Mobilegeddon | 6 Questions About Mobile Friendly Website Design

#Mobilegeddon

On April 21st something happened that changed the search engine landscape forever. Some call it the Mobilegeddon. Last week Google released their latest algorithm, which truly was a game-changer. If you thought that the Panda and Penguin updates made a massive impact on the search engines results, wait until you see the effects of this. The new algorithm favors mobile friendly website designs and penalizes websites that are not mobile-friendly. This means that optimizing your content, design and layout of your website for mobile devices is no longer a choice. It is a must!

What is a mobile-friendly website?

A mobile friendly website design has a specific layout and content based on the size of the viewing device. If you are using an iPhone the site will look different than on a desktop or tablet device.  With a mobile friendly design, you will make sure that visitors are always getting the best user experience, no matter what device they are using. How does it work? By letting the web browser allow the backend CSS code to respond differently to varying mobile devices by using a range of different coding techniques.

But my website already works on a mobile screen!

Does it look the same on a Smartphone as on a desktop? Do you have to zoom to read text? Are links close together? Bad luck! Google will crack down on all of these shortcomings. Prepare to shrink your content and make main navigation and call-to-action buttons more accessible. Remember that your user is most likely using his or hers thumb to navigate the  website and not a cursor. In addition, the file size of your content must be compressed  in order to have quicker loading times over the wireless LTE net. Make sure your website has all of these functions in place.

How do I know if my website is mobile friendly?

Besides from getting on your Smartphone yourself and trying to decide if you’re enjoying the user experience or not, you can run a mobile-friendly test. Google was nice enough to create the Mobile Friendly Test Tool before they send your website down into the abyss of lost Google search results. You can find it here:

Mobile Friendly Test

We are mobile users! What do we want? LOCAL!

Think about this: If a customer is out on the street, searching for a brick and mortar store or a nearby restaurant on their Smartphone, what do they want?Desktop to mobile

3 things:

  1. Your location
  2. Your hours
  3. Your deals

It’s as simple as that. You don’t have to give your mobile user a wall of text about your business/restaurants history, what your mission is or how passionate you are about cats. All you need to tell them is: where they can find you, when you are open and why they should choose you (deals).

Why is Google evil and dropping my site rank even though it’s relevant for my search terms?

Google is not evil, users are evil. Google is simply displaying the mobile-friendly websites before the non-mobile-friendly alternatives for people who are using their mobile device. A direct result of this, is that mobile users are going to pick the mobile-friendly site over non-mobile-friendly, stay on the site longer (reducing bounce-rates) and convert at a higher rate. In the world of SEO, more traffic, lower bounce-rates and increased conversions are rewarded with better ranking.

My website is not mobile-friendly and Mobilegeddon has already happened, is it too late?

Yes. And no. You are definitely out in the last minute and Google will most likely penalize your website and drop you in rankings. So we have two words for you: Harm reduction. Just because your website is going to take a beating from this update, does not mean that you should leave it non-mobile-friendly. That would be like letting your car engine blow out just because you’re late on your oil change. Talk to your web developer (or honestly, talk to a new web developer if he or she haven’t addressed this issue) and see how they can help you.

Good luck with your online marketing endeavors and may you all survive the Mobilegeddon!

The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region and First Click Team Up

Local Santa Barbara online marketing firm, First Click Inc., announces the launch of the new website for the Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region. The principle goal of the project was to develop a website that would serve Chamber members and the community with resources relevant to business and tourism.

First Click’s web development team provided the Chamber with a complete website rebuild featuring a new design, improved SEO, mobile responsiveness, simple navigation, and new portals for user convenience. The new site includes an organized, visually appealing home page that displays all Chamber related events as well as a convenient 7-day weather forecast for users to reference.

