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It’s looking to reward mobile-friendly sites with search change; others will see dip in rankings

On April 21, 2015, Google plans to make a major change to the algorithm for its mobile search, giving mobile-friendly websites a higher position in search rankings.

For a company that dominates the search market with an approximately 75% share, this is going to mark a significant change for mobile search.

The change should mean that consumers will have a better user experience because they’ll be directed to more mobile-friendly sites.

Mosaic Mobile Responsive Technology

Mosaic Mobile Responsive Technology

That algorithm change goes into effect April 21, 2015, affecting mobile searches in all languages worldwide.

Google warned that the change will have a “significant impact in our search results” and offered up a link website operators can use to see if their site is considered mobile friendly.

Google did not specify in its blog post, and would not comment on, what exactly is being changed in its mobile search algorithm — the software processes and formulas used to cull through the Internet to find what the user is seeking.

The company did say the new algorithm will expand its use of “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal. “Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices,” Google noted in its blog.

That will change what mobile users see at the top of their search results because it also will affect websites that either drastically move up or down in those result rankings.

It’s looking to reward mobile-friendly sites with search change; others will see dip in rankings.  In about two weeks, Google plans to make a major change to the algorithm for its mobile search, giving mobile-friendly websites a higher position in search rankings.

Google did not specify in its blog post, and would not comment on, what exactly is being changed in its mobile search algorithm — the software processes and formulas used to cull through the Internet to find what the user is seeking.

“The company did say the new algorithm will expand its use of “mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices,” Google noted in its blog.
That will change what mobile users see at the top of their search results because it also will affect websites that either drastically move up or down in those result rankings.

It’s all about reward and punishment for websites. For websites that have been optimized for mobile devices, this will be a great change. For sites that have not, it’s bad news.

 

If you need to upgrade your site to Mobile Responsive Website we can help give us a call you will be glad you did 203-483-4598

 

One of the most commonly cited explanations business failures is that owners couldn’t get the word out about their business.

keyword-illustration

Get found on the internet

Word-of-mouth advertising tactics are excellent ways to encourage local clientele, but if you need to extend your customers to people who don’t drive past your storefront every day, a word-of-mouth approach might lead to low sales and closed doors.

 

So you have a website. Well, that’s a great first step. But you need to make sure your website reaches the people you want it to reach. Otherwise, they won’t even know your site exists, let alone buy something from it.

 

KEYWORDS AS MARKETING TOOLS

 

You can add keywords to your content to ensure prospective clients become actual clients. But how do you decide which keywords will launch your website and grab your audience’s attention? Well, the first thing you need to understand is the difference between short- and long-tail keywords.

short-tail-long-tail-keywords (1)

You have a basic understanding simply by knowing their names: short-tail keywords contain only one or two words while long-tail keywords contain longer phrases. But let’s get a little bit more in depth for a better understanding.

 

SHORT TAILS: KEYWORDS

 

Let’s say that you want to find a new restaurant in Chicago. A short-tail keyword like “Chicago restaurant” or “deep dish pizza,” will garner thousands, of results. That’s because nearly every restaurant in the Second City and its deep dish pizza dispensaries want those keywords. They know that when people Google material, most use just a few, obvious words to request information, and “Chicago restaurant” or “deep dish pizza” represent popular search terms for the area because they are so simple and direct.

However, as you know all too well, it’s easy to find popular keywords. The much more difficult task is to find a keyword that will rank your website higher on those search results. Since so many people search for them, short-tail keywords can represent a wildly competitive market. While you may use the most popular keywords, the hundreds of other websites that use the same keywords may drown you out.

 

LONG TAILS: KEYWORDS

 

On the other hand, long-tail keywords have a lower search volume because they add specificity. For example, “restaurant Chicago,” would shift to “affordable Chinese restaurant Chicago.” These additions do two things for you:

 

  • Ensure that the people who search for your service want your specific service. People who search for general restaurants may want Italian fare, French cuisine, or Spanish tapas. With the long tail’s new information, people who crave Chinese food will find your restaurant more easily.
  • Rank your website higher. Because you target a smaller market with the long-tail keyword, you face less competition. This makes your search results closer to the top of the search engine’s results—where more people will see it.

