Is your website mobile friendly

Your Website better be Mobile Friendly or else What will the fall out be if you don’t have a mobile friendly site yet? Google started, some months ago, adding a “mobile friendly” tag to it’s mobile search results. Since then the internet has been a buzz as to what it means and what’s next. Google made it clear in this article from February it intends to use “moblie-friendliness as a ranking factor” and it “will have a significant impact in your search results”. So what does google mean by significant? How will this impact your search results? Is your site Mobile Friendly? Regardless of the effects you need to know if you will be affected by these changes. Here is a simple test to see if your results will be penalized, use your smartphone and do a Google search for your website. In this example we used W5Designs (shameless plug). You can see that in beginning of the meta description, that’s highlighted yellow, there is the Google tag “Mobile-Friendly”. This tell us that Google sees your site a mobile optimized site. You can also put the website into Googles Mobile-Friendly test here. If your site passes this test, you will see this result.  If you site does not pass, you will see this result. It will be followed by the issues that the test found. If you pass this test, your site either has a mobile version that google approves of or your site is responsive and that pleases Google. Now if you did not pass the test, is all lost? My site failed the “Mobile-friendly” test now what? The perfect solution in Google’s eyes is to bite the bullet and optimize your site for mobile. They have even been as kind as to dedicate an entire website to helping you get where you need to be in their eyes. That is the most extreme choice you have, it’s also the most costly, lets face it you will need to do this eventually so if this is not what you do right now you should be talking to your developer about what it will take to get you there soon. The next logical thing for you to do is find out how much of your traffic comes from mobile devices. Take a look at your Google Analytics account. Audience > Mobile > Overview This will tell you what devices your users are coming from, giving you some serious information to help you make your next decisions. Can you get an idea of what the effects will be? While Google does not come right out and tell you how intense the effects are, you can in fact get a general idea of the outcome. If you are interested in the gritty details and number crunching take a look at this article from Bryson Meunier. Here’s the nuts and bolts of the penalty. If you have a lot of search traffic coming in from mobile devices you will suffer. Get your self in gear and develop a mobile friendly site.  ...

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Local Search

Local Seo Get Found Locally SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the art of being found online. It’s you goal as a business owner to get your business found at the top of the search listings. Business owners put forth a lot of time and effort in getting ranked high but are you being found by your local demographic? Local SEO is just as important as your overall SEO, there are different techniques and practices that need to be followed to be found locally that are not covered in traditional SEO development. Below are some of those practices. Is your business following them? Create a Strategy Are you doing anything to be googled locally. Set up a strategy for getting found. Get moving along the major social networks: Twitter, Facebook and definitely Google Plus. Create Content, OFTEN Now that you have those networks in place and working for you, benefit from them. Get posting information that pertains to what your clients will benefit from. If you are a restaurant, get your weekly specials up weekly. If you are a retail shop, post coupons or upcoming sales regularly. Blog about it, write some fresh content that compels your audience, create a sense of history or storylines. Get the audience feeling connected. Then, automate those blogs to post across your social media platforms. Testimonials and reviews These are both a big part of your user’s experience. You should be actively seeking these from your clients. They give a feeling of proof and show that you are a business that people want to patronize. Localize your content so it sings to your audience Do you mention your location in your website or better yet is your contact information available on all pages? Use terms that your fellow locals are familiar with, slang words that people in that area would know, people search for things the same way they speak, take advantage of that. Get Responsive already Optimize the viewing on handheld devices. Give the pertinent information right at the top of the site. Links that they need maps to your location and your contact information should also be easily accessible. If this means a website redesign, then do it. Get a Local SEO Audit Have a professional audit your local SEO presence. They can get your local SEO where it needs to be or possibly guide you down the path of local perfection. Contact us and let’s get started. We are W5 Designs We are Local SEO Let us help you get found. Contact W5 Designs Now  ...

