Thursday, March 23, 2017

Do I need a blog?

This is a neat article and it is so true:

Do I Really Need a Blog?

Written by Nick Stamoulis
One of the first things we recommend to full service or consulting SEO clients is to add a blog to their website if they don’t already have one and to start publishing posts regularly. It’s not uncommon to get pushback from clients since blogging is time consuming. Another deterrent is that there’s no way to directly tie blogging efforts back to sales, since blog posts are informational in nature and tend to capture people at the top of the sales funnel while they are doing research and aren’t ready to buy. Blog readers may never be ready to buy. So, is a blog really needed? Yes, it is. Here’s why:

Ability to target more keywords

Doing keyword research and optimizing the homepage and primary product/service/category pages on a website serves as a great foundation for an SEO campaign. However, each of these pages can really only target a few keywords, tops. It’s likely that there are plenty more (including longtails) that are relevant to what you offer and have search volume, but aren’t the best ones to target on these main pages. This is where blogging comes in. You can target these longtail keywords in blog posts and gain the ability to appear for more searches overall.

Gain more inbound links

Inbound links are an important search engine ranking trust factor. The best links are the ones that occur naturally when another site owner decides that your site has content that is worth linking to. In general, people are more likely to link to informative blog content than promotional service/product pages. In addition to improving search engine trust, these links will also drive traffic to the website.

Keeps your site fresh


The search engines like sites that are updated regularly and keep their content “fresh.” Whenever a website is updated and new pages are added, it gives the search engines reason to come back and crawl it and can result in a ranking boost.

Enhances your social media presence

Despite no longer being “new” many companies still aren’t using social media properly. They might set up a profile but then they either don’t post anything or post content that is of little value to followers. Blogging is a way to ensure that you always have something to share with social media followers, keeps social media profiles active, and helps to gain new followers.
Of course, the key to blogging success is to create high-quality blog posts that will resonate with target audience members. Posting thin content is actually worse than not posting any content at all. If resources are an issue, focus on posting a few well thought out articles a month to start. As you get the hang of things, you’ll be able to up it to once a week. Over time this will strengthen the website overall and generate more organic search traffic

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Video and how it can affect your business

More and more I am hearing about using video to sell your products. The more you have, the better your sales are or will be. You can add video on your own and of course it may not be as nice but the cost can be right. Professional videos can be costly but the results are usually better than an amateur video.  So here is a bit more about video:

In any given minute, 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. That’s 12 ½ days worth of video every minute, or about 50 years worth of video every day. So it’s no wonder why Cisco predicts that by 2017, video content will make up 69% of all web traffic.
So between the videos of corgi puppies walking down stairs, cats playing the piano, and all the other noise on the Internet, it might be hard for your company to stand out—unless, of course, you have your own awesome videos to capture the attention of visitors on your site.

Video is taking over the Internet. Every minute, 300 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube, which has over 1 billion users ready to consume that content. This means one of two things: 1. Businesses have a great medium for sharing engaging content with potential buyers, or 2. We’re all going to become brainwashed zombies.
For the sake of time, we’re just going to cover #1, considering that 70% of marketing professionals believe that video converts better than any other medium—and that’s a huge opportunity.

When it comes to content creation, explainer videos are gaining major ground. In the next few years, they may even be the most important (or one of the most important) aspects of your inbound marketing plan. Video content will account for 69% of all web traffic by 2017, according to Cisco. That’s not nearly as shocking as the 92% of B2B customers who watch videos online.

OK are you convinced yet? I know I am but it does take time and money and you should want the right topic to display. If you sell conveyor systems a good video about your brand of conveyors would be appropriate.  How about you are a vet, perhaps a video about your office and its facilities.

There are several platforms that you can use for videos, one of ours YouTube. Another is Vimeo. Either of these platforms are great and we have used both but it seems the more popular is YouTube. Google also seems to like this platform.

I recommend you interview a few video advisers and see how you feel about them and look at some of their work.

Well more to come soon.

