60+ SEO Statistics to Help You Rank #1 in 2019

If you are looking for stats then this article in the SEOTribunal is a great place to start.

If you too rely on Google’s traffic as the main source to attract new customers to your business, it is very likely that you have faced the consequences – both good and bad – of the fact that SEO is always changing.

As algorithms change, certain approaches to SEO become more powerful than others. This in itself means that businesses need to be aware of what works in SEO and what does not, in order to avoid being penalized by Google.

Here's just a teaser:

  • 67k searches are performed on Google every second
  • 39% of all global e-commerce traffic comes from search
  • 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine
  • Nearly 80% of users ignore paid ads in search results
  • 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020

For more go read the original article

 


11 Tips To Social Media Success For 2019

Many businesses, brands, and authors recognize social media as a powerful marketing tool. But how do you harness it?  Being able to harness the power of social media is the key to creating greater brand awareness. So, where do you start though? How do you build that network of followers?

Here are 11 tips you need to follow if you want to start growing your social media network.

1. Identify Your Audience

Your target audience is not everyone. Identify what type of audience your brand attracts. For example, what type of age range is your customer, what brands do they already like, what City or Country are they from, and what other accounts do they follow? Understanding WHO your target audience is will help you establish essential factors such as your posting schedule, key message, content creation, and your brand’s voice.

2. Set SMART Goals

Smart goals mean setting goals that are achievable and actionable.

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Relevant

T- Time Bound

By following SMART goals, you will be less likely to post content that is irrelevant to what your brand stands for. As time passes your small goals will accumulate, and you will start reaching bigger goals. This will most definitely keep you in the social media game for the long run, and help your sales skyrocket forward!

3. Content Posting

Post different content to each social platform. Don’t post the same material at the same time on each social media platform. Your audience interacts with each social media platform at different times, and if your audience follows you on each social media platform, they are going to want to see different content on each of your accounts.

4. Create A Content Schedule

You may think this might be over the top or that only big companies do this. Wrong! Creating a schedule will keep you on track with your content creation. Not only that, it will help you consistently post on your social media which in turn leads to steady growth in followers.

5. Experiment With What Time You Should Post

Surprisingly this makes a difference. Try posting at different times and see when you get the most traffic. Most likely, there will be times when most of your audience is busy at work or school. But they will simultaneously be done around the same time

6. There Is No Right Answer For Everyone

Just because it worked for your friend, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Make sure you take the time to get to know your ideal audience and strategize from there. Everyone’s audience base is very different!

7. Be Human

Many believe that all followers want to see is perfect content. But that’s not true! Followers want to look at the human side of their favorite brands. Crack a joke once in a while or show them your day to day life. Whether it's perfect or not, letting people into your life is relatable to all of your audience.

8. Create Relationships Through Social Media

Don’t take the “social” out of social media! Always connect with your audience, whether that be replying to their comments or sharing other people's content. Always answer your audience’s questions and be their friend. It might take some time to connect with them on a personal level, but in the end, you will create a tribe of lasting followers and readers. Remember always to seek relationships, not just followers.

9. Don’t Oversell On Your Feed

Once you start growing a social media audience, brands are going to want to collaborate with you. Although this is great, make sure you don’t fill your feed with paid advertisements or collaborations. Your audience follows you because of who you are and what your brand stands for. They trust the products you're promoting, but they most likely won’t want to see their feed full of paid advertisements.

10. Optimize Your Account For Engagement

“Don’t work harder, work smarter.” Optimizing your account means to fill out all the necessary information, and using keywords that your readers will use to find you. Making your profile accessible to navigate will naturally attract more followers.

11. Comment On Other People’s Content

Don’t underestimate this step. Commenting on other people's content may be more effective than posting regularly. Find other influencers and accounts that relate to your brand or whose audience is your target customer and comment on their content. By commenting on other people’s content, you can connect with their audience and establish new relationships.

These are eleven simple ways you can use to strengthen your social media strategy for 2019. Hopefully, these tips will help set you on the right path or at least prompt some important reminders of key elements you may have overlooked in your planning. Good luck!

By Lyda Mclallen

Bio:

Lyda Mclallen is the founder of Talk+Tell, a book marketing, and publicity consulting company. When she is not reading or developing new recipes, Lyda is launching/managing new book marketing campaigns or is writing. As a full stack marketer, Lyda writes new articles to teach authors how to produce the same successful PR and marketing campaigns results that she has helped Bestselling authors achieve. To learn more about Lyda and Talk+Tell, you can visit her website at Talk plus Tell


Learn How To Identify Toxic Links And Remove Them

Link Building is an unremovable part of Search Engine Optimisation strategies. It is a priority task that only begins to never end; it goes along with every new task; it always runs in the background.

And it is this essentiality of link building that requires it to be accurate at all times.

