Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Keep Your Story Simple and Inspire Action

Friday, September 27th, 2013
We have websites so we can communicate with our customers, prospects, and partners. We have websites to tell our story. The objective of telling our story is straightforward – to deliver our message to the user, while making sure the message is understood and inspires action.

An attractive, well-conceived design is a great idea, but there is only one thing that matters — conversion. Every website built should be done so to generate new leads, to promote products, and to sell services.

Sometimes a single page website is a wonderful, cost-efficient solution. It is more focused than a standard website and more professional than a simple landing page. Bounce rates tend to be lower on single page sites. This is because there is nothing to confuse you. It is just the visitor and the primary objective of why the website was designed. Because the website has a more effective layout and flow, the bounce rates are going to be reflected by enticing visitors to stay longer.

It can be offensive to only share a landing page with others because it can be obvious you are after their information and money. Instead, communicate a compelling tale and a good experience. A single page design makes it possible for anyone to have a website that looks great and gets results.

While a single page layout option can lead to continual scrolling, using modern standards and techniques such as CSS3 can offer a method of simply giving information as required.

The idea a website can be created with just one page may appear odd, but with everyone shifting towards simplicity and ease of use, single page web designs have become a feasible option. Designs with multiple pages always will be needed for certain clients, but there are a number of advantages to consider with the single page website (however, keep in mind constructing a site that is independent takes getting used to, and involves careful planning.

Research shows single page designs have advantages:

No page refresh when navigating the site

Content is quicker and more responsive than having to go to a new page

Only have to maintain one web page

You can focus on just one high-quality design

Google PageRank applies to the whole site

Distinction from other websites can leave an impression on site visitors

Preferred solution for web apps designed for Mobile

Disadvantages:

Potentially large file size of the page

A requirement for scripting or CSS3 support

More time, thought, and creativity are needed to be able to fit everything in one page

Page can take longer to load depending on content

Bottom line, you cannot please all users who visit you online. Single page websites can be accessible and usable, but there will be situations where a single page site is not the correct answer – for example, an ecommerce site would not be able to employ a single page web design successfully because of content.

The single page website is worthy of your consideration because the need for compact sites and web applications will increase in the age of mobile, which is where we now reside. Single page layouts can be made to look unique, and in the ever-evolving world of technology being informed and open to new strategies is the only way to survive.

Did You Know? The term single-page application was coined by Steve Yen in 2005, though the concept was discussed at least as early as 2003 and Stuart Morris wrote the Self-Contained website with the same goals and functions in 2002.

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The Importance of a Domain Host in SEO

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

importance of a domain host in SEOWhen it comes to SEO, webmasters tend to focus too much on in-page optimization that they forget that the domain host itself is a factor, and a powerful one at that. In fact, having a good domain host and choosing the right domain name will usually give you a running start, as far as getting decent search engine placements for your pages is concerned.


First Things First: Why You Need a Top Level Domain Name


Back in the late 90s, when the Internet was still young, having a top-level domain name is not important and in fact, webmasters enjoyed using a subdomain, as cliques tend to form and they use umbrella domains to house different sites. However, a few years later (or a decade later), subdomains started being seen as amateurish, as a webmaster’s lack of investment on his own domain name signify a lack of commitment. This prompted ad networks to reject sites that don’t have their own domain name, which further snowballed into webmasters themselves considering subdomains to be useless (mainly because of the belief that you can’t make money off them).

You can get your domain name free with Prestige Technologies. Click here.

This brings us to today, where having your own domain name is pretty much a requisite if you want your website to be taken seriously, and most especially if you want your website to be profitable. However, simply having a domain name is not enough if you want to be visible on search engine results. (more…)

One Website for Mobile and Desktop Users

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Do not listen to the naysayers — one website should be able to address the needs of mobile and desktop users.
And please remember – responsive design is not mobile design. While responsive design is a strong technique for rendering content on mobile devices, it is not mobile design. The best responsive websites can be viewed as intended on desktops at a variety of resolutions. Those same sites also look good on tablets, smartphones, etc.