 

However, long-tail keywords do have drawbacks. In addition to the smaller pool of searchers, they can be too specific. Most people use as few words as possible as they search, so if you require too much from them, you may not get their online traffic.

Additionally, the longer the keyword, the more awkward it can sound when you use it in your content. Nothing is more important than your website’s quality content, so consider how the keyword will affect readability before you implement it.

Whether you choose a short- or long-tail keyword, you take a gamble. While more people search for short tail keywords, your site may get lost in the search result melee.

 

SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO? THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

 

Don’t just contemplate popular search terms. Instead, take a moment to think about your business. If you were a client, what would you search for? Are they searching for your services when they face an emergency? If you offer environmental clean-up services, you may want to use keywords such as “clean up gasoline spill” instead of “environmental company.”

long tail Keyword-research

Clients tend to use search terms that reflect how your business impacts them, not necessarily what your company is. Ask what they need from you, and the answer may be your best keyword.

 

WEAVE YOUR KEYWORDS SEAMLESSLY

 

As we mentioned in the Long Tail section, content is essential to your website. Place your keywords so they sound as natural as possible. If your online visitors can spot awkward keywords from a mile away, they might not continue reading.

 

MIX IT UPlong-tail-keyword seo_thumb[1]

 

Remember that you don’t have to choose between long- and short-tail keywords. Use both. Track your statistics to see which keywords do the most work for you, and adjust your web strategy accordingly.

 

You may need an SEO specialist’s help to complete this task. When you speak with them, they can give you advice on the keywords will give you the best return on investment so your business can stay successful for years to come contact the Mosaic Team we have experts is Search Engine Marketing.

Mosaic logo only_with_color_circle2-150x150I recently had a conversation with an astute Health Care Interactive Marketing Executive about her plans for the year. She mentioned that her current website was roughly two years old and that now was the time to start thinking about a redesign. She had quite a few items on her redesign wish list (upgraded CMS, trimmed down Flash elements, etc.), but one thing that stood out to me was her keen interest in making sure that mobile users were accounted for.

Sure, she wanted the core website to render well on mobile browsers, and for good reason. After all, the balance has shifted in favor of consumers with smart phones as opposed to “dumb” phones.

That’s more or less standard fare, though. (Note: If your site isn’t optimized for mobile browsers, then perhaps a redesign should be on your agenda.)

What really struck me was her insistence on making sure that her core website experience and functionality could be mirrored on tablets.

The following statics are an important consideration:

  • Internet browsing from mobile and tablet devices accounts for 13.2% of unique visitor traffic.responsive-WEBSITE
  • Social networks account for 20% of the time spent online.
  • 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads online. Source.
  • Overall Content Marketing Strategy Leads to 2,000% Lift in Blog Traffic, 40% Boost in Revenue.
  • SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. source: Search Engine Journal

Redesigning your website can help you capture the shifting tide in the way consumers use technology and use it to your advantage. Here are five important things you need to include in your website redesign.

Fresh Content

You don’t want your website to feel like the waiting room at the dentist’s office with those old and outdated magazines sitting on the table. If you want to attract visitors to your website, there has to be a reason for them to stop by!

Sharing fresh content on your website through a blog is a great way to draw new visitors from search engines and from social media sites.

Mobile Responsive Design

More and more people are using tablets and smart phones to access the Internet. When a visitor comes to your website on their smart phone, a responsive design will resize your website to fit their device. (Mobile responsive design)

new web designCheck this out, if you’re reading this on a laptop or desktop, take your cursor over to the far right side of the page. Now shrink the size of the Internet window. See how this post is shrinking and reformatting. Pretty cool, huh!

If you want to test your website to see how it looks on different devices, check out this site: Studio Press Responsive Test.

Social Media Channels

20% of the time spent on the Internet is on social media sites. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, Facebook, and Yelp have become the place where people go to get answers and recommendations.

Your potential customers may feel more comfortable communicating with you with a tweet rather than a phone call. We recommend making it easy for a prospect to connect with you by placing links to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn on your site.

So what’s the takeaway?

