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Website Development

Why Every Business Owner Should Have a Solid SEO Plan for Their Website

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It is crucial for businesses owners to have a solid SEO plan. Creating a business website online takes a lot of hard work and can be fairly expensive for your business. Getting it up and running is big step but now that your website is complete, what do you do next?  Many people think that people will automatically start visiting their website because it’s there. Getting a website created is only the beginning. What many people don’t know is that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results according to a recent survey. That means that it is crucial that you have a good SEO plan in order to make sure your website gets enough traffic to be seen and in order to make a difference for your business.

SEO Blocks
No matter how amazing and efficient your website is, if you don’t have many visitors, you will not realize the true potential that the internet has to help your business. Below are some frequently asked questions that many website owners ask when trying to increase website traffic by looking at all the search engine optimization options that are available.

The most common question people ask is, “What exactly is SEO and how can I make sure I have the best SEO plan for my business?” SEO stand for Search Engine Optimization, and describes the process of making sure your website comes to the top of the search engine results whenever people search for keywords that relate to your site. For instance, if you are a property management company, you ideally want someone who types in “rentals” or “housing” to find your website right at the top of the search engine when they hit enter. This will give you a far better chance of having that customer click on your website and use your services.

The next question you may ask is, “How does it work and is it easy to do by myself?” This is a pretty complicated question, but the simple explanation is that you need to make sure that all the keywords are recent and relevant  to your website and are mentioned somewhere in the content on your website in the proper ratios to alert search engines that your site is a good source of information about that keyword. Another major part of SEO is making sure that other websites out there are talking about and linking to your website when referring to the relevant keywords.

SEO takes a lot of work, and we’ve only mentioned a few of the ways to optimize your website for search engines. It is best to be handled by a company that specializes in this service to ensure that your business website is getting the best results.

Is Your Lack Of A Mobile Website Turning Away Customers?

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53% of American cell phone owners have a Smartphone, and since 88% of all US adults are now cell phone owners, that means nearly half (46%) of all American adults own a Smartphone, according to recent findings by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Moreover, 90% percent of those smartphone owners say they use the device to check email and surf the web. Therefore, with mobile Internet traffic on the rise, you may be turning away potential customers if you lack a mobile-friendly version of your website.

With numbers like these, developing a mobile-friendly website may seem like a no brainer. However, in this case common sense doesn’t translate into common practice among small business owners. Only 26 percent of small businesses have a mobile website – which can be detrimental, especially for local businesses.

It is pivotal that business owners consider how their website displays on a smartphone or tablet. If content isn’t easy to read or access on a smaller screen, it may cause potential customers to seek your products/services elsewhere.

In addition to making information easy to read on a smaller screen, there are several things you should consider when designing a mobile-friendly website:

  1. Less is more. Keep it simple with a one touch “Call Us/Contact Us” button, along with prominently displayed “Hours of Operation” and “GPS Directions” links. Customers don’t care about you; they want to know how you can benefit them. So it’s important display information a customer may be searching for at the top of your site and in plain text.
  2. Avoid flash players. Flash isn’t ideal for mobile sites due to loading time and small screen resolutions.
  3. Don’t make users download PDF’s and try to avoid making them navigate across several pages. Your mobile-friendly website should be straightforward and easy to quickly use.

Facebook Introduces Changes to the News Feed

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March 7th has finally arrived, the Facebook press conference is over, and the new changes to the social media site have just been announced. Here is a quick recap of some of the new changes, and what the casual Facebook user should expect:

Richer content:

Your News Feed on Facebook will be a lot more visually oriented. Meaning, bigger photos and better quality. Your profile picture and cover photo will be bigger, and your photos and albums will allow you to post your descriptions within the picture. Pushing the visual content to the front, and eliminating “clutter,” as they put it.

All of the presenters at the conference seemed to tip their hat to Instagram and Pinterest, and acknowledged that visual content is the way social media is headed. The result, as the presenters said, will “get Facebook out of the way” and present the content and media you love in the forefront.

Topics:

CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that he wanted to make Facebook more like an “interactive newspaper.” Meaning, not only are storytelling photos coming to the forefront, but your content will also be presented in a more topic-oriented format. Allowing you the choice of viewing posts from friends, or selecting topics (music, sports, health etc.) and reading about what’s happening in those areas.

In addition to topic selections, your News Feed will also show you trending articles based on the pages, people, and issues you “like.” For instance, if you “like” Justin Timberlake, then your feed will post trending articles about him.

Also, for those of you who have complained about Facebook’s news selecting algorithm, EdgeRank, Facebook will be adding an “all friends” option to the News Feed. Meaning, if you select this option, you will be able to see ALL of your friend’s posts in chronological order. Just like the old times.

Mobile Consistency:

In the last portion of the conference, Facebook’s Tech Lead, Chris Struhar, announced that the look and feel of Facebook will now be more consistent across all devices. Meaning, the site will look and operate the same way whether you are browsing on a phone, computer, or tablet. Allowing the user to easily transition from one platform to the next and not have to “relearn” how to use Facebook.

The new changes will be rolling out on the web as soon as today, March 7th, for certain users, with the tablet and phone changes to be announced in the near future.

What are your opinions on all the new News Feed changes announced at the Facebook press conference? Leave a comment below and let me know if you think this will enhance your Facebook using experience or not.