If a developer considers responsiveness only in relation to mobile, there is an entire web experience opportunity which has been missed. Many designers and developers find it easier and less time-consuming to expand visuals than to shrink them. Mobile browsers are good at rearranging content without being told how to by a developer. At the user’s request they zoom, reformat a page, remove images, and much more.
So keep in mind, you have to code well but you do not have to do anything special for mobile. Using correct alternative text on images helps, as well as ensuring good contrast between foreground and background.
Let us examine more closely what mobile entails.
Research shows a mobile site usually takes the form of m.example.com, and has the same site structure as the full website. However, despite the increasing importance of mobile devices for traffic and sales, fewer than half of businesses are able to accurately measure the behavioral differences between mobile and desktop visitors.
In regard to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) mobile users requirements are different. Remember your users (and major search engines) are using the mobile web in different ways and for different purposes. Mobile users most likely are accessing the web using a smaller keypad and most likely in a rushed state (in other words users on the move). This makes a difference as far as the users’ patience level, and makes SEO, usability critical to your mobile marketing efforts.

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Remember, users are now viewing your site through a different screen via a different browser. This alters how much content they are able to view and how much of it can be rendered as you would like it to be. It also increases your production efforts since debugging the user experience becomes more than complex.

Companies are conceiving their mobile properties in a variety of technical ways, using an assortment of implementation techniques, and some are choosing to ignore the mobile web altogether. This creates a difficult environment for the search engines to deliver a high quality, standardized service.

Conversely, research shows responsive design improves search engine optimization. For anyone building a website with branding, sales, or visibility in mind, this benefit alone is enough reason to consider using a responsive design scheme. Because a responsive web design all lives in one place with one URL, as opposed to multiple pages targeting mobile formats, linking remains simple. Redirects do not take away from the main site and advertising campaigns all point to one location.

Having a single website destination with a standard set of language, metadata, and keywords also is important. There is no worry if updates have been made in one place but not another or that links redirect improperly. Another advantage is for analytics and data collection, you do not need to track multiple URLs and redirects in addition to the main site or URL. The single responsive page can collect analytics regardless of the user’s device.

Did You Know? By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people & that 75 percent of Americans bring their phones to the bathroom.

Social Media Strategies have changed SEO

Thursday, June 6th, 2013
I recently read an article which said SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was a victim of its own success. Let us examine this more closely and consider various schools of thought.

There is internal and external SEO. Internal means to design your website so it follows the best practices proven to rank high on Google. External SEO used to mean writing articles, press releases, blogs, comments, and content with embedded keyword “backlinks” to your website. It has changed, (and this rapid transformation continues at a furious pace), to include social media strategies.

Many believe the goal of Google and every other search engine is to have quality rise to the top; so their advice is to “write great content.” However, the search engines cannot truly identify quality. What they do is associate the quality of the content with the place it appears, (example – you are more likely to come up with quality on the New York Times than on a lesser known and read publication); and they also try to predict quality based upon mechanically identifiable characteristics of the content, (example – it may be true that 500-word stories are more likely to be of higher quality that 250 word items).

But what does Google want? They want relevant, real content on the internet that people want to read and tell other people about. If Google does not bring you the most relevant content when you search they are not doing their job.

Google used to think if you linked to someone on the Internet they must have valuable content. Now Google seems to believe if you promote content with social media it is more indicative of relevant content and less likely to be false. Though many point out social can be phony as well.

The bottom line is all external SEO efforts are bogus other than one — writing, designing, or recording, real and relevant content that benefits those who search.

It is about social “shares”. With recent policy changes, Google knows who everyone is once they open themselves up on the social realm. They will be able to tell the fake people. Social signals are a much bigger part of the Google algorithm.

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For your internal SEO – make sure it is found and sees the light of day. Take the time to make it compelling so people talk about it and share it.

Look to real social media community support, compelling PR, and real content, that is where true SEO practitioners are turning.

