New features of responsive web design to look out for
With the growth of the mobile web we’ve seen fascinating new way of extra responsive web design cropping up, and they’re changing the way we browse the web in a beautiful way. Recent developments are beginning to make the way we browse the web more effective, more responsive, and more beautiful. This is why mobile web design is now more crucial than ever for the success of your website.
It seems like every day some new revolution is making the news, but here are our favourite recent developments in responsive web design, you’ve probably seen some of them already, but might not know much about them.
– Ghost buttons
Ghost buttons are small transparent icons that take replace the buttons you’re more familiar with clicking on. Traditional button icons which you use to move from page to page, or make selections were very solid, and seemed fixed in place. Ghost buttons seem like a layer above the content below, and can blend seamlessly with the background, giving design the foreground, while functionality becomes more discrete.
– Hidden Menus
Very popular now for shopping sites, especially in the fashion industry, but by now popular in pretty much any industry, hidden menus. Again menus were traditionally more solid, now menus can slide or fade in and out of view as you navigate the page. This is great for a few reasons, firstly it allows for far more ease when browsing, not needing to return to a fixed menu, now it comes with you.
Also because the menu hides when you’re not using it, the whole page space can be dedicated to the content, far more focussed. Focus is a trend in design more generally too and is changing the colour of the internet.
When the internet was new, it was cool to be flashy. Bright colours, text, elaborate font, and a general lack of taste were in. Design has recently got much classier though, and more gentle tonal colours help the user to focus on the content, and not the page it’s on.
How Mobile Website Design is Changing Everything
When the mobile web was first released it was a good half-decade or so behind the progress of desktop browsers. Over the past decade in particular though this gap has steadily been drawing to a close. In the past couple of years though something happened, the mobile web overtook the desktop, as more people were browsing on the go than at home.
There are a number of reasons for this including new generations of smartphones making the technology possible, as well as cultural phenomenon like social media making browsing on the go commonplace, especially for the younger generation.
– significance of mobile traffic
As we’ve said mobile browsing has overtaken the desktop, but even more significantly – shopping is moving more and more in the direction of mobile users. What this means is that the way people spend money is changing, and that means that having a mobile website design might be the difference between healthy or unhealthy revenue from your website.
This paradigm shift has been massive, and the response from web developers has been powerful. We’ve seen a real rapid response to mobile design, and the way it’s transforming the internet is profound.
– need for responsive design
The first important thing to make clear is what responsive design is. Basically because of the variety of devices now used with such range of screen sizes, it can be complicated for the code for web page to know how to display. This is why when browsing on your mobile you sometimes find that websites don’t display properly, or at all.
This means that the website isn’t responsive to your device, and you’ll have to look elsewhere. If you’re the business however, that’s a customer lost. Websites can now be custom built to work for any mobile device, tablet, laptop as well as your trusty old household desktop.
The Secret to a Successful Mobile Website Design
Changes in Technology
In this day and age where everyone owns some kind of mobile smart device that is connected to the internet 24/7, you can’t be paying enough attention to the relevance that mobile website design has and the impact it can have on your web traffic.
Changes in Consumer’s Habits
There has been a change in the way user’s search and spend their time online. Years ago, everyone would sit on a computer, which was often shared by the entire family, on a slow connection and a big screen with low resolution. Today, every member of a family has at least one device where they can browse the internet for information on a fast connection and on a high resolution screen, which in turn is a little bit smaller. So what is the outcome of this change in trends? Most websites have forgotten to adapt their content to be readable on these devices, therefore losing a lot of readability and consequently traffic.
Secrets to Retain Your Visitors
Below you will find the ingredients necessary so that you accomplish a friendly mobile website design in order to retain your visitors:
- It should be easy to read and navigate: most website layouts that are not responsive warp all out of shape and text gets on top or below images making it difficult to access content and links
- It should load faster than the full blown website, since the connection may still be fast, but the amount you can fit on the screen is less you should make sure that the site loads as fast as possible and before the user gets into the subway and losses their internet connection.
