May 20, 2015
by Leslie Meng

Why Websites struggle with Google’s SEO Changes

Google regularly rolls out SEO changes to its algorithms which makes businesses panic once they notice their fallen PageRank.

Changes to Google’s search algorithms don’t have to make you worry; they are designed to help improve the quality of content readers see when they look up certain information. The best thing your business can do while Google irons out its formula is make sure that your focus is on providing solid content, rather than on “gaming the system.”

In the past, SEO tips have focused on keywords (and keyword stuffing), the number of outbound links compared to your text, having more articles so your content will appear richer and fuller… Google has confirmed that all of these old practices are not to be rewarded anymore.

Instead, pages are looked at for the quality of their content. Here are some items that comprise this measure of quality:

  • Is the article top heavy? Do you have content above the fold, or do your readers have to look for that information?
  • Is your article too short to be very informative? Google now prioritizes long form content.
  • Is your website mobile-optimized? Google tries to cater results based on what devices are being used at the time.
  • Is your article more informative or is it heavily one-sided?
  • Is the article a thinly rewritten version of another one on this or another site?

The number one thing your page can do to improve its SEO is to produce unique and original content. Stop looking for tips and tricks, and go back to old fashioned research and writing. Use imagery (your own, if you can help it) to make your work more valuable. If you establish your site as a reliable authority of your own subject, then your site will perform well regardless of algorithm changes.

Unless your site is old and unresponsive. Then you have some other structural changes you need to implement before you fully reap the benefits. We have written about the reasons for this before, but just know that having a website with responsive web design (therefore mobile ready) is extremely important for your business. Google has confirmed that its search algorithms now prioritize mobile websites and mobile-optimized sites for users searching from handheld devices.

January 17, 2015
by Lori Shecter

Why Your Business Needs Great Landing Pages…

 And how to get one!

So you’re starting a new campaign. You’ve drafted your newsletters, you’ve created some advertisements… you can now set it and forget it, right? Wrong. Your job should not be over yet. You should make a targeted Landing Page to fully take advantage of the all the efforts you just put into the campaign.

Why do I need this? My website has all the information I need.

Congratulations on having an up-to-date, informative website! However, this is not enough. What was the intention behind your new campaign? Are you offering a new product or service? Are you promoting certain stories or information? There was something in your marketing materials that you wanted your audience to be driven to, a call to action (CTA). However, your website probably doesn’t have that same flow or even the same feel.

This is where a landing page comes in handy. You can craft your landing page so it picks up where your campaign left off. Your landing page should mirror both the design and core message of your campaign… but in a succinct and effective manner. By using a landing page instead of redirecting your audience to your website, you ensure that they do not have to sift through excess information. Your landing page should also feature a CTA prominently. Above the fold. Even though websites today (and landing pages too!) are longer, this is one time where it’s very important to have that call to action direct and up top.

Give me some tips to build this right.

  1. Function over Form
    While you want your landing page to give the same feeling as your campaign and have congruence with your company, design is still secondary to the function behind your landing page. Above all else, you want to drive the conversation to a certain point, so don’t clutter your page with extra navigation or links. Don’t distract from the goal.
  2. Have a direct headline (great copy is wonderful, too)
    Your headline should read like a billboard sign. Ideally it should be to the point, bold, and enticing. Make sure it’s featured prominently and that it’s relevant. Try to avoid wording that’s too cliche like “Best Product Ever”. You’ll sound disingenuous, which brings us to:
  3. Trust is king
    Getting leads and capturing information is important, but in business (especially online business), perception is key. Don’t use hooks that are overplayed. Don’t promise to provide free services and then charge extra fees. Don’t over inflate your statistics or use thinly veiled false testimonials. While your landing page might look better with the extra content and numbers, your reputation might be at stake if you can’t deliver what you promise.
  4. Put your Call to Action above the fold
    We mentioned this earlier, but it’s very important. Get to the viewer quickly with the information they need. If you have more content below, you can repeat it again. You should refrain from presenting too much information though, because if a person in interested, they could always get that information from your website.
  5. TEST TEST TEST
    There are so many variables when it comes to campaigns and landing pages. Make sure you experiment with different strategies regularly. What’s best for your business can’t be determined by a speculating outsider, so do plenty of A/B testing and think about your targeted audiences!