5 Quick and Easy Tips to Improving Your Website

It doesn’t always take a complete redesign to improve your website traffic and engagement. Do it quickly using these quick and easy tips.

  1. Prominently display your Toll Free (or Local) Phone Number at the top of all your pages.
    1. In the top right-hand corner, in a size and color that will make it easily seen.
    2. This is an item where function over form pays dividends.
  2. Review your contact information, and update it if needed.
    1. We believe your contact info should be in the footer of every page.
    2. Be sure your phone numbers, address, business hours, and events calendars are current
  3. Quick, Easy TipsIdentify your audience, and start your copy with the benefits you offer them.
    1. You only have moments to convince visitors to look at more.
    2. Don’t place your value proposition at the bottom of the page.
  4. Make sure your home page copy has links to your most important pages
    1. Google loves properly coded internal links to relevant pages
  5. Real, verifiable testimonials can help change a visitor to a customer.
    1. Having canned-appearing testimonials from a name with one initial for either name is simply a waste of time.

If Travelers & Local Business Are Important To You, So Is Yelp

Does your business depend on travelers or local customers?

YelpIf the answer is yes, you need to take a look at your Yelp listing. While you may never have heard much about Yelp, it can be very important to you if you have a business that relies on transient and/or “local” business.

Nearly every Google, Bing, or Yahoo search for a “local” business returns listings that include one or more Yelp listings in the results. That is especially true if the search is done on a mobile device.

How important are those people using mobile devices? A “Local Search” study recently released  by comScore, Neustar Localeze and agency 15 Miles, reveals that “78 Percent Of Local-Mobile Searches Result In Offline Purchases.” ComScore also observed, “Nearly half of all service, restaurant and travel searchers were looking for a business they have never made a purchase from before.” The implications and importance should not be overlooked or undervalued.

Yelp’s listings are often near the top of local search results. One of the reasons is their reviews. In addition to being prominent in Google search results, Yelp provides reviews by its “Yelpers” for Apple Maps, as well as listings and reviews on Bing, and since February of 2014, Yahoo. Yelp also signed a deal with Yellow Pages.  The agreement allows YP to enhance its customers’ business listings on Yelp, and expand their distribution within the YP Local Ad Network to include Yelp’s vast audience of consumers.

Reviews are arguably the most important element of Yelp.

Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines are paying more and more attention to and using “social signals” (in varying degrees) when ranking search results. Of those “social signals” the importance of reviews is significant. The number of people talking about your business and what they are saying has an impact on how well your web pages rank in search results.

If you have a business, especially one with a physical storefront, you likely have a Yelp listing. Don’t take a chance that they have your business information correct. Claim your business listing, so it is displaying as you would have it. I should note, they will likely try to upgrade you to a paid account. It is not necessary for a basic listing. You will have to make your own decision about the value of upgrading.

Of course, Yelp is only part of the equation, there are at least six other major players when it comes to Local Search. You may read about them and find links to where you may update your local listings in our earlier blog post, Take Control of Your Local Search Listings Now!

Don’t put it off. Update your Yelp listing today.

Keyword SEO is Not Enough – 8 Steps to Fixing

SEO, a part of search engine marketing imageThat statement is certainly not a great revelation. However, it is worth repeating. While it has never been a case of “build it and they will come” for websites, many think a Search Engine Optimized website will automatically do well for nearly any search using keywords related to what their website offers. It seems that many people think that “Keywords” = SEO. Obviously, that has always been an overly simplistic view, but keywords do play a big role in getting a given web page displayed in search results. That said, there is much more to SEO, and certainly more to generating traffic to your website.

How people use the Internet and Web has dramatically changed.

Much that happens on the Internet no longer includes viewing a web page. It happens on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, various chat platforms, regular email, newsletters, and other platforms. People are using phones and other mobile devices, not just desktop computers. When internet activity does involve viewing a web page, in many cases the visitor came from a link in content on one of the aforementioned platforms and devices.

How Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines evaluate and rank available content on the web that can be displayed in Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) rankings has dramatically changed as well. Reportedly, Google has over 200 Ranking Factors. Only a portion of those have to do with on-page SEO.

On top of that, with Google’s “Universal Search” results displaying many elements in addition to traditional snippets and links to relevant websites. Search results may now include (not all at the same time) the following.

