Mobile-friendly websites to get ranking boost

Whether you provide, pay for or DIY SEO, April could be the cruellest month. Toward month end, Google will roll out a mobile-friendly ranking system for search. Given the explosive growth of search on mobile, not being mobile-friendly could cost you most of your investment in SEO. We Canadians lead the world in searches per capita and the 82% of Canadian business sites that are not yet mobile-friendly are making life awfully easy for the 18% that are.



Social media marketing aims to create new revenue, ultimately, by using multiple means to deliver increased website traffic. This graph, from Google’s “trend” site, demonstrates just how big a deal SMM has become in less than a decade:

You can get a pretty good idea of the state of your site just by visiting on a mobile device. Google’s top suggestion is to, you might have guessed it, Google your site on a mobile device. A while back they introduced what they call a mobile-friendly label, which either appears or does not in your search listing. Look for the words “Mobile-friendly” under the url.

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You may also choose to use Google’s tool. There’s nothing complicated about it. You are either “awesome” or you aren’t. If you flunk the test and use WordPress, Google offers a link to support for getting yourself fixed.

notMobileFriendly250If you don’t use WordPress and fail the test Google provides a few questions, each linked to supportive content. Regardless of how your site was built, if it matters to your business you need to find and implement a solution. Google suggests the following are key to getting the mobile-friendly label:

  • Avoid software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Use text that is readable without zooming
  • Size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

Should you be among the startlingly high number of SMBs that DON’T HAVE A WEBSITE (!!!) consider beginning with a WordPress or other responsive theme. We use Genesis in WordPress and as we’ve pointed out, we got “Awesome” on the test.

FLM_on_phone2015_228_rotated

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How to Promote Your Post

I find it difficult to imagine finding more good information on promoting a post than is included in this infographic and the supporting content.

RazorSocial
Courtesy of: RazorSocial

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Goals in Google Analytics

I am no longer surprised when a new client or prospect admits to not having opened their site analytics in, well, maybe never. That doesn’t discourage most from tweaking the site and hoping for the best. The environment of the web provides the best opportunity ever for measuring the results of our actions and any professional marketer will tell you that analysis and measurement are essential. So, lets talk about setting goals in Google Analytics.

You open analytics and you want to see what your visitors look at, how often, how many pages, visit duration, and bounce rate. You manage to find “users flow” under the “Audience” selection in the left hand column. You get a lovely, quite artistic image that I find virtually useless. Here’s an example:

userFlow600

You can export this to PDF among other choices but I find it frustrating no matter where I look at it. Fortunately, there is a simple solution for anyone with administrative access. You can create a goal and once done view the data in an entirely different presentation:

firstGoal600This format presents columns of data from number of sessions through new visitors, number of pages viewed and so on and each column can be sorted, so if you want to see what pages have the highest bounce rate, sort it from high to low.  There are many goals available pre-made and ready to import. This is one. It’s called the “content analysis dashboard”. Notice that across the top I’ve blown up the word “Admin” to show you where to go to access goals. The screen you see has three columns. This image is of the third, furthest right, and in the list of selections I’ve underscored “Goals”.

goalSelect

Selecting “Goals” brings up another screen:

goalAssortmentYou can spend a while here, selecting categories and looking at the various goals available to import. When you make a selection and press “Import” you will shortly see the word “Success” appear top centre of your screen. Return to “Reporting” (seen at the top of the next image) and under “Dashboard”, select “Private”. Any goals you’ve imported with appear and be accessible. In this case it’s the “Content Analysis Dashboard” we selected from the screen above, where it is the first goal described.

privateDashboard

When you select that goal what you see next is a series of columns providing different segments of the data from the “Users flow” screen. I selected the top right offer and was presented with what you see in the second image in this post, with page visits and related data in an easily digestible, sortable format.

Now you have access to hard information about how your site is used and can make informed decisions about what content is working for you and what isn’t. Like anything else you’ve worked at learning, spending time in Analytics is its own reward.

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Exploring Google Analytics

Working at a client site, asked to deliver a top line on their site’s performance from Google Analytics, I was reminded that many website owners don’t look at site performance, ever or infrequently and not in any depth. Yet they make tweaks, add and remove content, change colours and so on completely without input as to what is working or not working already. Back at the home office on a Saturday morning I assign myself the tast of exploring Google Analytics. I opened up the report for this site (thanks to the Analytics plugin for WordPress) and then started a YouTube video, available below, in which Stasia Kudrez, President of SEM Training, walks her audience through the A-B-C’s of Google Analytics, with examples from one fictional and one real website. I highly recommend doing what I did. Use the video pause button to follow along in your analytics. Unless you’re already very well versed in this tool I guarantee you will learn valuable lessons.





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Video in search – proof of claims

Data suggest that video on a web page makes it 50 times more likely to appear in page one search results. We have proven that time and again. Here is a screen capture from Google showing a video from our site (Video Introduction) appearing in the number one organic search position – one day after posting it. [Read more…]

The Role of Your Website

What separates your website from your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts? You paid for it. Not the development, although that may be true too, but the custom domain name and the web server space where your site files reside. Because you paid for it you control how it appears and what it says. [Read more…]

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