Improve Your Website Usability with Better Readability

website-literacy Did you know that the “average” American reads at an 8th grade level or below? Simplifying your website content can drastically improve its usability.

Readability of Content is Often Overlooked

When writing blog or website content, adding MORE isn’t always better. Especially when it’s words used for filler and fluff in order to extend the word count. In fact, it makes your content more convoluted and difficult to understand. In understanding UX as part of website marketing, the content isn’t always considered. It’s all about the design, navigation, and look & feel of the website. But when it comes down to the actual text, your web content may need a facelift. A recent study also shows that writing for low literacy readers will also benefit higher-literacy readers. A win-win!

KISS – Keep it Short and Simple

Concise content is where it’s at. There’s really no place for jargon or outdated lingo if you want to convert visitors and convert them quickly. Make sure that with every piece of content added to your website, there is a clear reason that it exists – to answer a question. Not only that but the answer/purpose of the content should be easily found. If a web page exists just to exist, it won’t be very helpful There are also tools such as the Readability Test Tool that gives suggestions for your content.

Readability Translates Into Other Elements

In line with simplifying content, the choice of font, text size, colors, and spacing is equally important. 16 pixels has been widely argued as the best for the body of website content. The layout of the website content should be presented in a basic way that won’t confuse or distract users. Don’t forget to utilize bullet points, lists, pictures, and spacing in between long blocks of texts in order to make it more visually appealing.

Get Help with Copywriting Today

At Emarketed, our copywriters take the time to analyze and plan the best plan of action for your content marketing plan. No matter what your business specializes in, we can help provide unique and interesting content for all your website needs. Contact us at (323) 340-4010 today for a free consultation.

Why Are Competitors Outranking My Website?

seo-competitors

It can be frustrating to see competitor sites outrank your own, especially when there is no obvious reason that they should be ranking better. Unfortunately, it’s misleading and inaccurate to determine which site is “better” by just looking at it from an average user’s point of view. Take a look at some reasons why competitors might be outranking your site.

Website History

It might be surprising to know that a website’s age has a lot to do with its ability to rank. Generally, the older a website is, the more likely it is to have better link juice and website credibility when compared to a brand new website. But this makes sense – a website that is over a decade old has had more marketing efforts than one that was just created last month, no matter how much buzz you try to create.

On the other hand, there are some instances where new sites get an initial boost in search results until they settle down to their “rightful” place. The good news is that growing your website overtime will help you reap the SEO benefits of age.

Competitive Nature of the Industry

If your business specializes in something very innovative in a niche industry, chances that you are able to rank well no matter where the user is searching from. This is solely based on competitors. If you have no viable competitors, you’ll be able to dominate search engine result pages. This means that your website ranks nationally, across the United States, even if no geo indicators are included in the search query.

On the other hand, if your business is very generic, you’ll need to optimize for your specific location in order to rank well. Even ranking for “best burger place in Los Angeles” is tough. Which is why it’s helpful to target the specific neighborhoods: Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Downtown LA, West LA, Echo Park, Silverlake, Mid-City, Beverly Hills, etc.

Unoptimized Sites and CTR

Sometimes, you may see a very old (see first point!) and unoptimized website. It may have very little content and a minimal design, yet it still ranks well. What gives?! Combined with other factors (backlinks, authority, citations, etc.) this website may be ranking well for very broad and generic terms. The simple content, title tags, and optimization may prompt users to click-through often. As CTR is a ranking factor, you have to consider the user experience. Just because people are clicking through doesn’t mean that they are staying long enough to make a conversion. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to ranking and conversions.

Need a Free Site Analysis?

If you have questions or problems with ranking in comparison to competitors, feel free to fill out our Site Analysis form located at: http://www.emarketed.com/site-analysis. We’ll give you in-depth information that will help improve your website performance.

How to Evaluate Your SEO Campaign

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Because of the nature of organic SEO, it may take weeks or even months to see a difference in search engine rankings. The progress may be hard to see and results difficult to track. If you currently have a plan for search engine optimization, it’s a good time to stop and ask yourself how effective it is and how that progress is being tracked.

Organic Rankings

Whether you use a program, service, or manual web searches, regular ranking reports will help determine how well your website is doing. Especially after publicly announced algorithm updates or changes. Make sure to choose a wide variety of keywords to track including: broad phrases, long tail phrases, branded searches, and searches for your NAP.

Penalties

Speaking of algorithm changes, how did your website fare in the latest Quality Update? If your website has experienced a significant loss of traffic or rankings, it’s fair to say that your website has been affected. An effective SEO campaign will help prevent your website from being affected by such changes. But in the event that it is, keeping close track of these factors will help you better diagnose your website’s health.

