6 Expert SEO Tips That Everyone Should Know

If you spend any time on marketing websites, you’re being hit with a ton of information. You’re probably also being told you need an expert SEO to do this work for you.

SEO services are a lot of things, but cheap isn’t one of them.

Have no fear. Here are 6 expert SEO tips you should know and do completely on your own.

1. Create the Best Content

Being good, well, isn’t really good enough. You need to strive to create the greatest content, better than anyone else in your industry.

If should be a mix of short form, long form, as well as video content. Find the content that is doing the best with your readers and then head to our next step.

Post quality and quantity. Not posting often enough will make your readers forget you exist.

2. You Want Links Within Posts

Internal links are a great way for your best content to provide a path for viable, yet less-read posts. Being too “salesy” can turn off a lot of prospects. Insert internal links not to products and services, but other posts that link to them.

External links to authoritative sites with relevant content will help your readers to know you’re providing fact-based content with the reader’s interest in mind.

This also sends a message to search engines that you care about citing sources and providing other helpful content. In time, you will be rewarded with an increase in domain authority.

3. Backlinks are the Expert SEO Answer

Most often, and Expert SEO is going to talk about backlinks.

A lot.

And they’re right. The more backlinks you have, the better. To do some of this on your own, create profiles at social bookmarking sites and blog aggregation sites.

Next, set up a Google My Business account along with all of the relevant directories, like Yelp, white/yellow pages, and anything related to your own industry or niche.

You’ll eventually build up a quality link profile as you create stellar content and it is shared by your readers and other industry professionals.

4. Make It Quick

Page speed is one of Google’s newest ranking factors. The faster your site, the more the search engine will favor your business.

And why is this? Because people want faster websites. They don’t want to wait and with modern technology, they really shouldn’t have to.

5. Be Social

Social media is the easiest way to draw traffic to any website. If it’s a new site, these bookmarks are even more important.

Secondly, you can use them for reputation management and customer service. Reach out and talk to your customers, find out what they want, show that you care.

6. Patience is a Virtue

No matter how good you are or how much traffic, SEO takes a while.

Google wants you to prove that you and your business aren’t some sort of scam. This is why the largest factor in domain authority is the age of the domain.

If you want the best results, take your time and be thorough.

Not everyone has the time to take care of this on their own. At Studio 98, we have the time and the expertise to help next-level your SEO campaign. Contact us today to get the ball rolling.

8 Ways an Unresponsive Website Will Kill Your Online Leads

Nothing dampens the spirit more than when a potential customer responds to your Pay-Per-Click advert only to not convert into a real customer upon reaching your website. The purpose of driving traffic to your website is not just to increase the number of visitors. As a salesperson, your aim is to make the visitor a paying customer. In addition to the pain of not being able to convert the visitor, you also have to pay Google for the Pay-Per-Click conversion.

Most online leads are lost due to unresponsive websites. A website is said to be unresponsive if it cannot adapt to the device used to access it. In other words, the layout of a website will appear differently depending on the device. Responsive web design services are what you need to create a responsive website.

Unresponsive websites kill the online leads you generate in the following ways:

1. User Experience

The reason your visitor clicked on your Pay-Per-Click advert in the first place is quite simple. He or she wanted to know more about how your product or service would be of use to him or her. In other words, the visitor came to have a good experience. If your website does not impress a visitor between 3 to 15 seconds, the visitor will leave. Most visitors will not put in the extra effort to navigate a website which they find to be unresponsive.

2. Poor Readability

When a website is unresponsive, it appears on a tablet, for instance, the way it is viewed when you use a desktop. Each device used is designed differently. The layout might be great for reading on a desktop, but it will be difficult to read on a mobile device. So, if a mobile device user visits a website and finds it difficult to properly read the words due to its poor layout, the visitor will simply leave the website.