(Examiner: Steven Neville)

Americans Spending More Time On Facebook Mobile

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May 16, 2012

53 percent of American cell phone owners have a Smartphone, and since 88 percent of US adults are now cell phone owners, that means nearly half (46%) of all American adults own a Smartphone. One key feature of smartphones is the ability to download applications. Facebook’s popular mobile app is the most active among Smartphone owners 18-24 and 25-34, who both hover at around an 80 percent active reach. Therefore, with stats like this, it should come as no surprise that Facebook’s mobile app has now passed its website in popularity. According to a recent report from Comscore, time spent on Facebook’s mobile site and apps per month (441 minutes) has finally surpassed usage of its classic website (391 minutes) — for Americans who use both Facebook interfaces. However, this presents a big problem for Facebook.

With Facebook’s impending IPO (set for Friday), it seems the forces of the universe are working against Facebook this week. First GM publicly pulls its $10 million Facebook ad campaigns, citing that Facebook ads don’t work. Then, Facebook had to warn potential investors in its IPO that the more people who access it from mobile instead of the web, the worse its business is doing. Thus, accessing Facebook through your Smartphone is bad for business, because Facebook only shows a few ads per day in the mobile newsfeed – as opposed to displaying four to seven ads per page on its website (maybe that’s why people prefer Facebook mobile?). Consequentially, Facebook makes a lot less money when you visit from your phone.

Now there’s 78 million Americans age eighteen and older who use Facebook mobile, and they spend 7.3 hours per month there on average, compared to the total 160 million Americans who use Facebook and spend an average of 6.5 hours on its website per month. That’s a big shift from when the web was king.

Therefore, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, in order to make money (and support their sky-high valuation), Facebook needs to start making – and selling – more mobile ads. However, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t want annoying banners that took up most of your Facebook screen. so Facebook’s solution was mobile Sponsored Stories. These sponsored stories first started showing up in March and, while seeing them occasionally isn’t bad, showing too many could make people angry and less likely to visit.

Now Facebook must walk the tightrope. Inject too many ads in the mobile news feed and people will stop visiting, inject too few and it will lose money. No pressure, there’s just a half a billion mobile users watching. (TechCrunch)

 

How to Reap the Full SEO Benefits of Pinterest

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From planning your next vacation destination to designing your dream home, Pinterest is a great way to waste time online.  However, in addition to alleviating online boredom, the popular social bookmarking site offers many unique tools to boost SEO. Since Pinterest creates new ways of having your content found and shared, optimizing your Pinterest presence is a great way to improve your rankings in the search engines.  If you want to reap the full ranking benefits of Pinterest, here are a few tips for using the addictive social media site to increase your SEO:

  • Content is King: As with any other social media site, sharing new and unique content is the backbone of Pinterest.  Since the SERPS take into account how many times a piece of content is liked, re-pinned and shared, it is important you pin engaging material that’s relevant, interesting, or useful to your audience. Whether you’re sharing blog posts, shots of products, or images of your office, Pinterest is a great way to reach out to a massive audience without requiring a great deal of effort.
  • Build Backlinks: As mentioned above, Pinterest exponentially grows the viewership of content pinned. In the process it also creates a huge amount of backlinking to your website. Since search engines generate page rankings by taking into account the number of outside links that lead people to your site, a backlink is an invaluable thing to have. While a backlink is created every time you pin an image from your website, you can also insert links into the captions of your Pinterest posts so that a new backlink is created every time someone re-pins your image.
  • Add Keywords:

 

  1. a. Use hashtags and keywords in the description of your pins to increase visibility and exposure. Also make sure you have keyword-specific board names and keyword-dense board descriptions. If possible, it’s beneficial to include keywords in your username as well.
  2. b. If you upload your own image ad keywords to the file name and make sure it contains your targeted key phrase (for example DSC0119 won’t rank as well as Social-Media-Icon.jpg).
  1. c. In addition to providing a way for people to find your content, keyword targeting will bring your Pinterest page up in the rankings for those keywords – which increases the value of backlinks and ultimately further boosts your SEO.
    • Build followers: Assemble a network of Pinterest users who like and re-pin posts. Growing your followers will cause the content that you share to spread further and faster, which greatly increases the SEO of the linked website. Also, make sure to follow back anyone who follows you, as it will cause you to be recommended to other users and further help grow your number of followers.
    • Share your pins with your other social networks: Drive more people to your Pinterest profile and encourage engagement by letting your other networks know that you’re on Pinterest. Share your profile (and occasional pins) on your other social profiles and vice-versa.

    When optimizing your Pinterest presence, it’s important to remember to be yourself and keep it personal. Don’t pin solely business-related content, share images you like and re-pin images from others. Furthermore, though keywords are powerful on Pinterest, they should be subtly included into the captions of your pins without losing the pin description. If you opt for simply loading keywords into your pin’s description (rather than actually describing the image) it may come off as spammy, and turn users away. Keeping this in mind while simultaneously employing the above techniques will help you reap the full ranking benefits of Pinterest. Happy Pinning!

Half of the World’s Social Media Users Visit Sites Via Their Phones

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The increasing ubiquity of cell phones, particularly the rise of smartphones, has made social networking just a finger tap away. In a previous blog post we talked about how Americans are now spending more time on Facebook mobile than the website. This finding didn’t come as much of a surprise, since nearly half (46%) of all American adults now own a Smartphone. However, this mobile revolution doesn’t stop in America. Now, according to Nielsen’s upcoming ‘State of Social Media Report,’ half of the world’s social network users visit sites via their phones. Furthermore, the report found that the trend is most prevalent in Asia Pacific.
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