Although, backlinks were considerably non-existent or their necessity was not fully understood until before Google’s Penguin Update. But now (or perhaps since 2012), they are more significant than ever.

How?

It is through the backlinks that a search engine crawler determines the authority and trustworthiness of a page. And they don’t easily ‘trust’ any website.

However, if you have inbound links from quality websites, the crawler WILL trust you (more if you have a Do-follow link) and rank you higher than your current position in the SERPs.

BUT, if you have toxic links, there’s a good possibility that your site will be pushed down the SERPs rather than up.

So,

What Are Toxic Links?

Any inbound link from a spammy website is considered a toxic link. But, when websites out of your brand’s niche link to your website, then you may as well consider those links as toxic.

If your website links to spammy and unrelated domains, then you are also building toxic links.

Why Is It Important To Remove Toxic Links?

Source

Search Engine’s consider backlink as a mandatory part of their crawling and ranking process. If, while crawling, search engine crawlers discover that numerous links on your website or to your website are leading to a spammy website and is invaluable to the user, then it penalizes your site.

  • Your rankings will start falling.
  • And, if the quantity of toxic links is more, your site will be excluded from indexing.

The advanced algorithm of the search engine crawlers easily identify if the links are placed for the purpose of increasing page rank or helping the user.

How To Discover The Presence Of Toxic Links?

  • Did You Buy Backlinks?

Google Penguin

Source

If you did, then probabaly a majority of those backlinks are from spammy and unrelated sites. You need to take out the old logs and data during the time you have bought backlinks to rank better, and remove each and every one of them. Do not forget, buying backlinks is a black hat SEO technique that can penalize your site.

  • Google Must Have Warned You

Google does not penalize your site just as it discovers a toxic link. It warns you before doing that and also gives you time to remove the links. The Google Crawlers constantly crawl over sites and when they discover toxic links related to your site, they will send you a warning notification.

  • Your Rankings & Traffic Are Dropping

When your Google Analytics data shows a consistent fall in your site’s organic traffic and you are not sure about the cause of it, then it is probably due to the presence of toxic backlinks.

  • Seek Help From A Tool

You can seek help from tools that specialize in discovering toxic links related to your domain. There are tools like Link Detector that can detect all the toxic links. And there are tools like the Link Centre that provides you with every information related to every link you have ever created.

Types Of Sites With Toxic Links?

  • Spammy Sites Like:

If you are getting links from sites with adult content, sites that promote gambling, etc., then you will get penalised. But if your site is in the same niche, and links from these type of sites are relevant to you, then there you will not be penalized. However, if your website is about digital marketing but you have got an inbound link from a porn site, then Google will warn you about it.

  • Sites That Show Malware Warning

When you access a website and warnings like ‘malware detected’ popup, then it does not matter how relevant that particular domain is to your niche, that link will be considered as toxic by the search engines.

  • Sites That Are Not Indexed

If you are getting backlinks from sites that are not yet indexed (after months of being launched) by the crawlers, would also be categorised as toxic links. The possible reason why a website is not indexed even after being launched for months is usage of blackhat techniques.

  • Sites With Excessive Quantity Of External Links

Getting links from sites that already have an excessive quantity of external links may get your site penalized for link toxicity. There’s a possibility that the sites have used the blackhat SEO technique of buying links.

  • Sites That Have Low Traffic & Domain Authority

Inbound links from websites with low traffic and domain authority will NOT get your site penalised nor do they follow black hat strategies. However, getting links from these sites would not have much effect on your SERP rankings. But if you generate links from high traffic and authority websites, then your domain will get ranked higher in the SERPs.

How To Remove Toxic Links?

Source

Now you know everything about toxic links: what they are, the many types of them, and how they can affect your website.

But, just learning about them is not enough.You need to know how you can remove every toxic link from your site and save it from getting penalized.

There are 3 simple and straight-forward steps to freeing your site from toxic links:

  1. Begin With The Links On Your Website

First, you should begin by cleaning your site off toxicity. Use the tools mentioned above and extract the complete link data. Then, bifurcate the toxic links from the complete link database, locate them on your website, and start removing them manually. This will be a time-consuming task but only for the better.

  1. Approach The Sites Linking To Your Domain

After you are done cleaning your domain off the toxic links, it is time that you remove the inbound toxic links as well.

You will get the database of the toxic websites linking to your domain with the help of the tools. Now, you need to approach each and every website in the list and request them to remove the link via emails.

  1. The Disavow Links Tool By Google

It is not always possible that toxic websites will remove links to your domain because linking to a high authority domain can also improve SERP rankings. So, you should start using Google’s Disavow Links Tool to get rid of the effects of those toxic backlinks.

Through the Disavow Links Tool, you can tell Google about the links you don’t want it to consider for determining the ranking of your site.

