Custom Web Design – Responsive Design – SEO

Web Success Tips

Google Favors Mobile Friendly Websites in Search Results

On April 21st, 2015 Google implemented a search algorithm change that favors websites that Google defines as “mobile-friendly.” Websites that don’t fit the description will be demoted in Google’s search results on smartphones and tablets while those meeting the criteria will be more likely to appear at the top of the rankings — a prized position that can translate into more visitors and money. To test if your website is mobile friendly or not simply click here and enter your website address. If your website needs to be converted to responsive design which will automatically create a mobile-friendly version of your site, please contact MediaFocus at 941-504-1968.

No. 1 Position in Google Gets 33% of Search Traffic

New findings from online ad network Chitika confirm it’s anything but lonely at the top. According to the study, the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position, and the traffic only degrades from there. … For many, it’ll come as no surprise that the findings also showed a significant drop in traffic from Page 1 to Page 2 results. Page 1 results garnered 92 percent of all traffic from the average search, with traffic dropping off by 95 percent for Page 2. Please click here to read the entire article regarding the importance of good SEO.

by Jessica Lee, June 20th, 2013
www.searchenginewatch.com

How to Safeguard Online Shopping Transactions

Security should be a top priority for every online entrepreneur with a shopping cart or an  e-commerce ambition.

Giving shoppers confidence that their credit-card information and personal details will be safe in your hands can make them more apt to make a purchase and become a regular customer. Conversely, shoppers’  deep seated worries about fraud mean that if you give them reason for concern, they could back out of a purchase and stay away for good. Click here to read the entire article…

by Riva Richmond
February 1, 2012
www.entrepreneur.com

Adding Video to Boost Ranking

Incorporating videos into your website can boost your website’s search engine ranking while providing interesting information regarding your products and services. Website visitors are always drawn to visuals such as interesting pictures, graphics, and videos. Using video can be a successful tool in communicating more effectively with your viewers than a static picture could.

Utilize videos to show your products in use, visualize how to maintain a certain product, show a snippet of the service you provide, show your business or office location, etc. – thereby drawing the viewer in, getting them more interested in your business and products, aiding in the effort of converting your viewers into new customers or clients.

Where to Start?

First pick the topic of your video, then plan the “who, what, where and when” details of your shoot. Some of my clients shoot their own videos or use the help of an experienced friend or professional (we will be happy to recommend a very reasonable and  local video production service). But no matter who is shooting your video, you have to plan the shoot and the post production.

Make sure your video has a beginning, middle, and end section and make a “shot-list” of all the different “views” you like to feature in your video. The beginning of your video should introduce your topic, the middle should be filled with valuable details, and the end has to call for “action”. You want to capture the viewer’s interest and entice them to contact you or try your products and services. Therefore always display your contact information (phone # and website address) during the last frames of your video.

Post Production Tips

Make sure your videos have good color, good clarity, and are not overexposed. Poor video quality may turn viewers away. Another important factor is the sound quality. Make sure your sound is clean and clear. In most situations the on-board microphone of your video camera might be too far away from the subject to pick up decent dialogue. If that is the case, use lavalier mics or overhead mics, or simply narrate the video during post production instead. When adding music, don’t think about your personal preferences but about your viewers and find subtle background music fitting the topic of your video. Edit your video with care to achieve the best quality possible for your end result.

Using YouTube to Publish Your Video

Using YouTube to integrate videos into your website offers various benefits:

  • your video will get exposure on YouTube
  • your video won’t use up your server resources to when running from your website
  • your video will display no matter what computer platform or browser software a viewer might be using
  • YouTube videos that achieve good ranking can positively impact your website ranking

How to Publish on YouTube

First go to YouTube.com and create an account. Then upload your video to YouTube.

Videos can be:

  • High Definition
  • Up to 2 GB in size
  • Up to 15 minutes in length

YouTube accepts the following file formats:

  • WebM files (Vp8 video codec and Vorbis Audio codec)
  • .MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files – (typically supporting h264 and mpeg4 video codecs and AAC audio codec)
  • .AVI (Many cameras output this format – typically the video codec is MJPEG and audio is PCM)
  • .MPEGPS (Typically supporting MPEG2 video codec and MP2 audio)
  • .WMV
  • .FLV (Adobe – FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio)

Optimizing Your YouTube Video

For best search engine results pay special attention to what you enter as the title, description and tags of your video. YouTube automatically translates the information you enter into HTML elements of the video view page. Search engines crawl and index the video view page using those meta tags. To further optimize your YoutTube video page, use YouTube’s annotation feature to add captions or subtitles. You may also connect your YouTube video account with your facebook and twitter accounts so that any new uploads will automatically post to those accounts, creating backlinks and further enhancing search engine ranking.

