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3 Telltale Indicators Your Website is an Epic Failure

3 Telltale Indicators Your Website is An Epic Fail

Glaring Red Flags Your Website is Under Performing and What to Do About it

Do you know how well your website is really performing? While a great website can help bring in business; a bad one may be costing you sales.

And just because you have a sharp-looking website doesn’t mean it’s an effective one. 

The sad part is that even though you may have spent a ton of money on a site redesign it doesn’t guarantee it will increase sales.

Here’s three glaring red flags indicating your website is not performing as well as it should and what to do about it.

Having a website is meaningless if no-one knows about it, visits it or sticks around long enough to see what you have to offer.

A Website is meaningless if no-one knows about it, visits it, or sticks aroundClick To Tweet

Here’s what to look out for:

  1. Low Volume of Website Visitors

    Since your website is the primary marketing piece for your business, sending qualified visitors to it is fundamental for success. Here’s some tips to boost your site traffic and get more visitors to see your offerings:

  2. Sending qualified visitors to your website is fundamental for business successClick To Tweet
    • Advertise using Google Ad and other browser paid search, social media advertising and display advertising.
    • Get actively involved in Social media. These efforts can build a following and drive loyal fans to your website.
    • Implement content marketing strategies by frequently adding search engine optimized content to your blog. Writing informative articles and posting value-driven videos will not only attract visitors but also showcase your expertise in your industry.
    • Enlist in an SEO expert who can boost qualified website traffic and also improve your search engine rankings.
  3. High Bounce Rate

    A bounce rate measures the percentage of many visitors leave your website without browsing any further after that first page they land on.  If people visit your home page and click away, that’s a sign changes are needed to keep their interest.

    Quickly leaving website visitors indicate several potential problemsClick To Tweet

    Here’s some reasons why people are leaving your site before exploring any further:

    • Your home page should be compelling and appeal to your ideal target market. Ensure your brand messaging matches what your visitors are expecting to see so they are drawn in and want to learn more. It’s also important to review where you are promoting your business and ensure your offerings are highly relevant for them. Be sure the call to action is clearly prominent for them to take a next step.
    • People can be very impatient. If your website is slow to load, they will leave long before they have a chance to see your offerings. Your site’s load time must be fast to capture (and hold) your visitor’s attention.
    • Users can get frustrated easily if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly. Similarly if they encounter broken links, spelling and grammar errors and have a general bad user experience while trying to navigate your site.
    • Sadly, just having a website is not enough.  It’s critical to have your website display properly on smart phones and mobile devices too.  Today, 1.2 billion people are accessing the Internet from mobile devices. Of those users, up to 80% of them browse using a smartphone.
       
      In other words, if your website is not mobile friendly, you are missing out on a lot of potential business.
  4. No Conversions

    You can have all the traffic in the world, but if they don’t buy, it does you no good. Fortunately, if you aren’t happy with the conversion rate, there are ways to improve your site to improve the number of visitors who convert into paying customers.

    Non-converting website visitors are not good for businessClick To Tweet
    • Most visitors won’t buy after their first exposure to your website.  So it’s really important to capture those leads and follow up with them.  Offering a free giveaway is an effective way to get contact information and build your marketing list.
       
      But if people aren’t signing up for your freebie, then it’s time to make some changes.  You may need a more enticing offering or improve your call to action for the sign up.  Using a popup or exit popup can help boost sign up rates.  Having a more attractive graphic image of your freebie can boost conversions as well.
    • The best way to follow up with these leads is through an auto-responder series that is triggered immediately after they sign up for your free giveaway. Additionally, sending out consistent newsletters to your list is also very effective at staying top of mind for them, increasing your chances greatly of them eventually converting into a paying customer.

If you’re not sure where to find these three valuable metrics, the best way to analyze them is to check your website’s Google Analytics and monitor your website’s performance there.

Ready to Increase Your Website Performance and Get More Sales?

Does your website have high bounce rates? Are you getting minimal interactions on your social media? Do you have a low repeat visitor rate?  An experienced digital marketing agency can review, identify and recommend actions to remedy your website’s “profit holes” where you are losing sales.

The marketing experts here at eVision Media we can quickly boost your website sales and conversion rates. We’ve been increasing website conversions and sales for years with some fantastic results for our clients. Schedule a free consultation today about your website!

To your ongoing success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

3 Telltale Indicators Your Website is An Epic FailClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

7 Frustrating Things Your Visitors Hate About Your Website

Why Your Business Can’t Ignore the Importance of Providing a Positive User Experience (UX)

7 Frustrating Things Your Visitors Hate About Your Website User Experience

Does your site provide the best user experience?

Bad website usability is not only bad for your users; it’s bad for your business too.

What exactly is website usability? It’s definitely one of those industry jargon terms that many entrepreneurs and business owners might not be familiar with. But should!

Website usability means: how easy is it to use your website?

If you’re unsure of what that is, then chances are you may need some help building a strategy for your website.

Your website’s use is how well it accomplishes the reason you built it. Is it to generate leads? Get someone to make a purchase? Direct people to something else? Each page of your website needs a purpose and if that purpose isn’t clear, then the usability is diminished.

A website's usability is gauged by how well it accomplishes your site's goalsClick To Tweet

When web marketers look at usability they’re looking to see whether or not a user can complete a defined task with little to no confusion or frustration.

