All posts by WEB ROI

Cold and Flu Prevention in the Office

Hand Washing

It’s that time of year. Not only are we cooped up inside because the weather is miserable outside, but we simply can’t seem to avoid getting sick. With a mild winter like the one we are having in Ontario this season, cold bacteria and flu viruses manage to survive much easier since they are not being frozen and killed. Here we discuss how to keep your immune system humming, how to maintain an office that prevents spreading germs, what to do if you suspect you might be under the weather, and what to do if you do get sick.  

Keeping Your Immune System Strong as a Shark 

It’s true, sharks have one of the most complex immune systems in the animals kingdom. This means they hardly, if ever, get sick. There is your fun fact for the day. Unfortunately for us humans, we aren’t so lucky. We heavily rely on our immune system to help our body fend off bacteria and viruses every second. The device that you are reading this blog on is likely one of the dirtiest things you will touch all day. Think about it; if you are on your cellphone reading this, your hands are always all over your phone, people talk over your phone, it’s frequently dropped or left places that are very unclean, and then we all end up putting it up against our face to take a call. If you are on a computer, when was the last time you cleaned that keyboard or mouse? Does anyone have some extra disinfecting wipes? Bleh.  

Being aware of what you touch and what enters your body is one of the best defenses you have against catching a bug. Another great thing you can do is support your immune system. Especially this time of year where constantly changing weather, large congregations of people indoors, dry air, and stress are common, our immune systems can use a bit of help keeping up with germs that creep into our lives. Here are some very simple things you can do help boost your immune system: 

  • Sleep. Yes, just sleep. Let your body get a good night’s sleep (7-8 hours average), it will help your immune system function properly. 
  • Exercise. A healthy body in every aspect helps to keep your immune system happy. 
  • Relax. Stress can cause your immune system to blow a tire and a mechanic can’t get to you if you remain stressed.  
  • Eat well. Observe your diet, eat lots of fruit and veggies. They contain many vitamins and minerals that your immune system uses. 
  • Garlic. Yum. Eat lots of garlic. Raw, cooked, however you like, the allicin in garlic does a great job of fighting off those pesky germs.
  • Get your vitamins. Whether you consume them via supplements, or in the food you eat, be sure to have lots of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complexes, Zinc, Echinacea, and Ginseng. 
  • Personal Hygiene. Wash your hands, often. Sanitize your hands and workstation. Avoid touching your face. Even if you aren’t touching your mouth or picking your nose, once germs are on your face it is very easy for them to enter your body.  

Keeping the Office Healthy  

So, what does all of this mean for the office? Well, it is quite simple.  

Clean. The bathroom is one of the cleanest places in the office. The dirtiest? Door handles, printers/copiers and your workstation. Get some disinfecting wipes and wipe everything down at least once a day. Set a calendar event, make it a team building exercise, get creative with it. 

Wash your hands. After you use the bathroom, of course. But do you wash your hands after you shake someone’s hand, what about before you eat, or after you cough or sneeze? These are the most critical times to wash up. If you can’t get to a sink that has some soap, keep a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer near you and use it often. Have your office move to the fist bump, at least until things warm up if fist bumping your boss every morning becomes too awkward.  

Everyone says they wash their hands, but very few people know how to do it properly. Washing your hands should not be a quick event. Don’t spend hours over the sink scrubbing in like you are a surgeon, but follow these tips: 

  • Use warm water. Cold water doesn’t let the soap do its job properly. 
  • Use soap, and lots of it.  
  • Lather all over your hands. This includes between your fingers, under your fingernails, and the back of your hands.
  • Lather for a minimum of 20 seconds, ideally for about a minute. Sing the whole of happy birthday in your head (or out loud) and you will probably be good. 
  • Rinse off the soap while still lathering until all the soap is off your hands. 
  • Dry your hands with a paper towel or blow dryer. 
  • Turn off the taps with the paper towel to not touch the handle and use the same paper towel to open the bathroom door to exit.  
  • Walk out feeling clean as a whistle.  

Sick Lady

Your Body Can Put Up A Fight but Won’t Always Win 

The truth is we can try all we want to help our immune system flourish, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. We should always try to do what we can to keep healthy but as bacteria evolves and changes our bodies can’t always keep up. You know when you get that tired achy feeling in your body? It usually means our immune system is in overdrive trying to fight off a bug. If you begin to feel this way, it’s time to take the tips from earlier very seriously. This is a critical make or break period, if you don’t beat the bug, you are likely going to end up with a full-blown cold, infection or flu.  