The Chamber has already noted a significant increase in website activity and time spent on the site since the redesign launch. Stephanie Armstrong, the Chamber’s Vice President of Marketing, remarked, “Since the new website has gone live, we have seen a growth in conversion rates and the amount of inquiries through our various online channels.” Prior to the rebuild, the site was difficult to navigate and lacked online visibility due to improper SEO and a lack of social media integration, all of which has been greatly improved. In particular, the website was updated to include a mobile responsive design. Given that 50% of Google search results originate from mobile devices, it is crucial to implement a mobile responsive design to maintain a successful online presence. Max Tracy, First Click Client Management Director adds, “Having a mobile responsive website for a business is no longer optional. Google recently announced that mobile responsive websites will receive much greater authority and ranking. We expect the algorithm update to begin taking effect as early as May 2015.”

This new Chamber website serves as the hub for the expansion of the Chamber’s already impactful presence within the Santa Barbara Community. The Chamber’s President/CEO, Ken Oplinger, sees great potential for the growth of the organization and Chamber members, “With an optimized interface, our website will serve as a main tool for individuals seeking to improve the presence of their business in Santa Barbara County, have access to up-to-date information on issues affecting the business community, and help direct those seeking services from our members.”

First Click is a full service online marketing agency that specializes in web development, SEO, social media management, branding, online marketing consulting, and public relations.

For more information regarding First Click services email Chris Eriksson at Christopher@firstclickinc.com.

About First Click Inc.

First Click Inc. launched in 2007 and has achieved top ten rankings and substantially increased target market online traffic for virtually every client project across a wide range of industries and disciplines. The First Click team is comprised of individuals with professional skill sets ranging from website development, SEO best practices, social media marketing, branding, online marketing consulting, and PR/media outreach.

About the Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region

The Chamber of the Santa Barbara Region is the oldest and largest business organization in the Tri County Region. The Chamber is a non-profit corporation founded in 1878 and incorporated in 1899. The mission of the Chamber is to enhance and promote the regional economic environment through support of our members and collaboration with business, government and community resources.

Managing Social Media Marketing

Big cube surrounded by smaller cubesIn the technology world, everyone wants to upgrade to the latest and greatest model. When the iPhone came out in 2007, it wasn’t long after that people were already anticipating the release of the 4, 4s, 5 and so on. If we are all so concerned about being up to date on the latest models of technology, then we should all be ecstatic about the iPhone 6’s impact on the SEO and social media marketing world, right?

The current generation has often been criticized for the apparent addiction to online social networking sites. For years platforms such as MySpace and Facebook were viewed as disruptive and many parents misunderstood their purpose. However, this addiction is far from negative, in fact, Millennials have revolutionized the act of networking and expanded the horizon of online marketing. Social Media allows a connection of businesses and consumers like never before. As these networks continue to expand with over 1 billion users, it would be brand suicide, or in other terms “social suicide,” not to take full advantage of the marketing opportunities in this new media realm.

Social media has massive influence over a company’s reputation by increasing engagement and creating a more personal connection between the business and consumer.

 

Content is KEY.

As social media marketing experts, when developing a campaign strategy, our first step is to really get to know your target audience. It is crucial to present interesting, valuable content that your target audience is going to relate to and want to read. Nobody will be interested to click on links if the content serves no relevance to their needs or desires. After identifying who your market is as far as age, interests, and consumer needs, we develop content that is directed toward that audience and keep in mind the type of language that you use. When creating a post, always begin with a line that is going to grab the consumers attention with something that is relatable to their life.

Humans are, and always will be, very visual beings. In the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report(Source), it can be noted that over 60% of marketers use visually inclined content. The progressive generations are known for extreme multitasking, thus, easy to read, attention-grabbing content is key. Images, videos, and infographics are the perfect way to reel in your audience and get them to read your content.

 

Engagement is KEY.

Multi Platform Social Media EngagementThe most important and sometimes challenging part is getting these busy consumers to engage with your campaign, which is then going to increase your social media presence and ultimately, your conversion rates. As social media marketing experts, we have the solution. The secret to increasing engagement is to begin a post with a question or opportunity for your audience to interact with you as the company or even with other fellow consumers. This engagement will generate an online buzz, which will then draw attention to your page and lock down those conversions.