So how do you know if your customers are finding your website easy to use?

Measuring User Experience and Usability

There are many services that have come and gone when it comes to measuring user activity and a site’s usability.

Heatmap services such as Hotjar or Crazyegg have been semi successful though woefully abused in the hands of those who don’t know what to do with the information. These types of services give the website owner a birds-eye view at where their website visitors are focusing their attention.

Testing groups can be a great asset but at the same time these are closed, controlled groups so they often inadvertently present misinformation by way of not being an accurate representation of the site’s actual target market.

The best way to check your website’s usability is your Google Analytics. Google offers its analytic web-based software for free for many reasons. One is so you can make your website better.

Within Google Analytics site owners can check things like how long someone is on a page, where they entered the page from, what they did on the page, and when they left.

If someone lands on your page and leaves nearly right away you have what is called a Bounce. If the majority of your users are bouncing (called a high bounce rate) then you have a usability issue and are offering up a bad user experience where they have left too quickly to take any action.

Another way to check is to set a conversion measurement. This is when you input information into Google Analytics that triggers a signal when someone completes a task as defined in there. You can even assign monetary values to the conversion if you want to measure the revenue generated through the conversion.

This type of analysis is best left to professionals so get in touch with my team if you need any help.

But Google doesn’t stop there with its free offerings! Try checking things like your site’s speed or mobile usability using these free tools:

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Find helpful tools to assist in your website's usability hereClick To Tweet

Measuring usability is as complicated or as easy as your website is. Larger projects with many types of users and conversion types will have more complicated ways to measure usability but the overall message here is: does your website accomplish your business goals set for it?

Are Your Users Having A Bad Website Experience?

If you’re looking at the overall stats and the numbers are not good then it’s time to look at why your users are having a bad website experience.

Here’s 7 questions to ask yourself about your website to avoid frustrating your users:

  1. Have you clearly defined what your business does and is it appealing to the right audience?
  2. Did you make it as easy as possible for users to find the information they’re looking for? Typically there should be no more than 3 steps between landing on the site and finding what the user wants.
  3. Can a customer contact you easily if they are stuck or have any questions?
  4. Do you have any broken links on your site that will lead users to a dead end?
  5. How fast does the site load (see test above)?
  6. Is your website mobile responsive?
  7. How transparent is your About page?

Nothing can be more frustrating than a dead end so make sure you don’t have any. Users need to have trust established by a website if they’re going to commit their time, money, or both to it.

This is where user test groups can come in handy. Universal website staples that often get forgotten are there so someone who has never been to your website before can have a good experience on it.

Check the few points listed above and if there are areas you haven’t covered or you need help with then get in touch and we’ll be able to break it all down for you.

Is User Experience Really The Same As Usability?

The experience and expectations will vary greatly between websites depending and their purpose.

For large scale big businesses, user experience transcends platforms and current award winners are melding online with offline in attempts to boost both point of sale ‘conversions’ on site and web conversions.

For anyone working in small to medium sized businesses usability is your website’s user experience so focus on that. Make sure when someone lands on your website searching for something, they find what they were needing as quickly and easily as possible.

And don’t forget your user experience doesn’t end there!

A Conversion Is Not the End of the Road for Good Website User Experience

Provide Great Support

Your user experience doesn’t stop when the conversion does.

Think about the process of your conversion from the perspective of someone performing the conversion.

Once you’re done, are you coming back to the website? If you do, are you going to be able to get the support you need right away?

Not having a support channel or any indication of one is a big negative for any user. They likely won’t buy from you if they don’t think they can contact you afterwards regarding any problems.

Refine Your Website Based on Feedback

Make sure you respond to negative feedback with more than dismissive apologies or a canned ‘thanks for the feedback we’ll work on it’ email. Users who have a bad experience during a conversion but a great experience with support can be recovered customers who will likely buy again.

Accept negative feedback as an opportunity to improve even if you disagree with it.

Take what you learn from the feedback as a gift. If a user takes the time to complain about something, treat it seriously and remedy the situation (within reason).

Maybe they completed their task but have feedback on how easy (or not) it was?

In addition to analyzing your Google Analytics, you can follow up with surveys for customers (if they opt in for having one sent to their email of course) to help refine your user experience.

If you need help drafting a survey try this list of some basic website experience survey questions to ask.

I hope you found this all helpful in ensuring your website provides a great user experience. If you have any questions about user experience and usability please post them in the comments below or on our social media or of course feel free to reach out and contact us at any time.

Thanks for reading,
Mark Hare

P.S. For more tips on how to make your website get you the results you’re looking for, sign up for my free website guide plus weekly newsletter for entrepreneurs and small business owners today.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Social Media followers:

7 Frustrating Things Your Visitors Hate About Your Website User ExperienceClick To Tweet

About the Author, Mark Hare

Mark Hare

Mark has been working in search engine optimization, paid online advertising, content marketing, and usability since 2005.

He has worked with hundreds of clients on a wide range of web based projects and is a strong proponent of white hat SEO techniques and link earning over building.


SEO: Using Video for Better Google Brand Exposure

Does it freak you out to do videos that will help with your online marketing efforts?

