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mobile search

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What to Expect in SEO in 2016!

By | Google Changes, Google Maps, Google My Business, Local Business, local search, mobile phone, mobile search, Mobile Websites, Mobile-Friendly, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Optimization Changes, SEO, Small business, smart phone, Social Media | No Comments

When it comes to SEO, we unfortunately don’t have a guidebook detailing what to expect, or a crystal ball for predicting the date of the next algorithm change.

We do, fortunately, have some hunches about what we think is pretty darn likely to go down in 2016.

Check out what we think might be in the cards for online marketing in the next year.

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Set of icons. Flat Design. Mobile Phones, Tablet PC, Web and App

Why Google’s April 21st Mobile Deadline Should Matter to You

By | mobile search, Mobile-Friendly | No Comments

April 15 isn’t the only looming deadline your business should pay attention to.

Google announced that starting April 21, tweaks to the search algorithm — the code that determines how websites rank — will make mobile-friendliness more important than ever.

If you’re not sure why your business should care, then take a moment to check out our infographic below.

Mobile-Friendly

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TTP - Blog Title (3)

12 Days of Google Christmas – Day 7 (Mobile Site Visits)

By | 12 Days of Google Christmas, Holiday Greeting Video, mobile marketing, mobile phone, mobile search, smart phone | No Comments

Mobile Site Visits

BE CONNECTED! That’s the word on the street with all the opportunities to get the latest deal, updates, news, emails, directions and so much more with just a tap or swipe of your finger. Using mobile phones to log online is in – and it’s here to stay.

What are Mobile Site Visits?

Mobile site visits on your Google Analytics count the number of people who visited your website via their smartphones. This statistic will even show what network the visitors came from. Note – this doesn’t necessarily count apps – but actual visits to your website via a cellular phone.

Why Be Concerned With Mobile Site Visits?

Here are some reasons why you should make sure to have a mobile website for the vast amount of mobile audiences that have developed:

  1. The number of people using the mobile web is up to 83 million people according to this article on mobile website visitors. Definitely too much of an amount of the population not to cater to.
  2. Mobile websites have an advantage over apps. Some of the advantages of having a mobile website include having an optimized mobile website available for your mobile audience. The alternative is an app, but due to the amount of apps and building of those apps that would have to be done in order to get it to work properly over a majority of smartphones, a mobile optimized website only takes one.
  3. Smartphones are making their way to the top of the food chain above the PC market. People want their information fast and at their fingertips so getting that information whether it research, latest deals or news is being sought after more and more on smartphone devices.
  4. Mobile sites allow you to stay on top of the trends. Social media and smartphones have become a way of life and with the way technology advances so quickly, if you are not getting on the boat, you’ll be left behind while all your competitors are sailing without you. A more optimized, mobile, website means more clients/customers in the door. We vote yes!

How to Get Your Website Mobile

Getting your site optimized for a mobile phone or tablet has never been easier! With a myriad of ways to go about this, we’ve scoped out the easiest ways to get your designers and developers the best mobile platform. By creating a mobile Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), inserting a Meta Viewport Tag, and even linking an “Apple Icon”, your customers can find your website accessible even on the go.

Mobile CSS can help display and organize your website for the mobile platform. This is just like making a printer-friendly version of your website. For example, we’d use something that looks like this:

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://domain.tld/mobile.css” type=”text/css” media=”handheld” />

The meta viewport tag tells us how to rotate your website when found on a mobile device. This may make your design
simpler, or more accessible for those with smaller phones. It also tells your newly optimized website if it can rotate with the
user’s gyroscopic rotation or if you can zoom in or out:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width,initial-scale=1,user-scalable=no” />

Apple Icons are built more for the iOS and Apple’s iPhone® or iPad® and are specific for that audience. However, it’s always best to make sure every visitor can make the most out of your mobile website. This icon allows the users to create a shortcut to your website right on the main screen of their phone. With quicker access to your website, you’ll be sure to see more usage:

<link rel=”apple-touch-icon” href=”/filename.png” />

As smartphones and tablets take more and more of the market share away from laptops and desktops, you will in turn see people ask for information about your mobile website. A study was done by AT&T recently, saying that out of everyone who
uses their smartphone to search a business, 48% of those people walked through into that businesses’ doors.

So, before you start thinking about your next big revision to your website, consider making a mobile site instead. With the modern technology, you have at your fingertips you can be sure that no matter where a customer is, they are capable of finding your business.

And your Google Analytics will tell you just how many people that is…

Search Localization

By | Bing, Business Listing, Google, Google Places, Local Business, local search, mobile search | No Comments

Google has been working on search localization for years. It has been a major priority for the search engine to promote local search results. Now it is producing results. The change is driven by the increasing consumer demand (mobile search) for something close by and familiar. For an increasing number of consumers there is a small and growing level of mistrust for information gathered online. People are more aware than ever that it is possible that what they are reading online is not always true. Business reviews have become an important component in local search as is the location of the business. We are still more comfortable with what we know despite the internet.

What does it mean for Local Business?