- In terms of navigation you should make sure that there is a search box available
- That presence and accessibility to the social network profile
- And the necessary contact information at a click’s distance.
If you can achieve this difference in layout, you will most surely be already ahead of the fierce competition that is present all around the internet. If you can’t, your website will most likely become obsolete and fade away in time until you get your hands on to it an refresh it to have this friendly responsive mobile website design.
Tips for Mobile Website Design
If you have a website for your business, then you have half the success, which leaves the other half that you can obtain with a mobile website design. Due to the increase of smartphones and smart electronic accessories, businesses need to have mobile websites as these gadgets are used more than laptops and PCs. The mobile website design is completely different to that of a regular website, which is why you need to go about this a little differently. Two things you need to ensure is the interface is suited for touchscreens and the content loads quickly. Read on and discover some fascinating tips to create a mobile website design, which will help you get a vast amount of visitors.
It is important you keep the content both concise and simple. This is because smartphone users are less likely to have patience or the interest to look at extraneous content. It is important you consistently go over your site so any taps or swipes that are not essential can be eliminated. You need to ensure that your mobile site gives users what they are after. This usually includes things like online booking, maps, and contact details, etc. If any useful information is lengthy, you can always redirect the user to your main website.
The second tip is to decrease the number of images you have, as these only take up so much space and are not very useful. You can also decrease the amount of forms that need to be filled out, by limiting the number of fields. This is because smartphone users dislike doing such things on their device due to the small screen and keypad, which results in several mistakes.
Your mobile site must have the same look as your main website. This includes things like the color, etc. and the logo needs to be included somewhere.
Finally, remember to keep enough space between the buttons, as you do not want someone getting annoyed by clicking on the wrong buttons each time. If you wish to increase the clickable area for users, you may also want to make an addition of a certain amount of padding to the buttons.
Checklist for Mobile Website Design
Today, there are millions of web-enabled devices that are being sold globally. This is due to the popularity of mobile website design and its benefits. Now, many mobile users use their personal device for things like business conversions, which is why it’s a good idea to design one. Not only does it get the message across quickly and effectively, but can also increase brand/product awareness resulting in an increase in traffic.
Creating a Mobile Website
Creating a mobile website design is not a bad idea, ensuring it is done well and with no errors. Below is a checklist for the mobile web design, which will help you by minimizing any mistakes that you could make whilst you’re in the middle of creating the mobile site.
Specification of Mobile Web Design
– Does the website feature contact information on all the pages? Each click the mobile website receives will add to the user distress list, which will leave a negative effect and could cause them to not return. If your contact is listed on all pages, then regardless of the page they are on, they will always have this essential info.
– Does your mobile website include a call to action? Can users easily see it and access it?
– Are huge chunks of text avoided in your mobile web design?
– Have you, yourself tried to browse your site using a variety of mobile devices?
– Is the content on your site easy to read and bulleted?
– Is the use of large images avoided on your mobile website?
– Are tables, frames and cookies avoided on your mobile web design?
– Is the navigation of your site easy for visitors to use in a small screen, or will they have to go through fumbling to load a correct page?
– Are the fonts of your website common, simple and easy to read?
– Are absolute measurements for all objects avoided on your site?
Extra Pointers for Mobile-Designed Sites
Listed above are some of the very important factors that require attention before you can go any further. Something that is hard for you will also be hard for others. So, you need to ensure everything is perfect and there isn’t a slightest error. If visitors can easily use it, chances are they will definitely return. Alternatively, you could ask a few friends or family members to run through the site, just to ensure everything works fine and to get some feedback.
Understanding Mobile Website Design
The internet was built for computers and this has meant that when designing a website the graphics layout and interactions are aimed at a person with a computer. This can make something that does not display well and is very difficult to use with many mobile devices. Even among mobile devices there is a huge difference in form factors, screen resolutions and sensitivity of touch screens. This is why mobile website design has become very important as there are now billions of devices that are web capable.