Videos play a big role in SEO that can drive qualified traffic back to your website. Take advantage of the momentum video has right now. Today’s video eTip shares some ideas on how to do that.

 

Considering YouTube is a major search engine, there’s great opportunity for your business to take advantage of that real estate and expose your business brand to a larger audience.

How to Incorporate Video Into Your Online Marketing

Right now video is hot – it’s capturing people’s interest and business owners should take advantage of this momentum.

One way to do that is incorporate video into your marketing methods while utilizing search engine optimization methods to those videos for extra impact.

So think of a topic your target audience would find of interest, or help answer a question they might be typing into Google, and do a video on that subject.

These searchers will find your video, watch your content and now be further exposed to your business brand and what you have to offer.

Even if they may not be shopping around specifically for your product or service at that moment, they are now aware of you and will think of you if the need arises or perhaps refer you to others.

What to do with Video to Maximize Your Brand Exposure

When you create a video, first add it to YouTube but also add it to your WordPress blog for even more business exposure.

This is what I’m doing with these video eTips by embedding my YouTube video here into a blog post. Now when people do a search on my video topics, they will either find my video in YouTube or here in my blog.

Videos are a part of what’s known as relationship or pull marketing and may not get you immediate results but will give you long-term benefits in brand exposure and recognition.

Give Your Videos SEO Juice for Ideal Exposure

Your goal is to get in the top 3 pages of search results.

Do this by ensuring your video title and description is SEO optimized with brand-related keywords so the search engines pick it up when your target market is doing a search on your topics.

You’ll want to SEO optimize your YouTube video views as well as the WordPress blog post that has your embedded video into it with keyword-rich title and description meta tags.

If you have any questions about SEO or how to incorporate video into your online marketing, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. And if you’re looking for assistance with your SEO efforts, give us a call to discuss.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

SEO: Using Video for Better Google Brand Exposure Click To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Ugly Truth: Why SEO Isn’t Driving Better Website Sales

Why SEO Isn't Driving Sales for Your Website

7 SEO-Related Strategies You Can Do Now to Increase Website Conversions

It’s been said you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.  This is certainly true when it comes to online marketing as well.

While business owners are hungry to achieve 1st page Google rankings (and if they’re not, they should!), sometimes they are puzzled why greater traffic doesn’t lead to greater sales.

After reading this article, you’ll find out what SEO is, what it isn’t, and how to harness the power of SEO to drive more sales for your business.

How to harness the power of SEO to drive more sales for your businessClick To Tweet

What SEO Is

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is online efforts designed to help your website get higher up in search engine rankings.

Basically that means when your potential customers type keywords related to your business in search engines such as Google, your website comes up higher in the search results.

There are many approaches to SEO.  Three common ways include:

  1. Optimizing the main and blog article pages of your website
  2. Link building
  3. Creating keyword-rich content

Google (and other search engines) loves websites that are highly relevant for a given keyword phrase.  So the key is to create valuable content that is optimized for a popular keyword phrase.

Google loves highly relevant, keyword rich content in websitesClick To Tweet

Hiring an SEO firm knows how to capitalize on each of these areas and can help you to optimize your website, create new keyword-rich content and blog posts, and get ranked high in Google.

What SEO Isn’t

SEO does not guarantee you will get more sales or lead conversions. Its sole purpose is to get people to come to your website only.

However, driving traffic to your website with SEO is only half the battle.  It’s also important to make sure your website is designed in a way that converts those leads into sales.

When you have a website that has a solid conversion rate, it ensures the investment you make in SEO will result in a guaranteed boost in sales.

How Do You Improve Website Conversion?

This is where it really pays to hire a marketing firm to analyze your website. 

While a website designer may design a gorgeous website, only a marketer knows techniques to keep your visitors engaged, give them product information, and incent them to take action.

Here are 7 ways to unleash the selling power of your website:

  1. Capture lead information

    Place an opt-in form prominently on every page of your website with a free offer so irresistible that visitors will be compelled to sign up. 
     
    This gives you the opportunity to send an email follow-up messages that builds rapport, provides value, and drives sales.

  2. Make it simple

    Present your options simply so a visitor can categorize themselves and select the right product/service that meets their needs. 
     
    Having 3 or 4 graphics boxes on the home page that show your products and who they are for helps visitors to take the next step.

  3. Build trust fast

    First impressions are critically important.  Within a few seconds people are judging if they trust you, if your option is what they need, and if your solution will solve their problem.
     
    You want to build credibility with testimonials, benefits-driven website copywriting, and professionally designed graphics. 
     
    Add contact information on your website so customers can ask questions and overcome their objections.  A FAQ page or a customer service chat feature helps customers instantly get answers to their most pressing questions.

  4. Build rapport

    Not every visitor will buy right away.  The potential customer might not need your product right away so you may have to prove value more before they feel comfortable in.
     
    They might not trust you yet so offer multiple options that help potential customers stay connected to you.  This can include social media, consistent newsletters, and/ or a blog.

  5. Add incentives

    Create an exit page that gives a special offer before they leave the site.  You could also add an upsell in the shopping cart that gives them a complementary product for just a few dollars more.  Email them a special introductory discount thanking them for being a new customer.

  6. Keep it focused

    A confused mind says “no” so keep your home page simple. Think of it as a funnel so that when your visitors come to your website, think of how you can easily lead them through the choices to buy.
     