If that happens, getting better should be your number one priority. Get plenty of rest, and don’t be a hero. Don’t go to work. Stay at home and away from others. When you are sick you are highly contagious, and you don’t want to risk spreading that to your coworkers. Additionally, your immune system is compromised, so going out can increase your risk of catching something else or making it worse. The exception here, of course, being going to see a doctor. Once you are all better, everyone at the office will be happy to see you, I promise (except maybe Chad in accounting).  

If we all do our part, we can work towards keeping everyone healthy and happy this season. Talk to your boss or manager about what you can do in the office, and as a team to fight the cold and flu this year.  

 Sources: 

https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/preventing-colds-and-flu-at-the-office 

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-avoid-the-office-cold-2013-10 

https://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Topics/Cold-and-Flu-Season.aspx 

https://healthengine.com.au/info/cold-and-flu-prevention-at-work 

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/coldflu.htm 

https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html 

Jason’s Tips: Changing your Call to Action to Engage the Curious

Curiousity

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 blog 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. 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  

Social Media in Digital Marketing

Social Media Like

One of the greatest tools a business can employ is social media . The impact of social media for your business can be deep and wide. Social media has had exponential growth over the past decade. Individuals, businesses, governments, even animals all have their own social media outlets. Social media has been able to connect the world in a way never thought possible. Social media, amongst all its different outlets, has the power to share information, pictures, videos and even generate interest, loyalty and sales. In this day and age a business would be remiss if they were to fail to utilize social media as a digital marketing tool in this, the golden age of social media.

You’re probably asking yourself what exactly is the role of social media in digital marketing?

Social media dominates the social lives of Gen-Y, Millennials, and Gen-Z. Social interactions happen online more frequently and are arguably more important than those in the real world to these individuals. It is evident that the online world and social media is the best way to reach a massive group of individuals.

Define Social Media

Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. This means; social media are digital platforms where information can be shared with unlimited communities and other networks.

Digital Marketing

Marketing as defined by the American Marketing Association, is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. Taken for the digital age, all of these activities are employed across digital channels, including social media outlets.

Social media in digital marketing is used as a tool to reach a wide number of individuals. Businesses can harness the use of social media in order to specifically reach their target audience and meet them on the platforms they are familiar with and use the most frequently.

Forms of Social Media

Social Media Notifications

In general people are mainly aware of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram as social channels, but there are many other websites and types of social media outlets that can benefit a business. Social media can help build up loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will freely tell others about you and market for you. As of 2018 over 88% of medium and large sized North American companies are now marketing on Social Media. This illustrates how massive the impact of social media can be. So, what are your options for social media outlets?

Different Types of Social Media Networks:

Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

These typical types of Social Media are used to associate with people (and even brands) online. They help your business through branding, social awareness, relationship building, customer service, lead generation, and conversions. You can differentiate types of social media campaigns on these networks in order to help you widen your reach. Social networks encourage people and businesses to interact online and share information and thoughts as a form of relationship management between provider and consumer.

Media Sharing Networks: Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube

Media sharing forms of Social Media are used to find and share photographs, live video, and other kinds of media on the internet. They also help in brand building, lead generation, lead nurturing, and targeting. These networks give individuals and brands a place to discover and share media so that specific audiences can be targeted and converted into followers and sales.

Blogging & Publishing Networks: WordPress, Tumblr, Medium

These are very common types of websites often not considered a form of social media. They should however be considered social media, even when built into a business’s website. This is where Social Media Optimization and Search Engine Optimization blend together. In a blog keywords should be used in order to have your blog posts rank well in search engine results pages. Frequently called content marketing, this is one of the best ways to target, attract, engage and convert a target audience.

Bookmarking & Content Curation Networks: Pinterest, Flipboard

These types of social media are very helpful in generating brand awareness for your business and can help you generate website traffic and customer engagement. If you were to choose a form of media or a type of creative campaign, this type of social media network will attract and inform your audience. In order to run a Social Media campaign on Pinterest, you need to have a site that is bookmark-friendly. You should optimize headlines and images for the feeds that bookmarking, and content curation networks use for accessing and sharing your content. Alternatively, Flipboard lets you create your own Flipboard magazine by using most engaging content and then you can showcase that to your audiences.

Interest-Based Networks: Goodreads, Houzz, Last.fm

These networks are for connecting with likeminded people. Businesses can easily find audiences who are interested in knowing more about the kinds of products and services that a business offers. This makes it one of the best networks for engaging with an audience and creating exclusive brand awareness online. Compared to big social networks, using Interest-based networks would help to run a more targeted type of campaign.

