Archive for seo

How to not get Caught in Google’s Mobile Speed Trap

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Google recently announced that beginning July 2018, the loading speed of your website on mobile will affect how Google will rank it.

Basically, if your website takes too long to load on a mobile device, Google will ignore it and bring up the website — which loads faster — that matches the searcher’s query.

The good thing is that you have till July to fix your website. So, you ask…

How fast should my website load?

How to not get caught in Google's Mobile Speed TrapHow’s instantly — 1 second — sound? People today don’t want to wait for anything — especially on a mobile device. Face it, we live in an instant gratification society and Google’s goal is to satisfy the searcher. Why? Because it’s the searcher that clicks on the ads that bring them income.

A page that takes five seconds to load is 90% more likely to suffer from bounce backs, compared to a page that loads in just one second. (WordStream)

A “bounce” happens when a visitor to your site clicks on a link to your site then leaves within seconds. It usually happens if the site takes too long to load. Google Analytics gives you a “bounce rate”. A bounce rate higher than 50% is bad. That means you’re losing more than 50% of the visitors to your site.

How can I make my website load faster and beat Google’s Mobile Speed Trap?

Well, first, use one of these free tools to test your load speed.

Now, you’re going to see a lot of technical jargon. Don’t even try to understand it.

Here are 3 of the main factors that may be causing your site to load slow:

  1. Too much code in the background. This is a major issue with those easy, drag-and-drop website builders. So all those fancy boxes will load nicely, it takes the browser some time to decipher all the code.
  2. Your picture files are too big. 
  3. Your site is hosted on a cheap, shared-hosting platform.

And these are just 3! Most all of the others are really too technical to get into.

However, no worries! That’s where the folks at Sonfisher Web Studios can help you out. If you used one of the website speed tests listed and got a bad result, contact Kerry and he’ll be happy to analyze your website and see what can be done so that Google won’t punish you for being too slow.

Don’t wait till July! Do this now!

This post originally appeared on the Sonfisher Web Studios Blog.

Online Marketing Trends for 2018 that You Need to Know

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It’s that time of year again! As we say “goodbye” to 2017, we look forward to 2018. For small business owners the thought of planning online marketing may seem intimidating given all the…

  • Choices of media and social networks
  • Rules, do’s and don’ts
  • New technology

So here are a few of the Online Marketing trends and strategies that I think the average small business owner needs to embrace for 2018 or…

Get Left Behind in the Dust…

My top 13 Online Marketing Trends, Tips and Strategies:

  1. Video and Live Video: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and now LinkedIn have incorporated video. We know video sells. It’s eye-catching. People will watch a video before reading a blog post. What’s great is it’s so easy to create videos with smartphones and tablets – you really have no excuse for not taking advantage of this medium. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have the Live Video capability so you can broadcast live from anywhere where’s the Wi-Fi.
  2. SEO is not dead. Search Engine Optimization is still important if you want Google to know that you exist. Google is still the number one traffic-driver to websites. The good thing is, you don’t need to hire an outside firm if you can do a few things including Content Marketing, sharing on Social Media and benefiting from Organic Search Results. Watch this…