One Size Must Fit All Mobile Devices
In most cases mobile websites use designs that will dynamically size themselves to the screen they are viewed on. This means that the design needs to be very flexible so that the highest proportion of devices can view it. A common way to do this is to simplify the design compared to a traditional website bringing common function to the fore while still allowing other functions through deeper links of drop down boxes.
Navigation on Mobile Websites
The majority of devices that access the site will use touch screens so having intricate buttons that are fine with a mouse are definitely out. Clear, large buttons that are easy to be tapped with a finger are a must and a limited number of navigation choices works best when formulating a website design that is aimed at mobile devices.
Displaying Content on a Mobile Website
The core of a website is its content. A media website has to display its media and a sales website needs to display the products it has on display. A traditional website has the screen real estate to pack lots of content and many different items. A mobile website cannot do this in the same way, instead a mobile website needs to display a few items and give a simple way to move through the rest of the items. A one click solution to show the next page of items or line of items that can rotated through the viewing area are ways that you can incorporate into a mobile website design to handle this function.
The bottom line is making the website as user friendly as possible. This should be a top priority because a frustrated potential customer is frequently a potential customer that will go somewhere else.
Mobile Website Design: Responsive Or Separate?
We’re going to assume that you know you need to have a mobile website designed for your business — there’s lots of blog posts and articles out there that can explain why if you’re not already convinced. This isn’t about selling you on the idea of a mobile site, it’s about helping you decide what kind of mobile site you need. There are two basic options: reprogramming your existing (desktop-oriented website) so it’s viable on a mobile device, or creating an entirely new website for the mobile crowd.
The advantages of each are profound.
A responsive website is a single site on a single URL that is meticulously programmed to show up differently on a mobile device than it does on a desktop site. It does this through a process called a ‘media query’, where it basically asks the browser that’s accessing the site a bunch of questions about the device that the browser is running on, including questions about the device’s screen size.
The responsive website takes the information it learns and adjusts the elements it displays accordingly, removing most of them and retaining only the ones that are the most critical for a user to see. It also adds elements as necessary at certain sizes — so, for example, a video rental site might retain the “search for a video” and the “list of our available videos” areas, but take away the various categories like ‘drama’ and ‘romance’. Then, it would add a small link to the ‘categories’ page so the full functionality is retained but it’s broken up across several pages — much easier for a mobile device to browse on.
A separate website is a completely different entity from the desktop site; they are utterly independent of one another. There are some significant downsides to a separate site, not the least of which is that it’s hardly efficient in terms of the cost of a whole second batch of website SEO. On the other hand, for sites where mobile users have a distinctly separate set of needs and wants out of a mobile device that they want from a desktop, a separate website can be a very useful tool.
Your Business Will Benefit From Mobile Website Design
It’s incredible to think, that as we speak, there are almost as many mobile phone subscriptions as there are people in the world. When you couple that statistic with the fact that most mobile subscriptions now come with data plans for searching the net, and most hand held mobile phones come with the ability to connect to wireless home networks, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that mobile web surfing is only going to get bigger. That’s not to say that it isn’t pretty big right now. Millions and millions of people are using their mobile devices to go online every day.
Unsurprisingly, when users browse on their hand held devices, things are a little different. The user experience obviously changes on a smaller screen, which is why many users choose sites which have been specifically optimized for mobile surfing. A mobile website is normally a simplified version of the original. Yes, that means that at times there is less to see and do, but it’s normally for the benefit of a well functioning page that is designed to fit on the rather smaller screens.
Mobile website design is of course a fine art in itself. As you might expect, web designers and SEO experts the world over are having to adapt the way they approach their jobs. Designing a website for mobile use is quite different to designing one for normal web use, while optimizing a site designed for mobile web use is different from optimizing a normal website. Of course, for the most part, the principles are the same, but the differences do have to be taken on board. They can still take the same sort of approach to the way they work- organic SEO is still the best approach, but they have to take into account the way Google ranks mobile friendly sites.
As an owner of a website, it’s important to understand how important it is to make sure that you have a mobile friendly version of your website available to your users, and how important it is that it is correctly optimized. Talk to an SEO expert today to take the next step before the world leaves you behind!