Publishing the Video on Your Website

As the last step, email me the link to your new video or the title of your video, and I’ll embed it directly into your website. As an additional option, I can even add code to the video in order to track through Google analytics how many times your video has been viewed on your website.

Please contact MediaFocusDesigns.com with any further questions you may have.

Marketing Optimization

Good search engine ranking is important when trying to find new customers or clients via the Internet (please read “Road to Web Success”) but some of your visitors might come from your advertisements, a business card you handed out, a referral from another customer, a press release you issued, or other. No matter by which means a new visitor comes to your website, once he or she is there, your website has to be effective in marketing your products or services.

Studies report that a visitor spends about 7 to 8 seconds on a landing page (which could be your home page or any other page of your website) until the visitor decides to leave or stay. In these 7 or 8 seconds, your website has to be able to grasp the visitor’s interest.

Studies provide information about how the eyes of a visitor move across a web page, providing pertinent information for the layout and design of every page of your site. Positioning headlines, text, images and videos in the right place, plus the strategic use of “white space”, will guide a visitor’s eyes and increase the chance for locating something of interest that will make the visitor “stay” and explore your website further.

With that in mind, it seems to be of great importance that you choose a web designer with online marketing and content optimization experience. Key to developing a successful Internet presence is having that particular know-how, plus the ability and willingness of your website designer to learn about your business, your goals, and your customers, analyze your competition and develop a website strategy and design concept that will turn visitors into new customers.

After successfully launching your new website, marketing and content optimization have to be an ongoing process. It is of great important to analyze the traffic that comes to your website. Analytics and statistical tools can provide information regarding visitor’s behavior on your website. Details are gathered such as keywords used to find your website, landing pages, how long the visitor stayed on your site, how many pages were visited, which page the visitor left from, how many returning visitors vs. new visitors you are getting, and much more. Special “event tracking” can be implemented to analyze a web page in even more depth, showing for instance how many visitors scroll down to the bottom of a page to see all the information you are providing, how many visitors click on certain buttons or special offers, and much more. This type of information enables your web designer to make modifications to your website over time and continuously improve the effectiveness in marketing your products and services online.

Ask MediaFocus about marketing and content optimization of your website!

Google Tags

Google is offering a new feature to enhance Google Places listings (the red balloon listings displayed at the top of the search results page) called “Google Tags”.

Local customers can search Google for products and services offered locally. By creating a free business listing with Google Places, you can help searchers find your business more easily. Adding a tag to your Google Places listing allows you to highlight information that you want your customers to see.

For example, your tag can highlight a coupon for new customers, a video about your store, or even a link to your menu. You add to your tag what’s most important about your business and makes your business stands out.

Where and When Tags Display

Tags do not affect search result rankings, they simply add more information to a Google Places listing when it appears in search results. Your business listing will continue to show for the same searches as before but you can highlight the information a customer sees possibly making your listing more attractive, and perhaps increasing the number of visitors to your website.

Tracking Tag Performance

On the Dashboard for your Google Places account, you will be able to see data about how your tag is performing alongside the data about how your listing is performing.

Changing or Deleting Tags

You can change your tag at any time. Let’s say you’re running a coupon for a store opening sale and you create a coupon as your tag, when the sale is over, use the tag to promote your website, specific products or services instead.

If you decide to stop running your tag for any reason, you can do so by viewing your tag in your Google Places account and clicking “Deactivate Tag”. Google will charge you a prorated amount for the portion of the month that the tag was running.

Signing Up for Google Tags

Signing up and adding your tag takes less than 5 minutes. All you need is a verified business listing with Google Places.

The current fee for Google tags is $25 per month.

