All posts by WEB ROI

Jason’s Tips: Your Name Here… On Google

This may seem obvious, but if you go to Google and type in your name, do you come up first? What about on the map (Google My Business)? What if someone actually searched you by name, not your company, you? 

Being found by your company name is not really hard, although I’ve seen plenty of businesses who don’t show up first when searched by name. The first thing you need to do if that’s you is some simple on-site SEO. Just include your business name in your Title and Description tags, put your location with your full address on the bottom of each page of your website and make sure you have online directory listings referencing your company by name and address with a link to your website. It will take a matter of days for you to rank by name if you do these things correctly.

As well, you might be surprised but people search for you by name online. If you search “Jason Gervais” on Google, you’ll see an Olympian, a musician, and me. Clearly Google doesn’t think I’m as popular as an Olympian or a musician but anyone who is familiar with me or my business can find me, learn about me and find my website. You should be the same. You are your own brand in some fashion, even it it’s only as a professional, or a President or CEO. Whatever people find online about you should reflect your best self. LinkedIn will almost always come up as one of the first links when you are searched by name. So ensure you have a solid LinkedIn profile with a professional headshot, not a pic of you driving a beer at the cottage! Those pictures are great, but not on LinkedIn. 

I hope this is a helpful tip for you . If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call. 

Have a great week! 

JG

 

Jason’s Tips: Is Your Website Helping People Understand Your Company?

When you are first introduced to a new prospective customer, what do you do? Is there a first meeting? What do you call that meeting? What do they get out of it? What happens next? And then what?

Your website is a tool. But like many tools, it doesn’t work if it’s not plugged in. Okay, that’s weird but what I mean is you need to plug your website into your business and sales process. Engage visitors to your website as though you would engage any brand new prospective customer who doesn’t really know exactly what you do or how you can help them.

Use your website to help people learn how you work with customers, what are the steps and processes and what will the outcomes be.

I hope this is a helpful tip for you. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call.

Have a great week!

JG

Optimization Station: Google’s BERT Update

google bert update

Last Friday (10/25), Google released their BERT update, which they’re calling their most important update of the last five years. It impacts an estimated 10% of search queries.

What is BERT and what does it mean for us and our clients?

BERT is a major Google update affecting complicated search queries that depend on context. The update will improve language understanding, particularly for conversational/natural language search queries. For example, the intent of a search query could change dramatically by using “for” or “to”. Also, words like “rose” and “bass” have multiple meanings. BERT helps Google to understand this and generate better results.

Here are a couple examples of BERT in action. You can see how BERT helps Google to understand the queries and generate more accurate results.

 

In the first example, Google now better understands that the user is looking to travel from Brazil to the US, not the other way around. In the second example, Google understands the context of “for someone” and generates better results accordingly.

What are the benefits of this change?

Well, to be honest, BERT does not have much of an immediate effect on our clients. The biggest takeaway is that it becomes more important to use words in the correct context. As always, we should firstly be writing for humans, secondly for Google. Writing content unnaturally to include keywords will end up hurting their SEO, but this has been the case for a while now.

Here’s what Google’s Danny Sullivan had to say about the update:

 

Some important things to note:

  • BERT does not mean optimizing your site for long tail keywords

Optimizing for long tail keywords is essential to any SEO campaign, but the introduction of BERT doesn’t make it any more important than it was previously.

  • BERT does not make stop words any more important than they were previously

Because the initial SEJ article explaining the update used to “to”/”from” example, some SEOs are claiming that stop words are much more important now. This is not true. Remember, the update is all about understanding the context of searches, not on-page optimization. That example is simply used to note how the context of a query can change dramatically by using “to” instead of “from” and vice versa.

If you have any questions about this SEO update, or anything SEO or Digital Marketing related, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Sources:

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-bert-update/332161/

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-bert-misinformation/332931/

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-applies-new-bert-model-to-search-rankings-affecting-1-in-10-queries/332135/#close

 

 

Jason’s Tips: Why Is Securing My Website So Important?