Small Businesses and Mobile Website Design: It’s Inevitable
If you have a small business with an Internet presence, you should commit yourself early on to having a mobile presence as well. Not sure what that means? It’s simple: there are two categories of devices using the Internet today. One is broadly called “desktops”, but includes anything with a mostly-normal keyboard and monitor, including laptops. The other is broadly called “mobile”, and it includes everything from an iPad down to the smallest smartphones.
Internet access works differently for these categories. Desktops connect to the internet via wires or, more and more often these days, via a Wi-Fi connection. Mobile devices connect to the internet via Wi-Fi at times, but more often they use a cellular connection over a 3-, 4-, or 5-G network — much slower than all but the weakest Wi-Fi connections. Furthermore, mobile devices are often on bandwidth-limited plans. Because of the slower speed and bandwidth limitations, mobile website design is performed differently — sometimes even written in an altogether different language than desktop-oriented sites.
As time goes by, however, more and more of the Internet-using population are logging on at least part of the time from a mobile device — and the ratio is rapidly approaching 50%. In short, if you don’t have a mobile-ready site, you’re potentially losing access to a large chunk of your market.
Fortunately, it’s relatively straightforward for a skilled web designer to convert your existing desktop site into a mobile-ready site. If they do it correctly, you won’t even lose any of your website’s SEO juice in the process — your mobile site will rank just as well as your desktop site, because they’re essentially the same entity, just showing up differently to different devices.
You may be surprised if you get a mobile website conversion — just because the mobile and desktop sites are the same digital entity doesn’t mean that they’ll look anything alike from the two sources. A web design scheme called Responsive Design allows for websites that ask the surfer’s device questions like ‘how big is your screen’ and ‘are you connected via a cell tower or wifi’ and produce very different “looks” depending on their answers. So while the same data is all there, it may come out arranged very differently depending on who is looking at it.
Mobile sites for small businesses: they’re going to become the norm. The only question is, how quickly will YOU catch on?
Mobile Website Design Is A Killer App For Many Small Businesses
If you have a smartphone, a tablet, or some other kind of mobile device — and a small business — you may have often wondered how you could develop an app for your business. Something that people would think is cool and use in order to meaningfully interact with your business from their mobile device.
Did you know there’s already an app that can do that? It’s called “the internet”, and people use it everyday to interact with billions of businesses across the world. Your business doesn’t need an app — it needs to have an expert perform a mobile website redesign on your current webpage.
Mobile website redesign can mean one of a few things. If you have a top-tier web designer, it means that they’ll take your current webpage and use a technique called Responsive Design. Responsive Design teaches the website how to ask each given device “what size is your display?” — and then uses the answer to ‘filter out’ all of the extraneous content, making sure that only the most critical elements are displayed on smaller screens. The end result is a single webpage that displays intelligently on every device that might look at it.
A more affordable web designer will take your existing webpage, decide on which elements are the most important, and then design and entirely new webpage (sometimes in an entirely different markup language). They’ll make sure that those critical elements are front-and-center, easy to use, and that it’s obvious what the website is supposed to be for.
The result, either way, is a website that acts in almost every way like that app you were thinking of. It’s easily accessible (because mobile websites are designed to load quickly and not strain user’s bandwidth limitations), it performs the same fundamental functions that your main website does, and because it’s easily redirected to from your main website, it even benefits from the same small business SEO that your main website does as well.
All of the sudden, people have your business at their fingertips from the bus, from the back of the car, or from their seat leeching wifi from the local Starbucks — and they didn’t even have to buy an app to get it.
Local Internet Marketing: The Next Level — Mobile Website Design
Mobile website design — the art of turning your normal website into a website that can be easily viewed on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones — is a huge step forward in any small business’ Internet presence. What many small business owners fail to see is that a mobile-friendly website isn’t just ‘more traffic’ (though it is) — it’s also the next level of local internet marketing.