Here are the steps to doing that:

Step I: Create a .txt  file

You need to create a .txt file to inform Google about the domain you do not want tracked along with a comment and how many times you tried contacting the domain for link removal (the reason why I recommended you to approach the sites manually).

The comment is to be added using #.

Here’s an example of the .txt file:

Source

Step II: Open The Disavow Tool

After creating the file, you need to upload it and for that, you have to login with your Google account in the Search Console to use the tool. You need to enter your domain using the drop down:

Clicking on Disavow Links will lead you to this page.

You need to again click on the Disavow Links button and this window will popup:

In order to upload the .txt file, you need to click on choose file and upload it in Google’s database.

And Google will take care of the rest.

Note: A complete domain will be disavowed and not it’s particular link.

The Conclusion

Identifying and removing toxic links or should I say Backlink Audit is a very time-consuming process. But it is beneficial in the long run. However, once you remove all the toxic links related to your domain would not mean that your site rankings will become better instantly. It will not, the process will take some time before it finally starts showing results.

Furthermore, the Disavow Tool should only be used when you have tried your best in removing those toxic links manually by contacting the website owners but they are not responding to you.

So, what process do you use for toxic links removal?

 

Bio

Sahil is the CEO and Founder of Rankwatch - a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape. Sahil likes making creative products that can help in automation of mundane tasks and he can spend endless nights implementing new technologies and ideas. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

Social media Links:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/RankWatch/

Linkedin- https://www.linkedin.com/company/3478204/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/RankWatch

Website- http://www.rankwatch.com


How to Combine SEO and UX to Improve Your Website

Once upon a time, rankings were all that mattered in the SEO arena. And at a point, it was a straightforward process. So straightforward that spammers were rewarded for aggressively trying to dominate search engine rankings.

Things aren’t so simple these days. Google has come up with a plethora of ways to combat this sort of behaviour; the type that prioritizes ranking over helping people fix their problems. During this evolutionary process, not only has Google changed SEO, but it has also changed SEO professionals and the mind-set of anyone looking to have some semblance of success in reaching their audience.

Provided you are among these SEO professionals who prioritize solving your audience’s problems, as opposed to resorting to some ham-fisted strategy to bombard Google’s front page, algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, aren’t likely to affect you that badly. Or at all really.

On the other side of the fence, the guys and gals who practice SEO like it’s a game of rugby continue to be hit hard over and over, reaping poor results, and worse.

Remember, unless a business is focused on its customers and their problems, it isn’t likely to grow. The same goes in the digital space.

SEO, however, is not the only thing that should concern you – there’s also UX. Let’s talk some more about how these two work hand in hand.

Why User Experience is Critical to SEO

Considering there is a whole field of UX optimization, which requires its own level of expertise, you won’t have to be a UX genius. In most cases, surface level knowledge of basic website UX principles should be enough.

UX optimization, in essence, is focusing on your website visitors. One might argue, we are also focusing on search engines -- which is not inaccurate. However, if you tweak your perspective a bit, you will realize that search engines require things of us based on what searchers want. In other words, search engines are prioritizing visitors too.

Combining SEO and UX

When considering strategies to combine SEO and UX, keep in mind that not every option is worth pursuing. Just because a certain tactic worked for website A doesn’t mean it will work for website B. In fact, what was heaven-sent for website A just might be a nightmare when implemented on website B or C.

Below, we cover information on tactics that can make all the difference for a website; providing these tactics are properly implemented. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

Reeling them in

When converting visitors, you first want to get them to click on your website. Now, you can aim to land on the front page of Google, and be on equal footing with every other top website in your niche. Or you can go the extra mile, and try and stand out among the crowd. This is where SEO plays its part in the SEO/UX combination. Here is some stuff to keep in mind when vying for the clicks:

  • Title Tags
  • URLs/breadcrumbs and
  • Meta descriptions

Here’s why they matter.

Title Tags

A title tag is a clickable link in a search result. Considering there is such limited space, you’ll want to make it count. Besides, it is the first thing potential visitors will see.  Keep in mind, the language used here should match the search or keyword. Be sure to include some extra bit of information that makes your title tag jump out at readers as they are scanning potential sites to visit.

URLs/Breadcrumbs

The breadcrumb is the URL trail that follows the title tag. This too is important for reeling in potential visitors. Earlier we mentioned keyword research is super important in this process. Well, under keyword research, you have other factors such as search intent and searcher language. It is important that both of these are reflected in your “breadcrumb” to have searchers follow through with a click.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are simple, straight forward text that follows your title tag. But as simple as the text may appear, getting the hang of writing them can be tricky. As is the case with most texts where characters (and attention spans) are limited. Long story short, whatever you say here may win you a click or disregard from a potential visitor.

Where UX Comes In

It’s not enough that your title tag and meta descriptions enticed users to click on your website. Now you have to keep them engaged. This is where UX shines or should shine depending on whether you are doing your job correctly.