    It’s best to remove any text, outgoing links, or information that distracts from the key actions you want a user to take.

  7. Develop a cohesive strategy for each product

    Create a flow chart of possible actions a prospect will take from the moment they land on your website until they buy. 
     
    Have a planned series of marketing communications and offers that work together to nurture that lead into a sale.

SEO and Website Conversion – The Winning Team to Sales Growth

If you are among those frustrated business owners who feels they are doing all the right things to drive traffic but not getting the results you are looking for, look at your website conversion. 

Instead of blaming your SEO team, hire a marketing professional to review your website and turn those new leads into sales for your business.

To your success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

The Ugly Truth: Why SEO Isn't Driving Better Website SalesClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How Meta Tags Influence SEO and Website Rankings

Why Business Owners Need to Go Beyond Just Adding Content to a Web or Blog Page

How Meta Tags Influence SEO and Website Ranking

If your business has a website (of which I hope so!), then it’s important to think beyond just writing keyword rich copy for the page. It’s also vital to utilize the catalog of Meta tags available that can be associated with that page in order to get better traction in the search engines.

Business owners must think beyond keyword rich content and use SEO Meta tagsClick To Tweet

One of the parts of good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques includes HTML Meta tags. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a programmer to learn the basics of Meta tag relevancy and how you can use them to draw your ideal client in to visit your site.

Unlike the early stages of search engines, adding relevant keyword meta tags won’t rank your website higher up the search results anymore. However, Meta tags are a great way for business owners to provide search engines, and their users, with information about their website.

But when used incorrectly, the negative impacts can be detrimental to your business.

Simply put: Tags, by definition, are snippets of text that describe a page’s content but they don’t appear on the actual website itself, they only appear in the pages’ HTML code.

In this article, I’ll cover the six different types of meta tags and why you need to pay attention to them for all pages on your website, including blog posts.

  1. Meta Keywords Attribute (Aka. Keywords Meta Tag)

    Usually, a good keyword meta tag is a list of 10-15 essential ideas related to your web page. They should be based on a specific theme or topic of discussion on any particular page or post on your site.
     
    As mentioned, the “keywords” meta tag was once crucial in the early stages of search engines. In modern times, however, Microsoft’s Bing is the only search engine that still looks at these keywords. Bing also uses keywords to detect spam.
     
    Since some search engines still these tags in their algorithm, we recommend adding them anyway despite many SEO experts saying not to bother.

  2. The Title Tag

    A title tag, on the other hand, is the most important title tag to use on a web page and blog article.
     
    Each page should have a unique title tag that specifically describes the content on that web page.
     
    You will always find the title tags of each web page at the top of your browser, giving the viewer direction as to where they are and more importantly, gives the search engines a primary look into what that page is about.
     
    Meta Title Tag demonstration in Google

    Ideally, you want to use keywords in the title tag but in a way that makes sense to the reader in efforts to draw them in and want to click to continue reading the piece.

  3. The H1 and Other Heading Tags

    These tags are also important. The search engines will look at these as indicators of context.
     
    In terms of on-site SEO, header tags are certainly here to stay–it has been demonstrated that careful optimization can lead to major ranking increases.
     
    Use heading tags as a means to help organize your page or article:

    • H1 tag: What is this page about?
    • H2, H3, H4 tags: What is this section about?
  4. Meta Description Attribute (AKA. Meta Description)

    First and foremost, the Meta description is a short summary sentence that appears in the search result pages under the Page Title.
     
    Often, the meta description information is what shows up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results’ Page) as the page’s description.
     
    Google description Meta tag example
     
    Even though Google had stated that keywords in meta descriptions have no impact on website rankings, they are still considered very important to many SEO leaders.
     
    We at eVision Media, feel that using relevant, well-researched keywords in targeted demographics & geographic regions can only benefit your website ranking.
     
    Another reason to pay careful attention to the Meta description tag is your SERP sales pitch. Use this tag to describe your page in such a way that the user will want to click.
     
    To make the description sound both applicable and sensible isn’t easy; hence, why, we are here to help!

  5. Meta Robots Attribute

    The meta robots attribute is a lesser known meta tag but nonetheless, ranks as the second important meta tag. These tags direct the search engines on what to do with your webpages:

    • HTML code: index/noindex – whether to show your page in the SERPS or not
    • Follow/nofollow- tells the engines what to do with the links on your pages, whether to trust and “follow” your links to the next pages, or not.
  6. Blog Post Tags

    Although not considered official Meta tags, blog post tags are very valuable to your site’s visitors and to search engines.
     
    Much like in WordPress, tags can be used as “categories” next to every blog post to ensure  visitors find the topics they want to read.
     
    From a visitor’s stand point, blog post tags improve the usability of your website as they can identify specific post topics.
     
    Ultimately, blog post tags categorize information on the web page and group them into topics, which in the end, will increase your site ranking.

At eVision Media, we provide hassle-free SEO services that aid in your success of running your business.

Hiring an SEO professional will avoid you from making costly marketing mistakesClick To Tweet

Hiring internet marketing services will help avoid you from making costly mistakes.

A little mistake you make now could cause large problems for you in the eyes of the major search engines later.

