor, Track, and Evaluate Performance

Take advantage of the availability of online analytics such as Google Analytics and the built-in analytics in your social media pages. By monitoring, tracking, and evaluating performance, you will have a better idea if your campaign will deliver the desired outcome.

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10 Best Ways To Market Your Business Without Breaking The Bank

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing has grown to become one of the most powerful and influential processes in the marketing toolbox. The reason is simple: People are regularly searching for great content.

  • Content can be in the form of blogs, curated articles, videos, images, and other types that can effectively deliver your UVP. Focus on creating great content. This means content that is useful, informative, fresh, engaging, and relevant.
  • Writing blogs and curating articles will only cost you time. Long-form blogs or those with a word count of 2,000 up work best in getting higher search rankings. Including research and rough drafts, it will take you approximately 3-4 hours to write a 2,000-word blog.
  • Start out with two blogs per week. If your goal is to generate leads, your target should be to produce 16 blogs per month.
  • Make sure your blogs are optimized with keywords. Use a free online keyword research tool such as Google Keyword Planner.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media is an effective channel for distributing your online content. First, it caters to a gigantic population of more than 3 Billion users every day. Second, opening a social media business page will not cost you a cent.

However, not all social media networks function in the same way. After all, these are communities.

  • Choose 2-3 platforms that best support your type of business. For example, if you are selling highly-visual merchandise such as smartphones or food, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest would work best for you.
  • Set a posting schedule. The frequency of posting is an important component in social media marketing. Once you have built up a good number of followers, make sure you are always top-of-mind. Post at least once a day. Use Buffer which is a free online social media scheduling tool.

3. Email Marketing

According to a study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric, email marketing generates the highest ROI of all online marketing channels.

Compared to social media marketing, direct mail, and paid search which have an ROI of 28%, 27%, and 25% respectively, the ROI for email marketing has been measured at 122%.

  • Build a good-sized list of subscribers. To make this happen, come up with a good Call-to-Action (CTA) such as a free e-book or consultation.
  • Segment your mailing list. Categorize your subscribers based on need, demographics, or online behavior patterns.
  • Focus on high-value content. Newsletters are short-form content; usually, no more than 300 words. Since you have segmented your list, focus on delivering content that directly addresses their specific need.

4. Use Online Search Engine Directories

A study by Google showed that 80% of Americans prefer to use search engine directories to find local businesses. More than that, the same Google study showed that 50% of the respondents visited the local business on the day itself.

What’s in it for the local business? 18% of local businesses who were found on an online search engine directory were able to close the sale! Registering your business in an online search engine directory is a free and easy way to get discovered.

You can read more about online search engine directories and how they can benefit your business in our articles, “Why Should Retail Locations Be Listed In Search Engines?” and “How Can Retail Locations Benefit From A Strong Local Presence”.

5. Consider Paid Advertising

Paid advertising methods like PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising can give your search rankings an immediate boost because whoever clicks your ad will find themselves on your landing page. With PPC, you only pay whenever someone clicks on your ad.

Find out more about the benefits of paid advertising in our article, “SEO Vs. PPC: Which One Is Better For Your Business?”

6. Build Partnerships

The late great sales guru, Joe Girard, popularly advocated his protagonist approach when negotiating deals.

Girard believed that while parties in a negotiation have different intents, they have a common goal: to land the best arrangement. Therefore, instead of opposing one another, why not help each other?

You can apply the same ideology in marketing your business.

For example, in a food business, suppliers sell you their raw materials to produce your menu items. They want you to succeed so that you will buy more supplies from them. Ask them if they are willing to sponsor a promotional activity.

For example, ask your beverage supplier to provide you with a few cases for free to support the promo. In exchange, allow the supplier to post advertising materials in your restaurant.

7. Reach Out to Your Community

For local businesses, your immediate captive market is the community where you are located. Reach out to them. Let them know how your business can address their needs.

Here are a few examples:

  • If you own a gym business, schedule group workouts for families and friends at the local community center. Most people are intimidated by the thought of walking inside a gym. Bring the gym to them and start building relationships within the community.
  • Look for other local businesses in the area that offer products and services which are complementary to your own. Propose a cross-marketing arrangement. For example, a cake shop owner can set up a cross-marketing arrangement with a flower shop owner.

8. Attend Business Forums and Trade Shows

Business forums and trade shows are effective venues for marketing and promoting your company. Some organizers will charge you a fee in order to participate in the event.

However, these events attract potential end-users of your products and services. The fee could be worth it considering that you are given the opportunity to position your business directly in front of prospective clients or customers.

9. Attend Networking Events

Most networking events are by invitation only. You may have to become a member of an organization to be invited. Another avenue you can take is to join focus groups in your local community and even those within your social media circles.

Networking is a great way to expand your contacts list. Don’t approach the event with the 4C mindset: “Calling Card Collection Contest”. Instead, use the 4B approach: “Build the Best connections that will Benefit your Business”.

You can learn more about networking in our article, “How Can Networking Help My Business Grow”.

Conclusion

We saved the best for last.

Number 10 – Outsource Your Marketing

Why is this your best option for marketing your business?