Remember UX principles are all about focusing on your website visitor. Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can optimize your UX. 

Clean Logo

A clean logo can be invaluable. After all, it’s the first thing visitors see when they land on your site. It is important that your logo is not surrounded by clutter and is positioned intuitively. That way visitors have no room for confusion.

Header Tags

Another important element on your site, your header should help to reassure visitors they have landed on a relevant website. Relevant meaning you provide the information/service they need.

Typically the topmost header tag (H1 header) displays text similar to your title tag.

Navigation

Visitors are likely to scan navigation to make sense of the website they are on. This also presents a unique opportunity for you to capture their interest. For instance, what kind of service do you offer? How many different services or products? Of course, this is also a great place to use keywords.

Chatbots help

Earlier we mentioned ways to reassure visitors they have come to the right place. Chatbots are also a good way to achieve this. A bit of solid programming goes a long way. Having a chatbot to address common questions visitors are likely to ask can help potential customers understand what they are in store for. It also allows you to focus on bigger issues that will arise down the line.


How to Build Your Website For The Mobile-First Experience in 2019

If 2019 is the year you satisfy all your customers, it’s time to go mobile. If your website isn’t up to scratch to the mobile experience, they will bail out - leaving you with lost leads, sales and potential long-term customers.

Although your website doesn’t need to undergo a drastic overhaul as you prime it for the mobile experience, there are a few niggling things you need to take care of. The good news? It’s nowhere near as hard as you might have feared.

As you bid to bring your website in line with what users expect in 2019, let’s take a look at how to get it ship-shape for the mobile experience.

Optimize For Site Speed

It’s essential that you run your website through a mobile site speed tester to make sure your page load time is acceptable. If your website takes too long to load, impatient mobile users will quickly exit.

One thing you really need to do is minimize server response time. To that end, It’s important that you choose a hosting provider that won’t let you down when you begin to build your website and attract more traffic. Things like first byte time - also known as ‘waiting time’ - are crucial when it comes to the mobile user experience. You can also improve your web server configuration or software to further minimize server response time.  Look for a site with a good reputation and support as well as speed, for example, companies like SiteGroundWPEngine for WordPress or Bluehost 

Work with an image compressor tool to ensure that your images are optimized for size, too. Oversized images are, after all, one of the biggest reasons a website is loading slowly.

Another thing you can do to speed up your mobile site speed is to reduce the amount of page redirects. According to research, redirects are “the single biggest source of wasted time in your code and can dramatically affect your page speed.”

Lastly, avoid Flash. Flash was all the rage a few years back, but it’s now bad for SEO and it can slow your website down. Moreover, there are some devices that don’t support it at all (including Android).

Prioritize The User Experience

Key to the success of your website on any device is its user experience. However, it’s even more important on mobile devices, with research showing that mobile users are more impatient than desktop users. This means they will exit your website pretty much straight away if it doesn’t conform to their expectations.

User experience refers to the usability of your website. For example, while on desktop your fonts can be quite small, they need to be bigger on mobile. This is because smaller fonts mean that a user has to zoom-in to see the text properly - which is super frustrating.

Essentially, it’s all about using common sense on your part and understanding what would make for a good user experience. Make your buttons larger and keep them at a fair distance from each other so that the user doesn’t tap the wrong one by mistake. Do the same with all your links. If two links are too close to each other, it’s really easy for the mobile user to tap the wrong link by mistake. This frustrates the user experience.

Switching autocorrect off for forms is a good idea. When filling out a form on their mobile device, the last thing a user wants is for their device to start automatically filling in each field with the wrong word.

Make sure to remove any unnecessary information from your screen, too. If information - or visuals - will only serve to distract or frustrate the user, eliminate them.

Another simple way to improve the user experience is by making it easy for the user to switch to desktop view. You’ll find that some users prefer this, so make sure you give them the option.

Produce Mobile Friendly Content

As mentioned, the way mobile users behave is different from desktop users. Research has shown that mobile users want fast, actionable information, and they don’t want any distractions. As such, you need to adapt your content accordingly.

Not just this, but you also have to take into account the different screen size. Because mobile screens are much smaller than desktop screens, the way you present your content must be different.

For example, you will need to shorten your headlines. Consider the following headline, which would work really well on desktop:

‘5 Reasons Why Too Much Coffee Might Be Keeping You From Being Your Best’

On mobile, you could shorten that to this:

‘Why Coffee Might Be Bad For You’

The same rule applies with your sub-headings and your entire body copy. On mobile, you need to get to the point faster, because the end user wants you to be more direct and concise.

Don’t forget to optimize your call to action for mobile users, too. It can be really easy for it to get lost in the crowd. Turn it into a button so that it’s instantly recognizable as a CTA and use contrasting colors for the button and background.  

