Google Wants to Reward Your Mobile Friendly Site

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

If it is, then Google is preparing to reward you with more mobile traffic by giving it better ranking on mobile search results.

Does Mobile Friendly Matter for My Business?

Usually the answer is yes.  If your business relies on customers to drive revenue, then absolutely.  Some examples of businesses where mobile friendly should be considered essential include:

  • restaurants
  • retail stores
  • personal services
  • bodyshop
  • mechanic
  • eye care
  • dentist
  • home services

Of course the list can be as long as we have time to sit and think of business categories.  Simply put, if you have customers and competition, your website should be mobile friendly.

Mobile Search is the fastest growing segment of the search market.  Depending on which study you refer to, mobile users take action on their search results, within the hour, 55% to 70% of the time.  Mobile users that find your business online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop.   Why? Mobile users are on the go. When you’re browsing, you grab the laptop and start researching or just satisfying curiosity for products or services. When you grab your smartphone to search, you have a specific intent in mind, whether it be food, clothing or an oil change for your car. Mobile searchers are buyers, assuming you can meet their needs.

How Can I Test my Website:

Google has provided a tool to test webpages at google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.

Here is what it will look like if you pass the test:

mobile-friendly-screenshot

April 21, 2015 Deadline for Google Mobile Friendly

Google will roll out an update to it’s ranking algorithm on April 21st that is said to have “significant implications” on mobile site rankings.  If your site is able to pass the test for what Google considers to be Mobile Friendly, then expect more traffic coming your way.

What does Google Mobile Friendly Mean?

There are 3 tests that Google performs on a website to determine if it is Mobile Friendly.  These are:

  • Is the text large enough to read on a phone?
  • Is the mobile viewport set?
  • Are the links far enough apart?

One of the great things about the test, is that if you don’t pass the test, it will tell which of the three reasons your site failed.

What Do I Do If My Site Fails the Google Mobile TEst?

The first thing is too panic, and then panic some more.  It’s Mobilegeddon!  OK, done panicing?  Good!  Now lets get to work.  April 21st is just around the corner.   If you want to lead your business segment for mobile search traffic, then we can help you convert your site to a mobile friendly site.  Just use our Contact page or call us directly at 306-371-4595.

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Can Your Website Live Without a Logo?

How important is a logo to your website? More importantly, how important is a logo to your marketing?

The power brands are well know by their logos, think IBM, Coca-Cola, Nike, Chevrolet, Apple, Shell, McDonalds. The brand awareness of these companies is so strong that almost anyone seeing the logo can immediately name the company and knows the products they sell. On the Internet, we have grown accustomed to company logos appearing at the top of the page and clicking the logo taking you to the home page of the website.

For a lesser known company, a logo is less recognized, but think back to some companies that were lesser know only 10 years ago, and as you read each one, does their logo come to mind?

  • Ebay
  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Yes it does.

But can your company survive, grow, and thrive without a logo?  The answer is yes you probably can, but why would you want to risk it?  All of the famous brands have a recognizable logo, so there is a lesson in that for all marketers.  I believe some elements of a business marketing plan are non-negotiable.  A logo is one of them.  I have a favorite graphic designer I farm out all of my client’s logo design needs to, a trusted source of quality work.  I do this because I get quality work at a reasonable price and my clients are always happy.  You can also farm out the design work to some market places on the Internet and get designers to bid and submit proofs for your review.

Regardless, don’t skip past the importance of a quality logo for your business.  It is the anchor for your brand and for your website.

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WordPress Makes Mobile Easy

Everyone has a smart phone.

My mother in law has a smart phone, and mobile internet browsing is continuing to climb.  I have seen the mobile to desktop usage ratios on some of my clients sites at almost 1:1.  Having a website that displays properly on an iPhone, and Android phone, or a Windows phone is now an essential part of your digital marketing strategy.

Responsive Web Design is Hard

Writing the code, using cascading style sheets, to render a website properly on the device the user has at hand is hard.  The array of screen sizes keeps growing and screen resolutions are anything but standard.  Writing code for each screen size, once practical, is now impossible.

WordPress Makes Mobile Easy

Fortunately, WordPress developers and theme designers have made the life of a website developer much easier by building a number of responsive themes and writing standard code in the WordPress engine to aid in the presentation of websites, no matter the screen.

Netnotic Marketing is a huge fan of WordPress, and the many options to choose from, when delivering a responsive website to one of our clients, is one of the many reasons.

Why Love WordPress?

Why Love WordPress?

Because it works!  WordPress started as a purely blogging platform, then evolved so that additional “static pages” could be added, then custom home pages and menus, and …. the list went on.

