Most companies have a distinct online presence for a definite reason – to manage an online reputation.
Considering the importance of a company’s reputation to its growth, there’s no doubt that being able to manage its reputation in times of crises is indeed an imperative activity. So here are three tips that can add perspective to maintaining your company’s online reputation:
#1: Establish a strong online presence
When someone googles your brand name, it is important to ensure that it’s not just your website that should pop up on the first page. Consider using the numerous social media sites that are available, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which will establish a solid online presence.
And remember that being in the first search engine results is vital to your brand’s success, especially if it’s a common name.
#2: Controlling responses during a crisis
Considering the highly publicized failures of the past, there’s no doubt that there are severe consequences in not being able to handle a crisis online effectively. Whether it is handling customer complaints or even dealing with a lawsuit, it is of utmost importance to monitor online conversations at all times with the intent of defusing the situation as soon as possible.
#3: Monitor Conversations
Most businesses understand how important it is to stay up to date with what’s being said about the company. In fact, the best way to do this is by using social media tools which make the overwhelming process of monitoring several social media accounts much easier.
Better still, these social media tools will help you respond in real-time and turn negative situations into positive opportunities.
With the number of social media networks that are popping up every other week, it becomes difficult for small business owners to know which social media site is the best for them as people keep moving from one site to the other.
Rather than moving along with them, it’s best to begin with the notion that not every site will suit you. So, the best thing for you to do is to find out what these social media sites are used for and whether it will work for your business.
So here is a list of social media networks that you read up on to decide from:
The biggest advantage of using Facebook is that the conversation is all in one place, and customers get the chance to feel that way. This social media site is very visual, unlike Twitter, so making use of that would work well.
In short, Twitter is about projecting what you company is doing to a large audience, much like being given a megaphone. You can not only communicate with customers but also create a brand with consistent updates.
This social network is not ideal for self-promotion but might be useful to small businesses for the ability to create pinboards that might win the plaudits of customers if you are able to able to build visuals for the purposes of branding.
Location-based social media services might not work for every small business as it requires people to physically visit your store or an event. This social media network is actually good for restaurants, retail stores and venues. Of course, as for online businesses, this site will be useful only if you are hosting an event.
Another user interface paradigm that has grown thanks to smartphones and faster connections are rich animations. It makes the experience more interactive and entertaining while providing functional feedback to the user. The animations need to be placed carefully so that it enhances rather than takes away from the user experience. Animation on websites can be classified in two ways:
Unlike small-scale animation described below, these are used for interaction purposes. A basic example would be a hidden menu which appears with a large page shift animation. Another would be where content changes when the mouse cursor hovers over a selection. While not exactly an animation, even the usage of slideshows and galleries to show multiple sets of photographs falls into the large animation category. The most striking example is the background animation. PayPal uses this to good effect.
Small scale animation
These are small animations in size and are used to convey an action of some sort. An example would the loading animation. Depending on how it is used, this can be a progress bar, a spinner. Another example would be motion animation where a product or service is shown in motion on the website. Look carefully the next time you browse and you will a lot of examples of small-scale animation usage.
Most other animation techniques actually use a combination of the two to both lead up to and enhance the larger animation.
The most common use of the cloud is for running websites and applications. When it comes to Azure, this can be done with a virtual machine or as a web app. The virtual machine route will require administration and maintenance of the server. This is fine for a single server application, but this will become tedious at scale. This is where the web apps come in.
Web apps on Azure are a managed environment that does not provide access to the admin interfaces of the platform it is running on. Once a web app is up and running, it can be given more or less in terms of computing resources. Alternatively, to counter growth, additional instances can be started and stopped when required. Web Apps supports .NET, PHP, Node.js, Java and Python along with SQL Database and MySQL.
For applications that will need to support lots of users and automatically scale instances up and down, there is Azure Cloud Services. This is designed for scalable, reliable and low-admin applications and is perfect for Saas (Software as a Service) providers. Unlike web apps, these are VM’s which you can access but unlike the standard VM, the patching, updating, and restarts are handled by Azure.
It is clear which roles will be required for which type of application. However, for websites, unless there is a certainty, start with a web app and then proceed to migrate to cloud services should be requirement exist. Any server based role will likely need a virtual machine.
Filed under SEO by on Nov 23rd, 2016.
Hand writing Content with blue marker on transparent wipe board.
Targeting long-tail keywords is not new. However, it has seen a recent resurgence in the SEO marketing community. The long-tail keywords referred to here are keyword phrases that have three or more keywords. “black leather wallets” is a good example of a search phrase. Now established sites find that the conversion rates from content that is tailored for the long-tail are much higher than the average. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating content for the long-tail:
Step one – Identify the keywords that are relevant to your websites. Now enter those keywords into a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer. These tools will give you a list of related keywords.
Step two – From this list, look for the long-tail keywords that directly apply to your site, your products or your content. Now rank them and look for low-volume, low-difficulty keyword phrases. On Moz, that would be keywords that have a difficulty rating of less than 30.
Step three – Write content for the long tail keyword that was identified in step two. Use the keyword in the headline and any subheadings. The content will need to be directly relevant to the long-tail keyword.
Step four – Hit the publish button and track the performance of that page over time. Do not be hasty to see results. Give the page at least a month for the page to appear and hold a stable position. The ease of ranking will vary based on your site domain. The older the domain and higher the domain authority the faster it will rank.
One of the sad realities of selling products online is that in order to succeed at e-commerce, you need to be good at or have good SEO. According to PracticalCommerce, approximately 80% of e-commerce stores fail. There are varied reasons for this, from poor marketing to poor image quality but one of the standout reasons is a lack of traffic. This is where a lack of SEO comes in. Here are a few of the SEO related reasons that your e-commerce store is lacking traffic:
There is a general rule that every page on your store should be within three clicks of the homepage. In fact, the fewer the better. Some stores place product pages too deep within the structure to get any link value or clicks.
Another issue is URL structure. Long and nonsensical URL’s should be avoided. They should be readable and not too long. An example of a bad URL would be http://www.site.com/en-gb/productid/a/144534 while a good page URL would look like http://www.site.com/phones/galaxys7. The same goes for category pages which should look like http://www.site.com/phones.
This is one of the easiest SEO concepts to understand but is something nobody seems to take seriously. Most e-commerce stores have plenty of duplicate pages. A prime example would be getting to the same product page with more than one link. These should be checked and cleaned up as soon as possible.
Filed under SEO by on Sep 23rd, 2016.
California search engine optimization strategies businesses can employ to catch the attention of click-happy searchers involve more than just selecting the right keywords and phrases. It’s just as important to be mindful of the latest SEO trends.
Social Media Content is King
Search engines will continue to place added weight on content posted to social platforms. Facebook has already embraced this trend with Instant Articles, which allows for faster access to relevant content.
California SEO should definitely include video since it’s what more than 60 percent of Google searchers look for already when browsing. Content with video also means a higher click-through rate — a boost of 40 percent, according to some estimates.
More than half of all mobile searches are conducted with the hopes of finding something local. Embrace this trend with geo-specific info in your content and make sure your business info is consistent and accurate in directories.
Mobile-Friendly Isn’t an Option
SEO efforts aren’t going to be effective if your site isn’t designed for the growing number of mobile searchers out there. Four out of five consumers already use smartphones to shop.
Long-Tail Keywords for Voice Searches
Don’t forget to account for voice-activated searches in your SEO strategy. Long-tail keywords are more effective for this purpose since people tend to use more than just one ore two words when speaking a search request.
While an effective CA SEO strategy should include some of the trends mentioned here, it’s also a highly personalized process that’s based on your specific short-term and long-term goals and factors such as your dependence on online revenue.
Sticky Web Media is a California SEO firm specializing in Web design and search marketing. Learn how to get your website to rank better at Sticky Web Media.
As skills go SEO is easy to get started in but very difficult to master. The basics can be mastered in a few hours to a few days depending on how far you are willing to go. This will involve on page optimization, quality content, link building and social media management. These are all critical to a basic SEO strategy and will hold most sites in good stead.
Experience SEO practitioners on the hand will want to take it a little further. This is where some advanced SEO tactics come in. The good news is that there are plenty of those and here we will focus on probably the easiest and most bang for buck tactic: Site Speed.
This is probably the easiest to implement out of all the advanced techniques. The first thing to do is to set up a caching plugin for your CMS. Every popular CMS has one and is very easy to setup. You can also take it a step further and use a CDN to host your content worldwide but that can be costly and sometimes unnecessary. There are also free alternatives like Cloudflare. Compress and minify as much as possible, the smaller the files, the less the compression and caching will matter. Optimize the images as much as possible before uploading.
None of this will do you much good if your hosting provider is running slow servers or has poor internet connectivity. Compare good hosts and decide on what the best performance that is affordable.
As with any campaign, a little bit of tweaking goes a long way.
Filed under SEO by on Aug 9th, 2016.
For seems like forever, webmasters and seo professionals were hesitant to use redirects except in the most extreme cases. There was no real choice when it came to redirection so you did it knowing that there were going to be issues that could not be fixed quickly. Things have changed now but for the sake of illustrating the changes here are how redirects were handled until recently:
301 redirects lose about 15% of pagerank. This was confirmed back in 2013 by Matt Cutts when he explained that Google treated a 301 redirect the same way it treated a link.
302 redirects do not pass any pagerank at all. 302’s are supposed to be temporary redirects and as a result were not expected to last long.
HTTPS migrations result in a lot of pagerank losses due to the massive number of 301 redirects required. The bigger the site, the more pagerank was lost due to the compounding nature of internal links.
Now, Google has revealed the following changes:
Back in February in a Q&A about migrating a site to HTTPS, Google’s John Mueller announced that no PageRank is lost for 301 or 302 redirects:
“Do I lose “link juice” from the redirects? No, for 301 or 302 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS no PageRank is lost.”
This is largely seen as a move to encourage hesitant webmasters to move their sites to HTTPS.
Then Google’s Gary Illyes told the SEO world that Google doesn’t care which redirection method you use, be it 301, 302, or 307. Basically Google will figure it out and they all pass PageRank.
He went further recently and tweeted that 3xx (meaning all 300 redirects) no longer lose PageRank at all.
This move should greatly speed up the adoption of HTTPS now.
Filed under SEO by on Jul 26th, 2016.