Use a Responsive Framework

Responsive frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation are essential for ensuring that your website adapts to the numerous screen sizes that are now available. A responsive framework basically means that everything on your website - from your text to your images - adapts according to the device it’s displayed on. This means the mobile experience is clean, seamless and professional.

The best thing is that you don’t really have to do much. All you need to do is work with a tool like the aforementioned Bootstrap and Foundation, and they’ll do all the hard work for you, automatically adjusting your design according to the device.

Perform A/B Tests

Lastly, testing is crucial to the success of your website. If you don’t perform A/B tests, you simply won’t be able to get the best out of your website or deliver the best possible version to your customers. Moreover, by performing A/B tests, you can really see how differently your mobile audience behaves from your desktop audience. Then, you can make the necessary adjustments.

You should separately test the following elements:

  • Headlines - Have you made your headlines concise enough? Moreover, have you made them concise and compelling? Experiment with different headlines - some with numbers, some without - to see what works best at engaging people.
  • Call to Action - Earlier, we mentioned making your CTA a button. However, you might find that an image-based CTA works best with mobile users. You might even find that a text-only CTA works best with conversions. You could also try a ‘stick’ call to action that ‘follows people around’ as they scroll up and down your website. Experiment and check your results. Not just this, but you need to figure out what your CTA ultimately needs to tell the user to do. Research has shown that conversion rates are far higher on desktop than they are on smartphones, which means your CTA might be better geared towards grabbing someone’s email address, as opposed to going for the sale.
  • Images - Image size is obviously crucial. But the positioning and amount of visuals on your mobile pages is also crucial. While images might not have much bearing on your conversion rates, they’re still important for engagement and the overall user experience.

You should also see what works best on which devices. Mobile isn’t just mobile. For example, 78% of mobile purchases are done on iPhones instead of Android.

Conclusion

Making the switch to mobile doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be really easy if you follow the tips in this article. And once you’re website is all primed for the mobile experience, you’re then free to concentrate fully on making more sales.

Michelle Deery is a professional writer for Heroic Search. She has over eight years of marketing and copywriting experience. She develops content strategies that help businesses increase their bottom line. You can find her on Twitter.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-deery-ba7131123/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/michwriting

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash


What’s in Store for Digital Marketing in 2019: Facts, Stats, and Expectations

At the beginning of 2019, digital marketing experienced significant changes in all its segments, including search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, social media marketing, e-mail marketing, and more.Read more


How To Improve Your eCommerce Local SEO Rankings In 2019

Everybody pretty much knows that you need proper search engine optimization in order to get your products and services out there. If you didn’t set up your SEO properly, you are pretty much invisible online. However, small and local business need to focus even more on local SEO.

Improving your local SEO rankings mean much more if you only work in a centralized location. For example, if you’re operating in Brisbane, Australia, and you have a local business that doesn’t really provide any services and goods outside this area, your time and resources will be better spent by investing in improving your local rankings. You will be more relevant and will be easier to find in this manner. Furthermore, it’s easier and cheaper to go with local SEO, as opposed to investing all you have in getting some global reach which you simply don’t need.

And all these points are more important than ever for 2019. Local SEO is becoming more and more prevalent, and we predict it will be a staple for any business in this new year.

Master the basics

First and foremost, you need to master the basics. Local SEO will be useless if you don’t have proper keywords, description tags, and meta elements for your website. Any small business owner, but new entrepreneurs especially, need to learn how to market their companies online. In fact, in this day and age, online marketing may just be more important as offline marketing.

Take care that your keywords are set up properly. Avoid KW stuffing, don’t be too general, or to specific. Then, see if your local SEO features are ok. You’d be surprised how many people can’t figure out why their rankings aren’t improving when the actual culprit is just a simple type or an empty field. Double check all the information you put in, your address, your city…

Set up local-specific SEO

Let’s continue with our example. You want and need to be listed properly on all the important business directories. So, sites like Yelp, for example, are very influential for your company’s visibility. You will need to access citation data aggregators (Factual and Infogroup are good examples), and then type in your company name, address, and your phone number. Experienced professionals that deal with local SEO will tell you that you absolutely need to be consistent. Remember, you are trying to make life easier for your customers, and for Google’s algorithms.

Next, access the “Google My Business” page. If your company is already there, then you will need to verify it. While the verification process is lengthy, just follow the instructions and you will be fine. IN fact, you need to do this if you want proper local SEO set up. Google needs to verify your company is legitimate, otherwise, it can’t allow you to use this page.

When filling out this page, you need to be as accurate and as specific as possible. So, when choosing a category, go with Ethnic restaurant, instead of just restaurant. If you’re selling specialized mountain biking equipment, choose that category, instead of just a bike shop. Next, write a description of your business in a couple of sentences. Be sure to specify your operating hours, as well as the types of payments you accept. Add a logo to your page, or maybe a photo of your company, as well as a couple of more photos of either your actual business or the goods you provide.