Consumer Review Networks: Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor

Using Customer Review networks will help you find out, share and review the different offerings of a business. When a business has positive reviews on these networks, their claims turn more credible because reviews on these networks act as a type of social proof. For running a successful social media marketing campaigns, it is very important for a business to have positive reviews. Additionally, it is very beneficial to have negative reviews that a business addresses or resolves in a public space like a review network as it illustrates the brands awareness of consumer needs and concerns. Customers posting on these Review platforms can be important for the positive and productive outcomes for your business.

Discussion Forums: Reddit, Quora, Digg

Discussion forum types of Social Media channels are used for finding, sharing and discussing information, opinions, and current events. These forums can help businesses by being a resource for doing exceptional market research. Before the introduction of current Social Media players like Facebook, these forums were the places where professionals, experts and enthusiasts used to have different kinds of discussions concerning a variety of fields. These discussion forums have a massive number of users and it ensures unprecedented reach for your business. 

How to best utilize social media in digital marketing  

Making A Video

So now that we know exactly what forms of social media are out there. We need to figure out how to best use these forms of media. We have compiled a list of the best practices in order to magnify the impact of social media. When you generate a combination of social media and SEO your content becomes easy to find and therefore can reach a very large audience of people.  

Social Media Digital Marketing Best Practices 

Create Quality Content That Has the Potential to Go Viral 

Whether you like it or not, social media is a lot about exhibition and people just showing off. People will notice, react and interact with your content only when it is of high-quality and interesting. Visually appealing and interactive content is more likely to get likes and shares. 

Maintain A Consistent Identity 

If your site has a certain identity, align your social media profiles to match that. For example, use a branded featured image or banners. Include your logo where it fits, use the same colours and font from your logo in your images. 

Keep Keywords in Mind While Optimizing Your Profile & Content for Social Media

Facebook’s search bar can be used to search for people and pages, but it can be used for searching other things as well.

Optimizing your profile and posts, like by placing the relevant keywords in the profile and social media copies, so that your profile appears on the search result is very important. Things like length of the post and use of relevant hashtags are also important.

Be Active on Social Media

Be active in the truest sense of the word. Social media presence doesn’t end with publishing posts. You have to keep track of how people are reacting to them. You also have to respond to their queries and feedback received in the comments and inbox.

Automate Various Activities 

Provide Complete Information

Fill up all the fields and provide complete information about yourself/your business. Be it the name, links to the sites, bio, etc. This will build trust as your profile will look more professional. Search engines too are likely to pick up profiles that have all the necessary information. 

Keep Social Sharing Options in Your Blog Posts

This will make it easier for people to share them on social media. In fact, these will prompt people to share the posts. For WordPress site, all you need to do is install a social sharing plugin. 

Design Your Website Properly 

The way your website looks and the ease with which people can navigate through your website can impact people’s behavior and the way they interact with your social media profiles. So, design your website keeping that in mind. 

If you want to improve your use of Social Media as a Digital Marketing tool, contact us at WEB ROI. We will take the time to show you your options and find the best possible leads for your company.  

Sources: 

https://www.ama.org/the-definition-of-marketing-what-is-marketing/ 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media 

https://blgxpria.com/social-media-optimization-techniques/ 

https://www.digitalvidya.com/blog/types-of-social-media/ 

Jason’s Tips: Calls To Action

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 

Optimization Station: Google Update January 2020

This time on Optimization Station:

  • Google makes some changes to the way search results will appear on your computer
  • How structured data influences ranking
  • How to Optimize For BERT
  • Google Algorithm Update

Google Changes the Look of Paid and Organic Results on Desktop

Google recently updated the look of their desktop search results to be more in line with mobile results. Paid search results now feature a bolded “Ad” label in black text. Despite Google’s effort to make ads (according to them) easier to identify, the early feedback from users is the opposite. Google has also moved the URL from just below the page title to above the page title.

For organic results, Google has added a favicon next to the site URL, which like paid results, is now located above the page title.

If you’re not paying attention or looking closely enough, it would be very easy to mistake the “Ad” indicator for a website favicon:

It’s easier to differentiate on SERPs with local results because the ads and organic results are often split up by the map listings.

Google Says Structured Data Has No Impact on Rankings

Last week there was a controversy (using that word loosely) concerning a food blogger that received an email from Google noting that calorie count structured data must be added to all recipes. The blogger was under the impression that failure to add this structured data (often referred to as “schema”) to her blog would be detrimental to her site’s organic rankings.

Although the email noted that adding the structured data was merely a suggestion, not a requirement, the blogger’s response gathered enough traction to merit a response from Google.