  • Site Links (6 pack)
  • Google Map + Pins
  • Local Carousel – Photos
  • List Carousel – Just that, grouped list of results
  • Knowledge Panel – Top Right, info related to query
  • Google AdWords – Top, Right Column, Bottom
  • Answer Box
  • Image Mega-Block
  • Video Results
  • News Results
  • Social Results
  • In-Depth Articles

Where eight to ten traditional listings were once displayed for a query, now there are often only three or four. The competition for results page real estate is very real.

It is this simple. Traditional on-page, keyword search engine optimization, is not enough by itself to achieve high rankings in search results. What you do online other than on your website, and what others say about your business and your web presence, impacts your website traffic.

Here are 8 steps to fixing your search results rankings.

  •  Have a quick-loading, attractive, relevant, and frequently updated website.
    • Google includes site speed in their 200 ranking “signals”
  • Well-written content that visitors find of value, and worthy of sharing
    • Compelling content that conveys your value proposition for your product or service
  • On-Page Search Engine Optimization done correctly, including headings and internal links
  • Add a blog, or “what’s new” page that has fresh and compelling content
  • Don’t forget any given keyword has to be on a web page to show up in search results
  • Create and use at least one or two Social Media accounts
  • Place Social Media share and follow buttons on your website
  • Send a monthly email newsletter (include links to your website) to clients and prospects

I know. It sounds like more work and time, and it is. That said, in today’s rapidly and constantly changing online world, Keyword SEO is Not Enough. 

Contact us today about a free website audit for your business or organization.

1-800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750 or contact@webwisedesign.com

4 Software Tools That Can Make Your Life Easier

Through the maze imageThought I would share some of the software applications I use to make my daily life run more smoothly. I believe they will for many of you as well. They are all multiplatform, which is a requisite for me and most of you reading this.

KeePass is a free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and mobile devices. Not the prettiest, but function over form wins when it comes to secure password management. Store the data file in a Dropbox folder, and you always have up-to-date passwords on any of your devices. keepass.info

Dropbox is a free (2GB+) service lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again! Always have your passwords synced. (See Keepass above.) www.dropbox.com

Evernote says their application “makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.” Throw it in Evernote (type it, speak it, email it, scan it, take a photo in it, clip it with a browser extension), find it easily whether you organize it or not.  Currently, I have 3262 “notes”, somewhat organized, tagged and in Notebooks. www.evernote.com

Todoist is one of many TO DO apps available. To-do-list and task management apps are subjective by nature. After trying many over several years, I have been using Todoist for nearly two years and just renewed the “Premium” version for another year. It simply fits the way I work very well.  Has a very good addon for MS Outlook. It runs 13 platforms including iOS, Windows, Chrome + more. www.todoist.com 

These applications are nearly indispensable for me at work, and they make managing documents, receipts, and other personal information a breeze as well.

Give them a try. I will be surprised if you don’t find them useful.

Bonus tip: Give Microsoft’s OneNote a try. Easily capture ideas, whatever form they come in. Type, handwrite, or sketch your thoughts. Clip links and webpages, insert photos and videos, embed tables, and attach files. All your notes, on all your devices, all up-to-date, and it’s free!

Landing Page Key Elements Refresher — SEO Notes

Landing Page ExampleWe often talk about important key elements of a well written landing page when we are talking with clients and prospects. Every page on your website is a potential landing page, so it doesn’t hurt to mention these key elements even more frequently.

Of course, pages vary greatly due to the nature of their content. However, there are some basic tenets that should be nearly universal. Here are some key elements that should be included in nearly every page.

  • Headline
    • Short description of what is on the page
    • Contains same keywords as title of page
  • Sub-Headlines
    • Makes for easy scanning — People scan before reading
  • Content
    • Page-specific, well-written descriptive text
  • Images or video
    • Visuals attract attention — Videos engage website visitor
  • Bulleted and/or Numbered lists
    •  Makes for easy scanning — Did I see this somewhere before?
  • Calls to action
    • Call us today at 1-800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750 for help with your landing pages.

Every page on your website is a potential landing page.

Too many people still believe that nearly everyone sees the home page first when visiting a website. That is far from the reality. You need to treat every page as a landing page that conveys your message, or describes your product or services effectively.

Did I mention calls to action in the key elements of landing pages?

We could be “Putting The Web To Work For YOU!”  Call 1-800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750 today!