SEO Changes for 2017

SEO Changes for 2017SEO is not a steady force. It changes like the wind, and any SEO expert can tell you about the bets they made for 2016’s SEO evolution. In the blink of an eye, 2017 is here, and we’ve collected the low-down on this year’s SEO trends set to help plan and strategize for SEO success this year.

In an effort to develop a more user-friendly web, Google are introducing an updated standard when it comes to the building of web content for mobile devices. This new initiative goes by the name of AMP, short for Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. It comprises a set of rules that, together, create a much lighter version of HTML.

Any pages that comply with AMP will load faster than ever on mobile devices across the globe. It was only launched in February 2017, and SEO experts are still approaching the concept with caution. Is it just another whimsical fad, or will it stand the test of time?

Any SEO guru will know the rule of thumb – never overdo redirects. A few months back, Google shocked the SEO world to the core with the announcement that redirects will no longer cause loss of PageRank. People are free to utilize any 3xx redirection – minus the fear. But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Christoph C. Cember (LinkResearchTools) believes 301 redirects can do more harm than good, interfering with how pages pass their topic relevance through anchor text.

2017 will see voice search continue to become the frontier of online searches.

Brand new sites are going to have a harder time ranking on its SERPs that a site with indexed age.

Google wants to see that you’ve got a quality link profile boasting authority, as well as underlying content.

This is just the beginning. If you want to dominate SEO in 2017, it’s vital to stay ahead of the times. With more than 200 factors influencing online success, continuous homework is a necessity! We hope this helped. Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time to demystify the fluctuating world of SEO.

10 Reasons You Should Be Using Online Marketing To Grow Your Business

For entrepreneurs and business owners, the landscape is rapidly changing in exciting ways. Many traditional ways of adver10 Reasons You Should Be Using Online Marketing To Grow Your Businesstising are quickly being supplanted by internet and social media based forms of marketing. Here are some of the ways creating a strong online presence can be some of the strongest ways to market your business in today’s world.

1. A Level Playing Field
Traditional marketing often related on mediums such as billboards and television ads, that were controlled by outside forces. They are very expensive, requiring a huge investment that smaller and starter companies often could rarely afford. By contrast, a website, that you can set up and control yourself, is much more inexpensive, and something you can do to spread the word about your business from the very beginning. This enables smaller and medium companies to be able to become just as recognizable among some people as huge corporations.

2. Cost-Effective
A report from HubSpot shows that online marketing can generate 3 times as many leads as traditional advertising, and yet cost 62 percent less. With a website, you can spend less money on content that will be seen by far more people. If you are a small business struggling to find the capital to do the necessary work of advertising, online tools are the most cost effective opportunities to let people know about the services you can provide for them.

3. Targeted Audiences
Traditional advertising is seen by everybody, with no way to control who gets the message or focus only on the people likely to be responsive. In contrast, paid online marketing allows you to choose the people who receive your marketing content, or tailor your message to a specific audience. Knowing and controlling the people with whom you communicate can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your message.

4. Building Credibility
Online communication is instantaneous and interactive. When you deliver on your promises, it can make a huge difference with your customers. The internet gives these satisfied customers a platform to share their positive experiences with others. In this way, your online presence can be significantly amplified as loyal customers become your brand ambassadors, tellings other about the services you provide.

5. Possibilities of Search Ratings
According to Internet Live States, 88.5 percent of people in the U.S. have access to the internet through a cell phone or computer. This means almost everyone has gotten used to using a search engine as one of their primary ways to find information. With the help of experts at Emarketed, we can show you how to increase your search ratings so they are likely to be found on the first page of someone’s search results. This will enable your company to come to the awareness of anyone who might be seeking your services.

6. Trackable Data
WIth traditional advertising, it is sometimes difficult to evaluate the difference your marketing was doing. It was often hard to tell how many people see a television or print advertisement, or how it affected their purchasing decisions. Online marketing comes equipped with different tracking and analytics tools, so you can see who visited your website or saw your content, in real time. These resources allow you to see just how effective a marketing campaign is, or whether you should make changes.

7. Give Convenient Ways To Respond
Marketing’s primary goal is to get potential customers to respond to a call to action, by buying the product or service being offered. Online marketing content can easily also be an online store, allowing someone to respond to your message instantaneously upon hearing it. This allows for a degree of impulsivity when your messsage is likely to reach maximum impact, and a convenience that creates few barriers to allow a customer to respond.

8. Test-Drive New Ideas
Whether it’s through a website, social media, or e-mails, there are a wide variety of options and different ways to create online content that communicates a desired message. There is room for creativity, trying out new things. Lower costs mean lower risks for experimenting, and seeing how effective a particular message can be. The possibilities are potentially limitless.