To sign up for Google tags go to:
places.google.com/tags

Facebook & Twitter

How to Create a Facebook Business Page & Link it to Twitter

The benefit of using Facebook for your business is the potential reach you have when Facebook users share content from your Business Page or Business Account with their friends. The strength of a friend’s endorsement by clicking “Like” on one of your entries, comments, products, etc. can help your business to get more exposure and grow. The “items” that people “Like” on your Business Page, will show up on your friend’s wall. All of your friend’s friends will see the Wall post, might get interested, and click on it to find out more. Plus, Facebook offers an easy to use platform to stay in constant communication with all the people that become friends of your Business Page.

If you already have a personal Facebook page but also want to take advantage of Facebook for your business, you need to set up your business page from within your personal account. Maintaining multiple accounts, regardless of the purpose, would be a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use. Visitors and fans of your Business Pages will not have access to your personal account or profile. Any actions you take as a Page administrator on your Business Page will show in the name of your Business Page and not your personal name.

Getting Started

To create a Business Page, log into your personal facebook account at www.facebook.com, then click on “Account”, select “Help Center”, scroll down to the section “Ads and Business Solutions” and click on “Pages for Businesses”.

Creating a Facebook Business Account

If you don’t have a personal facebook account you may create a business account. Go to www.facebook.com and create a Facebook Ad at http://www.facebook.com/ads/create/or Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Once you’ve entered in the required information, you will be taken to the “Facebook Login” page and asked if you have a Facebook account. At this point select “I do not have a Facebook account.” You will then need to enter your email address and date of birth to create your business account. Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use Facebook to administer Pages and ad campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same functionality as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information. As an administrator of a business account you will not be able to view the profiles of users on your site or other content on the site that does not live on the Pages you administer. In addition, business accounts cannot be found in search and cannot send or receive friend requests.

Setting up Your Facebook Business Page

  1. Log into your facebook account at www.facebook.com
  2. Click on “Ads and Pages” in the left column of the screen or click on “Account”, select “Help Center”, scroll down to the section “Ads and Business Solutions” and click on “Pages for Businesses”.
  3. Select a “category” for your page.
  4. Click on the category and select your type of business.
  5. Fill out your business details such as business name, address, and phone number. Click on “Agree to Terms”.
  6. On the next page you can:
    • upload your business logo or photo representing your business
    • send your current facebook friends a message about your new page
    • import customer/subscriber contact data to inform them about your Facebook page
    • post your latest “status” – any interesting news, announcements, special offers, new products on your wall
    • create a “LIKE” plugin that can be embedded into your website (you can specify the appearance of your plug-in such as size, color scheme, include profile picture, show profile stream – your news posts in a scrollable field); simply click on “Get Code” and copy and paste the iframe code into an email and send it to scarlet@mediafocus.com so I can add the link to your website
    • Additional Facebook Features You May Want to Use

      Dialogs

      Facebook offers six different types of dialogs to publish information provided by your users (see http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/dialogs/). Without requiring your users to log into your application or grant any special permission, you can prompt users to publish notes & comments about certain topics. If a user chooses to publish, their post will appear on the user’s profile page and may appear on the News Feeds of the user’s friends, this way adding additional exposure to your business page.

      Like Buttons

      Like buttons let your users easily share interesting content from your page or website back to Facebook. When a visitor clicks on “Like” the post/story appear s on the visitors’ Wall and their friends’ News Feeds, again adding additional exposure to your business page and posts.

      Requests

      Requests are a great way for visitors to your page, to invite their friends to check it out. Requests integrate with Facebook notifications and dashboards. The request will show on the friends’ facebook when they are logged in. Visitors to your page can also use requests to notify a friend to take a specific action on your page such as entering a contest, printing a coupon, accepting a gift, etc.

      Linking Facebook Pages to Twitter

      When managing a Facebook Business Page, you will be able share Page updates with your Twitter followers, and you also will be able to control what type of updates to share: status updates, links, photos, notes, events or all of them. If you have multiple Pages, you will have the option to link each of those Pages to different Twitter accounts. To link a Business Page to Twitter go to http://www.facebook.com/twitter/ and follow the instructions. This feature offers an efficient and easy way for you to publish news about your business, products, and services on both networks.

      Hope you enjoyed this month’s tip by MediaFocusDesigns.com!

Placing Your Business on Google Maps

Please find below instructions on how to successfully place your business on Google maps and the steps that have to be taken to rank higher on Google maps.