If you’re not engaging in local internet marketing, you should be — it’s the single best tool for small businesses to get feet in their doors. Local internet marketing is the online equivalent of putting billboards at the most well-traveled crossroads in your city (online, we call that place “Google”.) It’s the process of making sure that when someone searches for some combination of your city name, region, or neighborhood and a keyword related to your industry, your name shows up in the search results.
For normal desktop websites, that’s a pretty powerful tool. It means that when someone says “Where do I find a place to buy X?” and they Google it, they see your store. That makes them much more likely to come buy from you, especially if they find convenient information like where you are and what hours you’re open alongside (which local internet marketers can make sure shows up.)
But combine that with the power of a mobile website, and you have this scenario instead: a soccer mom is cruising the local highway when she realizes she forgot something her family needs. She pulls over at Starbucks, whips out her Kindle Fire, leeches some wi-fi to look up ” ” and finds your store. Without missing a beat, she turns her minivan around and drives right up to your front door.
It’s the power of meeting peoples needs on the fly, right when they realize they have them, without giving them time to change their mind or think of a better alternative. It’s the power of right now. That’s why local mobile design is local internet marketing’s next level.
Do Small Businesses Need Mobile Website Design?
Yes. With caveats, of course — if your business doesn’t have a website, you probably don’t need your non-existent website redesigned for mobile devices. If you have a website and you don’t intend to use it to make money, drive foot traffic through your doors, or tell people about your business, you probably shouldn’t waste your time on mobile website design — or having a website in the first place.
But assuming you have a website and you want to use it to improve your business, mobile website design is pretty much a no-brainer. Why? Simple — most people these days have some form of Web-ready mobile device, and if your website is frustrating or annoying to use on a mobile device, you’re risking driving those people away from your business entirely.
Fortunately, mobile website design is relatively inexpensive, and with a clever redirect or two, you can even take advantage of your main website’s SEO. It’s fully possible for your website to detect what kind of device the browser is using to read it and replay by putting the mobile version of your website in front of mobile viewers. That means the same SEO that drives people to your main site can drive mobile viewers seamlessly to your mobile site.
So, knowing that mobile website design can turn your website into a tool that will not only tell surfers at home everything they need to know but also give the essential information (like where you are and when you’re open) to mobile viewers, why would you not do it?
The only real objection you can possibly have is the price — and most mobile website design prices are a few hundred dollars per page. When you consider the profit you can drive by capturing the “out and about and ready to walk through your door right now” crowd, the cost is pretty darn minimal, all things considered.
Do small businesses need mobile website design? Probably not in a literal sense, just like they don’t need a radio spot or an advertisement in the paper — but will most small businesses profit from mobile website design? Resoundingly, yes.
Is Mobile Website Design The Future of Business Internet Marketing?
Mobile website design — that is to say, the conscious (re)designing of a business website so that it can be easily accessed from mobile devices — is a very commonplace option for small businesses who want to get the most from their internet marketing. Why? Because mobile searchers are generally speaking on the road, which means if they’re searching for a business in your vertical, they’re likely to go there once they find it. That means mobile traffic is synonymous with foot traffic, which is in turn synonymous with sales.
On the internet, you’re doing really well if you convert 4% of your surfers into customers. If you can get them in the door of a brick-and-mortar store, that conversion rate jumps into the 80%s instantly. Thus, mobile website design.
But are businesses that advertise on the internet really best off paying for a mobile website? Or is there a more ‘affordable’ SEO activity they could be pursuing? The answer depends on a lot of factors, including your geography, your vertical, and the content of your website.
In short, the more densely populated (and tech-savvy) your locale, the more you’ll benefit from mobile website design. The more tech-oriented or tech-friendly your vertical, the more you’ll benefit from mobile website design. The more ‘immediate’ your vertical (in other words, the more likely someone is to realize they need your stuff right now), the more you’ll benefit from mobile website design. And the more complex your normal website, the more you’ll benefit from mobile website design.