9. Generating Higher Revenues
For all these reasons, online marketing can greatly help your business’ revenues. According to Google, effectively used digital marketing strategies can make a business grow 2.8 times better than expected otherwise. This is especially true for smaller businesses, that can increase their revenues by as much as 3.3 times as much. Online marketing can be like rocket fuel that causes your business to take off, and find opportunities for customers that are otherwise not possible.

10. Go Where Customers Are
The internet is already being used by most people on earth, giving people access to receive information that before would not have been possible. In the future, even more people will come more and more to rely on the internet as one of their main sources of information. If your business doesn’t have an online presence, you are missing out on one of the biggest ways to attract attention to your business. Just a few simple steps can open your way to limitless possibilities for your business’ growth.

Is Branded Content Ever Good for SEO?

What is Branded Content?

branded-content The easiest way to think about branded content is “sponsored content”. This can take the form of written content, videos, webinars, tv commercials, or images and infographics. Although the main purpose is to be interesting or entertaining, by nature, it can often be highly self promotional. There are pros and cons to using branded content in marketing so it’s wise to set a goal before getting started.

How Can Branded Content Be Used Effectively?

Written branded content is often prone to feeling overly self serving. The advertorial style of branded content is not very effective or popular. Depending on your business and industry, this can still be done. Take Adobe for example, they have tons of branded content that includes their products but also have branched out completely with a separate site CMO.com. This is a hub that is separate from their core products but completely sponsored by Adobe to deliver marketing insights and inspiration for and by marketing leaders.

Other branded forms of content are becoming more popular and effective. Some common forms you may have seen are webinars or whitepapers. The goal is to be helpful but ultimately, the goal is to make a sale. There is a fine line when it comes to branded content and advertorials.

Use Branded Content with Caution

Branded content may seem duplicitous, especially if you are promising answers to one question but selling your product/services as that answer. What may seem like an effective branded content marketing campaign for a big company may not work so well for a small business. Bigger companies have the benefit of brand awareness and a wider audience, so that they might not even have to put their brand name on the branded content in order for it to still be effective.

At the end of the day, branded content can be innovative and interesting but it can also be stale when overdone. Take a look at competitors and big players in the industry to see how you can incorporate effective pieces of branded content into your marketing plan.

How to be Smart about Your SEM Efforts

business-plan A failure to plan is a plan to fail. As a business owner, monitoring your marketing plan is just as important as your taking initiative on your actual business plan. There are mistakes that owners new to online marketing make – don’t fall victim to these mentalities:

1) Don’t throw everything at the wall just to see what sticks

Whether you are throwing money, time, and/or resources at internet marketing, it’s crucial to have a step by step plan and measure the progress along the way. If you are first starting out, it may seem like a good idea, or even necessary to do it all: SEO, PPC, local, social, email, video, and more. With this approach, it is also hard to track which tactics work and which don’t. Instead of going full speed on all aspects of online marketing, focus and do research to see which medium would be best for your business.

2) Do not obsessively compare your business to competitors

Competitive research is a necessary step when starting out and part of a regular routine. It gives a good idea of effective strategies for your business model. Just because something seems to be working out for a competitor (or at least, if that’s what you hear or they tell you), remember that it is not the whole story. So the next time you hear that a competitor is benefiting from something, whether it is: paid links, broad terms for PPC, billboard, radio, or TV ads, think again.

On the business side of things, duplicating a competitor certainly won’t give you the same success. It’s about differentiating your business in what you do best – and it may even be something a competitor is missing out on, like good customer service and word of mouth referrals.

3) Instead of just talking about your goals, write it down and revisit often

It’s easy to get carried away and go off on tangents when brainstorming about your website and business. Make sure to take notes of what you want to achieve and what you see is going well or not so well. By putting your goals down on paper, you are more likely to follow through. Make it your mantra! Once the notes are laid out, you can develop a strategy and build a road map that will help you reach those goals. It may take some time and be frustrating but it is important to have a central place for all your goals and progress. Reasonable time frames will also help motivate your team to meet goals. Goals and thoughts won’t get put into action if they just sit there!

Reasons Why a Large Site Should be Reorganized

SEO Friendly URL Structure

site-structure Over the years, you have probably accumulated many pages, articles, and press releases – some that probably have overlapping or duplicate topics. Organizing a big, messy site is a challenge but luckily it can be done in steps. The biggest mistake you can make is not starting.

It begins with taking inventory of all the pages on your website. Don’t forget about folders, folders in folders (if applicable), and any subdomains or other strange anomalies. Use a tool like Screaming Frog, Moz, or LinkSleuth to extract header/title tag information. In a spreadsheet, you can see which topics overlap.

Once the pages are organized by main category, you can rename them with an SEO friendly URL, minimizing repeating keywords and/or dashes where necessary. Take a look at this article: https://moz.com/blog/15-seo-best-practices-for-structuring-urls for some tips.