If you believe we are living in a Post-SEO world, then you need to learn how to optimize in a Post-SEO world and here are some tips I found on how to do that:

  1. First of all your content needs a good home. Just putting it on your website is not enough; you should have an online newsroom. This can become the landing page where you drive traffic to your content and the place were you use some best practice SEO for websites, in order to capture searchers. One of the biggest challenges with search engine traffic is getting them to click on more than one document. Use photos, use video, and if you do not produce enough content yourself bring some in from additional quality sources.
  2. You also should have a blog, whether as an individual or as an organization. A blog is one way to personalize your content.
  3. You are not going to maximize your audience with search alone. Use social networks. Every new piece of content should give rise to several tweets with interesting excerpts from the document and links back to your newsroom. This personalizes the messaging and makes it more social.
  4. It is important to hit every social network you can think of that is relevant to your business. However, quality beats quantity – it is better to focus on a couple where you can concentrate on building a following. By learning what types of messaging draw the most likes or follows, you can refine how you use each network.
  5. Placement is another way to get lots of readers. There are numerous innovative alternatives in the market today including recommendation engines, keyword buy options, and sponsored and preferred placement on mobile and social networks. A cost effective approach for placement is to use commercial newswire services. This can enable you to reach many targeted sites that may have a selective audience specifically interested in your content.

Did You Know? A recent report from McKinsey showed that a majority of the estimated $1.3 trillion in untapped value from social technologies lies in “improved communications and collaboration within and across enterprises.” In other words, social media is poised to become an office productivity tool.

Address Your Need for Mobile SEO

Saturday, April 6th, 2013
Since mobile use is increasing daily, it is important you address the need for mobile search engine optimization, (SEO). The same rules that apply to strong website content – focusing on your target audience; building your brand; creating substance that targets keywords your audience is searching for; etc. – apply to online mobile content.

Do not use a mobile template for your website. This could result in content that is not visible. The result could be a low quality user experience. If your content is clear, you should fully optimize your website so all content that is accessible to desktop users is available to mobile users.

Even though there is controversy about the effectiveness of content, keywords, and SEO, one thing is certain – understanding how and why users are accessing your site will help you adapt to fit the needs of all users, on all devices.

Keep in mind mobile web searches are usually more focused, so since the mobile user’s search is more practical, they will probably insert shorter keywords and be prone to select the auto-suggestion the engine provides.

Mobile websites have to be quick. Even if you have strong content, no mobile user will stay on your site if it is difficult to navigate or slow.

Click here:

to be one step closer

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designed website.

Here are some suggestions:

What is the most important thing about mobile optimization right now?

Responsive website design – responsive web design helps to make sure your website changes size and moves images so information is easy to read and does not involve scrolling to find relevant text. This also helps search engines crawl your content faster.

Mobile devices typically have touchscreens, and pressing a navigation link can be cumbersome.

It is important to streamline the navigation so users focus on the most important and most popular pages of a site. Web developers can consider vertical menus. These are typically easier for users to maneuver when deciding which link to click on, so yes size does matter.

Having social media on a mobile device is important, because people use their phones for entertainment. People are connected to social media when they are on their mobile phones because social apps are so easy to use, so helping users share your content should be made simple.

As previously mentioned, you must consider shorter keywords because people are not interested in typing much on their small keyboards. You should not target long keyword phrases people are not going to use.

Think about geography. Mobile users are more likely to perform local searches because they are usually on the go. This means you should optimize your site for local search. A large reason local search engine optimization is replacing the yellow pages is because they offer easier, faster, and better results for users as well as businesses.

Many businesses are unaware there are mobile analytics available. Google has a mobile section in their web analytics. You can use these analytics to help track the keywords you are targeting, monitor the traffic you are getting and where you are getting it from, on mobile devices.

Reducing your click-through rate, (CTR), is a good thing when it comes to a mobile device. People do not want to be clicking deep into a desktop website, and they will do it even less on a mobile device.