First, by outsourcing your marketing, you free up time so you can dedicate your precious hours to managing the core functions of your business. As we mentioned earlier – creating content, posting on social media, and measuring results – all of these activities take time.

Second, you leave the implementation in the hands of experienced and well-trained experts. They will do everything – research, content optimization, website management, social media calendar, and content writing – for you. You can be assured of professional quality work every time!

Third, you save more money! If you set up an in-house marketing team, you will have to pay your personnel salaries, benefits and allocate expenses for rent, supplies, utilities, and additional bandwidth.

When you outsource, the service provider takes care of everything. You only have to pay for the services rendered. In many cases, the charges are negotiable. The best outsourcing service providers understand your needs and will render work with respect to your budget.

It is important to outsource marketing only to qualified third-party service providers like us. We know what we are talking about. In fact, we wrote about budget-friendly marketing strategies in our article “How To Set Up A Low Budget But Highly Effective Digital Marketing Campaign”.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you market your business without breaking your bank account, please feel free to give us a call. We will give you a free consultation for up to 30 minutes!

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Investing in a website is a step in the right direction. The operative word in our preceding statement is “investing”. It implies that you expect your investment to pay dividends in the future. Indeed, the website has come a long way.

Before broadband, businesses set up websites to function primarily as online marketing brochures. The website has evolved since then.

Today, the website is a facility that can provide amazing user experience with the power to convert simple interest into a stream of revenues for your business. Properly managed, a website can help you achieve your business goals.

You can use the website to generate leads, streamline business costs, acquire followers, expand your market base, improve the efficiency of business operations, provide top-notch customer service, enhance your business reputation, or increase sales.

In contrast, improperly managed, your website can drive away customers, tarnish your business reputation, and affect its ability to generate revenues.

Do you feel that your website has not contributed to the growth of your business? Are you under the impression that your website has not performed according to expectations? Do you think your website has not delivered quantifiable results? Are you starting to think that starting the website was not a good investment?

Is your website costing you business?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, read on! We will discuss the possible reasons why your website could be costing you business and what could be done to fix these issues.

Don’t give up on your website! It remains a good investment and a viable tool to help you take your business to the next level. We will show you how to maximize its strengths so you can turn it into a money-making machine!

8 Reasons Why Your Website is Costing You Business

The factors we listed as possible reasons why your website is under-performing are basic, fundamental requirements for an effective, fully-functioning website.

If you have a webmaster, he/she knows that these factors should not only be in place. They have to be routinely checked, evaluated, and updated.

A website should be dynamic. It must be allowed to evolve and change with the times. If your website remains stagnant, it will be left behind and ignored on the Internet. The beneficiaries will be your competitors.

1. Your Website is Not Mobile Responsive

Mobile responsiveness has been a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm since 2015. If your website is not mobile responsive, get your webmaster on the line this very second. Google could well be punishing you in the search rankings for it.

If you can confirm that your website was mobile responsive when the webmaster turned it over to you, can you confidently say that it remains highly responsive to mobile devices today?

Mobile technology continues to evolve. Screen sizes and resolutions change to give mobile users better experience. There is also a great demand for the latest mobile devices. Consumers will pay top dollar for the latest iPhone or Android smartphone with the most innovative features.

Your webmaster has to constantly test the responsiveness of your website. It should be able to set up effortlessly in different screen sizes. Keep in mind that when mobile devices evolve and become more advanced, they will require more information.

You can read up more on why you should update mobile responsive design in our article “What Does My Website Look Like To Mobile Users?”

2. Web Page Loading Speed is Very Slow

According to a study conducted by Akamai, slow loading web pages are bad for business:

  • 47% of mobile device users expect a web page to load in under 2 seconds.
  • 40% of mobile device users will discontinue the search if a web page does not load in under 2 seconds.
  • For every second that your web page is delayed in loading, you lose 7% in conversions.

Again, your website design and its features have to be updated. It has to conform to the demands of today’s mobile community.

Your webmaster should check which of its features are no longer be supported by mobile devices particularly the images you use. You may also have files that are uncompressed.

3. Customers Perceive Your Website is Not Safe

All you need to do is read today’s news headlines to learn all about the latest hacking attempt. 2017 was a banner year for hackers and it doesn’t seem like these cyber-criminals will be slowing down their nefarious activities any time soon.

Consumers are becoming more cautious about their online activities. A survey done by Blumberg Capital showed that hacking has affected the online shopping behavior of American consumers. It will not keep consumers from shopping at their favorite e-Commerce retailer, but they will be more selective of the sites they visit.

Google has seen this. For the reason that the biggest search engine on the Internet is big on User Experience (UX), Google has required all websites – not just e-Commerce websites – to get SSL Certificates.

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a program that encrypts data that is transmitted from browser to server. You can read more about SSL in our article, “SSL: What Is It And Why Your Business Needs It”.

If your website does not have SSL certificates, Google will mark it as “Not Secure”. Those two words can have an impact on the decision of a site user to explore your website. Ask yourself, “Would you proceed your search with a website that Google has marked ‘Not Secure’?”