If you happen to combine a few of those factors — say, you sell batteries for gizmos from a store in the San Fernando Valley — you’ll see the benefits of a mobile website (and a touch of local business SEO) almost immediately.
For the majority of businesses with an online presence, mobile website design is a darn good idea. Is it the future of business internet marketing as a whole? Let’s ask again once you can get an iPhone for under a hundred bucks — because as the capacity to do mobile searches improves (and it just keeps improving) mobile websites become a better and better deal.
Small Business SEO Experts Debate The Benefits of Mobile Website Design
Today, rather than a typical blog entry, we’ve interviewed a pair of small business SEO gurus from Vancouver, Washington to ask them what they think about the purpose and functionality of mobile website design. Misters Provenzano and Danielson, both independent contractors who consult for multiple SEO firms, have more than a decade of small business SEO experience between them.
[SEO911]: So, just two questions for you both. First, is mobile website design worthwhile for a small business with a limited budget?
[Provenzano]: The short answer is ‘maybe’. Stores that are destination stores — that people know they’re going to in advance because they only ever go there if they’re making a special trip — actually don’t benefit from mobile website design as much as stores that people tend to go to spontaneously.
[Danielson]: That’s true. The benefit of having a mobile website is that people can look you up on the go, so if for example you’re a sporting goods store, people generally don’t need to look you up when they’re already on the road. They look you up at home when they realize they need a catcher’s mask or whatnot.
[Provenzano]: I mean, to a degree, everyone benefits from having their address and phone number on a mobile-friendly site, but generally Google can give them that. But if you have a store that people come to on the fly, a mobile website is HUGE. Especially in a more densely populated area; a mobile site can get hundreds of local hits a day, and most of those people are looking for whatever you’ve got. It’s great for business.
[SEO911]: OK, so what about a mobile website for an online-only small business with no front door?
[Provenzano]: Online businesses don’t really benefit as much.
[Danielson]: Disagree. In my experience, an online business that’s a genuine business — not a sales page or a squeeze page, but a genuine online storefront — can get some huge numbers from having a mobile website. People who surf on iPods love gadgets and have some disposable income, which isn’t as universally true with desktop surfers. If you cater to that in your business, you can really get a boost from a mobile website.
[SEO911]: Well, thanks for letting us take up some of your lunch break, guys. We appreciate an outside voice from time to time.
Mobile Compatibility and Small Business SEO: A Natural Combination
As a small business owner you probably already know the importance of having your own website and getting SEO work done on it. These days, every business needs to have some type of web presence in order to effectively compete in the marketplace. What you may not know, however, is how important it is to have a website with mobile compatibility so that your customers can reach you from their cell phones.
Why is so important? It’s due to market trends in the mobile device industry. More and more people are replacing their home phones with cell phones and the market is huge. With more cell phones being used every day, this naturally leads to more searches being performed using cell phones than ever before.
How does this relate to small business marketing? Well, your potential customers are looking for a place to do business right now on their cell phone. When they search for a place to go, the listings they will see first are sites with a mobile website design. If you don’t have a site that has been made specifically designed for cell phone users, your website won’t show up near the top of the list.
Small business SEO has to keep up with all of the marketing trends that are changing from day to day in this very technical age. SEO companies work hard to keep up with all of the advancements so that they can keep their customers on top. Having a mobile website is part of the overall SEO structure that is being used by most companies today.
People carry their cell phones with them wherever they go. When they do a search and want to find a place to do business, they head there immediately. Your mobile website will grab people right off the sidewalk and pull them into your store or place of business right away. These types of sites give fast results and instant business possibilities.
A part of any SEO plan nowadays needs to incorporate a mobile ready website. Anything less is simply leaving customers on the sidewalk.
Can Local Internet Marketing Benefit from Mobile Website Design?
Local internet marketing is a tried and true art; it seems like unless the Google Gods shake up the rules pretty significantly, there isn’t much more (or different) that any one SEO company will do that can’t be done by another. It’s all just the same services under different names.
Or is it?
As it turns out, like in almost everything in business, there are always deeper levels — further lengths that you can stretch to in order to maximize your results. In the case of local internet marketing, the Next Level is mobile website design.