Content Management Systems have become increasingly powerful over the past several years, and increasingly flexible.  With literally thousands of developers, and millions of website users, WordPress is definitely a tried and tested system.

Now websites built on the WordPress platform have a library of plug-ins to choose from to extend the functionality and thousands of themes to choose from.  With thousands of themes to choose from, you have options of starting with a free theme or, as we recommend, dishing out the $50 to $100 for a premium theme that will offer more features built in.

With a world-wide base of users, WordPress has been tested in every environment and each WordPress update (free) helps to improve the product.

WordPress Makes Mobile Easy

Many WordPress themes, both free and premium, are built on the principle of responsive design.  That is, as the device used to view the website changes, the website format and layout adjusts to the screen size.  This is built in, one of the many reasons why we love WordPress.

How Hard is WordPress?

That’s definitely a future topic for this blog.  For now, it’s fair to say that you want to have your WordPress site set up by someone who has done it before, but then most of the day to day management can be handed off to a non-technical person.  Sure, a little bit of html and css knowledge would be handy, but 90% of content management can be handled without any technical or programming knowledge.

Moving at the Speed of the Customer

Sometimes you get the customer who seems to be in a manic state about everything, hurry, hurry, hurry, and Bam! you’re done.  Sometimes the opposite, a customer who moves at a snails pace, or seems to be going backwards.  When it comes to working with a vast array of customers, one must be ready to adapt to their pace.

Without naming names (he might be reading this) I have a client that works like the Internet is on fire and he has to get it all before it burns up, then, Skreeeeech! FULL STOP!  We wait while he takes care of other business, then full speed ahead again.

Many customers are able to work at a steady pace.  These are the easy ones, but, I must admit, some of the others can be more entertaining.

Regardless, as a consultant agency, we have learned to be patient with those that are behind on delivering the content to us, and to sprint along side those that only have one speed.  Recently I was waiting for a password from one client (the inspiration for this article), for 3 months.  I would see him away from the office, at sporting events and social events, and we would discuss the current web project, with a sense of urgency.  Then I’d wait for the code to be sent by email or text, and wait.

Fast or Slow, if you are in the service business, remember that your customers are writing the checks so it’s the pace of their business that determines the pace of yours.

Why Use the Description Tag?

This topic best phrased as a marketing question, not a pure SEO question.  The description tag is best written by your marketing content experts, not your SEO guru or your webmaster.  Think of the description tag as a teaser ad about the content on your page.

First, lets look at the description tag in a set of search results in the following screen capture of a search results page:

 

seo-description-tag-use

In the image to the left, we have performed a search for the term “Buy Saskatchewan Art” on Google.com.  In the search results pages (SERPs) we see a number of results, the first organic ranking is for SaskArt.org.  The Title tag is displayed first in the results (1), followed by the page URL, then followed by the meta description tag (2).  In this example, the search phase is found in both the page title as well as in the description tag, and, in fact, is highlighted by Google to help users see the relevance to their search term.  The search results following the first place position are close to the original search term, but not an exact match.

 

Two Advantages of the Description Tag

Description Tag as Teaser Ad

This example illustrates the two advantages of the Description Tag, and how it can benefit your digital marketing efforts.  First, let’s consider that the other search results on the first page of Google are also relevant to the search term, as they are in the above example.  The searcher now has at a minimum, 10 results to select from, often more if there also ads positioned with the results.  You are competing against the other 10 search results on the page.  Your search listing needs to convince the searcher that yours is now the listing to click on, that that specific page on your site has the content they are seeking.  The meta description tag, as displayed on Google, gives you 156 characters to convince the searcher to now select your page, to select your content.  This is why your Marketing Department should write the description tag, it’s a 156 character advertisement for your page.  Use it wisely.

Description Tag as SEO Keyword Consistency

Between your page content, your page URL, your page Title, and your meta description tag, you have an opportunity to provide a consistent message to both search engine users as well as search engines.  As part of your SEO strategy, choose the main idea of your page, and make sure you build in consistency between these elements.  It helps Google, and Bing, and others, understand what to expect on your page.  A strong match will improve your ability to show up in the search engines.

More Effective Meta Description Tactics

Here are a few more tactics to use in writing your meta description tag, to solicit a higher click through rate:

  1. ask a question to peak the curiosity of the searcher, a question they can only answer by reading your page
  2. say something controversial or surprising, give them the impression that what follows will be interesting
  3. quote a stat, tell them something they don’t know to capture their attention

Description Tag Default Content

Don’t leave the description tag on your pages blank, or you will leave it up to the search engines to choose what to display in the SERPs.  If your description tag is blank, or missing, search engines will pull snippets from your page, their best guess as to the content that matches the search query.  Take control of your online marketing and use the Description Tag to provide a reason to get clicked.