In view of this, consider getting SSL certificates for your website. The cost of having your website covered by SSL certificates is negligible considering the size of the business that you might lose.

4. Design Looks Old; Outdated

Do you have a favorite neighborhood bar? It may have been there before you were born. And yes, age does add character.

However, what would you do if another bar opened right beside it and it had 60” HDTVs mounted in key locations so you can watch the latest sports events wherever you are seated? And what if it had wi-fi, comfortable modern-designed furniture, and 18 barrels of self-serve craft beer?

Goodbye to the old and hello to the new!

Maybe the classics are timeless but when you are engaged in the digital age, your design must conform to the times. Your customers will appreciate a newer and better experience. Often that includes your website’s design and functionality.

Always keep in mind that your audience’s online behavioral patterns can change. They can be influenced by other websites. The changes in the functionality of their mobile devices will likewise have an effect on how they interact with websites.

Make it a point to have your webmaster audit your website. Come up with ways to update its look and functionality. The website may be for your business but its value is to your customers.

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5. Poor Quality Content

Search is the number one online activity. People are constantly looking for content that provides the information they are looking for. In your industry, there could be thousands of businesses publishing content on their websites. The one that publishes great content on a consistent basis will be patronized the most.

If your website offers content that is not relevant, useful, or informative to your audience, they will not find value in it. Worse, your brand can take a hit. Prospective customers may view your website as “incompetent”, “outdated”, “poorly managed”, “unqualified” or “uncaring”.

Content must always be kept current. In order to get the best results from your content marketing strategy, you should blog at least 16 times a month. Studies show that businesses that blog at least 16 times per month generate 3.5 times more leads than businesses that blog fewer times per month.

And it’s not just the quantity that matters. You must assure your audience of high-quality blogs every time. This means blogs that are:

  • Well-researched with links to reputable references.
  • Easy to read; short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • No spelling and grammatical errors.

Here’s a valuable tip: When writing blogs and other forms of content, always keep in mind you are writing for an audience that needs your expertise. You are the expert. They are on your website to learn from you. Do not make the learning experience difficult by using technical terms.

6. Absence of Testimonials or Product Reviews

Do you remember those weight-loss supplement ads that showed users lose weight after using the product for only a few weeks? It created a huge demand for those weight-loss products. Consumers thought they could experience the same results and lose weight by taking the supplement.

In an expose years later, it was shown that instead of “Before” and “After”, those pictures were really taken “After” and “Before”. By this we mean, the supplement companies got models who were already lean and fit, to begin with. The models were described as “actual users”.

Then by having the models eat potato chips and other processed foods, they got their bodies to fill out and look heavy and bloated.

It was a scam but it worked. The “fake ads” were a huge success and made those companies millions of dollars.

Our point in mentioning this is not to encourage you to scam customers. Rather, we want to emphasize the power of testimonials and product reviews. This is called the power of social proof.

Social proof is a type of behavior whereby the decisions or actions of one person are influenced by the decisions or actions of another. You can read more about social proof in our article, “Social Proof: The Natural Way To Build Trust And Reputation For Your Website”.

In our previous example, consumers were influenced by the decisions of supplement users to give the product a try in order to lose weight.

Testimonies and product reviews have that kind of influential power. When you go to Amazon and are faced with hundreds of selections for the latest fitness tracker, how would you arrive at your decision?

Chances are you would check out the product reviews section. You will probably click on a few of the four and five-star reviews. For purposes of establishing a check and balance, you should click on a few one and two-star reviews as well.

If your website does not have social proof from your customers, you will be undermining its opportunities for success.

Invite customers to share their experiences with your products and ask them if you could publish them as testimonies on your website.

Conclusion

The website is your office on the Internet. This is the place where your customers go to find your products and services. The biggest advantage a website has over a traditional brick- and- mortar office is that it is open 24/7. Anyone, anyone on the Internet can visit your website at any time of the day.

Unlike a brick- and- mortar office, you don’t have to place a manager on 24-hour duty. Therefore, you have to be 100% sure and confident that your website can accommodate anyone who visits a page and is interested to learn more about your products and services.

Your webmaster knows this. Rather, your webmaster should know this.

Managing a website is a big responsibility. However, it is doable and with proper planning, it can be done effectively without inconvenience and issue to the website owner.

Failure to manage a website effectively is a sign of irresponsibility that will cost your business customers and potential revenue.

Managing your website is the job of your webmaster. If you don’t have one, find one that can do the job properly.

Or you can sign up with us. Allow us the opportunity to manage your website.

We have managed hundreds of websites and our customers are very happy with the results so far. Do you own a WordPress website? Sign up for our Extreme WordPress Care Plans. Clients who have signed up are glad they did!

We are managing their WordPress websites for them so they can focus on the day-to-day demands of their business.

Our clients no longer spend time checking on their websites. They no longer have sleepless nights thinking if their website is being hacked or infiltrated by cyber-criminals.

We have amazing people on our team. Our content has been cited multiple times by the digital marketing community website UpCity as among the top 25 marketing- based articles on the Internet. We are also listed as one of the top web design companies.

Do you have 30 minutes? Consult with us for free! We will let you know how we can help you get the most out of your website.

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