Local SEO is for Google’s algorithms, and for your customers.

Encourage reviews and feedback

If you want to facilitate trust, you need reviews. By encouraging your customers to leave a review for your business, you show that, first of all, you actually had some customers, and that, secondly, you provide high-quality goods and/or services. Furthermore, responding to said reviews. A simple thank you or a sign of appreciation on positive reviews will go a long way. If someone left a negative review, either explain why this person may be wrong or write out how you intend to work on the issues they are complaining about.

Now, the most relevant places for review options are your “Google my business” page, and Facebook. These are the most popular search options. Furthermore, know that positive reviews increase your online visibility.

Work on your content

Any and all content you publish should be locally optimized. The reasoning behind this statement is centered mostly on the fact that when people are looking for a certain service or product, they will research it thoroughly (or at least they should). So by having content that provides this kind of information, you will attract people to your page. Then, they will have a one-stop shop, finding the data they need, and getting the products or services they want. Of course, the caveat here is that your content needs to be relevant to your business and that it is locally optimized.

Include all the necessary keywords into your content, by placing it within your page title and your meta description. Work on your URL, and your H1, H2, and H3 tags, as well as your anchor text and alt text within images.

Be mobile friendly

For some time now having a mobile-friendly website is a must. Many people do their online browsing almost exclusively via mobile, and your website is no different. However, what is new and different, is the fact that it needs to be optimized for local searches.

Namely, the main point here would be page speed. When you have too many things loading on your page, it will slow down any kind of browsing and will get people to simply move away onto another site. If you want to avoid this, there are several things you need to do. Above all, optimize your images and compress them. Then, don’t go overboard with plugins, trim the fat. Google Developers has some tools that can help you with optimizing your loading speeds.

Conclusion

Getting ahead in business is no easy feat. There are many things you need to take into consideration, and proper online marketing is one of them. By setting up your local search engine optimization properly, you will increase your rankings, and become more visible. Remember to master the basics, and to use all the tools and options at your disposal properly. Things like “Google My Business” and speed optimization tools are a godsend, as is mobile optimization in general.


Should Your Small Business Consider Selling on Amazon?

Amazon’s marketplace is huge and a major part of online consumer culture. Sales figures from 2017 showed $177.9 billion. So, it no surprise that Amazon is the investment market’s favorite bet for long-term dominance in sales, even compared to Walmart’s future sales predictions.

With the Amazon benefits that make their Amazon Prime account so popular, it is clear why customers prefer buying from the Amazon marketplace rather than any others. Amazon can offer a unique and successful platform for product sellers.

For these reasons, it can be a no-brainer for a small business to start selling on Amazon. Here are a few of the things you should know before you decide to become a seller on Amazon.

Selling on Amazon Can Develop Your Digital Marketing Strategy

When you are a small business, it is essential that you have a decent marketing strategy in place to help you become more visible to potential customers. However, this can often require a lot of time and a big financial investment, which is something you may not have access to if you are only a small business.

While a digital marketing strategy can be developed by using social media such as Instagram and the use of blog articles, selling on Amazon is one of best contributions you can add to your digital marketing strategy. By becoming an official seller on Amazon, you will be able to benefit from their algorithm that gives your products priority when customers search for the products you are selling.

Is Your Customer Service Good Enough?

One of the reasons behind the massive success that Amazon has achieved is due to its reputation. Amazon is a strong believer in the motto “it’s all about the customer” so their customer service is one of the strongest aspects of their business. Therefore, it is important to them that their sellers also have a strong customer service procedure.

Amazon has a very high standard of expectations for their sellers and they state that sellers need to have responded to customer inquiries within 24 hours. Amazon does take this very seriously and you can face having your visibility reduced or even have Amazon issues penalties against you for failing to respond within a satisfactory amount of time.

Assess Your Delivery Options

Customers often decide to use Amazon because they are well known for their quick delivery times. Therefore, if you want your small business to fit well within the Amazon marketplace, it is important that your delivery options are up to speed. This can include having faster delivery options that may be at an extra cost, but also cheaper delivery options that will take a little bit longer. Organizing delivery is often the last point of contact you have with a buyer before the sale is completed. Therefore, if you do not have good delivery options, this can make a buyer decide against buying from you and instead of going elsewhere.

You should check out delivery comparison websites and assess who are the best delivery providers and how much they will cost. By arranging your own delivery options, you can decide which company is best suited to the needs of the customer you are currently selling to. It may also be possible for you to negotiate discounts for multiple delivery carriers.

Consider Using Fulfilment by Amazon

Fulfillment by Amazon (often referred to as FBA) is an additional service provided by Amazon that allows you to ship your products directly to an Amazon warehouse, where they will sort out your packaging, delivery, and any return issues for your buyers. This is often a great option for small businesses that don’t have the manpower to be able to carry out many orders at one time.