In a year that seems destined to further usher in the era of mobile devices as the mainstream computing platform (as opposed to the old desktops and laptops of yesteryear) companies must seriously consider a two-tiered approach to web design. Maybe even three-tiered when you take into account the difference between smart phones and tablets.

If your current web presence is still one-dimensional, focusing only on traditional computing devices, make sure to add these quickly developing dimensions into your overall redesign plan. And if your current design and development agency isn’t properly taking these dimensions into account, well, you know what to do…Please call us we can help you get your site Mobile Responsive..203-483-4598 ask for David on extension 306…You will be glad you did.

Consumers today want it all. Their relentless demand for a more satisfying online experience has forced many integrated marketers to reevaluate—and increasingly, overhaul—website look, feel and function. If such an website redesign is in your future, share these seven steps with your developer and creative team to simplify and streamline the process.  web design

  1. Define your goals. Work with key stakeholders to create a list of relevant, actionable goals that clarify strategic reasons for a re-do. Good reasons can include: increasing site traffic; boosting conversions; and ranking higher for certain targeted keywords or phrases. Reasons to give you pause? “Our competitors are doing it,” or “I’m tired of the look.”
  2. Audit and secure your assets. A redesign is an opportunity to improve site performance. So it’s fine, even preferable, to jettison outdated or under-performing assets. Just make sure that proven content, high-ranking keywords, and quality inbound links don’t disappear in the process. Use a favorite spreadsheet to track and manage these items.new web design
  3. Improve your homepage. Work with your developer to simplify design and navigation. Strive for faster page loads; re-optimize homepage content, page titles and description meta tags with recently added or updated keywords.
  4. Refine your content. Before initiating the redesign, identify content gaps and commission your creative services provider to help develop new assets, especially video and a blog. Consumers (and search engines) love video, and sites with blogs garner 55% more traffic. Add search-optimized news releases, case studies, and white papers to increase your new site’s value, authority, and searchability.
  5. Emphasize conversions. A conversion is any action you want readers to take, including downloading, purchasing, requesting, or subscribing. Conversion rates soar when bold, clear calls-to-action work harmoniously with landing pages to spur readers into action.
  6. Optimize for mobile
    Mobile device usage continues to skyrocket. So many integrated marketers recommend Responsive Web Design for these benefits and others, such as how one site (not several) can accommodate all visitor types, including smartphone and tablet users.
  7. Measure your results. To quantify the effectiveness of the redesign, track (at minimum) key metrics such as: visitors (who’s coming to your site and from where); leads (how many visitors became leads); and sales (among those converted, how many purchased).

smooth web design

On the surface, landing pages seem simple, right? They’re one page with one form. They have a paragraph or two of copy, and an accompanying image. If you have all the elements of successful landing pages, you should be good to go … right?BAD LANDING PAGES

For a bare bones landing page, that is enough — but you could lose out on valuable traffic, leads, and customers if you’re just shooting for bare bones.

Think of this post as the first step of your game plan to optimize your landing pages. We’ll walk you through some of the most common problems people have with landing pages and outline ways you can fix them. Keep in mind that there isn’t always one *right* way to fix a landing page problem — you may have to keep testing to see what works best for you.

So if you want ideas on how to improve your landing pages, keep on reading.

Landing Page Problem #1: No Traffic

Did you put together a landing page and have only your mom check out the page (and she didn’t even bother to fill out the form)?

If you want to send more non-mom traffic to your landing pages, check out which channels are sending you traffic now, and see where you could improve — either by improving poor channels or doubling down on channels that seem to be working. Here are few ideas you can try:

Work on your SEO. 

You don’t need to stuff your landing page with keywords — instead, make sure that your landing page is about the right topics people are searching for, and is written in the same language your audience uses. Use similar terms to describe the offer behind the form on your landing page that your audience would use when searching for information on the topic. Besides just tweaking your landing page to be topic-focused, not keyword-focused.

Create more blog posts to promote your landing page.

If you have a decent blog readership, you can try including more calls-to-action leading to the landing page throughout your content and/or create more blog posts featuring those same calls-to-action. More quality blog posts means more potential opportunities to be featured in search results and get found on social media — which means more traffic coming to your website.