Google started this local search push with Google Places back in October 2010 with the introduction of Places search. The now familiar red pins and grouped business listings became prominent in local search results. Places carries a list of local businesses in a directory that allows results to be shown based on three areas:

  • Relevance
  • Prominence
  • Distance

A local business does not need a website to participate just a physical location for their business. A home based business can easily take advantage of this slant to local. Google searches the in internet (crawling other directories: Yelp, Citysearch etc) to provide local business results to online searchers. Business owners can claim and verify their own business listing. Once claimed a business owner can edit their listing to reflect their business. There are around 50 million Places listings and currently only around 4% have been claimed. A business is shown in results based on how it relates to the search term via the three components listed above. By claiming, updating a business listing and providing all the relevant information possible a local business can drive itself quickly to the top of search rankings.

Next Step

If you have not claimed your Google Places listing then now is the time. Our experience is that claiming, completing and fully updating your business listing can have a positive effect on revenue. It is not only Google Places; all the major search engines are providing local search results. Bing has recently introduced the Bing Business Portal a significant upgrade which includes links to Facebook deals and QR Codes. Yahoo local also carries listings of local businesses. There is no cost for your listing and by taking the steps to complete your listing you can improve the position of your business for relevant search results in your area. Local search is expected to continue to grow. This is not driven by the search engines but by consumer demand. Smart phones are at the front end of local search with recent studies showing that 1:3 searches on a cell phone have a local component and that up to 50% of those searchers walk through the door as a customer.   Don’t miss out on this opportunity for local growth.

Local Search a Business Opportunity

By | Google Places, Local Business, local search, mobile search, Online Marketing | No Comments

Following on from our post on the mobilization of local search we want all local business owners to grasp the opportunity that has arrived. There is a mini revolution happening in online search. Its not only social media that is continuing to change the face of online marketing. The mobilization of potential customers is driving a change that greatly benefits local business. The growth of smart phones and tablets is at the center of the change. They are portable; and so consequently is marketing. Businesses can talk to potential customers while they are actually out shopping.

Talk to your customer on the move

Geo targeting in online marketing has evolved with the advances in portable digital communication devices. If you have a smart phone you are already using it to target your next activity. You can use Google Places to find any business you want close to you. You can use Facebook Places to say you are somewhere and tag which of your friends are with you. People are turning more and more to their mobile device for information.

The Mobility Opportunity

In this move to on the go interaction is an opportunity for local business. National companies cannot compete with the local business physical location. We detailed in an earlier local search post that distance is an important component in the Google algorithm for returning search results to a searcher. There are millions of people ready to buy looking for the nearest outlet.  To take advantage, a local business must work to increase its local prominence online.

Increasing Prominence

First start with the major local business directories:

Google Places

Bing Business Portal (Still in Beta)

Yahoo Local

Visit each of these directories to claim and verify your listing. This is important, the major search engines will list your business whether you claim it or not. People will be able to write reviews on your business and unscrupulous competitors can maliciously edit your listing. It is best to be in control of your online presence. Once you have done the major three (they control about 95% of online searches between them) you can move onto other directories.  All the business directories have premium positioning for a monthly fee. Our recommendation is not to spend the money. If you must spend it on the major three for the best value. There are literally hundreds of free directories consistently promoting your business by listing in these directories adds to your online prominence. Skilled use of the correct terms and words when completing your directory listings will also help increase the relevance of your business to those local searchers.

Once you have progressed your business directory presence move onto social media to develop your local search presence. We will post next week on some of the Social Media steps you can take to ensure you are prominent in local search.

Get Smart… Phone | Mobile Marketing

By | mobile marketing, mobile phone, mobile search, smart phone | No Comments

Before I get started, let me go ahead and put it all out there. I don’t have a smart phone… yet. I’ve not joined the ranks of the iPhone vs. Android war between Rob and Amy. But I hope to soon.

And according to growing research showing that mobile phone use is on the rise, I’m not the only one. It appears I’m not alone with my dissatisfaction of the basic Blackberry. I want to scan QR codes. I want to take fun pictures and upload them. And if I’m being really honest, I want to play Angry Birds.

From iPhones to Androids, smart phone use is on the rise.

Why a Smart Phone Boom?

There are many reasons smart phones have taken off. They’re easy to use. They’re convenient. And if you have to choose between starting up your computer versus wisking your fintertip across a screen to get the same information quicker and faster, I think most of us would vote for the second option. It saves time.

The Swiss Army knife came out in 1891. For over 120 years, we’ve continued to want items that have an “all-in-one” feature to them. So when the basic cell phone got a camera, of course it caught on. And then there was texting – send a message AND call your friends. Then came internet access on the phone. And the Palm features. Don’t forget the GPS. And before we knew it, our phones were an all-in-one mobile desktop. You can do just about anything with a smart phone these days. It might not be 1891 anymore, but those of us in 2011 are just as enthralled by tools that let us do all sorts of things through one simple tool.

Mobile Marketing Strategies for your Online Optimization

It’s a no brainer that as the smart phone market continues to grow, so will the need for online marketing and online optimization. That must be why Google Analytics  recently added a feature where you can find out how many people come to your website via smart phones. Smart phones access websites every minute… well, let’s make that every second. Phone users are turning to mobile devices to tell them where to shop for the cheapest price, where to eat great Thai food, and even what book to read – and the friendliest bookstore with the greatest selection within 10 miles. And this trend isn’t stopping anytime soon.

So what does this mean for a small business trying to be found online? Here area few ideas:

I know my life wouldn’t be the same without my phone. I’m sure yours wouldn’t either. So whether you’re taking phone calls for new leads, snapping a photo of the kids or even playing Angry Birds, remember – you’re not the only one dependent on your phone. Chances are, you next new customer probably is, too.