Often, businesses decide to use the FBA services as it enables them time to develop their small business in other ways. For example, if you were more interested in the product development aspects of your business, this would mean you wouldn’t have to employ staff to package and send off your orders, as Amazon would do this for you.

However, FBA does not come for free and there are additional costs associated with it. But, a major benefit of using the FBA service is that Amazon customers are aware of the perks associated with FBA sellers. A customer that is deliberating over a purchase may be more inclined to go ahead with their order if they see that the product is fulfilled by Amazon. FBA also gives Prime customers free delivery, which may increase your number of sales significantly.

It is important that you research whether FBA will save you money. There have been some claims that Amazon errors can cost a company money. Common errors include lost inventory, damaged goods, and destroyed goods, so make sure that you recoup money using an FBA reimbursement service.  

Increase Your Feedback Score

Online shopping and the increase in online sales is all based on trust between the buyer and seller. One of the easiest ways to show potential customers that you are a trusted and reliable seller is through your feedback score attributed to you by previous buyers. Amazon’s feedback facility is a very popular way for customers to assess how trustworthy and effective a seller is before they go ahead with their purchase. Therefore, it is essential that you build up good feedback stores for your business in order to encourage new customers to buy from you.

You can do this by asking your customers to leave feedback on your page after they have been sent their product. However, it is extremely important that you respond to any negative feedback you may receive and make it clear that you deal with any issue that your customers may have quickly and effectively.

As a small business, you should try not to feel overwhelmed when considering selling on Amazon and use this as an opportunity to expand your business. Expansion through becoming an Amazon seller does not require a huge influx of staff or considerable extra financial investment. Instead, it involves developing your already existing business by making it more online customer friendly.


Study of 300 Marketers Reveal Disruptive Shift In Digital Strategy

San Diego-based Ignite Visibility recently released a new study which highlights a growing shift in digital marketing.

The study surveyed businesses in six revenue brackets - under 1 million, 1 to 5 million, 5 to 10 million, 10 to 20 million, 20 to 50 million and over 50 million - in order to gain insight into how they would be investing in digital marketing over the next two years. Additionally, the study analyzed which digital marketing channels would be most popular.

“It’s incredibly important to be forecasting ahead and making sure you have the right digital strategy,” says Ignite Visibility CEO John Lincoln. “ We’re dedicated to bringing best-in-class insights to the industry so marketers can have the most effective strategy in place.”

The findings reveal an overall shift toward online marketing channels across all business categories. They also reveal that many smaller businesses still struggle to effectively measure ROI and conversion rates. Furthermore, social media is by far the hardest channel for businesses to manage.

“We’re seeing a large shift from offline to online because digital channels are more trackable and generally produce a higher ROI,” continued Lincoln. In the study, we also say clear divisions in the business size and type of digital marketing channel they liked the most. But overall, social media marketing seemed to be a big pain point for all marketers.”

To view the full study visit Ignite Visibility

Learn more about Ignite Visibility

Ignite Visibility is a premier Internet marketing company based in San Diego with a mission singularly focused on providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. By establishing mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with our clients, we create custom solutions uniquely tailored to meet the specialized business objectives of each client. Ignite Visibility was named #1 SEO company in the United States in 2016, 2017 and 2018 by Clutch.co and named #1 paid media company in USA by 10 Best PPC in 2018.


How to Design for a Global Audience

There is no question that living in the digital information age feels like the height of globalization. Advances in communication technology positioned the internet as the freeway to information. Every single piece of information accessible through the internet is essentially available to anyone in the world.

Are you still wondering why designing for a global audience has become a common goal of creatives and entrepreneurs? This article explores the motivations behind this aspiration through the point of view of business and social inclusion.

Global design or global UX design comes off as either nebulous or intimidating. Whichever way you feel, this article provides practical and actionable tips to help you design for a global audience. At the end of this article, you will have a matter-of-fact understanding of the global design concept. And you will walk away armed with a practical to-do list on how to execute the approach.

The Inevitability of a Global Audience

This has presented an interesting paradox for content creators. Everything is accessible to everyone, and therefore, the information design has to speak across borders. It has to have a broad reach but at the same time, be relevant to a potential client’s context.

Does It Really Matter, or Is This Just Political Correctness?

Some believe it is unnecessary to regard the growing list of considerations involved in designing for a global audience. Others take this further by suggesting that global design is just another form of political correctness.

Reviewing global design literature points to three main lines of thinking that offer a sound rationale for the design approach:

  • The Pragmatist: Design for a global audience because it is good for business.

Unless your business goal is so narrowly focused on a specific local area, you have a stake at designing for a global audience.

Advances in communication technology, logistics, and supply chain have made it common sense to scale business globally. Even regular businesses can now reach untapped and underserved markets.