When you have a mobile website, it’s on a different page than your main website — which means it’s an entirely new entity for the purposes of performing SEO. A mobile website can thus target a different set of keywords than your main website in addition to offering you the usual opportunity to take advantage of mobile searchers looking for a place to do whatever it is your business does.
Kind of. Let’s call attention to that last point again: having a mobile-friendly website means people who search for businesses in your vertical can find your store. But if your store isn’t the first store they find listed, you just lost half of your potential foot traffic. Research shows that less than half of searchers ever make it past the first entry in the results.
The answer, of course, is local internet marketing. By investing just a little bit into SEO your farm stand can snag the number one spot for farm stands in your neighborhood, and you can capitalize on mobile search traffic as profoundly as possible. In essence, local internet marketing and mobile website design are perfect partners, capable of working together with extraordinary synergy.
If you’re already getting your website redesigned for mobile searchers, talk to your SEO company about getting your new mobile website set up with a different set of keywords than your main site so it can attract a different set of visitors. If you’re already getting local search engine placement services, consider investing a little extra in mobile website design so that you can pick up the mobile customers.
Ultimate Conversions: Targeted Email Marketing From The Outside In
Targeted Email Marketing (TEM) is NOT typically part of the services offered by a website SEO company. That’s because it’s not actually SEO — there is nothing about TEM that will get your website ranked any higher for anything anywhere.
What TEM is, however, is a way of improving the effectiveness of any SEO you’ve already done. That’s because of a simple calculation:
Traffic * Conversion Rate = Sales
What that means is that if you have 200 visitors, and you convert 3% of them, you’ve just made 6 sales. You can improve your number of sales by getting more traffic, or you can do it by improving your conversion rate. SEO is designed to get you more traffic — but at some point, you’ll make more money by improving your conversion rate than you will by adding another 4 or 5 visitors per day.
So, Targeted Email Marketing. Have you ever seen a website that offers you something for free, but asks you to put in your name and Email address in order to get it? That’s TEM in action. If you’ve ever done this, you know that the next step is to receive an Email that says “hey, is it cool that you continue to receive Email from this website?”, and you have to say “yes” in order to get the free thing.
What you’ve just done is confirm via Email that any further Emails the webmaster of that site sends you aren’t spam and you accept his right to send them to you. From his perspective, he now has a ‘hook’ in you. He can send you an Email whenever he has a new sale, a new product, or even just because he wants to impress you with how knowledgeable and competent he is in his field.
As you can imagine, it’s a killer way to turn visitors into buyers, because you can remind them of your product and your offer every week…forever! You can keep trying different angles until you find one that sticks. Every time you throw an Email out to your TEM list, you get a bunch of them back on your website for another chance at that 3% conversion rate.
That’s the kind of tool that SEO companies typically overlook because they’re focused on traffic, but if you find an SEO company that offers TEM as a service, you know you’ve got someone who is focused on improving your profits from every possible angle — a great find.
Social Bookmarking Is a Sucker’s Game — Isn’t It?
There’s been a lot of changes to the social bookmarking game in the past few years. Even as far back as Google’s addition of the nofollow tag, social bookmarking pages have been declared ‘dead’ over and over again by various SEO gurus. Yet somehow, it keeps coming back like a zombie in a B-grade horror movie. The fact is that social bookmarking might not be the utterly amazing backlink that it was when Digg and del.ici.ous first invented the term, but they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
The reasons why are several, but the big ones are very big.
A social bookmark gives you control over two things that are very important: the context around your link (what many organic SEO experts like to call “Latent Semantic Indexing” or “LSI”), and the actual anchor text of the link itself. Every time you get a link to your site, Google looks at the anchor text and the LSI to determine how relevant the linking page is to your website, and modified the link’s strength based on the relevance. That makes controllable links much stronger than uncontrollable ones.