Website Traffic

Luckily, Google Analytics makes it easy to compare different types of website traffic: organic, paid, referral, social, and other search campaigns. You can easily view changes month on month or from the past year. In the tumultuous world of organic SEO, it’s a good thing if your website maintains steady website traffic. Growing your traffic slowly is a long term goal. It’s when you see a significant drop in website traffic that you you should be worried. Even setting a small goal of growing your traffic 5-10% per year is a good start. You just need to know where you stand and what’s realistic for your website.

Conversions

The ideal website conversion rate is a mythical thing. Like the other factors discussed, it helps to keep track of different types of conversions that are relevant to your business. Why do you need to keep track of so many types of conversions? When you follow website traffic, phone calls, contact forms, or downloads, it makes it easier to pinpoint when something is no longer working and pinpoint the source of that problem.

Social Engagement

SEO success is definitely correlated to social engagement. Although there is no direct link, it still makes sense to keep track of metrics on your actual social profiles. Many predict that there will be a more transparent link between social media and organic SEO soon. If you are not aware that your business Facebook Page is losing Likes or your Twitter engagement is declining, you might continue to do (or not do) the same thing. This is where paying attention counts and you can focus your efforts on bringing back that social engagement.

A Different Kind of SEO Company

At Emarketed, we take a personalized approach when it comes to your SEO campaign and will carefully analyze all your website’s needs so that you get a customized marketing strategy. Contact us today for a free consultation and website analysis.

PPC: More Search Volume, Please

pay-per-click-search-volume

No matter how your PPC campaign is currently performing, more relevant search volume will help drive traffic to your website. In turn, this can lead to more conversions and more profit! No complaints about that…

Increase Your Budget

It’s a no-brainer that increasing ad spend can help increase search volume for a campaign. The thing to note here is to NOT do it blindly. Review historical data and trends so that the extra money is put into areas where it will really make a difference:

– Analyzing CPC and KPIs
– Increasing the budget for the best performing keywords, rather than just increasing your daily spend across the board
– Pausing extremely low search volume keywords and putting that money into higher volume keywords

Changes from a Technical Standpoint

Basing PPC decisions off of data will better help support your overall strategy. Instead of comparing month to month, it’s even more accurate (if possible) to compare year on year:

– Take a good look at the Search terms report for a longer period of time (90 day or year to date) to view best performing queries
– Change from exact and phrase match to broad match
– Using keyword insertion

Need PPC To Do More for Your Company?

Pay per click isn’t the easiest online marketing strategy. It can be especially frustrating in industries with low volume search terms. Contact us at (323) 340-4010 and our Los Angeles pay per click managers will help review your campaign and see if you’re getting the most out of your budget.

Why You Should Focus on ROI Over Keyword Rankings

time-for-change It’s great to see your website ranking well. Ranking in organic search or local search is a good indicator that your SEO campaign is succeeding but how does it factor into how well your business is really doing? After all, it IS very possible to rank well but get no real return on investment. Fortunately, this is why it’s becoming more necessary to focus on different factors of ROI instead of solely focusing on rankings.

Rankings Don’t Necessarily Mean Success

Ranking well for certain keywords or phrases is quite an achievement but not something to rely on alone. Search volume also plays a crucial role in a website’s success. In general, it may be more helpful in the long run to target broad and niche keywords through organic and PPC, so that you can capture all avenues of relevant website traffic.

A good indicator that a search campaign is in need of something more is if it is ranking but will no translation into business in the real world. This may take place in the forms of: emails, contact forms, phone calls, downloads, and more. This new reality may especially difficult to face if in previous years, your website has succeeded on rankings alone.

Rankings Fluctuate Widely

Another good reason not to just focus on rankings is that search results vary so much. Using a tablet to shop? Searching on a cell phone while on-the-go? Signed in to a Google account while searching? These are all different scenarios which will yield different search results than when using a regular desktop computer. Depending on your location, Google may or may not show the Local pack and often bring it back and forth, as they please. These are all factors beyond your control but it’s still important to know that they will affect how your website rankings.

Because there is no one “standard” way to track keyword rankings, it doesn’t help to obsess over the details. Rather, keep track of rankings (preferably through an automated report or tool) and see how much things change from week to week or month to month. If there is a significant drop or gain, that will signal a good time to take a closer look.

Concentrate on Conversions

Conversion and user experience are the keys to online marketing success nowadays. Website optimization never mattered in terms of UX as much as it does in today’s online world. While rankings will certainly bring the right customers to a website, it’s the usability that will keep them there long enough to make a conversion. The competitive nature of online search certainly doesn’t help. It’s definitely a buyer’s market and there are many different options. This means that every decision involving your website revolves around HOW the customer will benefit and WHY they should choose your business over a competitor.