 

Analytics are KEY.

After creating the content that lays the path for maximum engagement, it is crucial to take a look at the data after the campaign is underway. Analyzing the audience that is engaging with your posts is important to note any changes to the predicted demographic that is being targeted. Analytics also provide useful insight to what is working, and what is not. We can see whether some topics generate more buzz than others or whether receive more engagement in the morning versus the afternoon. By taking time to review these statistics, the content strategy can be adjusted to better suit the audience that is engaging.

The combination of these key metrics in social media marketing will get you the attention you deserve and boost traffic to your company. Social media marketing has become the most effective way to interact with consumers and drive business to your website. We all know how it feels to be that one person in the room with the older version of the iPhone, or any technology for that matter. Don’t sit there and let others get a hold of the newest models in marketing before you, take charge and let First Click provide you with the latest and greatest in marketing strategy.

Social Media’s SEO Importance

social media map

Social Media SEO | Importance to Marketing Campaign

As companies and businesses focus their attention ever greatly towards online marketing and SEO, search engines turn their own attention to social media. Using social media outlets to promote business, conferences, local activities, news, events, etc…, will lead more traffic back to the website and increasing brand exposure. Using social media is also a great way to become easily accessible for every consumer and potential consumer. Social may not help drastically in sales, but this will improve customer service, loyalty and brand image.

Use of multiple social media profiles is essential in developing a strong network in which to market business. Here are  tips for certain platforms and their importance:

Google +

Now the reason that this tops the social media SEO list is due to that this social media platform is owned by Google. google plus logoWith that follows the placement of the profile in a higher position inside the search results. This profile should be fully optimized with website link, contact information, hours, and business details. Make sure the profile is fully complete and positioned correctly in the suitable business category (i.e. retail, restaurant, finance, etc…). Once that is complete have a strong consistency of posting. Google Plus posts should be based around primarily business and marketing. This is where postings of current company news, upcoming promotions, reviews, etc… Making a strong Google + presence will lead to further people being able to locate the business. Needed is a Gmail account to create a page or “Places” or “Business” page, after which Google will send a postcard to verify the business and give control over the page.

Facebook

The most popular social media tools available currently. Yet, it goes underutilized as an SEO and marketing tool. facebook logoAlways make sure you have a complete profile and have it optimized for the correct business category. When posting, remember how many people use Facebook; posts have to be eye catching or else it will get lost in the shuffle of Facebook’s News Feed. The most engaging content tends to be photos, videos, polls, quotes and intriguing questions. Limit the wording, the current Facebook reading public doesn’t extend too much of an attention span to every post in their News Feed. Make your business page more personal; include photos of inner workings, satisfied customers, promotions, upcoming events, etc…. Remember to place the website’s backlink in a majority of the posts, this will help in directing Facebook users to the site. Facebook posting should stay highly consistent, aiming around 4-8 posts a week.

Twittertwitter bird

Twitter is designed to be a conversational and live news feed. Everything posted on here should be short and forward about whatever topic is being conversed. Give up-to-date news and short posts to garner conversation, hashtags can spread and begin to trend quickly #FACT. This tool is mainly used to drive traffic to websites and blogs. It can be great for populating your RSS Feed on your website and blog. Remember once again the profile needs to be complete and optimized for the proper business.

YouTube

Now this social media platform is consistently ignored, yet it is very powerful. After Google, youtube logoYouTube is the second highest search engine used today. Creating small videos with any type of video recording device can help greatly in driving traffic to the site and business. YouTube results get ranked high in Google’s Search Results due to the popularity of the site and as a subsidiary. YouTube videos are simple to upload and can be a highly engaging mean of marketing. Creating videos of business developments, employee vignettes, entertaining commercials, and company promotions/events can mean even more eyes on the actual product offering. Remember to optimize each video with proper use of tags, title, description, annotations, and conversation.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is often viewed as a social media site to help you find your next job or network with your old collegelinkedin logo friends. However, this platform goes far beyond career searching and plays a large part in B2B marketing. With 101 million users, including executives for almost every fortune 500 company, LinkedIn has become a community of business minded individuals. LinkedIn provides the opportunity to share information about your company and its services to a direct market of users that joined the platform for the sole purpose of bettering their company. LinkedIn is highly underestimated and is the best facilitator for B2B marketing strategy.