Some examples include using your primary keyword too often or giving the images in your blog posts the wrong name. SEO mistakes like these can get your website penalized or maybe even blacklisted by Google.

If you don’t wish to take on the big task of search engine optimizing your website, give us a call. This is what we do every day and achieve incredible results for our happy clients.

To your success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How Meta Tags Influence SEO and Website RankingClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEO

Do you get emails or phone calls out of the blue from somebody promising they can get your website at the top of the search engines?

Sounds appealing doesn’t it? Sadly no such promise can be made since Google does not divulge how their algorithms work; therefore, no one knows how to get a website to the number 1 search results position.

Many of these people making such promises attempt “Black Hat” SEO techniques to try and fool Google.

Watch today’s eTip as I explain what Black Hat SEO is and the difference between it and White Hat SEO, which is what your online marketer should be doing instead:

 

If you do get approached by an “SEO Expert” who promises you they will get your website to number one on Google and your business will soar as a result, ignore them.

These people are after only one thing: your money. The odds are great that you will not get the results you were promised and you will have wasted your money.

Often they will use illegal “black hat” SEO techniques to try and fool the search engines at their own game. Yes, your website may see a temporary spike due to these efforts, but alas, it will be fleeting and your business reputation will suffer as a result.

Google Penalizes Blackhat SEO Techniques

The illegal and unethical use of black hat SEO techniques can be detected by Google’s Panda and Penguin’s search algorithms. These two algorithms were developed to detect and penalize sites that incorporate these tactics.

Black hat techniques include cloaking, link exchanges, duplicate content, buying links, keyword stuffing, hidden text, link farms, writing specifically for search engines while offering no real value in the content, and over-optimization.

As a result of using these types of SEO tactics, your website will be de-indexed and will not be found when someone does a Google search for your site.

Embracing White Hat SEO Techniques

White Hat SEO is what Google and other search engines will reward you for when it comes to search engine rankings.

Here, the focus is on using researched keywords, writing content for your ideal target market, optimizing your website with optimal META and description tags and other various legal tactics that can be used to help your site be higher in the search engines.

There are many things White Hat SEO specialists can do to get your website visible in the search engines. One thing they won’t do, however, is promise you will be at the top. Ethically, they cannot promise something they do not have any control over.

Stay Away From SEO Scammers

Avoid the temptation of reading scammer’s emails or listening to their compelling sales pitch who are promising you things that are too good to be true. You will not get the results you are looking for.

We have had many clients that come to us who did get talked into an SEO program by somebody who called or emailed them out of the blue. They got talked into it and were severely disappointed. They spent a lot of money with little results and a big mess to clean up.

After working with us, we got them back on track with a long-term SEO program that provided long term results.

Preserve Your Business Reputation – Hire a Professional

You need to invest in professional marketing and SEO in order to drive organic traffic to your website on a daily basis. The goal being to get people into your sales funnel and attract qualified leads.

Whoever you hire to do SEO for you, make sure you vet them properly and only use White Hat SEO tactics. Your website, and more importantly, your business reputation is too important to not do your due diligence first.

If you have any questions about SEO, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Also, if you’re looking for a qualified SEO specialist who can boost your search engine rankings, give us a call to discuss.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

The Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEOClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Many SEO Benefits of Creating Keyword-Rich Website Content

How to Use Highly Effective Keywords for a Search Engine Optimized Website

The Many SEO Benefits of Creating Keyword-Rich Website Content

Last week I wrote about the basic search engine optimization principles all entrepreneurs and business owners should be aware of when representing their business online.

And because search engine optimization can be a complex subject, I thought we’d dive further into keywords.

After reading this article, you will be well-informed on the importance of keywords for your website and how to find and use highly effective keywords in order to make your website search engine friendly.

The Importance of Keywords in Your Website Content

How often do you update the content on your website? What about your blog? Has it been abandoned?Falling prey to the busy world of entrepreneurship?

The thing is, search engines love new, current and unique content. They pull the freshest and most relevant content each time a search is performed.

So if your site hasn’t been updated regularly, you can bet your competitor’s content will rank higher than yours in the search results.

Search engines love new, current & unique content; don't miss sales by not being SEO friendlyClick To Tweet

To avoid being ignored by Google and lose out on important organic traffic to your website, it’s important to update it often.

A great way to do this is by consistently adding a new blog article at minimum once a month but more often will get you better results.

(Watch: Overcoming Your Resistance to Blog Writing)

To ensure you provide new and exciting content for Google to index, use different keywords for each article that focus around a specific topic or theme.

Be Careful With Keyword Density

Adding keywords to your blog and website copy is vitally important for SEO but some people can get a little too overzealous and incorporate far too many into their prose.

They write articles using a specific keyword a dozen or more times while aiming for high “keyword density” to let the search engines know they’re targeting that word or phrase.

Unfortunately this strategy actually works against them due to search engines penalizing keyword stuffing.

Instead, focus each piece of content around one or two keywords and let synonyms, variations and so on come up naturally.

Short Tail Vs. Long Tail Keywords

There are two types of keywords to be aware of when writing with SEO in mind: Short Tail and Long Tail.

Simply, short tail keywords are 3 words or less. Long tail are a little different. They are more than 3 words, more targeted and not as broad as short tail.