Adding Your Business to Google Maps

To get your listing included please follow the instructions below. Google will call the business phone number or provide a code by mail to your business address. You will need to enter that code during the setup process. You will also need to be able to access your business email during the set up for verification. This way Google is trying to avoid any scamming as only business owners have access to the business phone, business mail or business email.

Go to: 

http://maps.google.com/

Click on “Put your business on Google Maps” (on the left side of the screen)
Log into your Google account or set up a free account.

Then follow the instructions on the page to add your listing.

Google will ask for the following information:

  • Country
  • Company Organization
  • Street Address
  • City/Town
  • State
  • Zip
  • Main Phone
  • Email Address
  • Website (please remember to add http://www. )
  • Description (should contain important info &keywords)
  • Category (you have up to five categories; try to fill them all)
  • Service Areas and Location Settings
  • Hours of Operation
  • Payment Options
  • Photos (upload up to 10 photos)
  • Videos (upload up to 5 YouTube videos)
  • Additional Details

Under “Additional Details” you can add additional important information about your business such as brands carried, special services, parking availability, and any other information that might be of interest for people viewing your listing.

Steps You Should Take to Improve Ranking on Google Maps:

Add and verify your business listing on Google maps.

Make sure your location information is correct.

Make sure your business title and description contain your most important keywords (if possible put your most important keyword in front followed by your business name).

Properly categorize your business. There is a maximum of five categories. Make sure you “add” all five categories. As you start typing a category name, Google will display some options below that are “preset” categories. Try to find as many existing categories that match your business, but you are also able to enter a “custom” category.

Google will prioritize your business listing in relation to your location to the city center. So, if your location is closer to the city center this will be an automatic plus. If your business is not located close to the city center, please make sure you follow the next two steps to counteract this disadvantage.

Get your business validated by third party sources such as local online directories for your area or business category (submit your business to as many local directories as possible). An easier way to do this is to use www.thecustomercompass.com. They will submit your listing to all local directories available online. The cost for this service is $30 a year.

Once your business is listed on Google maps, make sure that your customers/clients post reviews on your Google maps listing. It doesn’t matter much if there are also some negative reviews besides positive reviews, what matters to Google is the number of reviews posted. In your “follow-up” with customers/clients perhaps offer them an incentive to post a review.

After your listing has been added, we will be glad to review it and make any changes that we feel would help improve ranking.

Any Questions? Please don’t hesitate to call us at 504-1968.

Road to Website Success

The ultimate goal of most websites is to achieve good search engine ranking in order to find new clients/customers or tap into a new or bigger market online, thereby growing their business. Achieving good search engine placement is influenced by many factors and utilizing all or at least most of the SEO Tools & Techniques listed below, will greatly impact the search engine placement of your website.

All search engines develop their own algorithms by which they try to identify a website’s relevance to a specific search term, trying to weed out those that are attempting to spam, and giving good placement to those of greater value. Last year, Google modified their search algorithms more than twice a day. Some of these tweaks may be smaller, others may have a more drastic impact. Therefore, the ranking of a website will constantly change, sometimes ever so slightly, sometimes it might bump a site up or down several spots or even pages. Staying on top of these developments is essential to providing sound SEO services to our Clients.

Achieving and maintaining good search engine ranking is a process over time and the successful implementation of the SEO tools outlined below will have a direct impact. Building a custom website that is search engine optimized, is the basic building block for a sound SEO strategy. MediaFocus will use all its knowledge and experience when designing and optimizing each individual web page of your website.

Please review our brief overview below and feel free to ask us for more details. We’ll be glad to support you with implementing a sound SEO strategy.

SEO Tools & Techniques

Optimization of Meta Tags

META tags are HTML tags which provide information that describe the content of a web page. META tags are not visible to the website viewer but part of the HTML code (source code) the search engine will read and index. META tags include a title tag, description tag, and keyword tag, just to mention a few. It is important to use these tags and optimize them for important keywords. It is imperative to implement a concise structure of META tags throughout all the pages of a website but still keep them unique on every page. As we develop your website, we will employ the latest META tag optimization techniques.