Joe Rossini

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New info from Google

The following is information on Google and other sites that may help your rankings: The importance of having a secure website
Google made it clear that secure websites are important for them:
"At Google, user security has always been a top priority. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to promote a more secure web and to provide a better browsing experience for users. [...]
We also started giving a slight ranking boost to HTTPS URLs in search results last year. Browsing the web should be a private experience between the user and the website, and must not be subject to eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle attacks, or data modification.
This is why we’ve been strongly promoting HTTPS everywhere."
If your website does not use HTTPS, Google does not rank it as well as it could. Even if it did not affect your search engine rankings, a secure website is a good thing. Consumers prefer secure websites that they can trust.


GoogleGoogle: You can rank for medium competitive keywords without links 
"We've seen Googlers say time and time again that you can rank without links because Google will look at the content but most SEOs know that without links, you cannot rank for anything somewhat competitive. [...]

So someone asked [Google's Gary Illyes], is it possible to rank for a 'medium competitive' keyword phrase without any links. And get this, the domain is only one month old. Gary said, it is possible, but I guess he means, anything is possible?"

Does Google use Chrome to discover new URLs for crawling?

"The results are pretty simple: Googlebot never came to visit either page in the test. [...]
However, bear in mind that this test was specific to testing if they used Chrome to discover new URLs. [...] This does not mean that Google does not use Chrome data in other ways, such as to collect aggregate user behavior data, or other metrics

Some info about Google Adwords:

Location extensions help people discover local businesses as they use Google.com and Google Maps to find places they love. Starting today, eligible Google Display Network ads will automatically include information like photos, business hours, and your store location, making them more useful to shoppers who are nearby or show interest in your business location. For example, a foodie browsing cooking blogs might see local information for a bakery, making it easy for her to visit your physical store and make a purchase. In fact, early testing has shown that advertisers see an increase in clicks to their business, with 60% of clicks on this extension related to directions or store information.*
 

*More info to come soon. This info was courtesy of Axandra.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Be active with your website!

Recently I was talking to one of my most active customers Mr. Randy Rundle owner of http://fifthaveinternetgarage.com/. Randy is proud of his web site and has been constantly upgrading it, adding to it and now has two very successful blogs. Here is why he is now the most visited website of all of my customers. We just got an e-mail from his blog saying he published three new articles and that I should go visit!  We visited and wow so cool. This is a reason why he is so successful, he works at it. Yes this takes time and yes it does not always work but my reports show that it is working big time!



Make time, most web site vendors make websites that can be upgraded by you so if you add a new product or maybe add a new person to your company or make a big sale, tell the world about it! You are your best cheerleader! I can help and I do but you own your business, you need to make sure that your marketing arm is loaded with the best information you have.

How about new pictures, put them on your website!  How about a video, put them on that website. People process video faster and better than reading. If you go to a show, take pictures, take videos and do as much as you can to get names and numbers so you can call back after the show. Recently we published about QR codes, you know you have seen them those funny looking codes you see on products, not the UPC scanning code but the other codes that will take a customer right to a web site or sign them up for a coupon.  Do these things and you will increase your sales!



QR code
















How about reporting, do you have it and do you use it? We offer standard simple reporting or more advanced reporting that can tell you if your website or parts of it are working well. You spend money on a mailer, how about tracking the success of it.  Reporting is one of the most overlooked and underused feature of a web site. Remember it is your money and your success!                                              





Remember, you hold the key to your future and we can help you open that door to success!
More to come soon!

Joe Rossini





The buying experience on mobile!

This is a cool article and it shows how brick and mortar stores are trying to fight back!

Who really owns the buying experience?

By

March 15, 2017


Stephan Schambach is founder/CEO of NewStore
By Stephan Schambach
Experiences are the new common currency of shopping.
So when department store chain Barneys New York allows its customers to get up-close and personal with stars such as Drew Barrymore through their native mobile application, they are just doing what they have been doing well for a long time – turning shopping into an experience that goes beyond the mere purchase of an item.
Check it out
Consumers are demanding something more than just a sales transaction. They expect retailers to take the convenience and fulfillment capabilities of Amazon, the omnichannel approach of Apple, the me-to-me world of Uber and the visual social interaction of Instagram, and blend them into a consistently pleasing experience.