Mobile continues to become all about the apps. More users are using apps to get information quickly through a medium specifically designed for mobile phones. This means you should strongly consider creating an app for your website if you really want visibility.

Did You Know? The first mobile phone with Internet connectivity was the Nokia 9000 Communicator, launched in Finland in 1996.

Redefine your Website with Responsive Design

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Responsive design is the process of creating a single website that has the ability to dynamically reconfigure its layout, navigation, content, and images based on the size and orientation of the user’s display and the browser on which it is presented.

A responsive website achieves this flexibility by using a single HTML codebase that is presented differently at predetermined breakpoints – boundaries that correspond to the displays of various devices and browsers – through the use of CSS (cascading style sheets) media queries, a fluid grid, and flexible images.

A user visiting a responsive website on a typical desktop browser might see a three-column layout with navigation in the left column, page content in the center, and calls-to-action on the right.
Another user visiting the same site on a smartphone might see a single column layout where the navigation has been re-configured into a list below the header, page content, and scaled-down images below it, and no calls-to-action displayed.

Likewise, if a breakpoint has been established for a tablet device, tablet users would be presented with yet another configuration of the same elements.

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The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.

Responsive design is a somewhat retro approach to website design that solves a lot of design problems caused by the proliferation of new types of mobile devices. Responsive design pages use x and y coordinates on a grid for layout and mathematical percentages for images instead of fixed-width parameters. Using percentages instead of fixed-width parameters and a grid layout creates a more fluid layout that will resize itself to fit the size of the display.

Media queries, a feature of cascading style sheets (CSS), allow the developer to specify when a certain style takes effect. With CSS2, for example, a media query will serve printer-friendly style sheets if requested. CSS3 has expanded query capabilities that allow style sheets to be targeted to a device’s display and serve a desktop, tablet, or smartphone style sheet depending on the query response.

This capacity means that instead of having to build a special mobile version of a website — which often requires writing new code from scratch — developers can simply build multiple style sheets for the same web page and perhaps even associate different images with each of the style sheets. As a result, HTML code can be repurposed instead of having to be rewritten, which saves considerable development time.

The approach to any website solution should still begin with a solid strategic foundation.

The idea of building a single website that can provide quality user experiences across multiple platforms is very attractive. This is particularly true of sites that deliver a poor or seriously degraded experience in many non-desktop browsers or, worse, offer none at all. More than half of U.S. mobile users are predicted to own smartphones by the end of 2013, and the use of tablets is not far behind. Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year.

For those of us who create websites and services, all this leads to a singular conclusion: A million screens have bloomed, and we need to build for all of them.

So then the benefits of responsive design are obvious: You build a website once, and it works seamlessly across thousands of different screens.

Responsive web design also gives you as an owner of the website to be able to collect all social sharing links with a single URL. This will allow you to make positive contributions for better and user friendly website.

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CONCLUSION

Given the rapid adoption of tablets and smartphones — and the fact that users currently seem to prefer reading their news on the mobile web – it is inevitable that 2013 will be the year that responsive design takes off. For publishers, it offers the simplest way to reach readers across multiple devices. For users, it ensures a great experience on every screen.

So are there any negatives? It should be noted a responsive website does not guarantee a one-website-fits-all solution. A user visiting a website with a desktop computer often has different needs and expectations than a user with a mobile phone. A desktop user is more likely to read detailed information about a condition or treatment, whereas a mobile user is more likely to want quick access to a tool. Ultimately, a responsive website may not be able to adequately address the needs of every user with a single strategy, especially if those needs are significantly different.

The approach to any website solution should still begin with a solid strategic foundation that identifies key objectives and how those objectives may differ across platforms.

*Did You Know? If your responsive website is based only on mobile-content, it will affect your Google ranking because Google does not support such websites and it will not index your website.

Ways to Make Exceptional Websites

Thursday, November 8th, 2012
It is time to explore some of the recent trends in website design.

The days when designers were limited to typefaces available on users’ computer are gone. Web font foundries, such as Google fonts and Typekit allow you to use an unlimited number of fonts in your web designs, thoroughly enhancing their appeal.