In July, 2018 Google’s Chrome browser began marking non-HTTPS sites as “not secure”. Why is that a problem? Well, for one, it will affect how your website ranks on Google. And also it will influence how visitors perceive your business. Who wants to do business with a company that is not secure? 

If you haven’t taken the steps to ensure your website is secure, all you need to do is contact your web host and ask them to add a secure hosting HTTPS to your hosting account. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but I assure you it is a big enough deal, especially if you are hoping to generate more high quality leads and revenue from your website. 

I hope this is a helpful tip for you. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call. 

Have a great week! 

JG

Jason’s Tips: Are You Engaging Visitors Who Aren’t Ready To Buy Now?

Last week we talked about the importance of using a Call to Action (CTA) to get visitors to engage with you. But what can you do to engage people who are more curious than serious? Obviously you don’t want to waste your time with someone that’s not ready to buy and they probably don’t want to waste their time either.

So, how can you provide value to them that helps them through their decision making process? We always recommend using a secondary CTA, which is a free download like a checklist, guide or white paper. It really doesn’t matter what it is as much as it matters that the visitor would perceive enough value in it that they would be willing to trade their email address for it. 

Once you have captured their email and they have received your free value-add information, you now have the ability, with their permission, to market to them using email and automation tools. If you are reading this email right now, you can clearly see the value of keeping your name in front of your prospective customers, and educating them through the process of eventually buying from you. 

I hope this is a helpful tip for you ~Contact.FirstName~. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call. 

Have a great week! 

 JG

Optimization Station: Recent Google Updates

All aboard for the most recent Optimization Station updates from our SEO team, on changes that could affect your organic search ranking and performance.

1. Google is Testing Search Results Without URLs

Google is testing the removal of website URLs from search results, showing only the website name instead. Since they (Google) introduced breadcrumbs site-wide a few months ago, they’ve been slowly phasing URLs out of search results. Removing URLs completely likely won’t have too much effect on SEO, but a couple Reddit users did raise some interesting points.

  • One user was concerned that phishing sites may try to use the branding of sites they’re trying to impersonate. In a worst case scenario, these sites may be able to trick users into sharing sensitive/personal information like credit card numbers and passwords.
  • Another user points out that while this likely won’t change much in terms of SEO, it will change how users interact with search results, because users won’t be able to decide whether or not to click through based on the perceived trustworthiness/authority of the URL.

Without URLs in search results, users won’t instinctively be drawn to the brand name that they immediately recognize, and instead would simply select the content that applies to them the most.

2. Google Chrome Will Block Mixed Content

Google recently announced that Chrome will begin blocking web pages with mixed content beginning in December 2019. For those who are unaware, mixed content is when a secure page (https) includes unsecure content (http) like images, scripts, and styles.

According to Google, mixed content “degrades the security and user experience of your HTTPS site. Using these resources, an attacker can often take complete control over the page, not just the compromised resource.”

When this change is rolled out in December, Google will do two things:

  1. They will automatically upgrade http content to https if the resource exists, and
  2. They will allow users to change their Chrome settings to allow mixed content if they wish to

The unblocking setting will be completely removed by January 2020 and pages with mixed content will no longer show up in search results.

Man searching on laptop for SEO performance

3. Google Lets Site Owners Customize Their Search Result Snippets

Google has always shown search snippets based on the users’ queries and the device that they’re using. Whereas previously, site owners could only select whether or not they wanted a snippet to be shown, Google is now allowing them to customize their search snippets.

The customization methods involve robot meta tags and a new HTML attribute.

With these customization methods, site owners will be able to whether or not to show a snippet, a maximum text amount to show, a maximum video duration to show, and a maximum image size to show.

With the new HTML attribute, users can set where their featured snippet ends.

While it’s great to have Google feature your content directly in their search results and recognize your website as an authority, it often prevents users from clicking through to the site since the “answer” is already given on the SERP page.

With these changes, featured snippets become much more valuable than they were previously.

A few other quick notes on this update

  • It has no effect on search rankings. It only changes how results are seen by the user.
  • The robot meta tag changes come into effect mid/late October 2019 and the HTML attributes will be introduced later in the year.
  • Google will 100% follow these settings. They will not use it as a “recommendation” as they often do.
  • There will be no difference between mobile and desktop settings.