3. No Call to Action

The main aim of driving traffic to your website is to eventually convert the visitor into a paying customer. The website is supposed to entice the visitor enough to increase the rate of conversion. However, unresponsive websites fail to convert visitors into paying customers because they do not have an effective call to action on their pages. A call to action can be a sign-up form, a highlighted button, or a lead magnet.

4. It’s Not Mobile Friendly

Unlike responsive websites, which are designed by responsive web design services, unresponsive websites are not mobile user-friendly. Since they are difficult to navigate on a mobile device, Google does not rank them well. By penalizing it, the online lead that might have been generated by doing a search on Google is lost.

5. A Lack of Connection

Your website is bound to lose online leads that could convert to paying customers if it lacks any sense of connection with the visitor. What responsive web design services will tell you is that unresponsive websites do not make it easy for visitors to connect with them. Their contact forms are not properly located. They do not offer web chat services. Visitors cannot readily find a contact phone number or e-mail address. You only turn visitors into converts by reaching out to them.

6. Poor Quality Images

In this digital age, the quality of an image plays a huge role in attracting a potential customer and keeping existing ones. Google directs visitors more to websites that engage them for a long time. One of the ways to improve the online leads from Google is to use high quality images to engage visitors. This is one thing unresponsive websites lack. Besides Google, visitors are more likely to share a website’s page with good quality images among their friends.

7. Poor Navigation

Unresponsive websites do not retain a visitor for long because they are difficult to navigate. Once the visitor reads what brought him or her to the website, the unresponsive website does not encourage navigation by a visitor who has no time to spare. A visitor will easily convert if navigation is easy. This is because, while navigating around the website, the visitor finds the website pages are interesting to read.

8. Poor Content

One bit of advice responsive web design services will give is to provide quality content on your website. Due to the poor content of an unresponsive website, all the leads in the world may bring visitors to it, but they will all leave quickly. To rank well in Google and to enjoy online leads, your website should have quality content that will keep visitors engaged for a long time.

Is This The Death of The American Dream?

There are a number of statistics which track the births and deaths of small businesses in America.

We have even used some of these for earlier blog posts on our own website as you can see here.

In doing research for our latest blog post I came across some research results being referred to by Jim Clifton, the CEO of Gallup. Yes that’s the same Gallup that does surveys and polls on hugely important subjects and trends.

The data is this:

Since the numbers of new businesses and business closures have been being measured (1977) new businesses have always outnumbered business closures by at least 100,000 or more every year.

Since 2008 the number of businesses that are opening in the U.S. per year plummeted and the number of business closures in the U.S. continued to rise. The most recent numbers coming in put us at a deficit of 70,000. Meaning that for the first time since we have been measuring these numbers, more businesses are closing than are opening. 70,000 more closures than business openings is a very unhealthy trend to say the least.

Gallup

Source: http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/180431/american-entrepreneurship-dead-alive.aspx

While there are many opinions and theories about what happened in 2008 that cause the so-called “Great Recession”, one thing is abundantly clear, not enough people are successfully starting and running businesses.

As most businesses failures have to do with a lack of knowledge or application of knowledge on how to market, sell and deliver their product, training new and existing business owners is now an urgent nation-wide priority.

Let’s also now look at the fact that since 2008 some very major things have happened

In 2008 Facebook passed MySpace in the number of active users (approx 100 million) and hasn’t looked back since (last count was 1.23 billion active users).

2009 was when Facebook introduced the “like” button.

Since 2008 Twitter has grown from 6 million users to 320 million.

Instagram and Pinterest didn’t exist in 2008 and now have 300 million and 47 million users respectively.

This is not even taking into account all of the new and changed advertising opportunities with online platforms such as Google AdWords, sponsored posts on Instagram and Facebook and many more.

If it isn’t clear yet, the conclusion you should be drawing here is that there are now more channels to reach customers than ever before. But that means you can also fail on more channels than ever before.