Easy to Navigate

For Users: Why should you bother to reorganize and restructure a website you ask? The #1 reason would be for enhancing user experience. With pages put in the appropriate directory, with URLs that accurately describe the content, potential customers will be able to easily tell where they are going and where they are.

For Internal Linking: Restructuring URLs to be more organized and intuitive will enhance with your own internal linking and SEO. Having a structured system means that your website is more easily crawled by search engines and that is always a good thing.

Reevaluate What You Really Need

The content on your website should be intuitive, intentional, and serve a specific purpose. If you have a random collection of content, it might not be the best to hold onto everything hoping that it will capture some of the right traffic. Having multiple pages on the same topic isn’t all that helpful and can even be diluting your link juice and ranking ability. Instead of having pages compete against each other on your own site, it may be helpful to combine them to make a longer, informative web page.

Technical Issues When Redirecting

Remember, pages can’t just be deleted and left alone. 301 redirects and changes in the .htaccess are important and your newly renamed URLs may cause havoc if these steps aren’t taken properly. You may need the assistance of an experienced webmaster to make sure that the right measures are taken so that your site doesn’t suffer from broken links and bad user experience.

Improve Mobile Conversion with These 5 Tips

Daily time spent on a mobile device is at an all time high. Today, people spend about 3 hours on their mobile device. Five years ago, the average time spent was less than 1 hour a day! The results from this study are clear – if your website isn’t responsive or properly optimized for mobile devices, your business is missing out. Take a look at how you can improve mobile conversions with these 5 tips:

time-spent-mobile

1) Put contact forms and other important fields well above the fold

The obstacle with optimizing for mobile devices is the fact that users have to scroll so much to see what they want to see. So it is intuitive that a contact form on your mobile site fits above the fold, before users have to scroll down to input more information. Name, phone number and/or email address are the standard fields to include. Forget about address, where did you hear about us from, favorite color, first pet’s name, etc.!

2) Improve the checkout process

shopping-cart-conversion Nowadays, customers want to buy with ease. Instant gratification is at their finger tips, so make the buying process as easy as possible. Less clicks, shorter contact forms with less fields are a bonus because the font is bigger and allows more space for typing (or big fingers). Bonus tip: Don’t forget to have the proper SSL certificates installed.

3) Use local info and content

Ranking well in search results for a mobile device is more competitive than regular desktop results. Results on a phone are based on user location and many times, ranking in Google Local is the only way to get visibility. As you know, the map listings are more prominent and take up more space in results. As well as being in the actual city, optimizing your business NAP, having regional content is also a must have. Take a look at more best practices here.

4) Create and promote a sense of urgency

Want your customers to call immediately, book a reservation, or simply checkout? Having a call to action button that is visible and prominent is the key to promoting mobile conversions. On top of that, you can also promote deals or discounts for customers who act immediately: 10% off if you buy within the next 15 minutes, Happy Hour until 6pm, etc.

5) Check and improve site speed

Last but not least, continuously work on improving your mobile site speed. A bad connection or clunky code could cause a contact form not to load properly or not at all. As much time as users are spending browsing from a phone, they don’t have time for a slow site to load.

Will Windows 10 Affect Search and SEO?

windows-10 Unlike Microsoft’s previous fails (ME & Vista), their latest and final version, 10, is now available. It has been announced that this will be the final version of Windows because going forward, new and frequent releases will only occur on this version. Take a look as Forbes compares Windows 7, 8, & finally 10.

Cortana and Search Queries

Cortana is Microsoft’s personal assistant software and Siri’s counterpart. As more searchers use Cortana, the way they search will be different than traditional short queries or keywords. Much like how people use Siri, searching will now consist of longer, more natural language instead of just simple keywords. On a traditional desktop, a user might search “cheap cell phone repair”. Using Windows 10, a user might ask, “Cortana, what’s the cheapest cell phone repair store near me?”.

If you have been adapting content after the Hummingbird Update, you are on the right track. Optimization now includes much more emphasis on questions and related topics and explanation – rather than the keyword itself. This only further marks SEO’s movement away from generic and static keyword choices for optimization. Using this strategy in your content will only help your website across all platforms and deices in the years to come. Additionally, Bing Ads anticipates an increase of 10-15% more search volume by September 2015.

Windows 10 – Fully Responsive OS

Other cool feature of Windows 10 is that it is the first fully responsive operating system – this means across browsers, screen sizes, and applications. Which is all the more reason to go responsive with your website design. As devices and screen sizes grow and broaden, Microsoft Windows 10 will adapt.

If you have any comments or questions about Windows 10 and search, feel free to drop us a line on our Facebook page.

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

evaluate-seo-campaign

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.

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.