  1. Twitter Follow MeTwitter is not dead. Sorry, naysayers, Twitter is still alive and a viable medium for marketing, SEO and exposure. We have President Trump to thank for the increase in users, tweeting and opinion-sharing that’s so prevalent on the never-ending news ticker. Take advantage of regularly trending Hashtags and spin your marketing message around them. Use a free tool like TweetDeck to schedule promo posts so you don’t miss opportunities for exposure.
  2. Email / Marketing Automation. Once it’s setup, it just runs by itself! And what’s more, services like MailChimp offer automation for FREE if you have under 2000 people on your email list. You can segment your list by asking 2 or 3 pertinent questions on the sign-up page. Offer visitors to your website a freebie to entice them to join your list. Having the right Call-to-Action on your site is critical to marketing success.
  3. Customer Experience Marketing. Always think of the customer’s buying journey – even if they’re not ready to buy! You need to put yourself in their shoes. That’s why getting to know your target market(s) is so important.
  4. Instagram Stories. Owned by Facebook, Instagram is the fastest growing social media network going from 600 million to 800 million active users in 2017. Over 300 million daily active users take advantage of Instagram Stories doubling in the last year. The idea is that you can combine several pictures and videos to simply tell a story.
  5. How to Develop Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your BusinessStrategy over Tactics. So many small business owners jump in and start posting with absolutely no clear strategy whatsoever. That is such a waste of time, energy and efforts. You must think it out and plan it out. Do one month at a time.
  6. Influencer Marketing. This is basically finding folks with a lot of followers whose opinion matters to your target market. Then make friends with them. Get them to notice you and hopefully they’ll share your fabulous content with their thousands of followers.
  7. Make it Visual. Videos, stories, pictures, graphics, infographics. No one pays any attention to a tweet or Facebook post with just text and links. Their eye is going to the movement in the video or the interesting picture. Remember, you’re not just competing against your direct competitors for your target’s attention. You’re also competing with the family, friends and other businesses and causes they follow. You need to stand out and going visual is the answer. Use a free tool like Canva.com to create eye-catching pictures.
  8. Voice Search. More and more people are asking Alexa or Google to help them find things, shop, answer questions, etc. Where do they come up with the answers? The search engine finds content on websites that most closely matches the question. Which is why you need to blog and be aware of the varied use of keywords in your writing. Mastering the Google Keyword Tool is also beneficial.
  9. Become a follower magnetHaving a Social Media Base. Building a loyal following takes time. These people follow you or like your page because of what you post. They could be loyal customers or are just interested in your business. They won’t follow you if you’re not posting anything. If starting from scratch, it takes about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following. If you’re new to social media, my FREE Master Class will help get you started.
  10. Transparency. Fake News is a hot topic. People are wary of “click-bait” headlines that entice one to click on it only to find the article talks about something else or is trying to sell you something. Honesty is still the best policy. Don’t make up a story just to get attention. The truth always comes back to bite you in ways you never imagined. If you have a disgruntled customer who leaves a bad review, do your best to rectify the issue and respond publicly.
  11. Paid Targeting. I always tell my clients to try social media marketing along with proper SEO and blogging without spending money for 3-6 months first. Track your analytics, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) each month to see what’s working and not working. In the event that business slows, you might have saturated your market. It’s time for paid advertising. Based on your analytics and target market audience, placing key paid ads in the right networks will help you expand your reach and be noticed by more people. Yes, you have to have a budget, but then again, you do have to spend money to make money. Put some paid advertising dollars in to your marketing budget for 2018.

You must be feeling overwhelmed right now.

Where do you start?

Here are two choices:

Live SCORE Workshop on 1/11, 1-4pm, $25 at Greater Phoenix SCORE Central Phoenix…

Online class on Strategy and Planning, Free…

Got questions? Contact me…

 

A Free Boost for Locals with Google My Business

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In a recent post, I told you about the change in Google My Business (GMB) – it’s just for local brick-and-mortar businesses. (E-commerce and home-based businesses click here.)

Once you have your GMB account set-up and the verification postcard is on it’s way, or if you’re already verified (You’ll see the blue check mark), you can post pictures, links to videos, promotions, blog posts, you name it!

Google My Business Dashboard

Google My Business Dashboard

Click on Posts on the left menu.

Google My Business post

Upload a picture with a promotion.

What’s really cool is you can add a Call-to-Action (CTA) button.

Here’s what the Google My Business Posts look like:

Google My Business Posts

Just like Google+, it’s connected to the Google search engine. Everything posted gets indexed in the search engine!

It’s new and it doesn’t connect to YouTube. (YouTube still has to connect to a Google+ page.)

A home-based or e-commerce business cannot be “verified” — that’s only for businesses with locations on Google Maps. You need to use Google+ and use it to get Google to notice you with blogging.

Check out the FREE Social Media Classes on YouTube!

How to Use the Google Keyword Tool for SEO

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In today’s digital marketing everything from websites to social media profile pages need to be optimized for SEOsearch engine optimization. Besides Google having over 80% of both desktop and mobile searches, each of the social networks has their own powerful internal search engines.

You need to figure out what YOUR TARGET MARKET is going to enter into the search box to find you. Those are keywords, phrases and questions.

That’s where the Google Keyword Tool comes in. It’s free to use, however, it’s part of Google Adwords so you need to set up an Adwords account to use it.