Optional Social Media Outlets:

  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Vine
  • Reddit
  • Plus many more

The aspect of social media management can be a daunting task. But, it can become manageable if broken down and schedule properly. We at First Click Inc spend a great deal of time setting dates and times when certain content should be posted. Keeping consistence with the ideas and concepts discussed, there will be noticeable trends in notoriety and consumer reach. Interested in developing social media assets to improve your websites performance? First Click Inc can help.

I am interested in Social Media Integration.

Optimizing Your Website’s SEO

image of document and data

The foundation to all of internet marketing and Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is the development of a website. By creating a site that has a great and seamless user experience that also communicates efficiently with search engines about the sites attentions will provide rank on every search engine. Now before moving on to the multiple layers of SEO, start off with the core structure. Creating a blog, using social media, creating advertisements, and link building needs to be put to the side, for now the focus is on creating and optimizing a website. Here are basic tips on how to optimize your site. Remember what search engines are looking for when they rank site.

Content:organic blog content logo

Create organic content that is interesting for the audience. It is the utmost importance to remember to develop content with sincerity and purpose. Do not push out content that is lackluster and trivial for the audience. This will lead to people disliking the content, spending minimal time on the website and bouncing off back to the search engines or other sites. Also, remember the target keywords and strategically place them throughout the content and page. Do not stuff keywords into the content and page, this will only devalue the content and the site. Let them be organically placed. Be versatile with content; post blogs, pictures, videos, poll questions, and other creative content. This will help in creating a following of your site and its updates.

User Experience:

Websites need to have an eye catching design with low clutter. Make it easy for the user to find what they are looking for. Make the websites message clear immediately, don’t assume the consumer will delve deep into the “about” or “contact” section. Instead intrigue the visitor with quality content and originality, from there the average consumer will be more susceptible to travel deeper into the site. Pages should be linked to one another based on similarity to give the option to the user to explore. A seamless transition through the sites assets that provide clarity and direction will improve the amount of conversions the website will generate. Efficiency is key within a website.

Speedometer for blog performancePerformance:

This goes back to the user experience as well. How fast is the site? Does everything transition into another without fault? The site needs to be interconnected so that a user will not get lost or become frustrated by not being able to find what they are pursuing.

Link Authority:

How many people linking to this sie? The more outside sources that organically link to your site the more authority your site will gain. Buying links will only damage the site and will punish the ranking in the long term. Same with farming links. The more links through other reputable websites (most authoritative being .edu and .gov sites), blogs, and social media sites will improve link authority and page ranking.

Multi-Channel:

Remember to optimize all of your secondary sites, your social media sites, blogs, and microsites. These are tools you can use to increase the exposure of you content, increase link authority, and an increase in audience.

Keywords:

Keywords need to be placed in several locations, but do not over use or stuff keywords within the site. Areas for keywords:

    1. Domain Name
    2. URLs
    3. PagesBlack Key
    4. Page Descriptions and Meta Descriptions
    5. Blog Posts
    6. Blog Tags
    7. Images
    8. Links
    9. Content
    10. Titles – H1 H2

Before engaging in online marketing make sure to do an analysis of the site and look for any areas that could be improved. There are always opportunities to increase exposure with a website. We’re not trying to game or trick search engines, rather perfecting the website, creating a virtual company storefront. When the storefront is clean, organized and enticing it will improve the amount of people that come in to learn more. For more about First Click Inc and the services we provide, please continue you to learn more about SEO and our services