You need to get yourself educated on the current marketing and sales tools available to you. We have seen the number of potential avenues to reach customers double, triple and keep on expanding by the day. This doesn’t mean you have to use all of them, but it does mean that your customers are now potentially receiving ads and marketing communications from many more sources than ever before in history. You need to know which ones are going to be effective for you and how best to use them in your business.

This doesn’t mean you go find a “guru” and dump tons of money into having them handle it for you. It means you need to get educated on what your options are, what the pros and cons are to all of these new platforms and make sure that your business strategy takes into account which ones you are going to be using to ensure your success.

This country was built on the idea that everyone has a fair and equal chance for success and that if you work hard, the sky’s the limit. Don’t waste that chance through unintentional ignorance.

Get educated and get successful, (or more successful). You’ll find advice and tips all throughout this blog and there are many other sources. If you have a question, you can always write us and ask, we’d be happy to help, even if it’s just to steer you in the right direction.

Do you have a specific question or topic about marketing and sales you would like to see explained simply? Write it in the comment section below.

Website Flow

All websites have goals. You want your viewer to notice the most most important information first. You want people to be presented with the right information at the right time. One way to achieve that is to control the flow and rhythm of your composition.

Compositional flow (which can also be described as visual hierarchy) determines how a viewer’s eye flows through the design. First it goes over where the eye looks, and second where the eye rests. It also determines how long the viewer’s eye stays on a certain section.

You can create flow by utilizing a combination of visual weight and visual direction.

-Visual weight (which can also be called a focal point) pulls in the eye and acts as a good resting point.

-Visual direction gives the viewer a path to follow when viewing a web page, helping with the flow of the page.

Website flow will start with your dominant element. You should always make your dominant element the entry point to you website.

The main point is to use the flow of the site to guide the visitor to the contact form, sign-up form or button you want them to land on.

Proper use of Website Flow will transform your website from an attractive place holder into a lead and sales generation tool.

Why Your Website is My Baby Too

Often times when a project is very dear to someone you will hear them refer to it as “their baby”. As a project manager I do this quite often when discussing my projects with my peers and even with my clients. It sounds silly but there are many reasons why I think your website is my baby too and why you want your design company to think like this!

First of all I care about your website as much as you do every day. Managing a web project is what I do day in and day out and each of my projects I care about seeing from beginning to end. In the end this website is going to represent your company as a whole but it will also represent my design company too. So I care about the design, the functionality, and the ease of use for your future growth and expansion. When picking a design company you want them to care about your website as if it was their only project because that’s how you know it’s getting done right.

Second of all, like a baby, building websites involves planning for the future. This just means that I care about your project and am going to let you know if something isn’t working right, doesn’t look right, or may not be the best or easiest thing for you to manage in the future. Ideally you want your design company to be focused on making sure your website will last you several years down the road. Your website will grow and change over time so what you want to focus on is not only how your site can accomplish what you need for today but what can it do for down the road.

Finally because I care so much about your site and project I may seem like I am demand a lot when working on a project. Things like getting approval on designs, getting your content finished and getting a site launched. I’m doing this because your website is being built to reflect YOU and the only way to do that is get it out there in the public. Your design team will push you to complete your site not so that you are rushed but because having a finished product that represents you in the best way possible is our ultimate goal.

All in all when picking a design team you want to know that they care about your project as much as you do. You want to know they will stay in communication with you, will help you build a site that you can grow with, and help you stay on track to show that baby…I mean website off to the world.

Is Your Website Structure Consistent?

Is Your Website Structure Consistent?

“Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don’t have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen based on earlier experience. The more users’ expectations prove right, the more they will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it. And the more the system breaks users’ expectations, the more they will feel insecure.” – Jakob Nielsen

Consistency in a website is important for the user. A good example of this is navigation.  If the navigation is on the top on the homepage, but then only on the side in the inner pages, it causes frustration, inconsistency, and a lack of trust for the user.

By following the same pattern throughout the site, you create a consistent flow of information.