You can use rich typography in almost every web design project. Make sure to check if there is a cost associated with a particular font – there are many free web fonts out there. Typekit offers great choices but there is a charge.

Use one font for headlines and a different, contrasting one for body text. This provides a strong visual appeal. In most cases, you need to make the body text a bit larger than normal in order to get the best results.

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Blocking has been around for awhile, and it basically introduces a brick-like design grid which features blocks of solid color coupled with blocks carrying photos or text. It offers a quick, organized overview of the site content, with minimum distractions. Contrast between blocks of solid colors and blocks with content usually stimulate a visitor to explore more.
Avoid a common look by adding your own touch to the design. Solid blocking works for homepages but inner pages need to hold larger pieces of content.
A “homemade look” is about simple and modest designs. This is achieved by combining subtle textures and colors, and relaxed typography. It makes the site look friendly and inviting. This style works best for service industries which need to look inexpensive and agreeable. A subtle quality is essential for this particular type, but readable typography is just as important.
Large, bold headlines are nothing new in graphic design, but they are a comparatively new trend in web design.  More companies are using this approach to generate visitor’s interest.

You can employ oversized type when you have a solid offer or announcement to make. This is an attention grabbing tool, so use it for headlines only and regular type for everything else.

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A background with photography design approach is being used in all industries with a vast degree of success. Clients and users like it because it is aesthetically pleasing.
A photo background approach is great for branding and presentational purposes when your main objective is to make a strong visual statement. Use only top quality, high resolution photos. To make the design more interesting, try laying out the content so it interacts with the photo.
Infographics are graphic visual representations of information or knowledge. They present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in maps, journalism, technical writing, and education.

These can be used to describe a process, a set of numbers or statistics, a cause and effect, and more. Good infographics adds clarity to the information being presented.

If you are doing a highly technical project that needs originality, this is a good concept to contemplate.

Design trends are here to stay. There is no evidence showing people are abandoning them. When you want to design a website that will last, consider the information above, because these design approaches are less likely to become outdated, and you can combine them in a countless ways to make exceptional websites.
*Did You Know? Responsive web designing is a way to code websites in such a way that they fit on all resolutions. Websites rearrange their elements to look good, regardless of what resolution you are using. This makes the same website look good from large screen monitors to mobile phones.

It is Time to Optimize for Mobile

Friday, October 12th, 2012
A website design optimized for web and mobile browsers is necessary to successfully reach more viewers. Your website should be compatible to any type of platform and should be able to distinguish mobile visitors. This increases the possibility of attracting potential customers. Failure to optimize your website for mobile browsers could result in a loss of leads, conversions, and business profits.

Some are concerned about the cost to have their website design optimized for mobile browsers; but the reality is you must have a mobile optimized website.

The mobile market is consistently growing, so you need take the advantage of those who do not comprehend its importance. You need to make the shift now, before the market is saturated. Optimizing your website for mobile users may come with a cost, but it is worth the investment . The benefits will increase your traffic and help your target audience find you anywhere and anytime.

According to the International Data Corporation, most websites are not optimized for mobile access. It has been estimated that only 21% of all websites have been optimized. The other 79% will (or should) be considering mobile website optimization as well. Google has recognized this shift among mobile users and has added mobile tags to search results coming from mobile devices.

Review the following statistics about the mobile customer:
Mobile search queries have grown 5X in the past two years.

95% of Smartphone users have searched for local information and 61% call a business after searching.

90% of Smartphone searches result in purchasing, visiting a business, etc.

74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase.

Mobile customers will likely account for $163 billion in sales worldwide by 2015.

40% of mobile users have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.

The final stat above means almost half of your customers may be lost to competitors if you do not have a mobile-optimized website.

The rise of mobile browsing is evidence that mobile optimized website design is necessary; if you want to reach the millions of mobile users who log on to the internet daily. Consider your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You may have had strong SEO in the past, but everything is evolving. If you are not correctly mobilizing the results, you are missing a significant amount of prospects.