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The 5 Habits for Social-Media Success

The other week, I read an article entitled, “The 5 Habits for Social-Media Success.” I thought it had some good advice worth sharing with our readers.  The first tip was to have a morning planning session.  This is your time to energize and reflect on the day ahead.  You can do this by working out, enjoying nature, or practicing mediation or yoga.  Social media is such a major part of our day-to-day lives that we don’t stop to take a minute to reflect.  This is definitely a tip I try to incorporate in my life every day and I think this tip is particularly helpful.  The second tip is to use your resources.  This can mean scheduling your social media posts ahead of time.  There are plenty of social media management websites and a great one is Hootsuite.   This enables you to provide fresh content even when you’re not at your computer. The third tip was the tip that I thought was the most useful and important to remember.  That tip was to “unplug,” meaning you don’t have to provide your followers with constant updates about what you’re up to.  Live in the moment and enjoy what you’re doing rather than finding the perfect filter on Instagram or writing a pithy tweet.  From a creative perspective, unplugging allows your mind a break so that you can come up with even better content to post on your accounts.  If you take any of the advice from this post, make sure it is to unplug.  The fourth tip is to create an engaging content strategy.  The author states that by changing up your content, your viewers will be excited to see what you plan to post next.  Make sure to engage and interact with your audience to get a conversation going. You should create a “visual feast” so that your viewers see something new on each of your social media accounts.  Don’t post the same things on all your accounts. The final tip was to work with a team you trust.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this tip because a lot of people post without asking others for ideas.  The author suggests having a harmonious team will offer a fresh perspective and a supportive environment.  I thought these tips provided a unique perspective into the world of social media.  A tip I would add to this list would be to always use your authentic voice when posting content.  You want your posts to be consistent with your brand and image.  It also makes your posts seem genuine rather than forced.  Your audience will appreciate the authentic version of you and it will lead to like-minded followers.  A final piece of advice is to make sure to use these tips daily or weekly because social media is constantly evolving and you must also evolve to keep up....

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The Secrets Behind Social Media Today

I recently attended “The Secrets Behind Social Media Today,” a webinar hosted by HubSpot. I listened to experts from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn discuss ways to make your social media presence the best it can be.  I picked up some great and easy to follow advice that I want to share with you today. One of the most important aspects of an awesome social media account is to have a strong bio.  You should have a profile picture and a cover photo that clearly showcases your company, contact information, and a short description on what your brand is about.  This sets a first impression for your audience and allows you to establish credibility.  It is just as important that you have lots of images that relate to your brand. Most users pay close attention to images over text and it gives your company a personal touch that makes you more relatable. When it comes to content, it is important that your content is always relevant to your brand.  For example, if you are a bakery then you should be posting mouth-watering images of cupcakes and bread and not pictures of rock bands. You should always make sure you post in your authentic voice because that will attract your target audience and get you more activity on your page. The panelists also suggest you follow the 80/20 rule on content.  20% of content promotes your brand and 80% of content should be about engaging the audience and having a conversation.  This keeps your audience from feeling attacked by too many sales pitches and allows them to connect with your business.  The panelists say the absolute best way to start a conversation is through the use of hashtags.  Don’t know how to start using hashtags?  Follow big name businesses in your industry and use their hashtags and start up conversations with them.  This builds your credibility and also gets more users to check out your page.   Using hashtags and “trends” are good ways to keep users interested because it shows that you keep your content and brand current.  Develop your own hashtag for your business that’s easy to understand and give out incentives to those who use it, such as “get free merch with #WLW14!” It is also a good idea to have advertisements that target your brand and ideal audience to increase awareness.  LinkedIn benefits from using these advertisements because it gets company recruitment through its users. Facebook has a lot of success through ads on newsfeeds since that is where users spend the most time.  You can measure the success of these campaigns through testing click through rates of your users.  The panelists suggest that social media use without data is like driving with your eyes closed.  There’s no point in experimenting and trying new methods on social media if you don’t have data to measure its success.  I hope this overview of the Webinar gives you the tools you need to create an awesome social media presence! Thanks for checking this out!  ...