An example of a short tail keyword would be: “Business ideas” where this would be a highly competitive phrase due to it being so general.

A long tail keyword is more specific such as: “Small business ideas for women entrepreneurs”.

Which then begs the question:

Which Is Better: Short Tail or Long tail?

Short tail keywords have several things working for and against them. If you are trying to drive a lot of traffic to your site, you should use short tail keywords.

But the challenge is if your site is new, you are starting at the back of a very long line while facing an up-hill battle.

Simplifying your options in the table below, you’ll see that long tail keywords are the far better choice for focus and more importantly, getting the highly coveted conversions:

SEO Keyword Comparison Chart

At the end of the day, you need to do what is best for you and your small business.

Finding Ideal Keywords for Website Copy

Keyword research is the process of finding the right keywords in your niche market. This step is important if you wish to grow your blog/website in a shorter span of time.

There are various methods you can use to find keywords. Here are a few we prefer to use at eVision Media:

15 Top Keyword Research Tools

  1. Google Keyword Planner (Free) You must have a Google AdWords account to access.
  2. IMForSMB (Free) Great for localized businesses but has a very limited range of industries.
  3. Long Tail Pro (Free Trial) A very comprehensive keyword tool finding profitable keywords.
  4. 7 Search (Free and Fee Based) Used mainly for paid advertising keyword searches.
  5. Soovie (Free) Multi-platform based tool.
  6. Seed Keywords (Free) Create your own scenarios; very useful for specific niches.
  7. Hit Tail (Free Trial) A long tail keyword tool.
  8. Keyword Tool Dominator (Free Trial) Uses Google, Amazon, You Tube and Bing databases.
  9. Term Explorer (Free Trial) Used by many in-house and SEO-based companies.
  10. SEO Cockpit (Paid) More useful in Pay Per Click paid advertising scenarios.
  11. SEM Rush (Paid) An online tool that lets you find great keywords. You can also put in the URL of a website and it shows all the keywords your website is ranking for.
  12. Word Tracker (Free) One of the best free alternative tools to the Google Keyword Planner that reveals 1000’s of profitable longtail keywords with SEO competition.
  13. Moz Keyword Explorer (Free Trial) Great tool to discover and prioritize the best keywords to target.
  14. Buzz Sumo  (Free Trial) Helps you see what’s being shared so you can get a handle on what’s popular on social networking.
  15. Keyword Tool (Free) One of our favourites. A great Keyword tool that helps you find the keywords people are typing as a Google Search.

There are many benefits to conducting high level keyword researches, including this can lead to thousands upon thousands of long-tail searches.

You probably won’t use all 15 of these tools since many provide the same level of features, but it’s worth it to experiment with several if you want to tackle SEO alone without the expertise of an SEO professional.

Why You Should Hire a SEO Professional

Hiring an SEO professional saves time. Trying to do your own SEO will take up a lot of time, especially if you don’t know a lot about marketing or SEO.

Running a full SEO campaign can be a daunting task to handle alone; fortunately, SEO experts have the knowledge and expertise to do this much faster and more proficiently than someone who is also focused on running their business in a different industry.

Hiring a professional will avoid you from making costly mistakes.

A little mistake that you make now could cause large problems for you in the eyes of the major search engines later.

Some examples include using your primary keyword too often or giving the images in your blog posts the wrong name. SEO mistakes like these can get your website penalized or maybe even blacklisted by Google.

If you don’t wish to take on the big task of search engine optimizing your website, give us a call. This is what we do every day and achieve incredible results for our happy clients.

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

The Many SEO Benefits of Creating Keyword-Rich Website ContentClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

SEO 101: Why Entrepreneurs Need to Pay Close Attention

Whether you are a solopreneur or run a busy business, SEO is a piece of your marketing pie that you can’t ignore.

What the heck is SEO anyway? I know this phrase has been around for years but a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners do not really totally understand what it means.

Watch today’s eTip as I explain exactly what SEO is and what you need to know so you can take advantage of its power in driving qualified traffic back to your website:

 

The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In terms of your website, your SEO objective is to be visible in front of your target market when they are doing a search in search engines such as a Google, Yahoo!, Bing or any of the other search engines available.

Understanding What Your Target Market is Searching for

When people do a “Google” search, they are looking for a solution to a problem. If your business offering matches that solution, your goal is to position yourself in front of those people so you can provide the solution they are seeking.

This is where SEO comes in.

SEO is a form of marketing that captures the interest of people who do not know you yet but your product or service will be the solution they seek. Your goal is to position your website listing high enough in the search results rankings to be seen by those people.

Ideally you want to be in the first 3 pages of search results. If they can’t find what they are looking for after the third page, they are going to try a different Google search.

Why Keywords are Important

Your job is to understand what your target market would be typing into the search engines. Do some research to find out What keywords they be using if they were looking for your product or service.

Once you have that understanding, take those keywords and phrases and infuse them into your website through title tags, description tags, keyword META tags, and the website page and blog content as well.

No One Knows the Secret to High Rankings

The biggest problem marketers face is not knowing what the best solution is to get a website ranked number one in the search engine rankings.

Nobody knows. No one has that secret to success so be aware of those that promise you rankings at the top of search engines. No one can make that kind of promise.