Build your social media following. 

It’s possible that your social media audience is pretty small, which means that it can be harder to get people to your site from that channel. That audience could not only convert on your landing pages in the future — they could refer new traffic to those landing pages.

Keep in mind that landing page traffic is only one piece of the pie — you could have hardly any traffic to your landing page but the people who are visiting your page are converting and they’re great fits for your business. Sure, more traffic means more opportunities to convert visitors, but looking at the whole picture helps you make a more informed decision on what to fix first.

Landing Page Problem #2: Poor Conversion Rate

LANDING PAGE TIPS

Getting people to your landing page but not getting them to complete the form? You’ve got to get creative if you want to get better results.

If you’re stuck on how to fix this very frustrating problem, here are a few things you can try:

Find your proper form length. 

If your form is really long, you may be deterring people from filling it out. Run A/B tests to see how short you can get the form so you’re still getting quality leads and making your sales team happy, but you’re not putting your landing page visitors through too much to receive the content on the other side of your landing page.

If you’ve never run an A/B test before, here’s a guide to show you how.

In marketing, A/B testing is a simple randomized experiment with two variants, A and B, which are the control and treatment in the controlled experiment. It is a form of statistical hypothesis testing. Other names include randomized controlled experiments, online controlled experiments, and split testing. In online settings, such as web design (especially user experience design), the goal is to identify changes to web pages that increase or maximize an outcome of interest (e.g., click-through rate for a banner advertisement).

As the name implies, two versions (A and B) are compared, which are identical except for one variation that might affect a user’s behavior. Version A might be the currently used version (control), while Version B is modified in some respect (treatment). For instance, on an e-commerce website the purchase funnel is typically a good candidate for A/B testing, as even marginal improvements in drop-off rates can represent a significant gain in sales. Significant improvements can sometimes be seen through testing elements like copy text, layouts, images and colors, but not always. The vastly larger group of statistics broadly referred to as multivariate or multinomial testing is similar to A/B testing, but may test more than two different versions at the same time and/or has more controls, etc. Simple A/B tests are not valid for observational, quasi-experimental or other non-experimental situations, as is common with survey data, offline data, and other, more complex phenomena.

A/B testing has been marketed by some as a change in philosophy and business strategy in certain niches, though the approach is identical to a between-subjects design, which is commonly used in a variety of research traditions. A/B testing as a philosophy of web development brings the field into line with a broader movement toward evidence-based practice.

Tighten your headline and body copy. 

It’s possible that your landing page visitors aren’t completely convinced they’re going to get anything of value if they give over their information to you. If you’ve created compelling content that lives behind the form, you should spend time sprucing up your landing page to better reflect what people will get. Tell them exactly what is behind the landing page form and how it’ll benefit them — in the most concise way possible.

Tweak your promotional elements. 

You’ve got to promote your landing pages somehow. So ask yourself — do your promotional elements accurately represent what’s on the landing page? People will get annoyed if they expect the landing page to be one thing when click on a call-to-action on a blog post, and then when they get to the landing page, they’re shown something completely different. Your promotional elements should never try to dupe people into clicking on them — not only is it shady, but it’s not going to pay off for you in conversions.

Landing Page Problem #3: Poor Funnel Conversion Ratesfunnel-landing-page

You already track the conversion rates on your individual landing pages, but you shouldn’t stop there. Let’s say you’re using a landing page to generate leads. You should see how many people who come through that landing page turn into customers — that’s your end goal, after all. If you can keep the business in perspective when optimizing your landing pages, you’ll be able to make smarter marketing decisions that’ll benefit the whole company.

You can try improving your overall funnel conversion rates by doing these things:

A/B test form length and fields on the initial landing page. 

It’s possible that your form is way too short and you’re getting a lot of “junk” leads into your system. If you want to improve overall conversion rates, you might have to lengthen your form. Warning: You’ll most likely get fewer leads into your funnel, but they should convert at a higher rate later on. You might also consider testing different form fields entirely to see if more in-depth questions bring in higher quality leads.

Investigate the offer behind the landing page.