There’s nothing like investing a few thousand dollars in a massive and complex link building campaign and then discovering six months later than half of the sites you linked from have either disappeared or at least eliminated your links. That’s a lot of money and time down the drain. Mercifully, social bookmarking sites don’t do that. They are persistent, which means every well-controlled link you build on a social bookmarking site is here to stay.
Yes, I said Panda. Panda is the latest Google toy, and it’s designed to make sites more ‘user-friendly’. One of the things that the Goog decided when they built Panda was that social bookmarking buttons are totally cool to have featured prominently on a website (as opposed to, say, AdWords blocks or banner ads.) That means that, as the Web adapts to the latest twist Google has for us, social bookmarking is only going to get more and more used, which means social bookmarks will get more authority. What more do you need to know?
Who Else Should Be Looking Into Custom Blog Creation?
Custom blog creation is the name of a service that SEO companies have been selling to small businesses for years. It’s a very dependable way to improve a website’s rankings for particular keywords, which is exactly why it’s used — but it’s also relatively easy and inexpensive, which is why it’s marketed as a regular component of small business SEO.
A customized blog allows you to have content pages (which attract surfers) that then link back to your main site with controllable context and controllable anchor text. That, in turn, makes the site more likely to rank for the keywords that you use as anchor text. Thus, blogs serve as both an SEO tool and as part of your sales funnel — exactly the kind of multipurpose power that small businesses need in their tools. But there are other entities who should be looking into custom blog creation as well.
If you’re a freelancer looking to make a name for yourself, one of the biggest steps you can take on the road to stable success is to build yourself a website. People who want to learn about you — to decide whether to hire you — are going to Google you; that’s just a fact of life. You can let them find your Facebook page with your drunken college pictures, or you can present them a professional face.
Having a blog attached to that professional face is a great way to show your potential employers that you know your game. Write about what you do, about your challenges and your victories, and about the details of whatever skill you apply on a regular basis. As before, not only do you get to show off, but you can optimize your website for killer keywords at the same time.
It’s one thing to be in business, but the public sector is another area entirely. One thing that both groups seem to consistently need, however, is more attention. If you happen to be a hospital director, a college principal, or the head of any other public institution, you might not be aware of just how easy it is to focus the right eyes on your Web presence: all you need is a blog. Everything said above applies just as well to an .edu or an .org than it does to a .com — don’t hesitate!
When and Why To Put All You’ve Got into Article Writing and Submission
There is ample evidence for anyone out there looking that article writing and submission is a killer SEO tactic. The reasons are pretty simple: content is king, control is key, and article directories are heavyweights.
Content is King
Google loves content. If you write an article that talks intelligently about facts that aren’t already discussed to death elsewhere on the Internet, Google will love you. You’ll rank well for quite a few keywords, and people will see your words. Put a decent call to action at the bottom with a link to your site, and you’re likely to get quite a few clickthroughs.
Control is Key
When you create a backlink to your site, Google uses it to decide what your site is about. Having a backlink to a site about golf from a site about pit bulls confuses Google. When you write an article, you control the context of your backlink perfectly, giving Google a strong signal about what your site is about. Strong signals mean better ranking.
Article Directories are Heavyweights
Article directories are classic examples of what Google called “authority sites” — their pages are considered pretty trustworthy. What that means is that every link you get from a respected article directory gives your site a lot of ‘juice’.
So the question is When and Why to put your effort into writing articles (as opposed to building backlinks by doing some other form of website SEO)? The answer isn’t what you might think. The thing about article writing and distribution is that it takes a lot of time and effort per article. Articles should be high on your priority list if and when your ‘SEO basics’ are already taken care of. Before you get heavy into articles, make sure you’ve got a natural link profile consisting of:
- Social bookmarks
- Forum posts
- Blog posts
- Blog comments
- Web 2.0 properties
- Directory entries
- RSS aggregations
- Link exchanges
- and Videos
Once your backlink structure has the low-effort, high-rankings-impact backlinks above built, then and only then should you invest significant money into getting articles written and submitted Getting there might take a month or three, but the effect of good articles backed up by a solid link profile is pure gold.
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