As rough as it sounds to thrive online, it matters to have the right internet marketing company by your side. Contact Emarketed for a consultation or visit this page for a FREE site analysis today.

E-Commerce Stores to Benefit from Google’s Buy Button?

buy-google-button In the wake of competitive retailers such as Amazon and eBay dominating the e-commerce landscape, Google has announced that they will be adding a “Buy” buttons option on some mobile paid ads. The Buy button feature will only be for some paid ads, NOT organic listings. Macy’s will reportedly be amongst Google’s first batch of retail partners. Finally!

Benefits

On the consumer side, giving customers the option to buy from search results will create a more seamless user experience. Depending on the product, they may even be able to choose the amount, size, and color. This will no doubt make search result space more competitive, giving consumers more choice and variety.

From a marketer’s point of view, if you’ve been struggling with PPC landing pages and optimization, this option will allow you to bypass that part of the paid ad process. Most of all, this will help Google increase their share in the world of e-commerce.

Potential Downsides

By implementing this streamlined version of the checkout process on SERPs, the long term outcome is still unknown for retailers. We still don’t know if this will become the new future of online shopping or if it’s just another Google feature that will die out. For businesses, the most real downside is that potential customers won’t be able to (or care to) interact on your website with your brand. This is what marketing and engaging in consumer relationships is all about. If this part is taken away, it could be detrimental to businesses in the long run… especially in terms of branding.

For now, all we can do is stay tuned for the Buy buttons to appear. Let us know what you think and contact us today if you need help with your pay per click marketing campaigns.

Stop, Collaborate (Content) and Listen

collaborative-content

On a large scale, successful collaborative campaigns usually happen with bigger brands: Alexander Wang & H&M, Spotify & Uber, Apple Pay & MasterCard, and so on. Why not take that idea and use it for your local content marketing campaign?

Collaborative content marketing works best for non-competing, complementary businesses. A local example could be a burger restaurant carrying a local ice cream parlor’s flavors for their milkshakes – a perfect example of two brands working well together.

Here are some other ways you can collaborate with another business to maximize your content marketing efforts:

Take Over a Social Account

Now that you have your business of choice on board, it’s time to get to work. Taking over their Instagram for the day can be a fun and creative way for your business to get exposed to a new audience – and vice versa. The key to the success of a collaborative content campaign is choosing the route where both businesses will benefit. You’ll get the brand buzz and broaden your audience, don’t forget to tag users and use relevant hashtags. Follow us on Instagram and let us know what you think!

Set Up a Local Meetup

Collaborative content marketing campaigns can be fun, creative, but also informative. Together, you can setup a mixer or plan a small presentation or Q&A session. Think of it as giving back to the community, while also helping your brands out by establishing yourself as experienced thought leaders in the neighborhood and industry. Meetup.com is a great way to get neighbors and like minded people aboard. It will also give you more content to post on social media sites, further benefiting your content efforts.

Engage with Infographics, Pictures, and Videos

A collaborative content marketing wouldn’t go very far without actual content. It’s a good thing that working with a complementary business will give you more things to write about! But don’t stop with just blog posts, press releases, email blasts, and social updates. Take it to the next step with tangible assets such as infographics and videos. Answering FAQs or doing a tutorial together is even more helpful and will increase the chances of that video becoming evergreen content – which is very much a good thing.

When it comes to SEO and content marketing, sometimes two heads are better than one. Don’t forget that when you’re planning your next content campaign.

3 Simple Ways to Lower Your Bounce Rate

Your site’s bounce rate may not be the defining factor in your website’s success but it’s still an important one. Find out how you can lower the bounce rate and keep the much needed traffic on your website. low-bounce-rate

Find Out Where Visitors are Clicking

With tools like Crazy Egg or ClickTale, you can tell where visitors are clicking on your home page and other important landing pages. Viewing click and heat maps will give you a better idea of what the average visitor concentrates on. Use this information to your advantage and put the call to action or form where visitors focus so that conversion rates also improve.

While some features are aesthetically pleasing, it might be surprising to find out that a majority of visitors will probably not even scroll all the way to the bottom of your home page! Set your pride aside and get rid of it all together. Although a fancy box menu or video feature might seem like a good idea, it’s not worth it if no one is able to find it at the bottom of the page. This will also help with PageSpeed.

Improve Website & PageSpeed

After reviewing heat map tools, you’ll get a better idea of what is important to visitors and what’s not. By cutting down on images and other features that aren’t visited, you can cut down on the load time of the page and vastly improve your website speed. Seconds make a world of a difference and potential customers are even less patient when it comes to load time on tablet and mobile devices.