Sometimes, people fill out a form on a landing page, get the offer behind it (for this example, an ebook), and then are really disappointed in the offer. Maybe they expected the ebook to be a really advanced, in-depth book dozens of pages of content, but it’s really a 5-page starter guide. They won’t trust your content in the future if this happens — once burned, twice shy, right?

You can avoid that disappointment and future hesitation by better setting expectations on the landing page — or you can take a hard look to see if the content behind the page should be there in the first place. Ask yourself the hard questions, and don’t be afraid to come to a hard conclusion: Is it worthy of someone’s information? Is tailored to the audience who is filling out the form? Would I ever want to download something again from my company?

If you answered ‘No’ to any of those questions, it might be time to re-do that offer.

landing_page_traffic.485Launch tailored nurturing campaigns.

It’s also possible that the rest of your landing pages are too far down the funnel from the initial offer to convert anyone. For example, the initial landing page was something very top-of-the-funnel — an industry how-to guide. If you have no landing pages for middle-of-the-funnel offers — content that talks about your company’s place in the industry at large — it’s not surprising you’d have few people converting to customers. They simply haven’t had enough information to advance to that stage of their buying process.

If that’s happening to your landing pages, you can implement a lead nurturing strategy. This won’t be on landing pages — you’ll have to use a combination of email, social media interactions, and smart content on your website to help people move on to the next stage in the buying process.

Landing Page Problem #4: High Bounce Rate*

If you peeked into your landing page’s analytics, chances are you’ve seen this metric before. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who viewed a page, then left your site. They didn’t fill out a form, nor did they click to find out more about you.

Sounds kind of similar to the “poor conversion rate” problem, right? That’s because they’re related. If someone’s leaving your website without interacting with it at all, they’re probably not going to fill out a form. That being said, you can have a low bounce rate and a low conversion rate if people are going to investigate other portions of your website. Since they’re similar, a lot of the same solutions can be applied to both poor conversion rate and high bounce rate.

*That being said, bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing … unless it’s correlated with a short time on site, no conversions, or it’s only happening on a certain device. Here’s what you can do to address a real high bounce rate problem:

Decrease page load time.7-levels-of-landing-page-optimization

If people are bouncing quickly from your page, there could be lots of reasons why. Most of them were covered in the “poor conversion rate” problem. But one wasn’t: Your page may be loading really, really slowly … so visitors clicked away. There are lots of little ways you can improve your site load time, such as changing the file size of your landing page images.

Show certain content to just mobile visitors.

If you find that you have a high landing page bounce rate on mobile — not desktop — you’ve got to do something about it. More and more people are using their phones to access your content, and you don’t want to lose out on valuable traffic and conversions because of it. On a large scale, you can fix this by making sure your website is completely responsive. But that may not fully fix the problem — you can also try displaying certain content only to mobile visitors. Special mobile-only landing page features could help them better convert and consume your content.

Landing Page Problem #5: Internal Disagreements 

It’s much easier to defend yourself to your boss if you have a hard number saying something does or doesn’t work. So if you’re getting a lot of internal back-and-forth over what you should put on your landing page and what you shouldn’t, let people put the data where their mouth is.

Is one person dead set on removing the top navigation on your website and another dead set on not doing it? Run an A/B test to settle that dispute — and pretty much any other one that comes up. Only through testing will you figure out what works best for your audience on your landing pages.

Landing Page Problem #6: Driving Traffic to Another Site Page

Did you notice your landing page is showing up as a large referral source to other parts of your website? That’s not always good. If your landing page is sending traffic to something further down your funnel — contacting sales or starting a free trial, for example — it could be great. But if your “about” page is getting all the traffic, you might want to consider doing something about it.

If this is happening to you, I’d take a guess that the page getting the referrals happens to be in your top navigation — it’s easy to access and might be distracting for a first-time visitor on your site. To combat this, try removing your top navigation from landing pages altogether. You might find that it helps increase conversions.

And that’s all we’ve got, folks. These are just a few ideas for you to get started on the path to optimizing your landing pages in the face of common problems.

smooth web design

Now’s the time to roll up your sleeves and try some tests out.