Once you have made the decision to optimize your website for mobile, you need to understand the behavior of mobile users.  The actions of mobile users are different from desktop users, when it pertains to your website. You have to take into account what people will be using the mobile site for and organized it intelligently. An example, from the design perspective, is to incorporate large buttons and simplicity. You want to make sure the site is not discouraging to users who are viewing it on a mobile device. If someone accesses your website on a small, mobile screen and is forced to continuously scroll, zoom-in, etc., they will take their business elsewhere.
Here are some additional tips when considering the design of your mobile website:

Keep it Simple – Users are visiting your mobile website trying to get information quickly. Think about why they are going to your site and design accordingly. An example – mobile users may want to call you, so make sure your phone number is prominent and offers a Click-to-Call feature. Also, your address should be located at the top of your page. Make sure you keep as much of the call-to-actions above the fold.

Employ your Images Wisely – Do not slow your homepage down with tons of useless images. Eliminate any pictures or graphics that are not essential and use smaller versions.

Get Feedback – Your target audience will provide the most worthwhile feedback. Take note of any compliments and address any complaints you receive. Your website should function quickly, and the result you want is for clientele to act.

It is time you optimize for mobile, so let the professionals do the work , and watch your company capitalize by being in front of mobile users.

Did You Know? The shift to mobile Web access has been accelerating with the rise since 2007 of larger multi-touch Smartphones, and of multi-touch tablet computers since 2010. Both platforms provide better Internet access and browser- or application-based user Web experiences than previous generations of mobile devices have done.

Focus on Landing Pages to Increase Your Sales

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Once again it is time to discuss Landing Pages.

A landing page should be based on a single idea.

Your landing page should be focused, offer no distractions, and it should guide a visitor to completing the goal you had in mind when creating the page.  You need to help the visitor digest what you are offering quickly and easily. With a quality landing page, the visitor should be convinced to take action.

The problem with most websites is they do not direct the traffic they get from searches to a special landing page. Instead it is directed to a homepage which is ineffective in converting visitors into leads and buyers. A homepage offers too much interaction, and this diverts a visitor’s motivation.

Visitors who perform online searches for specific services and then get redirected to a homepage that does not reflect their search will immediately go elsewhere, and they will not return. This is why you need to understand the visitor’s motivation.

How did they arrive on your landing page? Were they properly guided or mislead? Do not frustrate the visitors with deception or require too many steps/clicks to get them to their desired destination.

Remember, you want to engage the visitor. When someone does a search they are typing a series of words or thoughts and pressing enter. You want to optimize the visitor’s thought sequence; so it is as if you are you entering into a conversation. Then you want to steer the conversation toward a valuable exchange.

You need to evaluate your landing page to accomplish the aforementioned. You need to concentrate on numerous factors:

Value Proposition —

Value proposition is the vehicle that provides the potential for the conversion rate.

Relevance
Does the landing page relate to what the visitor thought they were going to see?

The relevance of the value proposition and context is critical. Your page must use terms your visitor relates to and be consistent with the incoming link or your visitor will leave the page. Do not confuse your visitor with multiple calls-to-action; or make them do a lot of thinking before a successful conversion can be made. To achieve a conversion you must provide a relevant incentive to the visitor.

Clarity
Does the landing page clearly articulate the value proposition and call-to-action?

The two aspects of clarity that must be analyzed are design and content. The design should be unobstructed. The content should ensure the images and text combine to provide an easy-to-understand purpose.

Urgency
Is there an indication that the action needs to be taken now? The tone of the presentation, offers, and deadlines can all influence urgency.

Anxiety
What are potential worries the visitor could have about undertaking the conversion action? If you provide credibility then you have established trust with the visitor, and then the anxiety is relieved.
Distractions:

Are there items on the page that could sidetrack the visitor away from the goal? The more visual inputs and action options your visitors have to process, the less likely they are to make a conversion decision. Minimizing distractions like unnecessary product options, links, and irrelevant information will increase the conversion rate.