As an entrepreneur you want to get your website as high up in the search engine rankings so your target market can easily find you.

Then it’s up to your website to appeal to that target market and convert those people either into your list so you can further nurture them or to make a purchase.

The Reality of Entrepreneurship

The reality of being a business owner is you have to keep inviting your target market to come to your website. The best way to do that is by investing in SEO to drive qualified traffic to your website. You want to nurture new people who do not know you yet and convert them into paying clients.

If you have any questions about SEO, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Also, if you’re looking for a qualified SEO specialist who can boost your search engine rankings, give us a call to discuss.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

SEO 101: Why Entrepreneurs Need to Pay Close AttentionClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

Basic Search Engine Optimization Principles for Entrepreneurs

Basic Search Engine Optimization Principles for Entrepreneurs

How Keyword Rich Content is Directly Related to SEO for your Business

Ever wonder what SEO really is but were afraid to ask?

SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. It’s the umbrella term for all the methods you can use to ensure your website is found by various search engine result pages (SERPs).

Google is the most widely used search engine but it’s certainly not the only one. There’s Bing, Yahoo!, AOL and others.

If your website does not appear higher up in their search rankings, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.

If your website is not SEO friendly, you're missing out on a huge opportunityClick To Tweet

The goal of SEO is to get qualified leads and prospects to discover your business when they are searching for products or services that you offer in the search engines.

SEO isn’t Rocket Science but it can be Complicated

When it comes to SEO, a few important tactics can greatly improve your presence in the increasingly crowded online space.

If you’re attempting search optimization on your own or more wisely hiring an SEO expert, it’s important to be informed with certain SEO fundamentals before proceeding.

Search engines try to provide the most relevant results to a searcher’s query. Whether it’s an answer to a simple question like, “how many ounces are in a gallon?” to more complicated queries such as, “what is the best Chinese restaurant nearest to me?”

After reading this article, you will gain a better understanding of what you need to know before beginning an SEO campaign and what your role is if you decide to outsource this valuable marketing strategy.

Know Your Audience and What Content They’re Looking For

Why Content Marketing Plays a Big Role in SEO

First let’s look at what SEO feeds on. And that is content (text, images, videos etc) found on your website.

Since great SEO relies on how well your content is ranked,  as well as factoring in your social media and local engagements, you want to keep fluff content to a minimum and focus on quality.

While it sounds time-consuming, quality content has benefits that reach beyond SEO.

Quality website content has benefits that reach well beyond SEOClick To Tweet

Good content is useful across all marketing mediums and forces you to think through your message from a topic and keyword perspective.

The key is to ensure you are honing in on what actually matters to your audience.

It’s imperative you know who would want to buy your products or services and what they’re searching for in the search engines in order for them to find your website as the solution to their needs.

Your initial instincts may be correct, but you might be missing things that could gain additional website traffic, potential relationship opportunities, or new market segments to your business.

Therefore, proper due diligence is paramount in order to map your target audience to the keywords, topics, and phrases they’re using in and around your industry.

Create SEO-Driven Content

Writing only for search engines usually makes your content boring. Typically that strategy won’t help to  convert your visitors into customers.

It’s far better to focus on people first. Make your content as value-driven as possible and then optimize it for search engine bots without sacrificing the quality of your content.

The underlying content is extremely important. Too many people skimp on content but it’s one of the major anchors that tether you to Google’s relevancy algorithms.

The problem we see a lot of entrepreneurs run into is them creating content “they” think is perfect and sounds great to them but SEO wise, can at times be utterly worthless.

Being authentic is important but do so while factoring in the reason why you’re creating the content in the first place with marketing, branding, lead generation and of course SEO in mind.

Thin content with errors, or duplicate content and spun or spam content can really hurt you.

Instead, the content not only has to be lengthy, but it has to be well-written, keyword rich and highly engaging where readers are spending a good amount of time digesting and consuming that content.

Content Creation for SEO Success

As you create content, you’ll want to make sure each page is optimized for:

  • Page speed,
  • bot crawling,
  • responsive friendliness, and
  • overall findability.

An Initial investment in a site audit or recommendations for establishing a few initial best practices will save you much time and money in the long run.

Ideas for new content can be gathered from questions your own clients often ask or visit online forums and social media to find questions around your industry, products, and marketplace for more inspiration.

Check the competition with content ideas to ensure you’re on par with your competitors when it comes to covering topics and questions in the industry concerning your company.

Manage Your Keywords Wisely

The key to pleasing both search engines and visitors is to have quality content on our website that includes keywords your target market would be using in the search engines when looking for a solution to a problem your business can solve.

To do this, you want to run your keywords and topics through a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to make sure the topics and keywords you have chosen have enough search volume and potential traffic to make them worthwhile.

Be sure to take into account the relevance of the search to your audience.

The narrower the topic focus, the lower the traffic typically. This is often offset by the accuracy and interest of the audience.

Do not Spam the keywords!

This also means using different connotations of the same words over and over again within your content.

Google loves NEW content. Keep in mind that websites are liquid so this is where your blog plays a major role in effective SEO.

What Search Engines Are NOT Looking For

Search engine spiders only have a certain amount of data storage. If you’re performing shady tactics or trying to trick them, chances are you’re going to hurt yourself and your business reputation in the long run.