Essentially, scaling your business becomes common sense. With that comes a wider market, a much larger geographic scope that brings diverse clientele.

  • The Ethical: Be inclusive in your design because it is the right thing to do.

Today, being tone-deaf has some real economic consequences. Publishing a website with culturally insensitive content can drive the high traffic of the wrong kind. It may bring faster-than-lightning negative social media attention, which can easily lead to a situation that is impossible to salvage. Being sensitive to a multicultural world is the right thing to do, and it is good for business.

  • The Survivalist: Global design will keep you relevant.

Global design takes into consideration a format that speaks to a wide array of audiences. This entails some discipline and filters references that only make sense to a specific place, culture, or time period.

By appealing through a universalized style, the user experience design also remains timeless.

Executing a Design for a Global Audience

  • Translation Is Non-negotiable

We are no longer at the mercy of professional (human) translators. Though they still provide the most precise translation and interpretation, it is simply not practical to engage their services.

Providing a translation of your website into your user’s local language is as easy as installing a Google Translate for Business plug-in.

You may simply go on the Google Translate webpage and add your website to the Website Translator registry. Plug-in installation instructions should easily be found on that webpage.

Of course, you can explore other website translation plug-ins for WordPress, such as Polylang, WPML, and qTranslate, to name a few.

  • Leveling Up With Website Localization

Website localization is the process of adjusting and adapting a website’s content and design to be suitable for a specific audience. This is considered the next logical step from translation as it transforms your content so that it is not only understandable for your target audience but it is also culturally resonant.

Localizing your website’s content for a particular language or country requires a careful attention to detail, requiring one to consider colloquialisms, slang, cultural faux pas and even aesthetic preferences when adjusting content and messaging. A complete guide to website localization should be readily available online and could provide you with key considerations when planning to localize your content such as research required and who would be able to help.

  • With Content, Less Is More

Content creation goes hand-in-hand with a good translation plug-in. Write copy that is straight to the point.

Make sure your website does not have unnecessarily long sentences. Do not include phrases or idioms that do not have a direct translation in most languages.

For example: Why say “as the crow flies” when you can just say “direct path”?

  • Cultural Sensitivity: Aesthetics

Stick with neutral colour palettes. Bold, striking colours may have negative cultural references around the world. For example, in some cultures, the color red is considered lucky while in others, it is considered improper or downright taboo.

  • Cultural Sensitivity: Symbols and Meanings

If you are featuring macro shots of objects, such as flowers or chopsticks, research on meaning and placement. For example, featuring the wrong flower may convey death rather than joy in some cultures. Or a simple misalignment of chopsticks may bring up the image of death rather than a happy family dinner.

  • Cultural Sensitivity: Text Directions

Some languages are read from right to left or top to bottom. When designing wireframes with text and photo side-by-side, allow enough space so that the automatic translation does not overlap with the photo.

  • Use the Right Typography for Readability

Choose a sans-serif typography that has complete alphabets. This is more than a mundane task. This helps ensure that your website looks readable across all electronic devices. It also helps address accessibility issues for visually impaired users.

  • Keep It Light

If you can help it, do not overload your website with heavy images and videos. Keep in mind that more than 2 billion mobile or tablet users transact globally. However, the global average internet speed is only 9.1 Mbps. Apart from loading time, consider the mobile-friendliness of your website when you design it.

  • Clarify Number, Date, Time Formats

Use plug-ins for dates and times whenever possible so that different number formats do not cause misunderstandings. In the case of dates, clarify in which order you need them to appear, such as MM/DD/YY. Also, including time zone options and be specific about the 12-hour and military time formats.

  • Prices and Currencies

Be mindful of price formats to avoid confusion. For example, a European price format of 2,99 may mislead someone to think it is 2,990. Apart from the price formats, be specific about the currency used. It is always best to use the letter format rather than the symbol. For example, use “USD 1.00” rather than “$1.00.” Install a plug-in for exchange rates to foster inclusive e-commerce.

  • Imagery: Diversity and Inclusion

It may still be a hot-button issue in some places, but the lack of diversity in visual imagery can hurt business.

If you are trying to scale your business internationally, include photos of models or imagery that reflect the diversity of the market you want to attract. Do not solely rely on stock photos as the lack of diversity remains an issue for providers. Business needs diversity — even the emojis on our smartphones reflect this.

This list is long but in no way is it exhaustive. In the e-commerce world, designing for a global audience has become the standard. This is mostly justified through business pragmatism and social inclusion. The tips above show the depth of consideration required to provide a website that speaks to a full range of audiences. However, it may be fair to wager that sceptics will still ask, “Is it worth it?”

Author Bio: Danielle Canstello is part of the content marketing team at Pyramid Analytics. They provide enterprise-level analytics and business intelligence software. In her spare time, she writes around the web to spread her knowledge of marketing, business intelligence and analytics industries.

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash