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What is SEO and Why is It Important?

Did you know that organic search is most often the primary source for web traffic? That places a big weight on the shoulders of search engines. Because organic search is most often used, SEO has become a main tactic for putting websites in the position to be seen by web visitors.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is all about brand exposure, website ranking, credibility, increasing the quantity and quality of web traffic, and creating a better experience for web visitors. 

Search Engine Optimization is a method of increasing a website’s ranking on search engine results such as Google, Yahoo, AOL, Bing, and many more. There are hundreds of factors that go into search engine rankings. These factors help websites get closer to ranking at the top of search results.

Why is it important?

A website that ranks at the top of the search results page will have more web traffic. That is just a fact! This is just one of the many reasons why businesses optimize their website. It is one more way that those businesses can gain traffic. Not only does great SEO increase website traffic, but it also increases yearly sales and revenue. Optimizing your website for SEO is an important step in getting your brand noticed. In its essence, SEO makes your website more visible, trustworthy, and credible.

How does SEO work?

SEO can only be truly understood when you understand the purpose of search engines. 

A search engine is meant to provide impartial search results that detail and present information as quickly and as accurately as possible. In order for a search engine to provide you those quick results, they need to be able to identify and analyze websites all over the Internet that match what you are looking for.

There are over 1 billion websites in existence today. Search engines are working overtime to pick through active, inactive, quality, and subpar websites to display high-quality and relevant results. Just think about that for a second! We do not give search engines enough credit. Nowadays, we just expect search engines to display results in two seconds. We don’t even think about the work that goes on behind the scenes to make those results pull up quickly and accurately. 

For example, let’s say that you typed “Restaurants near me” into Google. You wait a few seconds and local restaurants begin to pull up. You may not have realized this before, but Google is analyzing tons of data from different websites before displaying them to you. Want to know something crazy? Search engines are analyzing data ALL the time! They actually never stop analyzing data. That’s how you know that the websites perched at the top of the page are relevant and high-quality!

How do search engines analyze so much data?

But wait! How are search engines able to analyze so much data on millions of websites everyday?

Their secret? Web crawlers. 

A web crawler, sometimes known as a spiderbot, is an Internet bot that systematically and regularly browses the web for the purpose of indexing. Web crawlers look for specific things when browsing websites. Search engines use web crawler’s information to separate the high-quality sites from the subpar sites. The high-quality sites that use SEO-friendly techniques are ranked higher. Those will be the websites that you see at the top of the page when you search for anything specific. 

The websites at the top of the page are deemed “trustworthy” because they contain most of the necessary information needed to have the best SEO. The websites on the second, third and fourth pages aren’t necessarily “untrustworthy”, but they are missing a few things that would boost their ranking even higher! The ways that you optimize your website have a direct effect on your SEO ranking. There are hundreds of different ways that you can improve your SEO. One way that you can get started is by improving your keywords

Are Websites Still Relevant in 2020?

It’s 2020. How could we forget, right? Some of you may be thinking, “Are websites still relevant today?” 

Social media has grown exponentially in the last decade. Businesses, brands, groups, artists, average people, and so many more use it as an opportunity to connect with others and grow their online presence. Because social media is so awesome, it may seem like it cancels out the need for a website. But, that could not be further from the truth.

Believe it or not websites are extremely relevant to this day. You absolutely NEED a website for your brand to thrive. Social media is known as one of the quickest ways to establish your online presence. But, without a website, your brand/ business has no home base. 

You may be wondering, “Why should I have a website when I could just create a Facebook page, FOR FREE, in just a few hours?”

Although this seems like the better option, your social media pages are simply a funnel to your actual home: your website. Your Facebook page is not meant to be the home of your brand. Instead, social media should be used as a marketing tool to help further the mission of your brand. 

Websites are still incredibly relevant today. And guess what? They will be relevant for years to come! Do yourself a favor and give your brand a home base, even if you’re running a small business. Here are the top few reasons why having a website for your business is incredibly important and why websites are here for good. 

Why Do I Need a Website? 

  1. You have the Control 

With a website, you are able to completely control the message you are sending to your visitors. You can portray your business in any light that you please. Websites enable you to control what your visitors see. If you think about it, social media really only has one standard design, depending on the platform. There is really no room to stand out in the crowd, especially if you’re using a Facebook page as your brand’s home base. A site allows you to be creative, share your message in a unique way, and make it your own. They also allow for so much creative freedom, which will set you apart from other online businesses. 

  1. You Can See Who’s Looking at Your Products 

Websites also allow you to track who visits your website. Through online tools such as Google Analytics, you are able to view what platforms your visitors are coming from, who is viewing your website, your visitor’s demographics, how they engage with your content, and how long they are staying on your site. Having these analytics readily available will help you focus on marketing the right products to the right people. Even though you can also view analytics from a Facebook analytics page, you will gain much more valuable marketing information from your website. This is because visitors are able to see your products and everything you offer, making it easier to pinpoint what your visitors are most interested in. This allows you to focus exactly what your marketing strategy needs to be and how you will use it to attract more leads. 

  1. Your Website Does What Your Social Media Cannot 

You need a website because it is where you want people to be. It is your online store. Your social media can not, in any way, compensate for that. Your social media, SEO, ads, and other marketing techniques are meant to funnel people to your website. The great thing about having a website is that it’s available 24/7/365. Visitors are able to engage with your content at any time of the day, week, month or year. It never shuts down. It’s always available. Your website acts as a direct marketing communication channel. 

  1. You’ll Have More Precise Marketing Strategies 

You are also able to further your reach to leads with things like messaging, design, live chat support, notifications, newsletter sign-ups and more. To have an effective site, you need to make sure that it is well optimized, mobile friendly, provides quality content, and is targeted at the right audience. 

If you’re unsure of whether or not your website lives up to the standards of the modern day digital expectation, reach out to us and we will give you a free website scan and consultation

Your Website is Making These 5 Mistakes

We all know that having a website for your business is absolutely essential! Or… at least we hope we’ve mentioned it enough! Most people do not realize that just “having a website” will not get the job done. What makes up your website, or it’s composition, is the most important part of your website. It’s easy to assume that the aesthetics of the site would steal the show. Unfortunately, pretty colors and exotic buttons do nothing more than distract your customers from why they are on your site. You want your audience to know right away that they are on the “right” page. Your website should SHOUT why people need your product and why they should buy it from you. 

Your website should always answer the question “why”. If you are only focused on how your website looks, you need to reevaluate your business goals! An effective website should easily tell customers why they need the product, why they should choose that business to purchase from, and why they should get in touch with the business staff.

If your website is not gaining traffic or producing sales, it might be because you are making one of these five mistakes.

  1. Your Website Is Missing a Message

Studies show that 55% of visitors will leave your site if there is no clear message.

The message of your website is summarized by your brand value proposition (BVP). Your BVP tells the site visitor what you can do for them. 

The design of your website should be focused on the purpose of your business or brand. It needs to send one, clear and direct message. Your website also needs to effectively convey that one message. You should want to give off a good impression when someone lands on your website’s homepage! Your brand value proposition should stand out. The website visitor must receive value from what you’re offering for your site to be effective. They must see your message as valuable and take action on that.

Your website needs to present only one single message. If you clutter your website with too many different slogans, phrases, and pictures, then the true goal of your site will be lost.

There are nearly 5 BILLION people on the internet every day searching for information or answers. Someone is bound to come across your site. When they do, you do not want to steer them away by your message inconsistency or lack thereof.

2. Your website is lacking a clear CTA 

CTA means Call-to-Action. The Call-to-Action is essentially the “what” of your business. You first have to make the decision of what you want your website visitor to do. What action do you want them to take on your site? The most common CTA is a button that expresses an action. The purpose of that button is for the customer to click it and potentially sign up to receive something of value. It is one thing to have a CTA button and it is another to have an effective CTA button. The effectiveness of your Call-to-Action depends on the location, design, and verbiage of the CTA. Your CTA button must be easy to find, access, and understand.

Some common CTA buttons are: 

  • Sign up Here
  • Get Started 
  • Add to Cart 
  • Chat With Us Now
  • Get Your Free Newsletter
  • Learn more  

Your website would see a tremendous benefit from having multiple Call-to-Action buttons. 

We recommend that you make all your Call-to-Action buttons the same color, style, and have similar reinforcing verbiage throughout your website. If your CTA buttons are sporting different styles and colors, your message could be confusing the customers on your site. 

CTAs must complement each other, not compete against each other! Your Call-to-Action buttons should match your website’s BVP. You might also want to include a chat support button to help answer customer questions.

3. Your website is not mobile-friendly 

This might be something you haven’t thought about. Your website NEEDS to be mobile responsive. A mobile responsive website is one that is compatible with mobile and tablet devices. Your website needs to be able to adapt to various screen sizes (or screens other than a computer monitor). If it’s not mobile-friendly, then you are depriving your business of potential growth.

A user should not have to zoom in and out and all around to read the content on their smartphone. We’ve all been on a page like that! It makes you want to leave immediately! If your own website looked like that, you can imagine that a user wouldn’t be staying on your page for too long.  

What’s interesting is that 65% of online traffic comes from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. If your website isn’t designed to be mobile responsive, then you are losing a lot of traffic! In April 2015, Google ranked mobile responsiveness as a factor in its search algorithm. That means, if your website does not accommodate all screen sizes then your website may not be ranked. 

A study by Google shows that 61% of visitors will leave a website that is not mobile-friendly and over 40% of visitors will instead do business with your website’s competitor. Your website bounce rate will increase if your visitors are leaving immediately and that will leave you with fewer sales. 

4. You’re Adding Junk to Your Customer’s Spam Folder

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies out there. But, just emailing something to the customers in your email list every day isn’t going to do the trick. You have to provide something of value to them. 

People spend an average of 2 and a half hours a day sifting through ads, promotions, and work emails. You do NOT want to be that “one business” that constantly bombards their inbox with completely useless information. 

A majority of people have enough emails to look through as it is. They don’t want to give out their email to companies that may abuse their inbox. Although, most people would be willing to give out their email in exchange for something of value. For example, you could encourage a user to enter their email in exchange for a set of coupons to spend at your business. 

Your website visitors are always thinking, “What’s in it for me?”. 

What you DON’T want to do is create a lame CTA and expect your visitors to click on it and enter their email. For example, your Call-to-Action says “Sign up for an E-Book”.  

Your Call-to-Action should entice people to sign up! Instead of your previous bland CTA, say “ Sign up and get my FREE EBook!” 

Most of the time, whenever someone comes across the word “free”, they will stop and read more about the offer. The word “free” doesn’t necessarily add value to your offer, but if a customer sees it as valuable, then they will most likely sign up. The trick is to create something of high value that your visitors will not be able to refuse. 

Place yourself in the position of the consumer. What would entice you to click on that Call-to-Action button and surrender your email address?

5. Your website is more about you than it is about your products 

Microsoft conducted a study that shows websites have only six seconds to grab the attention and interest of a consumer. If you have a clear and concise message on your home page, your visitors are more likely to stay and look around. 

Let’s cut to the chase. People are more interested in how you can help them and why they should choose you. People are very simple. If you cannot help them, they will find somebody who can (which most of the time tends to be your competitor). 

Stop writing about yourself. Write for the visitors on your page. Start gearing your content toward those who will actually be purchasing your product. Visitors are not going to your site because you created it. They’re going to your site because you offer a product or service that they are interested in. 

It would benefit you to add your work experience, educational background, and achievements to your website! Some website visitors actually want to know more about the people who make up your company, which is why they will go to your About page to learn more information. Do not go overboard, though. You need to add the information about yourself to your About page and leave the rest of the information to the home page!

Your business needs a website. There’s no doubt about that. But, just having a website is not enough. Your site needs to be focused on the brand you are trying to portray and the services you are going to provide. It has to achieve your goals! You cannot achieve those goals without following these five steps on your site. If you are not already doing these five things, then don’t worry! We recommend focusing your attention on one “mistake” at a time. Take a few days to fix up your CTA buttons and move onto the next step when you are finished. In the end, you’ll feel much better about a well-produced website than a website that’s rushed and inconsistent. 

What is WordPress and How Does it Work?

In today’s modern-day of unlimited Internet access and seemingly paper-thin smartphones, it is easy to assume that a majority of people know all about web creation websites like WordPress. My assumptions were proven wrong when somebody genuinely asked me, “What is WordPress?”. After thinking about that question it occurred to me that some people are very unaware of WordPress and what it has to offer. If you are stirring in silent embarrassment because you are also asking yourself the same question, then do not worry. This article is for you. 

WordPress is known as the most powerful, straightforward and versatile website content management system (CMS) in existence today. If you own a website, it is your website’s operating system. In simple terms, WordPress is the engine to your “vehicle”. In this case, WordPress is the engine, while your website is the vehicle. 

WordPress allows you to create and customize any kind of website that you want. It provides you with interchangeable themes, fonts and styles. People have created websites that feature topics such as E-commerce, social networking, business, membership, portfolio, forums, events, E-learning, weddings or even a simple blog. WordPress originated as a blogging tool but later developed into the content management system that it is today. 

Whether you’re an aspiring business owner attempting to establish your online presence or you’re secretly passionate about gardening and want to create an online outlet, it is easy for anyone to create a website. In fact, WordPress operates over 30% of all websites on the Internet.

There are many benefits to joining WordPress’s large and powerful website community. WordPress is very simple to operate, which is one of the most intriguing elements of the website. The website content management system is very easy to use, even for beginners. WordPress allows you to create and publish your website content quickly. Another great feature is that the actual WordPress software is free to download and use. WordPress also operates on all screen sizes and devices. It even comes in the form of an app! There are two different types of WordPress websites that you have the option to use.   

  • WordPress.org: This site is known as the self-hosted and free version of WordPress. This WordPress software is, in fact, free and is considered an open-source. Open-source means that you have the freedom to build, use, and modify the software in any way that you’d like without having to pay a fee. It also means that it’s licensed under the GNU Public License and it isn’t owned by one single company. With this software, you essentially install your own web host to create your website. This site does not generate any income. It also does not offer any support for its users. Using this site gives you more ownership as well as access to all the website’s perks. Anybody can download this version. WordPress.org is managed by the nonprofit WordPress Foundation.
  • WordPress.com: This is a paid, profit-geared service that is operated by WordPress.org software. WordPress.com is a simple site that any person can navigate and use. With this service, you are essentially paying WordPress to host your site and handle everything for you. This service relieves you from the responsibility of building and managing your website. Many people choose this service because they want a professional website, created and operated by actual professionals. Once you pay for the WordPress.com service, you are paying to not have to worry about those things. This is a fantastic option for someone who has a business but does not have time to create a website. WordPress.com is a for-profit business owned by Automattic that uses WordPress.org open-source software. 

To get started with a self-hosting WordPress website, you will need to pay for web hosting and a domain name. If you choose to continue with a web hosting provider, the domain name, website and many other features will come with the package.

WordPress is used by all kinds of people for various reasons and goals. It is used by individuals, small businesses, large corporations, nonprofit groups, and many more. For example, the official White House website, BBC America, The Walt Disney Company, Vogue and so many more use WordPress to power their site. Take a look at each company’s website, the design, and how it correlates with the culture of the company or business. These examples depict an attractive outline for how a well-constructed website can look. Although these widely-known businesses utilized WordPress.com to their advantage, you can still create a free site using the open-source software. WordPress makes building a website easy and available to everyone, even people who aren’t developers!