Here is the response from Google’s Danny Sullivan:

“Yesterday, a concern was raised that calorie information was required for recipes to be included in or to rank well for Google Search. This is not the case. Moreover, structured data like this has no impact on ranking in web search. This thread has more we hope eases concerns…

Content owners can provide structured data as an optional way to enhance their web page listings. It has no impact on ranking. Using it may simply help pages that already rank well appear more attractive to potential visitors.”

Google Answers How to Optimize for BERT

When Google released their BERT update several months ago, they were adamant that there is nothing to optimize for. It is simply an update that allows Google to better understand the context of complicated search results. Google’s John Mueller provided an update that aligns with my initial assumption on BERT optimization. Essentially, because Google is now better at understanding context in complicated queries, they’re now able to rank content on these kinds of topics more effectively. In addition, it’s important to continue to write content for users first, Google second (avoid keyword stuffing).

When asked to expound on the BERT update and what type of optimization would help, here is Mueller’s response:

I would primarily recommend taking a look at the blog post that we did around this particular change. In particular, what we’re trying to do with these changes is to better understand text. Which on the one hand means better understanding the questions or the queries that people send us. And on the other hand better understanding the text on a page. The queries are not really something that you can influence that much as an SEO.

John then offered his explanation on what a publisher can do with text content:

The text on the page is something that you can influence. Our recommendation there is essentially to write naturally. So it seems kind of obvious but a lot of these algorithms try to understand natural text and they try to better understand like what topics is this page about. What special attributes do we need to watch out for and that would allow use to better match the query that someone is asking us with your specific page. So, if anything, there’s anything that you can do to kind of optimize for BERT, it’s essentially to make sure that your pages have natural text on them…

Mueller then began to say something but stops before he completes his sentence:

“..and that they’re not written in a way that…”

Mueller stops for a second, takes a breath, then appears to not finish the above thought. He then begins a new sentence:

“Kind of like a normal human would be able to understand. So instead of stuffing keywords as much as possible, kind of write naturally.”

Google’s January Core Update is Rolling Out Imminently

On January 13th, Google confirmed that a broad core algorithm update began rolling out. Since it’s simply a broad update, there is nothing specifically to optimize for. It’s just something that we should keep in mind while reviewing any ranking fluctuations over the next couple weeks. Here is an analogy Google used in their release:

“One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.”

Understanding this, your marketing agency should be keeping a close eye on your page and keyword rankings. Should rankings change for the worse, it would be wise to use the better ranked pages as an example of what to do to improve. Additionally, this is a great opportunity to have some of your lesser ranked pages move up the ladder.

We hope this update helps to keep you on track!

Reach out if you have any questions.

Jason’s Tips: What You Need to Know About Paid 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 

Geofencing – Google Local Campaign (Here is how it works)

Consumers are being targeted frequently by marketing organizations/individuals giving them just enough information to feel like they are missing out on something great. One way that marketers achieve this is by geofencing ads. 

What is geofencing? 

Geofencing simply means to isolate a portion, usually a radius around your physical location to create a fenced off area that can be used for ad targeting. Geofencing uses GPS or Radio Frequency Identification to trigger ads when a consumer enters your Geofence. 

This can be achieved with a Google Local Campaign which is mostly automated.  

The objective? To drive in-store visits.  

To create a campaign, a store location will need to be defined either by linking the client’s Google My Business Account or Selecting Affiliate Locations if their products are sold in affiliate stores. The ads are eligible to show across several Google platforms (Search, Display Network and YouTube) and can be created quickly with a few image assets and text. As with any other campaign, a daily budget is required.  

Still a little bit confused? Let’s use an example.  

How Can Geofencing Help Me? 

Let’s pretend you own a coconut farm called Co-Co Coconuts. At your farm you have a store that sells all sorts of coconut related products. You want to set up a Google Local Campaign so that you can have your ads show up to individuals who come into a 5-kilometer radius of your farm and store. When an individual’s phone enters your radius, as seen by their GPS location or Radio Frequency Identification, Google knows to expose them to your ads.  

So what?  

Now that these individuals who are in your area, they will be more likely to come to your coconut farm for all their coconut needs. These types of paid ads are an invaluable tool because it drives local traffic to local businesses and keeps these businesses top-of-mind for consumers who are exposed to these ads. 

That’s great, but how else can location targeted ads help?  

Great question. Google Local Campaigns can help expose consumers in your area to your ads, but how does that help you take a bigger chunk out of the market share?  

Well, targeted ads can be used a bit more strategically.  

Geotargeting Strategies 

Using our example from earlier, consider Co-Co Coconuts has a competitor ACME Coconuts, 10 kilometers North West of your farm. ACME Coconuts is outside of your 5-kilometer radius. You could extend your radius to 10kms, but then most of the space that your ads are targeted to is over the ocean to the South East, and you’re pretty sure pirates aren’t interested in your coconut body butter just yet.  