Have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us today.

Jason’s Tips: Do You Know Which Calls to Action Work Best?

What do you want your prospective customers to do, in order to start your sales process with them? The most powerful and most underused tool on your website should be a Call to Action (CTA) which asks your visitors to do what you want them to do. It may seem obvious but it is shocking how many company websites simply don’t ask people to do anything! What’s not shocking is that people who are not asked to do something, generally don’t.

So, it’s important not to leave this up to chance. You should always include at least one CTA on each page of your website, and we like to include it at the top, middle and bottom of each page since you never know where visitors will see it or where they will be on the page when they decide to take the next step.

But what’s equally important to having a CTA is knowing which type of CTA to use. If you saw someone that you want to date, would you have more luck inviting them for coffee or suggesting they meet you at your place around 8PM? Both approaches could work, but the intent for each party in either situation is very different.

Similarly, if your ultimate goal is to sit down at someone’s kitchen table for an hour with both partners present to make a decision to spend a lot of money on a home project, for example, you could have a CTA that invest them to “book a 60 min home consultation”, or you could take the initial engagement back to a short call to qualify the and see if a 60 minute consultation makes sense. In that case your CTA would be something simple like “book an intro call” or simply “get a quote”, which would start the conversation and potentially lead to the in person meeting.

The point is that asking someone to commit too early could have the affect of eliminating the potential engagement altogether, or it could actually help you be screening out the tire kickers. You need to decide which is the better option for your business. 

I hope this is a helpful tip for you. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call. 

Have a great week! 

JG

Jason’s Tips: Should You Focus on Search or Display Ads?

When does it make sense to invest in Google paid search ads vs. investing in display advertising?

Our philosophy is that when there is a volume of people who have a need for your product or service and they are searching for it, you should be found when they search. So your advertising budget should first focus on the active searcher who is ready to spend money in the short term.

But sometimes, depending on the season or industry niche, search volume can be lower. When there are not enough people searching for your products or services, it makes sense to place display ads in locations where your target audience typically spends time online.

And when you have spend all the budget you can on search and still have some money left over, you should definitely focus that on display ads. 

Display advertising is like the old newspaper advertising, where you put your ads where potential customers’ eyes are likely to see them. The advantage with digital ads is that marketers have a great deal of control of the nature of the ad, where it is placed, which eyes are likely to see it, and with an incredible amount of control over how users can engage with the ads as well as measuring the actual results. 

I hope this is a helpful tip for you. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call. 

Have a great week! 

JG

Jason’s Tips: Are You Trying to be Different Online?

What colour are links? Where does a company logo go on a website? Where is the menu? If you want to get to the contact us page, where would you find that button? 

These questions have simple, logical answers. The thing is, some companies want to differentiate themselves and they will get creative with these things. In some cases it may make sense to be creative, but in our experience, when it comes to getting the best results from your website and online marketing, being too creative almost always leads to disappointment. 

Your logo should always be in the top left corner. Your menu should always be along the top or on the left side. Nowadays it is accepted practice to show your menu as 3 lines which, when clicked on, expand the full menu. But that menu button should be situated in the common place where users would expect to see it. And your contact us page should be the last item on your menu. Never hide it under a sub menu and it’s also a good idea to include your phone number in the top right of every page of your website so people can easily contact you when needed. 

I hope this is a helpful tip for you. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call. 

Have a great week! 

 

JG

Jason’s Tips: Who is Your Target Audience?

Have you ever taken the time to identify your target personas? Most businesses have between 1-3 target personas. It’s like if you could identify the perfect prospect and give him or her a name and a face, then you would be able to communicate with them on a one-to-one basis instead of talking to a crowd and hoping they are listening.

It’s a very valuable exercise and it really helps you when it comes to creating the content for your website. You’re able to use words and focus on the things that really resonate with your audience on an individual level.

I encourage you to put some time and effort toward this exercise. You’ll find it really helps you come up with great content and it will connect better with your audience.

I hope this is a helpful tip for you. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call.

Have a great week!

JG