This video is a demonstration of how to use it to optimize for SEO:

The tool also helps when you’re thinking of what to blog about. Nothing like finding out exactly what your target market is searching for so that you can provide it.

Link to the Google Keyword Planner

 

Why You Need to Be On Pinterest for Exposure and SEO

Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are a lot of stressed-out people on Pinterest. How do I know that? I wrote a blog post for one of my clients, Simply Smashing Rage Room (opening in Tempe, BTW) titled, How To Increase the Serotonin In Your Brain. It included an infographic (a graphic with data) which I pinned on Pinterest as soon as I published the article.

Why You Need to Be On Pinterest for Exposure and SEOAs of this time, and it was published on June 23, we’ve had close to 1200 views of that page! Wow! And look where the majority of the people came from! Mind boggling!

I’m not going to go into detail of how you can use Pinterest for your business – whether B2B or B2C. You can view my How-To class here.

What you need to understand is…

You Cannot Ignore Pinterest!

How Pinterest Works

See, when someone pins a picture or video from your website, it takes the link with it. Thus, helping with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because Google likes relevant back links.

Furthermore, when someone sees the pin and saves it (repins) it to one of their boards, it creates yet another back link to your site.

When someone clicks twice on the pin, it takes them to your website!

The more people pin and repin your pictures and videos, the more “Google Juice” or “Link Love” you’ll get. Make Google happy and it’ll reward you with first page listings when people search for what you have to offer.

If you’re B2B, you might be thinking that it’s not for you. Not true! Go in and search for “technology” or “social media marketing” or “business tips” and you’ll see lots of pins and boards come up with infographics and videos.

People use Pinterest to bookmark and categorize anything that interests them. It’s like a huge bulletin board. We love visuals. The more eye-catching and easy-to-read, the better.

You might be afraid of Pinterest because it’s distracting. Yes, it can be. If I’m there working for a client and I’ve allocated 15 minutes, I set a timer.

Moreover, keep business and personal separate. Setup a business account or convert a personal one on Business.Pinterest.com. If I’m following you for business, I don’t want to see pet tips or hot hairstyles.

When social media marketing is done properly it can be very effective. However, you need to understand the nuances of each of the social networks. Each one is different. The only one that covers all generations is Facebook. The others have specific user demographics.

Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookYou need to clearly define your target market(s) before you can effectively promote your business online. Click here to download the free workbook!

This also proves why analytics are so important. You must measure and go over your insights and statistics at least once a month. Here’s a free analytics class!

Video: How to Get on the 1st Page of Google: SEO Basics

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Everyone wants to come up on the first page of Google! The problem is that Google keeps changing the rules. Here the the SEO basics that you need to know.

How to Get on the 1st Page of Google: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics:

Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/SearchEngineOptimizationSEOBasics.pdf

 

Video: How to Effectively Market Your Business with Twitter

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If you’re Social Media novice, you probably think Twitter is a waste of time. It’s not. Tweets come up in Google searches. Thus, each time you share a blog post on Twitter it gets indexed in the search engine helping with SEO. Think of Twitter as a never-ending news ticker. Use it for exposure and to find your target market.

How to Effectively Market Your Business with Twitter

Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/Twitter.pdf

 

Video: How to Effectively Market Your Business On Pinterest

Reading Time: 1 minute

Pinterest is THE social media network if you’re trying to reach the consumer with products or services. Though it is more B2C than B2B, Pinterest is more powerful than Instagram when it comes to SEO because when someone pins a picture or video from your site, it takes the link with it. Thus, it helps tremendously with search engine optimization.

 


Class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/Pinterest-1.pdf

How to Effectively Market Your Business with Videos on YouTube

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YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to its parent, Google. “How to” is the most searched-for phrase. This class covers the basics of YouTube and the 2nd video covers how to optimize your channel for SEO and branding.


Here are the class notes: https://azsocialmediawiz.com/wp-content/uploads/YouTubeBasics.pdf

How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel

 

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Video: How to Blog on WordPress for Exposure and SEO

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This class shows you how easy it is to blog on a WordPress website. How to optimize each blog post for the search engines (SEO), add pictures, tags, categories and keywords. Learn how to blog effectively and save time!

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