This leaves you with two options: 

  1. Extend your area only North West of your farm so that consumers who may be visiting ACME Coconuts see your Co-Co Coconuts ads, which will also cover the space between your farm and your competitors.  
  1. Or, target ACME Coconuts specifically. This would mean that when a consumer enters the ACME Coconuts farm, they will begin to see targeted ads for Co-Co Coconuts driving them to your store. 

There are many different strategies that targeted location ads and Google Local Campaigns can use to help bring you the best quality leads and conversions.  According to Google, conversions are tracked as in store-visits using the same technology by determining if a user has visited the store after seeing an adMore information directly from Google is available here. 

Google Maps Ads 

Another update has occurred linking Google Local Campaigns more tightly to Google Maps.  

The new Google Maps ads are designed so that when consumers are searching online, particularly on a mobile phone, businesses become more visible to them. 

In the coming months, Google will unveil new formats for maps ads and features. These new features will be designed to help drive foot traffic to your physical location. Some of these features include promoted pins, where a brand logo appears as a pin, promotions, business pages and inventory search, right from within the Google Search, and Google Maps App.  

What Google is doing here is optimizing the use of Google Maps so that users see ads without realizing these are ads for businesses since the ads are placed on top of the physical location of the business on the map. This way the ads are also not a distraction while driving. The new local search ads will appear within the Google Maps app, on the Google Maps mobile, desktop, and tablet sites, and on Google.com 

So why is Google doing this and making these changes? Well here are some interesting facts about why bridging the gap between the online and physical world are of utmost importance for marketers.  

  • The majority of purchases still happen in a physical store  
  • Nearly a third of mobile searches are related to location. 
  • Location-related searches have grown 50 percent faster than mobile searches overall last year. 
  • Over a billion people worldwide use Google Maps. 
  • Three out of every four people who search for something nearby using their smartphone end up visiting a store within a day, and 28 percent of those searches result in a purchase. 

Additionally, local pages are getting a new look, all designed to increase foot traffic to your store. 

When someone taps on a local search ad, they’ll be taken to a page that advertisers or business owners can customize. The local pages will include important business details like store hours, phone number, address, and directions. 

Businesses also have the opportunity to highlight offers and allow people to search for items in your store’s local inventory. The new local search ads are currently being tested and haven’t rolled out officially. Google hasn’t revealed an exact date when the ads will become more widely available, but it is a safe bet they will begin to start rolling out to more businesses soon. 

Are you interested in setting up an outstanding Google Ads Campaign? Contact us today, and let’s work together to get you the best quality leads around.  

 

Jason’s Tips: Differentiate Effectively

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: Targeting the Right Prospects

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 

Jason’s Tips: Googlebot

Unlike (some) humans, robots are programmed to follow specific instructions. Google is a robot. Its basic function is to crawl through web content and make a copy of everything it finds to store in its library of web pages. When you search Google, the list you see is just the most recent copy of the website that Google found and indexed.

So how can you make sure Google finds your content, and indexes it?

The robots are programmed to find web pages through links. Googlebot looks for links, so linking to your content from other places is very important. The more links from credible sources you have, the easier it is for Google to find and rank your content.

But without certain technical factors taken care of, you will make it difficult for Google to find you and you may even be giving it signals that make it unlikely that you will rank well.

Here are the most important technical items to watch for. If it’s confusing, just forward this to your web marketing company and ask them if they’ve taken care of all this. If that doesn’t work, give us a call and we’ll help you out.

  1. XML sitemap. This tells Googlebot what all the pages of your website are so they can find them immediately and get you in the index. It also is kept as a reminder to revisit your site every once in a while to find what’s new. If nothing’s new it will come less often, if there’s a lot new it will come more often. So the more often you update your content, the more often you get a visit from Googlebot. That is a good thing, my friend.
  2. Canonical tags. Sometimes it makes sense to have duplicate content on the internet. For example if you are operating a franchise, or someone is republishing a piece of content you created. The canonical tag lets Google know what the original source was, so neither page will be penalized for duplicating content and the main authority will still get the big benefit.
  3. SSL Certificates. Yes, I repeat, you need to have a securely hosted website. Googlebot does not give favour to unsafe playgrounds!
  4. Site Speed. Googlebot wants to give users websites that provide a good user experience. Slow websites do not! Use this Google Developers widget to test your site speed.
  5. Mobile responsiveness. 2012 is around when we started building responsive websites. This is not new. But even today, some websites may appear better on mobile phones but are still not easy to use or read. This is a problem because over 50% of the internet usage every day is on a mobile device.

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