At the end of the day, focusing on quality content that can be easily found by your target audience will benefit all of your marketing and sales efforts. Spend a lot of time on the things above and the rest will fall into place.

Ready to Hit the Top Pages of Google for Your Best Keywords? We can help!

eVision Media offers robust SEO Services.  We are experts in optimizing WordPress sites to rank higher in the search engines. Contact us today to find out more how to boost traffic and rankings with SEO strategies for your business website today.

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

Basic Search Engine Optimization Principles for EntrepreneursClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How Personal and Business Branding Begins with a Professional Headshot

How Personal and Business Branding Begins with a Professional Headshot

Why it’s Time to Ditch Your Selfie Profile Photo for a More Favourable First Impression

Does your social media profile photo reflect the professional business person you want to be perceived as by prospects?

What about your website or other touchpoints a prospective client might encounter to help them determine if you are the best person to work with?

I find many solopreneurs and business owners are not as keenly aware as they should be about how acutely important professional headshots are to their personal and business brand.

Many solopreneurs aren't aware of how important headshots are to their personal & business brandClick To Tweet

I know I didn’t for many years until I finally broke down and had my first photoshoot done a few years back.

Wow, what a difference it made to my overall brand positioning and the perception others had of me as a business professional!  Suddenly the first impression I was making on prospective clients and business-related connections was far more favourable.

All thanks to Taneane Twele of TT Photography in Mission and Judy Doduk of Judy D Beauty in Abbotsford who have teamed up to provide photography, make-up and even hair services in their Shine Portraits package.

Professional Make-up for Photoshoot with Judy DodukSince it’s been 3 years since those initial photos were taken, I recently headed back to Taneane’s studio to better reflect how I look today.

I know how many business owners strongly resist having professional photos done. Me too. I was overweight and avoided the camera lens at all costs. But somehow, miraculously as far as I was concerned, Taneane was able to position me in various poses that showcased ME instead of the excess weight I was carrying.

Whatever your reasons for avoiding the camera, trust me when I tell you a professional photographer, combined with professional make-up application, will make a world of difference and enable you to be showcased professionally in front of your prospects and clients.

Using a professional photographer & make-up artist makes a huge difference in your personal brandClick To Tweet

Click here to watch a quick video I did with Taneane while on location during our shoot.

At the end of the day, professional photos give the impression you care about your personal and professional image. It’s that favourable perception others have of you that will greatly enhance the success of your business.

If your profile photo was taken years ago or not done by a professional photographer, it’s time to step up and create a better lasting impression by booking a professional photoshoot. And once you have your new photos in hand, ensure you use them!

Here’s several places to incorporate your professional headshot:

  • All Social Media Profiles

    Whether you are active on them or not, people are accessing any and all of your social media profiles at any given moment.
     
    Try to vary your photos if possible. For instance, I use a more personable, friendly photo on my personal Facebook page where a more professional photo is used on the Business page, LinkedIn and other professional networks.
     
    They are each professional photos but what I’m wearing and my pose makes the difference between the friendly and casual look compared to a more polished and professional one.

  • Online Profiles

    If you do any form of content marketing, the odds are good you have bio profiles scattered in several places that showcase you being the author of your piece. Take a look at places like Storify, Business 2 Community, or YouInc and ensure your professional headshot is in place.
     
    Don’t forget about other websites and platforms you might not visit often like Skype, Medium, Alignable, WordPress, DISQUS, Gravatar, and other places that require an avatar to go with your name and bio.

  • Social Media Banners

    If you are the face of your business, then you need to get comfortable with seeing yourself in the spotlight. For instance, if you are a speaker, author or industry leader, then your social media banners should also include your photo.
     
    Have your photographer take shots of you “in action” either posed or live when on stage. This welcomes followers and prospects into your world and gives them a feel for what their experience would be like if they went to see your presentation.

  • Your Website

    Most entrepreneurs are the face of their business regardless of the industry they are in. Placing a professional image of you throughout your website is imperative for prospects to get a favourable impression of you and your business.
     
    Use your About page wisely and ensure your photo evokes trust with your website visitors. You want your photo to give the impression you are friendly, approachable and honest.

  • Email Signature

    How many emails do you send out in a day or week? More than likely that’s a lot of eyeballs you have an opportunity to gain better brand visibility with through an email signature.
     
    Get a professional eSignature designed that includes your photo so when people meet you in person, they feel they already know you and are a familiar face.

  • Marketing Collateral

    Whatever you do when it comes to your print and digital marketing pieces, you are definitely leaving a lasting impression on whoever it comes in contact.
     
    Whether it’s your business card, promotional materials or advertisements, take advantage of the opportunity to have your personal and brand be showcased by using your professional head shot.
     
    This will help build upon the valuable “Know, Like and Trust” factor you want to achieve with your target market.

Sadly, the truth of being a business person is prospects are going to judge you based on your appearance. That first impression could literally make them decide whether or not they can trust you to do business with or move on to your competitor.

If you want to give a lasting and positive impression to your followers and potential clients, make the small investment to get professional headshots done. This type of business investment will get you great returns – it did for me!

Have you resisted getting professional photos done for your business? Share below your reasons.

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How Personal and Business Branding Begins with a Professional HeadshotClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".