A few retailers are getting this message and are delivering it back to their customers successfully.
● Rebecca Minkoff is trying out instant pay self-checkouts in place of traditional cash register terminals
● The app from Lush allows customers to specify what mood they are in, and receive the attention that matches it
● Starbucks is now capable of sending out 400,000 variations of its promotional email, essentially guaranteeing a message that fits the particular individual to whom it is sent
These types of activities are the new beating heart of mobile retailing because technology enables more personalized customer attention than ever before.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What does Google think?

Google seems to be constantly changing and upgrading but here is an area they seem to be constant on:

Google has been very clear: mobile pages are going to be more important than the desktop versions of your web pages. In the near future, Google's index will be a mobile-first index. Are your pages ready for Google's new index? How doe your web pages look like when they are crawled by a mobile bot?

More on this:

What is Google's mobile-first index?

Some weeks ago, Google announced that web pages will be ranked based on the mobile version of the pages:
"Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, our ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user.
This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.
To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results."
The mobile version of your website is going to be more important than the desktop version of your website soon. If your website cannot be displayed correctly on mobile devices, your rankings might drop dramatically.

More:

        Can there be problems with the mobile version?
Some website owners want to make their mobile pages more streamlined. For that reason, not all the content of the desktop version is included in the mobile version.
When Google uses a new index that is based on the mobile version of your pages, these contents will be lost and your rankings might change dramatically.

Reasons why your web pages do not get ranked
There can be several "invisible" reasons why your web pages do not get high rankings on Google and other search engines:
1. The robots.txt file is not correct
If your content management system offers a development mode, chances are that the robots.txt file of your website blocked all search engines when you developed the website.
If you did not change the robots.txt file of your website, the search engine robots will still be blocked. Remove the "Disallow:" lines from your robots.txt file to make sure that your web pages can be accessed by search engine robots.
2. The HTTP status code of your pages is not correct
When search engine robots and normal visitors request a page from your server, your server answers with a so-called HTTP status code. This status code cannot be seen by the visitor as it is targeted at the program that requests the page.
The status code for a normal page should be '200 OK'. All other status codes mean that there is something special with the page. For example, 4xx status codes mean that the page is broken, 5xx status codes mean that there is a problem with the server, etc.
Some servers have configuration errors and they deliver the wrong HTTP status code. This does not matter for human website visitors and you cannot see it in your browser. Search engine robots, however, won't index your web pages if they get the wrong HTTP status code.
3. There are other technical errors
Other technical errors can also have a negative influence on your rankings. For example, the HTTPS settings on your website could not be correct, or the pages might load too slowly.
In addition, websites automatically get errors over time. Some links on the pages become obsolete, old pages do not fit on the new website, etc. If a website contains too many of these errors, it will look like a low quality website.

Rossini.com can help you find these problems! Call me at 913-244-6132 or e mail me at jrossini@rossini.com.




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Video works!!

If you are a complete novice to video marketing, you first need to understand why videos are so much more effective than plain text in improving sales and driving conversion. Apparently, watching videos doesn’t require as much reasoning as it would to derive meaning through reading. The human brain is hardwired so that it can process videos 60,000 times faster than text. Add to that the natural human tendencies to avoid laborious cognitive strain and to get emotionally affected by something they see in a video more than text, it is no wonder that the love for videos is so extensive and deep.
Consumer data show that 69% of people would choose a video over text to learn about a product or a service. Similarly, if given an option between talking to a customer support team and watching an explainer video for solving a problem, 68% of people would choose the latter option. Moreover, nearly three-quarters of the people who watch an explainer video end up buying the product or service.
Not surprising when you consider the fact that more than 75% of businesses that have used videos for marketing and promotion say that their videos have given them a good return on their investment. While 93% say that these videos have helped their customers understand their product or service better, 62% believe that videos have increased the amount of organic traffic their websites receive.


Source: 3 Quick & Easy Ways to Make Your Videos More Search Engine Friendly http://tubularinsights.com/3-ways-videos-search-engine-friendly/#ixzz4alIFcCmH
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They may be expensive but what if they bring you more sales in a shorter period of time!  SEO and rankings can be enhanced by using videos. More good videos means more visitations usually means more sales!

More to come.

Joe Rossini