An important goal for any company is building trust, don’t let inconsistency in the site break down the trust you are trying to build. Other ways to have consistency throughout your site can include using the same font, colors, links, titles, navigation, and layout. If you choose to break this consistency with a well-thought-out plan, you can deliberately attract attention to some part of the site that stands out from the rest. This lets you highlight a special event, sale, or new service while maintaining trust. If you are unpredictable all the time, you will confuse the user.

Check out your website from the user’s point of view. If you get lost or confused, it might be time to consider a new website design.

What Is Online Marketing?

When it comes to online marketing there are many actions you can take and countless individuals and companies that promote themselves as “online marketing specialists”.

When it comes to putting together an online marketing campaign,  there are a few key pieces that are involved in every campaign, whether you hire someone to do them or you do it yourself.

You need to have a good understanding of these and how simple this subject is to be able to evaluate what your own needs are and whether or not you need to hire a company to take care of it for you.

I’m sure there are others, but no online marketing campaign could be considered complete without the following services and products.

Website Design & Development
Content Services
Hosting & Maintenance
SEO Services
Many times I get asked by clients what further actions they can do once their website is completed. I always let them know that after you take care of the basics of design & development, there are several other online marketing services that will make sure that you get the maximum effect from your website. After all, you don’t just want it to look good, it’s got to produce results!

Make sure you evaluate your online marketing actions against the above points and see if there is any room for improvement. Contact a professional if you are lacking in any of these areas. It’s possible you can implement some simple actions to tremendously boost your online sales and marketing efforts.

What We Can Learn From the Apple Site

    1. Less is more – Your website does not need to be cluttered; be picky about what content makes it onto your website.

  • Dark backgrounds are on their way out – utilize a light background and use bright colors and designs as your contrast instead of the “foundation”.

 

  • A classy design doesn’t need to be redone all the time – with the right design the first time you can make a few small tweaks instead of a major overhaul every year.

 

  • A simple navigation is user friendly – getting inside the heads of your consumers allows you to create simple, intuitive navigation that doesn’t require a lot of clicking or frustrating drop down menus.

 

  • Show off a little – Telling people what you’ve got and why it’s better. With people encountering 5000 marketing messages daily, be sure to tell people how you’re unique.

 

A good design company should be able to help you handle all 5 of these points and do it well.

How Google Fonts is Changing the Web

It seems like only yesterday the web was filled with boring, standard fonts. To make sure your fonts showed up across the greatest number of users, designers were forced to limit their website’s font choices to those most commonly found on the computer.

With the creation of CSS3, most browsers started supporting a new font face tag, a way to deliver custom fonts to a web page. Unfortunately, font licensing can really be messy so embedding fonts into your web page isn’t always a good idea.

As a solution, a number of web font services stepped up. These services offered a beautiful solution: browse through their extensive library of fonts, then just copy and paste a simple line of code to implement them on your site.

The only problem with this was, many of these services changed a fee, and if you didn’t already have the font installed on your machine, you couldn’t put the font on a mock-up to share with the client.

Then Google decided to take a shot at web fonts, and created Google Fonts. Currently, they offer over 650 unique fonts to choose from. Here’s the best part: They’re all free!

With the creation of Google Fonts, your designer will be able to pick out the right combination of fonts to use on your website. Always remember, with custom fonts, less is more. While 650 different fonts is a lot to choose from, it’s best to limit your website to at most, two unique fonts.

Style With Images

One of the best ways to add depth and “pop” to your site is through stylish imagery that is bright, colorful, and attracts attention to the people viewing it. When considering what imagery you should choose for your website, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help.

What Your Image Communicates

 

Save Your Image

 

Be Mindful of Copyright

 

The Right Size Image

Don’t be afraid of using images to add color and brighten up your site. Just make sure that you work closely with your design team on the images that you pick. We are professionals and will be able to tell you if an image will work well or not. We will also always give you the freedom of picking whatever images you want for your site. After all, you know your industry best.