Website Content Optimization

Content optimization of your website is a key factor as the search engines rank your website’s relevancy and importance based on both META tags and as well as the content in relation to the keywords. Keywords used in META tags have to appear in specific places of your content such as headlines, link text, paragraphs, page footer, and more. The strategic placement of keywords throughout the webpage, the keyword frequency and density, as well as the formatting of text that contains keywords (use of bold or headline tags) will greatly impact your search engine ranking. It is not just the home page that has to be content optimized but the entire website should follow a concise optimization concept. Besides content optimization, it is also very important to keep content “fresh”. Search engines recrawl indexed websites on a regular basis. If none of the content has changed since the last crawl, the search engine will rank the website less relevant than another website of equal relevancy where content has changed and appears “fresh”. Implementing features such as a news sections, blogs, special weekly offers or weekly feature articles posted on the home page will help keep your website fresh and relevant. MediaFocus will implement content optimization throughout the website development process.

Creating a Valuable Linking Strategy

Developing a successful linking strategy can serve a dual function: boosting search engine ranking while increasing traffic by bringing new visitors to your site from a source other than a search engine. The idea that only the number of in-bound, out-bound, and reciprocal links (most valuable type of link) matters is false. While the number of links is important, the “quality” of the link is even more important. What impacts the quality of a link is the relevancy of the content of the link site in relation to your keywords and content as well as the popularity of that website (higher traffic websites), and their number of out-bound links. Links should be “relevant” as they have the potential value of directing qualified users to your website, not just for search engine traffic. MediaFocus will be glad to support you with creating an effective linking strategy.

Social Media Marketing

The use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Blogs, and News sites – just to mention a few, has a direct effect on search engine ranking and search engines currently use social voting systems and bookmarking trends to determine quality sites. Google for instance melds it’s universal search results from its Google Web, Image, Video, News, and Blog search sections into one page of relevant information. Websites featuring YouTube videos which received thousands or millions of visits and comments now appear at the top of search results. Also, reviews of the media, have a direct impact on Google first page rankings. When performing local business searches in Yahoo (for instance for “Sarasota Restaurants”) a shortcut is served with links to restaurant categories, neighborhoods and restaurants ranked by the number of user ratings and number of reviews. The more ratings and reviews, the higher the restaurant will be positioned. Also Google aggregates business reviews from different local social sites including CitySearch, AOL and TripAdvisor to determine ranking. The use of social bookmarking services like Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon and Magnolia can also help boost search engine ranking.

Social media marketing plays an essential role in affecting current and future search engine rankings. In order to get a Google page 1 ranking, especially for a competitive keyword, it can be imperative to implement a marketing strategy via blogs, social news, and social media sites. You can enhance your search visibility with reviews and ratings. If your business for instance has a storefront like a restaurant, hotel or specialty boutique, motivate customers to rate your services on Yahoo Local, CitySearch, TripAdvisor and other business rating services. Perhaps offer an incentive for your customers to post a review or rating. MediaFocus can help you set up social media websites, submit your website to social bookmarking services, and support you with implementing social media marketing for your business.

Placing Your Business on Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local

Placing Your Business on Google Places, Yahoo Local, or Bing Local has become a critical piece to a local business advertising strategy. Map listings are placed at the top of page 1 search results in form of a little map along with tear drop symbols and business listings. They also receive the most prominent search positions in PDA’s, Smart phones, Iphones, etc. The first three listings are often “paid ads” whereas the next seven listings are generic. Google Places, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local are critical places for search visibility. Their increasing complexity has made it more difficult for business owners to understand and utilize these tools for their advantage. MediaFocus will be glad to support you in your efforts to get your business listed or help you implement steps to improve ranking.

Increasing Website Traffic

Your website traffic has a direct impact on your website’s ranking. Search engines will factor in the number of visitors to your website when determining relevancy. Many of the tools and techniques mentioned above will aid in increasing the traffic to your website but here are a few additional tips on how to drive traffic to your site:

  • Use your website address on all business communications and promotional materials
  • Issue regular Press Releases (there are free and paid services available)
  • Implement email marketing campaigns
  • Create an online newsletter or news source related to your business
  • Submit informational articles to news websites and blogs
  • Participate in discussion groups relevant to your business
  • List your website in local directories and business directories
  • Run Adwords campaigns (paid online ad campaigns; paid ranking)

META tag optimization and content optimization is included in the cost of developing your website. Support with any additional SEO tools and strategies mentioned above will be quoted separately.

Contact MediaFocus and we will be glad to assist you on your “Road to Web Success”.

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