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SEO Part 4: Link Building

We have laid a foundation of keyword research and on-page optimization using keywords. Now let’s consider link building, the other side of SEO work, in a little more detail. Basic Idea The basic idea of link building is to get other websites to point to your website with links. Links are the clickable text or images that allows users to navigate the web. Often it is good to have your targeted keywords as the anchor text for these backlinks. Anchor text refers to the actual words of a link you click on. These days, it is best to use several variations of your keyword for backlinks.  It is now hazardous to have too many backlinks with anchor text that exactly matches your keywords, over and over. You want other websites with high authority or high PR ratings (well-known, high quality, and trusted sites) to have links pointing back to pages on your site. The search engines see this as other trustworthy users assigning great trust and authority to your website. It’s a little like word-of-mouth or like footnoting references in a book. The more high-quality links like this you can gain, the better your pages will rank in the search engines. There are good and bad ways to go about acquiring links to your web pages. The Bad You should not submit your website or any of its pages to lots of large, free web directories that are not edited or moderated. Link farms, or websites that exist for the sole purpose of giving people a place to get lots of free links from, are also a no-no. Google and other search engines see this as spammy and tend to devalue those links. Google may even penalize sites for links gained from these kinds of places. The rule of thumb is that easy is usually not good. You should not leave unrelated or excessive comments on blogs with backlinks to your own site.  You should also avoid posting excessively in forums with a signature that contains a link to your site. There was a day and age when these tactics were useful, but Google has wised up to it. Don’t be afraid to converse and share links in a natural way with people online around your niche, including on forums and blog comment sections. Just don’t be spammy or excessive with it. More and more, you should exercise discernment about guest blogging. This is still a useful strategy in which users from a shared niche invite one another to write guest posts on related blogs. A blog post either contains a link in the content itself, or in the author’s bio brief to the side or at the bottom. As long as the content is valuable and original, this is fine to do. Just avoid low quality blogs. Do not “spin” articles. That is, don’t use spammy tools that re-write the content of an original article you’ve written and then send it all over the web. The search engines will catch on to this and ignore your backlinks or even penalize you. They see that the articles are fake duplicates. In other words, these kinds of links look to the search engines just as artificial as they are. The Ugly Do not ever, under any circumstances, pay for links. This includes bartering or accepting prizes or free trials for the express purpose of gaining backlinks to your site. The Good Submit your website to well-edited, industry-related web directories. Dmoz.org is a good place to start. Offer to write high quality guest posts on related blogs. Write original, valuable articles on...

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SEO Part 3: On-Page Optimization

So far we have given an overview of on-page SEO and link building, and looked at how to approach keyword research. Now let’s look in greater detail at several components of on-page optimization. Again, this means making your website’s visible content and background code as helpful as possible to visitors and to search engines. You want to rank as high as possible in Google and Yahoo! search results. Keyword Use The rule of thumb for proper keyword use is to use them in a natural and descriptive way. You should aim for your target keywords to be relevant to, and highly descriptive of, the information or products on a given page. You do not want to try to use a really hot keyword phrase you found in your research if it has nothing to do with the rest of the content on your page. The context for good keyword use on a web page is…lots of text. Of course, keywords are themselves text, so you need to have a decent amount of written content on the pages you are trying to rank higher. Aim for no less than 500-1000 words per page. Keyword density, or how often you repeat your keyword in your paragraphs, is less important than it used to be. Just avoid being excessive or spammy with the number of times you use the keyword. Cramming in as many keywords as possible will hurt you, not help you. It may still be helpful, though, to include your keyword once or twice near the beginning of your page’s content. Behind the Scenes Beyond the visible content on your actual page, (primarily text), you should include your keyword in several other places. You should include it in the URL of your web page. Use the format “…/this-is-my-keyword-and-some-extra-words-maybe”. Dashes are always better than underscores for separating words. The meta data in the HTML code of your page is another place for keywords. If you work on this yourself, do not use the keyword meta tag, as it is no longer important to the search engines. Rather, include your keyword once in a compelling, branded call-to-action for a meta description. This is the text that appears under the clickable link to your page in search engine results. Aim for 130-150 characters. W5 Web Designs can help you with all the HTML aspects of on-page SEO work. How do you make multimedia like pictures work with your keywords? Google cannot (yet) automatically recognize that your pictures, audio files, or videos relate to your keywords. So you need to place your keyword in HTML alt tags for your pictures (just ask W5 how or let the team take care of it for you)! And consider writing out a transcript of the speech or lyrics for any videos or audio files. Functionality There are several more things to consider when working on on-page optimization. They relate to usability. It is important that users have a good overall experience when they visit your web pages. Of course this directly impacts your website’s image and approval among its visitors. But it also affects your SEO because search engines take into account how long users stay on a page once they navigate to it. The average length of time indicates how useful and relevant users found it to be to their original search. It can help to go online and test your page’s loading speed for free at Google PageSpeed Insight and consider the recommendations it gives for improvement. This tool will tell you how fast your page loads on desktop computers as well as on mobile...

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