Here are some additional quick tips to consider that may lift your conversion rates:

  • Design larger call-to-action buttons
  • Include your value proposition in a high-contrast, left-justified headline of two-lines or less
  • Cut your copy in half
  • Reduce the number of form fields
  • Minimize the number of layout columns

Knowing how to design or redesign your landing pages is vital to your success. Contact us today to directly affect the success rate of conversions from landing pages.

*Did You Know? There has not been a landing page invented that will develop your value proposition for you. However once you have selected your value proposition, a landing page is one of the best ways to achieve success with it.

Keyword PHRASES Can Mean Higher Conversion Rates

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Should you be focusing on keywords for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?  No, you should be concentrating on your keyword phrases.

A keyword phrase is a significant phrase in the title, subject headings, contents notes, abstract, or text of a record in an online catalogue or database which can be used as a search term in a free-text search to retrieve all the records containing it.

A keyword phrase describes keywords that consist of multiple words. All terms used in the search engines are referred to as keywords; however in most instances the keyword is made up of more than one word and therefore it should be referred to as a keyword phrase.
Keyword and keyword phrase are used as synonyms, because most searchers use more than one keyword to search. As the search engines index continues to grow the searchers ability to specify what they are looking for by using lager keyword phrases increases.

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SMO), the term keyword is extremely misleading. You are not (or you should not be) focusing on a word. In the interest of accuracy, what you should be doing is determining what keyword phrase or phrases will be most effective. The strategy when doing keyword research and selection should not be about a word.

More specific keyword phrases are going to have a significantly higher conversion rate to purchases on your website. You want to focus on the hundreds or even thousands of specific keyword phrases that closely match the services, products, brands, and locations you sell or serve.

Take notice of how long the keyword phrases you are using and the length of your keyword phrases that gives the best results when you search.

So how do you find the long keyword phrases people are using? You need to develop a large seed keyword list and put it into the search engines to get related keyword and keyword phrases that searchers have used.

It makes good sense to target long keyword phrases that search precisely for what you provide. Search engines are building the search results on user interaction. You can therefore get the search engine to send you more searchers if you can get the people to stay on your website longer, bookmark it, buy your product, return to your website, etc. With todays search engines it is difficult to compete with the big websites if you have a small website, because quality and quantity means a great deal. One of the ways to get an advantage on a larger competitor is to work more efficiently by optimizing for the long keyword phrases that bring potential customers who are ready to buy.

Is it beneficial or harmful to repeat keyword phrases? The answer is repetition is fine, as long as the meaning of the phrase as a whole is sufficiently varied. The more important concept to keep in mind is you want to choose keyword phrases that best relate to the content present on a web page and on a website. If you do not have a comparison matrix, then do not bother including comparison-related keyword phrases. This is misleading your users, and it is not fooling the search engines.

Keyword phrases should guide your overall content strategy. When you think about strategy think about a process. Your keyword phrases should reflect what users are seeking and the way the search engines “think” about keyword phrases. This should drive your content strategy. Know your keyword phrases then you search and then you optimize your website. Make it your primary focus to optimize for long target keyword phrases.

Here are the places you should be using your keyword phrases:

  • The title is important and should include your primary keyword phrase.
  • If your description contains the search term people enter, and it is the first text that the Googlebot comes across, then you have a good chance that Google will display your description in the results.
  • The tags used throughout an article should contain keywords.
  • The writer should understand what the keyword phrases are and use them in natural language on the page.
  • The words used in live links tell the search engine what “this page” is about and also what the “linked-to page” is about.
  • For every image, write an alt attribute tag; this is good for accessibility and optimization.

*Did You Know? Webmasters and content providers began optimizing sites for search engines in the mid-1990s, as the first search engines were cataloging the early Web. Initially, all webmasters needed to do was to submit the address of a page or URL, to the various engines which would send a “spider” to “crawl” that page, extract links to other pages from it, and return information found on the page to be indexed.