Need to compress CSS, HTML, or JavaScript files? Read more about that here: https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/MinifyResources

Implement Intuitive Website Design

What initially may be a cool feature could actually be a distraction or intrusion. Simplify your website design so that there is clear messaging and obvious paths. Place popular items in navigation that is easy to find and use. It might be helpful to prominently display a search bar where users can manually type in what they’re looking for, rather than click around aimlessly. Remember, user experience determines good website design and a positive experience will only help improve your website’s bounce rate.

Questions about improving your bounce rate and website? Contact Emarketed today, our Los Angeles SEO specialists are ready to help – (888) 347-7757.

What Do Users Look For in a Mobile Website Experience?

mobile-users Now that you’ve (hopefully) survived Google’s Mobilegeddon, it’s time to get back on track with your website’s mobile experience.

Why Mobile User Behavior Matter

When looking at the type of traffic coming to a website, it might be surprising to find out that mobile users will probably fall into the top 1 or 2 spots. Tablets, bigger smartphones, and even smart watches are making it more convenient for users to search from something other than a desktop computer or laptop. The downside is that while the engagement is there, mobile users can drastically differ in their behavior from the average desktop computer user.

Same Content, Different Behaviors

Typically, the duration on site of mobile users is lower than users using a desktop. Typically, there are also less page views and a higher bounce rate. You have to ask yourself WHY mobile user behavior is different when they are essentially looking at the same information as your normal, desktop website. Therein lies the problem. By the nature of the small screen, the user experience is never going to be the same as that of a desktop… no matter how seamless you try to make it.

The goal is to best adapt a mobile/responsive website so that the experience is logical and smooth. Knowing this, it’s understandable why Google stands against ranking websites that redirects all mobile results to a mobile home page. When it comes to designing for the user experience, it’s better to have no mobile redirects if you’re not going to have the results go to the actual page!

Give the Consumers What They Want

Nowadays, before you buy, you’re most likely to pull out your phone to search for reviews or compare prices. The convenience of smart phones have made customers more web savvy than ever. Whether you’re buying something as small as a drugstore lipstick (gotta check reviews first!) or making a big purchase on a car, your phone is your go to research tool. Check out how users start their research:
mobile-research

Next, we look at conversion rates by device top. Notice how iPads surpass conversions on a desktop! Smartphones and iPhones are significantly lower but there is still room for growth.
mobile-device-conversion

Pushing Phone Calls Through PPC

phone-call-ppc For most service based industries, higher quality leads come through when the potential customers call your business, rather than when sending a message or filling out a form. With the growing trend of mobile device usage, it’s no surprise that business owners would rather push phone calls on paid ads.

Why You Want Customers to Pick Up the Phone

Customers who are ready to make the call are often near the end of the decision stage in the buying cycle and ready to buy. These are the customers you want to capture. When customers call on the phone, it gives the business the advantage of having a personal interaction. That is, if you don’t have exactly what they want, you can always work with them to find another solution that will solve their problem. The customer may also reveal more things to you in person (on the phone) than what they will put on a contact form or email. Online messages often present the problem of playing email or phone tag. But when you have a live person on the phone, problems can be solved faster, needs can be met, and more conversions will take place!

Take Advantage of PPC Click Call Only Ad Formats

Ad choices for mobile campaigns are great because they make clicks to calls so easy and attractive. There’s no hassle of remembering or writing down the phone number to dial or call at a later time. In the time of instant gratification, it will make customers extremely happy to know that they can call at the touch of a single button and get their answers solved. It’s up to your business to be set up and equipped to handle these calls so that you can meet the expectations.

Ads created in call-only campaigns are fine-tuned to show only on mobile devices that are capable of making calls. Clicks on these ads will only generate calls — they won’t link to a website. These ads also are very flexible with how they can appear. Each line of your ad could potentially be hidden in order for the entire ad to look its best on any mobile phone.

When you create a new ad in your call-only campaign, you’ll be asked to enter a phone number for your business. In order to verify your ad and number, we’ll ask for a verification URL, which should lead to page that displays your phone number.

You can read more here: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2453991?hl=en

How to Make Calls Work with Your PPC Ads

Before a potential customer decides to call your business, it’s essential to make your ad appealing and give them incentive to call. The starting point of paid ads are always the ad copy and keywords you choose to target, so call-only PPC ads aren’t any different.

Phone calls are also a good way to measure your business growth in tangible numbers. Keeping track of the amount and types of phone calls will also help you predict and forecast future business.

If you’re looking for an increase in phone calls, PPC ads are a great place to start but you have to make sure that your business is equipped to do so. Give us a call today at (888) 347-7757 if you have any questions about PPC ads or if you need an evaluation of your campaign.